New York City Marathon Training: Week 5

Week 5 of marathon training was a week. It was just…a week. An emotional one, a stressful one, a not-feeling-like-myself one. It was also the first week that I felt like marathon training really started to catch up to me. I was super tired every day, my appetite was off, and even though I got my workouts done, my head wasn’t really in them.


But yay for another week of training. Here’s how it shook out…

Monday, August 15: Yoga (75 minutes) + IronStrength

I started my day at 5 AM to get work done before heading to yoga at Lyons Den. I got super hot during class, and spent much of the second half modifying poses and doing a more restorative practice. I was sad we didn’t do any headstands, because, as you know, I am a professional headstander now.


At night, I joined Dr. Jordan Metzl for his second IronStrength workout on board The Intrepid. Just like last time, it left me sore for days. We did lots of high-intensity interval training moves and plyometrics, followed by a yoga cool-down (more stretching than yoga) with the super fabulous Kiley Holliday from Pure Yoga. It was, like last time, a very New Yorky experience. And I’ll count it as my sole strength workout for the week!


Then I went home and foam rolled. Gold medal for Ali!

Tuesday, August 16: Track Tuesday: 7 x 1000 (8 miles total)

5 AM wakeup to head to the track! I really look forward to these workouts now, even though sometimes the prescribed workouts look terrible. This one, in particular, looked terrible: 7 x 1000 meters at marathon goal pace (or faster — ideally faster). What even is marathon goal pace? TBD. So I just wanted to run them and get them over with. And I was sore from Dr. Metzl’s workout the night before. Baby got glutes!

My track queen Emily is coming back from an injury. So when she's not track-ing, she's basically a personal photographer. I don't pay her.
My track queen Emily is coming back from an injury. So when she’s not track-ing, she’s basically a personal photographer. I don’t pay her.

It was a hot, humid morning — shocking! — and the workout didn’t necessarily go great. I slowed down a lot on my final rep, but I got it done. I was happy to have Emily and her boyfriend Jordan at the track with me, but I was flying solo during the workout. The jog home was brutal and my legs did not want to move. Cool story.

Math. And meh.
Math. And meh.

Wednesday, August 17: November Project (8 miles) + Broadway Bodies

The weekly 4:20 AM alarm. So pleasant. I did a double at November Project to get in my weekly mileage. The workout was a scavenger hunt theme, and the highlight for me was when one of the co-leaders asked anyone who had ever won a school spelling bee to stand up, and I was the only person to stand. I’ve never felt more victorious.

Is a sunrise worth a 4:20 AM wakeup? I'm not sure. But I do it.
Is a sunrise worth a 4:20 AM wakeup? I’m not sure. But I do it.

My legs felt heavy and a bit sore throughout the workout, so I kept the miles easy. Not much else to report here.

We are being the puppy Snapchat filter!
We are being the Snapchat puppy filter!

At night, I went to a Broadway Bodies class with some NP friends to learn the choreography to Beyoncé’s “Formation.”


Just like the classes we’ve taken in the past, it was an absolute blast. Though this time we added too many (yes, too many) pre-class bottles of wine and champagne, and I was full-on drunk by the time we got to class. We celebrated being amazing dancers by getting another bottle after class, too.

Thursday, August 18: Easy Run (6.2 miles)

It came as no surprise to me that I woke up Thursday morning feeling horrible and hungover. I slogged through 6.2 slow miles and, also no surprise, made a few necessary bathroom stops along the way. But the hangover wasn’t what hurt the most: My neck was unbelievably sore from all the hair flipping and tossing. How does Queen Bey do it?! I bet she has someone on staff whose job it is to massage her neck muscles before and after every performance. I bet it’s Becky With the Good Hair.


Friday, August 19: REST

Oh sweet beautiful rest day. This day off was very necessary. Unsurprisingly, I was awake at 5:30 because my body is conditioned to do that now. But beyond walking to the doctor, I was completely lazy all day.

Saturday, August 20: Long Run (15 miles)

Summer Streets! I woke up at 5:00 to cover 15 miles, and it went great! I forced myself to take in some fuel on this run, and opted for a Honey Stinger Waffle (chocolate). It was OK. I’m planning to experiment with lots of different mid-run fueling options so I can be satisfied with my race day choice, and the waffle was my first try.

LOOK AT THIS GIANT PUPPY!!! (He's not real.)
LOOK AT THIS GIANT PUPPY!!! (He’s not real.)

I ran with a group of November Project friends, and the miles really did fly by. We chatted nonstop (and stopped for water and puppies at every opportunity), and according to my watch we averaged an 8:51 pace. If you’ve ever run Summer Streets, you know that GPS satellites go absolutely haywire running in between all the skyscrapers, so who knows how accurate that is, but it sounds right.

The Summer Streets crew! Plus the 48,592 other friends we saw along the way.
The Summer Streets crew! Plus the 48,592 other friends we saw along the way.

Then I came home, got a smoothie, and paid a visit to Astro, the new puppy in town!

He's a Beagle/Shar-Pei mix! How many pictures of him do you want to see?
He’s a Beagle/Shar-Pei mix! How many pictures of him do you want to see?
The wrinkles! Look at the wrinkles!
The wrinkles! Look at the wrinkles!
Look at how tiny he is!!!
Look at how tiny he is!!!

