NYC Marathon Training Week #4 – Wednesday

Everyone loves a cat photo.

Slept in until 7:45, it felt blissful. Got home from work and it had the “it’s going to rain any second” vibe going on. (It never rained.) I felt exhausted, so I opted to take a rest day and catch up on all the household chores I’ve been ignoring. Considering how much action I got during softball, I feel justified in calling that cross-training for the week. Plus I have plans to do yoga on Sunday. It’ll all work out. It always does.

NYC Marathon Training Week #4 – Tuesday

The forecast on Tuesday called for rain, rain, rain, thunderstorms and more rain. When I got up in the morning, that’s exactly what it looked like, so I opted to head to the gym instead and do my scheduled 3×1000 on a treadmill. I always feel like I’m cheating a bit when I use a treadmill, but it’s better than nothing, right?

My coach told me to not go all-out, but instead to practice race pace. My repeats were:


These felt tougher than race pace should feel. I also pushed myself more than I needed to because BUTTONS! I played games with myself and increased the pace every minute or so. I think I could sustain 5:15s for a 5k race, but no more than that.

Midsummer’s Night Run is Sunday. My goal is to keep my pace between 5:35 and 5:45 and see where I’m at. That’s what I did for Around the Bay last year, and it worked for the first 20k. Then I got tired.

I’m starting to think that 6 minute kms for NYC is a reasonable goal, and would bring me in around 4:15. I’d take that.

Last night, we had softball. We lost, again. They had FIVE lefthanders on their team, so I got a lot of action in right field. I went fly out, walk, strikeout, ground-out. Then the ump after the game told me that I have a good swing (YES!) but I’m standing too close to the plate and should use a lighter bat (NO!) and need to watch the pitches more closely (obviously). We only have one game left, so I need to remember that for next season.

The rain never came, by the way.



NYC Marathon Training Week #4 – Monday

Reusing photos. I’m getting lazy.

On Monday, I headed to the pool in the morning. I got there early enough that I decided to push myself to do a 45 minute swim instead of my usual 30 minute swim. For the first 35 minutes, I alternated between free and using a kickboard, and for the last 10 alternated between breaststroke and a kickboard. I still need to get more comfortable with breathing when doing free, and I still crane my neck forward too much. But it’s been a loooong time since I swam laps as a workout, so I’ll figure it out. I just need to be patient.



NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Sunday

Sunday is long run day! After sleeping for 12 hours, I felt better, but not amazing. After some mind games (“you can always run in the evening!”) I sucked it up and headed out. I was told to run for 90 minutes, and did the same thing as last week: 15 and 1s, with my running pace between 6:00 and 6:30.

Even though I left at 8:30am, it was too late to beat the heat. It got HOT. I decided to run to the beach, as it was a breezy day and there are lots of fountains along the path there. It was gorgeous at the beach, but the heat really got to me by the end. I ended up going about 1k shorter than I hoped because I was meeting a friend at the Leslieville Farmer’s market at 10:30 and didn’t want to be late.

13k in 1:25:50.

Then I got an ice pop. AMAZING.

I’m always glad to get runs over with. I need to remember that every time I convince myself I can do it later. It’s part of the reason Saturday was a bust. Oh well.

NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Saturday

We went to the park today. This photo is not from that day, but it involves a park! And a dinosaur!

Today wasn’t supposed to be a rest day, but it was. I woke up with a vicious headache. By the time it had settled enough to run, it was the middle of the day – and it was hot, hot, hot. I thought I could maybe run in the evening, but headache returned and I became so exhausted that I went to bed at 7:30. I think the 6am wake-ups this week caught up to me.

This means I miss my tempo run this week. It’ll be the first work-out I miss. I hope it’s not the first of many.



NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Friday

Did the 7:15 morning flow class at Yoga Tree again. I felt tired and sluggish, but my whole body felt better after class. I need to keep reminding myself how much I benefit when I do yoga regularly when I’m training for a race. I know it means compromising something else, like strength training, but I really want to get through this training cycle injury-free. Yoga will help me do that.



NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Thursday

I got up in the morning and double-checked my planned workout. It was AMAZING to see 3-4 800s and not the 4-5 800s I had originally thought.

I ran to Riverdale Track and did my splits. Instead of timing my breaks, I walked a lap around the track. This was probably longer than the breaks I’m supposed to take, but I don’t like fully stopping when I run sprint repeats.

My splits were:


Not too bad.

After work, I plated softball. I went 0-4: fly out, fly out, ground out, ground out. I think I’m ready to go pro.

NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Wednesday

3x1000s were on the schedule today. When I have 1000s, I like to run to Corktown Common, then run km splits on the Don Valley trail. That’s what I did this morning. (Side note: as someone who hates running in the summer, I am so grateful for the cooler weather we’ve been having.)

My splits were:


I have no idea what happened with that first one, it felt a lot faster than 5:33. As for the second two, I wanted to puke the whole time. I’m not used to running that fast, I think my Tuesday rest day really contributed to that.

Tomorrow, 5x800s. My life is so glamorous.

On Instagram, I’ve noticed everyone has fancy photos with their running data on them. I must know more about this. Anyone have a program they particularly like?

NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Tuesday

This ended up being a rest day, surprising no one. It wasn’t planned that way, I swear. I had a speed workout to do, but when I woke up, I still didn’t know the details. So I spent the morning puttering about and assessing my legs. They were still in rough shape after Monday’s bike ride. By the time I got the workout emailed to me, I had to leave for work. And I had plans after work, which meant no workout on Tuesday.

Long weekends. They ruin everything.

I have my weekly workouts now, though. So I’m going to shift a few things around. Wednesday & Thursday – run. Friday – yoga. Saturday & Sunday – run.

It means back-to-back speed workouts on Wednesday and Thursday, but what else can I do?

NYC Marathon Training Week #3 – Monday

Mondays are cross-training or rest, depending on how I’m feeling. This Monday was also a holiday, so Matt and I hatched the ambitious plan of biking to the Scarborough Bluffs and back.

Halfway there, it started to rain. We decided to power through, though. And, as a I stood at the edge of a cliff in the pouring rain, I realized this is EXACTLY what I was doing on August 4, 2013 – when I hiked the East Coast Trail with JK.

I guess this should be a new Erin Balser tradition.

It cleared up by the time we biked to the park, so we did all the trails and decided to get a quick bite before we headed back. Expect, the rains came down. Hard. And they didn’t stop. We finally caved and biked home in the rain.

40k in 3 hours. My legs feel like rubber. I’m not sure if running tomorrow is a good idea.