I did it! I ran 100 miles in June, and it was not easy! I’ll leave the full story for my video recap, but this last 5k gives me 100.1 miles. I’m ecstatic!
Last week I completed week 2 of London marathon training, logging 4 runs for the week, strength training, hot yoga, and travel to Arizona for the Rock N Roll 5k and Half Marathon.
The week started out pretty good. I did a 45 minute recovery run on the treadmill. Treadmill running is not my fav, but it is freezing in NYC, and running outside right now is just not an option.
Next was an interval run where I ran 5 mins on, and 1:30 off. I tried to increase my pace slightly for every 5 minute interval to test my endurance a bit.
I also did some strength training this day. Just a simple leg routine circuit that I tend to do often. I really need to switch it up. (workout is in the video at the bottom of this post)
Next up was hot yoga on Friday, which was really fantastic. I’m loving that I’ve added this back into my training regimen. I really feel fresh and re-energized afterward, and its a good prelude for my long runs on the weekend.
RnR Arizona Race Recap:
This was State #18 for me in my journey to run a half marathon in all 50 states. I have to say, I really enjoyed AZ. The weather is looney as heck though. You have to wear a winter coast in the am because it’s in the 40s, and then switch to tees and sandals because it’s 75 by noon!
The races were just OK for me. RnR always puts on great events so that wasn’t an issue. There was just basically zero crowd support out there. Most of the bands playing were ehhhh except these cool drummers on the mountain. The Gatorade mix was terrible. I don’t know what happened but it had a funky taste to it.
Post race amenities were great, chocolate milk…had a couple, Pringles, granola bars, post race massages, and I snagged enough SIS to last me through the next few weeks of training.
Would I recommend this race, yes. The Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area is cool, and the people were so nice. We even stumbled on upon an Afrobeats rooftop party which was the first cluster of brown folks that I saw for the entire weekend.
Seriously!!! If you are like me and are a member of multiple running groups on facebook then you see the weekly medal Monday posts celebrating the success of marathon (and other distances) finishes, and sometimes by the same individuals over and over again, and it just becomes contagious. But no one tells you all the hard work and sacrifice that goes into marathon training, and especially the beating that it puts on your body. I mean no one in their right mind (well at least not me) would run a half marathon every weekend for 8 or more weeks. This is basically what marathon training is; and most time running way more than a half marathon weekly. When you think about it it really is lunacy!
I had a pretty crappy last 2 long runs. So crappy to the point that I was contemplating quitting training this week. I started out Sundays run making a rookie mistake. I put my heart rate (HR) monitor underneath my sports bra. Mind you I have never ever put my HR monitor under my sports bra so I have no idea why I decided to do it this morning. A mile into my run I felt so fatigued and my breathing was labored and I had no idea why since this has never happened to me. I kept pressing on, but my 2 it was worse, and when I finally got to mile 3 I just stopped and thought what the heck is going on. I lower the HR monitor to where I usually wear it and voila instant gratification. That belabored first 3 miles started my run off on the wrong foot and it just went totally downhill from there. I somehow made it to mile 7 with a few walk breaks, but the back 7 were awful. I basically walked the whole thing because my knee started throbbing. So what started off as a dumb mistake turned into a physical ailment that I did not want to make worse. On top of that the bottom of my feet were killing me. This often happens when I’m on my feet for long periods of time. Once I got back to my car I stretched, then got inside and ate my protein bar and stared off into space wondering why I was putting myself through this!
Even my Garmin knew my run was terrible because it recommend a recovery time of 4 days!! Now that was a first. Well 2 days later I decided to test out my knee, and I felt great! No pain at all. It was a 5k so a longer distance is definitely needed, but I was just happy to run pain free. Thanks to my buddy Deb who told me 1 week ago that I need my running accoutrements, I finally invested in some leg compression sleeves, and I have to say I think they work; as I’m sitting here typing and still wearing them! So this weekend I’ll live to run another long run, and hopefully it goes better than the last 2 and snaps me out of this funk that I am in.
The moral of this story is marathon training is super hard work. Yes in the end reaching that goal of finishing 26.2 miles and that bonus medal you receive crossing the finish-line are worth it, but it takes a lot of guts and mental fortitude to get there.
Saturday I completed race 7 of 9 to qualify for the 2015 NYC Marathon. I would say this is one of the most memorable races I have done for a number of reasons. #1 It’s not often that you get to run down the middle of 42nd street #2 it was pouring down rain, #3 Having to walk a mile and a half to the start line, and then a mile after the race would make any race memorable, and #4 Getting to run through the finish of the NYC Marathon was awesome!
This race started on 47th and 1st avenue, and ended in Central Park, on the west side somewhere near 67th street; so different stop and start locations. I parked my car somewhere kind of midway on West 54th Street so that I wouldn’t have to walk 3 miles back to the start to get to my vehicle. The walk to the start was an interesting one. The first noticeable thing we passed was this HOPE statue. It looks an awfully like the LOVE statue in Philly so I figured let me take a pic in front of this. Next landmark was the Chrysler Building. Yes living in New York I’ve seen it a thousand times, but now I have a photo memory of it to last a lifetime.
So as we are walking I’m just thinking are we there yet? The rain coupled with the cold made this a not so fun trek to the start line. Eventually we started to see other runners heading in the same direction so I figured we must have been close. When we finally got to the start I couldn’t believe the number of runners that were there. According to NYRR there were 7,424 total finishers, but it just seemed like so many more people; possibly because we were cramped into such a small space. I’m guessing this race is pretty popular every year because it is the day before the marathon.
Walking to the start we passed by the United Nations. I tried to get a good selfie, but walking and trying to selfie make not for a great pic! Even walking to the start took forever. I have to say the logistics of this race were not great for the runners. I guess there was a lot of pre-walking because it was only a 5K? I’d love to know the thought process behind this.
Once the race got started we made a quick turn onto 42nd Street and it really hit me the shear number of people in this race. I mean there were bodies for miles! Seeing this made me think that doing the NYC Marathon must look something like this, but even more amplified. A lot of people who were doing the marathon the next day were in this race which was surprising since they should have been resting! There were lots of international runners and is was great to see them in such high spirits. It made the dreary day more bearable. There was though a lot of bobbing and weaving. I think a lot of people were in this one as a fun race and were taking their time with it. So I found my self running around a lot of people which I am sure added some time onto my finish.
My goal for this race was to better my pace with NYRR which was at 11:01 per mile….well mission accomplished! I’m not at 10:48 a mile…hey every second counts. Not a PR, but better than before. The finish on this one was epic! It was directly through the finish for the marathon, so I was able to get a small feeling of what it would be like for me next year. People were so excited and stopping to take pics before and after the finish….as was I! I would consider doing this one again next year, only if I haven’t completed my 9 races by then….cold weather running is not for me! 2 races to go!