Training Log: Philadelphia Marathon (summer, fall 2016)

Leslie and I are training for the Philadelphia Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, Nov. 20.  If all goes well, I’ll beat my PR of 2:49 from Paris in 2008. I’m devising my training plan from an old copy of Jack Daniels’ Running Formula (copyright 1998).

The Bible
The Bible

Most days, I just run for time and then estimate the distance based on whether I think I was closest to running 7, 8 or 9-minute miles. What follows is my progress:

Week 23: (phase 4, week 6)

Sat, 11/19 — early morning shake-out in New York City, before taking bus to Philadelphia. Ran 20 minutes in Carl Schurz park; (2 or 3 miles)

Sun, 11/20 (RACE DAY) — 8-minute warmup. 26.2 mile race (2:50:21, or 6:30/mile), no cooldown — 27 miles     

1) 6:47 – 6:47
2) 6:18 – 13:05
3) 6:11 – 19:17
4) 6:20 – 25:37
5) 6:20 – 31:58
6) 6:28 – 38:26
7) 6:21 – 44:48
8) 6:29 – 51:17
9) 6:10 – 57:28
10) 6:36 – 1:04:05
11) 6:17 – 1:10:23
12) 6:09 – 1:16:32
13) 6:24 – 1:22:57
HALF #1: 1:23:40
14) 6:27 – 1:29:24
15) 6:13 – 1:35:38
16) 6:29 – 1:42:07
17) 6:23 – 1:48:30
18) 6:28 – 1:54:59
19) 6:40 – 2:01:39
20) 6:40 – 2:08:20
21) 6:36 – 2:14:57
22) 6:37 – 2:21:35
23) 6:44 – 2:28:19
24) 6:57 – 2:35:17
25) 6:58 – 2:42:16
26) 6:41 – 2:48:57
26.2) 1:22 – 2:50:21

First half: 1:23:40; Second half: 1:26:41

Week 22: (phase 4, week 5)

Sat, 11/12 — 1:45:00 with Les, 2 reservoir loops, then a full Central Park loop, then another reservoir loop, then home (13 miles)

Sun, 11/13 — off

Mon, 11/14 — 43 mins, two CP reservoir loops (5 miles)

Tues 11/15 — 10 min warmup, fartlek around Central Park reservoir: 1-1-2-2-3-3-4-4-3-3-2-2-1-1, with the first number being uptempo (sub 6ish?) and second number jogging rest. Then, 11 minute cooldown (53 mins total; 6 miles)

Wed 11/16 — 27 minutes (3 miles) reservoir loop with Les

Thurs 11/17 — 31 mins (4 miles) reservoir loop by msyelf and some neighborhood add on

Fri 11/18 — off

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 31 miles, somehow. By this point, it felt like I was barely running at all this week! Weather report for Sunday morning is tooooons of wind, and cold — hopefully the wind stays at bay; anyway, I should be ready to go!

Week 21: (phase 4, week 4)

Sat, 11/5 — off, resting leg

Sun, 11/6 — NYC Marathon was this morning — tons of fun. Got up early and did lots of exercises (abs, side leg raises, “clams”, squats, planks, foam roller, stretching, etc.). Anyway, I was feeling much better, so I went out for a 36 minute jog with Leslie, testing things out, and there wasn’t really any pain — perhaps a little tightness. Hope I’ve got this beat. Anyways, run was to East River, then up to the footbridge and back, then to Whole Foods (4 miles)

Mon, 11/7 — Hmmm, ran 43 minutes, 2 laps of the CP reservoir; definitely felt a sensation in my left glut at points, especially after the first few minutes. I tried shortening my stride and focused on keeping my knees closer together, thereby activating (maybe??) my left gluteal medius more and that seemed to help. But this was not great running. Now I’m getting depressed and, uggggghhh!!! (5 miles)

Tues 11/8 — 52 minutes, 3 reservoir loops, kinda picked it up at times — this is better than yesterday; I had some soreness, especially when I tried picking it up. But my stride was more open than yesterday, which is good! (6 miles)

Wed 11/9 — 55 minutes, 3 reservoir loops with Les; also a little UES jog around. Went to Dr. Metzl today and he thinks it’s just exterior gluteal strain and said to keep doing what I’m doing — strength exercises, stretching (pigeon and lizard poses), Motrin and ice. And said, as far as running, just keep going, let it warm up a couple miles before going fast, etc. Good to hear! Picked it up last 1.25 miles around reservoir (using newly discovered quarter mile markers) in about 6:18 pace.  (6 miles)

Thurs 11/10 — 30-min warmup to east village track, 5-mile tempo, 30-minute cooldown; wasn’t quite sure how my glut would feel, but happy to get this faster paced run in. My glut felt largely fine (yes!!), though the pace of the run didn’t feel especially easy, haha. Closed nicely, though…. Splits: 5:59, 5:58 (11:57), 5:57 (17:55), 5:57 (23:53), 5:40 (29:33) (11 miles)

Fri 11/11 — Before work, 42 minutes, ran two reservoir loops, slow (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 37 miles — well, my glut situation APPEARS to be under control (fingers crossed!) which is great. Did lots of squats and muscle things, which probably helped, but it made my stride feel a little weird. Hopefully that’ll be cleared up by race day!

