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Marathon training…week FOURTEEN

20 mile run around new york city for ING Marathon training

week 14… or 4 weeks to go.

today was a big one – 20 miles. i admit that only 18 were on my calendar, but mentally, i just needed to do 20. i have to say – that the difference in my legs was minimal between 17-20. what i learned, is that it will be hard getting to the finish line, but i’m confident that i can.

less than a month until the marathon now.. but still a few good, hard weeks before the taper begins.

part of the run was in central park this morning, which made me reflect a bit on the past year. i ran grete’s half last year.. it was a hard race. two full loops + of central park is no joke. today i ran along side some of the racers – and continued on my way to finish 20 miles. something i could not have imagined a year ago – although it was on my mind because i was on my way to my 9+1 for guaranteed entry.. (i don’t have the guts to ask my friends and family for $$ for charity, and i’m no where near guaranteed entry by time… so i paid my dues and got in).

2 years ago, i had signed up for the 5 mile marathon kick-off. i was excited to run it – still have my number and love the green t-shirt. that race was canceled because of a freak snow storm at the end of october.

last year – i signed up again, i ran those 5 miles, set a 5 mile PR (it was a great, memorable time for me).. later in the day, the subways shot down, hurricane sandy hit nyc. the marathon was canceled a week later.

i’ve been watching the news… hurricane season still going strong down south, blizzards out west.

cross your fingers with me – no freak blizzards, no hurricanes.. lets hope for perfect 55 degree weather on marathon day!!!

i’m ready.

Marathon training…week THIRTEEN

garmin forerunner 305 screenshot of run in central park new york

13 weeks down, FIVE to go. at this point, i can start counting days, hours, minutes.

but before i get ahead of myself, better recap the progress made this week.

turns out (to somewhat of a relief) – my achilles issue is more than likely tendinitis. time to get myself to the sports doc, and get this sorted out before i hit the starting line (in FIVE weeks).. ice and advil are my two new best friends in the meantime.

otherwise – the week of running was just like another week at the office. my group had a really tough run on wednesday – speed – it’s always hard. this time, 2 miles (x2) at threshold pace, which is around 8:10mm or so. fast for me.. in fact, i think it’s quite fast for a lot of people (just not for the super speedy).

this morning we had a challenging marathon paced run.  30-90-10, around and around the 5 mile loop of central park. this run is basically 30 minutes easy, 90 minutes hard, 10 minutes easy. above is a record from my garmin. of course i forgot to start the watch after the last water stop – so it turned out to be closer to 14.75 miles – in 2 hours, 10 minutes. my hard pace was supposed to be 8:53 – which, looking at this now, i see i did better than that – so the pain i feel now is satisfying! in fact, if this was a race (taking into account the slower paces in the front of the run) – i think i’d be crushing my half marathon PR..

looks like 35-40 miles a week of hard training really does have a pay off!

next weekend i have one last group run with the run smart MTP.. 17-20 miles. i’m aiming for 20 b/c mentally, i just need to. in the meantime, i’m taking a nap.

Marathon training…week TWELVE

view of manhattan bridge and brooklyn bridge from brooklyn

Brooklyn run (pause) 9/21/13

week 12 – here we go. a quick recap.

i’m feeling like an old pro at this now. i almost feel like i should start counting down to the big day rather number the weeks of accomplishments. every week presents itself with a learning curve, however.

this week – speed work was done under the lights in central park – around a baseball diamond below the reservoir. i’ve never run there, didn’t even know it existed! but it was the perfect spot for intervals – and the weather could not have been more perfect. did i mention the waffle dude was set up on one end? no, i didn’t indulge – but i sure looked forward to running by it over and over again for the smell alone. one of  the best things about these group speed drills are the people in my group i run with on wednesdays.. nothing like a little peer pressure to keep up with the group to push you to be your best! (i mean that in the best way).

