Monday, October 31, 2005

The last "long" run

I'm kind of getting sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. My throat has been bothering me since Wednesday, though I've only had minor sniffles here and there. This morning I'm actually coughing up some phlegm, but I think it's from mouth-breathing overnight, because my chest feels fine, and with a little imagination, my throat may be a little better. (Was that too much information?)

Anyway, on the one hand I'm upset that I'm sick this close to the marathon, and I'm worried how it will affect my performance. On the other hand, there's not much I can do. Everyone tells me to "take something". As a doctor, I've always frowned on that behavior, knowing that this is most likely viral. I think if I'm not getting better in a couple of more days, I'll reconsider.

I did make it out to Central Park yesterday. I was still undecided between 6 and 8 miles, so I decided slightly less than 8 would be fine. I wanted to accomplish two things: 1) go up the big hill in the counter-clockwise (tougher) direction, and 2) run the loop in the clockwise direction, which is how the marathon will end. So that's what I did.

I started with the hill, and felt pretty good. I know a lot of people say that Central Park has tough hills, and that the Manhattan Half Marathon is the toughest because of that. I think because the vast majority of my training has taken place in Central Park, I've unknowingly gotten pretty good with the hills. I notice them, but not that much. I find that I pass people on the hills - usually the same people that blow by me on the flatter parts of the park.

Anyway, that was a short loop, and then I started in the opposite direction from 102nd street on the east side. The marathon enters the park at 90th street, so I was essentially running the last few miles of the course. (Not exactly, but I didn't want to run on the sidewalk of Central Park South.) That was kind of cool, because there are banners attatched to the light poles saying "Marathon Course". I kind of had the feeling that everyone running in the park was running the marathon next week, but I still felt pretty cool seeing those banners. As I rounded the bottom part of the park and headed towards the "finish line", all the bleachers have been set up and I imagined running by them next week with tons of cheering. Earlier in the day the actual finish line was up for a marathon kick off race, but by the time I got there it was gone. It was still pretty cool.

I would have been totally psyched if not for the fact that I was struggling at that point. First of all, I still had another 3 or 4 miles to get back to where my car was. Secondly, I was once again going too fast.

I was trying to run slow, and actually thought I was running my usual 10 minute miles, or maybe a little faster. In fact, by this point I was thinking how my "dream goal" of a sub 4 hour marathon finish was ridiculous. I couldn't maintain this pace for another 20 miles! (I still think it's not too realistic, and I should get it out of my head. I just wish 4:22 was as "round a number" as 4!)

(In case you're wondering why I just don't look at my wrist for the pace, it's because the "current pace" on the Garmin jumps all over the place. It's not too accurate moment to moment, only afterwards. Under normal situations, you can look at the pace at the end of each lap, but in Central Park the GPS readings are often wrong. Using SportTracks I correct the GPS data, and then it gives me the correct splits, which you see above.)

If you look back to mile 6, you'll see a little bump in my time. That's because as I ran past this guy, I recognized him. I'm always on the lookout for fellow NYC bloggers, but it was kind of cool to recognize one of them. I turned back and chatted for a few moments. Since Brooklyn will be at the marathon expo, I'll see him in a few days anyway.

Well after that I suddenly felt energized! (You can see by my last few splits. I had to adjust the last data point to reflect my true distance, so the last split is faster than it should be. It was probably still about an 8:15 pace.) I suppose it's possible that it was because I had just rested for a minute or so. But I think it was from seeing someone at there, and not just being on my own.

I'm a little worried (and sad) that I won't have a lot of crowd support on the day of the marathon. I haven't posted this before because my parents and friends do read this blog. (I think.) I know some of my friends have commitments that day, and my folks are out of town, so I'm not trying to make them feel guilty or anything. But this little episode made me think of it a little more. In the next few days, I'll be trying to rustle up some more friends and family to come out on marathon day.

