Alright, race fans. Ready for another installment of Chicory’s handy-dandy race previews? Next up is NYC! The five-borough jaunt is welcoming back all of last year’s champions and the elite field includes 11 former New York City Marathon champions, 13 Olympians and 19 Paralympians, and 14 past Abbott World Marathon Majors race champions. And, Pimento! Read more >>
A few weeks ago, I committed one of the seven sins of marathon training: skipping my long run. Some friends and I decided last minute to enjoy a relaxing weekend in the wilderness. As a result, I headed out the door Monday evening to get in my 14 miles. On my way back in hours later, the security guard at my building asked me why I always run for such a long time. His eyes went wide went I told him I was training for a marathon, and he asked why I would want to do this to myself. I said, “I don’t know.” It’s hard to sum up to someone who doesn’t run why the idea of running 26.2 miles appeals to me. But it does.
If you’re reading this, you may already understand why someone would want to run a marathon. It’s the feeling of accomplishment, the comforting long grind of training, those runs with a friend where both the run and the conversation flow in tandem. Sometimes, running is about very specific races and runs, where you can express your love for running at the same time as your love for other things that occur in tandem with those races—a cause, destination, or event. But since you can only run so many races and routes, so it can be helpful to list those that matter the most to you to create a running bucket list.
Read more >>
I said not to count her out. You guys saw that, right? But still, when Shalane Flanagan flew down the final stretch of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, fist-bumping and F-bomb dropping, I could barely believe it, too.
Despite her storied marathon — and track — career, Shalane hadn’t captured a victory at a World Marathon Major. Now, she has, breaking a four-decade long drought of an American woman winning NYCM.
She was the engine on a freaking freight train of American women in the top 10 — Allie Kieffer (don’t worry, coming back to her), Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce, plus Diane Nukuri who just recently attained U.S. citizenship.
Sorry, did you catch that? FIVE AMERICAN WOMEN in the top 10 of the New York City Marathon.
It’s a hell of a way to wrap up an amazing freaking year for women’s distance running in the U.S.
Let me recap.
August: Amy Cragg earns a bronze medal in the World Championships marathon, following up on her 2016 Trials win and 9th place finish in the Rio Olympics. Meanwhile, on the track, Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs go 1-2 in the steeplechase for one of the most epic finishes EVER on the oval; Jenny Simpson charged down the stretch for silver in the 1500 meters.
October: Jordan Hasay runs the fastest time by an American woman at the Chicago Marathon, in 2:20:57, placing third. Her performance moves her to number 2 all time, just behind Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 at the 2006 London Marathon. Gulp.
November: Shalane slays at NYC, winning by 61 seconds over race favorite Mary Keitany in 2:26:53.
It’s a damn good year for American women distance runners. U.S.A. women have never — never — had double-digit sub-2:30 performances in one year before.
Shalane made it 12. Allie Kieffer made it 13.
Still with me? That’s 13 times an American woman has run under the 2:30 marker in a marathon in 2017.
Historic. And that’s saying a lot because 2016 was not too shabby either. (All three American women in the top 10 at Rio, plus bronze medals for Emma and Jenny, for example.)
Shalane said before the race she wanted “one more big performance” before she retires from professional racing.
She got it.
Ironically, her victory came in the same week we quoted her talking about her mom — running pioneer Cheryl Bridges (now Treworgy) — in our #MeToo piece. Bridges once held the world record in the marathon, yet would have crap thrown at her by men driving by while she was out training.
Ain’t nobody throwing anything at Shalane this week except flowers. (Well, and a little shade.)
Now, let’s talk about Allie Kieffer. I’m not gonna sit here and act like I knew who she was going into this race, because I didn’t. In fact, I couldn’t find much about her. The race media guide listed her with a marathon personal best of 2:55:30, although she ran 2:44:44 to set a new indoor marathon world record last year as well. This year, she ran a 1:14:13 half-marathon, which is good but certainly not astounding.
On Sunday, Allie took 26 minutes off her marathon time in her second outdoor race at the distance, finishing in 2:29:39.
Allie didn’t have the smoothest road to the NYC starting line. She started running as a youth because her sister, Meghan, ran. But a few years later, her sister was killed in an 8-car collision during her junior year of college in 2007.
