It’s been AWHILE guys!! Sorry to not post for so long, but I’ve been super busy with work, working out with some of you personally and…training for the NYC Marathon! Yes, that’s right, I’ll be running my first marathon on November 2nd. If you follow CFC on Facebook and Instagram then you know that I started training for real in July. So I thought I’d give you guys a brief update of how things are going:
1. How I’m Training: NYRR’s “Virtual Trainer” & Runtastic PRO
A lot of people ask me if I’m running with a running club or a team. While I’m loosely affiliated with some running groups and ran my first half-marathon with Team in Training, I decided that given my busy schedule I needed a running program that was customized to ME.
The New York Road Runners (the organization that puts on the NYC Marathon each year and several other races) has a “Virtual Trainer” which is basically an online training program that is customizable to your running goals. Based on your pacing, it will tell you what your expected finishing time will be for the marathon. It also adjusts as you progress, and there’s a “virtual coach” who gives you tips along the way. You learn about interval training, hydration, general pacing, etc. all on your own time & schedule. And most importantly, the NYRR Virtual Trainer gives you clear mileage goals each week to build you up to marathon level, regardless of your current fitness level. I LOVE this trainer!!
I’ve been using this trainer and Runtastic Pro mobile app to track my runs & progress each week. I love Runtastic Pro, because this app syncs with the music on my phone during runs & will tell me (as I’m running!) what my pace is on each mile. I don’t run without my Runtastic Pro app!
2. How I’m Feeling: Soreness, Black Toenails, Natural Hair Woes & the Glories of Yoga
So we’ve all heard that marathons do a number on your body! Horror stories abound, so I was naturally a little nervous about training. At the beginning of my training, my biggest struggles were hip flexor, calf and ankle soreness/tightness. As an attorney, I sit in an office ALL day, so I was finding that my hip flexors weren’t getting the necessary stretch they needed. Yoga/Pilates workouts at home have REALLY helped me to get past this soreness and has made me faster on my runs! If you are training for any kind of long distance run, I would HIGHLY recommend adding a yoga/pilates routine to your schedule. I’m currently doing PiYo and it’s been a lifesaver!!
I did jam one of my big toes awhile back and the toenail has not been the same. It hasn’t gone black, but it’s tender and sensitive, especially post runs. I think I was more focused on my toenails looking cute than on their health, which was a big mistake! I didn’t clipped them down enough, so I think the toenail may have been jamming into my sneaker during runs. Ahh the not-so-glamorous part of running! I’m now cutting my toenails down to prevent further bruising- anyone else experience this? If not, don’t – learn from
How to wear my hair during marathon training has also been a bit of a challenge. As a woman of color with thick natural hair, there was just NO WAY to preserve a hair style post-run! And since I run in the mornings, that meant coming to work in a sweaty and often tangled bun. In the interest of saving myself from hour-long detangling sessions, I got my hair twisted in Senegalese twist extensions and will likely continue wearing them for all of training (and the marathon itself).
3. How I’m Progressing: What’s My Goal, Why Am I Doing This & What I’ve Learned So Far
A lot of people ask me what my pacing goals are in terms of finishing the marathon. My goal is simple – to finish it!!! Currently the NYRR Virtual Trainer has me finishing it sometime between 4:48 and 4:57 (yes, that’s 4 HOURS lol 😉 ), but to be honest my goal is just to make it past the finish line. Running is one of the most meditative and personal forms of exercise there is, so a marathon is as much a test of your mental will as it is test of your physical fitness.
Sometimes, when my playlist is blaring and my legs fall into that perfect rhythm, I feel like I can run forever and nothing can stop me! And sometimes, my body feels like lead, my legs don’t want to move and everything in my mind is screaming for me to stop. What makes the difference is my perception of what I think I can do- my mental. Can you push over this hill? You’ve still got 6 miles to go- are you watching your pace? Just a little bit further… I can’t wait to make it across that finish line.
Stay tuned! 🙂 -CFC
Are you training for a long distance run this fall? How is it going for you?