Speaking of which, I've been obsessively checking the long range forecast. When I started it was sunny in the low 50's. Then there was some scattered showers. Then it was back to a mix of clouds and sun, but into the low 60's. Now we're up to the high 60's! (I know there's no point in looking at these, but I can't help myself!) Here's the latest from and

6 days to go...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Taper Madness

Well I really appreciate all the comments. It's good to see that I'm not the only runner who hasn't felt good during the taper.

I didn't run today. I guess when it says to get "plenty of rest", that doesn't mean "take overnight call". I ended up being up most of last night, a good portion of it on my feet in the operating room. So needless to say, my legs (particularly the left) , did not feel better today. I also didn't feel well altogether. I was really tired and had to take a nap. That sore throat has progressed into a constant dry irritation, but hasn't turned into a full fledged "cold". I hope it's not one of these sore throats that hangs around forever. Oops, positive attitude right? I always did have trouble with that...

Although I kind of planned to cancel today's run, I still can't feel perfectly comfortable with it. I definitely feel my body telling me not to run today. But I'm pretty sure my body told me not to run 12,15, or 18 miles every Sunday! In the past I've had to conquer these thoughts by forcing myself to stick to the schedule. Now that I'm giving into these thoughts, and overlooking the schedule, it makes me feel a little weak. Nonetheless, I still feel like I'm doing the right thing... (I know it's confusing. I'm pretty sure I'm doing the right thing - I just wish my body wasn't telling me not to run.)

Hopefully by Sunday I'll be feeling a lot better. I definitely feel like I should get in 6 or 8 on Sunday. If I can feel good by then, it will really be a big boost.

I'll keep you all posted. Until then, have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


The holidays are finally over. I feel like I've eaten enough food to gain 100 pounds, so I guess I should be happy to have stayed about the same with all the running. (Oh, and thanks to all those people trying to convince me that it's muscle...)

During the holidays I spent a lot of time in dress shoes, which is really not good for my legs. Although I feel better today in sneakers, they're still bothering me. Particularly the inner aspect of my left shin. It's not really pain, more of a nagging sensation. If I wouldn't be running a marathon I wouldn't be worried. It's more like I'm stressing out about what this pain means. Does it mean that I won't be able to finish the race without excruciating pain in the second half? (See Jon's and Alejandra's race reports.)

Last night, after the holiday ended, I went for a run. According to my schedule, I was supposed to run 6 miles. I could have done it, but I've become worried that I'm not giving my legs enough rest during this taper. I also feel a little sick, with my throat hurting me since yesterday. I'm sure this is the start of some horrible virus. I just hope that there's enough time for me to feel 100% by November 6th.

For the last few months, I've been using a modified Hal Higdon novice schedule. Because of my earlier trouble with shin splints I decided to only run 3 times a week. I also never really got around to cross training. So I'd run his long weekend run on Sunday. Then I'd run his relatively longer weekday run on either Tuesday or Wednesday, and his medium run on Thursday or Friday. I cut out the short run, and the weekend crosstraining.

Using this schedule, I peaked at 35 miles (10,5,20) the week before last. This past week I ran 25 miles (8,5,12). I'm supposed to run 18 miles (6,4,8) this week, but it seems too much. The 12 from Sunday were pretty tough, and the 6's and 8's still seem like hard work to my legs. (Even if they are described as "an easy 6".) So last night I ran 4 miles, and not too fast either. I may or may not run 4 tomorrow. This will depend on both how my legs feel, and whether I get really sick. Then Sunday, I hope to run 6 miles in Central Park, where the marathon finishes. Next week probably 2 on Tuesday, and maybe some walking on Thursday. I'm hoping that this new schedule will give my legs some time to rest, but not let me get too out of running.

I'm sorry to torture you all with these details, but I must admit that I'm pretty nervous deviating from the schedule. I know it's supposed to be a guide, and you should listen to your body, yada yada yada. But no matter what, I'm nervous not following "Uncle Hal's" plan right through to the finish. He seems to know what he's doing, and I'm just kind of guessing. My natural instict is to force myself to stick to the plan no matter what, but I've become increasingly worried that without enough of a rest I'm really going to have problems on race day. Anybody have any thoughts on this issue??

