Weekly Wrap-Up: December 10-16

I’m late. Spoiler Alert: Next week’s wrap-up is probably going to be late, too, since my current plan is to leave town on Saturday, December 22.

The week started late and ended with a run that wasn’t fun, but I got through it, and some of it even went well.

Weight Check: 167.8 pounds, down 0.9 from last week. I’ll take it. It was a stressful week, but I lucked out by working from home a few days where I don’t have nearly as many snacks available as I do when I’m at work. My weight is still a little higher than I’d like right now (especially considering what’s to come with the holidays), but at least for now, I can enjoy a small decrease. I’ll do my next weigh in Saturday morning pre-run, which, since it’s before I gather with my family, might turn out OK.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Wednesday 20 minutes easy, 15 minutes comfortably hard, 15 minutes easy 4.51
Thursday 3 miles easy 3.12
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 10 miles easy 9.16

Total: 20.8 miles

I had to juggle my schedule around a bit (and then I had to juggle a second time since Thursday was originally scheduled for 4 miles but due to time constraints I made a last minute swap with Friday), and I don’t think I want to run 4 days in a row again anytime soon, but I made it work.

I waited until things dried out so there wouldn’t be any black ice, so Wednesday was my first day back. It may have been dry, but it was cold, 30 degrees. My legs felt like they had 3 days off, and in retrospect I probably should have waited until Thursday to do my workout. Still, once I warmed up (both running and temperature), I got better, and the cool down was a little faster than the warm up. It wasn’t quite as good as I’d like, but I got through it. I added about 30 or so seconds to get to 4.5 miles.

Thursday was 35, not quite as cold. My legs felt better, and my paces reflected that. I got a little faster on each mile without really pushing that hard until near the end. I’m happy with this run. (I still don’t know how I ended up with .12 instead of .11, but hey, I might need that extra .01 at the end of the year.)

On Friday, it was wet outside (more on that in a minute), which made the treadmill feel a little less bad. My mind hated it, but my legs were fine. I started at 11:32/mile, sped up to 11:19/mile at 2.5 miles, and at 3.5 miles, sped up to 11:07/mile. So it went pretty well.

Saturday…well, remember how I said it was wet on Friday? Yeah, it rained pretty heavily. And while it had eased up a little by Saturday morning, it was still wet and miserable. Parts of the greenway were flooded and impassable, and other parts had giant puddles, so sometimes I went around them through mud, sometimes I hurdled them, and sometimes I just ran through them, and all 3 options sucked in different ways. It didn’t rain the whole time, and it was never all that heavy, but it still wasn’t fun. My legs didn’t feel great, and I don’t know how much of that was the conditions (and the puddle avoiding), and how much of it was running 4 days in a row. I suppose my performance wasn’t terrible, and miles 2 and 3 were actually pretty good, but I definitely noticed a slow down late, and after hitting 9 miles, I decided to cut it short and just ran from that point to my car, so that’s where the 0.16 comes from.

While it’s definitely a strong contender for Worst Run of December(and that also says a lot about how well the rest of the month has gone so far), it wasn’t a complete disaster, and as time passes (and I dry out), it looks a little less bad. It still wasn’t fun while I was doing it, though.

So, I guess I still need to buckle down and finish that bleeping NYC race report. I’m not making any promises.

My schedule is about to be thrown into flux with holiday travel. I do enjoy seeing my family (especially my nephews, they’re the best), so I don’t mind juggling my schedule for them.

Weekly Wrap-Up: December 3-9

We had a winter storm come through Saturday night. I was expecting worse, but mostly I just got sleet and cold rain in my neck of the woods. I’m not sure what conditions will be like Monday morning (some more snow may move through, and any sleet in the roads will probably freeze over), so I might need to juggle my schedule for next week, but we’ll see.

I had a pretty good week of running with a really great finish.

