Weekly Wrap-Up: October 22-28

I’m tapering. Also, the weather finally feels like fall.

Since I retired a pair of shoes last Saturday, that means I broke in a new pair this week. It’s my 2nd pair of Brooks Adrenaline 18s, but these are black with gold and red trim, and they look pretty badass. I’ll probably end up running NYC in my other pair, gray with blue and black trim, which still look nice.

Oh yeah, the New York City Marathon is a week from today. It hasn’t hit me yet.

Weight Check: 165.3 pounds, up 0.5 from last week. Well, that’s mildly disappointing. I’m not putting in enough miles to make up for what I eat. My next weigh-in will be Friday morning, since that’s when I’m flying up to New York. Hopefully I can bring that down just a little bit before I leave.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 4 miles easy 4.01
Tuesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Wednesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Friday 3 miles easy 3.11
Saturday 9 miles easy 9.01

Total: 24.15 miles

Monday was my first run in my 2nd pair of Adrenaline 18s. It was pretty cold compared to my recent runs, 37 degrees, but not too terrible. My legs felt fine. I kept my effort easy until the last mile, but I did manage to speed up a bit on each mile without really trying. Overall, a pretty good run.

Tuesday is for the treadmill these days. My legs felt fine, but as usual, my mind didn’t. I started at 12:00/mile (5 mph), and sped up to 11:46 (5.1 mph) for the last half mile, and still felt fine physically.

On Wednesday, it great weather for me, 46 and clear. My legs felt fine. I was able to gradually increase my pace on each mile while keeping the effort easy, and late in mile 4, I pushed it and finished strong. It was a good, solid run.

Friday was one of the rare instances where I really should have gotten up early and gone to the Y, but I ended up only having enough time for an outdoor run before work, and it was pretty miserable. It was 46 degrees and rained the entire time. I probably ran a little faster than normal because I just wanted to get home and start drying out. (I think I’ll be completely dried out by next Wednesday.) My legs probably felt fine, although I wasn’t really paying much attention. I’m not sure why mile 3 was a little slower (although it was relatively fast compared to my most recent runs), but I did recover right at the end. I got through it, and I guess I need to be ready for anything on November 4.

On Saturday, I had my last long run before the race in almost perfect weather conditions for me. My legs felt fine. I kept the effort easy, stopped for water roughly once per mile, had Gu at around the 5 mile mark, and felt good enough to push the pace on the last mile. Just a nice, solid final long run before my race.

So, I fly up to New York on Friday, go to the expo on Saturday, and the New York City Marathon is Sunday. I might pop in with some final thoughts before I go, but I can’t promise anything. The October Wrap Up and my next weekly wrap up will be late.

If I don’t get to say anything else before the race, all I’ll say it that it was the toughest and the worst training cycle I’ve experienced, and I have pretty much no expectations for the marathon except to finish.

Weekly Wrap-Up: October 15-21

It’s officially the start of my taper, even I feel like I’ve been tapering since August.

Monday’s run kinda sucked. The rest of the week was…good? Who stole my legs and replaced them with somewhat functioning ones? And why didn’t you do that in August?

Saturday was the biggest pleasant surprise of the week. It was one of those runs that will stick in my mind for a good reason. (Unlike certain other runs that I wish I could forget.)

Weight Check: 164.8 pounds, same as last weigh-in. I did my official weigh-in on Saturday morning, before my run, because I knew I’d be heading up the road to visit my parents that afternoon and wouldn’t be home until Sunday afternoon (this is also why I’m posting on Monday), and I’d rather do my weigh-in first thing in the morning. I’m OK with a zero when my weigh-in comes before my long run.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 5 miles easy 5.01
Tuesday 4 minutes easy 4.01
Wednesday 5 miles easy 5.01
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 13 miles easy 13.11

Total: 31.15 miles

On Monday, the weather was nice (59 degrees), but that’s the only good thing I can say about the run. My legs felt pretty rough, and my paces were both slow and inconsistent. Recovering from a long run is not fun.

Tuesday was my now usual treadmill run. My legs felt much better than Monday. My mind hated it, of course, but my legs really needed the break. I kept it at 12:00/mile, 5 mph the whole time.

On Wednesday, I got one last day of really miserable weather, I guess. My legs felt OK, but they didn’t want to move all that fast. I settled into a rhythm in miles 2, 3, and 4, started to slow down a little on the last mile, but then pushed some more at the end. Not great, but I got through it.

Friday felt cool, but really comfortable. My legs felt OK. I kept a fairly steady pace (and effort) on the first three miles, then started pushing a bit during the last mile and finished strong.