(By the way, have you guys seen the countdown timer in my sidebar? The "days" number is in single digits!!)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Now I'm really tapering...

Today was my last double digit run before the marathon - 12 miles down the West Side Highway. With only 23 miles left on my schedule, I now have less miles of training left than there are in the actual marathon. That's kind of cool.

What's not cool is that I didn't really enjoy today's run. I really dislike going out in the wind and (relative) cold. I know at the end of my run I was pretty comfortable with the temperature in the mid 50's. But while I'm getting started I'm really cold and uncomfortable. (Maybe I should start with some extra clothing - only then I'd have to shlep it around with me for the rest of my run.) Also, in the cold weather my knees have felt more stiff. It feels as though the synovial fluid in my joints have turned into a thick gel. And furthermore, I think I tend to run too fast in the cold weather. Probably because I want to get it over with already! In any case, this makes the run too hard. I was listening to Phedippidations today, and he was discussing his marathon last week. As he was describing hitting the wall, I felt like I was hitting my own wall today. And it was at mile 9 or 10!

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm happy right now that I ran those 12 miles. I do feel good about that. I'm just saying that I wasn't having much fun while I was running them. I have this feeling of just wanting to get this marathon thing over with so I can stop punishing myself. I'm not sure how I'll be motivated to keep exercising after the race.

Which brings me to another point. For those of you who clicked on the link to my schedule, you'll notice I included an extra column this time. In the past I've been leaving it out, but I've been recording my weight every Sunday morning. (For those of you who know about Sabbath meals, you'll recognize that this is the worst time in the week to weigh one's self. But at least it's consistent.)

As you can see, in the last two and a half months, I've lost a grand total of 0 pounds. May I remind you that during that same time I've run 250 miles!! Now I'm not really overweight, as you can see by my picture. But I would have liked to have been carrying a few less pounds for the 26.2 miles. I guess the "eat whatever you feel like" diet hasn't worked. Actually, I'm kidding. I have tried to be careful, but there have been a ton of holidays lately, and that's made things really tough.

I am worried though about what's going to happen after the marathon. I do plan to keep exercising, but it certainly won't be to the level of what I've been doing. I'm also going to get busier at work. I'm worried I'm going to have trouble keeping my weight where it is. I may have to give up "all you can eat Sushi" on Monday nights. (Nah, I probably won't do that...)

I have a few ideas in mind but I'm keeping them quiet until after the marathon. I don't want to talk about any future goals, until I get past this one. This really big one.

Less than two weeks to go...

Friday, October 21, 2005

I may have (finally) been tagged

I believe I've been tagged, though it's not obvious. Just to be safe...

Here are the instructions:
1) Go into your archives.
2) Find your 23rd post.
3) Find your 5th sentence (or closest to it).
4) Post the text of your sentence in your blog along with these rules.
5) Tag five other people.

Well, it's not really too exciting:

"However, I did just get these insoles and they do feel pretty good."

It's really too bad, since the first sentence of that post was "I think today was the best run I've had in weeks."

Anyway, I guess seeing the actual sentence come up makes me think abuot how my legs are doing. They had actually been really good. However, since the 20 mile run on Sunday I've had an increased amount of aches and pains here and there. Particularly my left inner shin, and both my knees. However, I think I'm better than I was in the past, and I have just come off my peak mileage week. I really think this tapering business will be good for me. I've got 12 miles this Sunday, and then back to single digit runs until the marathon in two weeks.

Speaking of the marathon, I'd all but resigned myself to not finishing under 4 hours. Sure, it was still my "secret goal", but I was going to shoot for 4:22 (10 min pace). However, looking at my splits today has got me thinking of that magic 3:59:59 again. Although I had some of the aforementioned pains, I really didn't feel like I was pushing myself too hard. Maybe with the weather a little cooler it's been easier to run a little faster. Or maybe the Forerunner wasn't working well...

Oh, if you're wondering who I'm going to tag, I'm pretty sure I'm the last person on the planet to be tagged. (If I even was tagged!)

