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Marathon Training (Week 16)

It’s shocking to see how far along I am in my training for the Hartford Marathon. Week 16! I honestly expected to feel completely exhausted from the never-ending plan but I feel great! I truly believe that running only three times per week has saved me from this training burn-out. Speaking of training plans, I recently updated mine to accommodate both the change in marathon date and a week-long vacation (i.e. I probably won’t exercise). I’ll make sure to share it soon!

P.S. –  Please donate to my cancer research fundraising here! All proceeds go to charity. Many many thanks!

Previous weeks:
Marathon Training (week 1-3)
Marathon Training (week 4)
Marathon Training (week 5)
Marathon Training (week 6-9)
Marathon Training (week 10)
Marathon Training (week 11)
Marathon Training (week 12)
Marathon Training (week 13)
Marathon Training (week 14)
Marathon Training (week 15)

Central Park

{Central Park - taken during a bathroom/rest break on my long run over the weekend}

WEEK 16 (8/18/2014 – 8/24/2014)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 9 mile run (1:25:04 @ 9:27 min/mi)
Wednesday60 min Cross-training Rest
Thursday: 50 min tempo (5.5 miles @ 9:07 min/mi)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 18 mile run (2:53:04 @ 9:37 min/mi)
Sunday50 min bike Rest
TOTAL = 32.5 miles

Thoughts: The weather was completely on my side this week, especially during the weekend. People keep complaining about the lack of summer weather but you won’t hear that coming from me! This past training week was one of the most consistent ones yet – I actually forced myself to wake up early and run before work. I’m hoping to maintain this habit because nothing feels better than having an evening free from running in the heat.

Now let’s briefly chat about the 18-miler (new PDR!!!). I once again physically felt fantastic the entire time and never wanted to stop running. My left foot, however, wasn’t so happy and ached the majority of miles 9-18, forcing me to stop and stretch multiple times. The pain came on and off during this time, but really hit as soon as I reached the 17 mile mark. Long story short, I survived but my left foot still needs some extra TLC. This run was also the first time I chafed! It happened right along the sock where my left foot meets the ankle. Seriously, my left foot can’t catch a break!

In happier news, I once again tested out my fueling strategy and am completely set on it. As mentioned last week, I take half of a Shot Blok every two miles and a salt pill every hour. The constant fuel prevents major sugar surges and crashes, and the salt pill prevents dehydration and muscle cramps. One last thing – this was the second long run (the first one being the 17-miler last weekend) that I set out on without eating anything beforehand because I was still full from the night before. I expected the worst and ended up being pleasantly surprised! It’s not something I want to try the morning of my marathon though…

♥ Irina

Frames From The Weekend 8/22/2014 – 8/24/2014

First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my incredible amazing beautiful intelligent sister!!! I won’t embarrass you with an entire post filled with old photos and sappy sentences, but I have to shout from the rooftops…love you!!

We’re six days away from September and I’m actually quite happy about it. I adore September and the seasonal transition that seems to happen naturally with it. I’ve been enjoying the second half of August appropriately – spending time with friends, walking around my neighborhood, and even seeing Les Miserables on Broadway last Wednesday! It was a phenomenal show. Phenomenal.

FFTW Summer

(Link up to ‘Frames From The Weekend’! Read the official “rules” here.)

I had a great weekend and hope you did too! Mine involved running (duh) and going out dancing (duh again).

food

{Food! Of course I can’t skip highlighting some of the delicious food I was munching on this weekend. Salad, popcorn, egg + avocado sandwiches, french toast, and this bread were all on the menu.}

running

{I obviously stayed in on Friday and basically did nothing all evening. My alarm rang at 6AM the following morning and I hopped out of bed, foam rolled, inhaled some coffee, and set out on my longest run to date. Three hours and 18 miles later…I was done! Central Park served me well and I actually felt great the entire time, minus the usual minor aches. More details to come tomorrow.}

weekend

{In typical Irina fashion, I spent Saturday night recovering appropriately…by dancing on rooftops in 4-inch heels. Don’t judge me friends, Manhattan always gives me a major case of #FOMO in the warmer months and I need to go out at least once a weekend to avoid going stir-crazy! A friend and I went to my usual digs – Le Bain and PH-D in Meatpacking. The next morning was a bit rough from lack of sleep but I still managed to make it to Whole Foods for groceries. I ended the night on the couch snacking endlessly and watching the VMAs.}

I’m already looking forward to Labor Day weekend even though it’s only Monday. I’m actually taking the afternoon off from work today so hopefully that will help make the week fly by!

