NYCMarathon Training : Week 16
Monday – Cross Training - REST – I fully expected to be walking around like a grandpa come Monday morning, and don’t get me wrong, I didn’t feel like a 16-year-old but I did feel “normal”. I came home from work and watched the Dodgers win game 3 against the Cardinals which had me excited to be in attendance for game 4 the next day.
Tuesday – 5 Miles – An early wake up from a restless sleep, only Jesus knows why. I was curious to see how my body would handle running. The first mile was purposely slow, I knew I would need to allow my body to wake up and get warm. It felt a lot better than expected during the first mile but the real surprise came during the third. I won’t say I felt energized but I felt strong. I wasn’t focusing on pace, just letting my legs do what they wanted and the end result was 5 progressively stronger miles capped by a 7:51 final mile. 5 Miles @8:38/mi pace. A nice surprise for the usually AWFUL case of the Tuesdays.
Tuesday Night – Dodger Game! Yeah, it probably isn’t the wisest thing but you know what, I spent so much time at Dodger Stadium this year, I had to go to at least one playoff game (or two). Plus they had a chance to even up the series at 2 games a piece. Traffic getting into the stadium was HORRENDOUS. This was kind of expected since it is LA but that crap was a shock even for someone who sits in it 2.5 hours a day like me! The stadium was full of energy and I was happy once I finally got to my seat right before the 3rd inning began. It was a pretty exciting game but our pitchers made a couple of mistakes and the offense just couldn’t seem to get it going when they needed it most. The end result was a 4-2 loss and a 3-1 series deficit. Disappointed but was still excited for Wednesday’s game!
Wednesday – 6 Miles – Can I tell you the best thing about blindly buying tickets for two Dodger playoff games? Finding out that the second game would be a 1:00pm start. DAY GAME IN LA! I had no problems requesting a day off for this one and I was beyond excited about having a planned midweek ditch day at Dodger Stadium. I took full advantage and slept in until 7:30 before getting down to the Rose Bowl for some trail running. There is something about getting to see Pasadena during the day in the middle of the week that makes me both ecstatic and angry (since I work nowhere near my home). I focused on the positives and enjoyed seeing the mom’s taking laps with their strollers, and a bunch of other people I envied that didn’t have 9-5’s that could get down to the Rose Bowl at 8:30am on a Wednesday to enjoy the perfect weather. Yes, the weather was perfect, sunny and in the low 70’s with no wind. I took my sweet ass time getting the run started but once I did, I was all smiles. People probably thought I was on crack because I had sunshine coming out of all crevasses and a “good morning” greeting for all whose path I crossed (wo/man and dog alike). I chose to do a punishing hill route that I hadn’t done in a while and upon climbing the monster hill at mile 2.5, the fatigue of the weekends mileage made itself known. I was huffing and puffing, legs were burning and I was seeing spots at the top of the hill. A nice reminder that although I have done more than enough hill prep for NYC, this trail monster was vicious. Once at the top, I walked until I regained spotless vision and then kept on going. I hit the 3 mile mark and turned around, the rest of the run was all downhill, literally. I focused on keeping the exertion level low but it was obvious I was on tired legs, everything was a little more challenging that day. I figured, if I am going to feel challenged then I may as well semi challenge myself. Right? I stepped up the intensity a bit and the last 3 miles were quick but not too draining. 6 Miles @8:23/mi pace.
After the run, I took my time and started up a conversation with another runner as I cooled down. I always forget how nice runners are, I need to get back to running with the run club on Tuesday nights once this program is over. I decided to hit my Saturday breakfast spot and enjoy the sunshine on their patio with a nice cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich. I had to hustle up a little to grab a friend for the game before heading to catch the metro to downtown and then a shuttle to the stadium. Traffic was again, horrendous. It took nearly 2 hours to get to the stadium and we arrived just in time for the 2nd inning. The Dodger offense was alive in this game. We hit 4 home runs on the day en route to a 6-4 victory in a game that never seemed in doubt. Traffic on the way home did its best to put a damper on an otherwise perfect day. A semi-early bedtime capped off the day just right.
