Well, yesterday’s long run definitely made up for last Saturday’s. I didn’t get bit by a dog, so that automatically made it ten times better. But I have to admit, I was skittish every time a little mutt came near me. Yet another reason why I’m not a huge fan of small dogs (except for Penny, Nina! I love her).
Anyway, I kicked off yesterday’s 9-miler in Central Park, covering three miles with Under Armour for their Power in Pink: On the Run in NYC event. A bunch of us headed out in a pack, but quickly separated as there was a good mix of people at different fitness levels. Libby joined me on the run, so I stuck with her and we stayed between a 10- and 10:30/mile pace. My legs felt fantastic the entire time and I was more than excited for the next six miles I had to cover.
Under Armour gave us these fancy headbands for participating. I think its cute, but not something I would wear on a regular basis. It stayed put more than other headbands I’ve tried, but the material wasn’t lightweight and I found myself adjusting it more than I’d like. But hey, I’m not one to turn down a free headband for participating in a good cause.
The next six miles went by fast. I focused on my breathing and made sure that my form was right (trying to stop all the heel-striking I do), which made me forget about the time. I took a shot block at mile six and it kept my energy up the entire time. I even made negative splits on the last three miles! Check it out:
- Mile 1 – 10:09
- Mile 2 – 10:14
- Mile 3 – 10:18
- Mile 4 – 9:20
- Mile 5 – 9:41
- Mile 6 – 9:58
- Mile 7 – 9:51 (negative split!)
- Mile 8 – 9:44 (negative split again!)
- Mile 9 – 9:26 (negative split one more time!)
I came home hungry as a beast, so I quickly refueled with a giant cinnamon raisin bagel with triple berry cream cheese from Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company. But I wasn’t in Brooklyn — the shop is in Queens. This makes no sense to me, but it was delicious.
Dustin caught me spreading the love.
What can I say? It was that good. I contemplated a second one, but decided that might be a little much. Le sigh.
To make up for my behavior, I ventured out with Dustin in search of a puzzle. Don’t ask me why, but Dustin loves these things and he’s been dying to buy one for the last week. We ended up going all the way to Barnes and Noble in Union Square, where he picked out one of the city skyline. At least he was smart enough not to pick the one of Yankee stadium. Yuck.
He refused to stay still so I could get a non-blurry shot. “I have to do this puzzle right now!” Yes, sir.
In non-puzzle news, I headed out for five recovery miles today thinking my legs would feel heavy and be a little sore. I credit all the stretching and light walking I did yesterday after my long run because I felt great! I’m really happy with my times and couldn’t have asked for better weather. I finished in 46:41, with splits that looked like this:
- Mile 1 – 9:22
- Mile 2 – 9:30
- Mile 3 – 9:25
- Mile 4 – 9:26
- Mile 5 – 9:01 (what?!)
I’m really glad I was able to keep my times consistent, especially because I usually shoot out way too fast and don’t save my legs for later. Apparently I had something left in the tank this time around, eh? I’ll take it.
And now, I have an announcement! A few weeks ago I told y’all that my birthday half-marathon in New Orleans had been postponed until 2012 (still super bummed about this) and that I was looking for a new fall race. Well, I find one! Instead of running a race in six weeks, I’m now running one in two. Yeah…on October 14, I’m headed to California!
San Francisco, more specifically
I’m super pumped to be participating in the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon, despite my training plan being cut drastically. Luckily, I had been pre-training beforehand and I’m confident I can still cross the finish line strong. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this race, and well, I get a Tiffany’s necklace at the end. Which is handed to me by a fireman dressed up in a tuxedo. What’s not to love?!
I’m off to stretch some more. I need to go buy a foam roller, for real.
How was your weekend? Congrats to everyone who rocked a race!
I know you all have been worried the last few days, wondering how I would fare in this extremely important one-mile race that occurred yesterday.
Rest assured, my friends, all is well!
The race went really well and it was a ton of fun! My co-workers and I got together about a half-hour early before our heat began (we raced in the media heat) to do some dynamic stretching and just chat about stuff that didn’t revolve around work. Then we ventured down to the corrals, where we realized there were awards for best team outfits, etc! We had no idea! Unfortunately, we came unprepared for these fun categories, but we’re already prepping for next year. At least we had “Team Fitness” rockin’ on our sleeves. We looked pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.
