I’ve slacked off on writing in this blog, partly blaming the “lazy summer,” but the truth is, it’s really just “lazy me.” Here’s what happened: I went from commuting from Long Island to the city 5 days a week on the train – and the two hours a day of sitting with my laptop that came with it – to spending all of 10-15 minutes standing on a subway to get to and from work. “But don’t you have more time at home in the morning now?” Yes, sort of. But I’ve been spending more time running. I also have the distraction of this thing called “the internet” and find myself watching countless videos on running form, races, and clips of “The Golden Girls.” So my whole morning routine has been thrown off. I get up at 4:30 or 5am, depending on what I have to do that morning, and still, I have not made enough time to sit down and write.
So it’s on me to make sure I do. This might mean getting up at 4. If that’s what I need to do, then I will. I have no problem getting up early as long as I get to bed on time. My favorite time to be awake is when nobody else is.
I want to be writing more about how this whole marathon training is going, so I thought I would post a summary of each week’s training. For this post, I’ll sum up last week, which was week 6 of the 16-week NYRR Marathon Virtual Training Program I’m following.
I didn’t really take any pictures during this week, as I had lost my phone for a couple of days. Thankfully a good samaritan found it on a subway platform and turned it in to an MTA employee in a booth after texting a couple of my friends to let them know. Amazing. I’ve had a lot of luck with good samaritans. Anyway, I’ll post some random pics throughout so it doesn’t look so bare.
Monday was an odd day, as Monday is typically my day off from running but I had a run scheduled. I think things were shifted around due to a 5K I was running that weekend (details of that race to come!), so Monday was a scheduled “AYF” (As You Feel) run of 7 miles. AYF just means run at whatever pace you feel like – just keeping it easy if you have to. I’m glad it was AYF because this was a hard day. My legs were pretty fatigued so I ran to Central Park’s bridle path (the gravel path right outside the reservoir) and looped around its soft and shady surface a couple of times before running back home. I don’t normally do this but I cut the run short, only managing 5.8 miles before calling it quits. My overall pace was 10:25 min/mile – SUPER slow for me these days. But my legs were so tired. I had run 42 miles the week before, and I think I was just… blah. I also had some right leg soreness that day that thankfully got better throughout but I couldn’t fully shake off. I know I’ll have days like this, and I try not to beat myself about it.
Tuesday was a more challenging workout, which at first made me nervous based on how Monday went. Scheduled was a 7-mile tempo run as follows:
- 1 mile easy
- 2 miles ~8:30 pace
- 0.5 mile easy
- 2 miles ~8:00 pace
- 1.5 miles easy
I ran along the Hudson River Path on the upper west side, where it’s nice and flat so faster paces are easier. I managed to hit everything except for the second miles in each tempo group – I slowed significantly on those. I don’t know what happened. Again, I think just general fatigue and a lack of sleep were getting to me. I have been acutely aware that I need more sleep, and this morning really proved it.
Wednesday was a welcome day off. I really love to run, and normally don’t love the days I don’t. But when I have weeks like this, a day off is a relief. I used this day to do some upper body strength training, something I’m trying to do a couple times a week. I do it from home with handheld weights using Fitness Blender‘s free workouts. Nothing fancy. I usually throw in some crunches too, although I should probably work a little more on my core. That’s the one body part I kind of slack off on.
Thursday was a first: a long run on a weekday instead of a weekend. Since I was running a race that Saturday, my program didn’t want me to follow it with a long run the next day. So it scheduled my long run on Thursday instead. I was scheduled for 16 miles, but not only was I afraid of not having enough time to get ready for work, I was worried that it might be too much before the 5K two days later. So I wound up running a little over 13 miles, which I think was still a solid long run effort at this point in training. Luckily, the previous day of rest helped and I felt good on this run. I ran a 9:43 pace, which was right in the range I was supposed to be. I still can’t believe I did this on a work day. At some point later that morning, it hit me: I literally ran a half marathon before work. Slowly, what was once insane is becoming normal.
Friday was a “Flex Day.” These give us a choice between a run, cross-train, or rest. Today’s choice was “4 miles, cross-train, or day off.” I was actually feeling pretty good – and surprisingly not sore from the previous day’s long run – so I ran 4 miles. I wasn’t supposed to do this, but I decided to get faster in mile 2 and even faster in mile 3, clocking paces of 9:27 and 8:00, respectively. Miles 1 and 4 were basically jogs. I keep track of the pros and cons of each run, and for that run under cons I wrote “none.” So that’s good.
Saturday was great. I want to write more details about this in the next couple of days: I ran the Percy Sutton 5K in Harlem, including a mile jog there and back. I hate to spoil the fun by revealing this here, but what the hell: I PR’d, finishing in 24:00 at a 7:44 pace. This is slightly faster than my last 5K in April, which actually had a similar course. This race was also my first as an official member of the New York Harriers. Not a ton of miles this day, but a little over 3 of them were pretty fast (for me).
Sunday was another Flex Day, since the previous day was a race and you get the option of a day off. The options today were “6 miles, cross-train, or day off.” If you guessed that I chose “6 miles,” you’re right! I ran 6 miles. I stuck to the bridle path again, mostly because it was nice and shady. Kept a 9:47 pace, which felt easy. My legs were slightly sore from the race, but surprisingly not that bad.
So that was week 6 of my marathon training!
Week 6: 41.2 miles
I’ll try to sum up each week earlier in the week from now on. And post more often.
Those are my legs.