Sunday, August 21: SoulCycle

Again woke up naturally at 5:30 AM. Why, body, why? I ventured into Manhattan for a 60-minute spin class with Bethany. The ride was all Madonna music and I loved it and I cried during the final song because I was having so much fun. I told you my emotions were in full force this week…

The totals…




TOTAL MILEAGE: 37.2 miles

TOTAL ICE CREAM: Zero ice creams. How is this possible? Where have I gone wrong? Who am I?

TOTAL ALCOHOL: Many glasses of bubbly. I had two glasses of champagne on Saturday: one while getting ready for dinner and another at dinner. As for Wednesday? Ugh. I don’t know. I lost count?

When your friend is a ridiculously talented fashion designer and randomly whips up this "doodle." NBD.
When your friend is a ridiculously talented fashion designer and randomly whips up this “doodle.” NBD.

What went great: There wasn’t much that stood out as going remarkably well this week, actually. I got my tough track workout done, but it didn’t feel very confidence-boosting. I guess I did a good job getting into bed by 10 PM most nights? We’ll call that this week’s victory.

Took a quick spin through the old backyard before hitting up Summer Streets on Saturday!
Took a quick spin through the old backyard before hitting up Summer Streets on Saturday!

Where I need to improve: Same as usual. Foam rolling (more than once a week). Strength training (more than once a week). Eating better (probably no more family-size bags of potato chips for a “light snack”). I’ve cut way back on sugar because I’ve just been craving it less (blame the heat? IDK), but I haven’t been eating enough vegetables. When I get a post-run smoothie, I feel healthy and irrationally proud of myself, but considering it’s the “PB & Whey” option — AKA peanut butter and almond milk and cacao and banana — I may as well call it what it is: a peanut butter milkshake.


Motivational quote that best summarizes Week 5 of training: “No one cares how tired you are.” —Blair, my old boss

"How rude!" —Michelle Tanner
“How rude!” —Michelle Tanner

Onto the next…

First-time caller? Catch up with my training so far.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR TRAINING THIS WEEK! What went awesome, what went less awesome, and how many Beyoncé-themed dance classes did you take? 



17 Responses

  1. Wow you did so well. But I hear you on the foam rolling and cross training… I have to get better at that.

    But… NO ICE-CREAM? Impossible. 😉

  2. I like Larabars for fuel. I eat half a PB one every hour or so and it seems to do the trick. Happy training, you are being much more diligent than me at hitting the required workouts!

  3. Super impressed that you won a spelling bee! I still have to repeat things like “i before e except after c” before I spell a word and even then I end up wrong half the time.

  4. Hi Ali!
    I have been reading about your training and can’t help but commiserate when it comes to choosing the right fuel…I don’t have Crohn’s but I did have an abnormally difficult time finding fuel that works. If you haven’t tried out Tailwind nutrition, I highly recommend it. After ruining more than 1 race over a bad stomach, it really changed my running. It would require you carry your own bottle during the marathon which can be a pain but I think it’s worth it. I think JackRabbit carries it? I got mine at after trying their single mix stick packs. Excited to see if you give it a shot! Happy to chat with you more about it too 🙂 Thanks for writing!

  5. Thanks for the info Ali! And I am sooo relieved. I try not to look at my watch too much but it really does helps me make sure I’m not running too fast. Especially early in the race when I have more energy. That is one of my biggest problems: not going out too fast and then crashing and burning later! Eek! Can’t wait to run NYC! 🙂

  6. Hi Ali.
    Love your posts. I am also training for NYC and it will be my first time…. So excited! I am also a little nervous since I am used to the flat streets of Chicago. Something you mentioned in this post has me wondering- do you think my Garmin will be useless for pacing on race day? Or do you think if I use a foot pod I can compensate for the buildings and loss of satellites? I’ve run one other marathon where my Garmin really was essentially useless (surprisingly it wasn’t Chicago…You must run Chicago someday! 🙂 .) so I think I can run by feel well enough but I really did miss checking in to make sure I wasn’t too far off pace. Thanks for any tips and I cannot wait to hear about your race in November!

    1. Yay NYCM training! So exciting. You’re going to love it. And your Garmin won’t be useless! The only place I’ve ever had trouble with a good signal is on the Queensborough Bridge, but other than that, it’ll work just fine! You can also choose to run by feel, of course, and there are time clocks at every mile marker!

  7. My training had…very little running last week: Flywheel, two dance rehearsals, a dance class (hip hop but not Beyonce), a 10k run, a Lagree class, and an aerial class that I *thought* was going to be aerial fitness where you use the silks to do strength training, but it was actually a full on aerial class, and now I have 300 bruises and have lost full mobility of my arms! Good thing the only thing I have today is Flywheel.

  8. If I had been at that November Project, I totally would have stood up with you! I won our school spelling bee, but lost during the district competition. Obviously I am still devastated because I still remember the word I spelled wrong: mayhem. Anyway, spelling bee champs unite! 😉

  9. If you’ve never woken up with a sore neck from too much whipping your hair back and forth on the dance floor, you’re not living life right.

  10. I had a weird stomach bug thingy at the beginning of the week (less than awesome), but still managed to get a couple of decent runs in at the end of the week (awesome). ZERO Beyoncé dance classes for this Alabama gal who would likely still be a Single Lady if I showed anyone my dance moves (or lack thereof).

    1. SERIOUSLY. Four weeks of feeling great and peppy and then BAM, cannot keep eyes open or stand the thought of walking to the refrigerator.

      1. I felt that way also after the first 5-6 weeks. Then the endurance finally caught up. I upped my protein and I think that has made the difference in my energy levels! Try that? Good Luck lady! I’m training for my first full marathon running the Detroit Free Press Full on October 16th.

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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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