Weight Check: 168.7 pounds, down 0.1 from last week. Beats the alternative, I guess. I think I did overindulge a bit on Saturday. Partly I was hungry after my run, and partly I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to get back out into the world to get food. Hopefully, with some more reasonable weather this week, I’ll get back to normal and maybe lose a little bit of weight.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 4 miles easy 4.01
Tuesday 20 minutes easy, 10 minutes comfortably hard, 15 minutes easy 4.06
Wednesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Friday 3 miles easy 3.11
Saturday 8 miles easy 8.01

Total: 23.2 miles

Monday I paid for that really fast mile at the end of last Saturday’s long run. My legs felt a little off. The weather was nice, though, 51 degrees. My pace wasn’t as consistent as I’d like, but I got through it with a decent overall pace.

On Tuesday, I had my first speed workout since…uh, August? Cooler, down to 41 degrees, but still comfortable. My legs weren’t quite 100%. The warm up felt a little bit tougher because of that. I got through the workout in the middle, and it wasn’t too bad. I was hoping it would be a little bit faster, but it was still under 10:00/mile, so that’s pretty good compared to my easy runs. My legs felt a little better on the cool down, which is why it was noticeably faster than the warm up even though the effort wasn’t that much more. Considering how long it had been since I’d done speed work, it went pretty well.

Wednesday, I got on the treadmill to give my legs a break. They felt fine. My mind hated it, of course. After my workout Tuesday I decided to keep it fairly easy. I started at 11:46/mile, then at 1.5 miles I sped up to 11:32/mile, and for the last mile, I sped up to 11:19/mile. It went pretty well.

On Friday, it was cold, 33 degrees. My legs felt fine. My pace seemed pretty consistent with a slight increase near the end. A pretty uneventful run, which isn’t a bad thing.

Saturday I went out there not knowing when I’d be able to run again, and decided to make it count.

Weather was cool, 43 degrees, but comfortable. My legs felt a little tired on the first two miles, and I’m not exactly sure why. They got warmed up by mile 3, though. I kept it fairly steady for the next few miles, gradually speeding up a little, and then I took off on the last mile, and finished with what I’m pretty sure is the fastest mile I’ve run this year, 8:53.

Obviously, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Next week, I’ll get back out there after the weather clears out. I might have to skip a scheduled run or two, though. Then again, considering how I finished my long run, I can probably use a little extra rest. Also, I’ve got a 10 miler on the schedule, so I’ll be back to double digits. And I’ve made some progress on my New York City Marathon recap, so maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to finish it this week.

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 26-December 2

It was a pretty good week, running-wise.

I have no idea when I’ll have my New York City Marathon report finished. This is why I’m not a professional writer, I could never hit deadlines. (Never mind that I’d also have to have at least a little bit of writing skill.)

Yoga Update: Wait, what? Yeah, I started doing yoga. A friend recommended a YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene. She seems pretty cool, and she’s done a few 30 day introductory series at the beginning of each year, so I’m working my way through the one from 2015. My flexibility and balance are pretty piss poor, but I’m getting by. Maybe it’ll help my running. It’s part of a plan to diversify and get into some physical activity that isn’t running. I’m not giving up running, I just want to branch out a little, that’s all.

Weight Check: 168.8 pounds, up 1.7 from last week. Well, crap. It wasn’t a great week eating-wise, but I didn’t think it was that bad, especially when I was already starting from 167.1. Buckle down this week, I guess.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 3 miles easy 3.11
Tuesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Wednesday 3 miles easy 3.11
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 8 miles easy 8.01

Total: 22.25 miles

Monday warmed up a bit to 50 degrees. I missed the steady rain earlier in the morning, but it was still damp and there was occasional mist. My legs felt OK. I felt like I couldn’t find a steady pace, although the pace graph doesn’t look that bad. I did manage to get a little faster near the end, though.

On Tuesday, it was cold. 33 degrees. My legs felt fine, or at least they felt well enough that I didn’t notice anything bad. My pace was both faster and more consistent than Monday’s run, and it was over a longer distance, so I was pretty happy with this run.

