Tag Archives: New York City Marathon

No More Marathons

Before I get into this post, I wanted to let you know my GoMacro Bar giveaway is closed. Go check it out and see if you’ve won! Anyway…

 

“I was hopeful I’d have a better update for you, but no such luck…” is how I started my latest e-mail to my awesome (and patient) coach, Jason of Strength Running. We’ve been working together since the fall of 2013 and he’s helped me put in the work to drop my half marathon time by nearly 10 minutes, my 5k by 3 minutes, and to just overall become a better and smarter runner. So I knew that he’d be just as disappointed to hear what I was about to tell him – I’m not going to be running a fall marathon… for the third fall season in a row.

I’m sure a lot of you saw me tweet last Friday that I was able to run 2 miles without any foot and ankle pain, which is true. However, a few hours after the run while sitting at my desk at work, I started to feel that all too familiar discomfort. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely didn’t instill any confidence in me that I could run again the next day. With only thirteen weeks until the Chicago marathon start, I knew what I had to do. I had to pull the plug on marathon training.

If you’ve been following along, I had a killer spring and summer running season in 2014. I was pumped and ready to go for marathon training and it was well underway until ITBS came barging in at the end of September. By the middle of October I knew that my hopes for running (and crushing) the Philly marathon that November were gone. I spent the next two and a half months strengthening and going to PT and was ready to get back into it by late January. I started running again (albeit cautiously) and had a few decent workouts and longer runs. Then around the end of April/beginning of May I noticed a slight discomfort in my foot and ankle area after one of my longer runs. I didn’t think anything of it at first and was able to continue running without much issue. When it didn’t go away and started to get more noticeable, though, I realized it was time to take a little break; this was the end of May. It was at that point I realized I was dealing with the same issue I had in the summer of 2013, but I was hopeful I caught it early enough that I’d still have plenty of time to get back into marathon training. I did the take a week off, try to run, take another week off, try to run again cycle for a few weeks, and after running the Mini 10k and having my ankle swell afterwards, I went to the doctor. It’s not a stress fracture (which is great), but it’s not something I can run with, either. I can’t commit to training for a 26.2 race when I can’t get through a 2 mile run and not having pain during or after. Even if this completely clears up by next week (which I’m not holding my breath for), I don’t have a solid base to go into a rushed training cycle. With my track record, I’d wind up injuring something else either during training or on race day. It’s just not worth it.

So what does this mean? Well, it means I’ve wasted a whole lot of money [insert the flying money emoji here]! I’m obviously extremely disappointed and frustrated; this is now the the third season in a row that I’ve signed up for a marathon and will be unable to run it. And you know what they say about three strikes — you’re out. So I’ve committed to NOT signing up for any more marathons for quite some time. Once this current injury is gone, I’m planning to stick to the shorter stuff – I’m thinking 5k/10k revolution. Only after staying injury free for a while will I even entertain the idea of signing up for another marathon. At this point, my wallet and my sanity couldn’t handle it any other way.

That being said, I’m unsure if I’ll be in Chicago for the marathon or not. The hotel is already booked, I have a lot of friends running, and Chicago is one of my most favorite cities in the world. So I’m leaning towards using it as an excuse for a weekend trip and cheer session. Sure, it’ll be hard to be on the sidelines, but the deep dish pizza and beer will help make up for that.

In the meantime you can find me sweating it out at FlyWheel and Refine Method. Thank goodness for awesome cross training options.

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A Marathon Weekend

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in almost a month – whoops! But have no fear – I’m back!

This past weekend was full of running, so I had to share. Since my last update in regards to not running a marathon this fall and planning to make (small) racing decisions much closer to the actual date of the race, running has been going really well. Though I’m sure I’ve now jinxed myself. I managed to squeeze out 100 miles in October which is the highest mileage month I’ve seen since June! My paces are starting to get closer to where they were pre-foot drama, and I’m hoping to be able to do a 1:50 or lower in the Richmond Half and keep on truckin’ after that. I have some ideas for races after that, but no solid plans.

But back to the weekend – it was New York City Marathon Weekend!! While I’ve never run the race (was supposed to last year), I’ve spectated a few times and grew up loving the NYCM excitement. Now that I have so many runner friends (in real life and on the internet!), it wasn’t even a question if I’d make the trip into the city to cheer everyone on – I knew I had to be there. Conveniently, one of my good friends from home now lives in Brooklyn, (in the same neighborhood where I grew up many moons ago) which made it easy to head into the city early Saturday morning, stay over, get my cheer on, and leave afterwards.

