I passed up a fun long weekend back in our hometown to run this race. This race would be my longest run ever. I’ve been concerned about it because I’m right at the point of a marathon schedule where I get injured. Also, I’ve really been having trouble staying motivated at about the 12 mile mark of my long training runs. I was hoping that being in a race would give me a push through that tough spot. Also I wanted to see if I could get out there and just run my pace without any help beyond a simple lap counting watch.
I set everything I needed, out the night before.
Some key gear, that I didn’t use before:
Asics running shorts (the pockets are large enough to carry gel flasks)
Gel Flasks (carrying 2 with liquid EFS Kona Mocha)
CEP compression sleeves.
Sole dual layer socks
Black Cherry Shot Blocks to eat before the race.
Baggage: EFS recovery powder in a shaker and a bottle of water to mix it with after the race.
I woke up at about 4AM to leave just before 5AM. Hoped to be in the city by 6AM.
Ate my oatmeal and got out the door on schedule. Everything was going well. I was up near the race start at 6. Unfortunately, there was a street fair of some sort happening nearby. So they were towing ALL the cars on one of the Avenues. Which meant side street parking was tough to find. I spent 30 minutes looking before realizing I was out of time. Found a parking garage and crossed my fingers that it wasn’t going to cost too much. $12. Whew! I did look into this the night before but didn’t see anything under $30 online.
Race start is in the North East corner around 104th St by the way. Run is counter clockwise.
I walk/jog to the start. I’m definitely later than I wanted to be. I had to check my bag and get online for a “Bio Break”. As soon as I saw the lines, I knew I wouldn’t be starting the run when the horn sounded. I also knew that if I tried to run, I’d find that there would be lines at every pit stop along the way for the first 3-4 miles. So I waited it out. (I really didn’t have a choice).
I cross the timing mat at the start line about 8:30ish after the horn sounded. This definitely allowed me to run my pace to start because I had so much room due to the lack of people. Of course it also meant that I would eventually have to run through all of the slower paces. Which turned out to be not so bad.
In my rush to make it to the start, I forgot my gatorde bottle in the car. I was going to need to hit the first few water stops.
As I was running through the first crowd, it was kind of interesting to see the vibe of this group. Some people fast walking. Some people “running” but so out of breath I was worried for them. (this is between mile 0 to 2). Then there was one lady that was singing along with her iPod… terribly. I felt badly for anyone around her that might be spending significant time within listening distance of her.
So my goal for the day was to run a 9:30 pace the entire time. That actually would probably be my secondary goal. My primary goal is to not get hurt! During my shorter mid week training runs, I feel that my legs feel like junk for the first 3 miles. Well that wasn’t the case today. I felt really good right from the start.
First mile 9:30 (ding!),
2nd mile 9:38,
3rd mile 9:06. You could probably create the elevation profile based on my splits.
4th mile 9:21
5th mile 9:26
6th mile … I missed it because I was running to the water table. I am forearm blocked by a guy crossing ahead of me to the table who doesn’t want to slow down to pick up water. Then pushes me again on his way out. (Ever feel like tripping somebody?). But just then from behind I hear shouts of “Move to your left!!!” being repeated over and over. That would be the bikes making room for the lead racer. I realize I started 8 minutes late, but this guy was finishing 12 when I was at the 6 mile mark. Very cool to see the speedsters running through, although I think from this point on he had a significant advantage because of the cyclists making room for him. (he finished the race in 1:34:47 a 5:16 pace).
6th & 7th mile 18:20
8th mile 9:32
9th mile 9:23 … Feeling really good to this point. I finished off my first flask of EFS but along with the water I’m curious if I’m over doing it with the calories. My stomach feels a bit odd. Maybe I should have waited longer to start with the EFS because I had the shot blocks at the start.
10th mile 9:13
11th mile 9:26
12th mile 9:16 … Typically this is where I just want to stop running. That’s not the case today. The only issue at the moment is that I’m starting to feel the miles in my legs.
13th mile 9:30
14th mile 9:37
15th mile 9:44 … At this point I’m pretty psyched about the fact that I’ve just run 15 miles without walking anything but water stops.
16th mile 9:30 …
17th mile 10:11 … This would be a climb. Hamstrings are getting tight and my stride feels very compressed. I “funny walk” for a bit in an attempt to get some length back into the hamstrings. (Well not exactly like in the video but you get the idea). I can’t help but feel concerned about cramping although it doesn’t feel like that’s going to happen.
18th mile 9:30
Total 2:50:22 for a 9:28 pace 1925th overall/4320 1316th male/2275 223 Age Group or 394
Obviously I am pleased with the results. I ran the pace I set out to run with very little discomfort. That was VERY encouraging.
Although I couldn’t help but think about the additional 8.2 miles I’d have to run for the Marathon. I’d say I started to feel every hill starting around mile 14. Up or Down. Immediately after the race 8.2 more miles sounded like it was going to be a problem. (and it might be). But now that I’ve looked at the Marathon Course Map and I’ve broken it up. I feel better about it.
16 miles gets me into Mahnattan. Which was my main goal for the year.
18 puts me half way to the Bronx.
20 puts me to the Bronx
21 and I’m out of the Bronx
23 I’m alongside the park and about a 5K to the finish.
There is a good chance there could be some bad miles towards the end but at least I’ve finally shifted my mindset to get to the Marathon finish line instead of just taking what I can get.
As soon as I finished running, I went to my bag and mixed up my recovery drink and chugged that and switched into a dry shirt. This is the first NYRR event I’ve done where I saw a ton of post race stretching going on. Me? I was all about getting my hamstrings stretched out and finding some water. I thought I was doing fine while I was running. Now that I’ve stopped, I was really feeling kinda funky. I should have brought a few bucks with me. Unfortunately my cash was in the car. Once I was in my car I just wanted to get home. I had some Gatorade and a bit of water left over from the drive in, it would have to do.
It took an hour to get home. I stopped to pickup 2 bags of ice. Filled the tub and in I go. Then the 2 bags of ice got added. I probably should have had a bit more ice , or maybe I’m getting used to cold ice baths.
Once I was done with that. It was time to eat. But what? I should have prepared better for this. I was very hungry at this point and ended up ordering a pizza. Probably not the best choice. I watched some of the Jets/Dolphins game while I was eating. It was a close game but I wasn’t very interested. Eventually I set my cell phone alarm for an hour later and fell asleep. Woke up to find out that I was eliminated from my NFL Survival League. Knew I should have picked the Bills! I had the 49ers.
I finished the day by going and getting a massage. I felt pretty good but I know the next day or so could be ugly.
I guess the one thing I haven’t mentioned that shouldn’t be overlooked is this. My stride felt great! My right leg has been so funky for sooo long. I’ve kicked the inside of my left ankle so many times over the last couple years. Not Today!! I really hope it stays like this. It’s nice running and not feeling like you are going to injure yourself!
And finally, it’s nice to have a new “longest run ever”, I’ll worry about pace for some other event in the future. Right now it's cool just to have covered the distance.