My 2017 New York City Marathon Training Plan

The New York City Marathon is my favorite marathon.  Making my way through all five boroughs of the city with 50,000 of my fellow runners and thousands of amazingly supportive New Yorkers has been absolutely thrilling!

If everything goes as planned, the 2017 race on Sunday, November 5th will be my fifth consecutive running of the event.

2012-2016 NYCM Medals

2012-2016 NYCM Medals

Prologue

After setting my personal best marathon time (3:22:56) at this race in 2013, I plateaued.  Over the next two or three years, I ran several marathon in the mid to high 3:20 range but I wasn’t getting any faster.  I experimented with a few different things to see if my times would improve.  I tried running a little less, running more marathon paced miles, and even working with a coach before last year’s race.  While I continued to race well – I’ve managed to re-qualify for the New York City Marathon since 2013 with either a marathon or half marathon time – my personal records haven’t budged.

The Plan

Choosing a Plan.  For this training cycle, I decided to go back to the last thing that worked for me.  I’m planning to run the 18 week, 70-85 miles per week plan in Advanced Marathoning, Second Edition by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas.  It’s a challenging plan, but I think I can pull it off.

Even though I’ll be following a canned plan, there are a few things I needed to think about and adjust as I plotted out this training cycle.

Choose a Goal Race.  The first step for any training plan.

Goal Race: The 2017 New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Set a Race Goal.  I dreaded this step.  In recent years, I’ve set both optimistic and realistic goals and fallen short more often that I care to recount.  I finished my last marathon, the 2017 Eugene Marathon, in 3:32:04 (8:06) and last year’s New York City Marathon in 3:33:34 (8:10 pace).  If I could see a little improvement and run under 3:30:00 (8:01 pace) at this year’s race, I’d be very happy.

Achievable Goal: Sub-3:30 (8:01 pace).

Pick a Start Date.  The plan is 18 weeks.

Start Date: Sunday, July 2nd.

The book breaks the marathon training cycle into four “mesocycles” – endurance, lactate threshold, race preparation, and the taper.  I entered the runs into my training log on RunningAhead.

Endurance: 6 weeks – Sunday, July 2nd to Saturday, August 12th
Lactate Threshold and Endurance: 5 weeks – Sunday, August 13th to Saturday, September 16th
Race Preparation: 4 weeks – Sunday, September 17th to Saturday, October 14th
Taper: 3 weeks – Sunday, October 15th to Saturday, November 4th

Schedule Tune-up Races: There are two tune-up races scheduled two weeks apart during the “Race Preparation” mesocycle, and one placed two weeks before the goal marathon during the taper.  Since I agreed to do the Bourbon Chase with my Ragnar team in mid-October, I had to shift things around a bit.

Saturday, September 23rd – 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K
Sunday, October 8th – 2017 Army Ten Miler
Friday, October 13th & Saturday, October 14th – 2017 Bourbon Chase

(My complete racing schedule is here)

Other Thoughts

Selfie w Medals

Selfie w New York City Marathon Medals

Going into this training cycle, I’ve been feeling relieved that this plan will allow me to turn my brain off a little and just follow a set schedule.  I created my own training plan each week for the 2017 Eugene Marathon and I’m not sure I did a great job.  I’m not sure I was seeing the bigger picture and realized too late that I neglected some pretty important workouts like long threshold and marathon pace runs.

Still, I know I’ll want to make some some adjustments along the way.  For example, I’d like to try running with faster people more often, so I might move some workouts around so I can meet up with some running clubs.  I’ll try to keep the mileage the same as the Pfitz plan each week, though.

Alright.  Let’s do this!

No sleep till Central Park!

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Summer 2017 Training – Week 8

 

2017 Summer - Week 8 Infographic

It wasn’t a particularly hard week – two medium intensity days during the workweek and then a long run today that included the Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun.  I start training for the New York City Marathon tomorrow!  But, I’m not feeling mentally ready.

Training Schedule
June 25th – July 1st

Sunday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Monday: Maintenance Run. 10 miles moderate.
Tuesday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Wednesday: Medium Run. 12 miles.
Thursday: Off.
Friday: Easy Run. 6 miles.
Saturday: Long Run. 15 miles.

Mileage Total: ~55 Miles

Notes. I stayed pretty close to this schedule.  I ran easy on Thursday instead of Friday thinking I should push back my last planned off day for four months.  And today, I ran 13.5 miles instead of 15 out of fatigue.

Goals. Run 55 miles for the week and weigh 123 pounds.  Outcome: Fail!  I was a half mile short of 55 miles, which wasn’t a big deal, but I actually ended up gaining a pound this summer.

Workout Details

Maintenance Run. 10 miles moderate [Log Details].

I woke up with a bad case of the Mondays but made it out the door.  It was a nice morning – not quite 70 degrees and low humidity.

I ran a route that was mostly uphill for the first two miles until I reached Clarendon.  I took that section pretty easy.  Then, the course was a steep downhill, which my legs appreciated.  But, I still kept the effort “easy”.  I reached the Custis Trail a short while later.  The temperature was pretty comfortable so I ran past the first water fountain at Nelson Street.  I told myself that I needed to stop taking so many breaks during my endurance runs.  But, I stopped briefly at the second water fountain at the junction with the W&OD Trail.  Confident I hadn’t gone out too hard, I pushed the pace for the last two miles.

It’s amazing how much faster I can run when it’s not so humid outside!

Overall pace=8:47.

Fartlek Run. 5 x 3 minutes “on”, 2 minutes “off”.  [Log Details].

On Tuesday, I’d scheduled an easy run but decided to take advantage of the nice weather and mix in some hard running.  I thought a fartlek run would allow me to turn my legs over a little but not too much.  I didn’t have time to plan, though, so I just uploaded the workout I did late last May and ran that.  But this time, I wanted to run the “on” segments closer to 5K pace.

The workout went well.  I was happy to see I was able to hit the pace ranges.  In fact, for the last repetition, I got under 7:00 pace!  It was nice feeling like I probably hadn’t lost any fitness since spring.

Medium Run. 12 miles [Log Details].

I debated sleeping in.  With each day, marathon training was growing closer and I wanted to enjoy these relatively restful mornings while I could.  Soon, I’d want to get up earlier to beat the heat.  I knew I’d be even more tired later in the week and forced myself up and out the door.

Clear Skies in Rosslyn - 06282017

Clear Skies in Rosslyn – 06282017

I listened to podcasts during the run in an effort to keep the pace easy.  During one of them – an interview with a runner who was hit by a bus – I found myself thinking, “What is your problem?!  You get to run and are healthy!”  I started thinking about how I might training better this next marathon cycle.

Overall pace=8:55.

Long Run. 15 miles [Log Details – Part 1, Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun, Log Details – Part 2].

Post Run Dirty Shoes - 07012017

Post Run Dirty Shoes – 07012017

This morning, I ran with people!  I joined a local run club, composed of much faster runners, for my long run.  I thought it would be a good kick in the butt before I started training for the New York City Marathon.