Then there was Saturday.

Yeah, this run is clearly a front-runner for Best Run for October. Hell, it could be my Best Run of 2018 (although right now, that’s a really low bar to clear). But it didn’t start out all that great.

When I got up, I knew it was going to be kind of warm and humid with a chance of rain. And I really didn’t want to go out there and run. I finally stopped stalling and drove over to Freedom Park. I ended up starting at 8:55 AM, which isn’t good. At least I knew that it wasn’t really going to get much warmer than the temperate at the start, 63 degrees.

I got through the first mile in 12:22, and thought, hey that’s not bad. I kept going, and I felt good. Yeah, it started raining, and at one point I had to get around some people doing a walk for the Hydrocephalus Association. On the plus side, some volunteers from Adopt-a-Stream were in Little Sugar Creek cleaning things up, and I made sure to thank them, since it’s nice to be able to run along a creek that isn’t full of junk.

I was able to keep a fairly steady pace between 12:00 and 12:30 per mile. I did have one mile that was 11:32, which was probably a bit faster than I should have been going at that point, but it wasn’t enough to mess things up. When I got to mile 12, I had enough left in the tank to push it, so I did. Mile 13 was my fastest full mile, 11:24, and since I couldn’t stop just a tenth of a mile away from a half marathon, I kept going, and in the last .11 I had an average pace of 10:51/mile.

Oh, and as it turned out, it was my last run in my 5th and final pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17s. Here’s a picture after I finished. I know, parking lot, but I was able to stand under a tree and not get rained on.

They didn’t make it into any races, but they did get to go to Portland with me, and I’d say they went out with a bang.

Man, I needed that run.

Well, it’s now less than 2 weeks to New York City. This week, I’ll continue to taper (Spolier alert: My first run of the week this morning went well), and my long run will be only 9 miles. Yeah, only 9 miles. A few weeks ago, 9 miles seemed at the edge of my ability. Now, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Weekly Wrap-Up: October 8-14

I got through the week. I lost power, the weather finally got better, and I made it through 18 miles. I don’t think any of last week was pretty.

Technically, my taper has started, but considering I’ve been running reduced mileage since, oh, August, I don’t know how to tell the difference.

Oh, I did finally get to see a sports medicine specialist last week. He said my legs seemed perfectly OK. Which is nice, I guess. I just wish they could move me a little bit faster.

Weight Check: 164.8, up 2.4 pounds from last week. Yikes. It was a bad, stressful week. I suppose 164.8 isn’t that terrible, it’s less than a pound overweight for me. I still need to buckle down a bit this week. I don’t need to be carrying around a bunch of extra weight for 26.2 miles in New York City in less than 3 weeks.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 6 miles easy 6.01
Tuesday 4 minutes easy 4.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 18 miles easy 18.01

Total: 38.05 miles

Monday I had the day off and got out there a little later than I’d like, so it was a little warmer. My legs weren’t 100%, but better than I’d expect so soon after a long run. I did manage to speed up a bit in the 2nd half of the run, and I did increase my effort a bit near the end.

On Tuesday, I went with the treadmill. My mind didn’t like it, but my legs did. As usual, I stayed at 5 mph, or 12:00/mile pace, the whole time.

Wednesday the weather was really miserable. It had rained, so everything was damp, I could see mist with my headlamp, and of course the humidity was 100%. My legs felt OK, though, and I got through it.

At some point Thursday, as Michael came through, I lost power. (Side note: I’m glad Thursday was a strength training day so I could safely stay inside as the storm approached.) When I woke up Friday morning, I still had no power. I decided the easiest thing to do (since I’d have to drive into the office, which I normally don’t do on Fridays) would be to go to the Y so I could get on the treadmill and take a shower afterwards. It was the first time in a long time that the weather outside the Y (low 50s) was better than inside. My mind hated it, of course, but my legs were fine with it, and I stuck with the usual 12:00/mile or 5 mph pace the whole time.

Next was Saturday.

I got through it.

The weather was much nicer, about 57 and lower humidity. My legs felt OK at first. Even from mile 10 to about 15, they weren’t too bad. I started to feel worse at 16, and at 17, I had to walk. But at 18, I decided to try running again, and it was really tough at first, but as I went along, I started feeling better and gradually increased my pace, getting up to somewhere between 11:00 and 12:00 per mile pace near the end. So it was a nice recovery.

I stopped for water roughly once per mile (not because it was hot, but because that’s how the aid stations in NYC will be set up), and since I wanted to have Gu 4 times throughout the run, I went with 3, 7, 11, and 15 miles.

I don’t feel great about mile 17, but I’m glad I was able to recover. My theory is that I don’t really have as much of a base as I’d like, and that could be why the last two weeks I’ve struggled near the end, although it’s still much, much better than running out of steam around mile 10 or 11.

So, yeah, now it’s time for the taper, I guess. I do have a 13 miler scheduled for Saturday, which I will of course turn into a 13.1 mile run, because I’m stubborn like that.

Weekly Wrap-Up: October 1-7

I got through another week. My long run wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, but my runs during the week went fairly well, so there’s that. (Also, I had a brain fart on Wednesday.)

Also, I was so relieved by my long run last week, I forgot to mention that, when I was still trying to figure out what was going on, I made an appointment with a sports medicine specialist. The earliest I could get an appointment was this Tuesday. Things are better now (I think, I hope, knock on wood), but I’ll still go, and maybe the doctor will have a better idea what went wrong and how I can avoid it happening again before November 4.

Weight Check: 162.4 pounds, down 1.3 from last week. OK. I went out with my friends during the week and didn’t drink any beer. I guess that helped. All I know is, this not drinking beer thing better work.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 5 miles easy 5.01
Tuesday 4 minutes easy 4.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 5.01
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 17 miles easy 16.02

Total: 34.06 miles

Monday was full of pleasant surprises. The weather was much better, and my legs felt much better than I expected. There was a little bit of fatigue when I had to go uphill, but otherwise, they were OK. I still kept the effort easy. but I did gradually speed up on the last 2 miles.

On Tuesday, I decided to give my legs a break and got on the treadmill. I set it to 5 mph (12:00/mile) the whole time. My legs were fine, my mind hated it, but I got through it.

Wednesday I had a brain fart, and only ran 5 miles instead of 6. Oops. Well, they were 5 pretty good miles. The weather wasn’t too bad. My legs felt fine. I did speed up a little bit at the end.

On Friday, the weather felt like August, but my legs were fine. I kept the effort easy with a long run on the schedule for Saturday, but I still managed to speed up a little bit on each mile. I was pleased, especially considering the conditions.

As for Saturday, the bottom line, it wasn’t as good as last week’s long run, but it was much better than any of my previous long runs. I’m still a little disappointed that I couldn’t get to 17, but considering that there were a few weeks where there was no way I could even get to 16, it’s not too bad.

The weather was pretty miserable, but at least the clouds stuck around, so it didn’t get any worse. My legs felt OK for most of the run, but definitely got fatigued near the end.

Like last week, I set my watch to show the time of day for most of the run, and used time instead of distance to determine when to have Gu. I ended up having it at around 4.1, 8.6, and 12.3 miles. I also stopped at water fountains along the way.

The last two miles were pretty rough, and I knew I’d need to stop at 16, but I got through it.

This week, I’ve got an 18 mile run scheduled. That should be my longest run for this training cycle. Not ideal, but at this point, my only goal is to cross the finish line in New York City.

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2018

September 2018 can go straight to Hell.

(No, really, tell us how you really feel, don’t hold back.)

September 2018
Total Mileage:
110.36 miles
Average Pace: 13:23/mile (Egads.)
Number of Runs: 16
Last Month (August 2018): 164.22 miles
Last Year (September 2017): 191.23 miles (Remember last month when I was complaining because August 2018 was a quarter of a freaking mile less than August 2017? Yeah, the gap is a little larger this month.)
Races: Ha!

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of September 30) 838.09 miles

Best Run: September 29, 16.01 miles, 13:32/mile

Whew. I’m still breathing a sigh of relief over this one. It was slow, but I made it through the full 16 miles, and that was freaking huge. So I sort of ended the month (September 30 was a scheduled rest day) on a positive note.

Shout out to my run on September 20, a 3.1 miler that was my first run back after my heart checked out OK, and the only run this month where I had a smile on my face. And yes, if that last long run of the month had gone south, this would have been my Best Run for September, which is not good.

Worst Run: All 14 other September runs September 22, 12.01 miles, 13:50/mile

There was a lot of competition for this one. This particular run, though, probably gutted me the most, and really had me questioning everything.

Not-so-fun Fact about September: It never got below 60 degrees here all month long. The last time that happened was in 1933. Because, you know, I wasn’t struggling enough with my running.

Well, it’s a new month, October, and my last full month before New York City. Here’s hoping last Saturday’s run was the start of something good.