Almost one week left until marathon day. Almost one week left to be in the biggest parade in NYC and to cross the finish line of finish lines. Ads in the subway, marathon emails, the cooler air, the day has finally arrived. With the peak of the training behind me, all that remains is one final double-digit mile run.
The last double-digit miler
It’s been a year since I last ran with the TeamForKids group. This would perhaps be my last time running with them this year so it could not be missed. The plan was to run the last 10 miles of the marathon route to have an idea of what to expect.
We split into pace groups. I ran with the sub-9 group, consisting of new faces, familiar faces, and of course the wolf pack warriors (J-wolf, C-wolf, and M-wolf were there). And I’m L-wolf (Lone wolf) because that’s how I always end up on a long run.
Starting from Central Park, we ran toward the Queensborough bridge to 1st avenue, then made our way uptown. By mile 3, when the rolling hills and traffic became minimal, a sub-8 pace group emerged from our group and I was one of them. The 8-9 of us zoomed through the streets, crossed the bridge into the Bronx, crossed another one back into Manhattan, and just kept zooming downtown until 116 st. With 3.2 miles left, I couldn’t run faster than 8:00 pace anymore and became the lone wolf once again. I’m surprised I kept up that long. While tailgating the sub-8 pacers, and as the street numbers went from 116 to 72, it was the revenge of the rolling hills. These hills will seriously hurt at mile 24-26, that’s for sure. I have to somehow save the juice for the last half hour during race day.
Overall, it wasn’t difficult to imagine the empty streets which we just ran through being filled with runners, spectators, and noise. But imagining how my body would feel after already running 16 miles wasn’t straightforward. There’s only one way to find out right.
Did I run 1000 miles so far this year, ha, not even 800. Although I may have reduced the marathon training this year, I feel more prepared than last year. I raced so many races that I can barely hold up the BIB SNAKE:
Each run session teaches a lesson. The main lessons learned this year are:
– Overtraining is worse than undertraining.
– Quality over quantity when it comes to mileage.
– Frequency over distance during injuries.
– Distance over speed to prevent injuries.
– Liquids and salt every 2-3 miles for 85+ degree days.
– Walk past dogs without leashes or weak looking owners.
– Be close friends with hills.
– Smaller steps and no heel strikes going uphill.
– Smaller steps and no pounding going downhill.
– Enjoy the run!