4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Super fast (record breaking!) 4 mile run

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I was a little unhappy that I cut yesterday’s planned 10.3 mile run down to 6.5 miles, so decided to go out again today.  Conditions were perfect for a hard 4 mile run in East River Park.  Temps in the low 40’s, little wind, and time to run in the middle of the day (daylight!).  So, after spending the night at my house in New Jersey, and running around this morning to the Naguchi Museum in Queens and Capezio’s for dancing supplies (both of my kids are dancing in the Nutcracker this week at their dance school), I was able to get out at 2:30 this afternoon.

My intent was to run hard.  4 miles seems like such a short distance now, so I feel like I can really push myself at that distance if I’m feeling well.  And I was feeling well.  Since I was running hard, I listened to the ‘bookmarked’ songs on my MP3 player.  I have over 200 songs on my player, running the gamit from slow to fast and old (70’s) to new – I’m a child of the 70’s and still like some of the songs from thr 70’s and 80’s.  On a regular run, I simply use the full 200 song list on random.  Late in a long run, or on a hard run, I will use the DJ feature to listen to only my 5 star rated songs, the good stuff.  Finally, when I need real inspiration, or pick-me-up, I listen to the 8 songs I have bookmarked (list below).  Those are the ones that really get me moving.  Today, since I intended to run hard all the way, I decided to listen to the bookmarked songs.  I figured the average song length is 4 minutes, so that would get me to about 32 minutes.  I didn’t think I’d finish in 32 minutes, so would need 1 more song to get through the run.  

In the first half of the run, I quickly realized that the wind was against me.  Not a hard wind, but just enough to feel it.  This is good when you want to have a strong run.  If you push hard in the first half against the wind, then the second half with the wind will be much easier.  The other way around is much tougher – harder to finish hard against the wind.

The distance of this run is typically 4 miles, but due to the construction in East River Park, the north part of the main road is closed all the way to the track, and runners must detour on the promende, and across a baseball field to join the main road.  According to my estimates, this adds about .15 miles to my route.  So, instead of 4 miles, the run would be 4.15 miles.

Nice hard steady pace in the first half, but not all out.  Hit the turnaround at 17:23.  I was more than halfway through my 8 song playlist though.  That is because Bleed It Out is a very short song – only 2:43.  The way back initially felt very easy, due to the wind at my back.  There was no wind resistance, and I was pushing a hard pace, similar to what I would run in a short NYRR race.  About halfway through the the return trip, in front of the entrance to the track, I started feeling tired.  It didn’t help that this is where I hit the East River Park detour, so had to run on the necessary side paths and through the very muddy baseball field.  That took a little out of me, and I slowed the pace down a tad.  Then, with well more than a half mile to go, got to the last song of my list, Welcome to the Black Parade.  This turned out to be the perfect song to finish to.  It is only the long side, (over 5 minutes), starts out a little slow, speeds up in the middle, and then finishes up with a fast pace.  This is exactly how I wanted to pace out the end, hold back a little and then slowly pick up it for a strong finish.  It worked perfectly.  The song ended just as I crossed the finish.  Second half was run in 16:14, for a total of 33:37.  Over 4.2 (ish) miles, that is 8:00 per mile pace!  The time is sort of my fastest on that course.  My previous fastest was 33:22, but on the shorter, non detoured, version.

Awesomely successful run.  I feel like my training is in the perfect place, as I prepare for 2009.  My week gets kind of crazy after tomorrow, so I’m gonig to try to go out again tomorrow night for a recovery run.

On a final note, saw bits of the Jets game today, which was really important to win.  As I was ready to step in the shower, the Jets were down by 3, almost at the 2 minute warning, and Buffalo just got another first down.  Game pretty much over.  When I stepped out of the shower, 5 minutes later, the Jets were up by 4, with the ball, with over a minute to go.  What a turnaround.  In that span of time, in less than 1 minute of game time, they sacked the quarterback, recovered the fumble and scored a defensive touchdown.  Then, on Buffalo’s first play on the next possession, Jets intercepted.  They won the game – good for them!

Bookmarked songs:

  1. Move Along – All American Rejects
  2. The Pretender – Foo Fighers
  3. By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. Bleed It Out – Linkin Park
  5. This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race – Fall Out Boy
  6. Rockstar – Nickelback
  7. Everlong – Foo Fighters
  8. Welcome To The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
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Written by SCL

December 14, 2008 at 5:21 pm

One Response

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  1. […] result, and was very happy with the 36:53 total.  While it was more than 3 minutes slower than my record setting effort 2 weeks ago, I can’t […]


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