4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Posts Tagged ‘long run

Nice 10.3 miler

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After yesterday’s freak out about the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I went out tonight for a 10.3 mile run – my 3 bridges 3 boros course.  Finished in approx 1:40, which included several stops to drink, and one bodega stop by buy a water.  I was very satisfied overall and think I’m in fine shape for the race on Saturday.  I know the Williamsburg Bridge, Pulaski Bridge, and 59th St Bridge will not properly approximate the constant hills in Prospect Park, but it is as close as I can get without running in Prospect Park itself.  

I ran a very strong final 3 miles, and definitely could have done another 3 if in a race condition.  I’m still worried that I might take the hills too hard, and will need to try to hold back a bit, especially in the first loop of the park.  Since they are expecting upwards of 10,000 runners in the race, it will be sufficiently crowded enough to hold us all back a bit, I’m sure.

Biggest and nicest surprise of the run was the newly painted bike lane on Driggs, covering all of my portion on that street (Williamsburg Bridge to McCarren Park).  Good news for runners, and great news for bikers!  Passed at least 20 people using the new lane.  This is a great one to add as a feeder to the bridge.  The biker with a leashed dog trotting alongside seemed a bit dangerous to me, but I guess if you must bike with your leashed dog trotting alongside, better to do it in a bike lane than on the sidewalk or on the main road.  

Anyway, definitely feeling better about the race, as long it is not a hot and humid day.  I still think sub 2 hours is a stretch, but we’ll see how close I can get to it.

Written by SCL

May 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Final long run before Austin Marathon

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With proper planning, was able to do the long run on a beautiful day yesterday.  Started out at 11am with temps in the upper 30’s.  By the end, it was 51 degrees.  Therefore, weather was not a factor, as it has been so much in the last month.

My route took me down 1st Ave to Canal St, then over the Manhattan Bridge, then up through Brooklyn and Queens to the RFK Bridge (recently renamed from the Triboro) and back down 1st Ave home.  This is the same run I did in early October, in my training for the New York City Marathon.

Felt very comfortable with just the limited layers of clothes.  2 shirts, but otherwise 1 layer everywhere else.  It makes such a huge difference to not be bulky with lots of layers and and an outer jacket.

Managed to keep a nice, slow, steady pace.  What I like about this run is the relative desolation of the route.  Manhattan Bridge is empty.  Flushing Ave and Wythe Ave in Brooklyn are also desolate.  Also, the long strech over the RFK Bridge and Randall’s Island are empty too.  It is just less stressful than working around cars on the streets of Manhattan, and bikers and people on the East River and Hudson River paths.  I was able to get into a nice rhythm early.  I stopped about every 13 to 15 minutes to drink, which worked real well for the first 13 miles or so.

I messed up a little bit as I ran out of water on the middle of the RFK Bridge, at 13 miles, which is where I took my last Gu.  It is then a long way off the bridge, through Randall’s Island and over the little bridge to Manhattan.  Then I needed to work down to 120th and 1st Ave to get find a bodega to get some Gatorade.  I think it was about 3 miles  between drinks.

The last 5.5 miles down 1st Ave was pretty hard.  Up until then, I was running away from the sun and any noticeable breeze was at my back.  The run felt almost effortless.  That changed once I headed south down 1st Ave.  I was running right into the bright sun, and without a hat with a brim to shield it out.  Also, I was running into a pretty good headwind.  Nonetheless, felt worked through it in those miles, stopping about every mile to drink, and running up the 1st Ave hills, rather than walking.  By the end, though, I most definitely hit the wall.  I felt like I had absolutely nothing left in the last half mile.  My run was 20.3 miles, so right in the ‘wall’ territory.

Finished the run in 3:27, a 10:12 pace.  When I last ran this course, I made a wrong turn off the Manhattan Bridge and thus ran about .4 miles longer than this time.  With the difference in distance, this run was about 6 minutes faster than that effort.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that I ended my training short one planned long run (2 aborted efforts in the January cold), and the Austin course looks to be harder than the New York course, with significant uphills in the last couple of miles.  Starting to get nervous about 4:30!