As usual, I was slow getting ready and left the house with only 15 minutes to get downtown.  I parked in a garage in Georgetown thinking, “How expensive could it be?”

I met up with the group and we ran from Georgetown, across the river into Virginia, and onto the Custis Trail.  We made our way up Glebe Road and I lagged behind on the rolling hills.  We crossed back into D.C. and ran south on the Capitol Crescent Trail.  The plan was to hop into the Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun.  I tried to keep the pace a “jog” for the race but ran faster than I should have.  The final 2-3 miles back to our starting point were pretty slow.  We ended our run with a visit to the Georgetown splash fountain.  It felt so refreshing!

We hung out after the run.  It was my birthday and one of them bought cupcakes, which we shared.  the parking fee?  $22.95!

Pace=8:51 for 7.8 miles, 8:35 for 3.1 miles, and 9:30 for 2.6 miles.

Health

Injuries. My hips hurt after my workouts this week…  I’ve been focusing on running taller and engaging my core more during my runs and I think it’s engaging those muscles more than usual.

Weight. I wanted to lose 5 pounds this summer and in the end…  I gained a pound!  Things were going well until the end of last week.  I thought the two higher readings were a fluke but my weight kept going higher.  Oh well.  I gave it a shot.

Weather

Sunday was warm, but then the temperature dropped to the upper 60s with low humidity through Wednesday.  On Thursday, it felt like summer again and morning temps were in the high 60s.  Today, I ran in miserable 80 degree conditions.

 

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I start training for the New York City Marathon tomorrow!  I don’t feel ready but it’s 18 weeks out so I have time to get my head in the game.

Looking ahead, I also checked out the Tokyo Marathon.  It’s the only other world major I’m interested in running.  I’m starting to think my goal for next year might be running a multi-stage ultra event next year.

Next race: 2017 Dulles Day 10K On the Runway on Saturday, September 23rd. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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Training Supplement – June 30, 2017

Training Supplement Banner - 063017

Not sure if I’m mentally ready to start training for the New York City Marathon in two days.  While I figure that out, I went back to the Mizuno Wave Rider as my distance shoe and focused on my running form.  I also got my second Runner’s World Box and ran in some new places.

Clothing & Gear

Shoes.  Mizuno Wave Rider 20 ($119.99).  After a brief hiatus of running in the Saucony Ride 9s for most of my runs, I returned to this shoe.  They’re similar shoes – neutral with some cushioning.  It felt good running in the Wave Riders again.

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

(My Complete Clothes & Gear Page.)

Nutrition & Hydration

Pre-workout NutritionSimple Squares.  This was an organic nutrition bar made from cashews, almonds, and honey.  This sample was coconut flavor, which I normally don’t like, but the taste was subtle so I ate the whole thing!  It wasn’t terribly filling, though.  The bar is maybe 3 square inches.  It was 230 calories, 17g of fat, 17g of carbohydrate, and 6g of protein.

Runner’s World Box.  I wrote about my first RW Box and a couple of weeks later, my second box has already arrived!

Runner's World Box - June 2017

Runner’s World Box – June 2017

Another thing that struck me when I opened this box, as compared with Stridebox, was that there are fewer items.  I wasn’t getting through my Stridebox before the next box arrived because there were so many of them.  I could see myself trying (or giving away) everything in this shipment because there were fewer items.

Routes

Sights.  Running as much as I have in the metro Washington, D.C. area, one popular destination has eluded me – Roosevelt Island.  I run on the Mount Vernon Trail all the time but have never made the trip.

Roosevelt Island Monument

Roosevelt Island Monument

I followed that first with another.  After the race, I ran part of my recovery run across the Roosevelt Bridge into the District of Columbia!  The path is narrow and I felt a little too close to the water, so I don’t see myself working this route into my rotation.

View from the Roosevelt Bridge - 06172017

View from the Roosevelt Bridge – 06172017

(A week or so later, the Island was closed due to an ash bore infestation.)

Media & Motivation

Music.  New York, New York,” by Frank Sinatra.  I’ve been listening to New York themed music to get myself mentally ready to start training for my favorite race!

(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)

Fletcher's Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - Turn Around

Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – 06242017 – Turn Around

Podcasts.  “How to Unlock Your Best Stride and Avoid the Habits Holding You Back- Johnathan Beverly,” RunnersConnect.  Recently, I’ve been trying to run with better form.  After I saw a picture from last weekend’s ParkRun, I realized just how hunched over I run!

So, this podcast came at a good time.  I listened to it during a run and focused on running with my hips more and practicing a good arm swing.  I also engaged my abs a lot more during that run and that seemed to help, too.

(A few days later, I saw this picture of Jenny Simpson and thought, “That’s what good running form should look like!”)

 

Episode 110 – Brandon McGorty and Rachel McArthur, from Pace the Nation.  I got through several episodes from this podcast in the last two weeks.  I’m highlighting this one because I got a good piece of training advice from the high schooler!  Rachel McArthur talked about treating workouts as races.  I used to do that – preparing at least a day in advance by thinking about routes and paces.  I got away from that in recent years and thought it might be good to go back to that practice.

Episode 111 – Moving to Oslo (Matt Long), from Pace the Nation.  There are some stories that just make me stop and reflect on whatever trivial problems I’m stewing for the day.  I’d heard Matt Long’s story on another podcast but it felt new.  It’s hard to imagine how he recovered from his injuries…  And, I’m days away from training for the New York City Marathon and hearing him talk about that race made me appreciate that being able to train for a race is a gift.

Magazines.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Marathoners,” Runner’s World, July 2017.  I reading anything and everything related to the mental part of marathon training these days.  The habit I found most interesting was #4 – Choose Less.  The theory is that decisions wear us down and turning them off frees up our mental energy for other things.  As a What Not to Wear fan, I didn’t agree the fashion hook but, I would like to find a way turn my brain off a little this cycle.

Motivation.  “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail,” – Mark Spitz

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m prepared to start another marathon training cycle.  Physically, I feel good but my motivation is pretty low.  I haven’t quite figured out what I’m running for this time.  But, hopefully I’ll figure it out in the next 36 hours.

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Summer 2017 Training – Week 7

2017 Summer - Week 7 Infographic

2017 Summer – Week 7 Infographic

A week out from New York City Marathon training, I dialed down the intensity but kept my mileage up.  On Monday, I ran a 3 mile tempo run on the treadmill. The next day, I did a 12 miler through Arlington. I ran easy for the rest of the week until today.  I managed 14 miles total including the Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun.

Training Schedule
June 18th – June 24th

Sunday: Recovery Run. 8 miles.
Monday: Long Run. 16 miles.
Tuesday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Wednesday: Lactate threshold run. 9 miles w/4 miles @ 15K to half marathon pace.
Thursday: Medium Run. 13 miles.
Friday: Off.
Saturday: Fletcher’s Cove Park Run.

