Keeping running fun

After almost 3 years of running, I’m still learning how to run.

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When something becomes routine, it can become boring really fast. This law applies to everything I think. Work, school, friends, activities, food, movies, music, video games, and so on.  Changing things up and breaking the routine can keep things interesting and fun. Running is one of the easiest things which can get boring quickly. I must admit, I tend to lose interest if I repeat the same routes and strive for the same goal. Marathon training is perhaps the easiest way to get sick of running since it consumes a lot of your free time and weekends. To avoid burning out, especially when the big day is about a month away, I had to make some changes.

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– Threw time goals in the trash. Why feel disappointed after you’ve worked so hard but a minute or two too slow? That just ruins it.
– Replaced the NYC marathon from my number #1 physical ambition with something else (Mt. Rainier summit), which makes marathon day seem less stressful.
– New routes and running old routes in reverse. Hills should not be expected.
– Even though its marathon training time, I reduced my weekday run sessions from 3 to 2. With more time for my legs to rest, the workouts can be more enjoyable and less painful. Why separate speed drills, hill repeats, and recovery runs when you can combine them?

20 miles via the 5 bridge reverse route:
The big 20! After running an 18 miler during the previous weekend, I felt pumped for this. I met up with 2 of the wolf pack warriors around 7am at Columbus circle during a high humidity 70F day. These 2 dudes can run a marathon under 3:15, so it was only a matter of time before I get smoked, left behind, and become the lone wolf. After a 10k down the West street path by the Hudson, I felt out of breath already. Long runs should be a bit slower paced but here I am trying to keep up with their pace.

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We passed by several TFK running teams on the way which was pretty cool. Without a single bridge crossed, we proceeded to the Brooklyn Bridge. Toward the end of the crossing, they appeared as pixels in the distance. Mile 9 and beyond was going to get nasty. A red light stopped them in their tracks and I caught up to let them know that I’ll be tagging along from now on; a green light for them to run their real pace. The Manhattan bridge was next. Smoked. I didn’t even see them anymore. Gosh I suck. They get props for waiting up for me at Chinatown for a water break.

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Bridge 3: Williamsburg bridge. Crossing this completes a half marathon distance. They must’ve waited for 2 minutes this time. We then ran 2 more miles up Brooklyn and crossed the Pulaski bridge where we bumped into a fellow wolf pack warrior who ended up joining us. Soon after, we all split ways prior to the infamous Queens borough bridge at mile 16. I’ve slowed them down enough for one day. For the first time in history, I ran the Queen of bridges without a walk break after already have run 16 miles.

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Finally, the roads of Central Park completed the 20 route. I hit the wall around mile 19. Walking, running, walking, running… nothing left and everything hurts. I later found out that dehydration was the cause (really yellow pee). At least hydration won’t be an issue at the NYC marathon. A painful 20 miles in 3:05. Not too proud of the final time but hey, it was 5 bridges.

Training Report:
Week 15 / 21 of the training schedule.

RunDate Distance Pace Comments
Sep 17 Tuesday 4.20 9:00 Sometimes, you have to poo, and either find a bush or walk home
Sep 18 Wednesday 7.47 9:17 Was not feeling good it at all, but ran anyway
Sep 21 Saturday 20.01 ~9:15 20 miles!
Sep 24 Tuesday 6:49 8:38 Recovery! Splits [8:28, 8:39, 8:30, 8:30, 8:26, 8:59]
Sep 26 Thursday 6.21 8:33 Effortless! Splits [8:45, 8:54, 7:58, 8:58, 7:44, 8:44]
I banged out 2 sub-8s by accident!

Random Thoughts
The weather has been great (60F-70F) but not perfect (50F-60F). Autumn is my favorite. Also, I’m a year older again; a time in which I reflect on my life to see where I’ve been and where I’m headed. With a bad long-term memory and too few ambitions, I researched (googled) to seek out something new. The conclusion: to begin training for a mountain summit. My first hike is tomorrow; Mt Tammany (1500 ft). Let’s see where this rabbit hole leads to…

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3 thoughts on “Keeping running fun

  1. Dominick S. September 27, 2013 / 10:23 pm

    Sounds like an awesome route for the 20 miler. Great job and throw the time goal aside and enjoy. I’m shooting for a number but I will put enjoying the vacation, marathon experience and finishing above pace! Almost go time!

    • sephiroth796 September 29, 2013 / 8:49 pm

      Yup. 5 weeks left. I actually can’t wait for taper time.

      • Dominick S. September 30, 2013 / 6:50 pm

        I will be happy once I am done with my last LONG RUN…my body will rejoice.

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