Hey, guys! Since apparently I’ve given up on posting full weekly workout recaps (you’re not missing much, believe me), I wanted to at least drop in and share an update on the last long run of my New York City Marathon training!
Today seemed like the perfect day to talk NYC, since today is THE BIG DAY…before midnight tonight, we’ll all know our corrals, bib numbers, and starting times! I’m getting to the starting line via a bus leaving from the Meadowlands at the asscrack of dawn, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to a 4- or 5-hour wait in the cold on race morning…but I’m still VERY excited to have my “official” race number. It’s starting to feel real now!
Then again, what makes a marathon feel more “real” than a delightful 20-mile run? Yes, that’s right. I have officially survived the last “long” run of my training plan. This weekend’s half marathon — we’re running the Hershey Half! — doesn’t sound all that “long” to me right now, haha. Plus, I’m looking forward to a fun, relaxed, stress-free race experience…and eating lots and lots of chocolate.
I have to tell you, after my last few disastrous long tuns, including a menstrual 16-miler (sorry for TMI, but, it’s true!) and a 19-miler in the POURING RAIN, this weekend’s run was the first time I felt like I really do have this. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, and it was far from effortless. But I woke up on Sunday to a beautiful, crisp fall day with downright chilly temperatures — below 50, even! — and I was so excited to GET. THIS. DONE.
I really needed to prove to myself that the weather has had a lot to do with my lackluster performances as of late. I didn’t reach any blazing speeds or anything like that — I still hover right around a comfortable 10:30/11-minute mile for my long runs — but I felt SO much better. My legs were pretty heavy after so many weeks of karate and running, and I didn’t get my scale-back week in between the 19- and 20-mile runs, so I wasn’t exactly “fresh”…but running in 50-something temperatures as opposed to 70- or 80-something temperatures made a WORLD of difference.
Plus, Todd was running his 18-miler for his Philadelphia Marathon training, so I had company the entire time.
We basically ran a bunch of loops around two parks, and then spent a couple of miles running through Brookdale Community College, which was a nice change of scenery. With the exception of a few potty breaks (is it wrong that the fact that running long distances seems to make me want to pee all the time is among my biggest concerns for the race?) and brief walk breaks to suck down Honey Stingers or Clif Bloks and drink Powerade from our hydration belts, we kept a pretty solid, even pace throughout the entire run.
And, in the end, I MADE IT. I won’t say the last couple of miles were easy, but I felt prepared. I felt like my body was ready for this. I really, REALLY needed the confidence boost, and I would like to extend a personal message of thanks to the weather gods for smiling upon me this weekend!
I’ve been feeling a little guilty lately because I’ve had such a hard time getting in those mid-week runs — especially the ones that are upwards of 8 miles. I’ve been working my butt off trying to make both running and karate fit into my weekly schedule, and it hasn’t been easy. Last week I squeezed in a 3.5-miler, a 4-miler, and a 5-miler when my plan called for three 5-mile runs, and I still somehow made it to 3 Taekwondo classes. But there have been a bunch of weeks when I could only get in 2 of the runs instead of all 3. And there have been a bunch of times when I went out for 5 miles and came home after 3 or 4 because I just wasn’t feeling it. Is that going to make or break me on race day? I suppose time will tell.
In conclusion, I might not be at my ultimate level of training, and I still have no idea what to expect of myself when it comes to my finish time. But I did do the absolute best I could, and this weekend proves that I am SO ready for this race. I know I can do this. And I am freakin’ EXCITED.
My fellow fall marathoners…how is YOUR training going?!
Do you struggle to find the time to complete all of the weekday runs on a training plan?
How much does the weather affect the success of your long runs?