Tales from The Long Run

Yesterday marked the date of my first long run in marathon training: 8 miles. And boy, was it tough!

ImageMy boyfriend (from now on, Coach) and I drove over to Hoboken in New Jersey, where we parked his car and headed down to the waterfront. It was really nice to run with city views the whole way — a much needed change of scenery! We ran from Hoboken up through Weehawken and Jersey City and back. We spent most of the run envying the people who are lucky enough to have condos right on the water (especially those with pools, as it was really warm).

Not gonna lie — this run was tough and complete with quite a few walk breaks. I haven’t run more than five miles in months, and my legs were definitely feeling it from my past runs this week. We poked along at a pretty slow pace, and since I couldn’t gauge the distance on my own (and still haven’t found my Garmin charger), MapMyRun was barking our times at us every half mile. That was pretty discouraging, to say the least. We both got pretty frustrated when, in the last mile, we were pushing with all we had and some speedy gazelle just glided past us.

One thing I am going to be sure to implement in this training is cross-training. Today I am planning on taking out one of the CitiBike bikes for a ride, but I also hope to find a pool where I can swim some laps. My legs have been feeling tight and I’d really like to keep them loosened up and happy.

How do you feel about long runs? Cross training?

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Marathon Training: Some Early Thoughts

So, I didn’t waste any time starting to train for my first marathon. It’s less than five months away, and I want to give myself a little buffer so that I can take the training more slowly — repeat a week if I need to, take a day or two off because of school, etc.

On Monday I did three miles, and yesterday I did five. I was accompanied in both by my boyfriend, who is definitely one of my biggest supporters in all things running. On Monday, we hit up the highway along the East River and did three miles. I had never run along the East River, and found the path a little disappointing — it wasn’t continuous (we had to walk up stairs) and wasn’t quite as scenic as the West Side Highway. Aside from a little side stitch, the three miles felt good and my boyfriend’s dad greeted us with fresh, cold watermelon when we got back to his place! I now believe there’s nothing better than some ice cold watermelon after running.

Last night we hit the West Side Highway for five miles. Our legs were a little tight, so we took it slow and easy and enjoyed the run. We both had some stomach issues during the run — splitting penne vodka at a restaurant a few hours before running is not a good idea — but held it together and finished strong! Overall, I felt pretty confident and definitely felt positive about training moving forward.

Time-wise, I’m not sure how I’m doing with these runs. I haven’t been using my Garmin or MapMyRun . . . for a few reasons. 1) I can’t find my charger for my Garmin (oops). 2) I really don’t care for MapMyRun since switching to a Garmin. 3) (The most important one) I feel like I need to ease myself back into regular running and training before obsessing over times. I think that, if I were to break out the Garmin now, I would be disappointed and discouraged by my times. Maybe in a few weeks when I get totally into the swing of things, but for now, I’m planning my route ahead of time and sticking to it.

Diet-wise…things need to change. Yesterday my boyfriend and I split Penne Vodka and then ran, and I had some horrible acid reflux during the entirety of the run. I don’t feel like I am drinking enough water or eating healthily enough, and I know that will come around and bite me later. Food is just so good, guys. I really want to spend some time this weekend thinking about what I am putting in my body and how it is going to impact my training.

As far as my attitude goes, I’m feeling pretty good about running so far. I’m thankful that I have people supporting me and offering to run with me in races and training runs (thanks, friends!), but I also am looking forward to some runs in solitude. I have been itching for a little more solitude in my life lately — it seems that I can never get some quiet time, especially living in midtown Manhattan. I am really anticipating the long runs in Central Park or on the highway with just me, my Garmin, and my headphones.

So…training is so far, so good. I’m still taking recommendations for good shorts to wear — my legs aren’t toned enough for booty shorts and the swishy Nike types bother me when they bunch up. I also am considering buying one of those (IMO, ridiculous looking) water bottle belts — I seem to be susceptible to the side stitch, and I am worried about staying hydrated on longer runs.

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Celebrate Israel Run & EXCITING NEWS!

Greetings from my sauna of an apartment! It’s about a million degrees here in New York.

So I’ve taken a little time away from blogging about running. And actually running in general. Usual excuse: grad school is a beast. But no worries: there will be many, many running posts in the very near future.

Today my one of my grad school friends and I ran the NYRR Celebrate Israel Run! This was a 4-miler in Central Park and it definitely got me back in the racing spirit! Even though the race started early, it was very warm and sunny in the park. By the second and third aide stations, we were taking cups of water and pouring them on our heads to stay cool. The rolling hills on the west side of the park are always a challenge, but we pushed our way through it and made great time!

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Now comes the exciting news. . . I will be running the ING New York City Marathon on November 3, 2013! This will be my FIRST EVER marathon and I couldn’t be more excited . . . and nervous! I will be partnered up with Team for Kids just as I was for the NYC Half. The great part about running with TFK is that not only do I get to run the marathon, I also get to fundraise for a great organization that helps fight childhood obesity.

I’m not sure what training plan I will be using (I’m thinking Hal Higdon Novice 1, but am open to suggestions), but I definitely know that I need to work on eating better and fueling myself for running (that means goodbye, bagels). I’m toying with the idea of trying the Whole 30 diet plan (basically: no grains, no soy, no added sugar), and have heard positive things about it. 

Once I get a training plan ironed out, I will definitely be posting a lot more about how that process is going and how I am feeling about my first ever marathon!

