The summer is going by quickly but then again it always does. There’s not much to report other than the ongoing marathon training. The mileage has been steadily increasing; 15-16 mile runs on Saturday mornings are the norm. My average speed has dropped due to a month old Achilles pain. Whatever the issue may be, it’s no excuse to stop, there’s always a way around things. Running a bit slower and being patient seems to be working for now, and it gets me through 2 hour+ run sessions. The most recent long runs were my 5 bridge / summer-steets 15-miler with the wolf pack and the NYC marathon long training run #2 16-miler, which are worthy of their own sections.
Crossing bridges to glory:
The 5 wolves together again. This is the same group that ran an unofficial NYC marathon with me last year. I designed a route that would take us through Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, cross 5 bridges, and finish off with a traffic-free Park Avenue. After meeting up at the usual Columbus circle meet spot at 7:15AM, we started off by crossing the Queensboro bridge (mile 16 of the NYC marathon). Once in Queens, we ran via Jackson Ave until we reached the Pulaski bridge, then crossed it.
We worked our way south (Manhattan Ave, Leonard street, Driggs Ave) until we arrived at the Williamsburg bridge, crossed it and entered Chinatown.
Then we criss-crossed boroughs by taking the Manhattan bridge followed by the Brooklyn bridge.
Thanks again to NK for running ahead to snap some photos.
Any runner would be feeling the bridge workout by this point. The remaining journey was a straight 4.5 mile run up Park Avenue from chambers to 59th street. Although we kept a 8:45-9:00 pace for the entire 5 bridge portion, I lost steam at the Park Avenue portion and started getting pains in my right heel. The massive groups of runners and bikers kept me going. You only get to do this 3 Saturdays within the year and the streets were full.
The best thing about long runs is the feast afterwards. This hungry wolf seeks his reward at a buffet or diner. I ordered the usual 2 eggs, toast, turkey bacon, and home fries with some tea. And 3 monster size pancakes as a side dish. Still a bit hungry but had to save my appetite for lunch. Man vs food, this round goes to man!
Confidence regained in Central Park:
Here we go with another ING NYC long training run in CP. Thousands of 2013 NYC marathoners embarked on a circular journey (3-4 CP loops) on a perfect 65F degree morning surrounded me trees and roads.
And of course, I was 10 minutes late because of subway route changes. It looks like I’ll be a lone wolf for more than 2 hours. The first loop was perfect. I ran at my proposed marathon pace of 8:30 for 6 miles. With no pain or fatigue thus far, I proceeded to run the second loop at 8:45 pace. Again, no pain or fatigue. Incredible. One more loop! Ok, you can’t feel good forever. I started feeling it around mile 13-14 with a 9:00 pace. Surprisingly, after 16 miles, I feel like I ran a 10k instead. Was it the 2 rest days prior or ditching the minimalist sneakers for a long run? Was it the high carb dinner or the low temperature? A combination of all these things? I need to figure this out quick so that I can repeat it again every weekend, and for marathon weekend especially.
When you are at rock bottom, there is nothing left but improvement. 2.5 months left until the big day.
|Aug 7 Wednesday||2.46||8:50||I really don’t remember running this one.|
|Aug 8 Thursday||6.11||8:53||Just another after-work sunset run.|
|Aug 10 Saturday||15.6||9:25||Check the section above.|
|Aug 12 Monday||5.81||9:27||Damn, messed up my Achilles again going fast uphill.|
|Aug 14 Wednesday||6.63||9:13||Flatter route, taking it easy and giving the minimalist sneaks a break.|
|Aug 15 Thursday||6.44||9:03||A good run, almost to where I want to be (8:30-8:45 pace) comfortably|
|Aug 18 Sunday||16.26||8:49||The longest run of the year for me, expectations were exceeded, Jon is pleased.|
Being injured teaches patience. It also forces you to give up speed goals temporarily and focus more on running form, endurance, and adaptation. Running is mind-boggling sometimes. How can such an extremely simple repetitive action (left,right,left,right) be so complex? You never stop learning how to optimize your performance with the endless number of variables involved. All runners become scientists who use themselves as guinea pigs to achieve their running goals.