Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Training matters!

So I haven't been running that much lately, but I decided to do the Manhattan Half anyway. I figured I could count it as a long run, but of course there's always the drive to run it faster when you're in a race situation. Even though I knew I wasn't going to set a PR, I still ran it faster than I would have otherwise. (Something about running with 5,000 other lunatics braving the sub-freezing weather I guess!)

Well, it hurt. After a few miles in, I didn't really know how I was going to finish. By 8 or 9 miles I really wanted to stop and rest. The only reason I didn't stop was to exercise my mental stamina. Again, I knew I wasn't going to set a PR. But forcing myself to go on was good discipline for future races, where I'm sure there will be times when I feel the desire to stop and rest.

As you'll see from my splits, I kept getting slower and slower. Perhaps I started a little too fast, and that was the problem. It didn't seem that way to me. I think I'm just out of shape from not having put in enough miles. I havn't run more than 10 miles since the marathon in November, and even 10 I haven't done since mid December. Not training definitely hurt my performance. (Just as training definitely helped it in November!)

Total: 1:45:29 (8:03 pace)
A couple of things to point out. Miles 2 and 8 are on the Harlem Hill. It's a huge hill, and most people have trouble with it. For some reason I'm able to stay strong on the hill. (My splits are fairly consistent compared with those before and after it.) I find that I pass a ton of people going up the hills. Unfortunately, I'm not able to pick up the speed on the downhill, and they all pass me back. I like the feeling of consistency, but I do think I should be able to take better advantage of the downhill.
Also, you can see that the slowdown is gradual, except for a few noticable bumps. Obviously mile 13 is because it was close to the finish and I was trying to get a 1:45:xx finish. Mile 7 is a different story.
At the start of the race, the race director introduced Meb Keflizighi. (For my non-runner friends, he was the Silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic marathon.) I thought it was pretty cool that he was there, but it was even cooler when I passed him on the course. Ok, I didn't actually pass him. He was running the opposite direction, but he was cheering on the runners, which was pretty awesome of him. When I saw him on the other side of the park I was ready. I stepped out of the lane for a second and yelled "High five, Meb!" He obliged with a smile, and I felt totally energized. I picked up my speed for the abovementioned mile 7 bump. (And then settled right back into my gradual decline...)
All in all, even though I'm still sore two days later, it was a good experience. I've become a benefactor this year, so I don't have to pay entrance fees to most races. That really helped because I wasn't well trained and I hadn't registered in advance. Knowing that it was free helped me decide to just sign up at the last second.
(For other New Yorkers out there, if you run enough races it's definitely worth it. The NYRR website says it's a good deal if you run 15 races a year. I think that's not updated for new prices. Regular membership is $40, and the benefactor price is $199, or $159 more. Regular races are $15, and so by 11 races you've made back $165. If you itemize your deductions, it's even better. $103 is tax deductible, giving you a tax savings of about $40, and so the cost is only about $159, or $119 more than a regular membership. By 8 races you've broken even already. And even if you don't end up saving money, there's some value to being able to sign up for races at the last second for no extra cost. I've been a NYRR member for years and never figured this out until now. That's why I'm passing on this information.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I saw "Spirit of the Marathon" tonight, and loved it. It was only in theaters tonight, but when I searched for it on Fandango, I saw that there was an "encore" planned for Feb 21st. So if you missed it tonight, go see it. (I guess you can also wait to see it at home, but it was kind of cool filing out of the theater with thin people all around you. Not the usual supersize popcorn and supersize coke theater goer....)

In terms of running, I'm slowly getting back on track. A couple of treadmill runs this week because it's so cold. And I signed myself up for a half marathon this Sunday. I don't think I'll race it too hard, but even if it's just a long run, I could use the miles.

Friday, January 18, 2008

10 days

Way to celebrate 20,000 visits. I hadn't run for 10 days until I dragged my butt out for 3.5 miles today. I was sick, I was on call, blah, blah, blah. I had some excuses, but the bottom line is that I just haven't felt like it.

But I was out there today, and feel better for it. So there.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Thank you to someone in San Francisco for being visitor number 20,000.
(And thanks to Uptown Girl for the referral.)

As always, I appreciate all those who continue to read this blog.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Belated Happy New Year!

I moved apartments last weekend, and didn't get around to blogging for a while. I also didn't get around to running either. I only did one more run after the last one, and it was speedwork. 3 x 1600 (7:07?, 6:50, 6:56). On the one hand I'm lucky to have reached my goal of 1000 miles early - as I didn't have to cram it in the last week. On the other hand, it was unfortunate, because I didn't have to cram it in the last week...

My total mileage for the year, according to SportTracks, ended up at 1007. I'm very proud.

Since the new year, I've run twice. 4.5 general purpose miles on Friday, and 9 miles yesterday as my "long run". I averaged an 8:23 pace for this long run, so it was kind of a "long tempo" run.

I'm still kind of tired, and not really too excited to be on a schedule again. If I'd like to run a May marathon, I'm about a week away from the 16 week period of training. Sigh. I'm thinking about it.