Marathon Mike

Marathon Mondays Week 13: Come on how long is this training

I know how long this training is because I understand how numbers work, but seeing something and doing something are two very different things. I also get that, but holy shit my life has been consumed by running. I am on the final quarter of the training plan, with the last week being of course marathon week, so while all that other stuff was important this quarter matters the most. Meaning it is time to push it.

Last week was one of those de-loadish weeks that was supposed to be a drop off in mileage, but looking at it again I am realizing I still ran 44 miles. Prior to this training plan my longest running week was under 40 miles, so to call a 44 mile week light is almost laughable. But that is what progress is supposed to be.

Like I said, it was supposed to be a light week… So it started off with an 8-mile interval run, which I actually ran as fast as I could because I was trying to squeeze in the run before an appointment. I was making fantastic time, the intervals felt good I was moving well but then my stupid ass watch died. Hence the two tracked runs. Had to bust out the phone for the rest of it. Frustrating in a sense that I was doing great, but in the grand scheme of things not a big deal. I switched a few runs this week, swapping the Wednesday/Thursday and the Saturday/Sunday. No real reason for this besides scheduling. The 10-mile run went fantastic, I was encouraged by this.

Also did some significant cross training last week. Hit the gym later Saturday to get a lot of work in for my legs. My groins have been feeling week during my long runs, so I did a lot of strength training for them, and of course my hamstrings. I also did some calf raises, which I know I need to do, but because of all this running it absolutely murders me for the next few days. They just seem to be getting so tight, they also constantly twitch, even when I am not active. My physical therapist/girlfriend was working on them yesterday and I was legit almost crying. Such a pussy. I also took a yoga class, was the only dude there so I felt weird and kept my shirt on. Ridiculous that I created my own peer pressure. As I said, I am a slang term for being soft.

Let’s talk about the upcoming week. I am actually worried about getting all this done and still having energy at the end of it to run 22 miles. Today is a 10-mile tempo run. That is quite a lot of mileage on top of being a speed workout. I am sure I will feel better after I get through it. The workout itself is similar to the 8-mile tempo run, I am just adding another round. That photo is supposed to say 5 times but I am too lazy to fix it at this point. After that the week isn’t really bad, I mean I actually get a day off which I will wisely use to watch the Giants get smoked. O well this is what I signed up for.

And lastly but certainly not leastly (that’s how that expression goes right?) is the mammoth 22-miler. Look there is nothing to say about this that I haven’t said. I plan on approaching it similar to the 20-miler. I am going to do a 13-mile loop followed by I guess a 9-mile loop, prob taking goo gel shit at miles 6, 15, and 20. Water at 7ish, 13, 20 and any time I pass a water fountain after. Quarter of a banana at mile 13. Let’s get it.

Marathon Mike

Marathon Monday’s Week 3: I survived the 2019 Heatwave

Michael Jordan flu game. Isaiah Thomas 2016 playoff run. Robert Griffin III 2013 NFC Playoff Game. LeBron James playing through an almost broken back for the 2018-19 season. These are the moments we remember. Man overcoming injury to glory. Granted those last two examples both those guys lost spectacularly but you get the point. And LeBron’s injury coincidently coincided with his team losing. HMMMM.  I would add myself to the list of the greats, but I just overcame adversity in training. Credit to me, and I guess if I have to give credit, credit to anyone else who ran this weekend. Actually more credit to me, I don’t do it for the camera’s but rather for the love of the game.

As I am sure all my fellow New Yorkian’s can attest too, it was hot as balls this weekend. It was around 100 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday, and as crazy as it sounds it felt even hotter. I mean, it the type of heat/humidity that caused instant swamp ass two seconds into walking outside. I could feel my chest compressing as I was running. I guess that would be why New York Road Runners cancelled their run this weekend. I am not NYRRs though, and the training must be done. I ran the 10-miler on Saturday morning, I even woke up early so I could get going by like 7:30am. I wish I got up at 6. It might have been one of the top 10 hardest runs I have ever done, including some races. I swear at a certain point I was sweating so much that actual foam was coming out of my compression shorts, like a fucking race horse that has been ran to exhaustion. Literal foam. Nuts. Good news is I think the knee injury is really healed up, it didn’t give me too much trouble. Probably because my ligaments melted. Point is, the weekend was tough.