I called out for advice on this race and basically a lot of people just told me to relax, have fun and run fast. Noted.
I also tried my best to follow this outline from Jess, which proved to be really helpful.
Going into the race, my plan was to run the:
- First 400 meters at 85% effort
- Second 400 meters at 75% effort to catch my breath
- Third 400 meters at 100% effort….just run.
- Final 400 meters at 110% effort…aka run like the wind, bullseye!
However, I didn’t follow the plan exactly. Oops.
Our heat was small because it was only the media organizations racing, and somehow I found myself at the very front toeing the starting line. I have never been able to actually toe the starting line before a race, making me one of the first people to pounce when the horn sounds. Standing on that line caused a lot of excitement and pressure. I wanted to run hard and I wanted to run fast. Soon, the horn blasted and I flew!
Before I knew it, we hit the quarter-mile mark and when I looked at my Garmin, I was pacing a 4:00-minute mile –woooooahhhhh Sam, simmer down. You cannot run that fast for very long. At all. So I reigned it in quite a bit until I was running at about a 7:00-minute mile. Phew.
Once I hit the half-way point, all bets were off. I kicked it up into high gear, tagging one of my teammates (who’s faster than me and actually does speed workouts) so I would forget about time and just run. The final quarter-mile arrived and I gave it everything I had. I angled my head down a little more, pumped my arms as much as I could, and sprinted. I planted my foot on the finish line at 7:19.
This race was a completely different experience for me, but it was so fun. My body kept trying to tell me to calm down so that I could run for a long time, but then my mind was screaming, “You’re almost done! Motivate yo booty!” So I think I landed somewhere in between, but closer to the motivate yo booty realm. After all, I haven’t ever run a mile that fast before. I think if I had followed the race plan closer, I would’ve run faster, but I’m not complaining
Running the race with all of my co-workers made it even more fun. We’re all passionate about fitness and well, we’re all just a lot of fun, so it was great hanging out with them for a little while outside of work. Yay for Team FITNESS!
I was supposed to high-tail it out of there right away to head upstate to my parent’s house, but Dustin ended up being called into work and knew he wouldn’t get out until at least 12:30. My race was over by 9:00a.m., so that meant more time for running! I decided to finish my long run, especially because I needed to log some miles after being sick for two days.
The first 4.5 miles went great. I maintained a steady 9:10 pace in Central Park and although my legs felt tight, they felt strong. Then I ventured out to see what was going on with the race, and it all went downhill from there. I was jogging on the cobblestone because the racers were on the pavement (not fun) and out of nowhere, a little dog pounced and latched onto my right thigh! I was shocked and screamed, but luckily the dog didn’t pierce my skin. There’s a lovely hole in my favorite capri pants though now. I was extremely irritated though because the dog’s owner, who watched it all happen, didn’t even ask me if I was alright! She saw me, yanked on the dog’s leash, and high-tailed it out of there. I find that to be incredibly rude and inconsiderate. Am I overreacting?
I ended up running back toward the Met, which makes me happy. I can’t help but think of Gossip Girl every time I see it. Does that show off my generation, or what?
Anyway, after the dog bite, my stomach went into crap-mode. Literally. (Sorry if I’m sharing too much) For the last 3.5 miles, I ended up stopping at three porta-potties, and running with an insanely painful side stitch. My pace slowed way down, but I was determined to finish. My splits weren’t fantastic, but at that point I didn’t care. I just wanted to be done.
I think my problems were with fueling, so I’ll be making some adjustments on the next long run to see how I fare. I’ve never had a bad long run before, so I’m glad that I now know I can power through it. I was also happy to know that I could immediately slurp down this delicious smoothie in a bowl.
Raspberries, cocoa powder, peanut butter and almond milk. Yum.
Did you run the Fifth Avenue Mile? How was it? And how do you deal with bad long runs?
Another week, come and gone! I don’t know about you, but time seems to be flying by faster and faster. We were hit with a cold front this week and I think it’s safe to say fall is officially here. Woohoo! Fall is my favorite season, by far. It’s so pretty, the temperatures are perfect, the fashion is fabulous and the surroundings just provide a ton of inspiration.
But I’m getting off topic…let’s get to the workouts of the week!
- 1 strength workout
- 1 yoga session
- 1 spin class
- Run 15 miles
- 7 planks
How I fared:
Monday: Ran 3 miles
Thursday: Ran 5 miles
I’m really proud of this run. I hadn’t gotten in this many miles before work yet, and my mind was constantly going back and forth about backing out of the last mile, but I told myself to suck it up and just do it. I did and it ended up being a great run!