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I'm tapering, but I haven't felt it yet. I ran 20 this past Sunday, and I have 25 miles scheduled for this week (ending next Sunday). So really, it doesn't feel any different than any previous weeks. I think next week will feel different.

I spent the last few days in Toronto, and it was really cold over there. New York's a little better, but not by much. It made me think that I should really move somewhere warmer if I want to keep up this much running. I really don't like the cold, and I may have to switch to more indoor training for the winter.

While I was in Toronto, there was some controversy being played out over talk radio. Last Sunday was the Toronto Marathon. A 36 year old man collapsed and died after running the half marathon. This is the 3rd death there in the last 5 years. So while I was there, the radio pundits were discussing whether all entrants should get notices from their doctors. Since I am both a marathoner (almost) and a doctor (already), I thought I was a better judge of that question than most others. And my answer is no.

I'm sure that guy was pretty healthy, and would have been cleared by his doctor. It's unreasonable to suggest that every marathon runner should have a stress test, or more specifically, it's unreasonable to ask the government there (which covers healthcare) to pay for that. Even if he did have a stress test, I'm not sure that 12 minutes on a treadmill would have revealed a problem.

The bigger problem is that many people run these races without any idea what they're doing. For starters they may not have trained properly. So even though they're "healthy", they haven't put in the proper training to run long distances. For crying out loud, I've run over 300 miles in the last few months, and I still feel like I've barely trained enough. Another major problem is what these people are doing during the run. Are they not drinking at all? Are they drinking too much water? Both of these mistakes can be fatal over the course of a marathon.

So what's the solution? Well the idea here is to make sure that all entrants are ready to run a marathon. One of the thoughts I've had is to make people prove they've run a race of the next distance down. So the half marathoner would need to have run a 10K, and the marathoner would need to have run a half. I recognize this would be a pain, but maybe it would prevent people just going out there without any experience or proper training.

In any case, considering the amount of people running marathons, the amount of real medical disasters is probably small. So I'm not sure this is such an important issue and warrants drastic changes, but it's just been on my mind while I was there.

In other news, I've got only 40 miles of training to go before the marathon. I can't believe it's so close. I'm already staarting to lose sleep thinking about how I'm going to get there, what I'm going to wear, what pace I should run, etc. I really need to get this over with so I can get on with the rest of my life!

And just in case my own marathon isn't enough to obsess about, I'm also excited about a few other people's marathons. In particular, Alejandra is running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco this Sunday. Also, Jon in Michigan is trying to come back from injury and family illness to run the Detroit Free Press Marathon this Sunday as well. I wish them both lots of luck, and I'll be cheering them from here. Go Alejandra and Jon!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"You ran 20 miles today??"

First of all, thanks for all the support and encouragement. As the race has gotten closer, and my weekend runs have increased in length, I’ve really felt the increased support in the comments section. Thanks.

The only trouble with all the “can’t wait to read about your 20” comments, is that I feel this pressure to post something more entertaining than “I ran 20 miles today”. So let’s see…

I ran 20 miles today. 20 Freaking miles. My friends and family know I’ve been training for the marathon. (How could they not? I’m obsessed!) But 20 miles is still an awe inspiring number to whomever I mention this to. To be honest, it’s pretty amazing to me as well.

I tried to get up really, really early. But I only got up kind of early. Then I lounged around a bit. I had a tough time getting out my front door. Just knowing that I had three and a half hours of running ahead of me made it hard to get started. Also, it was pretty cold. I don’t like cold. Everything I’ve read has said that you should feel chilly when you start running, to ensure that you’re not overdressed for later in the run. To be fair, this has generally worked for me. But on these cold days, it’s still cold in the beginning. As I mentioned, I don’t like cold.

By the time I got to the park and started my run, it was getting close to 9. The temperature was in the 50’s and windy. Partly cloudy sky, which was really a nice change from the rain we’ve had for what seems like forever. My teeth were chattering as I walked into the park, but I warmed up after a bit. (I had on shorts, and a long sleeve coolmax t-shirt.)