Allie went on to be a talented collegiate runner for Wake Forest. After college, she used money her sister bequeathed her to run professionally, qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 10k but not racing it. Soon after, she found herself injured and moved back to her home state of New York from Boulder, Co.
She joined the New York Athletic Club to make friends, and started making money on the road racing circuit.
She has no coach and had no major sponsorship heading into NYC, although breaking 2:30 will probably change that quickly.
And not too far behind were superstar running mamas Kellyn Taylor and Stephanie Bruce from NAZ Elite, with Diane Nukuri between them. Nukuri recently became a U.S. citizen, having previously competed for Burundi but having lived in Canada and the United States for most of her life.
Wow. Just wow.
What a day. The group messaging system we use for Salty Running was blowing up all morning, as people watched live and caught up on DVR.
I yelled at my television, I fist-bumped along with Shalane, I cried.
As Desi Linden put it, “Thank you, Shalane Flanagan, for giving us something to believe in.”
Anything is possible.
Get your long run in Saturday and make sure you’re in front of a television Sunday morning. The New York City Marathon is set to be an exciting one to watch.
Shalane, who finished 6th at the Rio Olympics last year, withdrew from her hometown Boston Marathon this spring after fracturing a bone in her lower back training in the snow. She comes in without a lot of recent racing, having also opted out of the Peachtree 10k road race in July. But … she’s Shalane. Now 36, she seems to think she’s nearing the end of her marathon career.
“I just want one more big performance, and I feel like I have it within me,” she’s posted online. “I just need the right stage and the right day to get it done.” (It’d be a shame, though, to not see her take another shot at Boston.)
With a 2:21:14 PR — and an Olympic silver medal at 10,000 meters — Shalane is not one to count out.
Kellyn and Stephanie train together with the NAZ Elite team and it looks like training has been solid. Kellyn has a 2:28:40 PR and Steph 2:29:35 — I’ll be curious to see if they pull a Shalane & Amy and run together, as they’ve been doing long runs and workouts together all year.
Kellyn had a great 2015 and 2016, with PRs from 10k to marathon. She fought hard for an Olympic berth, finishing sixth at the marathon trials and then a heartbreaking fourth in the 10,000 meter trials. Kellyn is gritty. Also she has a new adorable puppy and an adorable daughter and lots of pics of both on Instagram.
Steph … well, everyone knows Steph, right? Mom of two, married to pro runner and NAZ Elite teammate Ben Bruce, Oiselle pro, Picky Bars co-founder. Steph PR’d in the 10k this year, breaking 32 minutes at the Stanford Invitational. She ran 2:29:35 at Houston back in 2011, but then was out of the marathon scene from 2014-2016 having those cute babies and busting up her abdominals. She won the Gasparilla Half in 1:12:52 in February, about 70 seconds ahead of Esther Atkins, and was fifth at the USATF 20km national championships in September.
And watch for Aliphine Tullamuk, who has a 2:34:44 PR. This year, she’s won four national titles: cross country, 25K, 10K, and 7 miles. Aliphine is Kenyan-born and became a U.S. citizen in 2016; this will be her third marathon but first as an American. She finished as the top American at the 10-kilometer IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March, placing 15th in 33:43.
Other American Elite Women
- Alexandra Cadicamo, 2:43:40 PR, was the 26th female at NYC back in 2013 in her debut. Runs for NYAC.
- Janet Collar, 2:47:20 PR
- Marisa Cummings, debut marathon with a 1:18:39 half-marathon PR set in 2014. Runs for NYAC.
- Allie Kieffer, 2:55:30 PR, ran a 1:14:13 half in September.
- Laurie Knowles, 2:36:01 PR.
- Heather Lieberg, 2:34:09 PR, classroom teacher, mom, sixth at Gasparilla Half in 1:15:40 in February.
- Amanda Marino, 2:41:22 PR, 9th at RnR Philly in September in 1:17:57.
- Kate Pallardy, 2:40:15 PR, vegan, homeschools her two kids.
- Caroline Williams, debut marathon. Sixth at the Brooklyn Half in May in 1:16:36; runs for NYAC.
Top International Women
- Mary Keitany (KEN), 2:17:01 PR
- Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 2:19:50 PR
- Buzunesh Deba (ETH), 2:19:59 PR
- Mare Dibaba (ETH), 2:19:52 PR
Men’s Elite Field
All eyes will be on Meb Keflezighi as he runs the last marathon of his professional career. Meb won the NYC Marathon in 2009, the first American to do so since 1982. He won Boston in 2014, and at 41 years old, was 16th at the Rio Olympics. Meb has a marathon PR of 2:08:37 and ran a 63:30 half in February.