As for the week coming up, I don’t foresee too much difficulty besides the rain that is coming today and tomorrow. As usual, the Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back can get really tiring, especially when I play soccer Tuesday nights then have to have a longer run Wednesday. I think that my body is getting used to it, or you know like training is actually benefitting me. Tuesday is a 6-mile tempo run, which normally I hate but I am really excited to see how it goes, purely because the Garmin Forerunner 235 (no free ads) has a feature where I can program workouts into it, which should make it much easier to follow along. What a stupid reason to get excited for something I normally hate doing. Kind of like when you get a new suite or gym clothes or something and you get really excited to do something you normally hate just because you got the right gear for it and all of a sudden you think you are going to love it. For me that is pretty much anything involving wearing a suite. Got a new one, obviously thought I looked like hot shit, and was jacked up about wedding season. Ten minutes into the next wedding I was at I remembered that it wasn’t the way I was dressed, it was that I hate socializing and people and events and life. O yea the long run is 12 miles this weekend. Let’s goooooo.

Final Notes: I finished The Obelisk Gate finally, review will be coming at some point this week. A little disappointed in how slow I have been going with the reading lately, I think with no book updates the blog gets a little to me-focused instead of talking about things. Hopefully this inspires me to finish The Dark Defiles, since my boss who has been lending me The Broken Earth Trilogy books is out until next week so I can’t get the next book. It would be nice to be able to but A Land of Heroes trilogy away for all time and never think about it again.

Marathon Mike

Marathon Monday’s: WEEK TWO COMING AT YA!

Brutal title, brutal series name. All around just an insulting performance. Will I change it? No the time has passed for this. Buttttt without further ado or to do – I never really know what the correct way to say that is, and in keeping with the mail-it-in Monday theme this blog has already undertaken in the first two sentences/title I will not correct it – lets dive into week two. What a sentence, what a week.

As you may recall from the previous rendition of this, I have started my 16 week training plan (that will take 17 weeks) last Monday. Meaning that the first week is done! It went pretty well, I mean it wasn’t a real uptick in my normal weekly mileage, I think that things will start to heat up when the long runs get to the 14 mile and up range. As you can see, this week had no hills or tempo runs or any other misery, so it wasn’t a challenge to get it done in terms of mileage. I did screw up and read the wrong week and ran 10 miles instead of the allotted 8 mile run but whatever not that big a mistake.. Realizing that I can just screenshot my Runkeeper app, I can post my runs for the week to show that I don’t just talk a bad game, I also play it. Have fun with this data. I know I should be using Strava but idc let me live my life. If they want to sponsor an amateur runner with a hybrid fantasy/sports blog that has amassed almost 30 followers though…

Not to complain, but also to complain, I kind of jacked up my knee playing soccer Tuesday night, so these runs while not long, have been pretty painful. They have teetered on that just enough to bother me and think about the whole time, but not hurt enough to sideline me. If I can run, I’m running. The blog’s resident doctor, Dr. Nathalie Ruiz, DPT, told me that my quad is so tight that my kneecap is jerking up or down or is loose or something like that, hence the pain. She said I’m good though so whatever the grind continues. I’ve been told I will not be getting her take on things, but I would love to get a “This is what you actually did to your body” take on all my injuries, instead of me spinning it in a way that makes me seem less hurt.

The long run was painfulllll though. Felt like Teddy Bridgewater out there. I ran it Saturday instead of Sunday, due to scheduling conflicts, so I really didn’t have a short run the day before. That gave the knee no time to heal. On Thursday, my off day, I hit the gym and did a bunch of hamstring, groin and hip exercises, and I’m thinking I hit the hammys too hard because those things still are not healing. I overdid it with the good-mornings, so now none of my mornings are good. Most toolish two sentences in this blogs history. I know that is a hilarious joke so you would tend to not believe I actually did those, but I did. To get through the run I really tried to foam roll a shitload the night before and prior to the run. I also used that weird Biofreeze gel they give out in the NYRR post-run bags, but I think the only thing that is really going to heal it quickly is rest. So heal slowly it is. Sorry Doc.

Looking forward to the upcoming week. Got a nice 0-4 mile option today, going to shoot for 4 but if I start to feel my knee stiffening I might just forego the run altogether. Fortunately this week seems to be easier, I do have a tempo run Tuesday but it’s only like 4 miles so I shouldn’t be too hurt for soccer that night. The 7 miler Wednesday is going to suck but other than that, I should hold up nicely. I really should get a running watch it makes it so much easier to do those tempo runs. Have a great week everyone!

Final Notes: I went to the New York Red Bulls vs. NYC FC game last night and I think I am all in on the MLS. Not that I am ever going to watch it on TV, but the live games are fun as hell. The speakers were broken last night but the crowd was so loud I didn’t even realize it until like the 25th minute. The highlight of the game was the NYC FC defender kicked a ball out and the line ref called for a corner. The Red Bulls were like fuck that and just threw the ball in while the NYC FC players were jogging back to get set up to defend the corner. They were caught completely flat-footed and gave up a beautiful cross that ended up in a Red Bulls header for the go-ahead goal. What proceeded was legit 10 minutes of arguing. Best part? I bet the Red Bulls baby.