The run itself was really uneventful. Well except for thousands of walkers “making strides against breast cancer”. They seemed to have trouble understanding the phrase “stay on your left”. Anyway, I did 4 loops of the park, 2 big and 2 small. There’s a pretty big hill on the big loop, which I tackled at mile 5 and mile 15. I felt pretty good for most of the run. Some muscle aches, but no shin splints, which was nice. One thing I noticed was that at mile 14 or so, I was really glad I was almost done. Even with my sports beans, I felt pretty tired, and wasn’t sure how I could have done another 12. Not that I collapsed in exhaustion at the end of 20, but I was glad to be done.

I finished the 20 in 3:12. That includes a couple of pee breaks, a couple of stretching breaks, and a break to fill up my water bottle. So the splits where I wasn’t taking a break were pretty fast for this kind of run (for me). I thought I was running really slowly, but I still finished the first 6 miles in 58 minutes. (Hmmm… maybe that’s why I was so tired at the end.) This has kind of left me confused as to what my goal pace for the marathon should be. I think an ultimate goal for this marathon would be a sub 4 hour race, which would require a pace of 9:09. It’s a little faster than most of my miles today, but slower than the 8:50 pace I ran in the half a couple of months ago. I think it will probably be a bit tough to reach this goal, but running a 10 min mile pace might be a bit slow. On the other hand, I’d like to be sure I finish. That’s really the main objective. Well, three more weeks to obsess over and analyze all this…

So that’s it. 20 miles done. And now, the long awaited taper. Ahh…

But first, another couple of Holiday days. I'm off to Toronto to visit my folks. I'll be back Thursday.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Guess what came in the mail today?

I was planning on posting about my rain soaked 5 miles today, and how I'm really starting to hate that bridge - but I have no time.

So instead, I'll just boast about my latest milestone.

20 miles Sunday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rain, rain, go away

I'm kind of sick of this rain already. This is what the 5 day forecast on the bottom of my browser looks like. It's also what it has looked like all week. Hopefully it will rain enough for the rest of the month and beyond, or at least until after November 6th.

Anyway, I was out there today looking like a lunatic running in this heavy downpour. Considering that tonight is Yom Kippur, and I'll be fasting for the next 25 hours, I really didn't have a choice. I had to get this run in. Hopefully I didn't hurt myself by running too fast - I really just wanted to get back home. (At mile 7.87 I got stopped for 8 minutes at a drawbridge. Once I stopped I was really hurting, and when the bridge didn't close properly the first time, I was ready to scream. Especially since I never saw a boat go through the bridge when it was up. Thankfully, once I started back up again, I was ok. I was worried I'd have to limp home for 2 miles in the rain.)

Now that I'm back home and warm, I'm happy I did this run. I really didn't enjoy being out there, but in case it's raining this badly on marathon day, I'll at least have this experience in my back pocket.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I feel like I've been neglecting my blog. Unfortunately, I've been busy with both work and the upcoming holidays. I feel very stressed, but it will all be better by the weekend. For now, here's an update.

I managed to get in my 14 mile run on Sunday. It was raining, so I didn't bring my Forerunner. I was running in Central Park, so I didn't really need it. (I ran the 5 mile "upper loop", the 5 mile "lower loop", and the 4 mile "middle loop".) It would have been nice if I remembered to bring my regular stopwatch, but I forgot it. Instead, I ran watchless, oblivious of time. Because I was on backup call I had my cellphone with me. At the end of each loop I checked the time on my phone. 10 min mile. Just like always. (Well, maybe a few seconds faster at the end.)

Speaking of my cellphone, I tried out my new amphipod for the first time. I had meant to test it out on a shorter run, but I never managed to get around to it. Since I needed my phone Sunday, I figured I'd give it a try. Well, contrary to their advertising, I didn't forget it was there. In fact, I'm still remembering it. The amphipod pulled down on my shorts and hung a little low. (How tight should I make my shorts??) So now my right anterior hip, where the thing was sitting, is killing me. It's actually even a bit swollen. It also didn't work for my iPod Shuffle, since I couldn't work the controls through the thick material. It was nice not having my phone bounce around in my pocket, but this doesn't seem to be a great solution. Maybe with different shorts it will be better.

