Friday, August 30, 2013

Its Like Licking a Garden... and Other More Running-Related Things

Hello hello!

Well, despite work having been a lot more calm recently, I haven't become any more diligent about posting. I've been building up my miles  >50 per week for several weeks, looking to peak at about 55-60 miles per week, at which point my training plan has me starting speed workouts (adding miles and speed is no bueno for me).

Running higher mileage than ever before also has me trying to focus a bit more on what I'm eating. Not like OMG, I ate a piece of cake so now I need a juice fast to detox. Rather, I feel like at this point I just have to be a bit more conscious and deliberate about getting enough overall calories, enough carbs, and enough vitamins and nutrients.

In faithful pursuit of this effort, husband and I decided to get juices the other day on a whim. This was my first juice/smoothie thing that hasn't involved some sort of delicious ice-cream. Hmmm. Skeptical already.

Mine had apple, cucumber, kale, spinach, blueberries and ginger and looked like mud:

Indeed, husband took a sip and said: "Get this away from me. It tastes like health. Its kind of like licking a garden."

It did. It tasted exactly like licking a garden. 

So you know, nutritional health isn't that great sometimes. Not like, for instance, my #longrundayideserveit feast of mexican and margaritas:


Aaaaanway, apart from that, I've been just been making sure I gets ALL THE CALCIUM, in the form of chocolate milk after my runs, and a cup of greek yoghurt every day. Paranoia-about-stress-fractures for the win! And I've added some more carby snacks to my late night eats, especially when I have longish runs planned for the morning. So no diet-rocket science or anything.

Back to running... I've been enjoying the Advanced Marathoning training plan... has anyone else used this? Compared to Hansons its a longer build up, and there is a lot more time between hard runs. Its nice that my legs are not constantly feeling like they are on the crest of injury. It has the long (18+ miles) runs unlike Hansons... but not many of those long grueling 10-mile tempo runs that were Oh! So! Much! Fun! last time around.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks training for the Philly Marathon have looked like this:

August 11-17, 2013
Sunday: 15 miles easy, around 8:50 with this girl - we met at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, ran over it, through Brooklyn Bridge Park and then back to the west side highway. Beautiful weather!
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8 miles with 5 miles at HM pace: 7:05, 6:57, 6:55, 6:57; 6:49. Ran the last 0.25 (400m) at about 5K pace as punishment for stopping after 3.5 miles for a rest. HM workouts are no joke!
Wednesday: 8 easy miles on the treadmill, around 8:30 pace + leg workout
Thursday: XT elliptical for 50 mins plus core workout
Friday: 10 miles easy through Central Park; 8:35 avg pace
Saturday:  8 miles easy at 8:30 avg pace
Total: 50 miles

August 18-24, 2013
Sunday: 16 miles with 8miles at MP (was supposed to be 10 miles, but was hungover from the night before. Oops. (See above discussion on eating/drinking for healthy running. Ahem.) Anyway, I made it for 8 miles at a decent clip, despite feeling like death: 7:16, 7:18, 7:20, 7:18, 7:15, 7:17, 7:17, 7:20.
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 9 easy miles around 8:30 avg pace on TM, with 1.5% incline + leg workout
Wednesday: 10 miles at 7:50 avg pace (had rockets in legs!)
Thursday: 40 mins elliptical + short core workout
Friday: 7 miles easy at 8:10 avg pace
Saturday: 8 miles easy at 8:36 avg pace + upper body workout.
Total: 50 miles

From here, I have 11 weeks to Philly Marathon. In two weeks I'll be running Philly RnR Half marathon for a hopeful PR.... then ING Hartford Half Marathon in October as a big marathon tempo.

And I think thats all I've got for now. Have a great Labor Day weekend! High five to me for remembering an American holiday for the first time in the 5 years I've been here!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cake-fueled, Wine-imbibed, Jet-lag-infused and Plague-ridden Running

So last time I blogged I told you about running in Australia.

The other side of my trips down under (I just winced, writing that), is family time:

My three siblings and I were together for the first time in nearly 4 years!

Lots of quality time with my ridiculously cute nieces and nephew:

This is Piper, also known as the little Terrorist, the little Savage, the little Viking, El-Tornado etc.
This is my darling Mima
These three (twins and older sister) tearaways are my brothers kids; stationary for but a brief moment in time.
This is actually a miracle: all five paying close attention to this extremely depressing "childrens" book.
Having lots of this...
When you arrive in Australia, they should just hand you a cask as you go through customs. Every time I return my liver = pickled.
And much of my sisters' delicious cake creations, all made to celebrate my darling grandfather's 90th birthday:

Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake

Earl Grey Tea Cake with Lemon Buttercream... or something
This was an orange-ginger cake with cream cheese icing.

