The In-Between

The In-Between

Apparently, running a marathon and writing a recap about it sapped my energy so much that I’ve neglected to write here for two weeks. I think I did need some time off in more ways than one, so no regrets. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. I have another race recap to post (my Thanksgiving Day turkey trot!) but I felt like I needed a refresher post first – what I’ve been doing since the marathon and how I’m bridging the gap to my next one.

Shall we go with section headers? I like those.

POST-MARATHON RECOVERY

After running the TCS NYC Marathon on November 4th, I didn’t run for 8 days. It’s generally recommended to not run at all for at least a week post-marathon, so I felt not one whit of guilt about this. In fact, it coincided nicely with a trip to L.A. to visit my sister and her family, and attend a beautiful memorial for my friend Hal.

The visit with family was nice, albeit fraught with some tension: upon landing, I discovered that their Malibu house was in danger of burning down. There were wild fires burning all throughout Malibu; many whose homes were still standing had mandatory evacuations, including my sister. So we spent the weekend in a hotel in a safe-from-fires area of L.A. This was not a problem for me, but I felt bad knowing that their house, belongings, and neighborhood were in danger of being destroyed. (Fortunately, over a week after I returned to New York, their home and surroundings had been spared and they were allowed to return.)

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The somewhat horrifying ride to my sister’s house

That weekend in L.A. was strange and bittersweet in a lot of ways. Hal’s memorial was really special. It took place, appropriately and perfectly, at Whisky a Go Go; it was a beautiful amalgamation of performance, visual media, music, memories, and love. As his friend who spoke put it, “It was so Hal.”

He even got on the marquee.

hal marquee
Power chords be with you, my friend

I was happy to not have to run, especially in L.A. I did make a point to do some kind of yoga or stretching “workout” every day. Some days it was only 10 minutes. Others, maybe 30. No weights, nothing strenuous. I also took a vacation from worrying about eating well. Not that I constantly ate like crap, I just didn’t think too hard about nutrition. This was especially evident during a day trip to Knotts’ Berry Farm, where I invaded the candy shop and loaded up on chocolate, licorice, and cookies meant to last me a couple of days but were gone in about an hour.

I like the idea of spending one week post-marathon doing this. No running, no carefully monitoring what I’m eating. Just relaxing. Breathing. A reset, in a way. Seeing my sister and her family was a bonus.

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Hollywood up-and-comers

THE AIRPORT RUN

I did my first bit of post-marathon running 8 days after the marathon.

To save money, I had booked each trip as a one-stop, which meant changing planes halfway across the country. On the return trip, I found myself in Houston Airport with far less time than I had anticipated to get to my next flight. I was also horrified to see that the second flight was in an entirely different part of the airport: I was in “C” and the flight was in “E” – seemingly only accessible via a shuttle train.  I was sure I wouldn’t make it, but a customer service agent assured me I could if I hurried.

So I ran like hell through Houston Airport to make an evening flight, not knowing what time the next flight would be if I missed it and not wanting to find out. I only had a small rolling suitcase which I alternated between dragging behind me and holding in my hands as I ran. At one point, seeing a choice between an escalator filled with people standing and a long set of stairs, I chose the stairs, hoisting the suitcase on top of my head and bounding up the steps two at a time. Is this Crossfit? I thought as I made it onto the shuttle train with seconds to spare.

Luckily, I was wearing my old Saucony Kinvara 8s – the shoes I used to wear for fast runs and races. Yoga pants also helped me stay flexible. Thank god I am not fancy.

I arrived at the gate exactly two minutes before the door was to close. The guy who took my boarding pass raised his eyebrows when he saw which flight I had come from. “Wow, you did really well!” It’s true. I had done really well.

Every other passenger was already on the plane. I made my way to the back, red-faced, sweaty, mildly embarrassed but relieved. I found my seat but went to the bathroom first to remove my sweaty t-shirt and bra, leaving only my hoodie on my upper body. I was happy to have made it, but didn’t want to stink.

I’m 100% convinced that my running skills got me on that flight. Otherwise, I may have had to sleep on the floor of Houston Airport. Thanks, running!

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High in the Rockies

FIRST WEEK BACK

The next morning, I ran 7 miles in Central Park. It was cold and rainy and everything felt perfect. It was so nice to move again, especially without the threat of a missed flight. I kept it easy, as I have done with most of my runs since then.

I probably won’t go into detail about each and every run I do for the time being, as I want to be a little more relaxed now that I’m not in official training. In the past week and a half, I’ve run distances between 4 and 9 miles, with average paces between 9:45 and 8:45. I’m trying to mix it up and not be too repetitive.

It’s a little weird to not be following a plan. It’s just me assigning myself, once again. No NYRR training plan, no coaches, no set schedule, no Facebook group with others also following said plan. What, when, and how I run is completely up to me. There’s a nice freedom in that, but it’s harder in a way – I have to give each run a little more thought and hope I’m doing it right. I actually haven’t run since Sunday as I’ve had a cold. It’s nice not to worry about “losing days” or “falling behind.” If I need to rest, I rest.