Week 20: (phase 4, week 3)

Sat, 10/29 — Yeeeeeeesh. This was hell day, 15 miles at goal marathon pace, a workout I’ve been dreading. It’s amazing how much that can hurt. It leaves you doubting that you’ll be able to come even REMOTELY close to said marathon goal pace (what with the extra 11.2 miles you’ve got to maintain, of course). Anyway, we did it in hilly Central Park. Started around East 85th, ran 2.5 loops.  Ran 19:40, 18:36 (38:16 first full loop), 19:42, 18:55 (1:16:54, or 38:38 second full loop), then 20:40 (bonking!) for a total time of 1:37:35. Depending on whether I want to call this 15 miles or 15.2 miles (bc a full loop is apparently 6.04 miles, and the first half is more like 3.1 miles) it was about 6:25-28/mile. Anyways, should be interesting to see how that feels come marathon day — because today, it was pretty hard to maintain. I was in serious pain by the third loop (19 miles)

Sun, 10/30 — 48 minutes with Les, two laps of Central Park reservoir (outer loop) (5 miles)

Mon, 10/31 — 60 minutes with Les, three laps of CP reservoir (inner loop) (7 miles)

Tues 11/1 — 82 minutes, perhaps ill-advised, as I’m trying to start tapering. Worse yet, my left glut started flaring up on walk home and I spent a half hour rolling it out, kneading it with the stick, using BenGay, etc. I probably should have skipped run, but was meeting up with Sam, who’s doing NYC Marathon this weekend. Gotta cheer for him! (9 miles)

Wed 11/2 — 30-minute warm-up to East Village track. Then, 5-mile tempo in 29:19. Splits: 6:02, 5:54 (11:56), 5:48 (17:45), 5:51 (23:36), 5:43 (29:19), or 5:51/mile, then 32-min cool down. This may have been epically stupid. My left glut was extremely tight and hurting at points. My left leg stride felt pretty f—ed up for first 1.5 miles of tempo. It loosened up as I picked up the pace but the cooldown was a disaster. Hobbled home and did lots of ice and stretches and exercises. (11 miles)

Thurs 11/3 — off

Fri 11/4 — off

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 51 miles in 5 days; nervous about left glut; not good that it’s flaring up this close to the race; thankfully, I’m entering taper time

Week 19 (phase 4, week 2):

Sat, 10/22 — 3 hours, 1 minute, with Leslie, ran the Trumbull trails all the way to the bitter end (plus another 5 or so minutes jogging on roads up in Newtown) and back. Much of it was in cold, hard rain and it was probably about 50 degrees out, which made for tough conditions (but toughens ya up!) Other than the rain, it was lovely out, with leaves all yellow and red and orange and a good many of them already fallen on the trail. (21 miles)

Sun, 10/23 — 63 minutes with Leslie in Fairfield; perfect fall weather! (7 miles)

Mon, 10/24 — 78 minutes — Ran from office, up through Central Park with Reese, then back down to office, then kept jogging and went over the Queensboro Bridge all the way into Long Island City, where I turned around and came home. Left glut was kinda sore (10 miles)

Tues 10/25 — 66 minutes, full central park loop by myself (8 miles)

Wed 10/26 — 44-min warm-up around Midtown and then down to East Village track, where it was cold and a liiiitle blustery. Ran “interval” paced session, and the rests were possibly too short. Also, I felt like I was practically sprinting, yet wasn’t moving particularly fast, haha — where, oh where, has my speed gone? Anyways, ran 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 meters with jogging rests that were, in order, 100, 200, 300, 400, 300, 200, 100 meters — Splits: 1:21 (:37 rest), 2:43 (1:05), 4:08 (1:56), 5:36 (2:50), 4:09 (2:04), 2:43 (1:28), 1:16 (34min cd) (12 total)

Thurs 10/27 — Before work, full Central Park loop, by myself, moving as slow as I wanted (which was pretty slow!) (8 miles)

Fri 10/28 — Off! First day off in all of October, which is pretty crazy (and possibly demented)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 66 miles — good week; nice long run Saturday, tough interval session, time to start my three-week “taper” before the marathon

Week 18 (phase 4, week 1):

Sat, 10/15 — Today was one of the big days, the kind you mark your calendar for. Did 22-minute warmup to and around Central Park, then 2 x 2-miles at tempo pace with a 2-min jogging rest, then 84 minutes of long run (Central Park and Riverside Park), then, beginning at 2:13:00, a 3-mile tempo run, and finally a 15-minute cooldown — all told, it was 2:47:00. The tempos were all roughly around 6-minute mile pace. Afterwards, my legs felt trashed, like we’d actually just run a marathon, which is the point. Good job! (21 miles)

Sun, 10/16 — 56 minutes with Leslie in Central Park, not moving too quickly but enjoying some Indian Summer weather! (6 miles)

Mon, 10/17 — 68 minutes with Leslie, full Central Park loop (8 miles)

Tues 10/18 —  Full CP loop, no watch; (8 miles)

Wed 10/19 — 30-minute warmup to East Village track, then 8-mile fast tempo, then 30-minute cooldown. Legs felt pretty good, but the pace felt kind of fast (faster than I’d like it to have felt; ah well) Splits: 5:58, 5:59 (11:57), 5:59 (17:56), 5:58 (23:56), 5:59 (29:55), 5:58 (35:53), 5:57 (41:51), 5:44 (for total of 47:34, or 5:57/mile) (14 miles)

Thurs 10/20 — Ran with Nick DeFelice in Central Park, full loop, brisk pace; 60 minutes (8 miles)

Fri 10/21 — Ran solo before work, full Central Park loop; much slower than last night; 71 mins (8 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 73 miles — wow, that’s surely my peak for this training cycle. Probably won’t hit that again (assuming I do) until February in the leadup to the Boston Marathon. It was a good, solid week with a real banger of a Saturday long workout and a nice, hard 8 mile tempo on Wednesday. Hope I’m not overdoing it and making my legs stale, guess we’ll see! 