One day later, I’m feeling a little on the tired side – didn’t nap or sleep early yesterday.  Just vegged out in front of the TV watching the Super Bowl.  However, no soreness at all!  I think I’ll be fine for my Tuesday night speed workout in Central Park tomorrow night.

Written by SCL

February 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Long run done!

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Only 4 weeks to the Austin Marathon, and I had so far only managed 1 long run, as I failed miserably on a planned long run 2 weeks ago.  So, with my back to the wall, and time running out, I needed to get back on track with my long runs.

Thankfully, I was able to finish a 17.5 mile run long yesterday.  Course (see it here) was my typical loop of lower Manhattan, then over the Williamsburg Bridge, up Brooklyn and Queens to the 59th St Bridge, then up to 85th St and 2nd Ave, and finally down 1st Ave all the way to 14th St.  This is the same run I did on Sept 21st, 6 weeks before the New York City Marathon.  Back in Sept, I finished in 3:09:43.  Yesterday, I did it in 3:04:54, shaving 5 minutes off my time.  I guess that is good news!

After 4 days of frigid temperatures, yesterday finally warmed up a bit.  Although we had about an inch of snow in the morning, the temperatures rose up to about 32 degrees in the afternoon.  A big concern of mine is spending a lot of time outside on a long run in the very cold weather, so I was glad for the little bit of warmth and even some sun when I started out.  I was at my New Jersey house in the morning and then had some business to take care of on the Upper East Side, so I would not get started until about 1:30pm.

I was dressed on the warm side, with 2 shirts and my new warm outer shell layer.  Also had a loose pair of pants over my running tights.  In the beginning, I was heading south and was in the direct sun for awhile, and felt nice and warm.  I tried to keep the pace very slow, doing my best not to speed up to cross through the intersections.  Kept a very nice comfortable slow pace to start.  Took a brief 2 minute bathroom break when I passed by the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

Opened a fresh PowerAid at the start of my run, and it lasted up to the Williamsburg Bridge, about 6 miles in.  Just after the bridge, I stopped for a water, and took my first Gu.  That water lasted me to the midpoint of the 59th St Bridge, at about 11.5 miles, which is where I took my 2nd Gu.  After coming off the bridge, I made it up 2nd Ave to H&H Bagels, which is on about 80th St or so, where I picked up another PowerAid, which lasted me to the end.

At times, I felt slow and sluggish, but as the pacing was purposely kept on the slow side, it was all-in-all comfortable.  I really did not push the pace at all until I got back into Manhattan in the last 6 miles of the run.  I had enough in me to run a hard final half mile.  I was liberal with allowing a couple of walk breaks.

It was nice to see so many runners out and about – I guess people were taking advantage of the warm spell and the brief sun in between snow storms.  As I said, we had a good inch of snow in the morning, and then by 6pm it was snowing again – we probably had another inch in the evening.  I had no problems with footing, ice, or slippery conditions at all.  Mostly everything was in good shape.  The only little problems was Driggs St, at McCarren Park, which was only plowed in the center, so the shoulder was icy, and the first quarter mile up the 59th St Bridge was a tiny bit icy.

I was down for the count last night and spent most of the night in bed.  Today I’m feeling great and should be fine for my speed workout tomorrow night in Central Park.  There is not a lot of time between now and the Austin Marathon on Feb 15.  My plan is to run the Manhattan Half Marathon at training pace on Sunday and then run another loop of the park, to get to 18 or 19 total miles.  Then, the following weekend, on 1/31, I hope to do a 21 mile long run.  Then a 2 week taper into the marathon…

So far, this has been an amazing month for me.  While I was unable to get a long run in earlier in the month, I’ve done a lot of running.  With yesterday’s run, I’ve completed 69.1 miles for the month so far.  I’ve run 10 times, been to the gym 4 times, and am in my 2nd week of the hundred pushup challenge.  Quite an active month, with almost 2 weeks to go!

Written by SCL

January 19, 2009 at 8:13 pm

the day after

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Still feeling nice and sore in the legs from yesterday’s workout.  For me, that is a sign of a good workout – if a true long run does not hurt a little the next day, then I know I didn’t push hard enough!

