Sunday, July 22, 2012

NYCM Training: Week #1

As many of you know, I started my marathon training plan this week. I originally was going to follow one of the 16 week plans by Bob & Shelly Glover from their book, but then my friend Wallis suggested making some changes to emphasize the mid-week long run. Before I knew it, my plan ended up looking more like a lighter version of the plan from Pete Pfitzinger's book. Therefore, I jokingly refer to this plan as Wallis Pfitz-Glover.  I also got some feedback from my friend Rachel, as well as a few a lot of my other running friends. The plan as written can be seen below:

I was also starting a new job the same week as marathon training began, so I was a little nervous about how having both on my plate at the same time would go. After going to orientation on my rest day, I then started thinking about my first official marathon training run.

 I initially was going to do my speed workout on the treadmill, thinking that I would never hit my desired paces in this heat, but Rachel convinced me to give doing speedwork outdoors a try. I mapped my route so that I would spend most of, if not all of, my speedwork on the reservoir path, which was nice and flat.

After doing two warm-up miles, I started running at what I thought was half marathon effort, except after a while, I realized that there was a problem: I was not running too slowly, as I feared I would do, but I ended up finishing that mile in 8:04, which was significantly closer to what my 5 mile pace should be. Whoops. At that point, I made a decision that instead of running 3 miles at 15K - HMP, I would do 2 miles at this pace. My second mile ended up being at 7:59. I considered doing another fast mile, but didn't want to overdo it during week one. Because I left the reservoir track early, I ended up running into my mother and sister, as well as my mother's friend as I was doing my 2 mile recovery jog. 

I had two other weekday runs, both of which were 6 miles long. The Thursday run was only supposed to be a 5 miler, but I made up the mile that I cut out from Tuesday's run. On Wednesday, I averaged a 9:25mm pace, and on Thursday, I averaged a 9:39mm pace. 

After taking Friday off, I had originally planned on doing my Long Run in Central Park early so that I could get out of there before the start of a 10K that NYRR was running, but instead, I coordinated it so that I could run some of Wallis' 20 miler with her. She was nice enough to change her route so that I could get to my haircut on time. 

I took the express train to the Brooklyn bridge stop, where I met Wallis. The first four miles consisted of loop involving the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. The view from those was breathtaking. After that, we ran up the West Side Highway for a while. Growing up as someone who biked occasionally down the path, I remembered when the bikers and runners had to share the entire thing. Now, most of the path has been redesigned so that there were plenty of pedestrian paths through nice park-like areas. The path was mostly flat, so it felt like an easy run most of the time. 

After mile 9, Wallis turned around so that she would reach her mile 20 before having to cross back into Brooklyn, and I sped up for the remaining few miles. I hit 12 miles just after I left the park, and ended up averaging almost exactly 10mm throughout the entire thing.

This morning, I went out, and ran just over 6 miles. Both yesterday's long run and today's run were done in cooler temperatures than my weekday runs were, so I didn't have to get water as often. This time, I averaged about 9:48mm. 

I originally had an idea of what my paces should be, but McMillan changed his paces and made them faster, so while I used to be in the middle, I'm running on the slower side of my paces. I did a comparison in excel, but I forgot to send them to myself from work, so I'll have to post them later as there is a huge difference in some cases. As long as my speedwork is close to target, a bit of variation on the long run is ok as long as I don't go way too slow or way too fast. 

Overall, this week went well, but I do have to learn to control my speedwork paces better. In addition, I realized that I should slow down more in hotter weather, and stop for water a bit less. This may sound counterintuitive, but I realized that at least a couple of the stops were based on more of a psychological need for water than actual thirst. I also should pay more attention to what I eat and make sure that I don't undermine myself by eating junk. I fully expect to eat more as I run more, but as long as it's healthy foods, and lots of veggies, I shouldn't gain much weight if at all. I also have to train myself to get to bed earlier, as well as buy a few hair clips - some of my front pieces are short enough so that they're not staying in my ponytail holder. Oops! 

Only 15 Weeks to go until NYCM! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Someone has been lazy about updating their blog, and now it's time for some updates!

It's been a month since I have updated this blog, and I wish that I had a decent excuse...but it was probably more laziness on my part than anything else. Well, either way, a lot of exciting things have happened, and are coming up, so it's time to update!

Corporate Challenge
To give a mini recap, I ran corporate challenge with team HSS. I clearly don't know how to execute a shorter race, but my time went from a 31:18 to a 28:21. Even though I was not one of the top 6 women to represent HSS on either the women's or mixed teams, I was very happy with my overall time improvement. 

Sadly, it was time for me to move on. Although I enjoyed working at HSS for three years, I got an amazing opportunity at New York - Presbyterian that I just could not pass up. My last day was on July 6th, and I took this week off to get some important R&R. 

Treadmill Achievement
I have always been terrible on the treadmill, and haven't been able to run for more than a few miles without going completely insane. However, last Friday was a turning point. I had to pick up my friend from Port Authority, but I had time to go to the nearest NYSC beforehand. I don't know whether it was out of sheer determination, or whether having a couple of happy hour drinks played a role, but I managed to stay on the treadmill for 50 minutes without stopping once, and completed five miles. Yay!

Coney Island Fireworks
This past Friday, I wanted to run after work, so I messaged my friend Wallis and asked her what her plans were. I didn't expect her to say "running to Coney Island after doing 6 miles on my own first", but I decided to get on board. It was my last day of work, and I needed something to distract me from that after the day was over. 

After taking the subway to Brooklyn, I met Wallis at her place and we ran about a mile uphill to Prospect Park. After that, we ran about a loop and a half. I am clearly spoiled by Central Park's numerous bathrooms - let's just leave it at that. I was physically and emotionally drained from the day, and wasn't inclined to continue to Coney Island. However, the sheer enthusiasm of the Prospect Park Track Club inspired me to keep going, so on I went. 

The group resolved to stay together for the first mile, then naturally split up depending on pace. Thankfully, Wallis and I ended up not too far behind a clump of people, and as it got later, it got cooler and it became a more pleasant run. Unfortunately, it also got darker. After crossing over to the other side of the street to grab waters at a bodega, we were on the bike path side of Ocean Parkway, and while there was room to run, the path wasn't as smooth. During the last full mile, I tripped over the curb and completely scraped my arm on the sidewalk. Thankfully, both legs were fine, and after a minute of freaking out, I got up and finished the run, which was about 12 miles and change. 

I felt shaky for a while, but after cleaning up thanks to the help of Wallis and the local firemen who lent us their supplies, we walked over and got some drinks and watched the fireworks, which were an amazing experience. I'm considering going this Friday night, but we'll see. 

Almost Time for....
...marathon training! This is my last week of not having to formally follow a schedule. I've been trying to keep my mileage at a certain level, and succeeded. Here is what my monthly mileage for 2012 looks like so far...

That's an average of 31.20 miles per week from January - June 2012. My average mileage over the past year, from July 2011 - June 2012 was 30.4 miles per week. While I know that it's not the ideal base mileage for marathon training, I will do my best to train and get a decent marathon despite this. 

I am very excited about beginning marathon training, and I will share my plan later this week. Less than 17 weeks left until NYCM 2012!