Week 17 (phase 3, week 6):

Sat, 10/8 — 1:13 in Lanikai and Kailua — found the Obama vacation house! Ran with Les along Kailua bay beach during a goooorgeous bay at sunset. Just f’in great — lots of nice people and cool dogs (including a greyhound that was running from one owner to the other and making us feel like we were wearing cement shoes) (8 miles)

Sun, 10/9 — 1:16 in Lanikai and Kailua — most of it on the beach; went all the way to the end of Kailua Bay, as far as you could go (mostly on sand) until you hit someone’s property, then turned around and ran back (9 miles)

Mon, 10/10 — 32 mins with Les in early morning, ran to Kailua’s Kalapawai Market and back before breakfast — then a light swim, head back to beach to hang, then, sadly, to the airport to fly home (4 miles)

Tues 10/11 — Back in NYC, where fall has arrived; Ran 1:38 — Central Park north loop, twice, plus reservoir loop (12 miles)

Wed 10/12 — 30-min warmup to East Village track, 8-mile tempo, 31-min cooldown — first two miles, my legs were feeling kinda tight and heavy (maybe did too much yesterday?) but they loosened up. Last mile or two I started tightening up again a bit, with my legs feeling heavy, but overall it was good Splits: 5:58, 6:00 (11:59), 5:58 (17:57), 6:00 (23:57), 6:00 (29:57), 5:57 (35:55), 5:58 (41:54), 5:44 (47:39) (14 miles)

Thurs 10/13 — 56 mins with Les, 3 reservoir loops at Central Park (6 miles)

Fri 10/14 — 67 mins, early morning, full Central Park loop; legs feeling pretty heavy, I must say (8 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 61 miles — not bad considering there was no long run. Technically, this was the end of “Phase III,” but since last week had no track workout and this week had no long run, I’ll probably consider next week still somewhat Phase III’ish; then start tapering with three weeks out

Week 16 (phase 3, week 5):

Sat, 10/1  — Hawaii! Kauai! Ran 70 mins with Les in the early evening from our Poipu Beach condo, down Poipu Road heading east to (and then along) a dirt road, which ultimately brought us to a Horse Rodeo place, then down a stony dirt trail to a secluded beach. Coming back, trade winds were blowing at our back and it felt great! (8 miles)

Sun, 10/2 — First super really long run. Ran 3:00:00 with Les in Kauai. Hurt like a mother the last 45 minutes or so. For a run this long, Kauai, for all its beauty, isn’t the best. Lots of running on side of roads, especially when we went up through the “tunnel of trees” — harrowing! But it’s all good, got finished and sprawled out on the beach (20 miles)

Mon, 10/3 — Ran 1:23, first hour with Les, then tacked on another 20 minutes (10 miles)

Tues 10/4 — 72 mins, first 60 with Les, past Kauai’s Grand Hyatt, which is jaw-droppingly cool, and around, up on a hill. Busy day; surfed this morning! Then went snorkeling, then run, then luau! (8 miles)

Wed 10/5 — 43 mins with Les, to Grand Hyatt and back and jumped in water (5 miles)

Thurs 10/6 — 52 mins with Les; we flew to Oahu today and are staying in Lanikai/Kailua; we explored the new town — sweet! (6 miles)

Fri 10/7 — 1:17:00 running around Lanikai and Kailua (Oahu), nice and easy (9 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 66 miles — not bad for vacation! Got a really good long run in but chose to skip any hard efforts since, well, this is vacation

Week 15 (phase 3, week 4):

Sat, 9/24 — Fighting off a cold, but I got up early and ran full Central Park loop, trying to go easy pace, and added a little in the Upper East Side for 68 minutes. My legs felt like real dogs this morning. Tomorrow’s a big day — 12-miler at goal race pace (8 miles)

Sun, 9/25 — This one hurt. It was my first “marathon paced” workout of this cycle, a 12-miler in Central Park, and I went into it with tired legs and a lingering cold. I’m always amazed at how hard the Marathon Pace workouts are — they really make you question whether you’ll be able to run anywhere NEAR this pace for the actual marathon. But race day has a lot going for it… Today, I did 12 miles, or two loops of Central Park (whatever exactly that is – 6 miles a loop? 6.05? 6.1?) starting at the traffic light by the East 85th Street entrance to the reservoir area. I used the bridge over the West 85th Street traverse as my 3-mile mark (may have been a little over that, say, by 20-30 seconds, or maybe not). Anyway, splits are not scientific in terms of miles. Went: 1:16:18, or 6:21 a mile, for 12 — 3-mile splits of 19:27, 18:31 (37:58), 19:38, 18:41 (38:19). Had a 20-minute warm up and 30-min SLOOOOW cool down. Then took a nap while Leslie made dinner. (17 miles)

