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Marathon training…week SEVENTEEN

2013 ING NYC Marathon Flags near the finish line at Tavern on the Green in Central Park

2013 ING NYC Marathon Flags near the finish line at Tavern on the Green in Central Park

well, this is it.

i keep hearing cliche sayings like “the hay is in the barn” – and well, i guess it is.

i admit, i didn’t cross-train (unless you call a few laps in the pool back in september, or a few loops of central park on my bike back in august cross-training).

i didn’t stretch enough.

i didn’t work on my core, lift weights.

i didn’t. i didn’t i didn’t.

but you know what-  i really did train my ass off the past 17 weeks. i never missed a work-out. i followed my calendar to a tee. i let go of any preconceived ideas of training and trusted jack daniels, his coaches and the VO2 Max. i know i’m a better runner, that’s for sure. my going out for a “jog” pace is now faster than my 10K race pace from back in may! i did something right, that’s for sure. and i feel ready, prepared and great. my tendinitis has even eased up in the past week as i’ve “enjoyed” the taper.

26.2 miles, New York City Marathon? i got you.

regardless of my final time – i’ll be proud of myself for just crossing that finish line. truthfully though, like most athletes, i do have that magic number i want to hit – for me, it’s 4 hours. realistically? 4.15 hours.

to recap. i start at 10:30am – Green corral – #49326

i’m still a little bummed about running the lower level of the verrazano – and the fact that a possibility exists that i may get peed on from the runners on the upper level less than thrills me. so i’ll run in the center, take it nice and slow, soak it in (atmosphere, not pee!).. all the way through brooklyn… not let the crowd “scramble my eggs” on first ave.. and finish strong. that’s the plan. and as my coach andre has warned us – go out slow otherwise risk being “carnage” at the end. i do not want to be carnage. i will not be carnage. perhaps that will be my mantra.

i can’t promise a quick recap next sunday – i imagine smiles at the finish line, copious amounts of food, and perhaps an ice bath. after that, i promise a full recap on my first marathon…

wish me luck!!

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Marathon training…week SIXTEEN

2013 ING NYC Marathon Flags in Central Park

2013 ING NYC Marathon Flags in Central Park – the finish line is within reach!!

week SIXTEEN – !!!!

the work is done.. now to taper and maintain, and not get sick in the next two weeks.

this weekend was the last of my long runs – 8 miles yesterday, 10 today.

the 10 miles today was kind of special, i guess.. the last 10 miles of the marathon. my team (ny flyers) met at 7:45am at the queensboro bridge on 1st ave – and we took off to the bronx and back again finishing right about where the finish line is in central park. it was a tough run. maybe because i did 8 miles yesterday, maybe because i’ve run over 600 miles in the past 16 weeks, and my body is tired. i’m ready for the “dreaded” taper!!!

one thing that i didn’t realize (and now i’m wondering if in this case, knowledge is NOT power) – is that those last 10 miles are hilly. especially the evil 5th ave up along central park.. i had no idea. such a cruel joke making us finish on these hills!

i’m going to enjoy a massage tomorrow – a much deserved one.. and try not to let the taper get to my head in the next 2 weeks. one thing that is great is the fact that my coach has us running the same amount of days, just a greatly reduced amount of volume (ie – one more 60 minute run, and no more than 3 mile runs on easy days)..

and in case you’re wondering – and want to follow me to the finish line. below is my bib number. i go out in the third wave.. 10:30am (ie – it’s going to be one long ass morning in staten island before i start running!).. and i’m in the green zone. i’m actually a little bummed about this, because it means i run the lower level of the verrazano bridge – i’ve never run it, so maybe it’s not a big deal.. but somehow i’m imagining feeling like i’m closed in without being able to take in the sun and sky and beautiful bridge architecture.. time will tell…

49326 ING Marathon Bib Number

by the way.. i have no baggage!

until next sunday. i’m be tapering…

Marathon training…week FIFTEEN

used up mizuno and saucony running sneakers

3 weeks to go!!

43 miles this week – and now begins the very slow taper down to 26.2 miles.. thankfully my coach still has me running 5 days a week right up to the end, the milage just slowly reduces.. i believe 30+ miles this upcoming week, than about 20 per week the last 2… i keep hearing about anxiety during the taper.. i’m hoping that i can just enjoy the easy taper.

a few thoughts on this week?

tendonitis still in my ankle/foot. crap. today i actually said “ouch” to myself as i rounded the corner towards the end of my easy 8.. ice. advil. ice… and i guess i need to toss in some rest in there.

marathon flags are up in central park!!!! so exciting. maybe i’ll get a shot for next weeks post.

todays picture, you ask?

that would be my shoe graveyard.. aka, almost 4 years of running. – minus 2 pairs of sneakers – the ones i’m wearing now, and a pair i keep at work just in case.. both mizunos.

