For me, today consists of staying very hydrated, stretching, and relaxing. There’s a permanent feeling of butterflies in my stomach and I know it will be there long after the finish line tomorrow – I’m just trying to contain the excitement.
One big difference between this NYC Marathon and the one I ran in 2008 is my training. I feel like I can barely call what I did in 2008 “training.” Looking back at the last 16 weeks, it gives me a much-needed confidence boost going into tomorrow.
Here’s a look back at my training by the numbers.
Weeks in “official” training mode: 16
Miles Run: 368 (not including tomorrow’s marathon)
Lost Toenails: 1 (let’s hope it stays this way after tomorrow)
Incidents of Bloody Toes: 4 (again, let’s hope this number doesn’t change)
Brunch dates w/ Emily after long runs: 4
Vanilla GU Packets Consumed: 31 (I think… I’ve gone through a case + about 5-7 extras)
Tiger Balm Jars Used: 2.5
Ice baths / Bags of Ice: 7 / 20
Pairs of running shoes: 2
Tweets regarding NYCM: Way too many to count, sorry Twitter
Massages: 2 (oh, how I wish this number were higher)
Runs During Which I Saw the Sun Rise: 6 (thought this number would be higher)
Weekly Training Recaps: 15 (16 after tomorrow) – check ‘em here
I’m writing this in the midst of NYC’s Snowtober. And when I think back on my training season, it seems only fitting that my last week would end in a freak snow storm… considering it started in an insane heat wave (remember?).
Marathon training is always interesting. You start off with a plan and at some points you’re right on target and at other points you’re way off. There are weeks when you are confident and can’t wait to bound out the door to log miles and some days when you can’t will yourself to get out of bed to lace up your shoes. There are workouts when you have all the confidence in the world, and others when you doubt yourself incredibly.
This is all part of the training process. The marathon is the exact same way.
The marathon is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I’ll be comfortable during the grueling miles thinking back to my tough workouts (I’m looking at you). There will be miles when I’m riding high.
This time next week – at 10:10 – I’ll be heading off on the course. Right now? I can’t wait. I’m starting to slowly feel my unbridled excitement turn a little nervous, which is fine. I have some fun marathon prep activities on my agenda, so that should help.
Today? Last long run (only 10 miles!). Next Sunday? The big dance, haha.
It’s 16 days until the NYC Marathon (HOLY SHEEEET). We, and of course I mean ‘I’ because I’m fancy, are officially tapering. Here’s a good one to remind you of all the hard work that’s been put into training so far, and the awesomeness of the whole event.
*Epic music ahead… and you may get chills.
As much as I love this video, I can’t help but imagine what my own would include if I had a similar deal for the marathon… some thoughts:
Music? Back in Black… or the always — Running with the Devil.
There would be shots of those pre-dawn runs of the summer…
Ice baths would have to make their way in there.
A Baywatch-style montage featuring post-long run beer garden visits and dance parties…
And a touching tribute to my feet, who have certainly taken a beating.
Oh, and this:
Colonial boy attire. AKA post long run uniform. If this were smellivision, it would reek of moth balls. Thanks, Tiger balm.
What would be in your imaginary marathon video? Yes, playing imaginary games ensure a wonderful taper. Really.
Finally! I hit all my workouts this week. No exceptions. It was awesome and I plan on continuing this the rest of the month. Here’s how it went:
Tuesday: 6 miles (2 mile repeats @ 8:11 pace)
The plan was to wake up early and run, but that didn’t happen. I figured that after work and coaching, I’d probably get a run in, but a shortened one. After practice, I ran 2 miles to the gym and did 2 mile repeats on the treadie (easiest for me to do dreaded mile repeats on the treadie since it sets the pace), then ran 2 miles home. Perfect weeknight run. Clearly, I was very impressed with myself.
Wednesday: Reformer Pilates
Thursday: 7 miles (2 miles warm-up, 3 miles tempo – 8:15 pace, 2 miles cooldown)
I was up in the wee hours for this one and met a group for a run in Van Cortlandt. It was pitch black outside and I was the only one without a headlamp (noted for future morning runs). It’s funny to me that I struggle with mile repeats at 8:11, but can hold 8:15 with this group for 3 miles fairly easily. Must be group dynamic. The only downside? I literally ran home, rinsed off, then took 70 seventh graders on a scavenger hunt field trip all day (oh, my achin feet).
Saturday: 15 miles
I was at the shore with family. Got to see the sun rise over the ocean nice and early. This was a super flat run and while it was pretty boring, it went by fairly quickly and was uneventful.
Total mileage: 28
I really needed a good week (and great weather). This was definitely it. We’re 4 weeks out from the marathon and I have one long run left before the taper (20 this weekend). I’m so excited I can’t stand it, and I definitely feel ready. Now I’m starting to think of the fun stuff (what to wear, where we’re meeting people afterwards, etc). For the last 12 (or more!) weeks, I’ve almost entirely focused on the marathon. It’s funny that now it’s so close I can see life after the marathon, haha.
So last week, I decided to make a more concerted effort to get my weekday runs in. They’ve all but completely fallen off the radar in the month of September. It almost happened this week. Almost.