The American contingent is strong on the men’s side:
- Abdi Abdirahman, 2:08:56 PR
- Shadrack Biwott, 2:12:01 PR
- Jared Ward, 2:11:30 PR and Olympian
Plus, Tanner Fruit’s marathon debut; Jorge Maravilla, Brendan Martin, and Michael Wardian (who will probably have raced a marathon on Saturday, too).
Top International Men
- Wilson Kipsang (KEN), 2:03:13
- Lemi Berhanu (ETH), 2:04:33
- Lelisa Desisa (ETH), 2:04:45
- Tadesse Abraham (SUI), 2:06:40
- Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN), 2:06:12
- Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (ERI), 2:07:46
Saltines to watch!
How to Watch the NYC Marathon
This might be the easiest ever: Turn on ESPN. For real. Coverage from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Elite women start at 9:20 and Wave 1 plus elite men at 9:50. EVEN MORE pre-race coverage on ESPN3 online from 7-9 a.m.
All entrants mentioned in the professional/elite fields are from the official media guide.
1:27:08: The half marathon time that got me into the 2017 New York City marathon. It was a huge PR for me in autumn of 2016, more than 5 minutes faster than I’d run before, and I couldn’t wait to run NYC. Now, here we are, with race day looming on Nov. 5.
People ask, “Are you excited?” The easy answer is to smile, nod, and reply “yes.” But my original excitement has faded. Deep down inside is a version of myself that is terrified to run another 26.2. The version of me that is still haunted by a bad day in Boston earlier this year. I have tried to put it behind me, but I still think about it, and I still beat myself up over it.
In Boston, I ran a 3:40, which was a lot slower than my 3:17 qualifying time. A number of things went wrong for me that day. I could make a bunch of excuses — blame the heat, blame my foot that cramped at mile 3 — but it just wasn’t my day. Shortly after Boston, I would learn about my progesterone imbalance, which also wasn’t helping me.
I know I need to let it go, and I’m running out of time. I’ve made some changes to my training since Boston, and I’m hoping that these changes work in my favor. Cool temperatures and overcast skies on race day would also be greatly appreciated (got that, Mother Nature?!).
NYC holds a special place in my heart, and is a city of wonderful memories for me. We have family there. My husband and I got engaged there. We’ve traveled there countless times, and spent a lot of hours walking many of the same streets (and driving over the bridges) that I, along with 50,000 other runners, will run during the race.
It is those special memories, and the presence of family, that will get me to Central Park. If my race starts to go down the drain, I will fight, but I will also accept it and enjoy the beauty of the city. It is such a unique way to see the city I love.
I ran my qualifying time in October 2016 at the Fall Colours Half Marathon, just outside of Ottawa. It was actually my second attempt at running a sub-1:32 half marathon in order to qualify for NYC. I had run a half marathon 3 weeks before that on an unusually hot day, and the heat got the best of me. I knew I a sub-1:32 in me, so I registered for Fall Colours, and I’m certainly glad I did!
I made a lot of changes this training cycle. Before toeing the line in Boston, I was feeling very drained. In fact, I was overtrained. I hadn’t been taking my easy runs easy. After Boston, it was discovered that my progesterone levels were incredibly low, which was also wreaking havoc on my body. In order to train sustainably, I knew I had to make some changes. The big changes I made while training for NYC:
- Switching from the Pfitzinger’s 70-mile/18-week marathon plan to the Hanson’s 18-week advanced plan. The thought of the longest run being 16 miles sounded glorious and scary at the same time. Some of the speed workouts looked so intimidating on paper. Overall, the weekly mileage was less than I was used to. I used the pace chart in the book to determine my paces for each run. I also raced during this training cycle, which isn’t something I have done much of before. If I needed to run 5/10k race pace for a speed work session, why not run them in a race setting? I’m hoping that switching plans and running a bit less will keep me from overtraining. I maxed out at 112km per week when training for Boston, compared to 95km this time around (69 miles compared to 59, for those of us stateside). So far, so good: I didn’t feel as physically exhausted when peak week was over. This will be my third marathon, and I am still figuring out what approach works best for me.
