RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training – Week 7

Week 7: 25 miles

This week was planned to be a cutback week, although in relation to the past few weeks, it’s really not much of a cutback.

My plan was originally to race a 10k on Labor Day, and this week’s plan was built around that race. I decided to skip the race and got some much needed rest.

Monday, 8/30

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: Rest

I had the best Japanese ramen of my life for dinner at Ippudo

Tuesday, 8/31

  • Plan: 7 miles w/ 6 x 2:00 @ 10k pace (2:00 recovery), core, strength training
  • Actual: 7 miles w/ 7 x 2:00 @ 10k pace (I can’t count)

It was pretty hot and humid in New York, and running in Central park (hello hills!) made it feel like I was running back home in Atlanta.

This particular morning, I had a bit of a beef with the New York Hilton – they don’t have coffee pots for guests to have in their rooms (not even upon request), and there isn’t any coffee available in the hotel before 6 AM. The executive lounge doesn’t open until 6:30 AM.

I like to have a cup of coffee about 30 minutes before a run as a preventative measure for stomach issues, so this was irritating. If I’d known to plan for it, I could have gotten out and found a coffee shop nearby. Since I’m so accustomed to staying in Hilton properties and having coffee available anytime, I didn’t plan to wake up a little earlier and locate a spot in advance. So my run began a bit late.

During my 2 mile warmup, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and my coworker who is presently training for Ironman Florida ran past me. It was fun seeing a familiar face and he was running so fast, it motivated me even more for my workout.


My splits were all over the place, since I was running based on effort up and down the Central Park hills. My worst (9:31/mile pace) was up Harlem Hill, and if I’m being honest, I probably should have backed off even a little more. Splits (pace per mile): 8:20, 8:04, 8:16, 9:31, 8:16, 8:20, 8:41.

I also started feeling a tightness/discomfort in the arch of my left foot during this run. Google convinced me that this is the beginning of plantar fasciitis. I definitely don’t want full-blown PF, so I started showing my tight calves a bit more love for the rest of the week. (Even to the point of stretching my calves while waiting for Shake Shack in Grand Central Station.)

Wednesday, 9/1

  • Plan: 3 recovery miles
  • Actual: 3 miles @ 9:53/mile

 
Thursday, 9/2

  • Plan: 6 miles; strides; strength training
  • Actual: 5 miles @ 9:46/mile

I got a late start on my run, so I had to cut it short to make it to work on time.

From my hotel in midtown Manhattan, I went to the west side to run along the Hudson River just past 12th Avenue. It was nice and flat over there, and would have probably been a great spot for a workout or tempo run. I ran south from 55th Street, but going north would have been the better choice for scenery.

That evening, I went to a beer garden and watched the first college football games of the season with coworkers. I’m always so excited when the season starts. I started my weekend of picking games 5-0 against the spread, but ended up 9-6.

Friday, 9/4

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: Rest

I’m really good at following easy instructions. Rest on a travel day? No questions asked.

My rest day role model.

Saturday, 8/29

  • Plan: 5 miles w/ 6 x 30 sec @ 5k pace, core
  • Actual: Rest

All the travel and eating unhealthy caught up to me. I skipped my run and came close to fainting at the DragonCon parade. It was the last day to register for the 10k I’d been planning to run on Labor Day, and I made the decision to skip the race. I just wasn’t excited about running this race. I think racing – paying to run(!) should be exciting or fun, and I wasn’t feeling either. If I’m not going to enjoy a race, I see it as a waste of money.

Parade start


My favorite character in the parade

Sunday, 8/30

  • Plan: 3 miles; strides
  • Actual: 10.5 miles @ 10:37/mile

These long runs just keep getting worse. I chose a route that I hadn’t run before. I knew it would be hilly, but the hills were beyond what I expected. 4.5 miles in, I was ready to quit. I got to the bottom of a hill, looked up at the steep grade ahead of me, and turned back.

I bargained with myself for the remainder of the run. I’d planned to run 11 miles total, but until I got past the really nasty hills, I was just telling myself I’d do 9 – out and back. I took a couple of walk breaks when my heart rate felt higher than it should. I ran into my friend Amanda on the Beltline, and I gladly stopped to chat! The run wasn’t pretty. I guess it was better than no run at all. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Takeaways from the week:

  1. I probably need to calm down on the delicious/unhealthy foods. It’s the most obvious thing I’ve been doing differently since I started feeling sluggish and my runs – especially my long runs – have been going worse and worse. The other possible factors are travel and that awful cold I had last week. No matter the cause of my bad runs, I do need to eat better.
  2. I didn’t do any of the strides/core work/strength training that I was supposed to do this week. Finding the energy and discipline to do get it done while I’m in this rut is hard, but I’m cheating myself by not doing these things. [*self pep-talk ensues*]

In other news, I just registered for the Paris Marathon next spring! I’ll be running the marathon with my pal Amy, and we’ll girl-trip it all around Europe before and after the race. I’m calling it active recovery.

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3 thoughts on “RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training – Week 7

  1. Major fail on coffee with Hilton! How strange that the one in NYC wouldn’t have coffee at all hours. And then you randomly ran into your coworker running in Central Park? Small world! And congrats again on the Paris registration! Was it difficult? Did you already jump on getting a hotel near the start line? I’ve always wanted to know how difficult it would be to sign up and deal with registration and packet pickup without going through a travel company. Do you speak French or are you just counting on there being translations when you get there?

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    • Thanks! Compared to other races I’ve run, Paris registration was a bit of a challenge. It opened at 8am Paris time so I woke up around 1:50am my time to get set up and ready to hit the button. After I hit the button, I had to wait at the “please be patient” screen for about 30 minutes. I had to stay up and wait with it, because payment and confirmation came after that screen. Other people I talked to on Twitter took as little as 12 min and as many as several hours on that screen.

      As far as hotels go, I’m lucky not to have to worry about finding a spot and getting a reservation because my buddy works for one of the big hotel companies. I don’t speak French, but I’ve visited France enough times to feel like I can get around without being too much of an ass 🙂 as far as the race goes, all of the communications are in both English and French. There are some helpful threads on the Runner’s World forums about the Paris Marathon. From reading those, I think the biggest headache will be not having mile markers at every mile…some suggest to train based on kilometers to get used to it. I’m not sure if I’ll go that far.

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      • That sounds great! I bet you get hooked on these international marathons after this one. So exciting! And yeah, worrying about kilometers would be the last thing I wanted to deal with with all of the other logistical issues. Who cares right?! Just focus on croissants and beaujolais and you’ll be golden!!

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