Since a bunch of Oiselle Team members were running the marathon including the top bird Sally, we all got together for brunch on the Upper West Side at Josie’s. I took an early train into the city (that was already running 20 minutes behind schedule at 7:45am), and met up with my teammate Lauren to walk from Penn Station to the restaurant. It was an absolutely gorgeous day (I was sweating a bit wearing my long sleeve shirt!), and it was fun to see the throngs of runners out for their pre-marathon “shakeout” runs. Brunch was fabulous (how can I ever say no to a breakfast burrito?), and I had a wonderful time getting to know new teammates and catching up with others, while also checking out some of Oiselle’s spring line!

Picture from Steph! Me, Steph, Sally, and Victoria!

Picture from Steph! Me, Steph, Sally, and Victoria!

After brunch I took advantage of the beautiful weather and met up with my friend in Brooklyn and hung out in Prospect Park for a bit. It’s funny going back to a place where I spent so much time when I was younger, thinking about that giant and beautiful park in the middle of the “concrete jungle” where I used to force my mom and dad to play some completely ridiculous games with me. While we were sitting on the grass at one point, I mentioned how I used to play “rolly-polly” and insist my parents join in… which was basically starting at the top of a hill, and barrel rolling myself down it. Only a few minutes after talking about that, three adorable little kids came running over, threw themselves on the ground, and started rolling down the hill. It was quite a moment of nostalgia!

The "Dog Beach" at the park

The “Dog Beach” at the park

It eventually started to drizzle, so we made our way to a fun new wine bar on 6th Street where we each had a wine flight of 4 different white wines. The bar is small, but they have artwork (available for sale) and some really great wines you can get by the glass or bottle. The rest of our evening was low-key, since we had plans to get up early for a run, followed by marathon cheering!

We woke up around 7am (thanks to the extra hour of sleep!) and made our way back to the park for a run. It was gray and windy, and I couldn’t help but think of all the runners huddled at the Verrazano bridge anxiously awaiting their start. I hoped the wind would die down, and it did, but not until early afternoon. I did a loop of the park, and headed back for a total of 5.55 miles. After doing my “long” run of 10 miles on Friday and walking about 8 on Sunday, the 5 miles was more than enough. Plus, it finally got me to 30 miles for the week, which I haven’t seen in a very long time!

Oh hai Kim Smith & Amy Hastings!

Oh hai Kim Smith & Amy Hastings!

After the run we quickly got ready and claimed our spot on 4th Avenue and 10th street, which was a perfect spot to see the elites come ripping through. We stayed in Brooklyn for a bit after that in hopes of seeing some friends in the first waves (I missed most of them, of course), and then we quickly took the train to Manhattan, where I met up with Ashley & Co. for some cheering at the 30k mark. I was able to see everyone I was hoping to see (with the exception of a few), and even got a sweaty hug from Kara! After the last of the runners I was hoping to see came past the 30k mark, I was ready to head home. I never realized how tiring cheering can be since I’m usually the one out on the course! So naturally when I got home I ordered a pizza and found myself in bed by 8:30pm.

Cowbellin'

Cowbellin’

While I was out there cheering, I had mixed emotions. Part of me was so relieved to be on the sidelines cheering, while part of me wanted to be out there, crawling my way through the city. And of course, like any logical person, I randomly teared up and had to take a moment here and there throughout the day. The marathon is such a beast – I love it, I hate it, it makes me happy, it makes me sad, and I can’t get enough of it. Hopefully I can get myself through some longer runs “for fun” in the near future (i.e. running a 14 or 16 miler without the pressure of official marathon training). If I’m able to do that, I’ll consider signing up for my next marathon. But until then, I’m going to stick to 13.1 and under. And if anything, this weekend reminded me of one very important thing: I LOVE RUNNING AND THE RUNNING COMMUNITY!

Tell me …
Did you run the NYC Marathon this weekend? 
And if you didn’t, when/where are you racing next?!

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What’s Next?

Thanks again for all the congratulations on the Chicago Marathon – it was so much fun and is definitely a race I hope to do again in the future!

You may remember that after registering for the Chicago Marathon, I also put my name into the New York City Marathon lottery, figuring I wouldn’t get accepted. Well, of course with that mentality I made the cut, and was all ready to run NYC on November 4th. As I was going through the motions of my “training” for Chicago, I started to question whether or not I could really run NYC a mere 4 weeks later. For me, it was more than just if I could physically do it – a big part of it was mental, too.

