Thursday, September 27, 2012

They Can't All Be Good...

I've had my share of ups and downs with my training  - the humidity that killed me all summer and made me cry more than once, the GREAT 20 miler in Central Park, that other great 20 miler, some short and fast tempo runs....luckily the bad didn't outweigh the good and I can keep a positive attitude when I just can't get it together, or else, you know, I would have had to kill people :)

Sunday I ran the NYRR 18 Mile Tune-Up race in CP.  This is a tough course - 3 loops which include the northern hills of the park.  Luckily I only had to run 13 miles which meant 2 loops/not as many hills, even though I LOVE hills, my legs needed a break.

Running in the park is always such a great experience, it has been a boost to my training and because I maybe only head in once a month or so I'm not too bored of it yet. There is always something new to see and people to meet... I met a bunch of guys from Racing for Recovery which was pretty awesome, I hung with them for maybe 3 miles chatting, eavesdropping and just having fun.  I don't normally listen to music on my long runs, especially runs in the city since there is always so much going on, so hanging with them was a nice bonus to help break up the miles.

I felt AMAZING.  Like so good it was a little cray.   I have to go back and look, but I believe my average pace was 9:45 (or 50)  and my splits were pretty even!  This was yet another boost I needed to mentally get me in the game for Chicago.  I'm still not sure if I will make my 4:30 goal, but I feel confident that I will PR.

Ok, so that was the good...

Now for the not so good...

Last night I met some of the new girls for a 6 miler.  I ran a mile beforehand and started to feel a little woozy, not terrible just not great.  I probably should have eaten a little something before I left but didn't even think to since I had a lot to eat during the day.  Thankfully they wanted to take it easy so we went super slow, but man, that 10:20 pace felt hard, nothing like my fast 5 the day before or my long run on Sunday.

I was happy to get through it, and I'm not going to dwell on it, it's just another training run under my belt.  Good or bad, it's miles in the bank and a bad run during training does not equal a bad run on the big day (that's been my motto and I'm sticking with it!!). But man, it sucked!

I'm leaving it in the past and I'm going to focus on quality for the rest of the week.  Tonight I'm at the gym for "World Champion Workout" led by one of our champion weight lifter instructors.  I signed up for the series and I'm pretty excited for it!  The first class was set up like a circuit and KILLED my legs, looking forward to what she has in store for us tonight.  Tomorrow if I do anything will be either yoga or an easy spin class.  Sat is my last long run before the marathon (8 miles), then Sun I'm running the Tunnels to Towers.  Lots going on, but I have to mindful of my legs, I am technically in taper mode...

10 more days!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

3rd and Final 20 Miler (AKA That Time I Killed My 3rd 20 Miler)

I'm going to just cut to the chase, cooler temps rule and I am so freaking grateful that I did not have to run my last 20 in the heat and humidity that has plagued me all training season!

This was such a great run, I'm not even sure where to start...

Fri night I worked late, relaxed at home and was in bed at 9:30 and probably sleeping by 9:45 - score!

Sat I was up bright and early at 4:30, running partner picked me up at 5 and were in the city and in Central Park running by 6.  The parking gods obviously loved us!

Sunrise over Manhattan

My plan was to pretty much run this solo.  We both agreed that we needed to do our own thing so we split up after our first mile.  I was plan-less and basically decided to wing it.  The first 10 miles were on the bridle path and along the reservoir, I'm so used to running the roads that this little adventure off the beaten path was great and just what I needed.  Even though I'm out on Long Island, I have done a bunch of runs in the park this year so it was nice to see new things and switch up my route.  I felt very Ally on the run which was cool.  I love her blog and am always inspired by not only her training but her general take on life with a pretty terrible disease. I even made a pit stop at the tennis court bathrooms (tmi?  lol).