originally i was planning on the famed palisades run – but on the advice of my coach, i stuck with the program and did a “bunch run” – which seems to be a favorite of the run smart guys. to be honest, i like them as well – it makes the runs not seem so hard. basically, 2 long(ish) runs in 24 hours. yesterday was about 14 miles, today was 8… rather than doing a full 20 in one clip… that will come, soon enough.

the longer of the 2 runs was a bit of an adventure with my teammate kristin. we met up at columbus circle, ran down the west side, over the brooklyn bridge, along the brooklyn waterfront (up and down) – and back over the manhattan bridge ending up at city hall.  i’ve come to realize these long runs are so much more fun with company..  the picture above is a quick view of the bridges from brooklyn heights while on the run..

all in all, another great week of running – even with the minor achilles issue i’m having. thank god for ice!

Marathon training…week ELEVEN

72nd street pier in Manhattan, new york city

Post-Run stretch on the 72nd Street pier 9/14/13

wow – how did i get to week 11 already? past the half way point.. and honestly? kind of ready to wrap this up and run this race!

no new major milestones this week. there was a blast of summer midweek, which made for a very hard and sweaty threshold speed work. the good part of that was (probably) the last post run smoothie run at juice generation. it’s been my expensive habit while training… but well worth it.

short but sweet post this week… picture above is from yesterdays tempo run – a 2 hour run up and down the west side highway. my original plan was to run across the brooklyn bridge and end up somewhere along the new park over there. but the 72nd street pier is a nice one, with a cafe – so a great place to stretch out post run..

Palisades coming up this Saturday! i hear the hills are killer.. i’m still on the fence whether i do 15 or 20 miles…

stay tuned!!!

Marathon training….Week TEN

cows in vermont heading to the barn to be milked


obviously, i did some running in vermont earlier this week – and thankfully – was faster than these cows that were heading back to the barn to be milked after a long, exhausting day at pasture!

but in all seriousness… it was another good week of running, full of adventure. the week started off with a pretty easy 5 mile run around the town of Brandon, Vermont. continued mid-week with a crazy ladder work-out on a quiet street in Brandon (my first speed work without the group/coach)..

i came back to NYC – before the frost settled in Vermont, and ran a nice 7 mile run in central park… after the hills in saratoga last week – it was a welcome change. although, i really am getting a little bored with the same old predictable views of the park – but do appreciate the predictable water fountains along the way. i’m looking forward to the leaves changing to mix it up a bit.

and this weekend.. full of milestones for me.

yesterday i ran the NYRR Autism Speaks 4-miler.. and ran a PR despite some lingering bronchitis. 8:19 minute mile. i’d be remiss to say, i was really aiming for 8:13mm – but a PR is a PR… a few short years ago, i was jumping for joy for finally breaking 10 minutes..

And today – was the first coached/paced long run with the Flyers. my group stopped at 17 miles (some went on for the full 20). personally – i’ve never gone over the 13.1 mile mark – so this was a big one for me.  we started in the upper east side – and did 3 bridges – Brooklyn, Pulaski, and Queensboro. it was a great challenge – and as i crossed the Queensboro towards the end of the run, i really started to question how the hell i’m ever going to finish the full 26.2 miles.   but with 8 more weeks of training.. i think i can do it.

it’s exciting to hit new distances, uncharted territory. below is a map of my adventure today!!

(now back to my nap…)

map of new york city showing the 3 bridges run

3 Bridges run

Marathon training….Week NINE

Training for the ing NYC marathon at  the saratoga battlefield

Saratoga Battlefield

I’m now officially half way through training.

this has been an interesting week… I’ve been coughing up a storm, at the beach, on the subway, at work…even to the point where my coworkers felt the need to check in and make sure I wasn’t choking on something.

so rather than take my chances on being sick for my first vacation of the year, I had it checked out.


i still did the speed work on Wednesday eve.. 200’s x4 uphill – 2 miles threshold – 200’s x4 uphill. I ran them a little slower than my norm, and perhaps a little reckless on my part.. But done and done.

so now I’m on vacation… Feeling better.. And have had some amazing long runs in my hometown of saratoga springs. Saturday I ran 11 miles in the spa state park and today (Sunday).. 9 miles at the Saratoga Battlefield. Both runs were challenging, lots of hills and humidity.. But wow, so beautiful and scenic (see above).

and my brother patrick was a true rock star this weekend and joined me on the 20 mile journey this weekend on his bike. …oh, and I’m a year older as of Friday.

