Category Archives: Northeast

Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 3

Sunday 6/2
5 lovely miles through the rolling hills of Berkeley

Monday 6/3
2000 miles (from CA back to the lovely NJ)

Tuesday 6/4
rest

Wednesday 6/5
5 fat, slow, painful, sluggish, water balloon mascarading as a Dr. Trot, miles
warm, but not that warm
It was one of those runs that was just great to be finally done with and makes you appreciate the days when running doesn’t suck :-/

Thursday 6/6
5 after work miles — soooooooo much better than yestereday
+ The Bachelorette viewing (complete with a dinner of cookies and chips)

Friday 6/7
rest day
+ NYC trip #2 in 3 weeks 🙂
In related news, have you ever wondered what $9 million can get you on the lower west side? If so, wonder no longer…
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You’re welcome.

Saturday 6/8
11 morning NYC miles — up from the Lower West side to Central Park, through the park (complete with a few hundred of my cyclist friends…
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…and a smattering of my beloved public water fountains…
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…take note NJ, take note), and back down town (complete with a game of tourist + trash heap Frogger)
+ a day of trekking…and shopping…
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…and eating (at Merci, Isabella and Otto)…
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…all over my favorite city in the world. 🙂 A wonderful weekend 🙂

Total: 26 miles
It was nice to get some more miles in this week and get the first double digit long run under the belt. Days are heating up, work is piling up and the weekly milage is creeping up. It’s finally summer 🙂

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The Hamptons!!

It has been decided! The 2014 CEMS Marathon Team will be running The Hampton’s Marathon this year!! The race is on Saturday (is this a little odd, or is it just me?), September 27th. Both full and 1/2 marathon distances, as well as a 5k, are offered all at the same time. I’m hoping our team will have “competators” 😉 in each event.

Per usual, the major focus of this year’s marathon will be:
1. The very best team uniforms

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The costume awesomeness of 2013

2. Excellent pre-race eats

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Numnumnumnum....

3. A weekend of QT + R&R with an eclectic pack of nerds 🙂

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Before...

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and after.

One additional aim, IMHO, ought to be for the group to acquire ZERO broken legs during this year’s marathon. Dr. Samia….

Aside from the above, my goals for this year will be largely dictated by the kind of training that my bitch of a lovely job and summer travel plans allow. If I can get a solid 18 weeks x 4 runs/week training season in, I would love to see that pesky 3:xx that so narrowly evaded me by 1:40 last fall. If not, well, then aside from hopefully having a summer of wonderful wedding and vacation and house-guest memories, and a paper or two in the works, I’ll enjoy hobbling running the 26.2 with whoever is willing to wait for me.

The off season has (of course) been less consistent than I would have liked but I did get in some nice track, interval, Vibram and tempo work outs in. I have to use my imagination (or be a-okay with lying) if I want to claim there were many any long runs (>10 miles), but I trust that those will come now with the beautiful weather and seasonal allergies. 🙂

This year’s training plan will be very similar what I followed last year. I much prefer the 4 day/week schedule, with a few more miles on each day and an extra rest day each week, to the more traditional 5 day/week regime. The rough goal will be as follows:

1. THE LONG RUN – the most important run of the week. I’ll try to get this out of the way on Saturday mornings and cover 8-21 miles. For those of you how know me (read: know about my issues with being able to hydrate properly on hot summer long runs) will be excited to know that my H2O struggles may be a thing of the past! You can address your thank-yous to this pretty little birthday gift I received last fall…

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Camelbaked!

Don’t worry, I will find plenty of other bonehead struggles legitimate grievances to share with you along the way 🙂

2. The recovery run. 5-12 miles to work the consequences of Saturday out of my legs. Happy Sunday 🙂

3. The Tuesday Tempo run. 3-7 miles at faster than race pace to give the legs a rude awakening little reminder of what it feels like to turn over at a reasonable pace.

4. The middle distance weekday run. 5-12 miles at a comfortable pace to keep up the fitness level and keep down the jeans size.

The core strength training that I’d hoped to be super diligent about this off season has unfortunately been less than a top priority 😦 Naughty Dr. Trot. Reflecting on the situation, it is a bit odd, even to me. I know core strength is important, I know my abs and back and arms and pecs could/should be stronger, and I know it doesn’t take that much time to crank out a few “lifts” at the end of each work out. But somehow it is still a hell of a lot easier said than done. Why is that? (Dr. Trot = L.A.Z.Y. is the best that I’ve got thus far.) Regardless, these NEED to become a regular part of my training this season.

