Monday, August 6, 2012

NYCM Week #3: In which my mileage = The answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything

I was asked after posting last week's blog what my time goal for the marathon, and at this point, I'm not entirely sure. According to the McMillan Calculator, based on my 1:52:28 half marathon, the best marathon time I could get is a 3:56:41 (9:02mm pace). However, this assumes that my mileage is significantly higher, and that most first timers should take that and add 20 minutes. 

This brings me to a 4:15 marathon, which is a 9:44 minute pace. My current easy pace is approximately in this range, so I feel that this is an achievable goal. However, I haven't done any 20 milers, and my indicator half in October will also be an indicator of how things are going, so I'll wait before then to make any definite decisions. 

Scheduled Rest Day
This past week started off very nicely. I usually run in the mornings, but on Monday night, I went to see Bring it On the musical, and after that it was hard for me to fall asleep, so I postponed my workout until Tuesday night...

Tempo Run - 8 miles with 3 @ 15K - HM pace
Note: This was an 8 mile run. A lot of the time, my Garmin
doesn't receive a signal until I run the 1/2 mile to Central Park
I was a bit worried about how this would go. The first couple of miles felt sluggish, but once my garmin beeped at the 2 mile marker, I just sucked it up and started to get faster. I did my three miles of speedwork around the track, and happily, I managed to stay within a few seconds of 15K pace. 

It was my first time going over a two mile tempo run, so I was very pleased with how it went. I'm sure that once I take the longer tempo runs to the hillier portions of Central Park, my paces won't be as great, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there

Medium Long Run.....or not
I was supposed to get my medium long run in that evening since my speed workout was the night before and I didn't want to put those runs less than 12 hours apart. However, my stomach had been having issues that day. In addition, I was playing clarinet for my friend's rock band the next night, and was concerned about making sure that I could play the music. So when my parents invited me out to a quick bite after I printed my music at their apt, I decided to shift some days around this week. 

Medium Long Run - attempt #2
I woke up early Thursday morning and ran the ten miles that I was supposed to run on Wednesday. I was happy to see that I averaged about 10mm (probably slightly faster since the last half mile was run in city streets and probably really not that slow). Waking up before 5:30am is no laughing matter, but it got done. 

Once again, the first 1/2 mile wasn't captured by the Garmin
Short & Easy Run
This is usually a scheduled rest day, but because I didn't run Wednesday, I had to move Thursday's run to Friday. I was supposed to do 4 miles, but I got out of the house later than intended. Also, it was very humid out, so after 3 miles, I called it a day. I figured that making up a mile on Sunday wouldn't be a major deal (spoiler alert - it wasn't)

Long Run - Summer Streets
On three Saturdays in August, New York City has an annual tradition of closing down one of the major avenues for several miles, from 72nd Street all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge. Pedestrians take over the streets from 7am - 1pm, and there are a few different rest stops with fun activities to do along the way. 

I live about a mile north of the start, so I decided to run down there, all the way to the bottom, and then decide where to go from there. Since the bottom of Summer Streets connected straight into the Brooklyn Bridge, I decided to add mileage and run across it. 

After getting to the Brooklyn side of the bridge, I looked at a map of Brooklyn and debated running towards Prospect Park, but ultimately decided that I didn't want to take a train home after I finished running, so I turned around and ran back the way I came. Once I ran all the way back up to the end of summer streets, I opted to take a detour into Central Park and run up the West drive so that I would get enough mileage in. It ended up being the right decision and I hit 15 miles just as I was about to leave the park on the East Side. 

I really liked that Summer Streets had several stations in which I could fill up my water bottle. I thought that the flow of traffic was handled nicely by the volunteers, and I never felt that things were too crowded. Granted, I went early, so I don't know if this changed later on in the day. 

This fifteen miler was harder than LTR #1 for a couple of reasons, even though I started running pretty much at the exact same time. It was much warmer this week than last week, so it was much more difficult to keep a steady pace. Also, I ran with friends last week, and this week, I was unable to find a running buddy. However, it was my first time running over the half marathon distance on my own, and achieving it was a very important mental milestone for me. 

I was very happy that my paces were close to consistant. Despite the heat, I only stopped once or twice for non-water filling related reasons, although they were to take in the scenery more than anything else. The view from the Brooklyn Bridge is amazing. 

After that, I ended up taking a nap, and then watching the Olympics the rest of the day. It was too warm out to do much else. 

Recovery Run

After setting up my DVR for the women's' marathon, I headed out for my recovery run, and boy, did my legs have no interest in being out there at first. It was at least 95% humidity, and it felt like I was running in a bowl of soup. 

It wasn't until mile 4 or 5 that I really felt like I was getting into my run, and even then, I felt relief that it was almost over. Although my legs didn't feel sore for the rest of the day, they gave a clear signal that they were done for the week. At least I was able to make up the mile that I didn't do on Friday.

Somehow, my recovery runs manage to turn into progression runs, even though I don't consciously try to speed up. 

Week in Review
Overall, I felt that the week went as planned. I didn't enjoy shuffling things around, and would rather not do so again in the future, but I know that it's probably going to happen at some point. I also found that if I scheduled a run for after work, I would feel anxious most of the day, and worry about not completing it, while when I run in the morning, I enjoy it more, and also like the fact that I can relax in the evenings once the day is over. 

I was also happy to see that I achieved a new personal best of 42 miles for the week. Next week, I have my first marathon pace run on the schedule, so we'll see how that goes. Thanks for reading! 

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