Mileage Total: ~55 Miles

Notes. In the end, my week looked nothing like this.  I decided to run hard earlier in the week and run longer later.

Goals. Run 55 miles for the week and lose 1 pound. Outcome: I hit the mileage goal but weighed in a little heavier than 124 pounds.

Workout Details

Lactate Threshold Run. 6 miles w/3 miles @ 15K to half marathon pace (AM) [Log Details] + Recovery Run. 4 miles (PM)

When I woke up, it was already 80 degrees.  That’s the temperature where I head inside.

For the warm-up, I set the treadmill for the 5.8 setting, which should be 10:21 pace.  My Garmin read a quicker pace, though.  It estimated my pace was closer to 9:00.  After approximately 2 miles, I increased the setting to 7.0, which should be 8:34 pace but my Garmin was showing paces in the 7:30s.  I wear a footpod on my Brooks Pure Flows every day so it should be calibrated.

That evening, I ran four miles on the treadmill to get my overall mileage up.  I switched to my Saucony Rides but wore the footpod in the same location.  I also ran on a different machine, put the treadmill on 5.8 again, and this time, it showed 8:20 pace!  That’s quite a difference.

Splits (by Garmin footpod)=7:35, 7:31, 7:32, 7:55, 7:44. Average=7:57.

Post Run Selfie - 06222017

Post Run Selfie – 06222017

Medium Run. 13 miles [Log Details].

I’ve really been trying to start these medium runs slow.  I did pretty well through the first few miles through Arlington to the Custis Trail.

At the mid-point of the run, I stopped for water and ate a Gu.  It was Gingerade flavor, which I thought I’d like, but it was bland tasting so I only had half.  I lingered for a little bit to catch my breath, but not as long as I have been.

I stopped again 2 miles later.  I drank a lot of water at the fountain but headed out again.  I picked up the pace a little.  A woman passed me, waved, and smiled.  I thought maybe I knew her because no one looked so happy in this heat.

I didn’t stop for water on the way home.

Overall pace=9:29.

 

Fletcher’s Cove Park Run [Race Report].

This was my second ParkRun.  Last week, I wanted to run the event at Fletcher’s Cove but didn’t give myself enough time to make the 9am start.  This time, I wanted to run 16 miles for the day (in the end, I ran 14) and ran over 5 miles before the race.  I ran 24:10 (7:45-7:53 pace).  The race was a little larger than Roosevelt Island with 70 finishers.  I placed 3rd for women.   I paced the run better this week and my splits were between 7:51 and 7:51 pace.

Fletcher's Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - Canoes on the Potomac

Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – 06242017 – Canoes on the Potomac

Time=24:10.  Overall pace=7:45-7:53 (I think the course was short). 

Health

Injuries. My piriformis haven’t been bothering me recently. but I went for a chiropractic treatment yesterday.  I’m on a maintenance schedule of every three weeks.

Weight. Today, I weighed in at 126 pounds – a little heavier than my goal.  But, since my hard days were earlier in the week, I wasn’t concerned.

 

Weather

Morning air temperatures in the high 70s for most of the week and very humid.   Cooler by mid-week, though.

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I committed to running the Bourbon Chase with my Ragnar team, and bought my tickets this week!

Next race: 2017 Dulles Day 10K On the Runway on Saturday, September 23rd. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – June 24, 2017

Fletcher's Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - BannerScroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

I continued my race a weekend streak.  This summer, I ran the Capitol Hill Classic 10K, Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon, Belmont Bay Belmont Stakes 5K, Lawyers Have Heart 10K and the ParkRun at Roosevelt Island last weekend.

This week, I front-loaded my hard workouts.  On Monday, I did a 3 mile tempo run and four easy miles on the treadmill.  On Tuesday, I ran 12 miles.  After that, I mostly ran easy with some sprints or pick-ups.  Yesterday, I took the day off.

I did my first ParkRun last weekend on Roosevelt Island.  I meant to do the event at Fletcher’s Cove but didn’t give myself enough time in the morning.  I was looking forward to seeing how the two runs compared.

Goals

Personal Records:

Achievable: Sub-24:30 (7:52 pace).  Last week’s race was rough but I thought I could repeat that effort but with better pacing.

Stretch: Sub-23:45 (7:37 pace).  Conditions were a little better than last week, so maybe I could hold on to the pace I started last week.

Strategy:  Run the first mile at 8:10 pace and try to speed up on the downhill turn-around.  I didn’t want this race to feel as bad as last week.

Course

The course is out-and-back on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath (“C&O Canal Towpath”) starting at Fletcher’s Cove.  It’s slightly uphill going out and a gentle downhill heading back.

ParkRuns are mostly fun runs, so there wasn’t crowd support or water stations on the course.

Playlist

I shuffled my playlist from last year’s New York City Marathon hoping it would inspire me.

Weather

The air temperature was high but it wasn’t terribly humid.

Fletchers Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - Weather

Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – 06242017 – Weather

Pre-Race

I felt rested when I woke up but not particularly interested in racing.  I drank coffee before leaving the house around 7:35am.  My goal was to run 16 miles total for the day.  I parked in Rosslyn, Virginia,  I started my easy run just before crossing the Key Bridge into Georgetown across the river in Washington, DC.

Fletcher's Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - Run to Start

Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – 06242017 – Run to Start

I jogged up the C&O Canal Towpath.  Knowing I was racing a 5K at 9am kept the pace honest.  About a mile in, I moved down to the Capital Crescent Trail, which parallels the C&O until Fletcher’s Cove, since there was some tree cover.  Along the way, I enjoyed beautiful views along the trail including of the Potomac River.  I reached Fletcher’s just short of 3 miles into the run.  I knew I made the right call last week – I wouldn’t have made it to the run on time.  I continued up the trail and turned around after 4.3 miles.

Back at Fletcher’s Cove, I had 10 minutes until the race.  I didn’t want that much rest but what’s done is done. I drank some water and got ready for the race.

With a few minutes until the start, we were huddled closer to the boathouse.  The volunteer asked similar questions as last week – was this anyone’s first ParkRun, is anyone visiting from out of town.  She said the runs weren’t races and I wondered if I was approaching the runs incorrectly by running hard.

At 9am, we went up to the trail.  I lined up in the second row.  A moment later, we were off!

The Race

Early Mile – Mile 0-1

A few runners streamed past me at the start.  It had rained earlier that morning and there were several puddles on the trail.  I avoided them while staying as far right as possible.  Two woman were ahead of me at the start – one in a singlet from her high school or college and another in a ParkRun tank.

I wanted to stay close to 8:10 pace but was running a little faster than that.  I thought about slowing down but the pace didn’t feel hard at all.  I wrestled with a lot of doubt.  I thought, Are you going to blow up again?  But, the conditions didn’t feel terrible.

Split (by Garmin)=7:55.