Alrighty then! Long story short, I think that’s it for now! Overall it’s pretty simple, eh? We shall see!

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MLK weekend in DC

In stark contrast to what I’m sure Dr. MarkyMark wants me to doing this weekend (thanks to a surprise research project for which he wants data from me now/yesterday/last week, never mind that I found out about this little treat less than 48 hrs ago with an already full plate…yes…never mind that…), I am off to DC on the Amtrack!

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Apparently this isn’t the coolest thing to do at 6:40 am on a Saturday…

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I’m an Amtrak newbie, but so far this has been totally slick. Given that this continues and that I can capitalize on early/cheap (<$100) tickets, I could get used to taking the train as an alternative to driving (no offense Beetle). Of course the train is the way to go to NYC from P-ton, but the Amtrak can really get you to a hell of a lot of other places in the NE too (and otherwise…but at a certain point the cost and time factors become a bit rediculous)

The specific aims (sorry, I can’t help myself, and yes, I know that isn’t normal) for the weekend are as follows:
1. American History Museum (First Lady’s dresses and the Muppets) – this is one of my favorite Smithsonian museums and these are 2 of my favorite exhibits there! YAY!! 🙂
2. Apothecary Museum – I have been to a surgery museum in Chicago ages ago (and loved it in a creepy kind of way :-/) but never an apothecary museum, much less this one. I feel like the Smithsonian is a tough act to challenge in DC but my hopes are high.
3. Massages 😀
4. Walks with Sir Jack
5. Food!!! One of the many awesome things about Dr. Allison is her taste in food, ability to find/pick superb restaurants and bake like it’s her job (which it should be). Unfortunately this means I’ve basically been hungry since I packed my bags last night and I’ll return after only one weekend with extra padding to work off. Oh well!! Yummy DC restaurants and the best home baked goodies that you’ll ever have: HERE I COME!! 🙂

Any DC restaurant suggestions?
Any off-the-beaten-path sight seeing or touristy suggestions?
Any Amtrak advise?
Any fun/exciting plans for your weekend?

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Week 18 part 2 + Philadelphia Marathon race review

Saturday 11/16 – 2 mi

Good morning marathon weekend! Dr. Annebelle and I got up early and got our 2 easy miles out-of-the-way with no problems. Thank god. Then off to Philly it was for the weekend festivities to begin!

Accommodations

We stayed at the Wyndham hotel in the Old City, 1.7 miles from the start of the race. The hotel was actually pretty perfect — located in Old Town there were great bars and cafés and restaurants and shops within walking distance and it was a cute are to walk around. Also, and maybe/probably/definitely the most important selling point, is that they extended our check out to 1 pm for no/zero/zilch additional charge and allowed us to extend it further to 5 pm for only $50. This was an absolutely beautiful luxury to have after running 13.1 or 26.2 miles.

(Note: Only the very coolest of people check into their hotel room at 9:30 am.)

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Two very cool people.

Pre-race expo:
After displaying our supreme coolness, it was off to the expo for a very crowded and moderately frustrating packet pickup.

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Drs. Marmia at race packet pick-up. (As Drs. Smaroof does not run marathons.)

The place was loaded to the gills with runners and their entire families and all of their friends… The vendors I had hoped to hit (based on the Chicago expo) weren’t there and those that were, were not giving out nearly enough free goodies. I did manage to snag a pair of sweet arm warmers for $9 though. I can’t complain about that! Also on a positive note, the venue was perfect (although a bit too full), a convention center in the heart of the city. It was a piece of cake (or two or three…but who’s counting) to get there and around the city for some sight-seeing in the afternoon.

After the expo, a walk around town, a nap back at the hotel and new arm warmer modeling…

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Superman!

…we all headed out for the classic pre-race Italian dinner at Panini’s Trattoria in the Old City.

I won’t include a full review because I was too preoccupied to pay a whole lot of attention to what the hell was going on around me. But, I will say that we had the back room more or less all to ourselves which was pretty cool and I got the lobster ravioli and it was bomb.

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Also note that this was in stark contrast to the service, which was horrific. On pre-race night though, you kinda gotta cut them some slack…kinda…

After dinner it was back to the hotel to lay out all of the vital components for a successful tomorrow and then off to bed!

