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NYCM: One Month to Go!

NYCM: One Month to Go!

Okay, I suck. I basically fell off the face of the Earth for a few weeks after the Disneyland Half Marathon — sorry about that! I’ve been keeping up with all of you and your adventures, just not commenting much…I swear!

Long story short, I’ve been swamped with work lately. When you’re a starving freelance writer, trying to stay on top of deadlines and schedule interviews and meetings and submit revisions and answer last-minute questions and, basically, keep all of your clients happy, can suck up your entire life. Which has left me ZERO time for recreational writing (i.e.blogging), as of late. (Not that I’m complaining, believe me!)

However, I really wanted to pop back in to let you know that 1.) I didn’t drop dead or anything and 2.) provide some updates on my New York City Marathon training.

Because, as my headline might suggest, we are now down to the FINAL MONTH before I run NYC!

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One month from today! Photo credit: competitor.com

So, here’s the story. My training hasn’t exactly been going as well as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing the absolute best I can, and I’m being as consistent as humanly possible when it comes to squeezing in those weekend long runs, including the “scale-back” long runs of 12 or 13 miles in between each longer distance.

But training in the summer damn near killed me. I’ve truly hated it. And I sort of resent the fact that now that it’s FINALLY starting to cool down, I’ll be tapering in a matter of two weeks! Seeing the “slower” paces on my Garmin and feeling how drained I was after an “easy” five-miler when it was 80+ degrees has really messed with my confidence, I have to say, and I feel like I really have absolutely no clue how I’m going to do come Nov. 2.

I did a 16-miler that was an absolute DISASTER. I started early in the morning but it was a HOT day, and lucky for me, my monthly friend decided to arrive that morning. Between the intense crampage and the fatigue and the sun beating down on me, I was in pure agony every step of the way, and — I kid you not — cried my eyes out for pretty much the last 5k. Good thing I was wearing sunglasses. But I fought through it. I ripped off my sneakers and collapsed in the park at the end, and took this fine “proof” photo for you guys, haha.

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My 18-miler, on the other hand, started out FANTASTIC. It happened to be a cool, crisp morning. The sun wasn’t out and it felt like fall for the first time, and I knocked out the first 10 miles without any effort at all. It was the first time in a long time that I actually found myself enjoying a run — which is sad, but true. At one point I even thought to myself, “oh, that’s right…I actually DO enjoy this!” The last 8 were a little harder because it was starting to warm up — and, you know, I was tired — but I still finished that run feeling fairly strong and confident that I would be okay on race day.

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You’ll notice the 16-miler and 18-miler took me almost the same amount of time, haha

Meanwhile, my mid-week runs haven’t been the most consistent. My plan is basically calling for 3 mid-week runs between 5 and 8 miles, and I gotta tell you, I don’t always have time to get that 8-miler in, or a second 5-miler. I’ve been overwhelmed with assignments and I have a completely full load of piano students now that school is in session again, and it’s no easy feat trying to juggle it all. I would say I’ve been getting in two mid-week runs and the long run on weekends, and I’m lucky to get in a rare fourth run each week.

Don’t think I’m sitting around eating bon-bons on my non-running days, however. My other issue as of late? My karate “master” decided that October would be the month to hold his next black belt test in Thai kickboxing, for which I am eligible. I earned my bo-black belt in Jan. 2013, and now I’m ready to test for the black belt.

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What that has translated to is making a commitment to getting in as many Thai classes per week as possible, including the weekend classes I’ve been skipping ever since I moved 30 minutes away from my karate school, on top of candidate-only classes and extra sessions on sparring led by a fellow black-belt candidate. That is to say, most days I will do a run and at least one karate class, if not two. This past weekend I logged 8 miles, then a Thai class, then a Thai candidate class, and then an hour-long sparring session. Yep. I pretty much have no life right now.

I will have to spar with full gear at my test this weekend, and guess what? I had never actually sparred before! We’ve done plenty of drills and I’ve done some basic sparring without pads, but if you want to test for your black belt, you actually have to fight others. Like, for real. So I panicked and have been spending pretty much every waking moment at Karate World to get as comfortable as possible with the idea of going head-to-head against a real person.

My usual fighting partner

My usual fighting partner…

Meanwhile, I earned my blue belt in Taekwondo in August, and have also been trying to squeeze in at least one or two blue belt classes each week so I can learn the curriculum and not have to wait all of 6+ months to advance to red belt.

