Racing through the heat wave


Just like last year, I’m fasting for the month of Ramadan. But that’s no excuse to not keep up with the marathon training. Since Saturdays are typically long run days during the morning and impossible for me to complete without hydration, I chose to not fast on Saturdays (will have to make up those days though). For non-Saturdays, I’m up at 3:45AM eating and drinking before sunrise. 16.5 hours later, the sun sets and the fast can be broken. The best time to run is right before sunset. It works out because by the time you’re finished, you can hydrate. Mileage greater than a 5K is dangerous for me especially in this heat after not having water for so long. Dry mouth after 10 minutes, fatigue after 20 minutes, and exhaustion after 30 minutes. I tried running 4 miles once last year and paid the price. Well it’s been 2 weeks already and the closest I’ve gotten to a 5K was 2.43 miles. Yea, I’ve been a slacker. If the temperature drops, I’ll attempt a 4-miler.


NYRR Queens 10K @ Flushing Meadows NYC
July 21st, 2013. 8:00AM and 79 degrees. 6,610 finishers.
Results: 8:23 pace, 1812 place, 73% percentile, (C-)


The race covered most of my Tuesday night route. It’s great when the start line is just walking/running distance away from your house. I met up with a few wolf pack runners (Matt, NK, Amado) and we ran most of it together (as a wolf pack). I wasn’t intending to run below 8:30 pace but you know how runners get when racing. With a sub 8 pace at mile 2, I overheated rather quickly and actually walked at every water stop which cost me 10-20 seconds each mile. Surprisingly, minus the water stops, I could have PRed. Somewhere in mile 5, a new pain emerged right below my right Achilles. I told the remaining wolf pack to sprint the last mile for me, I’m toast. This is what I get for pushing my legs to soon. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with my performance. Without racing my hardest, I was close to a PR.


The NYRR 9+1

Aside from being a marathon superstar, raising funds for a charity, or winning the marathon lottery, there is another method to getting into the NYC marathon (but for the following year). It’s perhaps the most popular for NYers. You have to complete 9 “qualifier” races and volunteer at one race within the year. Doing it this way keeps you race ready throughout the year, provides plenty of race pictures, and adds 9 more running shirts to your pile. I may never actually buy a run shirt again. Anyway, a complete 9+1 will look like this…

Yes, I’m planning to do it all over again in 2014!

Training Report:
The sudden drop in mileage led to a speed increase on average. My performance is back to where it was in the winter. Or maybe after 16 hours of not eating or drinking, I’m 5 pounds lighter than usual and thus run faster. Who knows.

RunDate Distance Pace Comments
July 9 Tuesday 1.87 9:23 First day of Ramadan
July 11 Thursday 2.43 8:29 Felt light as a feather, zoom
July 13 Saturday ~12 8:45 Ran with the wolf pack on the West side river
July 15 Monday 2.25 8:27 Another good one
July 16 Tuesday 2.42 8:35 And another
July 19 Friday 2.41 8:20 My fastest for the month, and 90 degrees
July 21 Sunday 6.2 8:23 Overall good race, but now have an Achilles injury 😦

Speed Jams (tunes to run that 8 min/mile pace):
I had my ‘Digitally Imported’ App streaming various electronic music, mostly mixes though. Internet radio is good when you get tired of your own playlist.


Water in Sweat out

For me, a 75 degree day is considered a hot day. For about a week, its been 90 degrees; a nightmare. The choices are still the same for NYC marathon training… the treadmill or run outside. The decision is always the same. I must really hate treadmills then. This post covers weeks 3 and 4 of my 21 week training program.

Thoughts in my head during a hot summer run:


– How long should I run before it’s time to stop and rehydrate? Every mile, every other mile?.
– I’m so thirsty, and there aren’t any water fountains or stores for another 2 miles, Nooo.
– It’s too damn hot, this shirt is coming off now. There’s like a pound of sweat in it, ugh.
– Grrr, sweat in my eyes, it burns it burns.
– I just had a Gatorade 3 miles ago and I’m thirsty again, cmon.
– Why can’t it just rain already!?
– Is it me or is it hotter outside than the inside of my own body?
– 1 mile left, must race home for that freezing cold shower and recovery drink.
– I get more breeze when I pick up the pace, let’s get crazy now.

I can see why people wake up early to run. 6am-8am is an ideal period before the sun is its strongest. I actually prefer sunset or night. Why have sun at all? So I’ve become a vampire runner lately. Even my last Saturday morning long run was at night. But I can recall one long run session that was actually in the morning.

Random running tale:
It was cloudy with an 80% chance of rain. I tend to band-aid my nips to avoid chafing. Out I went looking forward to a cool and rainy 10 miler. By mile 5, the clouds disappeared and the sun came out of nowhere and just focused on me. I started to overheat so I just took off my shirt. After two miles, I ran past 2 girls who were checking me out. I thought to myself, no way, I’m not young and sexy any more. Well, I have been working out. Lemme check out my “work in progress” six pack to see what they are looking at. Oh my God, my band-aids are still there! Mehhhhh. Throughout the remaining miles, I spent the entire time trying to recall everyone in the park and streets who saw the band-aids and didn’t say anything.

Training Report:
My performance is still not where it was back in the winter but there are signs of progress. The main highlight is that I finally ran below 9:00 average pace during a July 4th 10k workout session. What happened to those good ol’ days when I would whip out 7:30s?


So what’s my goal? The same as last year; to run a marathon under 4 hours. It requires an average pace minimum of 9:09. If I can run a half in 1:50:00 hours, then that leaves 2:10:00 to run the second half; an extra 20 minutes. Almost always, after 13-16 miles, my body goes into fatigue mode in which a 9:30 pace is considered fast. The strategy is to be at level where I run at 8:15-8:30 pace effortlessly and 9:00-9:15 pace during the fatigue stage. Can I actually pull this off?

RunDate Distance Pace Comments
June 16 Sunday 8.05 9:24 All that cruise food still being digested…
June 29 Saturday 10.02 9:17 Lesson learned when taking off my shirt
July 1 Monday 6.74 9:10 Felt good
July 2 Tuesday 6.11 9:16 Was tired to begin with, but I survived
July 4 Thursday 6.45 8:51 Best session in a long time
July 6 Saturday 6.24 9:22 It was so hot outside, even at night it was 90s
July 8 Monday 6.48 9:00 Another feel good session

Random Thoughts

After a month of marathon training, running has officially become homework. The hardest thing to do is to convince yourself that you enjoy homework. Switching routes usually helps. Also, July 10th is the first day of 30 days of fasting during Ramadan. I can now say that I have experience training for a marathon while fasting (LastYear). 16 hour days without food or liquid, here we go again.