So lets just say I have plenty of carbs to fuel some running. Speaking of which.... another couple of weeks closer to Philly:

July 28-August 3, 2013
Sunday: 13 miles easy, somewhat hungover from wine and cake at my Pa's birthday on Saturday. Nevertheless, I ran 3 miles with my best friend and her baby stroller! I took the stroller, and believe me, my fellow childless friends, that thing is NO JOKE. Especially up hills. Round about 10:30-11 min miles, followed by about 10 miles at 8:30.
Monday: rest and cake.
Tuesday: 10 miles with 8 at MP pace. Splits were 7:26 (had to stop as got lost briefly), 7:08, 7:14, 7:09, 7:13, 6:59, 7:03, 7:08. Ran along the Yarra River Trail. About the most perfect tempo weather ever. 40 degrees, no wind, so I got a bit carried away on the pace!
Wednesday: 8 miles easy (8:15 avg) around the Tan in Melbourne.
Thursday: 40 mins elliptical + leg strength
Friday: 11 miles on treadmill, 1.5% incline, noooo idea about pace because it was all in km. Felt officially wrong and American, being tied to the Imperial System. Cummon America, get metric!!
Saturday: Rest

Total: 42 miles

August 4-10, 2013
Sunday: Flight back from Aus. Had been awake for 24 hours, so 4 miles easy was all I could manage.
Monday: Rest. Tired, jet lag, with a disgusting plague-like cold, to the development of which Im certain every member of my family contributed their delightful bacteria.
Tuesday: 9 miles (felt only half like death) at around 8:00 pace
Wednesday: 11 miles easy, around 8:20 pace
Thursday: rest
Friday: 8 miles treadmill, 1.5% incline, building up speed, last mile at MP (7:20)
Saturday: 8 miles easy at 8:20

Total: 40 miles

So yeah, thats what happens to my general diet and health when on these trips. Doesn't make it any less awesome to be back home with my family and friends though. Worth every single drippy nose, sugar crash, hangover and midday narcoleptic episode!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Beginning Marathon Training, Australia and Getting Punched In the Gut on the Subway

Friends, hi. We haven't died. Promise. Kristen is still out on... shall we say... sabbatical. Keeping up her aerobic fitness and strength like a champ, though. I'd like to say that Ive been really busy at work (again) but really I have just gotten back from vacation in Australia, and couldnt be arsed blogging from there. But! I did get in some miles.

Ran on the the Tan around the botanical gardens for the first time, which was very cool (though no Central Park). Also ran along the Yarra River trail, which is about 4 miles (each way) of uninterrupted, mostly flat, bitumen, two-lane bike/running path. While shorter than the Hudson River trail, it was just as (if not more) stunning and perfect for a tempo. Unfortunately I took no photos, but this is a pretty accurate depiction of the views of the city on the way back:

Now Im back in the Northern Hemisphere, where the season of chronic dehydration and gnarly bra chafing is well underway for us runners. Theres been lots of running around Central Park:

And I'm 3 weeks into an 18 week training plan for Philadelphia marathon. I chose Philly because its a great course, has great weather for running, and is one of the latest fall marathons, giving me a good leadup (and latitude if work gets ridiculous or I get injured).

So, the first two weeks looked a little like this:

July 14-20, 2013
Sunday: 6 miles easy
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 8 miles with 4 at HM pace. I ended up doing 1x2 miles (6:53, 6:53) about 4 mins recovery, 2x1 miles (7:03, 6:58) with 1 min recovery in between. Very hot and humid that day.
Wednesday: 50 mins XT on stairmaster (KILL ME)
Thursday: 6 miles easy on TM w 1% incline, last mile at MP (7:20)
Friday: 40 mins elliptical, 10 mins stairmaster + leg strength workout
Saturday: 6 miles on TM easy, 20 mins stairmaster + core workout
Total: 26 miles (I was nursing the last of my shin splint pain, so replaced some miles with XT here)

July 21-27, 2013
Sunday: 12 miles, at easy pace (8:24)
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8 miles easy (8:24 again)
Wednesday: 6 miles at 8:30, plus 8x100 strides at <5K pace
Thursday: 9 miles easy (8:15)
Friday: Flying to Aus!
Saturday: 6 miles easy (7:45 pace - usually fastish for easy run, but the day off, plus 40 degree temps got my legs going!)
Total: 41 miles

I'll do last week (in Aus) in my next post. For now, let me leave you with some gross pics of recent "running injuries" (because what running blog would be complete without them).

First up, the mammoth arch blisters I got from trying green superfeet for my shin splints (totally worked, by the way!!)

Then, the huge bruise I got from "running" into the elliptical machine at my gym. There is a reason why I don't participate in sports requiring even a modicum of coordination.

Finally, I don't have a picture of it, but I got punched in the gut on my subway commute.

The scene of the crime. While this old guy definitely looks shifty, he was not the perpetrator.
This chick in front of me on the stairs just turned around and came at me with a closed fist. I was winded, but fine (thank goodness for core work). I'm pretty sure her subway rage was  mistakenly directed at me (maybe someone else jostled her or something). I was shocked, and kind of upset, then realized that (a) I myself have frequently experienced the violent rage that accompanies commuting in NYC, so I get it; and (b) it probably made me a real New Yorker.  So you know, glass half full.