Mon, 9/26 — 60 mins with Les, easy pace, three Central Park reservoir loops (7 miles)

Tues 9/27 — 68 mins easy, four Central Park reservoir loops (8 miles)

Wed 9/28 — 30-min warmup to East Village track, 6-mile tempo, 33-minute cooldown. It was pretty windy and rainy out, especially heading down backstretch (wind in your face). Felt pretty good on this one. Splits: 6:01, 5:56 (11:57), 5:59 (17:57), 5:59 (23:56), 5:57 (29:54), 5:49 (35:43)…. (total 13 miles)

Thurs 9/29 — 72 mins, 5 Central Park reservoir loops — left IT Band started feeling a little tight toward end. Gotta get on roller! (9 miles)

Fri 9/30 — Off; flew to Hawaii for vacation

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 62 miles

Week 14 (phase 3, week 3):

Sat, 9/17 — Hell workout! All told, ran 2 hours, 40 minutes at Trumbull trails  — with tons of tempo running in there. Did a 2-mile warmup and then 4 x mile with 60 second rests (5:43, 5:49, 5:42, 5:50), then 90 minute jog with Leslie up into Monroe, then 2.5-mile tempo to finish the workout off (starting about 2 hours, 14 mins into the workout) and hit 5:52, 5:53, 2:47, or 14:33 or 5:49/mile), and then an 11-minute cooldown. This is one of the hellish workouts Jack Daniels likes to slip into his program, where you’re supposed to simulate the feeling in your legs of late in a marathon. And this happened, though I was pretty happy with how I felt today. Overall, great workout! (19 miles, though probably more)

Sun, 9/18 — 65 minutes with Leslie, jogging up to Fairfield Warde High and around the old trails we used to run in high school (7 miles)


Mon, 9/19 —  53 minutes with Leslie, easy again, in Central Park (6 miles)

Tues 9/20 — Early morning, full Central Park loop; 67 minutes (8 miles)

Wed 9/21 — 35-min warmup to East Village track (made longer because the UN General Assembly is happening, so our usual route past the U.N. got diverted), then a 6-mile tempo run — Splits: 5:58, 6:01 (11:59), 6:00 (17:59), 5:59 (23:59), 5:59 (29:58), 5:49 (35:48), then a 37-minute cooldown. Weather was ideal, and the days are getting shorter so the w/o really got started after sunset, though the portable lights were on for a soccer game. (13 miles)

Thurs 9/22 — off

Fri 9/23 — Early morning, 63 minutes — Central Park along Bridal Trail to the dead end, then completed the lower loop (7 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 60 miles — nice! Had a couple great workouts and trying to keep my easy days easy for recovery’s sake. Glad to hit the 60 mark, arbitrary though it may be.

Week 13 (phase 3, week 2):

Sat, 9/10 — Long run with Leslie, 2:40:00 for roughly 18 miles. Heading out about 8:15 a.m., we crossed Central Park to Riverside Park, then headed up north along the Hudson River all the way to the La Marina dock at the northern end of Fort Tryon Park, near Dyckman Street. Then we turned around and came back (getting stuck on wrong side of the West Side Highway from about 125th Street to 96th, exposing us to the scorching sun and humidity instead of the pleasant Riverside Park — oh well! Came home and did lots of stretching — 18 miles.

Sun, 9/11 — 63 minutes, with Leslie, we went over to Randall’s Island, took some photos for the RunnerPub homepage, then looped around the island some (passing Icahn Stadium, where they used to host Diamond League races). Easy pace. Surprised my legs weren’t sore from yesterday; that said, they felt a bit tired and weak, but that’s to be expected! (7 miles)

Mon, 9/12 — 66 minutes, full Central Park loop, by myself in the morning. I certainly wasn’t moving very quickly but it was really nice out — kind of fallish (8 miles)

Tues 9/13 — 30-minute warmup to track, five-mile tempo run in 29:44 (5:55, 5:59 (11:54), 5:56 (17:51), 5:59 (23:50); 5:53) and then a 31-minute cooldown; (11 miles)

Wed 9/14 — 68 minutes easy, shin kind of hurting a bit (8 miles)

Thurs 9/15 — off, but did lots of squats (120!); should be sore tomorrow

Friday 9/16 — 45-minute morning run, two Central Park reservoir loops and some Upper East Side add-on jogging (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 57 miles


Week 12:

Sat, 9/3 — (westport 10-miler) 15-min warmup, 10-mile race, 45-min cooldown (16 miles); 6:09, 12:29 (6:20); 18:39 (6:09); 24:24 (5:44); 30:32 (6:07); 37:06 (6:34 – hilly); 43:14 (6:07); 49:14 (6:00); 54:52 (5:38); 6:21 (1:01:14, or 6:07 a mile) Heyy, not bad! First mile or two felt like I was running a bit too hard for pace, but then settled in and felt really smooth throughout most of race. I was a good 20-30 seconds faster per most miles compared to a year ago; I thought I was closing faster than I did but that last mile is a tough cookie. Anyways, felt strong and, as I said, at times like I was really in a good, fast groove, which was nice. (16 miles)