In other news, I bought some new long sleeve coolmax t-shirts today, as well as a coolmax hat. I'll probably have a chance to try them both out tomorrow for my 10 miles in the rain.

I'm still a little sore, but I'm confident about the 10. I'll have 2 days to recover before another 5 on Friday. Then the big 2-0 on Sunday. I'm half nervous and half "not looking forward" to that run. But it must be done. At least I start the taper right afterwards.

I'm still trying to get a picture of those ING marathon ads up around in town. In the meantime, check out this site for some clips from last year. There's one video of a car driving through the course, giving you the windshield view. I got tired just "driving" through the course over a few minutes. I can't believe I'm going to run the same course over a few hours!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Less than 100 to go

Know what's cool? I've got less than 100 miles of training runs before the marathon.

Know what else is cool? On my last run there were ads for the NYC Marathon on bus stops and the sides of buses. Every time I passed one I wanted to stop and tell people that I was training for that race.

I'm in the middle of enjoying everyone's race reports from this weekend. (Those Hartford reports make me feel a little less annoyed about having to run in the rain tomorrow.) I'm looking forward to even more reports tomorrow and Monday.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I'm back

It's good to be back. I enjoyed the holidays with my cousins. Unfortunately, the food was very good, and I have no self control. Since there are another four days of holiday feasting coming up in the next few weeks, I really have to be better.

Running on their treadmill last night, I felt like I was carrying ten pounds of roast. (Which I kind of was.) I ran 9 miles, and it was pretty tough. I used to run a lot more on treadmills, but since my landlord doesn't let me use mine (he lives underneath me), I've really been outdoors for almost every run. I found the treadmill pretty boring. At least if they would have had cable, I could have watched hockey. Instead I watched the kids battling it out in baseball on the GameCube. At least I had my iPod...

One of things I managed to accomplish, was to confirm one of Steve Runner's observations. In this week's podcast he says how his non running friends seem impressed that he's run marathons, but don't really seem to grasp how far 26.2 miles really is. I generally find the same thing. Since I'm constantly talking about this marathon, it's interesting to see people's responses. My cousins appeared only mildly interested, and certainly not very impressed. (The younger ones thought they were making fun of me by saying I was going to "lose" in the marathon.) However, when I ran 9 miles on the treadmill, they kept coming in and asking "how long are you going to keep running for?" When I got off after an hour and a half, completely drenched, they all thought that I had set the world record for distance running right there. One of them even asked if I had just run the "26 miles". When I told them the marathon was three times as long as what I had just run, I think that's when it sunk in what a marathon is. Now they might even turn on the TV on marathon day...

Anyway... My left shin is bothering me a little more. I know it's from increasing mileage, but it's really not that bad. I'm hoping I could withstand another two weeks of high mileage before the taper. I'm going to continue to be really diligent with stretching and icing. I only plan to run three times a week. Long on Sunday, medium long on Wednesday, and medium short on Friday. (Part of this schedule is forced because of all the holidays coming up.) With this plan I have a few days of rest after the long run, and the shorter midweek run just before the long run. The "20" is a week from Sunday, and then I start the taper. I think I'm looking forward to that taper a little too much. ;-)

I have a lot of work to catch up on everyone else's blogs. I'm also looking forward to this weekend, when quite a few races are happening. In particular, Dianna and April Anne are running in the Hartford Marathon, while Wil, Susan, and many others are running in Chicago. I'm looking forward to reading the race reports.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy & Healthy New Year

This evening marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. In contrast to the secular New Year, I'll be spending much of the day in synagague. What little time I'm out of synagague, I'll be eating huge festive meals. I know that sounds good, but it gets tiring after a few of them.