My upper shin bone is still very sore to the touch following my ‘accident’ at the gym on Saturday.  I’m really lucky it did not impact my running at all…

Written by SCL

December 1, 2008 at 4:33 pm

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Long (wet and cold) Run

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The good news is that it is done.  The bad news is that it seemed to take hours to dry out and get my body temp back to normal after my 15.5 mile run in the cold rain today.  Today is 11 weeks before the Austin Marathon, and today I covered the same long run I did 11 weeks before the New York City Marathon.  See here for how it went last time.

The run almost didn’t happen at all.  Yesterday morning I did the right thing and got to the gym.  While moving some 35 pound plates around to do some bench presses, I accidentally banged my leg hard into the metal bar that holds said weights when they are not in use.  Ouch that hurt!  It was a hard shot to the shin, an inch or two below the knee.  I can be clumsy at times, and definitely bang myself on various obstructions from time to time, but this one was bad.  Iced when I got home and then iced again before I went to bed last night.  Was feeling pain with each step and was very worried that the shin would not hold up for 15 miles.  I managed to sleep 11 hours last night (needed to catch up from all the eating and traveling earlier in the weekend) and this morning the pain was definitely way down.  It was not hurting anymore when walking, only when applying direct pressure to the spot.  So, I forged ahead. 

The forecast was for rain all day, so there was no advantage to getting out early, or trying to wait it out.  When I got up at 8am, it was already raining.  Took care of some stuff at home and made it out around 11am.  I was actually looking forward to the run in the rain.  I like the rain, usually find it refreshing, and think it is important to get some long runs in with bad weather, in case bad weather hits on race day.  While it was a bit refreshing, 15.5 miles of rain was, all in all, not fun!  The big consession was that I would leave my tunes at home.  I once got caught in a bad rainstorm with my MP3 player, it got wet, and then was on the fritz for a couple of days until it dried out.  One of the buttons never quite recovered.  So, with today’s forecast, I decided to leave it at home.

Picked up a Gatorade at the Bodega on the way out.  First 2 miles was my typical route down East River Park, which included a slog through a ballfield to get around the construction, which by the way, will not end any time soon.  Nice, easy start to the run.  I did forget to use the bathroom on the way out, so stopped at the East River Park track, which was unfortunately commadeered by 3 homeless guys.  They did stay out of my way as I took care of business.

Next couple of miles was down the East River past South Street Seaport.  I was thankful here for the 1 mile + portion under the FDR drive, and out of the rain!  Still feeling really good in the early miles here.  As the rain was mostly out of my face, I concluded that the wind was at my back.  Since I would be running a good 6 miles up the Hudson River, into the wind, that was not a happy conclusion.  But for the moment, I was fine.

Made the turn through lower Manhattan, past the SI Ferry and Battery Park to the foot of the greenway up Hudson River, which is about the 4.5 mile mark.  Started the trek up the Hudson River.  This was very difficult.  The wind was not blowing hard, but it was definitely tending out of the north, so the rain was constantly in my face, and collecting on the front of my shirt.  By then, my clothes were all waterlogged, and I could feel the extra weight.  It was not a downpour, just a steady light to regular rain, so it could definitely have been worse.  I stopped at the Nike Runners Station to buy a bottle of water, which I planned to use later on for my Gu.  There were 2 people working there, who were very friendly and helpful.  They probably didn’t have too many visitors today.  In fact, that was the best thing about today’s run.  There were virtually no bikes out on the path, and few tourists/walkers.  Even Central Park, which I’ll get to later, was deserted.

Continued my way up the Hudson River, inhaled the Gu at Chelsea Piers, took another little water breakat 57th St, and managed to find the way out of Riverside Park at 79th St.  The section up from 59th St to 72nd St was also under the highway (Henry Hudson Parkway, this time) and I was very, very thankful for the time out of the rain.  Till this point, about 9 miles into my run, the going was totally flat.  79th St is where that changed.  Big hill to get over 79th/77th over to Central Park.  As I mentioned, Central Park was completely empty, almost eerily so.  I was a little disappointed as I passed the marathon finish line to see that all signs of the marathon finish were gone.  Not sure if they still paint the pavement at the finish, but definitely no signs of it anymore.  There should be some sign, or homage to the marathon at the finish line year round!