Sun, 9/4 — 64:00 up to Gay Bowers Lane and back in Greenfield Hill — my left shin was super tight, I gotta work that out, with the stick, etc.  (7 miles)

Mon, 9/5 — 70 mins in morning with Les, traverse to traverse, then around reservoir; shin was feeling better…but still I could feel it… iced afterwards and a couple more times throughout day (8 miles)

Tues 9/6 — 60 mins by self, 3.5 laps around reservoir at night, trying to stay on soft surfaces; again, shin felt better but could still feel it; certainly not perfect. Iced some after and  have to keep working calf with stick and stretching; also my left glute was (is) a bit sore. The aches and pains are here! But it’s phase three training, so what do you expect? Haha (7 miles)

Wed 9/7 — Yeesh, tough day! 30-min wu to east vill track with Les, then 2x5k tempo with 10-min jogging rest (Les did 2×2.5 mile @ ~6:57) then 30-min cd. I was still pretty stiff from Saturday’s 10 miler and the increased mileage I’m doing now so it was hard to rev motor up — but got it going by middle and second half. Splits: (6:06, 6:04 (12:11), 6:01 (18:12), 43 (18:56), then 10-min jog, then 5:57, 6:03 (12:00), 5:54 (17:55), 43 (18:38) (13 miles)

Thurs 9/8 — 45 mins, couple laps around reservoir, then home — I was in pain all over, legs feeling dead, some pain in my shin and left glute; but kept pace super slow and tomorrow’s off. Been a good week of training, so important to stay healthy and recovering (5 miles)

Fri 9/9 — off

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 56 miles — nice! Think working the stick and foam roller on my legs (especially left one) is starting to pay dividends re: shin and glute — let’s hope so anyway.

Week 11:

Sat, 8/27 — 16 miles, 2:22:00 with Les at the Trumbull Trails. Turned around at like 70 minutes. On way back, we detoured down to Wolfe Lake for some water. Legs felt okaaaaay, I definitely had some sorenesses and stuff. But we had a good convo going and, honestly, the run went by pretty quickly all things considered. It wasn’t too hot out, though in the sun it was pretty warm. Good day (16 miles)

Sun, 8/28 — with Les, 65 minutes in mid-afternoon in fairfield, up into Greenfield Hill to Gaybowers Lane and back, cutting through Fairfield U (7 miles)

Mon, 8/29 — 54 minutes with Les, Central Park, traverse to traverse and a little UES add-on — pace was easy, which is good bc we put a lot of miles in over the weekend and I’m doing a track tempo tomorrow night. My left shin felt a liiiittle bit soft so I’ll need to monitor that, stretch my calves, put some ice on, etc. Anyway, days are getting shorter! (6 miles)

Tues 8/30 — nice out, warm but with nice crisp breeze and not hot; 30-minute warmup jog down to the east village track, then 4-mile tempo run, then 30-minute cooldown. Felt in control and like I wasn’t pushing it too much. Did pick it up some as 4-miler went on, but overall, I thiiiiiink, this was what I wanted to do ahead of this Saturday’s 10-miler. Now I just need to relax the next few days, get in my miles and recover. Anyway: 5:56, 5:57, 5:53, 5:47 (5:56, 11:54, 17:48, 23:35). (11 miles)

Wed 8/31 — Full central park loop by myself; my left shin was a little tender, especially for the first half, but kinda loosened up and never really really hurt. 61 minutes, full cp loop, mostly easy pace (until I got Arcade Fire’s “Funeral” playing in my headphones) (8 miles)

Thurs 9/1 — Central Park, 103rd Traverse then all the way to the bottom and back home, by myself, early evening. Felt strong and good, though I wasn’t pushing it. 56 mins — (7 miles)

Fri 9/2 — off

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 55 miles! Not bad; Felt pretty good this week, to be honest, especially with the long run and then the 4-miler on Tuesday. Looking forward to Saturday’s 10-miler in Westport; we’ll see how that goes…

Week 10:

Sat, 8/20 — 11-min WU; 8.43-mile Westport Summer Series race in 52:42, or 6:14/mile — not bad! It was kinda warm and humid out, especially in the sun. I was actually hoping for a 6:20/mile run, but early on thought I’d be settling for 6:30 — turns out I didn’t! Here are my splits of this sometimes hilly course: 6:16, 6:20 (12:37); 6:27 (19:04); 6:26 (25:31); 6:09 (31:40); 6:32 (38:13); 14:27 (52:42) — I missed the 7- and 8-mile markers. My last 2.43 were at 5:57/mile; granted there were some good downhills in there. Close to the finish, a car drove by with a German Shepherd in back that barked in my face, nearly giving me a heart attack. I had a kick on the last stretch, the driveway in Burying Hill Beach. Les also had a good race, 4th overall woman, with 60:14, or 7:08/mile. Afterwards, did a 43-minute cool down/extra mileage with Les (14 miles)

Sun, 8/21 — 64 minutes jog with Les, Fairfield, up thru Fairfield U, then over to Ludlowe, then around Unquowa to Bronson to Greenfield Hill market area, and back Duck Farm, F.U., and home (7 miles)