What's interesting about this holiday is that every person is judged on these days, and the events of the coming year are decreed. (Yes, the person can still have an impact on what happens, but the events are still basically decided during these days. It's complicated.) To most people, this concept is usually applied to whether they will live or die, whether they will be be healthy, whether they will find a good job, etc. For me this year, it has crossed my mind more than once that whether I finish the marathon, and how well I do, will be decided in the next two days. (Again, I can still have an impact. If I stop training now, I obviously won't finish. But in some way, the final outcome is decided in the next two days.) This won't be the focus of my prayers, but somewhere it will make a little appearance.

(I recognize this topic was a bit more controversial and opinion forming than most. However, let's not start a "comment war" about this. If you'd like, feel free to email me personally. I'll be back to the computer by Wednesday night.)

I'd like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. May all of everyone's goals be realized this year!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

To Life (or 18)

(Before I begin, I have two things to say. One is congratulations to Brent on his marathon today. I’m eagerly awaiting more details. The second is thank you to all the people who wished me well in their comments. I do appreciate it.)

Last time I posted something to do with 18, Naomi pointed out the numerical equivalence of 18 and the word “life” in Hebrew. Well today I ran 18 miles – although “life” wasn’t the word that came to mind for most of it.

So let’s see. I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. Then I couldn’t get out of the house. I think I was just really nervous about this 18. I wasn’t sure I could do it, and I had this feeling that if I couldn’t finish 18 today, I wouldn’t be able to finish 26.2 in a month. So instead of starting at 7:00 like I did last week, I didn’t start until after 9:00. With the forecast for a high of 80, this wasn’t such a bright idea. But anyway…

Today’s run was planned for Central Park. The route is controlled, and I thought the hills would be good for training as well. I was thinking of running counter-clockwise which has a tougher hill, but I was worried about not finishing the 18, so I wimped out and went clockwise.

So just after 9:00 I set out on my 3 hour journey. (A 3 hour tour…) There was a half marathon going on the park, so there were a lot of runners in the park. (In fact I’m pretty sure I saw Chelle there. She blew by me during the race, and then passed me a few times while cooling off with a few more laps afterwards. At her speed I’m not even sure she could see me, let alone notice me.)

Each loop in Central Park is a tad over 6 miles. The first loop went by in 59:28. I was listening to Phedippidations, which today was about the long slow run. I was therefore deliberately trying to run slow, but I always seem to slip into that 10 min mile pace. The second loop also went by in about an hour. I stopped for a trip to the port-a-potty and a few minutes of stretching. The third loop was where it got tough. Last week I did 15 and felt like I could go all the way. This week, that last loop was not easy. (I would really not have been happy to have to run another 8.2 miles after it.) I’ve been trying these new Sports Beans from Jelly Belly. None of the gels are kosher, and I really like jelly beans anyway. I had one at mile 7 or 8, and at 14 I took another one. Although I think I had enough energy, I still felt tired and was breathing heavy. Since this was a training run, I didn’t see the need to push myself, so I slowed down to walk for a couple of minutes. Before it got too hard to start up again, I resumed my running pace. It was pretty hot by this time, and I’m sure this affected how I was feeling. In any case, I pushed through, and somehow finished that last loop in 59 minutes. (Maybe I was subconsciously running faster just to finish the damn thing!) So my total time for the whole 18 was just under 3 hours. Maybe a bit fast again, but hopefully I’ll be ok.

My shins didn’t really bother me. I did feel various aches and pains, but I don’t think any of these were unexpected. When I got home I decided to try one of those ice baths. Except for the ice part. (I don’t know how you guys do that!) I just let my bathtub fill with cold water as I sat in it. I used all the various tricks I’d read, such as wrapping my upper body with a towel, and drinking a hot coffee while in the tub, but it was still pretty damn cold. One nice thing was that the hot shower afterwards felt reaalllyy good.

After drinking a ton and eating a sandwich or two, I found myself really tired. I wanted to write about my run, but I just didn’t have the energy. I crawled back into bed for a nap and afterwards all was good again. (And to think that last week I went straight to work!)

So all in all, I’m pretty happy. I only have one more run longer than this one before I take on the big M. I’m really getting excited and nervous together as it comes so close. I just can’t wait to cross that finish line.