Summer is here

Almost 80 degrees, summer is ahead a few months in NYC. Its been too long since I went out running wearing only one layer. Thursday’s 10k went faster than usual; almost went below 8 min/mile pace on mile 5. Friday was movie night; Cabin in the Woods. Great movie, Jon recommends. On Saturday night, I saw Gabriel Iglesias comedy central at Radio City music hall, freakin funny as hell. I made sure to chow down on some pizza that night for carb loading. Onward to the Sunday long run.

Into the street jungle I went. It turns out that this week was hard on everyone, even fellow jogger bloggers who ran a marathon. I was already a sweaty mess by mile 6 and the walking breaks already started, crap. The sweat on my face was burning my eyes as it dripped down my face. By this point, it was obvious that I couldn’t perform as well as last week. At mile 13, I was feeling pretty crappy, but I keep going because I’m stupid and stubborn. Mile 14 was a record for me, a fail record, 13.42 min/mile. The question was just echoing in my ear, how the hell am I supposed to run 4 more miles when I have nothing left? Good thing I’m so far from home. It kinda forces me to keep going. Limping, skipping, walking, dragging, mile 15, mile 16… the mexican man with the coco ices? There, at mile 16, I just stopped. But alteast I have a nice cold coco icy 🙂

16.55 miles instead of 18; first time I fell short of my mileage target. Such a let down, I feel like a failure. This failure feeling is becoming the usual though, as if its a part of the training, like we need to fail in order to progress further. I’m not a natural, thats for sure. This long distance runnning thing doesn’t come easy to me, which is why I started my training so early. I progressed from 13 to 18 miles since January; 3-4 months. Is it possible to grow from 18 to 26 in 6 months? Perhaps. Will I be limping past the finish line, or running it? All I want is for my first (and maybe last) marathon to be a good one.

16.55 miles down, time to rest now…

Power Up

Could I run 18 miles again or was it a one time thing? Although it may be a bit early to be thinking of pace, my marathon goal pace is 9:00 min/mile. I ran a 10k through Forest Park (some rolling hills and some traffic light stops) after work on Thursday with an average pace of 9.24 min/mile, not bad.

A family get-together was scehduled for Sunday afternoon; feast time! I had to wake up early for my long run so that I could make it in time. The feast will be the reward, here we gooo.

Mile 0: In a rush, I forgot my leg brace, crap. Maybe its unnecessary.
Mile 1: I wonder if this will be another 18 miler, or a fail.
Mile 2: I gotta pee.
Mile 3: The bushes and trees, ahhhh, pee.
Mile 4: Here come the monster hills, let’s kick some ass.
Mile 5: I’m king of the mountain, not a single break.
Mile 6: I’m doing pretty good.
Mile 7: I hope this good feeling doesn’t go away, woohoo.
Mile 8: Just trying to keep my speed in check. I don’t wanna ruin my shins or knees at the halfway point, its a loooong way home.
Mile 9: H20 break, ahhhh, was so thirsty.
Mile 10: Unbelievable, I could go for 19 or 20 miles feeling like this.
Mile 11: No more traffic lights, and back to the park roads.
Mile 12: Starting to feel tired, but this is normal, I’m still going for it.
Mile 13: Half marathon in 2hrs 7mins, eh, typical finish time for me, but certainly not my best. 
Mile 14: Second water break. Wow, no knee pain or foot arch pain, its my lucky day.
Mile 15: Hang in there Jon, don’t break down.
Mile 16: Getting slowww, starting to break down, crap.
Mile 17: Yaaaa, feeling heavy, must push, I can see the finish. Forget about 19 and 20 miles, it ain’t gonna happen, I just want my 18 again. But whoa, just checked my time, 7 whole minutes shaved off! Power Up!

Mile 18: Run walk run walk, ugh. 0.5 left, 0.4 left, 0.3 left, counting the tenths of mile; desperate. Almost there, almost there… and 18.02 miles, stop the watch, YESSS! PR! 18 miles in 3hrs 2mins and not in as much pain as the week prior. Perhaps I can be a 4hr 30min marathon man after all. Now for my reward, the Sunday feast!

I took Monday off and saw the craziest movie “The Raid: Redemption. If you like hardcore brutal bloody kicking ass action, this is one of the best I’ve seen in years (and I see them all, so trust me). No strings, no slo-mo, no CGI, no BS, only raw Indonesian Silat fighting (with some shooting).

18 miles down, time to rest now…

18 Miles, in pain and in rain

So I was in the city after work and just decided to jog Queensboro bridge and keep going till I got home. This would be the beginning of the a new Thursday “keep my legs busy” run sessions. This was perhaps a good 7-8 miles route. Around mile 6, a sharp pain creeped in on some bone above the arch of my right foot which actually caused me to just stop running (walked for the last 2 miles). Well that just sucked. 3 days later, I had an 18 miler on my mind. Between the pains in my knee throughout March and now this, I was quick to blame my sneakers and just wore my old ones. Let’s see what happens.

 

Mile 0: Here we go. Mile 2: Feeling a bit fatigued, not good, most likely the sneaker switch. Maybe the feeling will go away. Mile 5: The discomfort goes away. For the first time, I ran up the king of hills without stopping, progress! So far so good. Mile 8: I’m feeling like the man; not even tired. I can do this. Forget 18, let’s go for 20 miles, I am the marathon man. Mile 9: I almost called a cab and gave up.

That arch pain from Thursday returned with a vengeance. Whyyyyyy?! Just when I actually feel up to the task physically, my body breaks down. I’m like a car with a full tank of gas and a flat tire. This sort of thinig happens too often and it pisses me off. Am I cursed? Well before calling it quits, I decided to punish myself for a few more blocks. As any creature under physical stress, I adapted to this 75/25 perssure left/right leg technique for a few blocks, and almost at running speed, without pain… wait, hmmmm. Well then, no cab today then!

Mile 12: Can’t believe I almost gave up, I’m pulling this off. The pain comes and goes but my good leg is supporting my bad leg. Mile 14: Why is it raining?! Mile 15: Still raining, but I don’t care, must get home. Mile 16: I still think 18 is possible, but I’m getting sloooower. Mile 17: Wow, I beat my time by a minute or 2. Best 17 miler ever, but its like I’m made of Legos and pieces are flying off with each step. I waited for a traffic light to turn green and almost fell down; standing became somehow challenging with my spaghetti legs. Mile 18: It was as if I was running slower than walking speed. I’m so close, must go on, no choice, even if it kills me, kyaaaarghhh. EIGHTEEN miles!!!

<– It may not look like it, but this is pure joy.

18 miles down, time to rest now…