Here we go! 8 weeks down and 10 to go. I still haven’t missed a day, and I somehow have done all of my runs outside. It’s been a crazy few weeks of weather- rain, snow, wind, sun- it’s made for some very entertaining runs! First, I have to share this funny picture.
I am SO bad at taking race photos, it’s really quite comical. I always have the most frustrated look on my face. I ran the Gridiron 4 miler a couple weeks after Fred and made sure to smile BIG at the cameras, but of course I somehow had no photos from that race.
A few weeks ago I went to a really cool event the downtown lululemon stores put on for our running community. The theme was “the air out there” and we discussed meditation and running. The whole group went on a 3 mile run in silence. It gave us the opportunity to reflect on what we think about while we run. I really enjoyed focusing on this. My running habits, if you can call them that, have changed a good bit over the past few years. I went from disliking running in groups and always running with music, to only running in groups and no music, to mainly running by myself still without music. Reflecting on this made me realize how much running is like meditation for me. When I get into the groove I really think about absolutely nothing. It’s quite amazing!
I’ve been really grateful to be injury free thus far this training cycle. After week 5 my body was feeling a bit tight, so I returned to NY Custom PT (plus I love them and missed hanging out)! I had a nice lower body massage and used the Normatec compression boots. This recovery work felt fantastic and set me up for a successful next few weeks of training.
My favorite days of my training cycle are Wednesday and Sat/Sunday. Wednesday I do speed work- tempo runs, pickups, and/or mile repeats. I love seeing how hard I can push it for shorter periods of time. I get really excited when my miles are under 8 minutes. I ran a 7:43 mile a couple weeks ago and all I could think about was how 9 minute miles used to be fast for me. It’s amazing how hard work, and a little bit of time, can pay off.
My long runs on Saturdays/Sundays are my other favorite. In the past I was so intimidated by these long distances, yet now they don’t seem so daunting. I actually really look forward to them each weekend. The photo above is from my 14 miler. It was a bit windy but not too terrible. I ran over and back the Queensboro Bridge, downtown, across the Manhattan bridge into Brooklyn, then back into Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge. I finished down at Brookfield Place so I could grab my favorite bagel post-run from Blackseed Bagel.
My next long run was one I’ll never forget- 16 miles. I really wanted to run up to the Little Red Lighthouse. It had snowed quite a bit that week (in which I got pelted in the face with snow) but Sunday was supposed to be warmer with a little rain. As Sunday got closer the temps got colder, and by the time I was out running Sunday morning it was chilly and sleeting. Oh well! Fortunately the sleet built up quickly and it made running less slippery. It was really a beautiful and peaceful run. It was fun to see the lighthouse in the winter!
Yesterday I finished up week 8 with an 18 miler. I ran down Broadway and Lafayette, across the Manhattan Bridge, and down Flatbush Avenue to Prospect Park- 8 miles. It’s so easy to run through the city on Sunday mornings as it’s the one time the city is asleep. I met Misha and we ran the NYC Runs/PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Miler. This race is 3 laps around Prospect Park. Though it was a bit redundant, it beats three laps around Central Park. I’m grateful that I live and work so close to CP, but lately I’ve been a bit bored with it so a change of scenery was really nice. Oh, and what was even better?! Notice you can see our arms. Tank tops! The weather has been incredibly nice this weekend. Spring in February, I’ll take it!
Looking ahead- I have a cutback week (yay!) and then will continue to build weekly mileage a bit more. I am loving this training cycle and every week I get more excited for New Jersey!