Fletcher's Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - Turn Around

Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – 06242017 – Turn Around

Middle Mile, Mile 1-2

I hit the mile mark just past the point where the Chain Bridge goes over the towpath.  The young girl in the ParkRun singlet wasn’t too far ahead of me.  She was jockeying with a guy in a black shirt.  During my last two 5Ks, I felt terrible at the mid-point, but I didn’t feel too bad today.  I was tired, but not completely gassed.

I ran around the disk cone at the turn-around and headed back towards Fletcher’s Cove.  I was hopeful that the downhill but it didn’t materialize.  I noticed my overall pace wasn’t dropping.  I was holding 7:54 pace.

Split (by Garmin – 1.01 miles)=7:57.

Last Mile 2 to 3.1

I got lost in my thoughts and didn’t hit the lap button on my Garmin until after the two mile mark.  Looking ahead, I saw ParkRun Singlet Girl pulling away from the man in black shirt.  I could tell I was fading.  I focused on my form and trying to turn my legs over.  My overall pace increased to 7:55 pace.  I noticed the puddles weren’t an issue on the way back.  With about a quarter-mile to go, I saw the bridge at Fletcher’s Cove!  Still, I did shoulder checks whenever I veered left to make sure I wasn’t going to collide with anyone.  I suspected last week’s course was short and was happy to get a reprieve today.  There was a runner sitting on the ground clapping racers into the chute, which was nice.

Split (by Garmin – 1.06 miles)=8:20.

Post-Race

A young volunteer gave me a bar code tag so I could claim my finish time.  I pulled out my bar code and a timer matched the two.

I went to the water fountain across the canal.  I drank water a lot of water and ate a Hammer Gel.  Sufficiently rested, hydrated, and fueled; I set off back towards Georgetown for more easy running.

Fletcher's Cove ParkRun - 06242017 - Canoes on the Potomac

Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun – 06242017 – Canoes on the Potomac

I ran across the Key Bridge, went south to Roosevelt Island, and then went back to Rosslyn for a loop around the Marine Corps War Memorial.  I ended up with 14 miles on the day.

Result

I ran 24:10 (7:45-7:53 pace).  [Log Details].  Like last week, I think the course may have been short.  My Garmin measured just over 3 miles.  I was the 13th finisher out of 71, 3rd woman, and 1st in my age group.

Epilogue

I enjoyed the two ParkRuns I ran these past two weeks.  But, I’m an event runner!  I like races that bring out a lot of runners and crowd support.  But, I think they make good time trials.  I thought about working them into my long runs this summer.

My plan is to enjoy this last week before I start training for the New York City Marathon on July 2nd.  Racing every weekend kept me fit but I’m not sure it lit a fire in my belly the way I’d hoped.

Next race: 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K on Saturday, September 23rd. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

This was my second ParkRun.  Last week, I wanted to run the event at Fletcher’s Cove but didn’t give myself enough time to make the 9am start.  This time, I wanted to run 16 miles for the day (in the end, I ran 14) and ran over 5 miles before the race.  I ran 24:10 (7:45-7:53 pace).  The race was a little larger than Roosevelt Island with 70 finishers.  I placed 3rd for women.   I paced the run better this week and my splits were between 7:51 and 7:51 pace.

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Summer 2017 Training – Week 6

 

2017 Summer - Week 6I slowed down a lot during my runs this week due to the heat and humidity.  Today, I ran my first ParkRun!  I’m about 3 weeks out from training for the 2017 New York City Marathon, but I found myself looking at multi-stage ultras

Training Schedule
June 11th – June 17th

Sunday: Medium Run. 12 miles.
Monday: Recovery Run. 8 miles.
Tuesday: Off.
Wednesday: Long Run. 16 miles.
Thursday: General Aerobic Run. 8 miles.
Friday: Recovery Run. 8 miles.
Saturday: Fletcher’s Cove Park Run.

Mileage Total: ~50-55 Miles

Notes. I slept in on Sunday and by the time I was ready to run, it was already 80 degrees outside.  So, I skipped that run and moved it to Monday.  That change led to other adjustments.  For instance, having had an off day on Sunday, I didn’t want to take another off day on Tuesday.  I pushed my long run to Thursday but didn’t get up early enough to complete 16 miles.  In short, nothing turned out as planned this week.

Goals. Run at least 50 miles and close the week at 125 pounds.  Outcome: A little short in one area and over in the other.  I ran 49.5 miles and weighed in around 123 pounds.

Workout Details

Medium Run. 12 miles [Log Details].

It was hot from the start – 74 degrees and 85% humidity.  I thought it would be good to just run as slow as possible and try to get acclimated to the heat.

During the early miles, the pace felt almost too easy.  But, I reminded myself that it always feels easy early and that I regret increasing the pace later.  I made my way through Arlington until I made it to the Custis Trail.   I slowed down significantly on the long uphill along Lee Highway.  I felt a little better on the rollers but stopped for water at Nelson Street to refill my Nathan Handheld.  I didn’t stay long, though.  I wanted to run easy enough that I wouldn’t use these water stops as an excuse to rest.

Two miles down the road, though, I stopped for water on the W&OD Trail.  Luckily, there were two cyclist talking by the fountain and I got the sense if I lingered they’d draw me into their conversation.  I ran a little faster since this section of the trail was downhill.

Overall pace=9:47.

Long Medium Run. 16 miles 13 miles [Log Details].

It was a stressful work week and by Thursday, I wanted sleep more than I wanted to run.  But, since I knew my plan was to start training for the 2017 New York City Marathon in a few weeks, I wanted to keep my mileage up.  I couldn’t take two off days this week.

I focused on take the early miles very easy.  I made sure I wasn’t breathing heavy or sweating too much on this 70+ degree morning.

Gravelly Point - 06152017

Gravelly Point – 06152017

Roosevelt Island Water Fountain - 06152017

Roosevelt Island Water Fountain – 06152017

At the 5 mile mark – a third of the way through – I increased the pace a little.  At times, I knew I was running a little too hard and forced myself back into a moderate effort.

When I got to Roosevelt Island, I saw a new water fountain!  There aren’t many of them on the Mount Vernon Trail so this oasis was a sight for sore eyes.  I stopped to drink but the water had a chlorine taste to it that stopped me from enjoying it.  As I restarted my run, I ran past my friend and Pace the Nation host.

A couple of miles later, during a low point, I heard someone yell, “Hey, good lookin’!”  It was one of my Ragnar teammates!  Wow!  Even when I don’t expect it, they lift me up when I’m down.

I continued running by effort on the Custis Trail, but the slower pace meant the run was taking longer than I expected.  I realized I wouldn’t finish the route I planned in time to shower and get to work on time so I caught a bus home after 14 miles.

Overall pace=9:36.

Fletcher’s Cove Roosevelt Island Park Run [Race Report].

I heard about a weekly ParkRun at Fletcher’s Cove a while ago.  I thought this would be a good weekend to see what they’re about.  I didn’t give myself enough time to make it to Fletcher’s Cove by 9am, so I ran the event at Roosevelt Island instead.  While I’ve run past it hundreds of times, I’ve only visited the Island once – over a decade ago before I was a runner.

