My road to NYC 2018 officially begins

After 18 months of preparation for running the TCS NYC Marathon before my training cycle would even start, it’s a little weird to realize that this week was the first week of my actual training plan.

I had a lot of goals for pre-marathon training prep that I wanted to hit to make sure I was ready to train well on this final training cycle for this first marathon. Some of them, I hit. Others, not so much. But I do feel ready for this.

Training week structure

One tweak from my previous cycles is that my quality day is now Monday, but my long run is staying on Friday (at least so far). Thursday and Sunday are my non-running days.

The biggest perk of this change is that I can do strength training on Monday, Wednesday and either Friday or Saturday depending on how long my long run is (and if I got out of work on time) and that keeps my easy days and rest days that way, and loads up my hard days.

This week’s highlights

Coach B started me off with my first speedwork in a while this week: 6×200. So I headed for the HS track, only to find out that I had a tiny window before graduation. (Spoiler alert: I finished just in time.) It was hot and sunny, so I had Nuun Endurance in my water bottle and left it by the finish line do I could drink after each repeat.

Plan was 1:34 for the 200s, which adjusted for weather to 1:37.

My first one was 59 seconds. Oops.

I ended up running them at 1:08-ish, and only later figured out why I had run them too hard. So, a training fail on the first day, but one that wasn’t of great consequence because the repeats were so short. Phew.

My long run this week was 90 minutes — two 30-minute sections at marathon effort (M), with 10-minute easy (E) sections bookending them. So: 10E-30M-10E-30M-10E.

My long runs are typically done at about 2 p.m. on Fridays. Did I mention this Friday was sunny with temperatures in the 90s. Ugh.

Still, the rest of the weekend was going to be both hotter and more humid, so I dressed for the weather, brought two bottles of Nuun and headed out. I have more practice at adjusting my M and E paces for weather, so I hit this workout reasonably well, and felt good about my paces after adjusting for weather.   

Off the roads

The running went OK. The rest of the week was pretty lousy. Lots of breaking news, including the Annapolis newsroom shooting, which hit home hard. Like every journalist, I’ve dealt with people really mad at the paper, at me, or at the reporters on my team. That’s the scariest part of it, because if all it takes is somebody mad at what we write to just go that one extra step and bring a gun to the newsroom, no newsroom is safe because we all have those people. The “You can’t handle the truth” line from “A Few Good Men”? Some people can’t, and when we report it, they lash out.

Also, we almost had a state government shutdown, finally averted at 7:30 Saturday night, so I had to work part of the weekend and as I mentioned, the weather this weekend is abysmally hot and humid.

I muddled through, but my meal prep, sleep and cross-training took a hit. At least the shutdown is over so I don’t have to work today, and Wednesday’s a holiday that I’m not scheduled to work.

The weather is also supposed to be broiling this week, but Monday’s quality workout is a hill one I typically do on a treadmill anyway, Wednesday I can join the EMC because I’m off and Friday is supposed to rain. I can suffer through Tuesday knowing that it will pay off in the fall.

Up next

Hydration, nutrition and cross-training are all high on my list this week. I’d laid off the Lunge Matrix because a yoga class after the Mini 10K irritated the knee I banged up when I fell on a run back in May. I kept doing the lunges, but they felt like they were making it worse, so I backed off. Now that the knee feels back to normal (as long as I don’t kneel on it), I’m working that and the SAM post-run strength and mobility training back in.

I also need to get back on track with food. Too much eating my stress this week and not drinking enough water for the weather added up and I need to stop it and reverse course.