Thursday – 5 Miles – I debated switching this run to after work but decided that I wanted to leave myself the option for Yoga at night. Rolled out of bed and out the door into the darkness. I decided to switch the route at mile two so I could work in more hills after the trail butt kicking the day before. There is an equally terrible monster hill on the route but thankfully my body adapted this time and the only effect at the top of this one was some burning glutes and hard breathing. I took this one easy because I had subconsciously pushed it a bit the previous two days. 5 Miles @8:53/mi pace.
Friday – REST – The Dodgers played absolutely terrible and were bounced from the playoffs in game 6. Great way to start the weekend. Wait ’til next year!
Saturday – 5 Miles – I really slept in on Saturday. A solid 10 hours of sleep before rolling out of bed just before 8:30am. I debated going for a run before breakfast but that didn’t work out. Why? Not because I have no discipline, I actually planned on just eating some cereal and then heading to the trail BUT then I realized that my refrigerator was literally empty of any actual food. I didn’t even have milk. A good sign that I need to slow down and return to my domesticated lifestyle of grocery shopping and making my own meals. Well, breakfast at my favorite spot is my favorite part of Saturday so I am not complaining, it’s just a waste of money when you eat out EVERY meal. Moving on. Hit the trail around 11 and man was it warm, easily in the low 80’s, not complaining though because the way I see it, the more miles I log in higher temps now, the better my body will respond NEXT WEEK in the cold of New York (hopefully). Hal said that this should be a “Pace” run so I took that to mean, I have the green light to push it a bit and get my heart pumping for once. Getting the heart going in the heat and on the trail was not too difficult. I used this run as another opportunity to practice my breathing and envision the last 4 miles of the marathon. I am as ready as I can be. 4.5 Miles @7:39/mi pace.
Sunday – 12 Miles – This is the point in training where I need to focus. I kept looking at this run as ONLY 12 miles…seriously. I did absolutely no preparation for this run. I didn’t eat a solid carb meal or do water drops the night before. Hell, I didn’t even do a water drop. I did make sure to stick with my pre-run meal of a banana, a honey stinger waffle, and half a Clif shot gel. I grabbed one 8oz bottle of water, slapped on my new race day shoes to break them in a bit more and out the door I went. It was just after 7am and chilly. The sun was barely up and the city was still quiet, a beautiful Fall morning. The run was uneventful until….
Yeah, most people find quarters or pennies on the ground but not me, this is the third time I have found actual bills on a run. The first time it was a twenty, the second time (like a month ago) it was a five and a one, and this time it was just one George Washington. I did find it in the gutter but I used my water to rinse it off and put it in my pocket. I was actually kind of concerned though, I found that buck at around mile 5 and I used about 2oz of my 8oz bottle to rinse it off, thankfully it was cool out. Everything went smooth, I took a gel pack at mile 6 and rationed my water. Around mile 9 I knew I was going to be fine in regards to hydration and although it was beginning to warm up, I was fine. I got a little antsy to be done so my last mile was slightly quicker than the rest. 12.05 Miles @8:45/mi pace. That is it, no more “long” runs! Next week is 8 and that is chump change in this program so now I really have to watch the diet.
Summary : I hate to say this but I am really not too excited about the race YET. I know it will come, maybe my subconscious doesn’t want to believe it is actually going to happen after last years events, who knows. I don’t think I had a chance to truly get excited last year either since everything was so up in the air. Since there is a lack of excitement, there is also a lack of nerves. I tend to only feel nervous when I feel unprepared, and I know I have fully prepared for this. Don’t get me wrong, I will be a ball of energy at the start and probably pacing a hole into the ground the hour before the race but as of right now…call me Cool Hand Dom. I did get this bit of news last week…
Yeah! WAVE 1. I may have mentioned that I joined the NYRR when I signed up. There was a discount for being an NYRR runner so I figured why not give them some money and become a member. Well, my goal time would have probably landed me in WAVE 2 but because I joined the NYRR, they put me in the “local competitive” group! This is awesome because it means less people in front of me the entire race and post race. I hope to have a semi-easy exit which will also mean that I can grab food around the race fairly easily and hopefully make it back towards the finish to cheer some people on.
Last but not least. This happened at the beginning of last week as well…
My running goal for 2013 was to hit 1,100 miles this year. After the marathon I will be extremely close, within about ten miles I think, or less. So that means I am going to stretch my goal now and shoot for 1,250. I need something to bring me back after all is said and done!
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE AT THE MARINE CORP MARATHON THIS WEEK! ESPECIALLY JEN AND KATE.