Sunday, July 12, 2015

NYC Week Two

w00t! Week two of training is finished and, I'm pleased to report, that things are still on track. I swapped around the Wednesday 5M and the Thursday 3M again, based on when the weather was less sucky. Yes, "less sucky" meant that I did my 5M in the dark & pouring down rain, with the threat of thunderstorms, but that's waaaaaaay better than humidity in my book. But, hey, I was well-hardened by my years in Seattle.
My long run yesterday was ROUGH. It was so hot and sunny, but, thankfully, not humid. I had to talk myself out of stopping so many times and finishing later or on Sunday, so I feel like getting through this was a big accomplishment. Thank goodness for the nice man who was out watering his lawn and hosed me down at 3.5 and the water fountain at 7, so I could get the sickly sweet taste out of my mouth. Why are all of the sports drinks & chews so sweet? I have the world's biggest sweet tooth, but there's a limit to how much sweet I can eat or drink on a run. I was very successful at planning my route to end at farmer's market and best iced coffee in town. But, then, I had to keep sitting down and resting to walk the four blocks home. Note to self: no more sleeping in on Saturdays until the weather gets cooler. No more long runs that start at 10am, because it is too darn hot.

The other thing I did this week was add in an arm workout at my new favorite group fitness studio. I'll keep doing those for the next two weeks, until the move. I certainly don't think this had any negative effects on the training. And, hey, stronger arms are a good thing.

I was pleased that I got some work done this weekend on the packing and laundry. I have four or five bags already earmarked for donating, as well. Is there still a long way to go? Absolutely, but I'm glad that I haven't left everything until the last minute. And I was able to have a mover come by to get an estimate.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

NYC Week One

Yes, the sticker chart is back!
I'm mostly following Hal Higdon's Novice II plan. I picked it for several reasons: I don't have a strong enough fitness base to start with more volume and I don't feel like being particularly ambitious. Instead, I want to focus on being CONSISTENT and getting in those four runs a week. I think that's what I need right now, especially given how busy the next month is going to be with packing and moving.

So, to recap the first week of the 18 week cycle:

Monday: 3M easy. Which, sadly, was hard. My hip was feeling off and that caused all of me to tense up. I felt like I was trying so hard not to throw off my gait that I was...throwing off my gait and couldn't relax into the run at all. And I did some unwise snacking before the run, too, so I felt a bit barfy. Good job on that one, Joyce. Anyway. Done.

Tuesday: Off. Which meant that I did a Jasyoga video to try and speed recovery. I was feeling a bit stiff from yesterday (which is seriously worrying, given that I'm usually the queen of fast recovery), so I wanted to do something really light to get the blood circulating. I opted for Erin's "Full Body Recovery" video, which was a new one for me and different because she has you use the wall as a prop the whole time. Nice.

Wednesday: 3M easy. This was supposed to be 5, but I swapped with with Thursday's run, because I was running (ha ha) late for the start of the England/Japan semifinal at the Women's World Cup. Happily, the rights restrictions didn't kick in until after the anthems, so I at least got to listen to those. I'm not going to lie, it was a little emotional. I wanted England to win so much and it was so cool to hear all the BBC commentators say things like "this is the furthest that England has gone in the World Cup since 1990," because it means that in their minds, at least, they weren't differentiating between the men & women's games. Anyway, it wasn't to be, but at least my hurry to get home meant that I ran pretty quickly!

Thursday: 5M easy. Nothing too crazy, just a nice evening run through the neighborhood. Honestly, I don't really remember much about it.

Saturday: 8M easy. First long run of marathon training! Did this at Saddle Brook Park, because I had an errand to run nearby, but also because I think it's one of the best places to do long runs anywhere nearby. (New Jersey seriously sucks at nice long running trails.) I thought the weather was lovely when I went out: it was overcast and rainy, which kept it cool and refreshing and kept the Fourth of July frolickers at bay. It was hilarious that at one point, I ran under a bridge, where a ton of other trail users were sheltering. But, being a hardy Seattle runner, I had my hat and that didn't bother me. My pace was nothing special, but I was very happy to speed up for the last half mile and do a nice strong finish. For nutrition - I had a bottle of cherry limeade nuun (excellent) and a Skratch chew every two miles (pomegranate - didn't love the flavor, but liked the texture). Post run, found a yoga mat in my trunk and was able to continue my yoga stretch routine, with the help of a nice nearby tree. And, for the win, I didn't have any cramping in my legs, despite what happened in my last two longish runs!

I would also note that I wore my lovely Switzer Skirt Sports skirt for this run, because I decided that I would be patriotic by expressing my freedom to run, in public, wherever and whenever I wanted, wearing whatever I want.

Things that worked well this week: After doing the Jasyoga video on Tuesday, I actually did the same stretches after every run. I think it made a huge difference. On some advice from my trainer, I started taking a magnesium supplement with breakfast before my long run. I have no idea whether it made a difference, but since I didn't cramp up, I don't think it hurt. Actually doing my long run on Saturday morning (I'm usually a Sunday afternoon long runner): it made such a difference to feel like I had the rest of the weekend to enjoy and relax.

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Starts

Last you heard from me, it was September 2013 and I was a week away from moving to New Jersey. For what it's worth, I accomplished the move and now, thank God, I am leaving. Next month, I'm moving BACK to DC (well, Northern Virginia). It's just four years short of when I left for Seattle and I've learned a lot in the time I've been gone. I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and learned to love trips into New York City (only good reason I can think of to live in Jersey, frankly). I've had two jobs in my chosen field and am now making a lateral move that makes a lot of sense for my long-term goals at my organization. Most importantly, being away also means that I learned that DC is where I feel most at home. I have incredible friends with whom I have stayed close over these four years and, frankly, when I'm in DC, I'm surrounded by other nerdy people (many of them lawyers) who believe in changing the world. They're my people.

I feel like this is a good time to write something on my poor blog, because today was the start of my 18-week build-up to the New York City Marathon. It's such a long training cycle, but I'm in terrible running shape and I'm really going to need the structure of a plan to keep me on track and running frequently enough through the end of summer in the fetid swamp from hell (as I like to call DC). Today was only three slow miles (and, top tip, don't eat the snack of jerky before the run or else it will be awful and barfy), but it's a start. Tomorrow, I'll start updating the "potty training chart," as I like to call my printed marathon plans, with stickers (this is pretty much the exact method that my mother used to potty train me). In lieu of the stars that I used for London 2012, I have stickers with Cars characters. Seems appropriate.

So here's to new beginnings: new training cycles, new jobs, and new homes! I'm pretty excited about all of them.