NYC Marathon Training Recap: Week 11

As I’ve been doing a mad catch-up on my training recaps, I’ve found that even though so much work is put in during the weekday, these posts primarily glorify the long run. I sort of glide over the 5:30am wake-up calls to make it to the gym when it opens at 6, or pausing to do strength and warm-up exercises before each run. All of those acts make the long run pain-free and possible.

I’ve been thinking about this…because I’m going to excitedly write about another awesome long run. Whoops. In my defense, it really is the best one yet.

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More sleep and puppy cuddles, plz
Week 11 (Monday, September 12) 
Monday: Rest 
Tuesday: 5.0 mile run 
Wednesday: Rest 
Thursday: 7.5 mile run + 35min evening walk 
Friday: Rest 
Saturday: 16.5 mile run 
Sunday: 3.1 mile run 
Total Mileage: 32.1 miles

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Long run friends: oatmeal, black coffee, and a little Every Mother Counts reminder
I was in NYC this past weekend for my last and final wedding dress fitting. Unlike the last time I was there, I had a mean, long run planned for Saturday. I was doubling my previous 8 miler in Central Park for 16. I’ve been really looking forward to this run for a couple reasons. 1.) A new “longest run ever” distance. 2.) An opportunity to run in new neighborhoods. Most importantly, 3.) A chance to cover some real distance on the actual marathon course!

Luckily, this time, my mom and I arrived in the city very early on Friday so we had time to explore a lot before dinner. The last time we were there, we’d barely landed before I proclaimed I needed to go to bed in preparation for my run. Marathon training does not make you fun on the weekends. (Fun fact: my phone actually died that night and I slept in too late to run before my dress fitting and had to do it on Sunday). We had a delicious dinner at Eataly, returned in time to watch a movie in bed, and I was pretty well-rested come Saturday morning. I had coffee and oatmeal while I finished my pre-long run routine (braid hair, apply loads of sunscreen, prepare a water bottle with Nuun, finish PT exercises) and got out the door at the fairly early time of 7:30. Even with 16 miles to run I have trouble motivating myself to start early.

I had consulted the race course and used Google Maps to come up with a plan on my laptop, but I only came prepared with a screen shot of the final product, not turn-by-turn directions. Excellent.

16 miles DONE

It was fine – I just plugged in the next big destination as necessary and that worked out pretty well. I was a little concerned with my navigation skills in Brooklyn, but I was comforted by the flow of the occasional runner passing (and later, big, organized groups with a pacer) to feel like I was on the right track. I covered the four big parts of the race I knew I could easily mimic: 1) Brooklyn, course miles 10.5-13.5 2) Queens + the Queensboro Bridge, course miles 13.5-16 3) First Avenue, course miles 16-18ish 4) Central Park, course miles 23ish-25ish. I actually fell short of what I had planned, as I had intended to run up 1st Ave to the top of the park and run all the way down to 59th, but I had finished my mileage for the day. It turns out I had initially routed to cross the Williamsburg Bridge, but the mistake was well worth crossing the Brooklyn Bridge instead. It was beautiful.

Anyway, it was glorious. Even if I didn’t run all of the exact streets I will on race day, I feel like I’ll be much more prepared on race morning having covered what I did. I’m also so glad I could mimic running Central Park on tired legs – just like on actual race day.

OooooOoo it’s getting real.

 

NYC Marathon Training Recap: Weeks 9 & 10

In the continuation of “really, really good weekends,” weeks 9 and 10 included a trip to my college Alma mater, my third half marathon finish, and the longest run I’ve ever completed. My Thursday run increased to 7 miles, and in turn, I’ve became the kind of person that runs 7 miles before work. I also made the mistake of looking up the longest Thursday run I’ll have this training cycle (spoiler: 10 miles). Yikes.

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Taken post-delicious breakfast at the Village Bakery
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Even beautiful things grow out of the cement in Athens

Week 9 (Monday, August 29)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5.0 mile run
Wednesday: 35min bike ride + upper strength
Thursday: 7.2 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13.1 mile run
Sunday: 3.1 mile run
Total Mileage: 28.4 miles
Week 10 (Monday, September 5)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5.2 mile run
Wednesday: Runner's Yoga with Adrienne
Thursday: 7.0 mile run  
Friday: 30min bike ride + upper strength
Saturday: 14.3 mile run (Longest run yet!)
Sunday: 3.0 mile run 
Total Mileage: 29.5 miles
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Crossing the finish line at the Boy Scout Half marathon

The bad: I still don’t like my Tuesday runs. I somehow justified it in my head that I could fit 5 miles in after work both of these weeks, and I really, really wish I hadn’t. They were both really hot, humid, muggy days that made me feel nauseous for the first two miles, and I wanted to quit early on each time. I didn’t. That part was good. On a sad note: R.I.P. winged-Hokas – they maxed out their mileage this week.

The good: I finished my third half marathon! I treated it as a training run so there was no pressure to beat my previous times, but it was a little test for my ego as I watched people pass me in the start of the race as I tried to keep slow and steady. On the bright side, it paid off! I actually found a running partner on the course (a total stranger) who kept me company for 4? 5? miles in the first half. I’ve never done that before, and it was a nice way to pass the miles.

I also ran briefly with an 85-year-old women who was keeping an incredible pace. She said she started running in her 50s. I broke off around mile 7 (which I went on to think was too early for at least a whole mile), but I’m glad I did. I was running a comfortable, easy pace with my new friend, but I had plans for a speedier second half. I accomplished it – I ran finished every mile after 8 faster than the one before and passed numerous people who had burned out near the end. It felt wonderful to really run the last three miles and feel strong and capable.

I was also able to run in Athens, Ohio were I went to college. I didn’t run when I lived there so it was another check off my bucket list. My legs felt just a little tight after the previous day’s half marathon, but I’m learning to appreciate the benefits of a “recovery run” to loosen everything back up.

And a big one: I ran 14 miles – my longest running distance to date. I actually bumped into a fellow-runner and neighbor in the metropark (~5 miles in to my run), and he joined me for another 4 or 5 miles. The only downside is I pushed a little harder than I would have normally and ended the run more tired than I intended. The company was still worth it.