New York City Marathon Training: Week 3

Week 3 of New York City Marathon training was great! I loved Week 3!

My third week of training consisted of two well-executed (and hard) workouts, a fun long run, and one delicious ice cream cone. I was working at Dance Spirit all week, so I (again) didn’t squeeze in any strength training, but I did get all my miles in and got all my regular work done before and after those days in the office. Here’s how it all shaped up.

Remember Dance Spirit bathroom mirror selfies?!
Remember Dance Spirit bathroom mirror selfies?!

Monday, August 1: Yoga (75 minutes)

I woke up at 5 AM to start working for the day. That’s fun. That’s freelance! Eventually I made my way into Manhattan for a 75-minute yoga class at Lyons Den with Terri. I swear I was still hungover from Saturday night. I was dizzy and wobbly and took the class pretty easy. My drishti was total shit. But I was glad I went and, of course, felt better afterward.

Tuesday, August 2: Track Tuesday (7 miles)

Another 5 AM wakeup, but this time for Track Tuesday! This has definitely become one of my favorite days of the week and even when the workouts look stupid-hard, I’m excited to tackle them. I did some clamshells, glute bridges, and crunches before heading to the track.

Starting to lack creative motivation with my Track Tuesday selfies...
Starting to lack creative motivation with my Track Tuesday selfies…

Today’s workout was 12 x 400m — one of my favorite workouts! I was diligent about only taking 45–60 seconds of rest between sets, and per Captain Myles’ recommendation, I’ll probably start toying around with active rest instead of passive rest (so right now I just stand and recover between sets; Myles says I should do active rest, like a super slow jog between sets). I am pumped to report that I executed this workout pretty flawlessly — my first 400 was my slowest (1:53) and my last one was my fastest (1:38). It was a hot day, so I’m extra happy with how this went. I’m eager to get those paces dropping down, but for now I’m happy with the fact that I got faster throughout the workout and not slower, as I usually do.


I also made a friend at the track. His name is Alfredo and he’s an older gentleman and he’s very fast and used to win half-marathons and marathons and still wins stuff for his age group. I always see him out running, and this was the first time we actually talked! He approached me and asked, “What were you doing? 1:44?” And I proudly told him my last one was actually 1:38! We talked about my training and even though I haven’t found him on Snapchat or Facebook yet, I’m confident this friendship will be a lasting one.

Thank goodness the sun came out at the end of my workout so I could take this shadow pic.
Thank goodness the sun came out at the end of my workout so I could take this shadow pic.

Then I went home and foam rolled!

Wednesday, August 3: November Project PR Day (9.4 miles)

Dare I say I didn’t mind this 4:20 AM wakeup call? It was PR Day at November Project!

PR Day comes once a month, and it’s when everyone runs the same course and, duh, tries to run it faster than the month before. The course is mentally rough — eight loops around the Gracie Mansion grotto. But for the first time since last year, I ran a PR! And not just a PR by a few seconds, but a two-minute PR!

Sleepy hugs!
Sleepy hugs!

The PR course is 3.5ish miles, and I actually forgot my watch at home, so I just ran and ended up running near my fast friend Kelly. I was somehow able to stick with her the entire time, and was thrilled to have run a 7:40 pace. I rounded out the day with 9.4 miles and a runner’s high that lasted the entire day.

It even motivated me to go home and foam roll. Like a boss. A boss who is in charge of foam rolling.

I don't even care that this is not a very flattering photo. That's me, chasing Kelly to a PR!
I don’t even care that this is not a very flattering photo. That’s me, chasing Kelly to a PR!

Thursday, August 4: Easy Run (7 miles)

Another 5 AM wakeup, another round of clamshells and crunches and glute bridges, and a delayed run start on account of crawling back into bed to cuddle with Ellie for a few minutes.

Ellie is going to start training this week, too! Her race is in October!
Ellie is going to start training this week, too! Her race is in October!

My training plan called for an easy run, and I’m loving my easy runs now because they feel like they have a purpose. That’s what I love most about training, I think: Every run has a purpose and a plan.

At the end of my run, I met Penelope, a 4-month-old French Bulldog who gave me lots of kisses. (NO ONE TELL ELLIE.)

Penelope is my new neighbor!
Penelope is my new neighbor!

Friday, August 5: Bike Ride with Brian (16.4 miles)

Slept in until 5:15 AM! Then Brian and I went for a bike ride together! It was nothing crazy: just an hour-ish of riding out past the George Washington Bridge and back. Brian took me to a secluded little spot he found down by the water and we sat there and talked about our feelings (JK, we ignored each other and checked our emails), then rode back. I felt strong on the bike, and it made me want to actually ride more so I can get stronger and faster. But now isn’t the time for that.

Saturday, August 6: Long Run (15 miles)

I consider anything longer than 10 miles a long run, and anything longer than 13.1 miles a marathon-training long run. So this was my first marathon-ish long run! And I woke up at 5:30 AM ready to get it done.

Happy marathoner-in-training!
Happy marathoner-in-training!

I’ve been running Summer Streets since the first year the event was a thing (and it was practically empty because no one knew about it — remember that, Conroy?!), so I was eager to get into Manhattan and do my long run down closed-to-cars Park Avenue.

My buddy Burke joined me for the first bunch of miles, and we were cruising at a comfortable pace. It felt like we were in a race since there was so much to see and so many people were out. We saw roughly 3829 people we know, and were constantly waving and yelling hi to people. I love that.

Burke and me! Sweaty and happy!
Burke and me! Sweaty and happy!

The first 10 miles went great, but once Burke departed and I was on my own, I started to get very hot and feel very awful and knew that I was bonking. The last five miles were rough, and then I napped the rest of the day away.