Wednesday, I figured I needed a treadmill run, and planned it before I saw the forecast. It was about 24 degrees outside, so I lucked out. My legs felt fine, but, as usual, my mind didn’t. I started out at 11:46/mile, went to 11:32/mile after 1 mile, then went to 11:19/mile at around 2.5 miles. It was a good, solid (but mentally excruciating) run.

On Friday, it was a bit windy, but otherwise pretty nice running weather. My legs felt fine. I managed to speed up a little bit on each mile, but didn’t really increase my effort until near the end. Overall, a solid run.

Saturday was the first time since New York City that I felt like it was a long run. It was nice running weather, 52 and partly cloudy. My legs felt pretty good. I decided to go to the greenway closer to my house to make sure I got done before heavy rain moved in (and I made it home before the rain started). The water fountains were shut down for the winter, so I just ran all the way through without taking any breaks.

Other than mile 3, which was noticeably slower and I can’t figure out why, I kept a pretty steady pace for the first 6 miles, just over 11:30/mile. I sped up a little bit on mile 7, getting down to 11:03, and when I got to mile 8, I decided to see how fast I could finish, and I was very pleasantly surprised. 9:22! At this point, I honestly wasn’t sure I had a mile like that in me, especially after 7 miles. (Then again, my fastest mile ever came on the last mile of a 10 mile race.) So, yeah, I was pretty happy with this run.

This week, I’ve got some speed work(!) and a 9 miler. And a lot of work to do on that freaking New York City race report. And more yoga. Namaste, I guess.

Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2018

I feel like this month needs no introduction. OK, I’ll admit that my New York City race report isn’t done yet, but really, I think that’s all I need to say.

November 2018
Total Mileage:
67.02 miles (See, ending runs with .01 pays off every once in a while.)
Average Pace: 12:17/mile
Number of Runs: 13
Last Month (October 2018): 137.64 miles
Last Year (November 2017): 83.72 miles (Last year had more miles in November because I didn’t need to spend as much time recovering, because, well, you know.)
Races: 2018 New York City Marathon

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of November 30) 1042.75 miles

I broke 1000 miles for the year during the New York City Marathon, which is kind of cool, but also a sign that my mileage for the year is a lot lower than I’d like. I guess it’s the whole glass half empty/glass half full thing.

So the only goal I set for this year was to finish the New York City Marathon. I’ve completed my goal, and I’m relieved.

Best Run: 2018 New York City Marathon, 5:52:03, 13:26/mile pace

It was the slowest race I’ve ever run as far as pace. It was 24 minutes slower than my time in 2016. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if I should really call this my best run of the month. But I realized something within the last week. If you look at my two previous marathons, for the most part, my average pace in the race was slower than the vast majority of my long runs. I found 2 instances of long runs at a slower pace than the marathon that year, and they were in July and August. I didn’t dig in, but I suspect they were done in really, really bad weather. This year, I only had 2 long runs that were at a faster pace than my marathon, and they were my last 2 long runs (and they were 13.1 and 9 miles respectively, so not all that long, relatively speaking). I had a nagging feeling after 2015 and 2016 that I had underachieved slightly (and now I’m starting to think that’s what had me keep trying at the marathon). This year, well, overachieved is a strong word, but I’m pretty sure (based on my training) I didn’t underachieve, and that’s something. Also, it’s 26.2 freaking miles. I’d have to really, really, really screw it up to disqualify it from best run of the month (or have some other miraculous run in the same month, which seems even more unlikely).

I’ll give a shout out to my run on November 24. It was a 5 miler (which actually makes it my 2nd longest run of November), it was the fastest average pace of the month (11:23/mile), and the conditions were pretty miserable. Also, it came one day after…

Worst Run: November 23, 3.11 miles, 11:47/mile.

It was the day after Thanksgiving, so, yeah, I ended up with my 2nd slowest average pace of the month. At least I was able to rebound from it quickly.

