NJ Marathon Training: Week 2

Week 2 of my training for the New Jersey Marathon is in the books. This was week 2 of 16. Or, week 2 of “pre-training” before the main 12-week training block before the marathon. Whatever. I’m training. This was a down week in which I ran a little less than the previous two weeks. It also ended with a race!

img_1792_nj marathon training week 2

WEEK 2: January 14 – January 20

Monday was, as usual, my day off from running with just an upper body workout courtesy of Fitness Blender. I always throw in some crunches in between each set because otherwise I will never do them.

Tuesday was an easy 5.9 miles at 9:34 pace. Normally I like to get to a whole integer’s worth of miles, or maybe a little over. I think on this day I was feeling particularly tired and got back to my corner at 5.9 miles. Instead of running down the block and back to make it an even 6, I thought, “Nope.” So I didn’t. That’s okay sometimes.

Wednesday morning I met with the Harriers for a speed workout on Cat Hill. I knew I’d be running up this hill three times in that weekend’s half marathon, so I was happy to have the practice. I only managed 7 times up the hill instead of the 8-10 we were supposed to do but that’s because I felt like I was behind everyone else so I cut it short. As usual, I am pretty sure I was the slowest person in the group that day. And as usual, I was fine with that.

Thursday I took off from running as I wanted to run fewer miles this week. I just did another upper body workout from Fitness Blender. I used to do two upper bodies a week and I’ve recently upped it to three because I feel like my arms don’t look as strong as I want them to. I should also probably lift heavier weights.

Friday was two days before the race, so I opted not to do the tempo workout with the Harriers and instead I ran a very easy 4.73 miles at 9:57 pace in Central Park. This is the distance it takes me to start and end at the corner of my block and do one loop around the bridle path on the outside of the reservoir – a tiny bit more challenging than the reservoir path itself because the bridle path has dips and inclines while the reservoir path is pancake flat.

Saturday I did almost exactly what I did the day before the NYC Marathon and ran just 2.08 miles super easy, 10:02 pace. I actually ran most of it more like 10:15-10:30, but I threw in some strides at the end that bumped up my overall pace. I’ve experimented with what works best for me the day before a longer race and I think 2 easy miles with a few strides is nice. I felt strong, energized, and not overly tired. I also did the upper body workout I usually do on Saturdays.

Sunday I ran the Fred Lebow Half-Marathon in Central Park! I was really pleased with how I did, as I’d expected to run it a bit slower. It was my third half and almost my fastest, but my PR was on the flat Brooklyn course so I don’t feel bad about not PR’ing on this day. Read my full recap about the race.


Some Noteworthy Things

It snowed on Friday morning and there was a thin covering on the ground, which was good because it helped slow me down on a day I didn’t want to go too fast. This was the day I took the photo I posted above. It’s actually the only day I bothered to take one. I have to remember to do this so I at least have something to post on these things. Because if there’s one thing the world needs, it’s more pictures of me.

I love snow but it’s usually the only thing that will prevent me from running. If it’s too deep, it’s just not possible to run. I don’t have a gym membership, so I’m not sure what might happen if we get a big storm and I can’t run for several days in a row. I might look into seeing which gyms in the city offer some kind of daily or weekly pass so I can use the treadmill. I haven’t run on one of those in… years?

I think I did a good job in the days before the race to make sure I was taking in enough water, getting enough sleep, and eating slightly more carbs than usual. I wish I could have that same drive every day rather than just the days before a race. I mean, not every single day can be meticulous, clean-eating perfection. But I’d like to be more conscious of what goes in my body – especially my water intake, which tends to be up and down.

I’m glad I learned about down weeks during last summer’s training. I didn’t do this for years, and now that I know how to do it, it’s nice to relax every few weeks and run a little less. You don’t always have to increase the distance each week, me-from-a-few-years-ago.

On a non-running note, I took my dog to the vet this week to get a bandage removed from the back of his leg, but he’s doing fine. When the bandage came off, his stitches had to stay in for another week, so I made him leg warmers out of my mom’s old socks to protect his leg when he was outside. He was very stylish.


I also bought a new set-up for taking headshots, something I did regularly for years and will go back to doing for the time being to make some extra income. I used MacGregor as a test model. He did very well.


Week 3 summary coming soon!

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