By this point, I was totally and completely waterlogged, but happily not feeling too cold.  Once out of Central Park, I worked my way south and east to 1st Ave.  Once out of the park, I felt the solid wind at my back, which made up for the long run into the wind.  That also meant I had less rain in my face, which was a welcome change.  At that point, the run was definitely getting harder.  I figured that this run would be a piece of cake after just recently completing the marathon distance, but I was definitely cooking along at a faster pace than I did in August, and the faster pace translated to a bit of pain and difficulty.

The last 2 miles is where I really missed my tunes.  When struggling in the last miles of a training run, turning up the music and picking out some of my favorite songs make it easier to get the job done.  Somehow though, the blocks blew past, I managed to get up the little hill below 34th St on 1st Ave, and then was all of a sudden back in Stuytown and near the finish line!

I finished the 15.5 mile run in 2:36:48, a very respectable 10:15 per mile pace.  This is significantly faster than the 2:53 I did on the same course in August, and the pace per mile was also faster than my best marathon training runs in October.

I was definitely cold and wet at the end, and even a long hot shower could not get all the chill out.  That is one thing I’m concerned about as I do long training runs in the middle of winter – how to keep warm on long runs.  My legs and stomach both came out of this run very red and very cold.  Even after the shower, it was probably an hour or so until my body temp felt back to normal.

Anyway, looking forward to the next long run, likely New Year’s weekend.

Written by SCL

November 30, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Final tuneup – check!

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Wow, didn’t mean for the length of this post to be so long.  I guess a good long run must be accompanied by a good long post.

——————

Today was the allotted day for my final long run in preparation for the New York City Marathon.  First, though, spent the morning with my wife and kids at the New York Botanical Gardens.  We had a great time there seeing the Japanese Bonzai and Kiku (Chrysanthemum) exhibit.  It was really cool.  And cold!

Saw a pack of runners on the drive up, over the Willis Ave  Bridge.  That can only mean one thing – New York City Marathon coming!  Lots of runners cover the last 10 miles of the marathon course as a training run in the 2 weekends before the race.  I have not done this myself, as I’m not a proponent of running with traffic and hate running on the sidewalk – that run is not for me.  If anything, I’d run it in reverse, and what’s the point of that!  Instead, I usually pay homage by covering the early miles of the race in my last training run, and this is exactly what I did today.  My course was 10 miles out over the Manhattan Bridge and down 4th Ave in Brooklyn to 95th St.  Then 10 miles back the same way.  I added a couple of miles through East River Park on the way back to get the mileage up to 21.5 miles, farther than I’ve ever run in my marathon training.

Due to the family outing in the morning, I did not get going until the afternoon.  Since the day was cool and I would finish very late in the day, I was concerned about the cold.  It was a bit of a windy day, with winds out of the north.  This meant that my first 10 miles would be with the wind in the mid-afternoon sun (very good running conditions) and the 2nd half would be against the wind, and in the shade since by then the sun would be going down (not so good running conditions).  To make sure I wouldn’t be too cold in the 2nd half of the run, I went a little overboard – 2 long sleeve shirts and long running tights.

By far, the most interesting part of my run was the Manhattan Bridge.  Last year, in a very similar last training run before the marathon, I almost got killed on the Brooklyn Bridge – well, not literally killed, but I’m sure the bikers had blood on their minds.  The Brooklyn Bridge is very dangerous to runners, in my opinion.  The bridge is split between pedestrians in one lane, and bikers in the other lane.  On nice days, there are an awful lot of pedestrians on the bridge.  I tried to stay on the pedestrian side as much as possible, but invariably had to move to the bike side to get around hoards of people.  The bikers on the bridge were just plain mean.  Several of them said something to me as they zoomed by and there were some close calls for sure.  I promised never to run on that bridge again, at least on a nice day.  The Manhattan Bridge is a great alternative.  It is not nearly as crowded, and in fact, the entrances on both ends are much, much easier to navigate.  I’ve read about biking accidents, so easier to navigate is a relative term, but for runners, the Manhattan Bridge is much more orderly than the Brooklyn Bridge.  Unfortunately, it is steeper, but that is a good thing when you are training, right?