Roosevelt Monument - 06172017

Roosevelt Monument – 06172017

The race was very small and low-key – there were only 55 finishers.  I didn’t pace the race well but this time, I think I suffered from the conditions – about 75 degrees and 94% humidity at the start.  Still, I placed 2nd for women.

After the race, I ran across the Roosevelt Bridge into Washington, D.C. – something else I hadn’t done before!

View from the Roosevelt Bridge - 06172017

View from the Roosevelt Bridge – 06172017

I would do another ParkRun.  But next time, I’ll get up earlier.

Time=24:37.  Overall pace=7:54-8:10 (I think the course was short). 

Health

Injuries.  Starting Friday’s run, I had a momentary panic – Did I forget my chiropractic appointment?!  The treatments became such a part of my routine that it felt weird not going.  My left piriformis, the side that causes me problems, was calm this week.  On some runs, both hips ached a little.

Weight. I hit my weight goal for the week by over a pound!  I suspect some of the loss was water since it’s been so hot this week, but it’s definitely trending down.

Weather

This was the first thoroughly hot and humid week of the summer.  For most of my morning runs, the temperature was 70 degrees and muggy.  Today, the humidity was over 90%!

Racing Schedule

Future races.  As a result of a podcast I listened to this week, I found myself visiting ultramarathon race calendars.  Don’t worry – I haven’t registered for anything yet…

Next race: Fletcher’s Cove Park Run on Saturday, June 24, 2017 (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

What does your mileage look like heading into marathon training?

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Roosevelt Island ParkRun – June 17, 2017

Roosevelt Island ParkRun - 06172017 - BannerScroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

I’ve been racing every weekend this summer.  In the past month, I’ve done the Capitol Hill Classic 10K, Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon, Belmont Bay Belmont Stakes 5K, and Lawyers Have Heart 10K.  This week, I ran two medium distance runs – one 12 and the other 13 miles – but mostly kept my effort short and easy due to the heat and humidity.

I heard about a weekly ParkRun at Fletcher’s Cove a while ago and thought this would be a good weekend to see what they’re about.

Goals

Personal Records:

Achievable: Sub-23:00 (7:23 pace).  It was going to be a hotter day and I ran a 13 miler two days before, but I thought I could get close to my time from a couple of weeks ago.

Stretch: Sub-22:30 (7:13 pace).  Maybe I could get close to what I ran two weeks ago.

Strategy:  My usual approach to the 5K – go out hard and try to hold on.

Course

*** Spoiler Alert!***  I didn’t run the Fletcher’s Cove ParkRun.  I ended up running the Roosevelt Island event instead!

The course was gravel trail running through the park on Roosevelt Island.  Due to a downed tree, the course was re-routed on this day.  Instead of the normal route along the outside of the island as depicted below, we did a couple of loops closer to the monument in the interior.

These races are very low-key.  There wasn’t any crowd support or formal water stops but there were water fountains on the course.

Playlist

Just like last weekend, I shuffled my playlist from the Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon.  I’m getting a lot of use from this one.

Pre-Race

I felt terrible when I woke up.  It was an exhausting week – work stress coupled with energy sapping training runs in the heat and humidity left me desperate for sleep.  I had some coffee and water, but I didn’t eat anything before the race.  For some reason, I couldn’t log on to the ParkRun website to download my bar-code through my laptop and had to do it through my smartphone.  By the time I printed it out, it was 8:15am and the race started at 9am!  I rushed out the door but then realized, I forgot my visor.  I ran back for that and started to worry abut making it to the race on time.

Like last week, my plan was to park in Rosslyn.  Then, I’d jog up to Fletcher’s Cove for the race.  My goal was to run 8 miles for the day.  As I was driving, I started doing math.  I’ve run the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath from Georgetown numerous times and I thought it was about 2 miles.  It would be at least a half mile jog to Georgetown.  And, I didn’t know how long registration might take.

By the time I parked, I convinced myself I didn’t have enough time to make the Fletcher’s Cove run.  But, I remembered there was also a ParkRun at Roosevelt Island.  I switched plans and jogged there instead.

Although I’ve probably run past Roosevelt Island hundreds of times, I’ve never crossed the bridge!  In fact, I’ve only been there once and that was at least 10 years ago.  I arrived at the starting area and talked with the timer about the course and how the timing worked.  As it turns out, the bar-code isn’t used to register but instead it’s used to claim your finish time.  I jogged a little more and visited the monument.

Roosevelt Monument - 06172017

Roosevelt Monument – 06172017

At 9am, the organizers made some announcements.  A woman asked how many of us were doing our first ParkRun and I raised my hand.  She also asked how many of us were from other countries or other places in the United States and a lot of people raised there hands.  After a few other remarks, they sent us off!

Weather

Misery.

Roosevelt Island ParkRun - 06172017 - Weather

Roosevelt Island ParkRun – 06172017 – Weather

The Race

Early Mile – Mile 1

I quickly made my way towards the front of the group.  Even though I didn’t feel great, my legs seemed to have a lot of spring in them.  I moved to the right of the trail since the race wasn’t closed off to visitors.

There were two women ahead of me at the start.  I passed one of the women after the half mile mark.  A young, male runner with terrible form sprinted past me.  I passed him back a short time later, but he surged and went by me.

The course went past the memorial to President Roosevelt and then slightly downhill before the 1 mile mark.  The turn-around was a sharp turn around a safety cone.  On the way back uphill, I kept looking at my Garmin as it counted up to the first mile.  I clicked off 7:54 pace and thought, “Wow, that’s slow.”

Middle Mile, Mile 2

Soon after the first mile, the course looped around the monument.  On the other side, I passed the young runner.  He tried to stay with me but this time, I sped up.  A few moments later, I heard foot-falls and thought it was him again but it was a runner in a yellow shirt passing me.  I sped up hoping he was behind me for good.

I saw the front runners and knew this segment of the course was another loop.  This turn-around wasn’t as abrupt, though.

Just like 2 weeks ago, I felt terrible at the mid-point.  I felt defeated.  My Garmin was showing an overall pace well above 8:00 pace.  I passed a back-of-the-pack runner and she told me, “Chin up” and for a moment, I raised my head and got my stride back.

Later Mile 3 to 3.1

Just past the 2 mile mark, the course turned back again.  The terrain was slightly uphill and I slowed down significantly.  I saw the woman behind me.  She was about as far back from me as I was from the woman in first.

The course took another loop around the monument.  I managed to run slightly faster knowing the race was almost over.  I saw the back-of-the-packer and she said something encouraging again.  I thought, “She is the best!”