Mon, 8/22 — 54 mins with Les, traverse2traverse in Central Park at easy pace — legs felt a little bit heavy but I think that’s just what happens when you bump up the training,right? (6 miles)

Tues 8/23 — 65 minutes, solo, Central Park loop, nice and easy, tried to stay on soft surface as much as possible (8 miles)

Wed 8/24 — Track night with Les! Jogged 30 minutes to east village track (including an added lap), then did 5×1000 with 3:00 (one lap) jogging rest; 3:29, 3:24, 3:24, 3:26, 3:21; felt fairly smooth but had to put in some effort, which is what you should expect on an “interval” workout. Gotta get the heartrate up, but I feel like it’s really that the legs start feeling a little weak after a couple intervals. Anyway, then on cool down, we got up to the BP gas station when Leslie said, “Did you forget your shirt?” Dammit, I had forgotten my shirt. I ran back the 7 minutes very fast (it’d taken 10 to get to this spot), picked up shirt, then turned back and booked it back up — Leslie was waiting for me at the Water Club. Caught up with her there and we finished the 45-minute cooldown (15 mins of which was uptempo – 6:20ish?). Total (3.5+3+1+5.5 = 13 miles)

Thurs 8/25 — 43 minutes, solo, 103rd traverse, down westside to 30-mins and then turned around and came home (5 miles)

Fri 8/26 — off, rest

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 53 miles! Was only shooting for 50 — the T-shirt incident of Wednesday night gave me a bit of an unexpected boost. But overall, the week went well, with two hard sessions — Saturday’s race and Wednesday’s rust-buster of an “i” workout. Also slowly ramping up some of my mileage runs (makin’ 6 or 7 milers the mileage norm instead of 4 and 5 milers). Gotta maintain the stretching and strengthening exercises as I got a little lazy Wednesday night and have been creaky the past two days.

Week 9:

Sat, 8/13 — 2:10:00 long run in hot, steamy, sultry New York City weather — got up to 90 and 60% humidity(?) by 9 a.m. We started at 7:40 a.m. and ran till 9:50 or so. Ran thru CP, across 103rd Street traverse, then down west side to end of bridal path (dead end), then headed over to Riverside Park, up to the tennis courts, looped up the stairs and then back down the “Nature Trail” before heading back down Riverside really far. Then back to Central Park, looping around the reservoir, outer loop, and then back to UES. Good run! (15 miles)

Sun, 8/14 — 43 minutes, in evening. It began still sultry, sweaty, then we had about 5-10 minutes of downpour that was really fun, then it was a liiiiitle better (5 miles)

Mon, 8/15 — 55 minutes with Les, Central Park, traverse to traverse loop, mostly on bridal trail where possible — felt good, slightly more mileage than many of these days (6 miles)

Tues 8/16 — 30-minute warmup to East Village track; it’s hooot out (86F and humid?); got to track and decided to try a 4-mile tempo. Track was kinda crowded with groups, but it was fine. (5:58, 6:00, 6:01, 6:09 — 5:58, 11:59, 18:00, 24:09). I considered dropping out at 2.5 miles, at 3 miles, at 20 minutes, at 3.5 miles and ultimately told myself I should press through to finish but not bust my gut trying to maintain 6-minute pace — but rather aim for tempo “feeling.” I obviously wasn’t that far off 6-minute pace, so perhaps I pushed it a little much. Glad to get the effort in. 33-min cooldown (11 miles)

Wed 8/17 — off

Thurs 8/18 — 61 minutes, full CP loop by myself, after work; legs not great but that’s fine. Shooting for 50 this week (8 miles)

Fri 8/19 — 46 minutes, slooooow and ungainly, glutes were tight, tight, and i needed coffee. This was before work, it was actually pretty nice out. I ran two loops of the reservoir, then up to the big entrance on east 91st or whatever and back down to 85th street before heading home. Once home, did 5 minutes of abs and 5 mins of stretching with Sworkit app (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 50 miles — and we’re off! Already completed three of my five weeks at Phase II; I’ve got two weeks of 48, then 50 miles. I’d like to stay around low 50s for a couple of weeks and maybe peak out around 60 during phase 3, early phase 4? Anyway, thought I had my glut issue licked but I’ve got to stay on top the stretches, foam roller and strength exercises (core, squats, lunges, etc.). Was a hot week. Finished reading Bill Rodgers’ Marathon Man memoir, which was kinda inspiring. Onward and upward!


Week 8:

Sat, 8/6 — 1:03 with Leslie (8 miles)

Sun, 8/7 — 2:00:27 – with Les, across CP to Riverside Park, up to Riverbank State Park, maybe a mile on the track there, then backtracking, while adding on a CP reservoir loop (outer loop). Started at 8:30 and ran to 10:30 — it’s gonna be hot today, but mostly avoided the heat bc we got up early; legs felt pretty good for long run, all things considered (14 miles)

Mon, 8/8 — 43 minutes with Les, Central Park bridal path north loop (ie: 103rd traverse to stay on soft, then out-and-back further down west side than normal) (5 miles)