So, yeah, that was November, finally getting the monkey off my back, then slowly working my way back. The recovery has gone fairly well so far, and hopefully I’ll be able to finish 2018 strong. (Or at least with a run that ends in .18.)

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 19-25

It was a pretty good week overall. Any week where I get to see my nephews can’t be all that bad.

Oh, and of course I’m thankful for running. Yes, I’m thankful even when Raleigh closes part of their greenway and sends me on a detour that puts me on a road that’s one giant hill (which I have to go over twice because I’m doing an out and back), and I’m thankful even when it’s cold, windy, and damp.

Weight Check: 167.1 pounds, down 0.3 from last week. The 2018 edition of “Operation Minimize Weight Gain” was a success. Granted, I had to drive home Thursday evening, and that cut back a little on my drinking on Thanksgiving day, and not being around my family on Friday and/or Saturday meant I ate less. And yeah, 167.1 is still a couple of pounds heavier than I’d like, especially with more weight gaining opportunities coming up in December. Still, I need to put it in perspective. I’m 45 years old, and after Thanksgiving, I’m about 3 pounds overweight. That’s pretty good.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 3 miles easy 3.11
Tuesday 3 miles easy 3.11
Thursday 4 miles easy 4.01
Friday 3 miles easy 3.11
Saturday 5 miles easy 5.01

Total: 18.35 miles

On Monday, the weather was cool but pretty nice. I had done a lot of walking over the weekend, a little bit of bike riding (for the first time in years), and I had a run in with a scooter that left several scrapes and an ugly bruise on my right knee. (We shall never speak of this scooter encounter again.) So I wasn’t quite 100%, but I was still able to run. I was a little slower than last week, but I definitely felt better as I went along, and managed to speed up just a little bit as my condition improved.

Tuesday was warmer, but very comfortable. I felt better than Monday, although I didn’t quite feel 100%. Once I got through the first mile, though, it got easier, and it was a good run.

I ran on Thanksgiving, although unlike the last two years, it wasn’t a race. It was cold, 36 degrees, but not too bad. My legs felt OK. I drove over to a greenway in Raleigh, and due to construction, on the first mile I had to take a detour off of the flat greenway and on to a road that was just one big hill, so that wasn’t fun, and since I was doing an out and back, I hit that hill again on the last mile. I went out a little too fast, so miles 2 and 3 were slower, but not too bad, and I recovered a bit for the last mile.

Friday, I was back at home, and, well, it was the day after Thanksgiving, I didn’t feel 100%. It didn’t help that I had to drive home 3 hours Thursday night. Also, it was colder, and quite windy. Anyway, I got through it, and gradually sped up along the way. It was slower than some of my recent runs, but considering everything, I’ll take it.

On Saturday, I was worried about getting a call from work (I ended up not getting called at all, so that was nice), but I still waited before going out there because I was waiting for the rain to stop. I have no problem running in the rain when it’s 50 degrees, but 37 is a different story. I did still get a little bit of drizzle and occasional wind, and everything was still damp, so it was pretty miserable out there. My legs felt OK, though. I resisted the temptation to sprint so I could get back inside to warm up, and kept an easy, relatively steady pace, with a nice push at the end.

This week, it’s back to normal. I’ve even got something that could be considered a long run, 8 miles. I’ll also work on my NYC recap some more, and hopefully get it finished, but I’m thinking I’ll need another week. Oh, and next Saturday is December 1(!), so I guess I’ll have to fit in a November wrap-up.

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 12-18

I got to run again. Woohoo! I probably didn’t have to wait until Friday to be physically ready to run, but before then it pretty much rained constantly, so I’m OK with the wait.

I picked up one last cheap pair of Adrenaline 18s, since the 19s are out. Interestingly, the pair that they had in stock was the black with red and gold trim, which is the same color as my 2nd (and previously newest) pair. Strange, since the base style was gray with blue and black trim. Luckily, I won’t need them for a while. I’ll probably buy a pair of 19s to use in between the two pairs, because alternating between 2 shoes that look the same is tricky at best.