As I trudged on, I starting feeling very sick to my stomach.  I told myself, “You can’t throw up.”  It became my secondary goal:

  1. Finish the race.
  2. Don’t throw up.

There was a slight incline with less than a half mile to go.  I got passed by another guy in a yellow shirt but I didn’t care.  After cresting the hill, I felt a little better.  I did a subtle shoulder check and didn’t see anyone else behind me.  Finally, the finish line!

Post-Race

The timer gave me a tag and I waited in line so it could be matched with my bar-code.  When I caught my breath, I crossed the bridge back to the mainland.  I drank some water from the new water fountain.  I gave some of the other runners head nods.  I wanted 8 miles on the day, so I started my easy run after a few minutes.  I decided to make this a day of firsts and ran across the Potomac River on the Roosevelt Bridge – something else I’d never done.

View from the Roosevelt Bridge - 06172017

View from the Roosevelt Bridge – 06172017

Result

I ran 24:37 (7:54-8:10 pace).  [Log Details].  My Garmin measured 3 miles.  Normally, I wouldn’t put much credence in that, but since the course was re-routed, I’m thinking it may have been short.  I was the 13th finisher out of 55 (top 13%), 2nd woman, and 1st in my age group.

Epilogue

It was another pacing disaster but I’m going to blame this one on the weather and Thursday’s medium run.  I just wilted and ran out of gas.

Beyond the race itself, I thought it would be interesting to do a ParkRun as time trials to track my progress since they’re every week, at the same time, on the same course.

Next race: Fletcher’s Cove Park Run on Saturday, June 24, 2017 (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

I ran 24:37 (7:54-8:10 pace).  I heard about a weekly ParkRun at Fletcher’s Cove a while ago.  I thought this would be a good weekend to see what they’re about.  I didn’t give myself enough time to make it to Fletcher’s Cove by 9am, so I ran the event at Roosevelt Island instead.  The race was very small and low-key – there were only 55 finishers.  I didn’t pace the race well but this time, I think I suffered from the conditions – about 75 degrees and 94% humidity at the start.  Still, I placed 2nd for women.  I would do another ParkRun.  Next time, I’ll get up earlier.

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Training Supplement – June 16, 2017

Training Supplement Banner - 0616117

Listened to lots of podcasts these past few weeks.  One got me thinking about multi-stage ultramarathon events.  Am I too old to try something that grueling?  Excited to see a new water fountain on the Mount Vernon Trail!  Got my first Runner’s World Box.

Clothing & Gear

Saucony Impulse Short - Black

Saucony Impulse Short – Black

Shorts.  Saucony Impulse Short ($48).  I ordered another pair of what is currently my favorite running short.  At this point, I think I own four pairs and am cycling out my previous favorite short – the Nike 3″ Tempo Short.  I’ve noticed the fit has changed slightly – some pairs are slightly roomier through the hips than others and the back pocket on some is slightly smaller.

Scales.  Garmin Smart Index Scale ($149.99).  I got in the habit of weighing myself after longer runs during the summer to see how much water I might need to take in during the day.  Unfortunately, this scale won’t log a second weight for the day without deleting the first .  It’s very frustrating.  In my case, I don’t even want to save the second weight.  So, it would be great if there was to make the scale ignore the weigh in.  It’s hard to understand why this feature wasn’t built in.

(My Complete Clothes & Gear Page.)

Nutrition & Hydration

Gels.  Power Bar Simple Fruit.  This is the first of two gels I received from Strideboxes that I tried recently.  I took this gel on a medium run last week.  It tasted like applesauce and pure sugar.  The main ingredients are Apple Juice Concentrate and Apple Puree Concentrate.  It was so sweet that I didn’t finish it.  It’s 100 calories.

Chocolate #9.  I ate this gel during yesterday’s 13 miler.  It’s made from agave and it was super sweet!  It’s branded as a slow release, low glycemic index gel.  It’s only 70 calories, 15g of carbohydrate and less than 1g of protein and fat.  I suspect this type of gel might be better for triathletes than runners, but haven’t had a chance to research to topic, yet.

Post-workout NutritionHealth Warrior Bar.  This bar was from one of my Strideboxes, too.  I tried it for breakfast after a tempo run.  It’s made from pumpkin seeds and was cinnamon spice flavor.  It’s 280 calories, 12g of carbohydrate, 8g of protein, and 12g of fat.

Runner’s World Box.  I cancelled my Stridebox subscription and signed up for the Runner’s World Box so I could try something new.  My first box arrived!  First impressions: it’s bigger than Stridebox, which gave me hope that it might have more gear.

Stridebox and Runner's World Box

Stridebox and Runner’s World Box

Runners World Box - May 2017

Runners World Box – May 2017

Inside, there were two gear items – socks and a  therapy ball.  I thought the food items were  a little random.  Chips and tuna aren’t usually considered performance foods, but I suppose they are healthy.  The health bar was coconut flavor, which I don’t like, but I’ll give it a go.  I was excited about the tart cherry juice, though, since I’ve never tried that.  I was happy that the FlipBelt coupon lets me pick the one I want.

Routes

Safety.  The safety improvements on the Mount Vernon Trail (“MVT”) near Roosevelt Island appear complete.  Coming down the Trail from Rosslyn, the path is a little wider and next to the river and very nicely paved.  Crossing the parking lot, there are better markings on the road to indicate lanes for runners and bicyclists.

Roosevelt Island Improvements - 06012017

Roosevelt Island Improvements – 06012017

 

Roosevelt Island Water Fountain - 06152017

Roosevelt Island Water Fountain – 06152017

Water Fountains.  There’s a new water fountain on the Mount Vernon Trail near Roosevelt Island!  I tried it yesterday and thought the water had a little too much chlorine in it, but hopefully, that’ll change.  It was a very welcomed sight heading into the summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media & Motivation

Music.  “Fighter,” Christina Aguilera.  This song came on while I was struggling during a tempo run.  It definitely helped me run harder.

(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)

Podcasts.  “The Dawn of Biohacking: Using Biomarkers to Optimize Your Unique Wiring for Peak Performance and Health – Chris Kelly,” RunnersConnect Run to the Top.  The bio-marker part wasn’t as interesting to me, but the part towards the end about getting your body to a state where it burns more fat was.  I’m not someone who downs a lot of gels during races – I think my record is still four.  But, generally, my diet is heavy on carbohyrdrates and I wonder if I should look at eating more protein and fat.

Episode 386 – Elisabet Barnes,” by Marathon Talk.  I listened to this during Monday’s medium run and the discussion of the Marathon Des Sables (or MdS, as they call it on the show) kept me captivated.  I knew nothing about multi-stage endurance events and learned a lot from this interview.  Over the years, I’ve been asked whether I’d ever run an ultramarathon.  For some reason, this type of event is more interesting to me than a straight 50 miler.  I had a similar reaction to the Barkley Marathons.  Which is funny because I don’t camp.  (Although, maybe it’s kinda like Ragnar.)

