New York City Marathon Training: Week 2

Date: August 1, 2016 at 11:30 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 16

Well…Week 2 of New York City Marathon training was not the best. There was nothing particularly wrong or damaging, but I [again] didn’t prioritize strength training or foam rolling, I ate a lot of junk, and my runs were more meh than confidence-boosting. But I got all my miles in, I pushed through one particularly tough workout, and I’m ready to kick off a new week of training feeling motivated and ready to make improvements. Here’s the breakdown.

Lots of hot weather, but lots of pretty sunrises and sunsets!

Lots of hot weather, but lots of pretty sunrises and sunsets!

Monday, July 25: Yoga (75 minutes) + Physical Therapy

I woke up feeling tired. Never a good sign on a Monday. I did some clamshells, glute bridges, and crunches before heading to Lyons Den for a 75-minute class with Bethany. I was miserable for 73 of those minutes. Hot yoga is hard. Hot yoga on a very hot day is brutal. I felt overheated and cranky, and my drishti was all over the place. Namaste.

That afternoon, I went to Finish Line Physical Therapy for my first-ever PT appointment! I recently worked with the Finish Line team on a story for Self, and then they invited me in for a visit. I’ve always wanted to have a regular pre-hab routine, and I’d love to make these visits a regular thing. I learned so much during my appointment with Brynn. So much science! So much anatomy talk!

Brynn was amazing, and she used great analogies to help me understand the stuff she was talking about. (She used spaghetti as a metaphor for my muscles. Of course I understand spaghetti!) Brynn analyzed my running form on the treadmill, and turns out it’s not great. She also told me my quads are “all jacked up.” I’m a very quad-dominant human, and I use my quads for everything instead of letting my hamstrings, calves, and other muscles chip in and do some work. Brynn gave me a bunch of exercises and stretches to do at home, and taught me the proper way to foam roll. (Maybe I’ll do a video if I get less awkward at it! It’s helpful!)

Foam rolling with a dog at home is impossible because she thinks the foam roller is a chew toy.

Foam rolling with a dog at home is impossible because she thinks the foam roller is a chew toy.

Brynn has not yet responded to my Facebook friend request.

Tuesday, July 26: Track Tuesday (8 miles) + Cyc Fitness (45 minutes)

A 5 AM wakeup, followed by the usual clamshells, glute bridges, and crunches. In other words, the lazy, mostly useless “core exercises” I can do on the ground while playing Two Dots. Then off to the track!

Until my friends join me at the track again, these are the photos you get.

Until my friends join me at the track again, these are the photos you get.

Today’s workout was 8 x 800m. This is quite possibly my least favorite workout in the whole world. It’s so hard. Running two loops of the track eight times is hard, both mentally and physically. I wanted to quit mid-workout so many times, but I powered through, and I’m so glad I did. Each repeat felt harder than the one before, and I had a hard time staying mentally strong, especially as my legs and lungs started to fatigue. But when I finished the final 800m repeat, I was so happy. The cool-down run back home was impossible.

So many numbers, Garmin!

So many numbers, Garmin!

But, when I got home and uploaded my splits, I wasn’t super thrilled. My splits were nowhere near as fast as they used to be. I used to run 800m repeats in the 3:33–3:39 range. My splits at the track were all around 3:46. I’m happy with how consistent I was, even as I got tired, but I wish I had been faster. My average pace for my repeats was slower than my short-distance race pace. But but it was also super hot and very humid, so I do take that into slight consideration.

In the afternoon, I went to a spin class at Cyc Fitness. It was for a “Fitness Influencer” event and it was me and a ton of Insta-famous fitness chicks who use the #BBG tags in all their posts. I am not sure why I was invited, but it was fun, and the Cyc studio in Hell’s Kitchen is super nice. I took the class easy since I’d had a hard workout earlier, so I mostly just bopped along with low resistance.

Goody bags! Fun thing about this being a "Fitness Influencer" ride is that the tank tops we got were size XS. Thanks but no thanks?

Goody bags! Fun thing about this being a “Fitness Influencer” ride is that the tank tops we got were size XS. Thanks but no thanks?

Then I went home and foam rolled! Just like Brynn taught me!

Wednesday, July 27: Easy Run (6.2 miles)

I was planning to go to November Project, but I just could not get out of bed. So I snoozed until 6:00, then went for a walk with Brian and Ellie. Eventually I got out for 6.2 dead-legged miles. It was hot, it was rough, and I definitely ran too late. Then, I was too lazy to lift at the gym like I had planned. I did foam roll, though! (Brynn, be my Facebook friend. And my real-life friend. The time is now.)

HELLO, NYC! It's me, New Jersey!

HELLO, NYC! It’s me, New Jersey!

Thursday, July 28: Hills (8 miles)

A 5 AM wakeup, a weird stomach, and no morning core work because I spent too much time in the bathroom and had to get to Central Park in time to meet my hill girls.

We did four Cat Hill repeats, and took it super easy since we were all racing on Saturday. It was wicked humid, and I had a lot of forearm sweat, which is my favorite. Between the run to and from the park and the Cat Hills, I hit 8 miles for the day.

It wasn't until the end of the workout that we realized we were wearing all the colors of the rainbow. I dubbed this photo "RUNbow Brite." GET IT?

It wasn’t until the end of the workout that we realized we were wearing all the colors of the rainbow. I dubbed this photo “RUNbow Brite.” GET IT? I’m the enthusiastic one in green in the middle.

I was supposed to go to an outdoor yoga class with friends in Hoboken in the evening, but the weather was scary-looking, so we got Mexican food instead. I also had a glass of sangria. (My two marathon training rules are “alcohol twice per week” and “ice cream once per week.”)