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Vital components for a successful tomorrow.

Sunday 11/17 – 26.2 + 4 mi (4:01:40 + ??)

Location:

Philadelphia, PA (beginning and ending in the center of town)

Weather:

Perfect! Morning: ~50F and cloudy and calm. Afternoon: 60F and partly cloudy and calm.

4 am came damn early and it was time to rock and roll (and run). Breakfast was English muffins with peanut butter and banana and yogurt and cuties and granola bars and coffee….ahhhh….coffee…

And then it was off to the start by 5:30 to get through security…and to take photos…

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The three full marathoners!

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Drs. T & A…

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…and more T & A.

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Drs. T and S (Sorry, I can’t come up with anything trashy involving those two letters.)

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The girls…

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…and the guys.

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Maroof  the runner from Japangladesh (Not to be confused with either Dr. Aki from Japan or Dr. M from Bangladesh…)

Threads and treads:

Very cool CEMS team uniforms (see below…and above…) including Champion tank and running skirt, yellow and pink swirl Pro Compression marathon socks, and my wonderful Mizuno Wave Riders

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Our feet…

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…and the rest of us.

Field:

All kinds (~30k) of people. Not quite the elite crowd that you find at Chicago, but a nice mix of paces for both the half and full marathon.

Race start:

We got to the start area by ~5:30 (only 30 min after the requested 5 am arrival due to increased security) and had absolutely no issues. Once inside we

  1. We hit the port-a-potties (there are NEVER enough, but considering that, this was fine)
  2. Got some water (ONE water table? really? and zero coffee, Gatorade or pre-race fuel? Unimpressed. )
  3. Took a picture or two shit load of pictures
  4. Dropped our bags off at the gear check (UPS trucks organized alphabetically = smooth sailing! Nice going!)
  5. Excitedly bumbled around trying to stay warm and
  6. Headed to our start corals!

The run:

The first half of the course was for both the full and half marathon. It weaved through town and was overall a really pleasant 13 miles. Some areas were a bit narrow for the number of people trying to charge their way through though.

The second half was tough. It was an out and back along the river, with little jogs out here and there to hit the necessary mileage. These little jogs seemed to keep fooling me – being much less little in reality than I remembered them being from the map. And then the turn-around point “must be just over this next hill.” I’m not even going to tell you how many times that thought went through my exhausted pea brain! The rolling hills would have been lovely (I’m sure ) if I wasn’t trying to get things done quickly.

I’m convinced it was a modest net elevation gain on the way out which made coming back much less of a pain in the ass and much more of a pain in the quads. Now, full disclosure, I was really hoping to be under 4 hrs for this run. The plan was to run the first 1/4 with Dr. Annebelle and then to give it a go for the next 3/4 and see what happened. I turned it up as much as I dared for miles 6-13 and then just tried to hang on for 13-20. I had started feeling my joints and then my hamstrings and then my quads moving through miles 6 to 20. The lungs were holding on (miraculously…and thank you…) so coming back on the home stretch I was hoping to able to pick it up enough to see 3:xx on the clock. I did what I could, I really did, but even with the net descent (which my quads selfishly complained about for 2 days) I just didn’t have the turn over. The last few miles were hot, sunny and I needed to be done.

In 4:01:40 I was done. Not quite what I’d hoped for, but within 1:40 of my goal and as fast as I was going to go for the day. I had negatives splits and a PR, so zero bitching allowed. (Never thought you’d hear me say that did you?!?!

More importantly, the rest of team CEMS did AMAZING. There were 3x first time half-marathoners, 3x seasoned half-marathoners, 1x full marathoner with a double-digit PR and 1x full marathoner who finished with a sprained ankle!!! Yeah, my friends are a hell of a lot tougher than I am (which explains why they can put up with me I suppose…)

Support:

There were 17 water/Gatorade stations and 3 Clif Gel Shot stations. This was just about the right amount although I would have loved an extra water stop during the last few miles. I get that they were more front loaded to accommodate all of the 1/2 marathoners that were running that part of the course with us, but would anyone have dropped dead if they put one more in the last few miles? I doubt it. The Clif Gel Shots were well spaced and were offered in all flavors. Way to go!

Post-run:

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Team CEMS after a most successful Philly Marathon!