I could have stayed in the park all day but I weaseled my way into one of the million training groups that were getting in their long runs and headed out of the park down 59th over to the West Side Highway.  I think I was with the Jack Rabbit group, still not sure, but they were great and I was pretty pumped to leave the park. I figured they were going to stay in the park for their whole run so it was a nice surprise.  Once I was settled into a nice rhythm I ended up splitting from the group and did my own thing, I ran through Riverside Park and decided to turn around to head back once I got just past Chelsea Piers.  Running partner was running the 4 miler NYRR/Fitness Magazine race so I wanted to make sure that I was close to the car around the same time as the end of the race which worked out perfectly.

On the way back while chugging up the 59th street hill I ran into Ashley from a Healthy Happier Bear and introduced myself.  I always feel like a creeper when I run into fellow bloggers, but who cares!  We put all of our stuff out there on the internets anyway, so why not say hi!  She was so sweet and we chatted for a second about our upcoming races.  It's crazy how small the city can be! I saw her and her friend again around my mile 19 which was awesome!

I could go on and on, but seriously, this was a great run.  I felt strong and kept my pace at an average of 10:30 which was very doable for me, no tanking at the end! I also ran solo and with no music which is exactly how I'm planning on running Chicago.  This was definetly the run I needed to have, nothing like a good 20 mile confidence boost!

As far as nutrition goes, I stayed with water the whole time and had 2 Gu's  - one at mile 6 then again at mile 12.  For the marathon I'll take in a 3rd at mile 18 and if necessary a 4th around mile 23.  I seem to be Ok with my fuel which is awesome, I'm also planning carbing up with some Chicago style deep dish pizza the night before which should hold me over!  Anyone have any suggestions?

You can read more about my other 20 mile runs here and here.

19 more days!  I can't wait!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Down to the Wire...4 More Weeks!

Holy moley!  4 more weeks and I'll be running my little heart out in Chicago!
There are so many things I'm excited for - the race, a new city, maybe a blogger meetup, a cool new tech shirt.  Oh, and pizza, definetly some deep dish pizza (any suggestions???).

This week has been rather uneventful with my training.  To start off, last weekend I ran 16 on Sunday and a 5k XC race on Sat where I placed 3rd in my AG (small race, 12 people in my AG, but still!). I took Monday off, ran 7 Tue, spun last night and bailed on my 7 miler this morning.  I'm lifting tonight so I'll try and run after.  All in all I'm feeling good and the cooler temps have been a major welcome!

Sat I'm headed into the city to run my 3rd and final 20 miler before the race!!!  The plan is to run 16 then tag along with the NYRR race for the final 4.  The weather should be crisp and cool...thank god!!!! .  I'm hoping running partner won't mind, but I'm thinking we should split up during the first half of the run., I don't want to feel like I have to keep up then fizzle at the end and if I learned anything from last 20, slow and steady in the beginning is ideal for a strong finish.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When Life Gets Tough

This week has been a tough one.  A friend passed away, it's been raining and crazy humid, I ate a ton and feel gross and I really have not gotten in a good run this week.

Sat was supposed to be a 16 miler but I headed out at 1:00 and it was so hot that I really only managed to bang out 10.  Monday I took an AMAZING Real Ryder spin class, Tue was a 4 miler on the 'mill (was supposed to be a 9 miler) and yesterday I ate and cried (work lunch, then work dinner then a wake then picking plates at the diner after).

Losing friends is tough, especially  young ones, especially when it could have been avoided. Nothing more to say about that.  RH will be missed.

A few missed or switched around runs won't kill my marathon.  I have been spot on with my long runs and the plan is to run the 16 this weekend instead of the perscribed 9 to get me back on track. A few shortened mid week runs also won't kill my marathon.  Saying fuck this training will, so I won't do that.  A little less than 5 weeks left!

But back to the title of this post...When life gets tough I need to remember the good stuff, remember to pray, reach out and not for cookies or bread or peanut M&M's, but to my gals who keep me going. To remember that I am a former fat girl who drank and smoked and never dreamed that a marathon (or 2) would be something I would want to do or COULD do.  To remember that today is a new day, that I can start over at any time....

So I'm taking the lessons of this week and reminding myself that I still ran, still managed to eat veggies among the other crap, still managed to get my work done, still managed a 4 miler on the mill and am alive, happy and free.  Who has it better than me :)