Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring > Not Spring

Spring -- it appears -- is officially here.

It's about damn time.

Honestly, the treadmill thing is done. And this comes from one of the few non-treadmill haters in the world. I just can't anymore. 

I. Just. Can't. 

Even the awkwardness of the Today Show's implosion can't make those morning indoor runs pleasant for me any longer. 

My New York Sports Club branch also isn't making things any easier by slowly but surely replacing all the "good" treadmills once they need maintenance with cheap, horrible machines. 

Old treadmills. Did the trick.
The new equipment is lacking a bit

But now that it is warm enough and is light enough before and after work, I can end my hibernation and plan outdoor runs exclusively. Ta-ta until November, NYSC!

The next big running milestone for MeriG is the Brooklyn Half this May. This will be my 4th time running this particular race (2008, 2009, 2012) and I love it, love it, love it. As you may recall, it was this race where last year I finally broke the 2:00 mark and PRed like a Kenyan. The course is flat and the weather tends to be great, and so -- this year -- I would love to PR again. In order to do so, I'll need to run faster than a 9:05 pace which, honestly, is going to be a tough task. 

So in order to take things to the next level, I'm attempting to mix up my typical training schedule just a bit. What I've been doing for Marathon and Half marathon training the last few years is basically the following:

Mon - Easy Run
Tues - Conditioning
Wed - Slightly harder run
Thurs - Conditioning or a short easy run
Fri - Rest
Sat - Long Run (increases each week leading up to race until taper)
Sun - Rest

Something like that. It changes week to week, but that's the general gist.

For the "next level," I've done a lot of reading on the matter and am basically altering the schedule to as follows:

Mon - Easy Run
Tues - Conditioning
Wed - Quality Run (hills, speed work, etc.)
Thurs - Conditioning and/or a short easy run
Fri - Rest 
Sat - Long Run -- but paying more attention to pace
Sun - Yoga (part of #OnceAWeekYoga I've started with my friend Eleanora...if you make it into a hash-tag it's a real thing, we decided)

I also have a schedule that actually has me running up to 14-15 miles in the weeks leading up to the half and then backing down to 13.1 miles for the race. I believe this officially puts me into "Intermediate" training territory now, and I can no longer pretend I'm a Novice. Sigh. That was so much more fun and interesting.

So as part of this training, this past Sunday I ran the Colon Cancer 15K (9.3 miles). Sometimes it's nice to have little "non-race" races to help break up training. 

You may say, but wait, hold up a sec. Couldn't you, like, run for free? As opposed to paying to run?

A solid point you make. But in order to break up training monotony, I find that it can be nice to occasionally have the starting line and the finish line and the water and the fellow runners to make the run a little more fun and special.

I stole some pictures of myself from the Internet (which is why they look stretched...thievery will give you horizontally stretched pictures as punishment). 

Making funny faces at the starting line. Also wearing my favorite Bondi Band: I Run So I Can Eat. YES.
Have lost the long sleeves because I get too sweaty. Shuffling along!

Not gonna lie. See the woman in all black to my left? I saw her at the last stretch and irrationally decided I would BEAT her and I did. And that is why I am smiling. I WON, SUCKA!!!

Posing for the camera after the finish line

The best part of Sunday, however, was not my little 15K. It was the fact that the famed Betsy of past-blog entry fame entered and completed her first 4 mile race. And she completed that race under her goal. It's great to see other people "getting" my running thing a little bit. Running races and having these goals isn't the easiest -- I think -- to understand unless want to do it yourself. It's nice being a part of Betsy's experience and she makes goals for herself and makes them into reality.

B also has started a great blog on the topic of life changes and goal-making (and breaking?) It's called "Clean Fonts and Dirty Jokes" (which I love) and what I love most about it is that it is so real. I read a lot of blogs and sometimes I want to punch some people in the face. Just saying. [Side bar: When you want to punch me in the face, you are honestly welcome and encouraged to post about it in the comments. Sometimes I want to punch myself in the face. Running. Marathons. Pshhhhhhh.]

B is a hilarious writer and has a very authentic voice about how difficult it really, truly is to make changes. 

So congrats to Betsy and congrats to YOU on it being Spring! I think we all deserve a pat on the back for riding out that long, rough winter. 


  1. Saying an Amen to spring over here! finally!

    I have to note I totally saw you on Sunday during the race. I was faaaaading on the West side after a) not running CP in months (hey treadmill and flatness of Hoboken and b) having run almost 6 miles pre race.
    I was going to be creepy and say hi but umm I was not at my finest running moment :)

    1. Oh my god, you totally should have been creepy and said hi! I was actually having a bit of a rough run myself, so my apologies if I looked a bit "cranky" and "out of it." Let's meet on purpose sometime!!

  2. You disproved my theory that everyone looks bad in running pics. These are some FANTASTIC running pics :)
    Looking forward to doing a long run with you one of these Saturdays!

    1. Thanks! I try very hard. Also I did not post the 15 other HORRENDOUS photos, so in fairness this is not an accurate representation.

      Yes to Saturday long runs upcoming! Ramping up to Brooklyn for a few weeks, a few weeks break, and then Marathon training begins!

  3. This is why I'll never train for a marathon. I can't deal with the whole long run, short run, fast run, slow run set up. Just let me run and leave me alone. But I admire you for having the patience and perseverance!

    1. It's not always tough....and I often (like right now when I have to go to do a speed workout) question myself. But it works with my A-type crazy-person personality, so I stick with it. ;)