On another shoe-related note, I didn’t notice this until last week, but my 2nd pair of Adrenaline 18s (the ones I didn’t bring to New York) had 26.2 miles total on them. That’s just bizarre. I couldn’t do that again if I tried.

I’m not going to have my NYC recap done before Thanksgiving. The process for writing recaps is very similar to my marathons. It’s very slow, very difficult, and the results aren’t much to look at. I’ll get to the finish eventually, just like I did in New York City two weeks ago.

Weight Check: 167.4 pounds, down 0.4 from last week. Considering how low my mileage was, this isn’t terrible. I do know that before Saturday I probably would have seen more of a loss, though. I had a lot of fun Saturday. While “had a lot of fun” and “ate and drank too much” don’t have to go together, in this case, they did. And this week, I will embark on “Operation Minimize Weight Gain.”

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Friday 3 miles easy 3.11
Saturday 3 miles easy 3.11

Total: 6.22 miles

Friday was my first day back. It was chilly, 36 degrees, but not too bad. I forgot that I had turned off auto-lap for the marathon, and this was my first run since then. I forgot to hit the lap button at the 1 mile mark, but I hit it at 2 and 3. (I turned auto-lap on after I was finished, so this won’t be an issue again unless I do another race where I’m surrounded by tall buildings.)

My legs felt fine, and I think I’m completely recovered from New York City. Maybe I could have gotten back out there a couple of days earlier, but like I said before, I’m OK with waiting for the rain to stop.

I kept the effort easy for the most part, although I did find myself pushing a little bit towards the end, and my pace seemed to be pretty consistent.

On Saturday, it was a few degrees warmer, so a little more pleasant. My legs felt fine. I eased up a bit in mile 2 when I felt like I was going a little too fast, and waited until the second half of mile 3 before picking it up again. I still managed to increase my average pace on each mile.

It’s good to be running again.

Next week, I’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving. No races this year, but I’ll still go out on Thanksgiving morning and take advantage of the greenway that’s less than half a mile from my sister’s house.

Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2018

October was better. Not great, but not a disaster.

October 2018
Total Mileage:
137.64 miles
Average Pace: 12:38/mile
Number of Runs: 23
Last Month (September 2018): 110.36 miles
Last Year (September 2017): 168.26 miles
Races: None, because I don’t do races a month before a full marathon

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of October 31) 975.73 miles

Oh yeah, that reminds me, I broke 1,000 miles for the year somewhere in New York City. In a way, that’s cool. In another way, I should have made it past 1,000 miles for the year way before November 4. But that’s a topic for next month’s wrap-up and/or my upcoming NYC race report.

Best Run: October 20, 13.11 miles, 12:05/mile

This was an easy choice. I did not expect that run to go that well. Conditions weren’t great, but I went out there and crushed it (relatively speaking) anyway.

I have to give a shout out to my 18 miler on October 13. It wasn’t a great run, but it was my longest training run. I got through it, which, for this training cycle, was an accomplishment.

Worst Run: October 6, 16.01 miles, 14:05/mile

I only had one run where I didn’t make the full planned distance. This was supposed to be a 17 miler, but 16 was all I had in me that day. And, yeah, it was pretty freaking slow. Luckily, things got better after that.

This is the part where I’d look ahead to the next month, but I’ve already had my Best Run of November in New York City. I’m slowly recovering from that, then I’ll gradually work my way back.

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 5-11

They haven’t come to take away my medal, and MarathonFoto is still trying to get me to buy race photos (which I’m going to do, I’m just waiting for the discounts to kick in this week). I’ll say this, they got a great shot of me crossing the finish line. I mean, even if it came out terrible, I’d still put it in my race report, but I’ll be happy to put this picture in there.

