Sunday, September 11, 2011

NYCM Training: Eight weeks to go!

Today was a great day for a run. Not only was it an important day for our nation and the world to reflect, but it was a day that made me incredibly proud to be a New Yorker. I ran along the edges of this little island, from the Upper East Side, down along the East River, through Battery Park, up along the West Side Highway to Riverside Park, and finally, after the run ended on the Upper West Side, I walked home through Central Park. More on that run later, but first, this week!

  • Monday: 45 mins elliptical
  • Tuesday: 4 mile run, 25 min strength workout
  • Wednesday: 8 mile tempo (8:51 average!)
  • Thursday: 4 mile run
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 8 mile run (8:49 average!)
  • Sunday: 17 mile run (9:13 average!!!)
Total mileage: 41. FORTY-ONE AAAHHH. This is the farthest weekly mileage I have EVER done.  Even in my last marathon training, I didn't go above 36 miles in a week. And as of today's run, I've put 475 miles on my current pair of Brooks Ravenna 2s. Which means I went shopping today!

Hello, the snazzy blue laces!
I actually bought two pairs. I still have two months till the marathon and don't want to run the race in shoes that have over 250 miles on them (yes, I've still got 250 miles of training to do till the marathon...actually, 259...). So I got two of the exact same pair of shoes, and I'll alternate them every week. Can't wait to break in these babies!

I also signed up for a run with the New York Flyers that sounds really fun called the Three Bridges Long Training Run. It's a 20 mile run on Oct. 2 (the exact date I have my first 20-mile run planned!) that starts at the UES Jack Rabbit Sports and snakes around, crossing three bridges (including the 59th Street Bridge, which is the bridge that takes you to Manhattan during the NYC marathon!). I am SO psyched for this run! I haven't run any bridges during my training yet (bad, I know), and it sounds like this run will help to prepare me for it. It's only $10, so if you're running the marathon, sign up!

Back to this week's workouts: This week was a really great week. After last week's rather torturous runs, it was a much-needed confidence boost to have a week of excellent runs, especially on Wednesday, Saturday and today (my mom even told me how proud she is of me after I told her about today's run...aww). Last time I trained for a marathon, I did most of my midweek mid-mileage runs on the treadmill (maybe because it was the winter and it was dark?), but I've gotten much better about getting these done outside, and now that the weather's more bearable, I'm much more motivated to run outdoors.

On Wednesday, I did a tempo run in Central Park. It was a little rainy, and very dark, but I was so glad I did this run outside. The weather ended up being kind of perfect (despite my belief that I needed a jacket...I swear, every time the seasons start to change I have zero idea what to wear and dress completely inappropriately for at least two weeks), and a slow start picked up and I felt great by the end. 

Yesterday's run started off a bit slow as well, but in miles five and six (8:27 and 8:32 average pace!) I felt SO speedy and SO good. My legs were fresh and I was happy to be out there. There were tons of other runners in the park, too, which made for great people watching. After the run, I had an excellent brunch at Le Pain Quotidien (please try their ricotta and fig is amazing!), and then dashed off to Long Island for the day for a friend's bridal shower. My belly was full of delicious food, and I've decided that sangria and strawberry margaritas may be the perfect recovery drinks! A slice of cinnamon-chocolate cake probably didn't hurt either...gotta have those carbs!

Today I woke up a bit later than anticipated, but luckily the weather was still quite cool. I had half a bagel with peanut butter (my usual pre-long-run fuel), but was lacking a little motivation. Maybe it was the 9/11 memorials on TV, but I was just not feeling up to it. A quick call to my mom pepped me up pretty quickly though, as I realized this would be a perfect day for a long run. I'd get to see all of Manhattan, enjoy the weather, and feel accomplished afterward -- what more motivation could you ask for?

Here's my route:
The perfect tour de Manhattan!
And my splits:
  • Mile 1 - 9:41
  • Mile 2 - 9:28
  • Mile 3 - 9:22
  • Mile 4 - 9:26
  • Mile 5 - 9:21
  • Mile 6 - 10:12 (my Garmin always goes super wonky when I run under the bridges along the East River)
  • Mile 7 - 8:40 (this would be my Garmin realizing that the last mile's average probably wasn't right, and so it should make up for it)
  • Mile 8 - 9:12 
  • Mile 9 - 9:11 
  • Mile 10 - 8:58
  • Mile 11 - 8:52
  • Mile 12 - 9:01
  • Mile 13 - 9:00
  • Mile 14 - 8:57
  • Mile 15 - 9:01
  • Mile 16 - 9:04
  • Mile 17 - 9:14
Total time: 2:36:48, average pace of 9:13! Almost exactly six months ago, I ran 17 miles and my pace was 9:48. It's so exciting to see improvement!
Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan
Around mile 7, I happened upon this gorgeous art project in Battery Park meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The idea was to tie a "ribbon of hope" with words of hope written on it to a standing structure. At first I was just going to snap a photo and keep running, but when a volunteer asked if I wanted to fill out a ribbon, I happily took a few minutes from my run to write something out and participate in this beautiful display. They actually said I was the first runner to stop -- I'm very glad that I got to be a part of it!
Can you spot my ribbon of hope?
Several of the many panels they had up
There were a few other memorial installations around, including this amazing flag display:
This is only a small number of the flags that were in the area
After that I continued on my way, stopping for a moment to take a picture of the World Trade Center, draped in our flag:
I don't mean to dwell on this too much, but it was an inspiring day to be out and about on the streets of New York, and I was honestly rather overwhelmed with the feeling of my connection with this city, especially considering where I was 10 years ago -- in my junior year French class in high school...I'd never visited New York, and I didn't have the ability to fully understand what was happening or how this would change the world. I definitely took a few minutes during my run today to silently think of the people who lost their lives on that day and since, to thank the people who have worked to keep our country safe.

Phew. OK. So yes. It was an excellent run. I listened to a little This American Life and some music during this run, which I think helped me out both mentally and in my pacing (hello, consistency in that second half!). I also used a little trick that helped to break it up some: after the first five miles, I broke up the remaining 12 miles into three four-mile runs. It helped me stay focused and helped the miles fly by!

I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this every week now, but here's the countdown: Eight more weeks! I can't believe it! 

1 comment:

  1. i've never been to NYC, though it's on my list of places to go, but it seems like you guys always have some of the best races!

    new running shoes are definitely required at this point in training :) well earned