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It’s Been Awhile

Since my last post I’ve run my second half marathon (the day before the Boston tragedy) and a 4 miler. I’ve had some fun running adventures, including one to a local beach, but I’ve admittedly been distancing myself from running due to exhaustion, boredom, and simply too much on my plate.

So what’s going on in my life?

I’m moving. . . tomorrow. Still in New York, but to a different apartment (with a KITCHEN) in a much different neighborhood. I’m excited to be there for the summer!

I have an internship placement for next year and I couldn’t be more excited for the challenges I will face and the lessons I will learn.

I’m two weeks away from finishing off my first year of graduate school, and that has come with a lot of happy moments, stress, ups, and downs. Grad school has challenged me in every way possible and has prompted me to examine myself as a person and a future professional.

Being healthy and running have somewhat fallen to the backburner for the time being, at least until I finish with this next week of moving and finals. This summer, I look forward to using some of my extra time (I only have class one day a week – yay!) to work on my health and fitness. I also look forward to blogging a little more regularly, but as with anything grad school related, that is subject to change.

 

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Getting Where I Need to Be

My allergies have announced their presence in a nasty way — so that can only mean one thing: It’s finally Spring! I am gearing up to go out and run in preparation for the half marathon I signed up for on a whim. It’s this Sunday. I may have almost forgotten about it.

I haven’t done much in terms of running lately — a couple weeks ago I had a not-so-smart idea: I wondered how fast I could sprint a mile. 7:18, in case you’re wondering. Somewhere in that 7:18 I aggravated what I believe is my IT band, and I’ve been taking it really easy since then. By taking it easy, I mean not running and eating. So this half marathon on Sunday should prove to be interesting, but I need to do it to stay accountable to myself. 

I’ve started to grow very impatient with my current rate of weight loss. I have about 30 pounds left to lose before I am considered a “healthy” weight for my height, and I’m not losing it. Lately my attitude has been pretty relaxed about weight loss; I’ve lost a lot of weight and am much happier with where I’m at than where I was. I’m starting to grow impatient, though. This has been such a long and strenuous journey for me and I feel like it’s just dragging out. I want to lose the rest of the weight so I can make the move into maintenance. I don’t feel “fat” anymore, but I’m not totally happy either. 30 pounds isn’t a lot from where I’ve come from, and it shouldn’t take me a lot of time to lose it if I make a conscious effort to make healthy choices.

I guess maybe I need a push — something to get me over this last hill to the metaphorical finish line. I’m really struggling to find that push and I know it needs to come from within. 

How do you push yourself towards the end point of a goal?

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Race Report: Rodes City Run 10K (3/23/13)

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This morning I ran struggled through the Rodes City Run, a 10K in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Because it’s March Madness and everyone is thinking about basketball, I’m going to compare this to an away game after beating a top-ranked team. It just fell apart. I don’t want to write this race report, but I know it’s good for clarity and for reflection purposes.  Continue reading

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Pre-10K Thoughts

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Greetings from Kentucky and Spring Break. This week has not really gone as planned and I’ve been in the thick of some pretty sucky personal things, but I’ve been keeping on a good face because I’m so happy to see my family. I spent the first half of the week hanging out with my dad and watching basketball (my bracket that I made just for fun is now #1 in a pretty large pool — surprise), and now I’m at my mom’s until I fly back next week.

So tomorrow my mom and I will be running the Rodes City 10K. It’s my first 10K and she signed me up for it on a whim, so I didn’t exactly train for it nor do I really know what to expect. Part of me just wants to see just how far I can push myself and how fast I can go, and I might just do that. Since I am jumping right back into a half-marathon mindset for the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Half Marathon, I am looking at this as a long run with the potential to be fast. However, I think I’m still recovering from the NYC Half (I just stopped being sore yesterday, no joke), so my legs could very well have other plans.

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Bib pickup for this race was at Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Riverbats. I’ve been there a few times growing up and it’s a really nice venue. And talk about the race swag! In addition to my bib (which appears to be numbered by last name with the exception of seeded bibs), I also got FOUR packages of Starbucks Via iced coffee and a full-sized jar of Biscoff Spread, which if you didn’t know, is the stuff dreams are made of. Luckily I can’t take the Biscoff spread on the plane back to the city, so I’ll have to inhale enjoy it while I’m home.

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This race is part of the larger “Triple Crown of Running” put on leading up the Kentucky Derby, and more importantly, the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon (side note: How come people in Kentucky and Indiana call halves mini marathons?). My mom is completing all three races, which include a 5K (which she completed a few weeks ago — go mom!), a 10K (this one), and a 10 miler. Since I’m in town for the 10K, she signed me up.

Because this event is sort of part of the Kentucky Derby Festival, I decided it would be a good idea to buy some Pegasus Pins to support the festival. Growing up in Louisville, I attended many Derby Festival events and loved the spirit of the city around Derby time. It’s definitely something I support and hope to be able to travel home to enjoy in the future, so when we were at the store I picked up a couple Pegasus Pins. The Pegasus Pins basically show support for the Derby Festival and give free entry to some of the events. I’ll be wearing mine tomorrow for race day!

I’m looking forward to running the race and seeing how I do and supporting my mom in her journey to start running, but I really hope that this race yanks me out of the mood I’ve been in during the past few days. I was on top of the world during the NYC Half, and hopefully running a race in the city where I grew up will give me a similar feeling.

Also, Mark over at Teach to Run interviewed me about my weight loss — check it out here!

Anyone else doing this race? Any last-minute pieces of advice for a 10K newbie that’s fresh out of a half marathon?

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