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.

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.

Weekly Wrap-Up: September 24-30

Imagine a huge sigh of relief. That’s me right now.

I did roughly 1000 things differently this week, which isn’t good for figuring out exactly what fixed the problem (or what the actual problem is or was), but the important thing is that I got through my long run.

Weight Check: 163.7 pounds, up 1.6 from last week. I really couldn’t care less. One of the things I did differently was not drinking no calorie soda, just in case there’s something in the artificial sweeteners. Also, I wasn’t drinking them during my last training cycle which (understatement) went just slightly better than my current training cycle. So I did have some regular Mountain Dew and regular Coke. I did limit my caffeine intake a little bit, so it wasn’t like I went straight back to 60 ounces of Mountain Dew every day. I also cut back a bit on beer. I’m still under 164, so I’m not overweight.

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 16 miles easy 16.01

Total: 34.05 miles

For the first time since August 20 to 26, the numbers in the 3rd column match the ones in the 2nd column. (OK, with an extra .01 on each run, but you know what I mean.) Huge sigh of relief.

Monday was not as hot, only 68 degrees, but still humid. My legs felt terrible. I’m not sure how I got through all 5 miles, but I did, very slowly.

On Tuesday, the weather was back to completely miserable. My legs weren’t 100%, but they felt a little better than Monday. I tried not to pay attention to my watch, and had no idea what my splits were until I checked the data, and I was kind of surprised that I got faster on each mile. I didn’t feel great, and it was slower than I’d like, but I got through the whole thing, which I don’t take for granted right now

Wednesday was only 66(!) degrees, but still really humid. My legs felt OK. My pace was fairly consistent, though mile 3 was a little slow for some reason. I kept it easy and got through it.

On Friday, it was more miserable weather. My legs felt OK, though. I took it easy with my upcoming long run. I managed to speed up a little bit on each mile. Considering everything, it was a pretty decent run.

Also, I noticed that as the week went on, my average pace had slowly gone down, and I felt like that was a positive sign.

I remember when I first saw that I had 16 miles scheduled for Saturday. I laughed, and it was definitely one of those “laugh to keep from crying” laughs. Considering my last few long runs, I figured I’d be lucky to make it to 13.1 miles. But I figured I’d give it a shot.

The weather wasn’t great, but the clouds at least kept things from warming up too much. My legs felt OK for the most part, and though I definitely felt fatigue on the last two miles, it somehow felt different than the fatigue I’ve experienced in my last few long runs that caused me to cut them short. I’d like to think I could have gotten through one more mile if I had to, but I’m glad I didn’t have to.

I had my watch show the time of day rather than the distance/time/pace for most of the run. So instead of relying on distance, I figured out after I started that I wanted to have Gu at around 8:50, 9:40, and 10:30. It turned out that ended up being 4, 7.85, and 12 miles, which is pretty close to when I would have had them if I had been going by distance.

I’m still not 100% sure what got me completely through this run, but as slow as it was, I’m really happy with it.

My mileage was definitely down this week by design. One of the possible reasons for my troubles is overtraining, and, well, reducing mileage is about the only way to fix that.

This week, I’ll have a very small increase in miles. Also, Monday is October 1, so I guess I’ll do a wrap-up for September. (Spoiler alert: It won’t be a cheerful post.)