Friday, September 23, 2011

NYCM Training: On missing runs (and not apologizing about it) (aka Week 11)

For the first time since I started training for the NYC Marathon on July 4, I missed two running workouts.  In one week. Sure, I've missed a couple of cross-training workouts over the past 11 weeks, but not a single run. The old runner me would have scolded me, tried to make up for missed miles, insisted that I wasn't SO hungover from the wedding that I couldn't run 8 measly miles! But the new(er) runner me is one who missed two whole, entire weeks of training when she was in Asia visiting her brother and still ran a 4:13 marathon. The newer running me recognizes that celebrating the marriage of two good friends takes precedence over my silly training plan, and this marriage will happen once, there will be plenty of more runs for me to do throughout the next six weeks. (Luckily I squeezed in my 18 mile run before the festivities began on Friday!)

When I was training for my first half marathon, I was religious about getting all of my runs in, but didn't do much else -- Total Body Conditioning class fell to the wayside, I didn't do yoga or really spend any time on the elliptical. As I've become a more knowledgeable runner though, I've learned the benefits of going with the flow, incorporating cross-training and strength workouts into my training, and actually enjoying my training. It's OK to miss runs! (Just try not to miss the long runs...)

With that, last week wasn't too exciting in terms of training. I only had three runs, two of which were on the treadmill. The 18 mile run, though, was SO good, and definitely was NOT done on a treadmill.

Here's how last week shaped up:
  • Monday: 5 mile run
  • Tuesday: rest
  • Wednesday: 8 mile speed workout
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: 18 mile run
  • Saturday: dancing at my friend's wedding!
  • Sunday: lots of walking around DC
Total mileage: 31

I got to DC late on Thursday night, after an extremely long workday on Wednesday (hence Thursday's missed run). Since my parents have HBO and I don't, I obviously thought that an excellent use of my time would be to finish the most recent season of True Blood (and it was an excellent use of my time...that season finale was crazy!). However, this put my bedtime past midnight, and I was getting up at 5:30 to run 18 miles before L's bridesmaid luncheon, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, etc. Plus, it was going to be in the 50s when I started this run, and I had no cold weather running gear with me. Needless to say, I did not have high hopes for this run and was ready to cut it short if I had to.

But then I saw this:
Hello, sunrise
And this:
Beautiful morning!
And this:
On my way over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge!
Yep, I ran over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge! Kind of cool because the bridge goes through Virginia, DC and Maryland! Two states and one district in one day!
All three in one bridge!
View of Old Town Alexandria
After the fun bridge adventure, I ran through Old Town and along the river. I happened upon an old stomping ground of mine:
Oronoco Bay Park
My first race EVER, a 5k, ended at Oronoco Bay Park. I didn't even realize that I'd be running through it when I started on this run, but it was so much fun to happen up on it! 

I basically just kept running...until I hit Reagan National Airport. THE AIRPORT! That's like four stops on the Metro from my house. It's a lot of exits off the GW Parkway. It's THE AIRPORT!!! 
Seriously backlit Reagan National Airport
I'd always seen people running by the airport, and I'd always wondered, "HOW do they get there?!"And last Friday, I was one of those people running by the airport! It was pretty fun. I ran back to the car after that, and was SO thirsty pretty much the whole time. As soon as I spotted a water fountain by the waterfront, I sprinted and gulped as much water as I could.

The run ended up being really great! Here's the map:
And splits:
  • Mile 1 - 10:03
  • Mile 2 - 9:34
  • Mile 3 - 9:22
  • Mile 4 - 9:22
  • Mile 5 - 9:20
  • Mile 6 - 9:17
  • Mile 7 - 9:27
  • Mile 8 - 9:07
  • Mile 9 - 9:17
  • Mile 10 - 9:10
  • Mile 11 - 9:10
  • Mile 12 - 9:05
  • Mile 13 - 9:09
  • Mile 14 - 9:15
  • Mile 15 - 9:16
  • Mile 16 - 9:17
  • Mile 17 - 9:02
  • Mile 18 - 8:42
Total time: 2:47:04, average pace of 9:17!

I may have missed a couple of runs last week, but I had a great long run and a wonderful time at the wedding!

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