Where Have I Been?

I know I’m a little late to the “blog about your training” party. If I’m being completely honest with you, and myself, there hadn’t been much to write home about, so to speak.

My training hadn’t exactly gone the way I had hoped, or planned, at first. It was mentally defeating. I feel like my long run last weekend was the game changer. A run that made me realize I can totally do this half marathon thing again.

After two and a half dismal weeks of training, I actually considered deferring my entry to the Newport Half. I hadn’t felt like much of a runner. I didn’t have that get up and go feeling like I did during my training for the NYC Half. I was struggling. I even had to resort to asking Stacy to shame me out the door last week for a run.

I worked my butt of during the spring to run faster. My once 10:xx pace per mile started to become a 9:xx pace per mile. I won’t lie. The heat, humidity and sub-par (read: crappy) diet have kicked me back to the 10’s again and it was quite a mental barrier for me. I felt like giving up. I don’t give up. EVER. No matter what. So I had been pretty frustrated for the past couple of weeks. I only started racing in September and this will only be my 2nd half marathon. So, it was time to cut myself some slack, realize I still had 9 weeks to train and get my head fully back in the game.

So where have I been?

When I trained for the NYC Half, most of my training runs were in and around the many different loops of Central Park and my happy place, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

Thanks to Kristine for this picture perfect shot!

Some of my longer runs had me venturing out to the East River, Riverside Park and the West Side Highway. However, I typically ran in the comfort (and many, many hills) of Central Park. That was half the race after all, so it seemed the smart way to train.

This time around, with the race course unknown to me and completely outside my comfort zone, I thought I would change up my training runs. I have done a few at my parent’s house. I love summer runs in the suburbs. There are sprinklers. Not to mention my parent’s pool to jump in after hot, humid and sweatastic runs. I also find it nostalgic to run past the houses of all my childhood friends. It always makes the miles seem to fly by.

I have also run to 2 boroughs during my training so far.

Queens: Katherine introduced me to the Queensboro Bridge a few weeks ago and I’m hooked. I’m still not quite sure how all of you amazing NYC marathoners conquer that bridge at Mile 16. I’m inspired and impressed each time I traverse that bridge. I have tried to incorporate the QB into one of my weekday runs because I think it’s a great run. It’s basically like running 3 miles of hills. Right?

Brooklyn: Last weekend I finally ran Summer Streets. It was a great way to have a little fun during a long run and how often do you get to just run down the middle of Park Avenue? It felt like a race day. Tons of runners. Open city streets. I think this is partially responsible for my amazing 8 mile run last Saturday. My goal for this run was to just enjoy the experience and have some fun. I had no real expectations. Maybe that helped too. I’m not usually in the city on summer weekends and I wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity.

I started on Park Avenue in the 60s and ran to Brooklyn. Nope, not just to the Brooklyn Bridge. I ran all the way into Brooklyn. I drove over that bridge to get to pharmacy school, every day, for YEARS. This was a MUCH better way to get across. And of course I stopped to take pictures. And I’m SO happy I did because I ran into the lovely Abby and Jess who were leading the Lululemon run club. They looked fabulous in bright colors and glistening with sweat. We had some sweaty hugs, briefly chatted about how our runs were going and I was off. Apparently I was “being followed” for a little while by all these awesome runners. I guess I’m easily spotted from behind. Not sure how I feel about that.

After I entered Brooklyn, I quickly stretched out my legs a little and I was headed back to Manhattan with just under 2 miles to go to hit my 8 mile goal for the day. I finished off mile 8 with a 9:36 mile pace and an average of 10:01 overall. It was a great run. I wondered if I could still be riding a runner’s high hours later and after only 8 miles.

I found myself in a better mood than I had been in weeks. I ran to Brooklyn! It felt great.

Where am I headed?

Perhaps the Bronx 10-miler. Although I’m still undecided about this race, knowing that Megan, Ashley, Theodora, Niki and maybe Katherine are running it, it definitely makes it more of a possibility. It would be a fun day and a great training run 5 weeks before the Newport Half. Did I mention it’s an early race? 7AM race start, ouch!

I am also hoping to take my 12 mile training run up to and over the George Washington Bridge.

Tell Me.

Are you running the Bronx 10-miler?

How are your long training runs going?

When do you refuel on a long run?Β 

What are your favorite routes to run in NYC while you are training?

Do you enjoy multi-borough and bridge runs?


16 thoughts on “Where Have I Been?

  1. I can’t answer many of these questions due to being a non-NYC runner, but I will tell you that I usually refuel on a long run at halfway point, and then at mile 6 in a half mara.I have to remind myself sometimes to do it as even if I don’t think I need it at the time I know I will later. Question for you – do you stop and refuel or refuel on the go? Happy running, girl! πŸ™‚

  2. I feel the same way! I worked so hard all year to get my pace down, and the humidity was bumping me back to where I used to be, and it was incredibly frustrating. But now that the humidity has lifted a bit, I’m starting to get back to a normal pace as well. Glad that your training is going well! I should follow your lead and start running bridges, I guess…

    • I have really enjoyed adding the bridges into my runs. I run hills too, but sometimes I enjoy the bridge inclines to change up the pace. Try it! Let me know how you like it.

  3. I feel like I was the same way. In the winter I worked really hard to go from a 10 minute pace to a 9 minute pace, but this summer I have turned back to that 10 minute pace!! It’s frustrating, but I’m BLAMING the heat.

  4. I love running borough to borough! It’s how I start my long runs every Saturday: over the QB into manhattan off to central park. The hills are great for NYC marathon training. I was so annoyed that EVERYONE was walking the QB last year in the marathon; I had trained on it and OWNED that bridge! This year I planned a polite public service announcement: “Good morning! Walkers please move to the right. Thank you!” maybe they wont walk 10 abreast if I add a little sugar on top??? πŸ˜‰

    • I have that same feeling during every nyrr race. I’m not against people walking, just please move to the right! At mile 16, I bet the sugar on top would be key to moving them over πŸ˜‰

    • When I lived in NY and ran the QB every day, it was such a piece of cake in the marathon! Then when I ran NYCM again last year after training in flat Houston, I basically fell apart on it. I am determined not to die on that bridge this year.

  5. My training runs were going well until the last couple of weeks, but there’s ups and downs in all training! Glad you’re feeling better about running now :-)..We all have those freak-out moments as you know personally from me haha

    I say we do Bronx and just cab it up there!

  6. For fueling, I personally don’t feel like I need anything unless I’m running 2 hours or more total. When I am fueling, I usually do every hour or so. I prefer Clif Shot Blocks/Gu Chomps to gels, through fruit snacks work just as well in a pinch and are a lot cheaper. πŸ˜‰

      • I wouldn’t use them in a marathon (don’t take anything in halves), but in general, the calorie and sugar levels are pretty similar, so I think they’re fine for training runs. I usually don’t pay attention to caffeine when I buy real gels/chews, I just pick the flavors I like. I’m fine as long as I drink some coffee beforehand! πŸ™‚

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