I broke in a new article of clothing last week: the Brooks Canopy Jacket (thanks 20% coupon at Paragon Sports!). This is the same jacket Des Linden wore while she broke the tape at the 2018 Boston Marathon. If it’s good enough for a pro to wear while winning Boston in a freezing torrential downpour, it’s good enough for me. I really like it. It’s super lightweight, soft (not plasticy like a lot of jackets) and kept me dry. I barely realized I was wearing it.

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Thumbs up to the Brooks Canopy (size medium)

(This is not an ad. Brooks does not know I exist.)

UPCOMING RACES

After the NYC marathon, I found I needed some new sources of motivation, and what better motivation is there than more races? I LOVE having races to look forward to, so I’ve recently signed up for a few. Including… yes… a MARATHON. I’m so excited for all of them!

Ted Corbitt 15K (December 8): I ran this last year as my first 15K. At the time, the distance (9.32 miles for those not well-versed in the metric system) felt daunting. I ran it cautiously but strongly for me, at an average 8:45 pace. I’m hoping to crush that this year. Or at least, gently smoosh it. I think I might be able to do somewhere between an 8:00-8:15 pace. One nice thing about the race’s Central Park course: it skips Harlem Hill.

Midnight Run (December 31): Here’s how old I am: I ran this race on New Year’s Eve of 1999! That one was called the “Millennium Midnight Run.” Unfortunately, for some reason NYRR does not have a record of that race’s finishers* so I’m not sure how I did. It was a 5K at the time, and now it’s a 4 mile. I don’t really have a big set of friends in NYC anymore, and I don’t have New Year’s Eve plans. So to hell with it – I’ll run a dang race in Central Park that starts at midnight. Then I’ll walk home. Infinitely better than going to a bar.

*I just looked it up and apparently the 1999 midnight run was not a NYRR race, but sponsored by Asics and Runner’s World! I guess that explains it.

Fred Lebow Half Marathon (January 20): I also ran this race last year, my first ever half marathon. I think I had only run 13 miles twice before that race, but I did okay. I ran an average 8:39 pace, managing to squeak in under two hours. Like the 15K, I assume I will do better this year. I might not run my Brooklyn Half pace of 8:08, but this Central Park course (which does hit Harlem Hill – twice) is a bit tougher. Also, the hat we got last year is amazing and I still wear it in very cold weather.

Cupid’s Chase 5K (February 9): I’m so used to doing NYRR races that I sometimes forget there are others out there. I discovered this one through Elite Feats, the company that organizes many of the Long Island races I’ve done. (I like them because they send you a text with your results just moments after you cross the finish line.) I’ve been hoping to do a flat 5K at some point, as I’m convinced I haven’t fully lived up to my potential with this distance (case in point: my last somewhat hilly 5K was a 7:44 pace and my last somewhat hilly 10K was a 7:43 pace?!). When I discovered that not only is this on a flat course, but it’s a on a course in Riverside Park I run on all the time because it’s literally minutes from my apartment, I signed up immediately. I am psyched to see what I can do in this race.

Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon (April 28): Yes, I am running a spring marathon! I heard about this race from both my physical therapist and my sports masseuse at Finish Line, both of whom ran it and recommended it. I hemmed and hawed for a while as I tried to decide where to run a spring marathon, and finally just settled on the flat and fast course that’s easy to get to from where I live. I’m super pumped for this marathon. Now that I “get” what 26.2 miles is, I feel as though I am ready to tackle it again with renewed confidence. And with another few months of training, I’ll be even ready…ier. Not sure yet what I’m doing for a training plan, but I have a few weeks to figure it out.

I THINK THAT ABOUT COVERS IT

Yep.

5 thoughts on “The In-Between

  1. What luck making your flight.

    I’m running Ted Corbitt 15K too, which will be my last race for 9 + 1 for NYC Marathon 2019. After last year, I told myself that I would never run the Midnight Run again . . . unless I absolutely have to. I needed to do the Midnight run last year to meet my 9+1, and it was soooooo cold. I was freezing for the entire four miles. I’m still on the fence about the Manhattan Half . . . I’ll have to see how cold it is is going to be, but one can never predict NYC weather. I know that it will be cold, but HOW cold is the question.

    Good luck in your upcoming races.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha yeah, I looked up last year’s race just to see the number of participants and saw it was 10 degrees! Ooh boy. I usually don’t mind the cold but that’s… cold. I just ran a 4 mile race in 21 degrees but at least it was during the day and the sun was out. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trust me, if I did not need that race for 9+1, I would have stayed my ass at home. I was kind of hoping that NYRR would hold the race, but give 9+1 credit if folks did not want to run. I mean all of the sparkling apple cider at the 2 mile mark was frozen solid. The organization has done this in the past when weather conditions are either too hot or too cold.

        Liked by 1 person

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