- Nutrition was my other big change. I met with a naturopath regarding my progesterone issues and he mentioned that I needed more fat in my diet, as well as more leafy greens (before meeting with the doctor there were roughly zero leafy greens in my diet). I have diligently followed his recommendations and incorporated specific supplements into my routine. I have gone from two salads in my entire life to roughly five salads a week — stay tuned for more details on this! If this has no impact on my marathon performance, at least I can say I made better habits during this training cycle.
Physically, I feel stronger this time around. My legs still have some kick and my body isn’t achy like it was during my Boston training cycle. If the races I ran were any indication of my fitness level right now, I would say I’m in good shape heading to NYC. Both races were on extremely hot days with high humidity. In the 10k that I raced, I managed to place first female and 17th overall, out of about 7,700 people. I wasn’t expecting that! It was also my second sub-40 10k and a very solid confidence boost.
I feel incredibly lucky to by running my second World Major this year. The marathon is still new to me, and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Over the next few days, I’ll remind myself that I’m ready for this. That everyone has good days and bad days, and whatever happens on Nov. 5 is what is meant to be. I am trying to put any expectations out of my mind. Running isn’t my job. I have two young kids and work full time. I have plenty of marathons left in me — but after NYC, I will be taking a break from the marathon distance until at least 2019. I am switching gears to focus on the 5k and 10k distances next year.
NYC will be Meb’s last marathon. I read an article in Runner’s World a few years ago in which he was quoted as saying:
“If it can’t be today, maybe tomorrow. If it can’t be tomorrow, maybe next week. If not next week, then maybe next month.”
That same thought will be with me on race day, as Meb runs those streets in his last professional race of his incredible and inspiring career.
It was a little disheartening that the taxi driver had no clue what was going on when I said, “Staten Island Ferry, please!” I figured he’d just finished a shift of hauling around drunk adults in Halloween costumes, so I wasn’t very surprised.
I WAS surprised when my $50 visa gift card got declined and I had a mini-panic while I tried to figure out how to get to an ATM. Luckily, I happened to be in New York City, where banks outnumber bathrooms, and paid the man with no real trouble. I should have just taken the train like I planned. I’d gotten to the station with plenty of time, but had suddenly freaked out: What if the train got stuck? What if what if what if??
It was 5:55am and I had 4 hours and 20 minutes until the start of the New York City Marathon. You may think I was silly to worry I’d be late, but I am not a lucky person. Especially when it comes to getting places on time. Or when it comes to things going smoothly. Read more >>
Not too long ago, Pumpkin posted about her frustrating experience entering the lottery for the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Mile, observing at the outset, “Slots, craps, black jack, road race lotteries: they’re all the same.” Well, a couple of runners who lost out after paying to enter the New York City Marathon lottery last year agree, and they’ve literally made a federal case out it.
In January, Charles Konopa and Matthew Clark filed a class-action lawsuit against the New York Road Runners, the organization that hosts the New York City Marathon, claiming that the marathon’s entry drawing constitutes an illegal lottery under New York law. The parties recently settled. Consequently, New York City Marathon lottery is now free!
But what, you may be wondering, was the big deal behind this lawsuit? And what does it mean for other races going forward?
It was a little disheartening that the taxi driver had no clue what was going on when I said “Staten Island Ferry, please!” I figured he’d just finished a shift of hauling around drunk adults in Halloween costumes, so I wasn’t very surprised. I WAS surprised when my $50 visa gift card got declined and I had a mini-panic while I tried to figure out how to get to an ATM. Luckily, I happened to be in New York City, where banks outnumber bathrooms, and paid the man with no real trouble. I should have just taken the train like I planned. I’d gotten to the station with plenty of time, but had suddenly freaked out: What if the train got stuck? What if what if what if??
It was 5:55am and I had 4 hours and 20 minutes until the start of the New York City Marathon. You may think I was silly to worry I’d be late, but I am not a lucky person. Especially when it comes to getting places on time. Or when it comes to things going smoothly. Read more >>
The “A” goal was 3:10, the “D” goal was to just enjoy the race and have a great vacation. The result? 3:37:39, my third slowest marathon ever. D-minus. I add the minus because, while I’m very disappointed that after months of high mileage and consistent strength-training I couldn’t pull it together on race day, I’m just as disappointed that my experience of the race was anything but enjoyable.
