Training - Week 13

No qualifications to say this was my best week of training, which is good since I’m pretty much done.

Yes, it was cooler, but that wasn’t really the factor.

I’ve been working on my form, as we all should be, and like many I tend to hunch after I’ve been running a long time. I know this, and I try to fight it but it still happens.

I didn’t pay much attention to my form at the start of races/long runs. I figured you start with better form, and it can gradually slide.

But lately, on the advice of my wife (who is usually right about these things), I focused on staying ram-rod straight from step one of each run. And wow, I bashed through lots of goal paces and records and, best of all, wasn’t really putting any strain on my lungs and heart.

Tuesday, my usual run up by the factories, suddenly was able to do faster than I ever had before, by about 8 seconds a mile.

Wednesday, ran over the bridge, not the fastest time ever but far ahead of my goal pace and again, without feeling strain.

Thursday, same thing, fastest I’ve ever done on that route to the Navy Yard.

Then yesterday, I closed out my solo-20-mile-run, my 4th of this training season, with my best one yet.

It was still pretty warm, 70 degrees and sunny, which was not ideal. But I focused on form from step one, and it is much easier to maintain than to retain. I ran a smooth MP+60 for the entire first 18ish miles, then took it easy over the bridge home.

20 days until marathon #1. Just the Bronx (which, barring heat, should go well) next week.

And, I hit 900 miles in training today, in 3 months and 4 days. I won’t hit 1000 until I’m ten miles into my first marathon of the year, so it’s definitely taper time.

Miles this week: 61.26

Miles in training: 900.82 (80% of the way to the second and final finish line)

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 12

The hay is in the barn.

My weekly runs are faster than they were when I ran Brooklyn, and Brooklyn pace would lead to a sub 3 without too much stress.

Bridge was fine, under 9. Tues and Thurs were fine. It was all.. fine.

The tune-up, I see no reason to just run it slowly. I ran two loops at marathon pace then cut it because it was getting hot and I didn’t want to just struggle for no reason. My endurance is fine. I added 6 miles at home.

All in all, one 20 miler left next week, then the Bronx, then the two marathons.

Miles this week: 64.3

Miles in training: 839.56

Fewer than 300 left to the finish line.

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 11

What a big, unwieldy sweaty mess this was, but it's all downhill from here. The hay is now in the barn. The next three Sundays are for fine tuning, then one week relax, then marathon 1, followed by one week to work out kinks at Blue Line, one week relax, marathon 2, sleep/meditation/weightlifting/yoga/dranks. :)

This week started with my favorite run, where I ran down to the Navy Yard, then back and forth over the East River bridges, Manhattan to Willimsburg, follow the marathon route to the Queensboro and up 1st ave to 102nd, Randall's and lower half of the Triboro then home.

Readers, I overdid that one. 

Didn't bring water (I'll find fountains, he said). Just drank gatorade and had chews. I was really blazing it for the first 18 or so. But the run started at 730 and it was already 80 degrees so... yeah I basically couldn't move the rest of the day. But seriously, I have the tune-up and a final 20 (this time in CP where I know there is water). It'll be fine.

For Hellgaters: when I ran my three best marathons in six weeks, I ran all my long runs real slow. I was so naive. And it worked out because I was still green and just full of energy (and, uh, untreated anxiety but nevermind that!). So there's no reason I needed to run in the mid-7s the whole run (long runs I run a minute per mile off MP with some burtsts of MP). I am dumb. Staggered home and couldn't really eat all day because I was sick. Yeah, water is useful. Don't be like me.

It was fun though, seeing lots of areas. I hadn't done this run since 2015 and I missed it.

Anyway. So I took it easy and ran indoors the next day (since it was still so hot, hard to remember today!), went to do bridge repeats Weds and they went very well. Took it easy on my 10 miler thurs (I was very mad at the heat by this point), and finally mostly took it easy this weekend, with an energizing 13 yesterday surrounded by two easy/indoor 7s.

But I did finally hit 80 for a week (though really just because my long run was Monday).

Next up: Tune-up next week. Hoping to get to near my best time from 2015, but at least beat my time from 2014, which is more or less my goal for the Bronx and my marathons - shoot to break PRs of 2015, but otherwise be happy beating solid times from 2014.

Miles for week: 80.36

Miles in training: 775.24. Fewer than 400 to go!

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 10

This is sort of an odd week. I went out of town yesterday so am using tomorrow's holiday for my long run.

Otherwise, I had my absolute best Thursday steady state run, finishing in 76:12, despite the heat. The bridge repeats went well, and it was overall a nice week.

This was sort of a ho hum week mileage wise (60), but that's okay because next week is the peak mileage week of the whole season, as I'll be crossing 80 for the only time this year, starting with 22 tomorrow morning.

After tomorrow, though, I have an easy weekend next week, then it's just the tune-up, another 20, and the Bronx before the two marathons. So I've got 4 hard long runs/races left before the marathons. That seems like a lot, but I'm far more than halfway to my destination, and there's no sense in stopping now.

Miles this week: 60.16

Miles in training: 694 (which means I'll hit 700 during my long run tomorrow, with the plan to end up with about 1130 by the time I get to Taven on the Green.

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 9

Great bounce back after a rough 20 last week. Glad we got a break weather-wise.

Monday, hit my goal on the bridge. 

Tues/Thurs, no PRs or anything but both were smooth.

Weds, ran the mile repeats at 5k pace. Managed 5:55, hoped to do that in today's 5k.