Friday: Ran 4 miles + CoreFusion strength class
Funny story: I went through my whole work day thinking I was going to yoga in the evening with Libby. I walked through the door and the instructor looked at me funny, asking “why do you have a yoga mat?” Oops. Turns out Libby signed us up for a CoreFusion class, which incorporates components from yoga, but is mostly strength training with a lot of planks. Oh well, at least I got that workout out of the way.
Saturday: FITNESS Mind, Body, Spirit Games 4.1-mile run
I snagged a PR! It felt really good to get out in Central Park and face some more hills. I’m going to try to get one run in a week over there from now on.
Sunday: Yoga + Meeting Lance Armstrong
Tested out a new DVD at home and was pleasantly surprised! It’s great for beginners and I got a great stretch in. I still prefer going to a studio because of the atmosphere, but this is definitely handy for when I can’t make class.
Oh yeah, and I met Lance Armstrong. It was his birthday and he hosted a 4-mile run to celebrate that and his 15-year anniversary since his cancer diagnosis. I didn’t run for multiple reasons, but I went and met Lance and wished him a happy birthday. Unfortunately, it was crazy busy so no pictures were taken. He’s a really nice guy though, in case you all were wondering
Miles run (this week): 16
Miles run (total): 29
Strength workouts: 1
Yoga sessions: 1
Spin classes: 1
Planks: Who knows (Only from CoreFusion..failed doing these on my own)
Celebrity meetings: 3
I call this week a success! I’m really happy with all of my workouts and my body is feeling it. Doing my best to pay attention to it and make sure I don’t injure myself. I see yoga happening more frequently in my future!
Oh, and I have some stuff in the works for a new race…when details are confirmed I’ll let you know!
How did your workouts go this week?
I tackled three very, very hilly miles on Saturday, after running six miles on Friday, as part of a recovery run. Smart, right? I thought so.
I knew I wanted to get the miles in while I was away for the weekend and well, I was in the country, which means there was no escape from the miles. Where I was specifically located, there were a lot of rolling hills that looked like this:
Fun! The run was tough, but my legs felt surprisingly strong. I was eager to tackle the hills and although the sun was beating down on me pretty heavily, I pushed hard to overcome those mini mountains.
And then I realized something.
I actually like hills.
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true. I like running hills. Yes, I want to scream half of the time, but I get a surge whenever I’m running them and I get a little giddy when I see a hill workout on my training plan. My favorite part of spin class is when the instructor tells me to crank up the resistance, close my eyes and push. For some reason, I love the slow, intense movement and I thrive on the burn in my legs. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
So I pushed myself as hard as possible on Saturday and conquered three miles of constant hills. I finished in 29:15 and was proud of that time. I walked once or twice, but never for very long and very rarely on the uphill.
That’s another quirk about me: I’ve discovered that for me to get through hills, I just need to power through them. I used to mentally quit and walk halfway up, which would annoy me because then it would take even longer to get to the top. Now when I see one coming, I brace myself and run faster. I tell myself, “the faster you run, the quicker it’s done.” When I get to the top, I revel in victory and treat my legs to a nice shakeout on the downhill.
When times get really tough, I remind myself of the benefits I’m getting from a hill workout. My legs are becoming stronger and more prepared for those 26.2 hilly miles I intend to conquer in Nashville in April. Even though it’s a long way off, every little bit helps. When that doesn’t work, I take a second to forget about what I’m doing and just look at what’s surrounding me.
Not a bad view, right?
This is why I love my country roots. You just can’t get this in the city.
In other news…
I finished reading The Help this weekend, and even though I’m probably the last one on the planet to read it, I’m recommending it just in case someone hasn’t. If you’re one of those who hasn’t, go pick it up now! It’s so, so good. I haven’t read a book this good in a while. I got sucked in every time and was constantly irritated when I’d have to put it down. And I was very happy with the ending. Usually I feel like something is left unfinished when I end a book, but this one left me feeling satisfied. All the signs of a good book!
I’m going to see the movie this weekend with Libby and will have a review later! My girl-crush Emma Stone is in a starring role, so my hopes are high!
Do you like or loathe hill workouts? Have you seen and/or read The Help? Let me know what you think of each!