My friends would tell you I tend to be very hard on myself after a bummer race. I’ve succumbed to negative self-talk both during and after a race, and I’ve worked hard to overcome that in the past several years. I used those skills pretty hard during the race Sunday and in the days following.
Now that I’m a few days out and had time to process and analyze, I think I can describe my New York City Marathon with a minimum of f-bombs. So, what happened? Read more >>
Sunday is Marathon Day here in New York City. I’ll be along 5th Avenue, under the golden fall foliage, watching about 52,000 runners will themselves through the last three miles through Central Park. It’s such a great day that connects all five of Gotham’s boroughs. On another level, the marathon itself might be perhaps a great metaphor for this city: a multinational event that’s big, expensive, and rooted in competition.
This is quite a contrast from the Chicago Marathon’s trademark welcoming vibe. Before I moved to New York, I cut my marathoning teeth on the streets of Chicago, so when I ran NYC I was surprised by the differences. The biggest difference I noticed between the marathons was the way that they were marketed. This got me thinking about what a marathon says about its host city? Read more and weigh in at the bottom!
Hey guys! At the behest of my dear sister (Salty), I’m going to try to get back into training logs. It’s been a long time, so I’ll just ease in slowly.
Easing in is out the window, because I’m runningNYC next Sunday! Whee!
If you didn’t know, I’m a New Yorker (formerly of Brooklyn and now in Manhattan) and I’ve been diligently filling out my lottery application for years and trying valiantly to get my 9+1 each year…only to fail when work prevented me from getting to Saturday races on time. This year my awesome team, the Hudson Dusters (comprised of my friends from the NYC Hash House Harriers) was granted one guaranteed entry, and they chose ME! I am so honored and so excited! I can’t wait to do them proud and cheer for them at Mile 23*!
*note – if you are running NYC this year too, and if you feel like having a sip of beer at mile 23, there may or may not be some people in green shirts who are willing to accommodate you.
I feel good! A little like I could vomit at any moment, but good. After my fine performance in New Jersey this spring (3:53) I’m putting the pressure on myself to perform, on a course that’s notoriously much more challenging. But I’m hoping the crowded field works in my favor–power of the pack, baby!
It’s time to let go and trust the training, but this cycle was a little more haphazard and slapped together than my spring cycle. I was less focused in my stretching and ancillary training (what ancillary training?), but overall had MUCH more sleep, ate better, had less stress and more self care. Other than that, I used the same training plan, adapted from Hanson’s intermediate plan. My longest run was 18 miles, my peak training week was 58 miles, and my target pace is 8:45 (3:49:26).
I’d love to bust that 3:50 wall, but things being what they are my A goal is just to do as well as I did last time and run between a 3:50 and a 3:55. My B goal is to have a shitload of fun – I keep saying that if anything goes wrong, I’m just gonna start dancing along the course and slapping hands and taking selfies.
- Sun 10/18-12 lsd
- Mon-8 easy
- Tues-11 total; 6×1600 on the track, 8:00 pace
- Thurs-6 easy
- Fri-10 total, incl 8 mile tempo
- Sat-6 easy
Before I go any further, I just want to say that I love Airbnb. Any time I travel, they’re my go-to site for accommodations. I’ve used it to stay in the bustling center of Sao Paulo, as a triathlon home base a block from San Francisco Bay, and as a weekend getaway in the Adirondack foothills all at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels or resorts. Even more than that, I love the idea that open-minded people can connect and that hosts can make a little extra income from their otherwise unused space: a sharing economy utopia, right?
Hmmm. Maybe not.
Besides Airbnb image and legal problems you might have heard about, Airbnb is also pretty shady when it comes to runners. How has Airbnb attempted to sell itself as a sharing economy utopia? By aligning itself with a popular movement that has high visibility through major events and that has no sign of its explosive growth stopping any time soon. That means running, of course! And how is Airbnb accomplishing this, and how did they almost sponsor me on a reckless running escapade? Read on!