I was very moody and cranky all day. I have no explanation for this.

Friday, July 29: Yoga (60 minutes)

I like doing yoga the day before a race, so I took an evening class at Lyons Den with Aneta. The class was fun and pretty chill, and I was in a better mood afterward. I also had a Sprinkles cupcake on the ferry ride home, which probably helped, too.

This is a SALAD. Pasta salad, but still.

This is a SALAD. Pasta salad, but still.

Saturday, July 30: NYRR Team Championships (2.2-mile warmup + 5-mile race)

First, thank you to New York Road Runners for moving the start up by an hour. I can’t imagine racing an hour later, because even with a 7:30 start, it was steamy. I’ll post a full recap of the race tomorrow, but let’s just say it wasn’t my best effort. I went out hard, couldn’t hang on, and positive split the hell out the thing. I finished in 39:37, which is neither a personal best nor a personal worst.

Bad race, but good race photo!

Bad race, but good race photo!

Then I ate garbage all day and drank champagne until 1 AM. Alcohol quota for the week fulfilled.

Sunday, July 31: Long Run (13.1 miles)

This was a rough one. (See aforementioned “drank champagne until 1 AM.”) Turns out, I am not 21, and I cannot drink or recover like a 21 year old. I slept in because I was so hungover and felt horrible. But since I was too hot after the race the day before to do a cool-down and get my long run mileage in, I still had my weekly long run looming over my [aching] head. By the time I finally got dressed to go run (and managed not to throw up in the bushes while walking Ellie), it had started to rain. But with rain in the forecast for the entire day, I knew there was no sense in waiting.

So I ran. In a complete downpour. For two hours. With a really bad hangover.

Grocery store selfie! I stumbled into the grocery store at the end of my run, sopping wet, and got many a strange gaze. I went in to buy watermelon and left with three boxes of macaroni and cheese...

Grocery store selfie! I stumbled into the grocery store at the end of my run, sopping wet, and got many a strange gaze. I went in to buy watermelon and left with three boxes of macaroni and cheese…

The run was not great. I had to take a lot of walk breaks, and there were no water fountains anywhere for the first seven miles of the run. When I finally passed a Whole Foods, I went inside and drank at least six gallons from the water fountain. I’m glad I got the run done, but it wasn’t fun.

No more drinking the night before a long run. Or maybe ever?

This week’s grand totals…




TOTAL MILEAGE: 42.5 miles

Ideally I would’ve swapped out a run day for a rest day, but the whole “when to do my long run + race” thing messed that up. Noted.

Pre-race photo shoot. Normal.

Pre-race photo shoot. Normal.

What went great: I actually finished all eight of my 800m repeats at the track. I made it to yoga twice. I actually did my long run in less-than-stellar conditions.

Where I need to improve: Foam rolling! Cross-training! Eating better! And I want to get faster. I’m only two weeks into training, so I’m not expecting to see any crazy gains yet, but I’m excited to see my paces start to drop. Hopefully.

I didn't actually let her have a bite. ALI DOESN'T SHARE FOOD.

I didn’t actually let her have a bite. ALI DOESN’T SHARE FOOD.

Motivational quote that best summarizes Week 2 of training: “I don’t associate with people that blame the world for their problems. Because you’re your problem — and you’re also your solution.” —Megan Price (Melissa McCarthy), Bridesmaids

16 Responses to "New York City Marathon Training: Week 2"

Did you see that your Runbow brite photo made it onto the NYRR Insta feed this week? =)

Such a great quote at the end! Ah the joys of marathon training, always a roller coaster ride. That PT appointment sounds super helpful and informative.

I’m laughing hysterically at the quote because that’s my favorite movie! Now I need to watch i t, but I’m at work.
Also, I love your shorts (random). Where are they from?
I’m on week 3 of my marathon training (first marathon ever). I’m also using the NYRR virtual trainer. Basically twins.

You are my favorite.

That is all.

Foam rolling (or doing sit ups, or yoga, etc.) is impossible with a dog! I have to lock myself in the bedroom to get it done lol.

You are killing it with all the work outs. Seriously, you are inspiring me so THANK YOU!!

GAH!! I mean “workouts.” This is awful that I made this mistake because it is up there with my pet peeves along with lose/loose.

Really, your jump photo’s are always so high!

On crummy days your writing brings a smile and some laughter, so thank you.

And as for sharing….NEVER Macaroni & Cheese. I once slapped my sister’s hand when she went in for a bite.

I’m very positive you will meet all your goals and become Super Fast Ali!

I cannot foam roll without dog assistance either, it’s just a thing that happens. Great job getting all the miles in!

Hi Ali! Can I find out the distance of your hill repeats on Cat Hill? Hills are scary stuff for me 🙁

I am also training for NY but am lucky not to have the heat you have been having. Some running days are good and some are not. Hope this week has started out right !

Sheez, running 13.1 under those conditions ain’t easy. Nice work.

Awesome recap!! I’m training for a half & doing recaps too – I always love reading others experiences with training. and love the Runbow brite photo!

Please tell me that you were a cheerleader at some point? Your herky game is on point. I also love the race photo and the pic of Ellie trying to sneak a bit of your mac n cheese. I’m a doggie momma too and pictures of fur babies make me happy!

Thanks for the alcohol tip — I definitely need to add some more wine my half-marathon training. 😉

I’m baffled by BBG hashtags. Not sure how to encompass those thoughts. I do did your workouts – mega props on spin and yoga! Keep up the speed and it will come! We just need to chase those speedsters at NP. Say hi to Ellie for me! Oh and I’m on the no drinking prior to long run train. Last time i did that (or two weeks eating my weight in cookies on a cruise) it was a disaster.