Marathon training…week FOURTEEN

20 mile run around new york city for ING Marathon training

week 14… or 4 weeks to go.

today was a big one – 20 miles. i admit that only 18 were on my calendar, but mentally, i just needed to do 20. i have to say – that the difference in my legs was minimal between 17-20. what i learned, is that it will be hard getting to the finish line, but i’m confident that i can.

less than a month until the marathon now.. but still a few good, hard weeks before the taper begins.

part of the run was in central park this morning, which made me reflect a bit on the past year. i ran grete’s half last year.. it was a hard race. two full loops + of central park is no joke. today i ran along side some of the racers – and continued on my way to finish 20 miles. something i could not have imagined a year ago – although it was on my mind because i was on my way to my 9+1 for guaranteed entry.. (i don’t have the guts to ask my friends and family for $$ for charity, and i’m no where near guaranteed entry by time… so i paid my dues and got in).

2 years ago, i had signed up for the 5 mile marathon kick-off. i was excited to run it – still have my number and love the green t-shirt. that race was canceled because of a freak snow storm at the end of october.

last year – i signed up again, i ran those 5 miles, set a 5 mile PR (it was a great, memorable time for me).. later in the day, the subways shot down, hurricane sandy hit nyc. the marathon was canceled a week later.

i’ve been watching the news… hurricane season still going strong down south, blizzards out west.

cross your fingers with me – no freak blizzards, no hurricanes.. lets hope for perfect 55 degree weather on marathon day!!!

i’m ready.

Marathon training…week THIRTEEN

garmin forerunner 305 screenshot of run in central park new york

13 weeks down, FIVE to go. at this point, i can start counting days, hours, minutes.

but before i get ahead of myself, better recap the progress made this week.

turns out (to somewhat of a relief) – my achilles issue is more than likely tendinitis. time to get myself to the sports doc, and get this sorted out before i hit the starting line (in FIVE weeks).. ice and advil are my two new best friends in the meantime.

otherwise – the week of running was just like another week at the office. my group had a really tough run on wednesday – speed – it’s always hard. this time, 2 miles (x2) at threshold pace, which is around 8:10mm or so. fast for me.. in fact, i think it’s quite fast for a lot of people (just not for the super speedy).

this morning we had a challenging marathon paced run.  30-90-10, around and around the 5 mile loop of central park. this run is basically 30 minutes easy, 90 minutes hard, 10 minutes easy. above is a record from my garmin. of course i forgot to start the watch after the last water stop – so it turned out to be closer to 14.75 miles – in 2 hours, 10 minutes. my hard pace was supposed to be 8:53 – which, looking at this now, i see i did better than that – so the pain i feel now is satisfying! in fact, if this was a race (taking into account the slower paces in the front of the run) – i think i’d be crushing my half marathon PR..

looks like 35-40 miles a week of hard training really does have a pay off!

next weekend i have one last group run with the run smart MTP.. 17-20 miles. i’m aiming for 20 b/c mentally, i just need to. in the meantime, i’m taking a nap.

Marathon training…week TWELVE

view of manhattan bridge and brooklyn bridge from brooklyn

Brooklyn run (pause) 9/21/13

week 12 – here we go. a quick recap.

i’m feeling like an old pro at this now. i almost feel like i should start counting down to the big day rather number the weeks of accomplishments. every week presents itself with a learning curve, however.

this week – speed work was done under the lights in central park – around a baseball diamond below the reservoir. i’ve never run there, didn’t even know it existed! but it was the perfect spot for intervals – and the weather could not have been more perfect. did i mention the waffle dude was set up on one end? no, i didn’t indulge – but i sure looked forward to running by it over and over again for the smell alone. one of  the best things about these group speed drills are the people in my group i run with on wednesdays.. nothing like a little peer pressure to keep up with the group to push you to be your best! (i mean that in the best way).

originally i was planning on the famed palisades run – but on the advice of my coach, i stuck with the program and did a “bunch run” – which seems to be a favorite of the run smart guys. to be honest, i like them as well – it makes the runs not seem so hard. basically, 2 long(ish) runs in 24 hours. yesterday was about 14 miles, today was 8… rather than doing a full 20 in one clip… that will come, soon enough.

the longer of the 2 runs was a bit of an adventure with my teammate kristin. we met up at columbus circle, ran down the west side, over the brooklyn bridge, along the brooklyn waterfront (up and down) – and back over the manhattan bridge ending up at city hall.  i’ve come to realize these long runs are so much more fun with company..  the picture above is a quick view of the bridges from brooklyn heights while on the run..

all in all, another great week of running – even with the minor achilles issue i’m having. thank god for ice!

Marathon training…week ELEVEN

72nd street pier in Manhattan, new york city

Post-Run stretch on the 72nd Street pier 9/14/13

wow – how did i get to week 11 already? past the half way point.. and honestly? kind of ready to wrap this up and run this race!

no new major milestones this week. there was a blast of summer midweek, which made for a very hard and sweaty threshold speed work. the good part of that was (probably) the last post run smoothie run at juice generation. it’s been my expensive habit while training… but well worth it.

short but sweet post this week… picture above is from yesterdays tempo run – a 2 hour run up and down the west side highway. my original plan was to run across the brooklyn bridge and end up somewhere along the new park over there. but the 72nd street pier is a nice one, with a cafe – so a great place to stretch out post run..

Palisades coming up this Saturday! i hear the hills are killer.. i’m still on the fence whether i do 15 or 20 miles…

stay tuned!!!