Sunday, October 16, 2011

NYCM Training: The Last Big Week

OMG I can't believe it's TAPER TIME!!! But first, what happened this week:
  • Monday: walking
  • Tuesday: 5 mile run
  • Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: 1 hour elliptical
  • Saturday: 5 mile run
  • Sunday: 21 mile run
Total mileage: 39! It was supposed to be 43, but I missed a 5 mile run on Thursday because the flu shot made me sick (better than the flu though!). I've also been battling what might be tendinitis in my knee, so I figured missing one little run wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I foam rolled and Aspercremed the afflicted area after an easy elliptical session on Friday, and I totally felt like a new person! 

Unfortunately I had another picture-less week -- I didn't bring my phone with me on any runs, all of which were outdoors done on pretty picture-perfect days. In the two five-mile runs I did this week, I incorporated a bit of the NYC Marathon race course as part of the run. On Tuesday, I ran up to 94th St, then west to 5th Ave (which, by the way, is 100% uphill from 2nd Ave to 5th Ave!), then into the park around 90th and down over to where the finish line will be. Saturday's run was up 1st Ave to 110th St, over to 5th Ave (flat, thank goodness!), south to 90th St and into the park, and back home on 72nd St. It was good practice to run down 5th Ave, especially because I had a massive headwind on Saturday, and who knows what the weather will be like on race day? 

Today was a big day...last big, long run, with the New York Flyers. I ran 1.4 miles over to Jack Rabbit on the Upper West Side at 6:45 a.m. after consuming a delicious whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter -- SO good at keeping me full and energized. My 9:30 pace group left around 7:15, heading to Riverside Dr, up to 91st, and south along the West Side Highway. There was a helluva headwind, but it was nothing compared to Saturday's wind tunnel along 5th Ave. Like the last NY Flyers 20 mile run, we cut over to the Brooklyn Bridge at Warren St., went north across the Pulaski Bridge, across the Queensboro Bridge, into the park, and back to the store! Here's the map:
And my splits!
  • Mile 1 - 9:26
  • Mile 2 - 9:31
  • Mile 3 - 9:29
  • Mile 4 - 9:31
  • Mile 5 - 9:25
  • Mile 6 - 9:25
  • Mile 7 - 9:31 (Gu number 1 and a water stop)
  • Mile 8 - 9:27
  • Mile 9 - 9:40
  • Mile 10 - 9:08 (water stop)
  • Mile 11 - 9:12
  • Mile 12 - 9:15
  • Mile 13 - 9:12
  • Mile 14 - 9:50
  • Mile 15 - 9:22 (Gu number 2, plus a water stop)
  • Mile 16 - 9:55 (hello, Queensboro Bridge)
  • Mile 17 - 9:48
  • Mile 18 - 9:37
  • Mile 19 - 9:59 (getting a bit lost in the park -- it was the Avon Walk and it was MADNESS)
  • Last 0.78 - 7:03
Total time: 3:07:45, for an average of 9:29 per mile!

Today was SUCH a great run. And although my Garmin read it as being less than 20 miles, a Google Maps course shows that the run was definitely farther. Either way, I ran over 21 miles today! I felt really good on this run -- my leg didn't bother me at all, and I got to chat with two really sweet girls the whole way. Chatting always makes the miles tick by so much more quickly -- every time I heard my Garmin beep I was surprised and incredibly happy. Like most of my other long runs, I broke it up into smaller runs that made it more manageable. 

I'm feeling excited and ready for these last few weeks of tapering, and I'm definitely ready for 26.2 in three weeks! I don't know if I'll PR, but I'll work out that stuff later on. I'm glad I'm practicing the bridges and finish line area, but who knows how it'll all play out on race day? I'm just going to plan as best as I can, and go with the flow for the rest of it. That's all you can do, right?

Tonight I'm spending some quality time with three of my best friends:
Compression socks to increase circulation
SportsCreme for sore muscles
THE STICK for massaging my poor beaten up legs
Wild night, I tell ya! FYI, Saturday night looked eerily similar to this, but at least I got my butt to Hoboken for my friend's Oktoberfest party, which involved a delicious beer (I swear it helps, or at least doesn't hurt, before a long run!) and many German pretzels and pastries. Yay carbs!

"A Race Like No Other"
I can't end this post without writing a quick review of a book I got for my birthday that I couldn't put down all week. 

This book...I don't know how to describe it. It is just amazing, inspiring, sad, exciting... It's all about the 2007 NYC Marathon, Paula Radcliffe's first marathon back after having her baby and taking off two years. The author, Liz Robbins, doesn't just focus on the elite athletes though; she takes you mile by mile through the race, through the stories of multiple runners -- a recovering alcoholic, a young man who's also a cancer survivor, a 60-something-year-old grandmother -- weaving all of them together through the miles. It also contains some history of the marathon, how it came to be the race we know it as today -- things I definitely did not know! 

I don't know much about elite athletes -- who they are, where the train, how they came to be where they are, etc. This book contained the stories of four or five of the elite men and women, which was very eye-opening and interesting to read. Just as interesting? The stories of the "ordinary" runners Robbins profiles. 

This will sound incredibly cliched, but I laughed, I cried, and I absolutely could not put it down. I definitely almost missed my subway stop more than once because I was immersed this book. I was completely caught up in the moment of every mile and every story that was shared. It got me incredibly excited to run this race in three short weeks -- if you're running the NYC Marathon, you simply MUST read this book!

So, last three weeks. Time to step it up in the eating, hydrating, and sleeping departments...speaking of, I think I hear my bed calling my's hourlong nap was just not long enough after the 21 mile run!


  1. I was reading this book as well. Love it!

  2. Hey! I stumbled onto your blog from the Runners Kitchen. Congratulations on making it to your taper! (Now you just have to make it through...) I'm running the Rock N' Roll D.C. Marathon in March as well! It's my first marathon and I'm really excited/nervous.
    Good luck in New York!

  3. Jen - I know, it's such an amazing book, isn't it?!

    CollegeGirl - Thanks so much! I am crossing my fingers that I can make it the last 2 1/2 weeks... Exciting that you're running your first marathon! You'll be great, and I'll see you there! :)