Marathon training…week EIGHT

late summer day at Far Rockaway beach in new york city

summers coming to an end, and i made my first trip to the beach… hence the pic of the rockaways above from earlier today.

this week i hit the 40 mile mark… all while being sick – summer cold complete with hacking cough. ugh.

but i got it done. ran all my training runs – speed on wednesday with the group, tempo run yesterday (which i’ve come to realize are not at all my favorite kind of run).

so onward i go to week 9!  my next post i will be a year older, and maybe i’ll have a few good stories about long runs upstate!

Marathon training…week SEVEN

NYRR ING New York marathon long training run bib, central park

next time ING shows up on my bib will be the real deal marathon!!

week SEVEN. done and done.

it was another great week of running – 35 miles on my legs this week, and to mix it up – i went swimming – which was a lot of fun. but fear not – triathlon is not for me. i’m not a good enough swimmer – and i’ll never wear one of those spandex get-ups!!

this morning was the second (and last) NYRR ING long training run. it so happened that i had a 12 mile run on my calendar – so it worked out well. it was a nice slow, easy run. amazing how that distance is not nearly as hard as it used to be. soon enough, those long runs are going to get longer and longer.

as far as the wednesday speed workouts – the cooler august evenings have been working to my advantage. this week was speed reps – 200’sx8 at about a 47-50 sec a piece.

i’m going to test those speedy reps by racing on september 7th – 4 miles. i’m excited to see how all this work affects a distance i have raced many, many times.

in the meantime. i need a nap.. and ready for week 8!!

Marathon training…week SIX

running across the queensboro bridge in new york city

the beautiful queensboro bridge…

week six… i’m exhausted. maybe it’s due to the fact that not only am i training for a marathon – but i’ve also been working every weekend since may… but those work projects are exciting. more on those another time. this morning, i woke up – and missed the door opening and walked into the wall. like i said – i’m tired.

it was a great week of running though.

“Team McCartney” – (yes, the run smart folks broke us into 4 groups based on speed – named after the beatles) – ran speed drills sans our coach Andre. but we killed it.  8×2 minutes at a 7:40 pace – but i will note – that i ran these faster for the most part, and ran my fastest 2 minutes on lap 8 – which kind of blows my mind that i was able to do that.

6:49 minute mile.  – now the trick is – how do i sustain that speed for a longer duration??

and today i had a great 11 mile run with one of my flyer friends. we did a destination run over the Queensboro bridge (one of my favorites) – and up to astoria, where we indulged in brunch. it was a hard run – but not awful. after running 7 miles yesterday – my legs were a little tired – but feel great about it – not to mention, ready to run another 6 tomorrow before i get a day off!

above is a pic of the bridge – i rarely do that while i’m running – but i just had to. i love the beauty of that bridge. it’s like the underdog of east river bridges. and below is a map of my run.

onward to week 7!!

running map from central park to astoria over the queensboro bridge

(this is what 11 miles looks like)

Marathon training…Week FIVE

no pictures this week… just the basics.

Week five:

29.4 miles on the road

some of these done on the treadmill due to crappy weather… lesson learned from this?

long runs are MUCH easier done on the road…

speed work of the week? threshold intervals – 4×1 mile @ 8:10

another lesson learned this week? do not go out for a run in central park on a beautiful sunday afternoon unless one wants an obstacle course of tourists blindly walking through the road, adults riding bikes who really need training wheels, and cute little kids on those scooter things with no fear. all of the above will plow down a runner with no remorse!

another observation – the sun is lower in the sky.. it’s august, no doubt. that warm summer heat has changed – still warm, but you know fall is a month away… not to mention the fact that evening runs end in dusk/dark again…

next week? back up in the 30+ milage zone!!