It’s Never Too Late to be What You Might Have Been – Cherie Gruenfeld,” from RunnersConnect.  During a run, I thought, “You are too old to take up multi-day ultramarathons.  I immediately thought of this cast.  She told a charming story about how she started running in her early 40s after watching the Los Angeles Marathon on television.  Now, she does triathlons.

Episode 56: Boston Bound?,” from Runner’s World Show.  I followed his “moon shot”, which paralleled Nike’s Breaking2 project.  I was happy that they devoted a show to his race.  Even though I knew the outcome, it was a suspenseful episode.  I hope he gets in.

Motivation.  “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

My motivation is pretty low right now.  I’m not super excited to start training for the New York City Marathon.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m looking forward to running it.  Just not training for it.

Have you done a multi-day ultramarathon?

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2017 Lawyers Have Heart 10K

2017 Lawyers Have Heart 10K- Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

I had a mild case of post-marathon blues after the 2017 Eugene Marathon and thought racing more would help.  In the past month, I’ve done the Capitol Hill Classic 10K, Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon, and Belmont Bay Belmont Stakes 5K.  I can’t say it’s helped, though.

I had a pretty active week.  I ran a 4 mile tempo run on Tuesday and a 12 miler on Wednesday.  I took Thursday off, though, and ran easy the day before the race.

Goals

Personal Records:

  • 10K PR: 42:41 (6:51 pace) at the 2012 Clarendon Day 10K.
  • Course PR: 43:07 (6:55 pace) at the 2014 Lawyers Have Heart 10K.
  • Most Recent 10K: 48:25 (7:46 pace) at the 2017 Capitol Hill Classic 10K.

Achievable: Sub-48:30 (7:47 pace). I ran this pace a couple of weeks ago at the Capitol Hill Classic 10K and I should be able to repeat it even with the workouts I did this week.

Stretch: Sub-46:30 (7:28 pace).  I ran 7:07 pace for 5K last weekend and I think 10K pace is roughly 20 seconds/mile slower.  But, this course is tougher and the weather conditions are usually miserable.

Strategy: Buck the recent trend by starting slow and finishing fast.

Course

The course is basically two 5K loops.  It starts near the Georgetown Waterfront on K Street.  It goes out Canal Road just before it starts the uphill climb near Georgetown University and then back towards downtown.  It runs right onto the Potomac River Expressway southbound and then up north to E Street, NW.  It goes a few blocks around the 17th St. area before heading up Virginia Avenue back to the Georgetown Waterfront.

There are water stops with sponges during both loops.  But, there really isn’t any crowd support except heading into the finish on K Street.

Playlist

I didn’t have time to make a playlist, so I used the one I created for the Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon. 

Weather

Typically, the weather for this race is horrid but today it was downright pleasant!

2017 Lawyers Have Heart 10K - Weather

2017 Lawyers Have Heart 10K – Weather

Pre-Race

Waking up at 4am, I thought I got up too early.  But after thinking about it, realized it was about right for a 7am start.  I drank some coffee, ate a breakfast bar, and left the house at 5:45am.  I parked in Rosslyn, Virginia and planned a warm-up jog to the start in Georgetown.  I pulled out my in-vehicle electronic parking meter to avoid getting a ticket and saw my balance was low.  Parking restrictions would start at 8am and I wasn’t sure I had enough funds on the device.

 

Georgetown from Key Bridge - 06102017

Georgetown from Key Bridge – 06102017

I needed to register, so I stopped my cool-down in the area where race registration was last year.  But, it had moved.  I ran to where it had been the year before.  Nope, not there either.  I finally asked a volunteer and she directed me back to an area on Wisconsin Avenue that I’d already passed.  Registration went very quick and I checked the bag check even though it was mostly a bag and coupons – I didn’t get a shirt.

Georgetown Waterfront - 06102017

Georgetown Waterfront – 06102017

With about 10 minutes to start time, I went to the starting area.  I saw some of my faster friends.  I talked with the a little bit but moved back to the end of the 7:00-7:59 pace area.  I waited a few minutes and realized the race was going to be late.  I thought, “This is not good for my parking situation.”  After a few minutes, a woman sung the National Anthem.  And, a few minutes after that, the race took off at 7:10am.

 

You can see me running by in the orange top at the end of the video.

The Race

Mile 0 to 3 (Georgetown Waterfront and Canal Road)

The course started with a gradual incline.  After a quarter mile or so, the course took a hairpin turn onto the Whitehurst Freeway.  I hit the first mile marker and was happy to see it wasn’t too fast.  The pace felt so easy that I thought, “I should try running negative splits.”

I stayed on the left side of the road during the second mile so I could see the front runners.  I saw the water stop ahead on the left, so I moved over since I didn’t want to drink.  I cheered for a friend who was one of the lead women.  Shortly after that, the course turned back towards the Whitehurst Freeway.  Back on the open road, a guy cut me off and almost ran into me!  I did a, Look-at-all-this-open-road arm gesture towards him and then shrugged it off.  I hit my second split and thought, “That’s not good for negative splitting.”  I kept calm, though, and tried to keep my effort the same rather than slowing down.

I saw a woman ahead with “Jen” on her shirt.  It seemed familiar.  Where had I seen her before?  Suddenly, I remembered – she was the runner ahead of me at last year’s DCRRC National Capital 20 Miler!  Soon after that, the 5K runners split off to the left.  At the 3 miles split, I was just a tad faster than the mile before.

Splits: 7:41, 7:27, 7:22.

Miles 3 to 6.24 (Potomac River Expressway, Virginia Avenue, and the Georgetown Waterfront)

The course went downhill for a stretch.  Normally, I would open up my stride a little but I didn’t this time.  If I was going to negative split, I need to stay close to 7:20 pace for this mile.

The course went under an overpass and we passed a timing mat.  A guy ahead of me asked the runners next to him a question and then stopped.  I guessed he must have realized he hadn’t turned off at the 5K mark.  I felt bad for him.

The second water stop was about 3.5 miles into the race.  I ran through that one, was well.  Then, the course turned north at the end of the Parkway and went onto E Street.  I slowed down a little but then increased the pace again when the course flatted out.  My Garmin said I was running 7:18 pace, so I was surprised when I saw that split was a “slow” 7:40.  So much for negative splits!

The next mile started out flat and I surged a little.  I felt my visor almost slipped off a few times over the next mile or so.  After the turnaround on 17th Street, there were two more turns before the course went to the gradual uphill on Virginia Avenue.  I slowed down significantly.  At the next water stop, I threw my visor away.  After the hill crested, I pushed the pace but there was another ramp to climb on the way back to K Street.  Seeing the finish line, I sprinted as hard as I could.  I was happily surprised I had that kind of speed so late in the race.

Splits: 7:41, 7:35, 7:35, 1:27.

Post-Race

I congratulated my friends, walked a few blocks, and then jogged to my car.  The suspense was killing me…  No ticket!  In fact, the device said I had 13 minutes to spare.

