Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NYCM Training: 20 Miles and a Wedding!

Another week done! I can't believe how quickly the marathon is creeping up on me. It seems like everything is happening all of a sudden -- my birthday's on Thursday (27 AAAHHH), then the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday (really hoping to break 2 hours), then another 20 mile run (whee!), then I go to Boston to cox Head of the Charles Regatta (can't wait!), then I go to DC for Halloween (my friends are having a party!), and then it's the marathon (YAYYY)!

Oh, and then I go to London and Zurich for a (well-deserved) 10-day vacation.

Every single weekend is planned and I think that'll make the marathon come up even more quickly than it already feels like it is. Which is good, I think.

Here's how week 13 shaped up:
  • Monday: yoga
  • Tuesday: 5 mile run
  • Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run
  • Thursday: 5 mile run
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 5.5 mile run
  • Sunday: 20 mile run
Total mileage: 43.5! If I do say so myself...DANG! Highest mileage yet!!!

I think last week I got a little of my running mojo back, which was exciting for me. I had a great tempo run on Wednesday, and unexciting 5 mile runs on Tuesday and Thursday. 

Check out the scene from Wednesday morning's run around 6am:
Across the reservoir -- looks more like midnight than 6am!
Thursday night there was another NYCM Facebook group happy hour at Swift, which was fun as always!
Johnny, Sue, me and Theodora! Photo from Theodora's site
Saturday I met my friend Shawna in the park for a little jaunt around the 4 mile loop (plus running there and home). 

Sunday was the BIG day. I ran my first 20 mile run (I have another one Oct. 16) with the New York Flyers on their 3 Bridges Run and I have to say, it was overall an absolutely amazing run. 

Was it easy? Um, NO. I'm proud of myself for keeping up the pace and finishing strong, but I definitely struggled a bit in the middle miles and kind of wanted to die at a few different points. I pushed past it though and thankfully got a second wind. I chatted with other runners pretty much the entire 3+ hours we were running, which was a great distraction.

The run itself was SO well organized -- I was completely blown away. There were three different stations where they had water, Gatorade, pretzels, and gels. Everyone was incredibly nice and friendly, and I actually went home and joined the Flyers right after the run! 

No pictures (I was iPod-free), but here's the map:
And my splits:
3:09:17, with an average of 9:28! Pretty exciting!

We had a pacer, hence the relatively consistent splits. Mile 16 was across the 59th Street bridge, which I frankly did not think was as terrible as people made it out to be. Everyone who had run the NYC Marathon said it was "straight up" and totally terrible, so I was naturally completely terrified. But it really wasn't that bad! Maybe it's because we were going at a slower pace? I don't know. But hey, I survived, so I think that's a good indication that I'll survive on marathon day. 

A few people mentioned that coming off of that bridge where there are obviously no spectators, just the sound of thousands of running shoes hitting the pavement, and then you get to 1st Ave. and there's a massive cheering crowd. It can give you a huge adrenaline rush, but there are still 10 more miles to go. So I must remember to keep stay relaxed and just take it all in!

After the run, I foam rolled and stretched and ice bathed before a highly anticipated 50% off, 60-minute deep tissue massage at Exhale Spa. It. Was. Amazing. I mean, my legs were incredibly tender, but the work she did on my back was SO needed.

From there, I went off to a wedding (yes, it was on a Sunday)!
Nice grainy picture Misty and me!
And topped off a fantastic day with some dancing (in heels, mind you) and delicious wedding cake:
All in all, it was a great training week and an incredibly fun weekend. I'm looking forward to this weekend's Staten Island Half Marathon, and I'm hoping I can break 2 hours. I've literally run three half-marathons in 2:06, and now I'm so much faster and stronger -- I think/hope that I can do it! Cross your fingers for me!

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