NOT consistent...
NOT consistent…

One thing I really need to focus on this training cycle is my nutrition. I need to figure out how best to fuel myself before, during, and after long runs. I failed at that on Saturday. Noted.

Sunday, August 7: Sweet, glorious, well-deserved REST

Brian and I were in Connecticut for his bike race. So while he was doing that, Ellie and I were sitting on the sidelines, doing zero exercise.

Thank you, Brian, for secretly snapping this photo on the drive home. It's a framer!
Thank you, Brian, for secretly snapping this photo on the drive home. It’s a framer!

This week’s grand totals…




TOTAL MILEAGE: 38.4 miles

TOTAL ICE CREAM: 1 delicious chocolate cone with chocolate sprinkles in Mystic, RI


And in summary…


What went great: Track Tuesday! NP PR Day! The first 10 miles of my long run!

Where I need to improve: Daily foam rolling — not just doing it a few times a week. Getting that strength training in. (Ugh. Still.) My nutrition plan.

Motivational quote that best summarizes Week 3 of training: “Did you see how on I was tonight?” —AnnaCenter Stage

The final Dance Spirit goodbye! (Probably.)
The final Dance Spirit goodbye! (Probably.)

Just joining us? Here’s how training has gone so far:

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR TRAINING THIS WEEK! What went great, what went less great, and how much ice cream did you have? 



24 Responses

  1. I hear ya on early mornings, as I get up to run here in Florida at 4am so much (stupid humidity!). I mean, I’m sort of used to 5am runs, but my bed does get jealous.
    Nice training for NYC! Way to go on getting in 15 miles! I’m not doing a marathon this year, but next year, I plan on a return to NY…despite how hard NYC Marathon is, I’m so antsy to do it again!

  2. Just discovered your blog and have been enjoying reading your NYC marathon training blogs! It’s a dream marathon for me at some point so I will follow along with interest! I am incredibly impressed with your early wake-ups though. I go to bed around 10.30 and I struggle to get up at 7am!

  3. Nice job! My favorite run this week has been a 5-miler (7:07 pace).

    As a marathoner, I can tell you your long run is way too fast for where your paces are at now. Hope you don’t take offense, but if you’re running 1:38 400s, your long run pace should be slower than an 8-something mile. It should be more in the 9s or even 10s.

    1. Damn girl, speedy! And yes, I know my long runs should be slower (and don’t take offense at all!). I usually do my long runs around a 9-minute pace, and we didn’t set out to run this one faster, but we were just running and chatting and that was our pace. We weren’t out of breath or uncomfortable, so we just kept running — so it’s encouraging to know that that’s a comfortable pace for me (especially since it didn’t used to be). Thanks for chiming in!

      1. Thanks for the reply!! Good that you are going based off effort versus numbers. So many runners get caught up in numbers. Can’t wait to see you rock the marathon.

  4. What a great week.
    I just finished my first half-marathon and have taken a week off from running. Time to set a new goal.

    But there is always a good time for ice-cream. 🙂

  5. I love reading training recaps! You had an awesome week! Your paces don’t even seem like you bonked on your LR. That was a great run. I’m in between training cycles currently, but I ran a 2 mile race yesterday evening that went great! My husband and I split a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream this week and I also had some Froyo, so … #winning!

  6. Wow, I’m jealous – you’re training is going pretty darn awesome! Mine has been less than stellar, and I have 5 weeks until my marathon. I’m just hanging in there, hoping not to make any of my nagging injuries permanent, and not to burst into flames of failure when this race comes around! Hey, I don’t ask for much really 🙂

  7. Love reading your training recaps! Do you have a plan you are following or are you using a coach? How do you decide how fast/slow to run your long runs and your speed workouts? Congrats on the PR. I will need to look back at this blog as inspiration once I have to start waking up at 5am every morning to get my runs in.

    1. I’m using New York Road Runners’ Virtual Trainer as a guide — that’s where I get my speed workouts from, and it’s what I’m using to base my weekly mileage off of. I don’t stick to exactly what it says, and I have a few badass friends who are also guiding me along the way. (So, not officially my coaches, but friends who run sub-3 marathons and are happy to advise about my training, paces, plan, etc.)

  8. Ugh the running isn’t happening. Moved part time from Wyoming to Kansas City … it’s hot, traffic, can’t figure how to run in the city. And my 10k is right around the corner. That said, you inspired me to “think” about Project November here in KCMO! And I just got a SPIbelt … now, I need motivation! And I am missing my dog (and husband a little) … napping isn’t the same without my dog!!!

  9. Nice job on week 3! Congrats on the PR, that’s awesome… I’ve definitely found it helpful to chase after speedy people and run a faster race! That summer streets event sounds like so much fun, nice way to switch up a long run.

  10. So hard to get motivated for training this week. We booked our accommodation for the half marathon through travargo / Unfortunately went bankrupt taking our money and booking with them. The hotel kindly offered us a replacement room at five times the price, arrgh. It’s times like this that life feels like your constantly running uphill, especially when you are literally running uphill as well.

  11. This post made me (almost) want to start running marathons again (all the feelings!)

    Also, I love your dresses and the watermelon tote 🙂

  12. Your early morning wake ups have left me yawning for you! But kudos. I’m actually walking on the boardwalk (in Staten Island) with the VZ bridge in front of me and feeling a little sadness that I won’t be running NYC this year. But I chose to take time off from full marathons for a bit. So I will live vicariously through you and the dozen of my friends who I’ll see from the world of spectator-ville 🙂

    1. Haha well I also go to bed around 10, so it’s not like I’m totally lacking sleep! I definitely could use more, but I’ve been trying to get into bed around 10 so I can get a few solid hours before having to wake up!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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