Friday, July 29, 2011

Who Runs a Half Marathon After Being Sick All Week?!

So after a slightly rocky start to marathon training, I was hoping it would be smooth sailing from here on out...but alas, my body had other plans.

Last week I felt the cold coming on....but I refused to slow down.  It was week 1 of marathon training, I already had to take too many days off from being injured...these miles were getting run, and my body just didn't have a say in the matter.   I even managed to pull off a very early morning long run with my group in the heat wave, complete with homemade post-run Gatorade popiscles! (I know, I know...I am a culinary genius)

You know you want one for your next hot run!
 But this week....running was just not an option. In fact, speaking was barely an option since my throat was so sore and my lungs so congested. I finally dragged myself to get treated on Tuesday..and was given some antibiotics, some pain relief for my throat, and some over the counter suggestions as well.

And how many meds does it take to cure a cold?!

Fast forward to today. I'm feeling pretty good, and tried to do a shakeout run.  Ran 4 miles at what-should-have-been-a-very-easy-pace (about 10:20 min/mile on the treadmill) but instead it felt like a tremendous effort.  Not sure if I was mentally psyching myself out, or my body is still recovering...or likely a combination of both.

But alas, tomorrow is the Queens Half Marathon! It's pretty important I get myself across this finish line...not only is this New York City Marathon Qualifier #5 for me, but it's the New York City Half Marathon Qualifier #2 for me. If you recall, the terms for guaranteed entry for the half calls for running 4 out of 5 half marathons in NYRR's five borough half marathon series.  And since I missed the first qualifier for this past January (was still recovering from a previous injury...and had little desire to run a half marathon in 15 degree temps) - it's basically do or die.

The good news is the course is rumored to be pretty flat, the weather will be slightly cooler than last week's ridiculous heat wave, and the time limit is a pretty generous 3 hours, so I have a fairly large cushion.  And I never planned on treating this race as anything else as a supported training run, so I have 0 time expectations, unlike the first qualifying race I did in Brooklyn. But regardless, I'm fairly sure I am in for a slow, hot, lonngg "race" tomorrow.

Have you ever ran a race you weren't feeling 100 percent for? How did you manage to get by?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Annnnndd I'm Back in the Game!

This week marked the 17 week countdown until the New York City Marathon. My original was plan was to be on week two of an 18 week training program, but some knee issues forced me to rethink that a bit. So my revised plan of attack was to use this week to pull myself together, before launching into a revised 16 week program.  And getting my act together included trying for a long run for the first time in two weeks.  Eeeek!

My alarm went off at wonderful hour of 5:30 am. I had my standard half bagel and banana breakfast, threw on my clothes, and out the door I went.

This was the fourth week for my marathon group, but only my second time attending, because of said injury.  Luckily the group was super welcoming and I didn't feel like I missed a beat at all. I even had someone to pace with!

My original plan for the run was to go slow and steady and be super cautious with my knee.  I also have a tendency to take my training runs a bit close to race pace...which is generally bad.  But between the humidity, warm weather, and the monstrous hills...I had no problem taking it slower than race pace!  The worst hills came between in the beginning. I was tempted to take walk breaks, but my partner helped me power through them.  But around mile 7, the mostly uphills turned into mostly downhills, and it was smooth sailing from there. And the best part...no major knee pains!

My splits...oh gee, I wonder when I hit the hills ;)
This run gave me some much needed confidence to get started on marathon training next week.  But in the meantime...

Paul McCartney at Yankee Stadium

It was time for Paul McCartney at Yankee Stadium that evening.  He obviously was planning on throwing me a welcome-back-to-distance-running party ;)

Me and the boy showing off our NYY pride preshow

What was your longest/hardest workout this weekend? Did you do anything out of the ordinary?

PS - Make sure you are following...there's another giveaway coming up soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just a Minor Setback

Loyal blog readers, I'm sure you all have been anxiously awaiting my next post, and wondering what I've been doing...right?!

Well....the answer is, not a whole lot of anything.

Two days after my bike ride, I woke up to do my usual 5 mile run. Felt fine, great even. Got in the car, went to work, got back in the car...drove home. Stood up to get out of the car....ouch. The top of my right knee cap hurt so badly, I could barely stand up!

Clearly, it was time for lots of ice, stretching...and resting.

Love my Roller Massager!
I took the rest of the week off until my knee felt normal again. Last week I was slowly able to return to running - I wasn't sure how it would go, but I was able to do a few short runs, totaling 20 miles a week. Not terrible, considering the week before gave me me a total of 5 miles. But also not a great start to marathon training, either. I ended up deciding to ditch my original 18 week training plan, use this week as a kind of a reset week..and then try to start out again with a slightly less aggressive 16 week plan.

The good news is that my knee was set off by the biking, not the running. The bad news is...now I don't know how to handle cross training on the bike!  I really can't afford to take time off again, especially as I get deeper and deeper into the marathon training. But I don't want to give up on the bike, either! I've been having so much fun with it, it's great cross training...and there's the whole Olympic-triathlon-on-the-horizon-for-next-year thing as well.  Sigh.

Have any of you experienced any setbacks? How have you handled them?