Did you watch the VMAs? What was your favorite performance?

What are your plans for the long Labor Day weekend?

♥ Irina

Currently {August 2014}

It’s been over a year since I last wrote a ‘Currently‘ post and I figured it’s time for round 2!

Currently listening to: my Lollapalooza playlist on replay, which includes Cage the Elephant, Fitz & The Tantrums, Flume, Young the Giant, and Grouplove

Currently grateful for: my incredible parents and their limitless support of all my dreams/goals/inspirations, regardless of how seemingly crazy they are

Currently missing: Russia (so so so much) and everyone there (2012 trip recaps here, here, here, and here)

Russia

Currently needing: a shopping intervention

Currently lusting over: basically anything and everything in stores…I love fall attire

Currently loving: New York City (I’ve fallen in love all over again, although the feeling never went away)

New York City

Currently thinking about: school!

Currently craving: sweets and carbs, but lately I’ve also been craving meat like crazy

candy

Currently reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Currently drinking: hot tea, which is obviously totally normal during the steamy summer months

Currently looking forward to: a week-long vacation in Aruba in September!

beach

Currently hating: my new haircut – damn it, my hair feels so short

Currently eating: everything #marathontraininghunger

skillet

Currently dreading: Halloween, yes already

Currently proud of: the 9-miler I ran yesterday morning before work, complete with hill sprints

Currently worried about: running the Hartford Marathon pain-free

Brooks PureFlow

Currently hoping for: a visit from my friends in September and my sister in October

Currently obsessed with: coffee…again…can’t get enough lately

coffee

Fill in the blank: I’m currently ______

♥ Irina

Marathon Training (Week 15)

Week 15 was a deal-breaker for me. It was the true test on the health of my foot and the proof of whether I should forgo the Hartford Marathon on October 11th. The pain in my left arch is still subtly present but I can tell it has improved over these past two weeks. I also purchased new running shoes this week (Brooks PureFlow 3s of course) and they seemed to keep the pain at a minimum.

P.S. –  Please donate to my cancer research fundraising here! All proceeds go to charity.

Previous weeks:
Marathon Training (week 1-3)
Marathon Training (week 4)
Marathon Training (week 5)
Marathon Training (week 6-9)
Marathon Training (week 10)
Marathon Training (week 11)
Marathon Training (week 12)
Marathon Training (week 13)
Marathon Training (week 14)

runner

{taken before setting out on my first-ever 17 mile run}

WEEK 15 (8/11/2014 – 8/17/2014)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 8 mile run (1:16:43 @ 9:35 min/mi)
Wednesday60 min Cross-training Rest
Thursday: 5 mile pace run (47:46 min @ 9:33 min/mi)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 17 mile run (2:49:38 @ 9:59 min/mi)
Sunday50 min bike Rest
TOTAL = 30 miles

Thoughts: !!!! The exclamation points are completely necessary because I ran seventeen freaking miles on Saturday! And all in Central Park too. The stars aligned, the weather gods blessed me with tolerable temps, and my foot did its best to cooperate. I felt incredibly strong the entire run and never felt the need for a rest break. The run didn’t start out too great but I finally hit my stride around mile six and had a second wave of an amazing runner’s high at mile ten. Unfortunately, my left leg had other plans and forced me to take a few breaks to stretch. The arch of my left foot ached on and off, and random pains kept springing up all through my left leg – arch, ankle, shin, and ultimately knee. I wouldn’t have run through pain again but these aches didn’t feel significant enough to stop. Perhaps I made the wrong decision but everything feels good now.

In more positive news, I think I finally nailed down the perfect fueling strategy – I take half of a Shot Blok every two miles starting at mile three. This adds up to approximately one full Shot Blok per hour, which might seem slightly on the low side but it works very well for me and doesn’t overwhelm my stomach. I’ve been taking at least one salt pill (Salt Stick is my fave) during longer runs and it seems to help immensely on hotter days. On one last side note I’m happy to say that I feel comfortable enough to run without music during the marathon. I never run with music (see this post) but was worried about how I would manage during longer runs. In one word, success! I’m looking forward to running 26.2 miles sans any unnecessary noise.

♥ Irina