Tues 8/9 — 35-min warmup to East Village track, then 4xmile with 1-min jogging rests. The track was PACKED tonight with clubs, though most were well-behaved on the Lane One front. I think it caused me to go a bit quicker than I’d have otherwise. Split 5:52, 5:57, 5:57, 5:55. Then did a 33-min cooldown. My left shin and, more intensely, left glut is bothering me. But it didn’t really flare up during run. Doing extra stretches, muscle exercises, etc., at night and in morning to try to nip this in the bud — or butt, in this case (bad joke). (11 miles)

Wed 8/10 — off — left glut really tight and hurting this morning

Thurs 8/11 — Felt fine, it was hot and humid out; ran Central Park south loop with Leslie — 45 minutes, maximum trail that we could (5 miles)

Fri 8/12 — 43-min, Central Park 103rd Street traverse, down west side to 30-min and back home; it was suuuuper hot and muggy out today — really, will be for the next week, I think — and I was running from like 8 to 8:45 — there were LOTS of rats scurrying about the park — this morning, Molly Huddle in Rio ran an American Record of 30:12 for the 10,000 meters — good for 6th place; sad that’s not medal worthy! (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 48 miles on six days of running; higher mileage than I expected. I’m really struggling with my left glut right now. It’s particularly tight in the mornings. Anyways, it was actually a good week for running, though. Had a nice, hard track session, which upon reflection was probably pretty good. Onward and upward! Been reading this Galen Rupp feature in Runners World, since Olympics 10k is tomorrow

PHASE II: Introducing track workouts, tempos, long runs, etc.

Week 7:

Sat, 7/30 — no running; 7 hours of hiking, though, in Adirondacks — up to top of Algonquin Peak and then Wright Peak (0 miles)

Sun, 7/31 — 30 minutes, just after waking up at campground, then ran to Whiteface Mountain and around some of the ski trails — this is where the 1980 Olympics skiing took place — pretty vistas (4 miles)

Mon, 8/1 — 41 minutes in morning, central park north, early on with Les, who was meeting up with a couple of her running friends. Then, parted ways and I did the CP north; ran into Les again at end and we went to Starbucks for her birthday breakfast (5 miles)

Tues, 8/2 — 1:32:22 — longish run with Les in CP; full loop, plus 1.5 loops of outer reservoir loop, then home; (11 miles)

Wed, 8/3 — Warm-up jog to East Village track, 30 minutes; then 5×1000 w/ 45 sec rest (3:44, 3:44, 3:44, 3:44, 3:36) and then 17 min-cooldown to trader joe’s, where I stocked up on supplies ahead of Friday’s Opening Ceremony/Leslie’s Birthday party at our apartment. It was first “workout” in a couple months and I certainly didn’t go to the well, though I did feel a little uncoordinated and sluggish and slow at 6-minute mile pace — overall, good day (9 miles)

Thurs, 8/4 — 1:30:10; full CP loop and then 2 outer loops of reservoir; not super quick but methodically putting in mileage (11 miles)

Fri, 8/5 — off, had leslie’s birthday party and olympics opening ceremony party!

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 40 miles — not bad considering I didn’t get a weekend long run in and only had four miles heading into Monday — and that I was going to take Friday off. I pushed things a bit to get to 40, which is good! Also, had a good track workout on Wednesday

Week 6:

Sat, 7/23 — 1:53:00 long run with les at Trumbull trails, all the way up to wolfe park and back, then tacked on another mile. We did it at like 8:30-10:15 as it’s pretty darned hot today; getting up to 95 degrees or so. But the trails were mostly shady and there was actually a slight breeze which was nice (13 miles)

Sun, 7/24 — 61 minutes, up in Monroe at Wolfe Park, did three laps around lake with les; it was nice mixing it up; had a nice conversational pace; still fighting this cold or whatever it is, but it hasn’t affected my running. (7 miles)

Mon, 7/25 — 45 mins with Les, easy Central Park north w/ 103rd traverse, then down west side to 31-min mark, then back up and home — felt fine, good run (5 miles)

Tues, 7/26 — 60 mins, full CP loop by myself (8 miles)

Wed, 7/27 — off

Thurs, 7/28 –1:23:00 central park full loop, plus lap around reservoir, plus half a lap of the reservoir. Felt a real pop in my step from like 56 mins on (it was also getting really dark in CP and there were lots of rats, a couple of racoons, etc. out). 10 miles  (also, A.M. – 100 squats, 60 pushups, 50 calf raises)

Fri, 7/29 — off, heading up camping in Adirondacks

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 43 miles on 5 runs. Feel pretty good about my base at this point; I tried to ratchet it up this week a tad and I feel really ready for Phase II, which begins next week.

Week 5:

Sat, 7/16 — 1:32:00 minutes at Trumbull trails by myself (Les is up in New Hampshire hiking with a friend). Super muggy out. Had a pretty quick pace going in parts, though I felt fat and uncoordinated. Ran up to Wolfe Park’s lake, got some water, jogged in a quick circle up to the ballfields up there, then turned around and came back. I know I threw in at least one 6:30 mile toward the end, then slowed up in last mile  — good run (12 miles)

Sun, 7/17 — 55 minutes — hooootttt out (88 degrees, sunny and humid?) in Fairfield, midday, headed up into Greenfield Hill (7 miles).

