Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NYCM Training: A Nice, Easy Week 3

Kind of funny how 22 miles this week is considered "easy", but hey, I'll go with it!

Three weeks down, 15 to go! Last week was what I like to call a pullback week, with lower mileage and no tempo/speed runs. Here's what last week looked like:
  • Monday: 1 hour elliptical
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run, Total Body Conditioning
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run
  • Thursday: 3 mile run
  • Friday: rest/ walking all over Manhattan with my friend who was visiting/ melting in the 100 degree heat/ drinking lots of iced coffee (fine, and beer)
  • Saturday: 5 mile race pace run (9:06)
  • Sunday: 6 mile run
Total mileage: 22 miles

I was talking to my dad about my workouts and he reminded me that my first race that I actually "trained" for was a 5k. Now I do two 3-mile runs a week (soon those will be 4 milers!), plus three longer runs. Crazy how far I've come! But it goes to show, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. Seriously. Just check out my story.

Anyway, I only made it outdoors for two runs this week, but the heat was terrible so I figured the treadmill at the air conditioned gym was a safer place to be than outdoors! 

I did get up early to get my Wednesday morning run done outdoors where I was greeted with this lovely sunrise:
Hello, pretty East River!
One of my training goals is to run all of my long runs outside though, so I ran outside for 5.4 of the 6 miles before I finished up on the treadmill and attacked my legs with the foam roller.

Sadly, I got no yoga in this week. It's built into the schedule I put together, but sometimes I'm just exhausted and want nothing more than to pass out as soon as I get home and eat dinner. So, in addition to running my long runs outside, another goal is to work yoga into my week, even if it's just for 15 minutes.

This week's long run took me to the East River, where I not only got a great breeze, but I also ran by a jet ski party on the water!
It's a little hard to see, but there were a bunch
of jet skis partying around this boat!
After a few days of oppressive heat and humidity, it was warm but breezy on Sunday and I was glad I ran outside.

Here's the map:
And my splits:
  • Mile 1 - 10:08
  • Mile 2 - 9:06
  • Mile 3 - 9:10
  • Mile 4 - 8:59
  • Mile 5 - 8:49
  • Mile 6 - 0.4 mi at 8:54 pace outside, 0.6 mi at 9:10 pace on the treadmill
Total time: 55:19, for an average pace of 9:13. Just fine considering the heat!

I've decided I need to be less of a wuss and do more runs in Central Park. Hills don't scare me! And those bridges in the NYC marathon will totally kick my butt if I don't practice running hills. I'll get stronger and faster, too! Win-win.

No sweaty picture this week. You're welcome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NYCM Training: Week 2 Recap

Week two of marathon training is done! Woo hoo! It went really well and I can't say I've really had a bad day yet. Those are sure to come eventually but for now it's great to feel fast and have my legs feel great. 

Here's what my week looked like:

  • Monday: 1 hour Core Fusion Bootcamp
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run (out in the hot, humid weather)
  • Wednesday: 5 mile speed run (1 mile warm up, then alternated between 6.5 mph and 7.2 mph till I hit 5 mi)
  • Thursday: 3 mile run, 1 hour Core Fusion Open
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 5 mile run
  • Sunday: 9 mile run (9:08), followed by a 3-hour nap (I told you I'm fun this summer!)
Total mileage: 25

My Exhale Spa pass is up but I took advantage of all the classes and really loved Core Fusion Cardio...I'm thinking I'll need to buy that DVD. 

Today I set out on a 9-mile run at 8am. I had set my alarm for 6:30am last night, but since I didn't get to bed till around midnight after a fantastic evening on my friend's rooftop, I decided I'd sleep in an extra hour. It was definitely an excellent call.

I set out unsure of where I'd go...the reservoir? Bridle path? Big loop and a half of Central Park? I brought my Metrocard and ultimately decided to run across the park and over to the West Side Highway, running as far as I needed to before taking the subway home. Once I went down the treacherous steps, I headed north for about a mile before turning around and heading south and into the wind. Running north I was DYING, with the wind behind me it was just super hot. Once I turned around it was windy, but at least I had a breeze! I went music-free, though I did bring my iPhone and headphones with me in case I changed my mind. My SpiBelt has never been a problem, but today was driving me absolutely nuts, bouncing all over the place...I think it's time for a smaller iPod. But then how would I take pictures?!