I realized that NYC had a deferral option, which a lot of races do not offer. After looking into it more, I knew I could run Chicago, assess how I felt, and still have some cushion time to decide whether or not I’d toe the line (well, bridge) on November 4th. By the time training had finished for Chicago, I knew there was a very small chance I was going to be running New York; I was just mentally tired and wanted to have my weekends back. I wanted to be able to go for a run because I wanted to – not because I had to. So, I went and ran Chicago, had an amazing time, and was surprisingly not very sore considering my lack of efficient training. All signs were pointing to me being able to successfully complete the marathon. But for the first time in a long time, I sat down and thought to myself: “is this really the best idea right now?”

After a few days of contemplation and seriously battling the all too familiar runner’s high, I decided to defer my entry to the NYC 2012 Marathon to next year. The real nail in the coffin so to speak was my start time – 11:30am! That means I’d be hanging out for a solid 4.5 hours before starting to run… for likely another 4.5 hours. Thinking about that just made me tired, and I realized it just wouldn’t make sense for me mentally and physically to put myself through another 26.2 just 4 weeks later, with less than solid training behind me.

So now that I’m out for NYC, what does that mean? Well, I’m still doing the Goofy Challenge in Disney the second week in January – that’s right, 13.1 miles on Saturday and 26.2 on Sunday! From now until then I’ll be running some shorter local races, and enjoying cross training. Of course I need to ramp up training again within the next two weeks or so to make sure I can tackle the 39.3, but that race is done more for “fun” so I’m not concerned with time, just mileage. I’m thinking about maybe running a marathon in the Spring/early Summer, but have no definite plans yet. I’m going to just enjoy running, and if I feel like I’m ready for another marathon in the future, I’ll address it then – no more of this signing up for races months and months and months in advance!

And before I forget, here’s a video of me finishing Chicago – I’m in the blue shirt with the 4:25 pace bib on my back doing what I thought at the time was “blowing by people in the final meters,” but was really a light jog, ha! Thanks to the hubs for rushing over to the stands to catch me!

What are your fall/winter racing plans?

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Marathon Training: The Home Stretch

With the Chicago marathon a mere 5 weeks away, I suppose you’re wondering how things have been going. The only way training can be described is “okay.” Even though it’s only okay, it’s the first training cycle I’ve had since my training for my very first half marathon (back in May 2010) where I haven’t gotten sidelined by a running related injury! I have, however, had a few struggles with my GI, most recently the flare-up that caused me to try giving up gluten.

The longest run I’ve completed to date has been 14 miles. Originally I was planning to get in 2-3 20 milers, but with a trip to Europe, my GI woes, and life in general, that just isn’t going to happen. So instead, after this past weekend’s run I’m planning on a 16, 18, and a 20 before tapering. For a lot of people that probably doesn’t seem like enough training, but before my first marathon last November I only completed one 18 miler, and I survived. I realize this means I probably won’t smash my PR, but I have high hopes that I’ll at least come in under my 4:37 PR simply by having more experience and being faster overall.

I’ve actually read quite a few articles that believe the elusive 20 miler isn’t necessary aside from being a mental boost. Most of these plans mention doing a 3 hour run. For someone like my husband, that means a 20 miler (plus some). But for someone like me, that’s more like an 18 miler. A big reason for this is due to weekly mileage – someone like me worries about my long run on the weekend, and doesn’t run nearly enough during the week, which hurts training just as much as not doing a long run. So, if it means keeping my mileage during the week higher and doing a shorter (but still long!) long run, I’d be willing to give it a try. I’ve also read some suggestions on running two medium length runs back to back, instead of one super long run (i.e. a 10 miler Saturday, and a 10 miler Sunday). I’m obviously not experienced enough (nor do I have enough time left) to have the room to experiment much, but I’m at a point now here I have to just run as frequently as I can, while keeping my mileage at the right amount to make sure I’m successful in the marathon without hurting myself before or during.

Running both Chicago and New York give me a unique opportunity – if Chicago isn’t a huge success, I still have another marathon a mere 4 weeks after. Obviously this will only work if I’m not too beat up after Chicago, which fingers crossed, I don’t think I will be. Only time will tell!

Any words of advice in my last few weeks of training?
Who’s running Chicago? New York? Both?! 

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