It’s annoying because I want to run. And I don’t intended for this to be a waaa waaa I’m so busy there’s never any time sorta thing. But, I’m literally standing at work from 7:30am until after 4. And a few days from 4-6:30 when I go right to coach. So really, after standing that long my feet are killing me. I learned this week that as early as it needs to be, I have to go back to running first thing in the morning (hello, 5am). Otherwise, I won’t get it done at the end of the day… or like my sad attempt at evening speedwork on the track after coaching XC, it will be seriously lacking.
Lesson learned. I’ll be up and out bright and early this week. The good news is that this totally legitimizes my ridiculously early bedtime.
So week 11? Broken record. Not enough during the week. Seriously long run on the weekend. To be more specific, I logged a measly 4 miles during the week in a pathetic track session after work and coaching. My long run? Felt worse than it was.
Highlights of the week? The ridiculously fun afternoon beer-fest dance party that M and I had in the living room after my 20. Also, the massage I had today = awesome. Already booked another in two weeks after my last 20-miler. And I’ll probably book a third for the day after the marathon. My little recovery run this evening was pretty nice too.
Looking back over the last 11 weeks, my training has been much more awesome than sucky. It’s less than stellar that the last, say, 3 or so weeks have sucked — I’d really like to finish up my training as strong as I started. Let’s hope going back to morning runs does the trick…
September, as expected, proved to be a difficult balance (errr imbalance) of work and training. Such is life. I totally dropped off with only 80 – EIGHTY! – miles this month (huge drop-off from August). Certainly a long shot from what I’d planned. Now that school is a bit more in check, I’ll finish my last month of marathon training strong. Starting with a 20-mile kick-off tomorrow morning.
Really, all I want to do in October is follow my plan and remain healthy. I’ve recently kicked up the yoga a notch and starting really cleaning up my eats. I plan to continue this through October.
Since September seemed to be a month of less (less mileage, less free time), October will be a month of more. Here’s what I’m looking for more of:
more beautiful fall weather runs (September was still too muggy)
more fall produce – I just may turn into a squash. I’m okay with this.
more awesome long runs (only a few left!). I had my two favorite long runs in September – I’m hoping that October long runs are even better
more excitement for NYCM (as if that’s possible…)
more pampering – I’ve FINALLY made a massage appointment – for Sunday!
Whoa. That means only 5 more long runs before the big day. That means only 3 weeks until I begin to taper. That means 6 more weekends in which I wake up at o’dark hundred to run copious miles then come home to watch football and eat all day. Well, I think I’ll still do the last two post-marathon.
So where does that leave me in week 10? It was a low mileage week for sure. [Insert work-related excuse here]. Bottom line? I didn’t get it done. I did, however, get my long run done, so I’ll focus on the positive here.
I only had a total of 21 miles this week. Considering it’s only two runs (an epic 18-miler, and a lame 3 miler), that’s kinda sad. The eternal optimist in me says “This week will be different!” And I can believe myself this week… because I only have a 3-day work week. See you Thursday, tempo run.
Also coming up this week? I registered for this.
Mere hours after finishing 3 loops of Central Park, I signed up for this half. Two (clockwise) loops in Central Park for next Saturday. The plan is to run 7 miles from home to the start then, you know, just run a half-marathon. 20 miles, here I come.
Location: Central Park. The race started on the east side by the 102nd Street transverse. It was 3 counter-clockwise loops of the park.
Conditions: At 5am this morning, when I looked before the race, it was supposed to rain – 80% chance. I was actually hoping for rain, thinking it may cool things off a bit. It didn’t rain, but it was incredibly humid. Got a little sunny towards the end. Not pleasant, but certainly not the worst conditions I’ve run in this season.
Pre-race, things were not looking good. Although I hydrated really well, I was sidelined with some unfortunate stomach issues. I headed home early from a friend’s house to relax, drank a Nuun, and hoped I’d feel better in the morning.
I didn’t feel awful in the morning, but my belly felt empty and I was concerned about dehydration despite drinking tons of water the last few days. I ate 1/2 piece of fresh sourdough w/ pb. honey, and sea salt. Felt good enough to go and give the race a try.
I felt great starting out. When I saw the weather yesterday and realized how humid it would be, I decided to stick to 10:00min/mile pace. I kept this pace almost exactly for the first 2 loops. The third loop slowed down a bit – I was really really warm at this point and my legs were starting to feel the effects of Harlem Hills x3.
Because of my stomach issues last night/this morning, I felt hungry earlier than usual. I took Gu at mile 4, then every 6 after that (10, 16). This worked really well. I drank little swigs of Gatorade in between Gu miles.
As much as I tend to fear hills, I feel really comfortable running them. I dominated hills and took it easy on the downhills.
I don’t know what the issue was on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I’ve had more issues pre-race this season than in others. Even though it turned out fine, I’d rather figure it out and not have the same pre-race experience before the marathon (and fear of trots – sorry).
This was a huge confidence booster and (if I hadn’t said it before) I really really can’t wait to run the marathon. I did a lot of visualizing during the race which helped the miles tick by. (Some thoughts included, but were not limited to: marathon day outfit, funny signs I hope to see, which bar I will go to after, and when I would do a training run on the last few miles of the course).
So, great day. I sit here now post-ice bath covered in Tiger Balm watching football. I’m beyond excited for the marathon and it’s crazy to think I only have a handful of these long runs left.