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Needless to say…it has been HARD to make it all work. And I’m EXHAUSTED. I’m basically comatose by 10pm every night, and I am pretty much always in pain. Whether my calves are tight and my hips are sore from running, or my quads are aching or lower back is stiff from karate, my body has just about had it.

I have my 19-miler this week, and then since I had to skip last weekend’s scale-back run last week of 13 miles in favor of taking a zillion Thai classes on Saturday and Sunday, I’m going right into the 20-miler the following week. My test will be over and I know things will calm down, but because I’ve seen nothing but my “summer” paces for months now, and my body is especially worn out from all the running and karate, I kind of feel like I’m going into the marathon blindly with no sense of how I’m actually going to do when I’ve had a little time to recover and the weather will (hopefully) be a lot cooler.

The moral of the story? No matter what, I am EXCITED for this race, and I know I’m going to finish. I feel very fortunate to be in the kind of physical shape where I can enjoy all of these different activities and remain injury-free (KNOCK ON WOOD), and that I’m capable of setting these ambitious fitness goals for myself. So, who am I to complain?

That being said, I know I may not be able to bang out my “A” goal next month. I’ve come to terms with that. Sometimes life gets in the way, and all you can do is the best you can do, right? I’ll be thrilled with my “B” or even more conservative “C” goal of under 5 hours…but even if I don’t make that, I know this marathon is going to be AMAZING. I am so excited to be thisclose to race day!

How has life gotten in the way of your training?

Does anyone else look forward to tapering as much as I do? :)

Comments

  1. Oh. My. God. I am exhausted just READING everything you are doing! I think I would be passed out on a couch somewhere for a week with all that going on! But good for you for being so dedicated and putting in the time! That’s amazing!

    Btw, I will be in Queens during NYCM…place your bagel order :)

    • Haha, trust me, I do my share of passing out, lol. I’m a hot mess right now — looking forward to this test being over so I can go back to my normal routine!

      Ah, that’s awesome — I will be looking for you! Would love to meet you “in real” life! :)

  2. I’m exhausted just READING about everything you are doing! I think I would spend an entire week passed out on the couch somewhere with all that going on! Amazing job by you with your dedication and determination to get your training in (both running and martial arts). Super proud!

    Oh, and I’ll be in Queens during NYCM…place your bagel order :)

  3. Geez, you’re making me tired just by reading all of that. I can’t believe it is a month until NYC. I try to watch it on TV every year, but inevitably end up watching it online to skip commercials.

  4. Wow, you have been up to a lot lately! Keeping busy is not a bad thing. It just means you are “out there living life”. I’m excited for you about NY. It’s so close!

    • I know you’re right! I’m living life all right…except when I’m passed out from exhaustion, lol. I’m super excited, too, can’t believe it’s almost here!

  5. Holy crap girl! How are you not dead yet?! Here’s to keeping our paws crossed that you don’t get the S word (and I don’t mean the curse one!) Make sure you get enough rest and it probably wouldn’t hurt to kick up the vitamin C and echinacea doses. We don’t want our butt kicking, pad smashing mama sidelined because she took on too much! :)

    • I have no idea — your guess is as good at mine! BELIEVE ME, I know what you’re saying…that’s why I’m trying to make sure I get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated, and have made Purell my new best friend. :)

  6. Ahhhh I can’t wait for taper time!! I am getting more excited now we are less than one month away – scheduling the weekend, finalizing logistics, rounding out the support team :) Have a great weekend!

  7. Dang girl talk about a crazy busy life right now!! Sounds like you are doing well balancing it all in the craziness though…still getting in your long runs and Thai kickboxing classes and working like crazy (hey, more money for Disney trips right?! hahaha)! :0) Keep up the awesome work – you are going to do awesome next month at the race!!

    • Aw, thanks, Lauren. I’m balancing it all as best I can…one day at a time, right? And, yes…that’s EXACTLY what the money is for. You must know I have a “Disney trip fund.” lol.

Mentioned Elsewhere:

  1. [...] of the black belt testing for Thai candidates definitely wasn’t ideal timing for me; as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been running myself ragged trying to get to classes and squeeze in sparring practice [...]

  2. [...] have to tell you, after my last few disastrous long tuns, including a menstrual 16-miler (sorry for TMI, but, it’s true!) and a 19-miler in the POURING RAIN, this weekend’s run [...]

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