The Manhattan Bridge has 2 paths, the north side is for bikers and the south path is for pedestrians.  Now, which side is appropriate for runners?  I honestly don’t consider a runner to be a pedestrian, but I think the intent is that the runner go on the pedestrian side.  I decided to go on the bike side, just because from my approach down Allen St, it is far easier to get on the bridge there, then to cross over to the south side.  The trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn was pretty uneventful, with one exception.  As I crested the middle of the bridge, I noticed another runner much further down the bridge coming towards me.  I was happy to see a fellow runner, but that runner’s gait was very strange.  As I got closer, I saw that this person was running towards me, but backwards!  I have never seen anything like this before.  NYRR used to have an April Fool’s run of 1 mile where everyone would run it backwards, but I have never seen this in the wild.  Don’t know what the story was here, but this guy was pretty young and wearing jeans.  He didn’t seem to be seriously exercising at all.  Don’t know what it means, but it was just very odd!

Run through Brooklyn was just fine.  Good to familiarize myself with 4th Ave again and where the hills are.  Since 4th Ave is such a major thoroughfare, the cross streets have short green lights and most traffic turns up or down 4th.  So, it was not necessary to stop very much.  Since the first 10 miles was in the warmth of the sun, and with a tailwind, it was definitely on the easy side. 

Sure enough, after the turnaround, I could feel the headwind at times, and I ended up mostly in the shade.  The long straightaway on 4th Ave, and relative flatness was great for keeping up my pace and momentum.  Felt great back up 4th.  Biggest issue was finding a bathroom.  I eventually found a gas station with an indoor store with a bathroom and was able to take care of that business!

As I mentioned in a previous post, this run is a bit nostalgic for me.  When I first started running the New York City Marathon, and was less familiar with all the great running routes in the city, I used to use the marathon course for long runs.  I’d take the R train down to 95th St, and then either run the 10 miles to Union Square, or extend the run by going up to the 59th St Bridge.  Since the 59th St Bridge takes you to mile 15, I would feel good covering the entire first half of the course.  I also wistfully remember listening to Jet or Giant football games on my walkman.  Now, the walkman is replaced by MP3 players, which, sadly, don’t come with AM radio.  So today I was not able to listen in on any games during the run. 

The most interesting part of the run was on the trip back over the Manhattan Bridge.  You can tell from the earlier part of my post that I am very self conscious about running in the wrong place.  I decided again to stick on the bike side, but made a strong effort to keep as close to the side as possible and stay out of the bikers way.  As I started up the bridge, I saw several other pedestrians (true walkers) and figured I was in fine shape.  Part way on the uphill I came across a pack of young people casually walking across the entire path.  Now that is not very nice, and even dangerous on their part.  I actually warned them to look out for bikes coming down behind them. 

My run on the bridge was great considering it was mile 18 of my run.  This was a great tune up for the 59th St Bridge on the marathon course.  Nice hard effort up the bridge and I was enjoying the downhill when, at the last second, I noticed a biker coming at me, who didn’t move around me.  Remember, I’m already conscious of potentially being on the wrong side and I’m making an effort to hug the side to stay out of the bikers way.  There was plenty of room for this guy to go around me, but instead (he must have had a bone to pick) purposefully did not move out of my way.  He actually came to a full stop (he’s on the uphill mind you) and yelled at me for being on the wrong side.  I was so stunned I didn’t know what to say and yelled something stupid back at him.  Then he went on his way and I resumed my trip down the bridge.  What gets me is that I’m a biker myself, biked hundreds of miles in the city when triathlon training, and I understand the frustrations bikers feel towards pedestrians.  This is a big problem in the city as more and more people use bikes.  I think the bikers get yelled at by the drivers, so they in turn yell at the runners.  Then runners get upset at pedestrians.  Why can’t we all just get along – we need to learn to live with each other, slow down a bit when necessary, and adapt to our surroundings.  It is a big city, with lots of people using the infrastructure – we don’t get it all to ourselves.  As a runner, biker and driver, I can feel from all perspectives.  The funniest part was that further down the bridge, I came across a pack of tourists, I guess, with some kind of camera and props.  Looked like they were trying to set up for some kind of picture on the bridge.  I certainly don’t think that belongs!