And then today, I did that (well, 5:56). Weather wasn't bad. Wasn't too sunny. Hilly but only one was really steep. Sped up mile over mile over mile. 

The hard work is paying off, even if my top top speed isn't as fast as earlier. And I led the team today, though Jon was away. Still a nice feeling to be a leader.

Miles this week (after tomorrow's 7 shakeout miles): 56.91

Miles in training: 634. Fewer than 500 until Tavern on the Green.

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 8

I wrote earlier this week about how my midweek long runs went very well. And that was really good.

Speed work was strong Wednesday. I don't know what my best reps were in 2015 and 2016 at my fastest, though I know I was at 2:45 on 800s and I've only managed 2:50 this year. 

My long run was 20 miles yesterday. I basically mashed Summer Streets and a CP loop together. 

The loop in the park was great, about 7:05 pace, even on the hills. Summer Streets was alright on the way south, but coming back north the humidity really go to me, I turned my watch off and just finished.

It happens sometimes. It happened last year. I didn't have to cut it short, though, and overall it wasn't really a set back. Just difficult weather. If next week's 5k goes well I'll be in a good place. And it's good that there's a few more chances at good, fast long runs (one more 20 on 9/1, the tune-up on 9/16, 22 miles on 9/22) before the taper.

Good, hard work.

Longest week of the year thus far (barely), with only one longer week (75, in late sept) on the calendar.

More than halfway to the end.

Miles this week: 72.83

Miles in training: 577.72

 

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Week 8 Interlude

My usual routine is like this, on a non-race week with a long run:

Monday: 8.92 miles, which is home to the bridge (a few blocks away), then back and forth over the bridge three times, in fartlek mode (90 seconds full speed, 90 seconds off, give or take).

Tuesday: 10.45 miles, from home up around the factories to Hazen and back.

Weds: I do my best to drag myself all the way to the track. Depending on the workout, it's between 7.59 and 8.84 miles. It was 7.84 this week.

Thursday: Same idea as Tuesday, 10.53 miles, from home down into BK to just past the Navy Yard and back.

Friday: Usually 7.5, sometimes a few on the elliptical to give myself a break. If I do anything on the elliptical, I finish by going full speed balls out on the treadmill so it's a real workout.

Saturday: Long run, focused on staying in the 7:15 range, 20 miles this week.

Sunday: Same as Friday.

Put it all together (including yoga, meditation, and frequent but short weight-lifting) and that's my life and routine.

I wanted to mention Tuesday and Thursday today. Both days, I don't actually turn on the pace function on my watch. I only keep my watch with me so I don't coast for too long and get home so late that I have to rush to work. But I have a vague time goal. Both runs are more or less the same length, and more or less the same difficulty (the Thursday one is a little harder because there's a bridge involved and more traffic).

I'm not at any point pushing myself to anything close to race speed (under 7), but even in this heat, if I'm focused, I run in the 7:30 range. And a curious thing happens: I always get to the halfway point later than I want to, and then I turn back around and I run much faster on the way home.

Today, for example, I started off at a good clip, but I got to the halfway point at 39 minutes. 39 minutes for 5.26 miles is about 7:24/mile. And then I turned around and proceeded to run the same distance in 37:40, which is 7:08 per mile. Mind you, it's very humid (and warm), I was presumably tired, and I didn't really do anything different. Yeah, I specifically tried to speed up at the very end, with a mile left. But I didn't feel the extra speed in my chest at all: I just focused.

Focus and consistent training is everything, at least for me. 

Even when I ran my absolutely fastest marathons, in 2015, my long runs that summer were very, very slow, at about an 8:00 pace. I didn't really do anything long and fast aside from the other races. I should be in a much better position to take my long run speed and just lop off 30-35 seconds per mile than the 2 minutes I tried to cut off (almost successfully) in 2015.

Here's hoping the shorter races prove to be positive omens.

 

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 7

Real off week this week. I was a bit banged up early in the week so took a week off from speed (aside from bridge repeats) and my long run was shorter at 13. Just needed to reset a bit. Back to the 70 mile weeks this week and my second 20 miler on Saturday, with a 5k next week. 

Mileage: 60.76 (lol off week)

Miles in training: 504.69, in less than two months.

Comment

Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 6

Biggest week since 2016 and one of best ever.

No races. Hit 20 yesterday (barely, it was 20.08), ran 7:15 average. My PR marathon pace is 6:44, and my goal is 6:40 this fall. That seems like a lot faster, but back when I was at my fastest I wasn't training faster than 7:00 on any given day really. I'm back to the consistent push I've been giving myself on long runs and it's nice.

Speedwork wasn't great this week. Very humid, couldn't break a 5:00 on the 400s. But there isn't much to be done about such weather.

Very happy with training season so far.

Miles this week (most of year so far!): 72.82

Miles in training: 443, just under 40% of the way from the start until the end of the NYC marathon.

Comment

Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality

Training - Week 5

Sorry if this is getting repetitive, but until school starts that's all I'm really writing about.

Just ran the Team Championships. Finished in 31:27. Not anywhere close to a PR (I've run several halves at a faster pace), but it was very humid, and I was close to puking. A full minute faster than last year though, and I finished second on the team, so that's something to be proud of. I see future races going as well or better. Next up, two 20 milers (with a break in between) before the Percy Sutton 5k, where I hope to really do well.

Miles for the week: 38 (race week and a pullback week too)

Miles in training: 371

Also, July will end with 271 miles, my highest month in two years. It's good.

Comment

Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality