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.