Anyway, I felt great in the first mile off the long bridge downhill to East River Park.  The last 2 miles through East River Park is one of my typical short runs, so I’m very familiar with it.  When well trained, I run this portion in 18-19 minutes.  In this run, the last 2 miles were hard.  Took a few walk breaks and finished it  21:30.  I guess that is about what I would expect to be doing in the last miles of the marathon, 11 minutes per mile or so.

All in all, a great run.  Little sore today, but not so horrible.  Actually feel better than I did after the half marathon last weekend where I was running really hard in the late miles. My finishing time was 3:46:30, over 21.5 miles.  Pace was about 10:38.  Considering all the stopping for cross streets and wait to buy drinks in the stores, I think a 4:30 marathon is still within reach.  I will certainly be obsessing about it over the next 2 weeks.  

In all, drank 3 waters, 2 Gatorade’s and consumed 2 Gu packets.  Also, had a granola bar.  Then, ate like a pig when I got home, and still weighed 3 pounds less this morning than yesterday morning!  

Looking forward to a little bit of a taper now.  Once I rest up for a couple of days, I’ll try to work in some visits to the gym and bike rides.

Written by SCL

October 20, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Got the long run in

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Great news!  I was able to get a good long run in on Sunday.  20.7 miles in total, in 3:37.  Check it out here.

Anyone who follows me here knows that I have had some good runs, and also some bad ones.  The bad ones are usually on days when it is hot, or humid.  I am really affected by the weather in the summertime when it is hot.  My most recent failures were at the fitness mag 4 mile run and the Queens half marathon, both on humid days.  In sharp contrast, the weather Sunday was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.  Rain early in the morning.  I waited the rain out and started my run after 8:30.  The temps held steady in the upper 50’s, there was a nice breeze out of the north (to mimic typical New York City marathon conditions!), no rain, and a steady cloudcover (no sun!).  These conditions are perfect for me, and it showed.

First part of the run was down 1st Ave to Canal St and then over to the Manhattan Bridge.  I opted to go over the bridge on the bike side, because it was more convenient.  Very little bike or foot traffic, so this bridge was a piece of cake.  First problem of the day was missing the connection from the bridge to Flushing Ave.  You’ll see on the map what I did, which added a bit to the run.  Then Flushing Ave was under heavy construction – had to run on the sidewalk for a bit.

Next section was long stretch of Flushing Ave to Franklin – left on Franklin.  This turns into Wythe, which goes all the way through Williamsburg, under the bridge and up towards Greenpoint.  This was the first time I ran that way, and loved it.  It was very deserted.  No need to stop at all.  Took Wythe all the way to McGuiness and linked up to my normal route over the bridge to Queens.

While working my way up past the 59th St Bridge towards the Triboro Bridge, I started noticing a blister on my right foot.  I’ve had blister issues on my left foot in the last few weeks since changing to my new sneakers.  Not much I could do here except just run though it and hope for the best.  Still feeling very strong here, working up Crescent St to the bridge.  Took an exdended stop before the bridge (which was about the halfway point) to eat a granola bar and took a little walk break.

The Triboro Bridge is very long and very lonely.  Only encountered 2 other runners (together) going the other way.  It’s been a few years since I ran over this bridge.  Many, many, many more steps required now.  There have always been 2 sets of staircases in the middle of the bridge, which are now under construction.  To get around these 2 sets of staircases, there are, believe it or not, like 8 different sets of staircases to navigate.  A little pain for runners, I’m sure a huge pain for bikers!  Lots of construction on Randall’s Island, where the path lets you out.  Looks like they are building new car ramps into and out of the Island (badly needed I think) and rebuilding lots of the road.  Finding the footbridge to Manhattan is always an adventure, but I’ve done it a few times and had no problem there.

Still felt really good as I went over the bridge to Manhattan and started my way down 1st Ave at 127th St.  My start down 1st Ave was approaching 16 miles, which is exactly where you hit 1st Ave on the Marathon course, coming up from 59th St.  While I was starting to hurt a bit, I felt much better than I did at 16 miles in the marathon last year, which is a great sign with 4 weeks to go in training.  Miles 16-20 got progressively harder heading down 1st Ave, but I was able to finish very strong.  Since there is a mile every 20 blocks, it was also easy to approximate a water break every mile, which I took advantage of.