Marathon Mike

TCS New York City Marathon Training: It Starts with a Step…

Before I dive in to what can only be described as the most laissez-faire approach to an intense training regiment, let’s all take a minute to acknowledge the artistry involved in crafting a title that both repels and engages you all at once. Essentially a clusterfuck. I’ve been told that is my charm. Also it took a solid five minutes to figure out the correct way to write laissez-faire and to see if I used it correctly. That’s the level of efficient blog writing I bring to the table.

As the title makes crystal clear, it officially is day one, week one of my 16-week marathon training program. If you are wondering why I am undertaking a 16-week training program when there are 17 weeks until the marathon, well I am going to Colombia August 24th to September 1st to go on a cocaine sabbatical and since I neither speak the language nor have a very healthy ticker, it is in my best interest to just repeat the week before and pick it up when I get back. Also this trip is purely tourism, as fun as a cocaine sabbatical might be to some, that really ain’t my thing but it sounded funny. And my hearts fine, except for right now because I slugged down one of those Dunkin’ Energy Cold Brews since I had a free beverage thing on the app that I needed to use today, and my heart rate is through the roof.

Tingling feeling creeping down from my heart to my left hand’s fingertips aside, I am feeling like I am in peak physical condition. Having ran about 30-40 miles a week for the last few months, on top of a weekly gym session or two, occasional millennial hot yoga and some rec league soccer, I think I am ready to take on this next challenge. I have also come to the conclusion that writing all that out made me seem like a fucking losssssser. Please bear with me. Or don’t, it’s okay this stuff is for me anyway.

As for the plan, I am doing a modified version of the advanced NYRR stock training plan, which you can see at the top of this blog. By modified I mean I am making a few changes to fit my scheduling, not that I am changing it in any way. Remember I am an idiot not some fitness guru. The first change is the obvious repeat of week 8, which I know is going to slow the progression and make the following week where I have a long run of 18 miles brutal, but I really don’t have a solution for it. Besides, I signed up for the TCS New York City Marathon Training Series 18M and the plan lines up perfectly with that race if I repeat the week while I am on vacation. Gotta find the good in things. The other modification is swapping the Wednesday/Thursday runs. My girlfriend has a lot of similar runs to what would have been my Thursday runs, so for the sake of getting in some training together the swap makes sense. The things I do for love…

Being an eternal pessimist I already know where I am going to struggle with some of this stuff. The first and most glaring problem I already foresee is the obvious heavy workload for a guy who has never run a marathon. I want to say I know my body’s limits, but what I believe I can do and what my body can actually do are two completely different things. Some of the heavy weeks are way beyond anything I have ran before. I am terrible with rest days and this plan does not have many of them, so it is crucial that I actually rest when I am supposed too, especially during those crazy weeks. Honestly, if this plan is proving too much for me I will just switch it out with the NYRR stock intermediate plan, which is very similar with it’s long runs but is a little less intense during the week. Not exactly a great attitude but if I am realistic going in, then if I have to do it I will at least be prepared, albeit disappointed in myself. Nothing new there. Another problem I am going to have is doing the tempo and hill workouts. I really enjoy just running to run and am not at all one of those “need to go an exact pace” kind of runners, but it was proving impossible to find a plan that didn’t have any speed/hill workouts but also had enough running for me. Wow that sounded weird. I hate doing tempo shit, but I did do like 4 miles of hills this week and it wasn’t terrible. Maybe I will be alright. The last issue I have is that I am going to continue to play soccer and whatever other sports come my way, but will not skip any runs for them. The injury bug comes for everyone. Stretching and proper care are essentials that I often neglect. Gotta be better about it.

Well there you have it, these are just some of my thoughts on beginning a journey that is going to last the next four months or so. I am pretty jacked up about starting this thing and while I can’t promise I will update my progress every week, I will do my best to give at least semi-regular updates. I hope that I will get the chance to talk about my experience with some of the gear I use, some of my struggles with specific runs, and some of the cross-training I do, amongst other stuff. I also hope I can get my girlfriend to write a few guest blogs describing her own experience with her plan in order to offer the zero readers of this blog a different perspective and approach to marathon training from an actual expert of the human body instead of a guy who thinks he knows everything and researches nothing. Either way it starts with putting pen to paper or taking that first step, so just by writing this blog I have taken that first step!

