Monday, July 30, 2012

Very Long Runs

Ok, I've been slacking on posting here...I've started the "very long runs" which to me are anything above a half-marathon distance. Each long run progression is now longer than I've ever run before. And it's going well!
First of all, I'm done with my track practices-but that doesn't mean I won't keep doing speed work. I saved all of our workouts, and I'm going to do them on my own. I really loved being on the track at night so I think I'll try to do that each week or every other. I know these workouts aren't necessary for marathon training, but I plan on doing tempo runs too. I'm debating whether to do the 5th Ave Mile this year-I really want to because I feel like I might be able to do it in 6 minutes (6:33 last year, with no speed training) but the damn thing is $30. That annoys me, on principle.
Two weekends ago I did 15 miles in Mattituck (North Fork). It was mostly flat but there were a couple of streets with long inclines (not steep though). It was really nice to run out there, it's so pretty but I admit I did get bored by the 12th or 13th mile...I was pretty much like "ok, ready to be done running now." I wasn't hurting or very tired, just bored. I had a gel pack with me, but I did run out of water and had to run up to the main road which is pretty much a highway, and run for a couple of miles there until I got to a gas station. I was actually happy for the breeze I got from passing cars, even though I knew it was dirty air.
Last week I wasn't feeling too well-my only midweek run was on Tuesday night in Central Park. I did a loop of the park, plus an additional loop in Harlem (because I like to kick my ass on hills). I did push myself on the hills but I felt pretty terrible that day and probably walked at least a mile of the 7 total that I did.

My weekend workouts were great. 18 miles on Saturday and spin class plus strength on Sunday!
*side note: It seems early for 18 but my marathon training has me increasing this way: 15, 13, 15, 13, 18, 13, 18, 13, 20, 13 etc, up to two 22-mile runs, the last one a month before the marathon. It's different, but I like it.
I met Stephanie at Chelsea Piers and we ran down the river, past the Staten Island Ferry and South St Seaport, over the BK Bridge, back over Manhattan Bridge, up to the Williamsburg Bridge, through W'burg and Greenpoint, over Pulaski and through LIC to the Queensboro Bridge. When we got over that bridge, I had two miles left to run, so I just took a meandering route home. 18 miles including 5 bridges (two of which are pretty substantial) made for a very satisfying run.
It was incredibly muggy and uncomfortable when we got started. I'm not sure if we just got used to it or if it just cooled off/dried out over the course of our run, but I did feel a lot better toward the end. I also didn't feel well in general when we started, just really heavy. I took two gel packs and was very happy for both. We made lots of water stops and poured bottles of cold water over our heads and necks! All-in-all a good training day!
And then I took an ice bath:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Around and around the track...

Thursday track workout! I had some stuff to deal with on Wednesday night/Thursday morning so I did the workout at night. I kind of love being on the track at night, with a view of the East River bridges and boats going by. The track isn't very busy at that time but there are enough people there that it still feels safe. Still, it is dark and whenever someone comes through the creaky old turnstile, it makes this scary-movie, old door swinging open noise that you can hear across the track.

Workout: 12x400, with 200 meter recovery. Goal is 5K pace. For me, that means I shoot for between 1:45 and 1:50 per lap (1:45=7:00 mile). I tried to keep it in that range for most of the workout, and then pick it up during the final third, and going as hard as I could on the final lap.

1: 1:39
2: 1:45
3: 1:42
4: 1:46
5: 1:45
6: 1:44
7: 1:45
8: 1:49
9: 1:41
10: 1:36
11: 1:39
12: 1:26

Next up: 15 miles tomorrow, on the North Fork! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weird evening run and exciting race registration!

I just blew off studying and went for a 10 mile run this evening, once the temperature dropped below 90 degrees. I really needed to clear my head, but should probably get a grip on this whole "train for a marathon while working on my master's" thing.
Whatever. The NYC marathon is 3.5 months away and today I registered for something else I'm really excited about-Big Sur!!! Unfortunately, it's only 21 miles because the full distance sold out really quickly. I notice on Fiona's Twitter feed this morning that she had registered for the marathon, and got excited because I've been wanting to do it and just wanted someone else to train/travel/have fun in CA with. So by the time I realized, the marathon was sold out and it was hella-expensive to sign up as a charity runner. So I did the next best thing and registered for the 21 mile run. I'm so excited for a few days out there (more days, as I'm already planning to go to SF in October), and hope to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! My first (only) time skydiving was over Monterey Bay, landing on the beach so who knows? Maybe I'll go again to celebrate!

First week success!

I had a really good week, running-wise. After my very awesome almost-a-tempo-run on Tuesday, I had two workouts on Thursday. In the morning was track practice, where we did this:

2x400 w/200 recovery
2x800 w/400 recovery
2x1200 w/400 recovery
with the first of each set at 10K pace, and the second at 5K pace. I didn't time my splits since the coach was doing it, and I can't remember what they were but I do know that I was pretty happy with each split time he told me.
Then that night I met up with a friend who has been advising me on running for a couple of years now. He helped me with my first half-marathon training plan, and has helped with my marathon plan as well. We met on the east side of the 102nd St Transverse in Central Park, and ran about 6 miles together-my total run was one full loop around the park, with an additional loop of the Harlem hills. That was a pretty tough run after the morning workout, and I ran it a little faster than I'd planned since my partner is much more speedy than I am!
Then, on Saturday morning, I met some of my favorite running buddies-Fiona, Katie, and Loren-to run an easy long run. I had planned to do 14 but the route I planned only ended up being 13 because Fi and I were exhausted and decided to skip the Williamsburg Bridge. I would normally have kept going but we had designed our route to end at the Doughnut Plant in Chelsea. I went old school in my choices-nothing like ended a great week of workouts with a jam-filled and a blueberry doughnut! OMG the blueberry!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

First "Marathon Prep" Run

I put off my "official" marathon training start for a few days because a) I'm starting with a pretty good base and some good recent races, but more importantly b) I was on vacation on Nantucket. I did run there, but it was a slow, short (only 4 miles) run. I did see more paths I'd like to run on though, so next time I'll do more and hopefully bring my bike too!
Today I wanted to see if I could run 6 miles at my recent 10K pace, which was 8:21. It's usually easier to run a bit faster in races, for me anyway. I did a half mile warm-up and then got started. I did the first 3 miles without stopping but started to get really hot and thirsty so the last 3 miles had brief water breaks in between. Still, I think I did pretty well!
Mile 1: 8:18
Mile 2: 8:14
Mile 3: 8:06
Mile 4: 7:39 (whoa!)
Mile 5: 7:55
Mile 6: 7:31

I never really pay attention to negative splitting (because I rarely time myself anymore!) but with the exception of mile 5, it looks like I did so here. I thought Mile 4 was kind of funny because I miscalculated at that point and thought I'd run it in 8:40 so I was disappointed with myself. 

I was definitely tired after this, and really felt that last mile in my legs but overall I felt really good! 

For the rest of this week, I have track practice on Thursday morning, a hilly run planned after work Thursday, and then 12 miles planned with the running buddies on Saturday!