All in all, a great run.  Consumed 2 Gatorades, 2 Waters, and 2 Gu’s on the way.  I did have a blister on my right foot, but not as bad as the ones on my left foot.  With proper care, it won’t hold me back at all.  This run was completed in an average of 10:31 per mile, verses 10:50 and 11:18 for my last 2 long runs.  Considering we still have 4 weeks to go, and another chance to get a 20 miler in, I’m very confident about a good race.  Still don’t know if I can get in under 4:30, but I think it will be close.

The run really knocked me out.  My lower legs and leg muscles felt very sore, the kind of pain you feel after a marathon.  I think that is a sign that I pushed myself properly and stretched the muscles out to the point where they won’t be suprised when the race rolls around.  Still sore today and had a hard time getting down stairs.

Looking forward to the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday.  That race can be tough when the sun comes out.  Extended forecast says high in the lower 70’s.  If we can have some clouds, and keep the temps in the 60’s, it will be a great day.  I’m not going to kill myself to finish under 2 hours, but would really like to finish in 2:10, which should approximate my goal for the 1st half of the marathon.  I’ll take off tomorrow and hope to get 2 runs in before the race Sunday.

Written by SCL

October 6, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Running long

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Finally got my long run in last night.  17.5 miles!  3:08.  See the route here.  Generally speaking, felt great.  Little slower than I would have liked, and definitely a little tough in the small uphills on 1st ave in the last 3 miles.  Good news was that I was very strong up the 59th St Bridge at 11 miles in.  Also, ran a strong last mile.

Biggest problem are blisters developing on side/back of my left foot since I changed my shoes.  Gotta keep an eye on that.

Just need to add 8.7 miles, and at least with this run, only 1:22 to spare under 4:30.  In addition to the SI Half, I should be able to get 2 more long (18-20 miles) runs in.  So far, so good…

Written by SCL

September 22, 2008 at 7:01 am

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Biking my favorite long run

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My favorite long run is a 10.3 mile loop from 14th St down to the Williamsburg Bridge, up through Brooklyn and Queens (over the Pulaski Bridge) and over the 59th St Bridge and back down 1st Ave to 14th St.  When in training for the marathon, I’ll run this route several times and when I need to get a really long run in, sometimes I’ll do 2 loops, or extend the run a few miles in Manhattan or Queens.  I love this run because 1st Ave has relatively little cross traffic below 14th St.  Same is true for the areas of Brooklyn and Queens.  Here is the precise run route:

  • Start at 14th and A.  14th St to 1st Ave.  Left on 1st Ave
  • 1st Ave down to Delancey (1st Ave becomes Allen St below Houston)
  • Left on Delancey and over the Bridge
  • When bridge path splits, stay on left side
  • At end of bridge, u-turn on S5th St to Driggs
  • Right on Driggs.  Follow Driggs all the way past McCarren Park to McGuiness Blvd
  • Left on McGuiness.  Take it all the way over the Pulaski Bridge
  • Right on Jackson Ave
  • Jackson Ave to left on 21St St
  • 21st St up to 59th St Bridge
  • After Bridge, down 1st Ave to 14th St
  • Left on 14th St to end on Ave A

Today I was still a bit sore from my speed workout in East River Park on Friday night.  So, I decided to go for a bike ride instead.   Central Park and the Hudson River Greenway would have been too crowded for my taste on a nice day like today, so I decided to do a time trial of my favorite 10.3 mile loop.  Since I normally run opposite the street traffic, and on my bike I would be the traffic, this would be in reverse of my normal route.

Overall, it was a great ride.  I got stuck when the Pulaski Bridge was in the open postition, lost a couple of minutes waiting for it to close.  Also, I was a little to aggresive getting started at one of the lights and jumped the chain out of its gear.  Had to stop for a minute to fix that problem.  In total, the time trial was completed in 44:12, an average of almost 14 miles per hour, not bad with the stops, traffic lights and traffic.  Much faster than running!

Written by SCL

August 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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