This picture doesn't really show it, and I took it after I finished my run, but the West Side Highway was full of people out running. Apparently Heidi Klum has been hitting up the West Side Highway quite a bit recently too, so you know it's the cool thing to do.
West Side Highway. I promise there were lots of people out!
Here's the map: 

And my splits:
  • Mile 1 - 10:11 (Garmin was a little wonky, I don't think I was that slow!)
  • Mile 2 - 9:13
  • Mile 3 - 8:58
  • Mile 4 - 9:10
  • Mile 5 - 9:05
  • Mile 6 - 8:59
  • Mile 7 - 9:00
  • Mile 8 - 8:55
  • Mile 9 - 8:40
Total time was 1:22:14, average pace was 9:08, which I was totally happy with. 
Squinty and sweaty
Afterward, I walked up to W. 11th St. and decided I needed something to drink. Clearly, I lost a lot of water with all that cute sweat, so rehydrating was a priority. I stopped at a Duane Reade, and while I usually go for a Vitamin Water Zero, today I decided to try this out:
Coconut water!
I was a little wary of the taste at first, but it grew on me very quickly. The benefits are pretty outstanding too!
  • All natural
  • More electrolytes than leading sports drinks
  • More potassium than two bananas -- potassium keeps your body properly hydrated and prevents cramping (I actually had a blood test a year or so ago that said my potassium levels were low, so this is great to know!)
I thought the electrolytes note was especially interesting -- I'd heard that coconut water was great for hydration, but I didn't know HOW good it was! 

Great second week...ready for week three, which will be a lower mileage week. It's the perfect week for it because this week I have the wonderful Jennifer visiting me from Zurich and I'd like to spend as much time with her as possible!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

NYCM Training: Week 1 Recap

Here we go again! Marathon training is about to take over my life (oh wait, it kind of already has...) so get ready for Party Margaret all summer long (that is, only if you define "party" as staying in and taking multiple naps per day)! I'm actually really excited about it, and hope hope HOPE (crossing fingers, knocking on wood, etc.) that I can stay injury-free the whole time. I will be stretching a lot, incorporating more yoga (at least once a week!), cross training, and resting on rest days. If this first week was any indicator, it's gonna be a good 18 weeks!

I've started updating my training log for this week, and I'm also inputting workouts to Daily Mile if you want to keep up!

I had some excellent runs and took part in some awesome classes at Exhale Spa as part of a two-week pass I bought through Gilt back in September. Normally I wouldn't double up on workouts nearly as much as I did this past week, but I'm definitely enjoying trying something new and mixing it up. Here's how my week looked:

  • Monday: 1 hour elliptical, 1 hour Exhale Vinyasa Flow yoga
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run, Total Body Conditioning, Core Fusion Open
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run (1 mi warm up, 3 mi tempo ~8:52, 1 mi cool down)
  • Thursday: 3 mi run, Core Fusion Open
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 5 mile run (9:07 average), Core Fusion Cardio
  • Sunday: 8 mile run (9:11 average), Core Fusion Yoga
My favorite class has definitely been Core Fusion Cardio! It reminded me a lot of the total body conditioning class I take Tuesday mornings, but with more mountain climbers. Fun, challenging, and definitely sweat-inducing. I loved it.

This is the first week I've run five times instead of four in...I don't even know how long. I'm testing it out to see how I do on Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1 plan, but week 1 seemed to go well so I'll try it out again week 2. 

Today's long run was really great! I was super awesome and stayed in last night (don't worry, I was social for a full two hours on Friday night!) so I could get up at 6:30 and get running at 7am before the heat set in. The park was full of people who probably had the same idea, and my playlist helped the run fly by (many thanks to T Swift and Miley...by the way, I totally need some new music!!!). I ran clockwise and found it to be very conducive to people-watching. It also helped me not get passed by a ton of people, since everyone seems to run counterclockwise. I ran the big loop once and OWNED Harlem Hill (OK, it might have owned me just for a little bit) and then kept going till I got to 8 miles. I was definitely a sweaty mess by the end, and my splits were kind of all over the place, but I had a great time and am already looking forward to future long runs (especially when it's no longer 80 degrees!).

The map:
And the splits:
  • Mile 1 - 9:42
  • Mile 2 - 9:19
  • Mile 3 - 9:23 (oh hey there Harlem Hill!)
  • Mile 4 - 9:11
  • Mile 5 - 8:59
  • Mile 6 - 9:14
  • Mile 7 - 8:54
  • Mile 8 - 8:42
Total - 1:13:29
Believe it or not, this photo was not retouched. I really am that sweaty.
I am totally thrilled with this run and if anything, I might have to reteach myself to slow it down a bit in these long runs. It's all about building up endurance!