4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Rainy Day Update

with 4 comments

Today is a rainy day in NYC.  I’m not feeling motivated to do much of anything this afternoon.  Can’t even watch the Giants game at 1pm due to the bad weather in Minneapolis.  The game was pushed to Monday, and then pushed to Detroit when the Metrodome roof caved!  So, this was the perfect time for a blog update and report on my training for the First Light Marathon, which is 4 weeks from today.

Speaking of the weather, I’ve been trying to understand what the weather might be like for the marathon.  Yes, Mobile Alabama is typically a warm place, and the average high is 60 degrees for the beginning of January.  However, last year it was 25 degrees at the race start and only got up into the 30’s, with a lot of wind.  So, it certainly can be cold, but it might also be very warm.  Not much I can do about it, other than cross my fingers and hope that it is a perfect day in the 40s and 50s!

Which brings me to today.  It was very rainy and very windy, and while I didn’t want to go out, I really felt like I needed to get the miles in.  Also, it is possible that marathon day will be in the 50’s and rainy, so it really is important to practice running and dressing in the conditions.  I decided for a run over the Manhattan Bridge and back.  I like to run down Ave A and Essex to Division St, which then leads over to the run side of the bridge.  On the Brooklyn side, I extend my run up the Sands St bike lane before I turn around.  In all, it is 6.8 miles with 2 good hills in the middle!  My other option is the Williamsburg Br, which I’ve run many times in the past.  However, that route is a mile shorter, and also that bridge is more crowded than the Manhattan Bridge.  Was happy with the choice to run over the Manhattan Br.  The rain was hard in the beginning, but then it tapered off in the middle, but came back with a vengeance for the finish.  It was quite windy throughout.

Yesterday I also went out for a run, 5.2 miles down the East River and back.  In the first half mile, I hit 1000 for the year, which was my goal and and a big milestone for me.  There will be more reflection at the end of the year, but I’m really happy with the miles I have been able to put in.  I believe next year will be more focused on biking, so I may not have another shot at 1000 miles in a year for awhile, so I will enjoy it while I have it!

In other news, I’m noticing that the pace of my normal runs is dropping, which I know is a direct result of all the speed work I’ve done.  My runs lately have been in the 9:15-9:30 range, rather than the 9:45-10 range that was typical.  I had signed up for the 10 week NYRR speed session which ends next week.  Unfortunately, I was only able to make 5 of the 10 sessions.  However, I did make up for it with 2 short distance races and 2 outings with @speedysasquatch and his speed crew in Central Park.  So in all, 9 hard speed efforts, and I’m definitely noticing the difference.

As for plans in the next few weeks, I have a doozie of a 21.5 miler planned for next weekend. See the planned route here.  Then I’m looking forward to a 3 week taper.  I set my last 2 long runs 3 weeks apart, and the last long run 3 weeks before the marathon.  I think providing this opportunity to heal is important.  Before the Chicago Marathon in October, my training was not in the right place and I didn’t really taper.  But this time I’ve put in a lot of miles and hard effort and feel I’ll need the 3 week taper to heal up.  I have not had any injuries per se, but I have felt quite banged up in a few places.  Most recently, both of my calves have acted up.  Thankfully a bit of self treatment has swatted that problem away, but I still have other minor lingering soreness that I hope to have all better by 1/9.

This holiday season always flies by so fast that I know I’ll be jetting down to New Orleans (first destination on the trip) before I know it.  Can’t wait!

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Written by SCL

December 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Wonderful training cycle Scott. Those NYRR speed sessions really do help. First Light on your birthday is going to be so special. Did I mention I love the name of the marathon?

    Nice that you got out today in this not so very nice weather. Well done.

    And finally congrats on 1000!!!! Great 2010 for you!!!

    Michelle

    December 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

  2. Hmmm, I may have to try some of these routes since I also train in Brooklyn and like doing some bridge routes (did the Brooklyn bridge into midtown, which was a decent 10K but LOTS of people on the bridge). Thanks for some of the suggestions!

    sd5289

    December 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    • Yeah, the Brooklyn Bridge can be Awful (note the capital A!), especially on weekends or evening when weather is decent. Manhattan Bridge is a much better option. Not quite as iconic, but a smoother workout!

      SCL

      December 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      • Yeah, the construction lately has made it doubly annoying to go over. I love the view (what’s left of it anyway after the construction) though! 🙂

        sd5289

        December 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm


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