Messages, iced ankles, showers, a relatively easy exit from central Philly, 8x delicious pizzas, yummy beers opened with the hotel room door handle and naps…

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Executive summary:

I hate to start off like an ass hole and say “it wasn’t Chicago.” But, it wasn’t Chicago. The crowds, support and course just weren’t quite up to the same bar (all of these things were ~80% of Chicago…soooo….). That being said, neither were the hotel room $$, the commute difficulties or the congestion. Overall a lovely city marathon in the northeast.

Philly is a great city on a normal day. The food, the people, the sights. Now on a beautiful day when you get to spend the morning running through the city with almost 2 hands worth of your best friends, Philly is  most excellent.

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Week 18 part 1

The marathon training season is over!! 😮

This is always a time of mixed feelings for me. On one hand, I’m one step shy of being on my knees thanking god that I don’t have to juggle the rest of my life around my stupid training runs. On the other hand, I already know that a very effed up part of me will miss the non-negotiable hour (or two or three) x4 days a week that are mine to be outside and physically active. Never mind that I’m also totally stoked about the upcoming race weekend and already think about what crazy plans to make next. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, right?

For the next 48 hours, let’s just try to enjoy the present…

Register to track your favorite runners in the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon

The four easy steps to make this happen are-

  1. Click on the link above
  2. Register as directed with an email address, username and password
  3. Search for all of your favorite runners by last name
  4. Select if you want to be alerted by text message, email, Facebook (or some other form of social media that I’m too old and/or nerdy to understand) as your favorite runners kick ass on Sunday

Once you do this, you should promptly (t<0.068 seconds) receive a confirmation message that you’re all set to go.

Fun fact: avoiding the cell phone’s “silent” setting on Sunday will help facilitate timely updates.

If you are so lucky as to be in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, come join in the fun by cheering us on and enjoying all that the after party has to offer. In particular, keep your eyes peeled for the very stylish Team CEMS…

1/4 Team CEMS

1/4 Team CEMS

Monday 11/11 – rest

Tues 11/12 – 4 mi

It’s chilly (30 F) out!! And someone wasn’t smart enough to pack appropriate attire to comfortably battle said chill. What an idiot. Although, this does lead to quick 4 mile runs…

Wed 11/13 – rest

Thurs 11/14 – 8 mi

So it’s still chilly (30 F) out but the aforementioned “someone” has learned from her mistake and dug out the right clothes for non-NJ summer running (see Tuesday 11/12…contrary to popular belief this does happen once in a while…). Threads: Insulated and “compression” Champion tights and long-sleeved shirt, awesome Arc’teryx Solano jacket

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The cool weather running clothes have made their debut in NJ…

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…on the tow path…

Thus, this someone froze her ass off significantly less than she did on Tuesday and logged a more modestly paced and beautiful final run of this training season!

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…along the canal…

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…and lake Carnagie.

Fri 11/15 – rest

Rest = transition from excited to super excited for Sunday + spend the day working hard perfecting my playlist for Sunday + packing and repacking 593x what I will actually need on Sunday after ditching out of work early leaving work at a reasonable time + anxiously waiting for Dr. Annebelle and Mike to arrive and for the weekend festivities to begin!

Total mileage =  12 mi

I’m very excited to be writing this two days before the marathon with no real irritating aches and pains much less any moderate to serious injuries. KNOCK ON WOOD! While the training schedule has been the victim of neglect over the past few weeks, I’m feeling health and ready to run. The 3x +19 mile training runs all went well enough so getting through the later stages of Sunday will largely be a mental exercise I think. Given the way my wicked long, irritating, unpredictable demanding work schedule has required serious logistical gymnastics in order to get my runs in, I feel I’m prepared to deal with this end-of-the-run stress better than ever before. That’s at least some consolation, right? I guess we’ll see on Sunday!

Now of course my overall goal is for my stylish self and friends to have a wonderful run. Following that, my more quantitative goals for the day are as follows:

  1. Negative splits
  2. PR (sub-4:10 if all goes smoothly or sub-4 if, as I get going, I feel like I could the run of my life, get greedy and am able to hold on to it)

The course is relatively flat, the fans are fun and weather is supposed to be very nice (50s F), so I think all of these are totally doable. It will just depend on what the day (and my legs and the soft tissue that I store between my ears) brings.

Happy Marathon Weekend!!

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Filed under General, Marathons, Northeast, Trotting, Work out