4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Posts Tagged ‘gym

Going for 100 pushups

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Inspired by LIRunner9 at http://trainingfornycmarathon2009.blogspot.com/, and some others I’ve seen write about it, I’ve decided to try the One Hundred Pushups training program.  I get to the gym sometimes, but not as often as I like, so 100 pushups seems to be a great way to strengthen the arms in a way that I can’t seem to do in my limited workouts at the gym – it’s easy enought to do at home too.  My only worry is that when I’ve tried to do lots of pushups in the past, I run into pain in my wrist.

When I made it to the gym yesterday, I was able to do 15 pushups as my initial test.  Next step is to begin the 3 times per week program, and see if it works!  Of course, today, my arms are totally sore from the 15 initial pushups (and my full workout afterwards), so I’ll need to wait until tomorrow or Wednesday to get started…


Written by SCL

January 5, 2009 at 10:59 pm

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Jam Packed Weekend

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Had a very busy weekend running around all over the place.

Was at my house in New Jersey Friday night into Saturday lunchtime.  Had to get all the leaves out from the back of the house to the street.  Hard labor, but fun.  My 13 year old helped me drag the tarp out and back a whole bunch of times to generate the very large pile you see below.  My little one, as you can see, would love to take the credit!

Giant leaf pile

Giant leaf pile

Then made some time for a speed workout session at the track at East River Park.  My intention was to get it in before dark, but it unfortunately gets dark at 5pm these days.  Made it to the track about 5:10.  The good news is that the construction work definitely seems to be progressing on both the next new section of the promenade (at the track), and in the replacement of the main road surface at the north end of the park.

In terms of the run, had fantastic results.  My first 1 mile interval was completed in 7:10.  7:10!!!!  Shaved 9 seconds off my time from last week.  Had enough in me to finish a second mile in 7:22, more than 10 seconds faster than my 2nd mile in the last workout.  Finished up with 2 half mile intervals, at 3:28 and 3:22.  Weather was cold, but bearable.  Park was very dark, and very empty.  Couple of other hearty souls out there when I started, but I had the track to myself at the end.  At around 5:40ish, a bank of lights actually came on at the track.  It covered about a quarter of the track, but at least we were not in complete darkness…

Was then up early Sun morning to volunteer at the Joe Kleinerman 10k, to fulfill my requirements for entry to the 2009 New York City Marathon.  It was very cold, and my toes were frozen from being outside for 4 hours, but it was a lot of fun.  I patrolled the 1000 (red) corral at the start, and then was cheering the runners on just before the 6 mile mark during the race.

In the afternoon, made a trek up to Westchester with my wife’s family for a cemetery visit to mark the death anniversary of a family member.  We typically do this once a year and then have a giant meal.  This year we went to Valentino’s, in Yonkers.  It was wonderful and I completely and thoroughly stuffed myself, to the point where I thought I might block an artery and have a heart attack on the spot!  It may have been one of the most gluttonous meals I ever had – not good for the diet.

Therefore, later in the evening, made it a point to get to the gym.  Since the signs of my shoulder strain from Thursday were gone, I went ahead with a nice upper body workout and a bunch of crunches.

My final accomplishment of the weekend was hooking up my new DVD burner (picked up a refurb unit at a steal at http://www.woot.com in the last Woot Off) to my collection of electronics connected to my TV.  See the crazy picture below – above the TV we first have the VCR (still have a bunch of VHS laying around), then the Verizon FIOS cable box (must use the cable box with FIOS), then the TiVo (I know many cable operators have DVR’s, including Verizon, but TiVo completely rocks), and finally my new DVD Burner (hooray!).  Amazingly, they are all operational – I am in heaven – can finally offload some stuff from my TiVo to DVD.  This includes all the Shea Stadium specials plus the final game at Shea, and the NYC marathon coverage from channel 4.



Written by SCL

December 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Posted in East River Park, running

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Strong run Wed, then minor issues

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Had a very strong 5.9 mile run on Wednesday night over the Williamsburg Bridge and back.  My wife was away for the night so a late night run was out of the question – I needed to get home from work quick and get an early run in before relieving the babysitter.  Therefore, I was able to get a nice early start after work, home by 6 and out on the street at 6:30.

Felt great right from the start.  I think it was because of the early time.  If I go out at 9 or 10 PM, or early in the morning, my energy usually does not feel like it is at peak.  Also, the weather was perfect.  It was 41 degress, and very little wind.  Since I was feeling so good, I pushed it from the start.  Especially on the way back, I pushed the pace up the bridge and kept the intensity over the last mile after the bridge.  I finished in 52:15, 8:51 pace.  It was my 2nd fastest time on this course.  It was just a beautiful night, and the J/M trains on the bridge proved to be good pacing partners!  Most interesting site was the gridlock on Delancy St with traffic backed halfway up the bridge…

Then, yesterday morning, woke up with a knot in my upper left shoulder.  This does tend to happen to me when I step up the upper body workouts at the gym.  I’ve been to the gym twice a week since the marathon, and I guess overdid something.  Thankfully it is not very bad and is feeling better today.  Since I was already a bit out of commission yesterday, I decided to take care of a nail issue.  I’ve shedded a couple of bad toenails in the last 4 months of intense (for me at least) training.  One of the new ones coming in was somehow a bit split and created this odd growth.  I’ve tried to trim it to correct form to no avail.  So, yesterday I just yanked the old bad part out.  Toe will be a little tender for a couple of days, but then the nail should grow back in nicely.

My next event is volunteering Sunday at the Joe Kleinerman 10k. (2009 New York City Marathon here I come)  Forecast?  Snow!  Maybe…

Written by SCL

December 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Posted in running

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What is the weather in Austin in Feb?