Buenos Dias, Salty Readers! Boy, has it been a long time! The last time we talked I was training for Boston, which turned out to be such a fantastically amazing experience that it couldn’t be contain to just one race report blog post! (Read part 1 here and part 2 here if you are so inclined.) My spring marathon was one of those rare and wonderful things that truly met and exceeded my hopes, dreams, and expectations in every way, but afterwards a crashed pretty hard from my glorious Boston high. No run felt as good or as meaningful as that race did, and extra stress and exhaustion from life in general further contributed to my post-marathon turned extended summer funk. I was doing much running, and the running that was doing just didn’t seem worth blogging about. But it is now August, and it is time to get out of the funk and back on the horse! Especially since my next big running adventure, the New York City Marathon (!!!) is only 13 weeks away. This puts me 2 weeks behind in documenting my training, but for the sake of my own personal accountability, I’m going to back-track a little and start at the beginning here. So sit back, relax and enjoy Week 1 of my NYC Marathon training escapades. Weeks 2 and 3 are soon to follow, I promise!
6 4.5 miles easy.
I have decided to give the Hansons Marathon Method a go for this training cycling. I’ve chosen this plan mostly because the store where I work has the book so I was able to purchase it at a deep discount, and also because nothing in the world sounds worse to me right now than a 22 mile long run. (In case you’re not familiar, the Hansons top out at 16! #winning) I’ll be following the advanced program (even thought it is technically an 18 week program which I started today for my marathon that is 15 weeks away. Still not entirely sure how that one is going to work.) Today it called for 6 easy miles, which I had to do at the end of a day that started at 4 am. My lovely running friends Margaret and Kate were nice enough to meet me at 6:30 tonight for moral support and company. Neither of them were super-excited for 6 miles, so we settled for 4.5. I know, I know, I am low-balling and short-changing the program already and it’s only day 1 (or at least the 1st day I’ve actually done something that I am calling mindful marathon training), but I refuse to judge myself for the abbreviated run. I’m just looking at it as a mini-taper for tomorrow’s speed workout! Until then, stay classy y’all!
Tuesday, 7/22: Back on the Track, 6.27 miles.
Today marked the first workout of the NYC Marathon training cycle. It was great to have big group of fun faces, both old running friends and new show up to keep me company. Except in the end I ended up doing my own thing (everyone else is training for a later marathon than mine) so opted for my prescribed 6x 800 instead of their 12x 400. It was hard and I was completely spent when it was over, but all things considered, I think I did alright.
The goal was 3:10s, and here are the splits: 3:01 (oops! Too fast!), 3:15 (Damnit! Too Slow!), 3:07 (that’s more like it!), 3:10 (perfection!) 3:11, and a very hard-fought 3:12 for the last one.
All I wanted in the world was to lay down on the track when it was over. It was definitely a rust-buster, and I have a little work to do, particularly on pacing and consistency, but I was pleased to get through it more or less on pace, and it admittedly felt pretty great to be back. Cheers to the return of Track Tuesday!
Wednesday, 7/23: I am the cross training queen!
The Hansons called for a rest day today. I laughed in their faces. (Sorry Hansons.) To my great surprise, I have really been digging on the cross training this summer, so decided to enjoy a little today. 45 minutes of aqua jogging with my lovely friend Jen, plus some core and glute strengthening exercises, and the 12 fun miles on the ElliptiGO after work, just because ElliptiGOing is fun and it’s so nice to be outside at that time of day.And hey, it seemed to work out pretty well for Meb, right? (If you are not privy to the awesomeness that is the ElliptiGO,you should read up on it here. It’s pretty much the most fun you could ever hope to have cross training.) Back to running game tomorrow! Happy trails until then, y’all!
Thursday, 7/24, 6 miles Tempo, 7.5 miles total.
Continuing on this week’s theme of firsts, today I completed the first tempo workout of the NYC Marathon training cycle. I’m accustomed to doing my tempo work in the form of shorter efforts at LT pace, and I like and believe in this approach, but the Hansons define things a little differently. Tempo workouts are more sustained efforts at marathon goal pace, and today the program called for 6 miles. That seemed like a really long way to go on a tempo day, but I tried to keep an open mind about it and not get bogged down by negative self-talk. My goal was to keep it somewhere in the 3:15 to 3:10 MGP range, which translated to 7:26 to 7:15 min/ mile.
