14 Weeks to NYC Marathon: Power of Rest

04/08/2010 § Leave a comment

Goal last week: 18 miles total (3 miles, 12 miles, 3 miles)

Actual mileage: 15.75 miles total (3.75 miles, 12 miles)

Goal this week: 20 miles total (3 miles, 14 miles, 3 miles)

Last week I was generally successful, managed to get in two runs out of the three I planned.  I had a good midweek short run, and my long run on Saturday felt great — 12 miles, but I definitely felt like I could have gone farther.  Luckily, the weather was a vast improvement from the previous week — probably 10 degrees cooler.

I’m hoping to attempt to increase my mileage to 14 this Saturday, but my right knee has been a little sore the past few days.  It begins to throb if I keep it immobile for an extended amount of time – so whenever I am sitting or sleeping – but it clears up once I get up and start moving around.  It doesn’t hurt when I run, so I definitely could attempt the long run, but I am a little concerned about turning an ache caused from slight overuse into a real injury.  I’ve been icing it and taking a low dose of an NSAID and I skipped my usual Tuesday night IntenSati class.

I am also debating whether I will enter the Bronx Half Marathon, which is in two weeks.  I know I can run the distance easily, but I am still on the fence due to the location and the course.  It would be a long train ride for a course that has double- and triple-backs.  I could always just run 13.1 miles on my own that morning, along the Hudson…

Tip #2:  Know when to rest
I didn’t go on my Sunday evening run because I just didn’t feel up to it.  That doesn’t happen to me too frequently, so whenever it does I take the cue from my body and rest.  Resting is important.  It allows your body to adapt and recover.  If you are in training you must schedule days for rest.  And don’t worry about losing all that you have worked for — you won’t lose momentum in your training until you have rested for two weeks.

Normally, I take off every Friday in order to be rested for my long runs on Saturday.  I used to be able to take Pilates on Fridays, but once my long runs got up above six miles it became very difficult to run the longer distances because my legs were already tired when I started.  I’ve since changed things around to allow total rest on Friday and it is one of the reasons why I have been successful increasing my mileage.

You can find a good article on the importance of rest here, courtesy of Runner’s World.

Happy running!

15 Weeks to NYC Marathon: Ramping up

28/07/2010 § Leave a comment

Last week: ran 13 miles total (3 miles, 10 miles)

Goal this week: run 18 miles total (3 miles, 12 miles, 3 miles)

This week marks the start of my real training.  I already work out about 5 days a week, but since running the Miami half in January I have made a concerted effort to mix it up and do less overall running.  It keeps me interested and better yet, it keeps my body guessing (if you are in search of results, you really have to cross train).  I don’t really want to give up my variety for running drudgery and I don’t want to live at the gym — as much as I love my gym — so this is going to be a bit difficult.

Tip #1: My secret to running is having someone to run with
Running can be boring.  Especially in the beginning when all you can think about is “Why did I decide to do this?  How far have I gone?  How much longer do I have left?  Am I dying?  I must look like a fool out here with all these people passing me…” and on and on and on!  I find that if I have someone out there with me, especially for the long runs, that internal monologue quiets and I run farther and enjoy myself more.  The trick is finding someone that is close enough to your pace/style — if you’re both talkers you can chat, or if you’re both competititve, you will end up pushing each other along a bit faster.

I have a few friends who are almost always down for a few miles on weekend mornings.  They are my most important secret weapon this training season and I am very hopeful that they will turn out on raceday to run a few miles with me.  I really hope I don’t have to beg them…

For my NY runners in search of a group to run with, Well+Good NYC has compiled the deets on FREE group runs throughout the city.  Find it here.

In LA, many lululemon athletica stores have FREE running groups on various days of the week.  Check out Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Pasadena, or the store nearest you. Lululemon is great — all levels are welcome and most have a “no runner left behind” policy.  Similarly, the NIKETOWN stores also have FREE running groups.  Get more information here.

Happy running!

I am a runner because I run

27/07/2010 § Leave a comment

On November 7, 2010 I will run the New York Marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. All five boroughs of it. As long as it takes. I’ve never run a marathon before, so the task seems a bit daunting. Especially since I only have 15 weeks left until the race…15 WEEKS!!

I suppose I should start this story a few months back. About a year ago I joined Team in Training for the winter season, to train for the Miami Half Marathon on January 31, 2010 . Through TNT, the largest sports training program in the world, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society trains thousands for endurance events. In exchange, team members raise money to fight blood cancers. I had a number of reasons for joining: I wanted to do something charitable, I wanted to meet new people, and I wanted to see if I could run that far. I raised money for a great cause, I met some wonderful people, and I found out I could run 13.1 miles, no sweat. (Ok, maybe a little sweat)

Training for the Miami half was difficult. I went from doing no exercise at all (except maybe running to the subway) to running multiple times per week. Training in the snow, rain and wind was tortuous. I discovered my hands were very sensitive to the cold — I had to wear a pair of gloves, with hand warmers, INSIDE a pair of mittens. I effectively lost my Friday nights, since we met for our long runs early on Saturday mornings. I learned about things like GU and Body Glide and wicking and ice baths.

It was hard, but I did it. I finished the Miami half and was presented with the opportunity to run the 2010 New York Marathon soon thereafter. I’ve decided to do a few races along the way, to keep things interesting – just training can be a little boring for me. I’ve already done the Brooklyn half and I will run the Disney Wine and Dine half in Orlando in October. I am seriously considering the Bronx half, even though it is just a few weeks away and it is ridiculously hot in New York lately.

I never really thought of myself as a runner until recently.  Even though I have spent many hours over the past year running, even though I have spent way too much money on spandex and even though I have a small collection of race bibs, the thought of me as a runner didn’t really enter my mind until a few weeks ago.  I was at lululemon — buying spandex shorts to run in — and the salesgirl asked me brightly, “Are you a runner?”  And I thought about it.  And I realized I was.  Talk about a delayed epiphany, right?

Anyway, I have 15 WEEKS (!!) to go until raceday. So this is me in training. Again. I promise to update periodically on my progress and post on other topics related to my training. I would love to discuss training or running or whatnot, so do let me know what is on your mind.  I might think myself a runner now, but keep in mind less than a year ago, I couldn’t keep running for more than 20 minutes…

Let’s git-r-dun!

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