My legs are doing better. Following my coach’s advice, I still haven’t run since I finished the race. I was hoping to get a few walks in, but I was pretty busy this week, and the weather didn’t cooperate when I had time to walk. I did manage to get one in today, though.

Weight Check: 167.8 pounds, up 1.2 from last week. Well, I did eat and drink a lot after the marathon, and I got no exercise in once the race was over. I’ll have to buckle down this week, because the following week is Thanksgiving.

This Week’s Runs

None. I’ve been recovering from the marathon.

Total: 0.0 Miles

I did walk this afternoon for about 30 minutes, and while I didn’t keep track of the distance, I estimate it was around 2 miles or so.

Next week, I’ll resume running at some point. I’ll post my October wrap-up, and start working on my New York City Marathon recap.

Weekly Wrap-Up: October 29-November 4

I guess I should start at the end.

5:52:03. I can’t say I’m happy with that time, but I’m relieved. I finished, which is way better than last year. I had a blast along the way (and before and after the race as well). Of course, I’ll have to do a full race report, and that will take some time.

I think I had some good runs in the last week before the race, but right now, it’s kind of a blur. Sometimes, having to jot down comments for my coach after each run comes in handy.

Weight Check: My last official weigh-in before the race (Friday before my run) was 166.6 pounds, up 1.3 from the previous weigh-in. Not great, although that does include some carb loading.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 4 miles easy 4.01
Tuesday 3 miles easy 3.11
Wednesday 3 miles easy 3.11
Friday 2 miles easy 2.01
Sunday 2018 New York City Marathon 26.2

Total: 38.44 miles

Monday was 46 degrees and sunny. Excellent weather. My legs felt fine. I kept a pretty consistent pace on the first 3 miles. There may have been a GPS glitch in the middle of mile 4, since I don’t remember slowing down for anything, and I didn’t really speed up until near the end. When the only thing I can think of to talk about is GPS strangeness, that’s a sign that it was a pretty good run.

On Tuesday, it was cool (39 degrees) but pleasant. My legs felt OK. I slowed down a little on mile 3 for some reason, but recovered at the end and finished strong.

Wednesday was really nice weather. 46 degrees again. My legs still felt OK. I didn’t push that hard but was still able to run really well on mile 2, and while mile 3 was a hair slower, it was still a good pace, and I finished strong

On Friday, I had my last run before the marathon. Weather wasn’t great, 64 degrees, and damp from some overnight rain, but my legs were fine. I kept the effort easy, but still kept a pretty decent pace. Also, running only 2 miles was really weird.

Sunday was The Marathon. Full recap is coming soon. New York City is the greatest city in the world (but I admit I’m probably biased). I do want to mention that the weather was amazing, 52 degrees and sunny.

I haven’t run since the race, and I probably won’t run again until next week. That means my next weekly recap will be a little short. Of course, that should (in theory) give me time to write a recap for October. I will say that my legs are just about back to normal. They feel a little off, but there’s no more pain. (I still don’t feel ready for running, though.)

Thoughts before NYC 2018

I don’t know.

*clicks publish button*

OK, I have a little more than that to say.

I really have no idea what’s going to happen. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this was my worst training cycle ever, and I really wish I had more miles under my belt.

And yet, I have this part of me that thinks it’s actually going to go well. I don’t understand it either. I am encouraged by how well I’ve run the last couple of weeks. There’s been no pain. I haven’t experienced any fatigue lately. Maybe it’ll be OK. (Knock on wood, the weather forecast looks very OK.) But, like I said at the top, I don’t know.

Anyway, if you want to follow along, my bib number is 68671, ESPN2 coverage starts at 9 AM (if you want to see some people who can actually run well). The professional women take off at 9:20, the professional men and Wave 1 start at 9:50, and Wave 4, where I’ll be once again, starts at 11.

All I can do it put everything I’ve got into it and hope it all works out. And if nothing else, as long as I cross the finish line, I’ll do better than last year.