2017 Lawyers Have Heart - Medal and Bag

2017 Lawyers Have Heart – Medal and Bag

Result

My time was 46:43 (7:30 pace) [Log Details].  Currently, I’m listed as the winner for the Female 12-19 category.  My written “45” must have looked like a “15”.  But, I also circled the 40-49 age group.  In any event, once it’s correct, I should be somewhere around the 248th finisher out of 1,694 (top 15%), 34th woman (top 5%), 5th female master, and 5th in my age group (top 7%).

The race felt smaller to me this year.  I went through my log and end the end, I think it may have seemed that way because I ran the 10K.  I recorded 3,528 finishers for the 10K during the 2009 race and 3,167 in 2010.  There wasn’t a 5K option back then, though.  There were 1,667 finishers for the 5K this year – almost as many as the 5K – which comes to 3,361 total finishers for both races.

On the elite side, the male winner was the guy who I think lives in my neighborhood and ran the Capitol Hill Classic and Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon, too.

Epilogue

This year’s race was one of the more enjoyable ones because it wasn’t oppressively hot.  And, I raced well.  I didn’t run negative splits, but they were pretty even.

For me, this race marks the end of the racing season until fall.  It just gets too hot around the region to race anything longer than a 5K.

Looking ahead, I plan to spend the next two or three weeks building my mileage up and start training for the New York City Marathon on July 2nd!

Next race: Fletcher’s Cove Park Run on Saturday, June 17, 2017 (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

My time was 45:45 (7:30 pace).  It was my fourth race in four weeks.  It was the best weather for this race that I could remember – high 60s at the start.  I parked in Arlington and fretted over getting a ticket.  I felt pretty good during the race.  I tried bucking the recent trend of going out too hard by running negative splits.  I got off track in the middle miles but in the end, my splits were pretty even.  I made it back to my car and didn’t have a ticket!

 

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Summer 2017 Training – Week 5

2017 Summer - Week 5 Infographic

Another week, another race! I ran a 10K today. Earlier in the week, I did a tempo run on Tuesday and a medium run on Wednesday.  Overall, it wasn’t a bad week. I just felt a little off.  I enjoyed the signs of summer, though.

Training Schedule
June 4th – June 10th

Sunday: Maintenance Run. 10 miles.
Monday: Recovery Run. 8 miles.
Tuesday: Lactate Threshold Run. 8 miles w/4 miles @ 15K to half marathon pace.
Wednesday: Medium Run. 12 miles.
Thursday: Off.
Friday: Recovery Run. 4 miles.
Saturday: Lawyers Have Heart 10K.

Mileage Total: ~48 Miles

Notes. I increased my mileage a little bit this week and pretty much stuck to the schedule.

Goals. Run 48 miles for the week and lose 1 pound.  Outcome: Partial success!  I hit my mileage goal but my weight loss fell a little short.

Workout Details

Magnolia - 06042017

Magnolia – 06042017

Maintenance Run. 10 miles moderate [Log Details].

I was a little tired from running the Belmont Bay Belmont Stakes 5K the day before.

I tried taking the early miles easy even though my goal for this run was a “moderate” pace – maybe 8:20.  As I was running through Clarendon to the Custis Trail and feeling myself speed up, I reminded myself, “You’re not even half way through this run,” I stopped for water at the water fountain near Nelson Street.  By then, I was a little winded.  Less than a mile down the road, and after two steep climbs, I stopped for a bit.

I felt better when I restarted and ran steady until I stopped again for water at the W&OD Trail junction.

It was a good run, I was just a little tired.  I reminded myself that I’m trying to lose weight and it’s getting hotter.  I should probably expect my paces to be a bit slower.

Overall pace=8:42.

Lactate Threshold Run. 8 miles w/4 miles @ 15K to half marathon pace [Log Details].

I ran the Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon in 7:52 pace, so I had a good gauge for where this workout should fall.  But, I still had some doubts about completing this workout.  I set the pace range for 7:40-8:00 pace and headed out to the Mount Vernon Trail.

During the first mile, my pace was in the low 7:50s.  After getting that indicator, I swiped my Garmin to overall pace and just tried to keep the pace steady.  I turned around at the mid-point and my Garmin vibrated because my pace was in the slow range.  I sped up until it stopped.  I swiped back to lap pace and saw I was in the mid 7:50s.  I knew I would slow down on the National Airport overpass.  But surprisingly, it only dropped 6 seconds/mile.  I stopped for water with 0.15 miles to go in the segment.  I didn’t want to run past it and double-back.  I took the cool-down home very slow.

Lactate threshold pace=7:59.  Overall pace=8:47.

Medium Run. 12 miles [Log Details].

My goal for this workout was to switch the post-run narrative from, “I felt great going out the door and faded at the end”, to something more like, “I started easy and finished strong.”

I had a good first mile.  As I waited to cross Route 50, there was another runner with me.  My neighborhood has been “revitalizing” over the years and moments like these strike me as odd.  When I moved here, I hardly ever saw another runner.

I kept the pace slow and easy until I reached the flatter sections of the Custis Trail.  I started a gel that I hadn’t tried before at the mid-way point.  It was very sugary and I felt jittery for the next mile.  I reached the point where I wanted to run a little faster, but…  I didn’t have it in me.  I dropped the pace to around 9:00, but I was hoping for faster.

I was a little disappointed with how the run went, but I kept in mind that I’m running on a calorie deficit these days, so I shouldn’t expect fast times.

Overall pace=9:23.

Lawyers Have Heart 10K [Log Details].

My time was 45:45 (7:30 pace).  It was my fourth race in four weeks.  It was the best weather for this race that I could remember – high 60s at the start.  I parked in Arlington and fretted over getting a ticket.

Duck Walking in Georgetown - 06102017

Duck Walking in Georgetown – 06102017

I felt pretty good during the race.  I tried bucking the recent trend of going out too hard by running negative splits.  I got off track in the middle miles but in the end, my splits were pretty even.  I made it back to my car and didn’t have a ticket!

Time=46:43.  Overall pace=7:30.  Split paces=7:41, 7:27, 7:22, 7:41, 7:35, 7:35, 1:26 (7:13 pace). 

Health

Injuries. My piriformis was a little irritated during Wednesday’s medium run and at today’s race.  It’s frustrating how just when I think it’s gone it flares up.  But, it’s definitely not the sharp pain that it’s been in the past.

Weight.  I ended the week at the same weight that I started it.  But, I still think my weight loss is progressing nicely.  And, I realized this week that I shouldn’t expect great running results when I’m in a calorie deficit.

Weather

I started to feel the effects of the summer during my runs this week.  The air temperature hovered in the mid-60s, which was nice, but the humidity was in the 70-80% range in the morning hours.  I finished my workouts completely drenched in sweat.

Neighborhood Splash Fountain - 06092017

Neighborhood Splash Fountain – 06092017

Racing Schedule

Next race: Fletcher’s Cove Park Run on Saturday, June 17, 2017 (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Are signs of summer popping up in your area?

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