Mon, 7/18 — 60 minutes; first half with Les, reservoir loop, then tacked on a Harlem loop by myself (7 miles)

Tues, 7/19 — off

Wed, 7/20 — 42 minutes, central park north in the morning; felt slow and like I hadn’t woken up, haha. Left glut started hurting overnight Monday into Tuesday, and again last night; odd because then once I get up and moving that goes away. Body’s feeling fragile! Otherwise, good (5 miles)

Thurs, 7/21 — 45 mins, morning, bridal path up to 103rd traverse, then down west side to 30-minute mark (came … in lower/mid 70s??) before spinning around and coming home. Left glut still hurting. (5 miles)

Fri, 7/22 — 39 minutes, CP north, in the heat, felt okay after work, then biked to grand central, and up to Connecticut (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 41 miles

Week 4:

Sat, 7/9 — First long(ish) run of season. Ran 80 minutes with Leslie — full CP loop, plus an extra loop of reservoir (outside loop), before coming home. (10 miles)

Sun, 7/10 — Ran with Les over footbridge to Randall’s Island, jogged around a bit, then back home. 35 minutes – (4 miles)

Mon, 7/11 — Central Park north loop with Les, 45 minutes (5 miles) left foot’s bothering me some — sore, on the outside of foot, kinda near the ankle — hope it’s not the peroneal tendonitis I suffered from last October/November after the Chicago Marathon — I immediately did exercises and iced and used the roll-stick to work out my outer left calf; hopefully solve that

Tues, 7/12 — Central Park, full loop by self, 60 minutes with slight add-on in UES; had nice quick tempo going in second half of loop — feel a liiiiittle sluggish but not too bad (8 miles)

Wed, 7/13 — Central Park, full loop with Les, 67:30, with slight add-on in UES (8 miles)

Thurs, 7/14 — off

Fri, 7 /15 — 37 minutes, central park south loop, late-ish at night; still 83 degrees and muggy out; had a good quick pace going for at least half the run; felt good (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 40 miles — nicely done!


Week 3:

Sat, 7/2 — 39 mins on woodchip trail, with Les, Val, Eddie, easy jogging (5 miles)

Sun, 7/3 — off

Mon, 7/4 — 61 minutes with Les in Palos Verdes. Wow, was it gorgeous out. Beautiful blue skies, fresh ocean breeze, sweeping views of the Pacific (you could see Catalina really well and all the way up into LA’s skyscrapers, and Santa Monica, and Malibu), the beaches and the mansions on the cliffs — fun run. Anyway, we weren’t moving all that fast, bloated as we were from all the fine dining we’ve been enjoying since Friday. (6 miles)

Tues, 7/5 — 40 minutes, CP North loop — felt pretty good, nice jogging pace, felt spring in my step — (5 miles)

Wed, 7/6 — 67 mins with Les, full CP loop; it was hot and muggy out but we had a nice easy pace. (8 miles)

Thurs, 7/7 — 43 mins, CP north loop with les, super hot and muggy out but nice easy pace (5 miles)

Fri, 7 /8 — 42 mins, CP north loop, super hot and muggy again! Apparently it was just 81 degrees this morning with 73% humidity, which doesn’t sound that bad, but summer’s really heatin’ up! (5 miles).

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 34 miles

Week 2:

Sat, 6/25 — 50 minutes with Les at Trumbull (CT) trails. Went out a bit further north than the first section cutoff and came back. Nice run (6 miles)

Sun, 6/26 — 45 mins with Les at Trumbull trails. Just out and back for first section. (5 miles)

Mon, 6/27 — 45 minutes with Les, CP north loop; nice, easy pace — hot and muggy out; readjusting to summer in the city (5 miles)

Tues, 6/28 — 61 minutes, full CP loop; felt all right, still rusty, and right glute was a little tight. Did some squats at home and gotta do that daily, as well as stretch and roller. (8 miles)

Wed, 6/29 — 41 minutes, CP north. Nice jog,  easy pace, putting in the mileage (5 miles)

Thur, 6/30 — off, traveling to LA

Fri, 7/1 — 40 mins with Leslie, two laps in Wilson Park, then 3×20 squats, pushups and fewer lunge-jump-splits, then planks (5 miles)

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 34 miles, nice work


PHASE I: Pretty much all easy miles, just getting back in swing of things

Week 1:

Sat, 6/18 — 40 minutes easy jog in Central Park, northern loop. First real run after a couple of weeks off following the Brooklyn Half in May. New shoes! New orthotics! (Don’t fail me now, friends!) (5 miles)

Sun, 6/19 — 40 minutes easy (5 miles)

Mon, 6/20 — off

Tues, 6/21 — off

Wed, 6/22 — 41 mins, Central Park North Loop; felt slow and outa shape! I wasn’t even not running for that long, haha. Ah well, still got 4.5/5 months till marathon, so don’t wanna be feeling so great right now anyways. (5 miles)

Thur, 6/23 — 40 mins, Central Park north loop; felt slightly better than yesterday; kinda like a runner again, though wasn’t moving very fast. Not that I care right now! (5 miles)

Friday, 6/24 — off

TOTAL FOR WEEK: 20 miles — not bad getting back into it. It really was only a few weeks that were off but it’s amazing how ungainly I felt – especially on the first couple runs. By Thursday I was feeling more runner-like. Back on the horse!