I just want you to know I am aware how fucking nauseating that last sentence is, I thought about ending the blog on it ironically but just couldn’t do it. This is why I will never write for some big company. Or make any money doing this…

Love you all.

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Eye of the World Audio Book Update

What up whatup it’s time for a quick update on my journey through the Eye of the World audio book. Whatup3321 was one of AIM screenames back in the day and let me tell you it still plays. My initial idea of recapping my audio book experience while also talking about the training I have been undertaking is still on. It is just a little difficult to combine the two but I shall do my best.

Currently I am training for the Brooklyn Half which is May 18th. There is no specific goal in mind, earlier this year I hit my goal of an under 1:50 half with a 1:49:10 so I guess the next natural milestone would be a 1:45. I am not going for it on this one, I want to run it with my gf and help her hit her goal of under 2:00. Prob will wait until the Newport Half to go for it, but I don’t know how my body is going to react to training for my first marathon. Right now the focus has been on increasing my mileage. I know a lot of people talk about doing a 10% increase every week but honestly I do a lot of other stuff on top of running like playing soccer and basketballs and increasing that quickly every week is just going to kill me so I have been doing it every two weeks. This is the first week I am going for 33 miles and so far so good. I also have been experimenting with some speed workouts, my gf is on a training plan that I also follow. I just use the rest days on her plan as the days where I finish up my mileage. It seems to be helping, I just ran the UAE Kidney 10k in 49:10. Not great in terms of what I wanted but there was no rest in preparation for it so whatever. I kind of want to continue to talk about running in the future. It holds me accountable in the sense that if I put it out in the world I am more inspired to do it, and also I just really like talking about running. As someone who used to scoff at the idea of running any further then one restraining line to the other, this is kind of comical. I understand how much of a tool I can come across as, but fuck you its my blog.

Now that that is out of the way, back to the Eye of the World. I think my memories of how I felt about this series are clouded, I initially remember wondering if it was ever going to end, that it was literally dragging on forever and it teetered on ridiculous. I also was at a really weird place in my life while reading this series so I don’t know im my memory is tainted.

That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying the audiobook. I happen to remember a lot of the action in the first book so nothing is coming as a surprise but honestly I think a large part of my enjoyment is that the writing is simple enough that it is easy to follow while running. If it was overly complicated like MBotF (yes I had to look up what the reddit abbreviation of Malazan Book of the Fallen was because I am tired of typing it out) I am not sure I would enjoy it as it requires too much of being present or too much shit goes over my head. That’s what makes re-reading MBotF so enjoyable, but for WoT, the writing is well suited to audio. Also, though I clowned on the narrator initially, I now like the dude.

So the gang has gotten to Baerlon, and Nynaeve has just showed up to the party. DJ Thom got the club jumpppping and the whole crew was just soulja boying and douging their asses off. Fuck I am getting up there when those are the only two dances I could come up with off the top of my head. The hero of the story had just slung a stone at a cart soaking the children of the light and let me tell you, that guy gets comedy. Leaving your boy out to dry, HAHAH get it, wasn’t the coolest move but I forgive him. I am just up to the part where a fade shows up and asks Rand if he is trying to catch a fade. Shit is getting hot quick.

Re-reading this blog it occurs to me that it is all over the place. Give me an F for staying on topic.

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Wheel of Time Round 2

So I’ve been workshopping this idea to add some interest to my runs and thought about giving audio books a crack, because as my coworkers keep telling me, they’re so hot right now. I don’t know if that has any validity to it as my company has only ever made one audio book in the whole time I’ve been there, but we don’t publish trade books so honestly who knows. I get blasted in the eyeballs anytime I ever try to do anything with Amazon or the internet in general trying to pitch me audible and I got to say, just like that nasty ass looking orange vanilla coke commercial playing every second during march madness, if you just keep shoving it in my face eventually I will get suckered in.

Which brings me to the point of this whole blog. My plan is to have my first audio book be Eye of the World, which for the uninitiated (a fancy way of saying I read something, is book one of about ten million in the ever so highly regarded Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I’m going to be honest, it is a long, long, long series and contrary to what I think is popular opinion, what I remember being the best books are like the middle three. It’s not terribly complicated in the sense that you kind of know who is good and evil right away, and it does rely on what I call the Goku system of fighting, meaning that in order to win you just get more powerful or break new levels of what everyone thought was the limit for an ability or skill. But honestly I really think that this is a good series to try and listen too.

So all in all, as I am currently starting up marathon training, more on this another time, I think that I want something familiar that I vaguely remember. Looking forward to keeping an updated version of my progress on this, maybe I will tie it in to my runs or something.