Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ohhh we're halfway there!

Nine weeks down, nine to go! I can't believe I'm halfway through with marathon training...feels so good to know it and I just know the next nine weeks are going to fly by, too. Here's a recap of my week:

  • Monday: rest (Hurricane Irene made me leave DC on Monday instead of Sunday, so I slept in and worked instead of waking up early and working out...)
  • Tuesday: 4 mile run, Total Body Conditioning
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run
  • Thursday: 4 mile run
  • Friday: rest (well, I did walk a mile and a half across the park just to go to Trader Joe's...)
  • Saturday: 7 mile run at race pace (actually did it below goal race pace, around 8:51!)
  • Sunday: 12 mile run in some serious humidity
Total mileage: 32 

This week was another pullback week, but that doesn't mean it wasn't tough. The weekend runs were especially painful -- there were about a billion times when I thought about giving up on Sunday's 12 miler, but I stuck it out and as always, am glad that I did. I did learn a valuable lesson in that run though -- the Bridle Path and I do not mix. I almost fell or twisted my ankle countless times, but I caught myself before the Bridle Path could take me down. But now I've made a new enemy in my running journeys around New York City, which will join the 72nd Street staircase in Riverside Park (note to self: take the ramp when you run there; it's much less painful and much smarter than taking the staircase). 

So something I noticed this week: both of my weekend runs sucked. I literally got home and was SO glad that they were over. I was also glad that I did them, but OMG did they suck during. On Saturday's 7 mile run, I had to stop every mile for the first half to stretch out my legs (note to self: foam roll more often and more aggressively. Also, schedule a massage. ASAP), but they loosened up for the second half even if my pace dropped off a bit. Sunday's run was especially hard. I left around 9 a.m., but the heat and humidity were already kind of terrible. I wanted to change up my route a little, so I tried out the Bridle Path/ decided to see where a cute guy with a neon arm cast was headed on his run (note to self: do not follow people, it's creepy and you might end up on the Bridle Path), which was a terrible mistake. I don't know if it still reminds me too much of the uneven towpath that was a new terrain on my first marathon, but it was very much UNFUN and I will not be returning to it soon.

One nice thing I can say for the Bridle Path? 
Hello, Upper West Side
Looks shady and not.
It does offer some pretty views when the reservoir path is too packed with people, as it often is on a Sunday morning...

Here's how my route ended up looking:
One big loop and one smaller loop
And my splits:
  • Mile 1 - 9:52
  • Mile 2 - 9:16
  • Mile 3 - 9:15
  • Mile 4 - 9:38 (Harlem Hill)
  • Mile 5 - 9:19
  • Mile 6 - 9:19
  • Mile 7 - 9:32 (oh hey there Bridle Path, thanks for messing with my head)
  • Mile 8 - 9:23
  • Mile 9 - 9:31
  • Mile 10 - 9:09 (probably a downhill somewhere...)
  • Mile 11 - 9:25
  • Mile 12 - 9:56 (consistently repeating to myself, "You can go as slowly as you want to, just finish it up!")
Total time: 
Not TOO shabby...
For an average pace of 9:28. Could've been worse, but UGH this was a very tough run!

Despite how difficult this run was and how many times I thought about stopping and finishing up on the treadmill (I decided EH! What's the difference...I'm already out here so I might as well keep going!), seeing this did make me laugh a bit though:
Yes, that would be two men "cross-country rollerblading".
Yes, their poles are neon orange. Yes, I was very impressed.
I touched on this a couple of posts ago, but lately I've been running without music quite a This American Life podcasts, no Girl Talk, no Taylor Swift (I do watch Morning Joe when I run on the treadmill though...some things just can't be done to silence, and treadmill running is one of them for me). Part of it is that I get super annoyed at my iPhone jiggling around in my SpiBelt, but part of it is that I want to listen to my body and want to not NEED music just to get through a tough run. It's been a challenge for me (and it's also making me very out of touch with what the kids are listening to these days...note to self: check out the iTunes top songs just in case you decide to run to music again soon), but I've mostly enjoyed it. 

But I wonder, if I'd just stuck in those headphones and cranked a little TSwift, Britney or Kesha (or hey, why not all three?), would I have been able to push a little harder, gone a little faster, finished the run on a higher note? Maybe, but maybe not. At the same time, I think it's important to train without music -- your iPod could die during the race, your race might ban headphones (the NYC Marathon "strongly discourages"using them), or you might be crazy like me and want to see just how tough you are and whether you can handle the run without having to rely on music. I think I can...

Note to self: You're one tough cookie. If you can train these nine weeks injury-free (KNOCK ON WOOD!) in these tough weather conditions and mentally tough runs, you are probably gonna rock the 26.2 November 6. Which is two months away. Which means your birthday is one month away. Which means you deserve a cupcake, for all the hard work you've put in:
Pumpkin spice cupcake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine.
Here's to another nine amazing weeks...

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