Here’s how it actually played out:
1 mile warm-up, followed by 7:28, 7:12, 7:19, 7:23 (this mile included multiple cross walk/ stoplight interruptions, as well as an epic near-crisis bathroom stop that probably warrants a blog post all its own, but I will spare you the details.) And then 7:10 and 7:08 for the 2 final miles of working effort. It’s amazing how much faster and more focused I am without the burden of intense fear of pooping my pants. Major props to Solite Park (a park convenient situated on my greenway trail of choice) for providing an accessible bathroom when I really needed one!
So, my ~5 min. pit stop wasn’t really part of the plan and I have to wonder if I missed out on some of the intended benefit of the workout because of it, but I was glad to get through the workout nonetheless, and optimistic that it wasn’t a total waste of time. Hopefully frantic bathroom stops will not be a recurring theme of this training cycling. Hooray for getting it done and for good coffee and better conversation afterwards! Party on, y’all!
Friday, 7/25: A Not-so-Easy Easy 6.
I had envisioned the “easy 6 miles” that the Hansons prescribed today feeling much easier than it did. Perhaps I didn’t give yesterday’s tempo enough credit for beating me up (although I feel like a gave it a pretty decent amount of credit), or maybe it was the mid-morning heat and humidity. I also should not rule out the possibility that I am just even more out of shape and de-conditioned than I feared. In any event, let’s just say I was not at all at risk of overrunning my recovery run. And I was really effing glad to get it over with so I could move on with my day. My running calendar for the weekend is filled with good company from fun friends, so I’m hoping this will translate into enjoyable running! TGFI, playas!
Saturday, 7/26, Easy 8.
“Easy 8” seems like a massive oxymoron to me right now, but at least I was in the fantastic and hilarious company of awesome friends! Big thanks to Karen, J-La, and Kate for the miles, smiles, and coffee talk after. And an extra-special shout-out to Kate for letting me take a shower at her house, which is much closer to the running store than mine, so I could be both clean, and (sort of) on time for work. Cheers to the weekend, y’all!
Sunday, 7/27, 10 in The Umsteads.
Big, fun crowd for this morning’s long run! High fives to the Hansons for prescribing only 10 miles! We ended up making it 10.5 because that extra .5 got us to the water fountain, which was clutch given today’s rampant humidity and the sweat-fest that ensued because of it. Fasties Kara and Rachel were doing 15 min. pick ups at 7:25 pace, and that’s pretty dang fast for Umstead. (If you are not familiar with running in The Triangle, Umstead is the hilly-as-balls state park where everyone goes to do their marathon training long runs.) I tried to hang with them for as long as I could, but I failed pretty badly, especially when there were uphills involved. I tried not to judge myself, seeing as I didn’t really have any reason to add pick-ups to my long run today, aside from just hanging out with my friends. All things considered, I felt pretty good, I got to hang out with a bunch of fun peeps, and didn’t really hate this run in any way, so I think I’ll call it a win! Cheers to closing the book on week 1 of fall marathon training!
Thanks for stopping by to check out my Salty Running training log! More to come soon, I promise! In the meantime, keep living the dream, and happy trails!
No matter who you are, training for a marathon is a serious undertaking. It requires months of preparation and hours of training. We sacrifice nights out with our friends and time with our families so that we can get those miles in before and after work. Instead of sleeping in and relaxing on weekends, we’re up early to run for several hours before getting to the rest of our day. If we’re lucky we’ll get a nap later. If not? We just sleep really, really well that night, only to repeat the whole thing all over again the next day.
For a lot of people, this much work requires a higher calling or a cause outside themselves to stay motivated and focused, so they run in the name of charities. Perhaps a runner or someone she loves has been affected by a significant disease or disability, or maybe she just feels passionate about the cause and wants to do something to help. For these runners, who solicit the support of their friends, family, co-workers and in some cases complete strangers, running the marathon isn’t just about reaching an athletic goal that they’ve been working towards for months, it’s about fulfilling an unspoken contract with their supporters. Read more >>
The results of the 2012 election are in. It was a highly contentious race, ugly even. Close enough for the entire voting country to go to sleep with hope, but also close enough that 50% of the population is unhappy today. Really unhappy. Angry, even.
And that’s the beauty of America.
The parties will continue to attack each other, and half of the country will shout from the rooftops with joy and relief while the other half hunkers down in fear of what lies ahead. Two very different parties; two very different opinions. Neither technically right, neither technically wrong. The challenge, as ever, is living together as one.
It’s a challenge too familiar to many runners in the wake of the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. Read more >>
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