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I have a few minutes to kill, so I’m sitting outside at Madison Square Park (awesome free wifi by the way), freezing, but catching up on email, blogs, etc.  Hopefully I’ll get a run in later tonight, but with the cold weather, I’m just kind of curious what the weather is like in Austin in February, as I prepare for the Austin Marathon on Feb 15.  I know Texas is hot, but when I was there previously in November, the weather was awesome.  I figure the weather in Feb is pretty awesome as well.

So, went to Yahoo Weather (don’t worry, powered by The Weather Channel), to find the historical averages for Austin.  Average high 65, average low 44.  So far, so good!  50’s is perfect, 40’s and 60’s are manageable.  But, what if we have a record hot or cold day, what is in the realm of possibility?  Record high is 99 and the record low is -1.  Oh no.  So, it could be beautifully perfect, or it could be New York dead of winter, or New York dead of summer.  Regardless, it will be fun, and sub 4:30!

Was able to get to the gym this morning after getting 7 year old off to school, and before work.  I’ll try to get a late run in as well.  On Sunday, I may try for a 10.3 mile loop over the Williamsburg and 59th St bridges.

Anyway, I’m freezing now, they are cleaning up the tables and chairs, and I just had to stamp a rat out of the way, so I’m outta here!

I’ll write more about my diet another time (so far, ehhh), but I’m proud to say that on this visit to Madison Square Park, I resisted the Shake Shack!

Written by SCL

November 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm

T minus 6 days

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New York City Marathon is coming up in exactly 6 days, and I’m very excited.  Got a 4 mile run on Saturday at East River Park.  Yesterday I got to the gym and had a nice workout, including lots of sit ups (trust me, need lots of work there).  In the morning, I also got in a little hard labor raking leaves and planting bulbs at my New Jersey weekend house.  Also, even though I’m eating like crazy, my weight is very stable.  All very good signs.  Also did some toenail maintenance on Saturday – little too gross to describe here, but better to get those things out of the way well before the day of a big race. 

Yesterday morning, though, woke up with a little tickle in the throat.  Seemed to get progressively worse during the day.  So far, just seems like a cold and not an all out illness.  Went to sleep at 9pm last night and got 9 good hours of sleep in.  Still bothering me this morning but will try to get rest, rest and more rest this week.  My business trip may actually be a blessing in disguise.  At home, I’m lucky to get to sleep by 11 (my kids are usually up till 10:30) and need to be up by 6 to start the get-ready-for-school routine.  Middle of the night nosebleeds (or other such interruptions) are not uncommon.  While away, I should be able to get a good, uninterrupted, 9 hours each night!

I’m on the upper east side quite a bit, and last night I was looking for the giant banner they usually hang up on the Queensboro Bridge, and the blue line.  Not there yet, but should be very soon!  Forecast for Sunday looks OK – 30% chance of showers and temps in the low 50s.  That would be fine with me.  While I would have gladly taken yesterdays weather, 50’s is definitely better than 60’s.

Definitely will be focused on rest today, but may still try to get in an easy 3-5 miler later on.

Written by SCL

October 27, 2008 at 11:02 am

Pinch of this, dash of that…

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Not quite sure how it happened, but I caught the cross training bug this week.  Coming off the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday and preparing for a 20-22 mile run this weekend, I didn’t want to overdue anything.  When getting this close to the marathon I start getting paranoid about every little ache and pain, and especially nervous that I’ll throw out my back.  Better to be safe than sorry and take an extra day or 2 off.

Monday was simple enough.  I’m on a softball team and our fall season is in full swing.  While we lost 6-4 (bastards) but I did a lot of running around the outfield and base paths.  By the end of the game, felt like a nice workout.  We have a few weeks off now and don’t play again until mid-November.  Won’t have to repeat last years debacle of playing a game the day after the New York City Marathon.

Tuesday, at around 9pm, I actually found myself walking to the gym.  Not sure exactly why Tuesday was different than any other day since July 9 (last time I went), but it was great.  Kept the workout real light – some good upper body workout, bunch of sit-ups, and some leg exercises.  It simply just felt great getting out there.  Need to figure out how to get there twice a week around the running schedule.

Last night, the weather was great, and I decided to go out on my bike.  Biking at night can be a challenge and slightly dangerous in New York City, so it requires a little extra effort to be careful.  The path up the Hudson River was mostly empty and even the streets had less traffic than in the daytime.  Only did about 11 miles, but at a hard pace – it was enough to feel like I’d gotten in a nice little workout.  I even experienced a little taste of unexpected New York City compassion.  On 21st St, crossing the 3rd Ave intersection, my front headlight flew off its restraint and clattered to the street.  I stopped the bike right away but the light was about to change.  Fearing the worst, I was hoping none of the cars going by would destroy it.  I noticed the big van at the front of the line was not going through the light.  The guy yelled out his window for me to hurry up and get it from the street.  So, I did, as the cars all around started honking.  It was quite surreal.  The light was fine – no damage at all.  And I really needed it as the lighting between 59th st and 72nd st on the Hudson River path is really horrible.

Anyway, even though I have not yet run since the race Sunday, I feel like I’ve been nice and active and have been able to keep the metabolism going.

Written by SCL

October 16, 2008 at 11:30 am

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Gotta start hiting the gym

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Shoulders are sore today from the long bike ride yesterday.  Whenever I spend more than an hour on the bike, my upper arms and shoulders definitely get sore.  Gotta get to the gym more often to work on shoulders and upper body.  I downloaded an upper body workout from Mens Health, so now I just need to get myself to the gym and start working!  Just hard to find the time between work, family, running, biking, New York Mets, etc.

Written by SCL

August 25, 2008 at 5:47 pm

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