New Jersey Marathon training: week 5

#janet mock  #marathon training  #new jersey marathon  #training 
Yup, more snow!

Yup, more snow!

Another week down! That’s five of ‘em!

This week brought more snow and crappy winter weather our way. What else is new, right? We started right off with around eight inches of fresh snow Monday morning, but luckily, I just had a five-miler to do. Tuesday night’s weather called for another 4-6” of snow with .25” of ice as well so I moved Wednesday’s ten miles up a day and did that run right after work right before the storm came. Unfortunately, a tree had fallen across my normal running route that completely blocked my way. I had to settle for three mile loops instead. We ended up dodging a bullet and not getting much in the way of the snow, but Wednesday’s run was in the rain and on top of about three or four inches of slush. I can hands down say that was the worst training run I’ve ever done in my life. My shoes were completely soaked through after the first two steps and I felt like I had nothing to give. Running with shoes that soaked on top of ice and slush really takes a lot out of you. By Thursday, I was finally able to get a somewhat decent run done and was even able to push out two miles at a tempo pace! Exciting.

A friend asked me if I was interested in hitting the slopes over the weekend, so I suggested Sunday and moved my 15-miler up to Saturday. I let myself sleep in a little and waited until the afternoon for the weather to warm up before venturing out. To be completely honest, up until this point, I had been completely broken emotionally by training so far. The weather has been soul-crushing and it’s almost entirely stopped me from doing any tempo runs or speed work. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress and I had no measure of where I was. Well, enter my 15-miler. I needed this run to be great and it turned out to be absolutely incredible! I just really nailed it and felt on and in the zone. I thought I was starting out a little slow, but my splits suggested otherwise. I started out at a nice 8:45 min/mile and worked my way quickly to around 8:30. I finished up with my last two miles at around 7:55 each. Not bad at all! I ended up with an 8:29 min/mile average which puts me exactly where I want to be for a 15-mile training run in week five. When I finished up and looked at my time (I never look while running), I nearly broke down in tears of happiness. I needed a good run so badly to let me know I was still on track. It was certainly an interesting run though. Because none of the sidewalks at all were clear, I had to do some running on the side of a major road and engage in some creative route planning on the fly. In the end, I think I had a solid route that was challenging with more hills than normal.

Unfortunately, my right knee had been bothering me all week. I have soreness right along the inside edge of my kneecap. It’s especially sore going up stairs. When I woke up Sunday, it hurt quite a bit and debated what to do. I had a four mile run planned which I woke up early for so I could knock it out before snowboarding. I ended up doing the run anyway, but skipped out on the fourth mile. On the plus side, it didn’t bother me at all while I was snowboarding and by the end of the day, actually felt quite a bit better. I did some extra exercises for my hips and quads last night and I’ll do the same tonight. I’m also going to swap today’s run with my rest day on Friday. Hopefully, keeping on the strength and flexibility work for my hips and quads will do the trick. I’m fairly certain that’s where my problem lies, I’m just hoping I can work with it without missing runs.

Anyway, snowboarding yesterday was pretty great. I met my friend up at Camelback Mountain which I’d never been to before. I was decently impressed with the size of the mountain and we had an awesome day out on the trails!

Snowboarding at Camelback

Quick photo at the end of a great day of snowboarding!

On Friday, I know, I’m going back two days here, I was able to see Janet Mock, an amazing transgender activist, speak at Princeton while on tour for her new book Redefining Realness. It turned out to be one of the most amazing talks I’ve ever seen anyone give. She was incredibly emotional and on point. She spoke a bit about the situation with Piers Morgan from last week (I wrote about it before things even got that bad and before her second appearance on his show which was infinitely worse). One of the most powerful things she said was “I can be strong and scared.” This something that really hit close to home for me.

Janet Mock's Redefining Realness

Got my copy of Redefining Realness

Redefining realness all over the place with Janet Mock!

Redefining realness all over the place with Janet Mock!

And before I go… this morning when I was scraping the snow and ice off my car, my one neighbor who usually leaves the same time I do in the morning decided to comment on my transition. We’d never spoken about it before, but I had wanted to bring it up to her and her husband because they have young children. I wanted to make sure they knew how to explain it if they asked questions. She told me I look “wonderful” and she’s happy for me. She also complimented my glasses and told me she loves my skinny jeans. Definitely made my morning to hear that!

I knocked out 48 miles in six runs last week and I have the same planned for this week. I can’t believe my mileage is already this high after just five weeks!