NYCMarathon Training : Week 17

Monday – 4 Miles – So as much as I would have liked to stick to the training program, I felt like having two rest days together was more beneficial so I bumped the mid-week runs up a day.  This worked out well because it meant that I could get my buddy Mike out for a run with me on Monday night.  Slow and easy.  4.07 Miles @10:09/mi pace

Tuesday – 5 Miles – I really didn’t feel like waking up early and I didn’t have anything planned for Tuesday night but for some reason I still decided to set my alarm.  This is a sign that marathon training has fully restored my morning runner status that I did my best to shake off the months leading into it.  I decided to avoid the hills and take this easy.  If my legs aren’t ready for elevation by now, cramming at the end isn’t going to save me.  5.05 Miles @8:40/mi pace.


Tuesday Night – YOGA – I had no intention of going to Yoga, I actually told myself no Yoga the last two weeks of Taper but on the drive home I decided that I should.  Why?  Not sure.  I guess the promise of a good workout and some stretching sounded good.  I really have no idea but the next thing I knew I was in the studio and sweating profusely.  No one REGRETS going to Yoga.

Wednesday – 4 Miles – Knocked this baby out in the morning as well.  Completely switched up the routine and did a route I hadn’t done in a while for a change of scenery.  Pretty much flat and urban.  4.20 Miles @8:26/mi pace.

Thursday – REST – YES.  Awesome amounts of rest.  No plans on Thursday until my brother texted me that he would be at my favorite beer bar by my house with his co-workers so I decided to meet him for one drink before heading home to nerd out on the computer for my Fantasy Basketball draft.  I am literally in sports overload right now.  Thankfully baseball is over.  So for my one drink I chose wisely, I glanced in their refrigerator behind the bar and spotted a beer that I have literally been trying to find for over 5 years!  SCORE.  It was everything I imagined it would be…

Hair of the dog, portland, fred from the wood

The rarest of rare. Portland based brewery, Hair of The Dog’s Fred from the Wood!

Friday – REST – Work.  Followed by a late dinner and some movie watching.  You know, I have been going a bit hard with running and staying active socially so I am welcoming quiet nights with open arms.  I also couldn’t help but look at the 10-day forecast for New York…please go away rain.  Get colder if you want but get rid of the rain and any wind.


Saturday – 3 Miles – Decided to shut off the alarm and wake up whenever my body felt like it.  Unfortunately my inner clock is an a-hole.  I was up at 7:30 but took my time getting to the trail.  Once there, I took my time getting warmed up.  It was BEAUTIFUL out so being on the clock was not in my best interests.  The weather was in the low 70’s and perfectly fall.  My goal for this run was to run by feel but also be aware of effort.  I didn’t pay attention to my mile alerts and just focused on how I was breathing.  The end result was an average pace in the low  8’s which is about where I will need to be from mile 16-22 come Sunday.  3.40 Miles @8:07/mi pace.  After the run I hit my favorite breakfast spot and switched up the meal to something a little more runner friendly than bread…steel cut oats…great call.


I spent the rest of the afternoon avoiding the cleaning that needed to be done in my apartment.  Instead, I opted to run a few errands and relax before heading to my parents for a family dinner.  On Thursday I won a contest at my favorite cupcake business, Dots Cupcakes in Pasadena.  This was an awesome coincidence because I was in charge of bringing the cupcakes (as usual), specifically requested from Dots as dessert (also as usual).  I was awarded a dozen regular sized cupcakes via Facebook but when I arrived to collect them… they had (4) dozen mini-cupcakes instead.  UMM WHAT?  This place has my heart but it is also the reason I fear being the thinnest diabetic on Earth.  When I order two cupcakes, I somehow end up with four in my box.  They know me.  It is a gift and a curse…a tasty curse but a curse nonetheless. 48?  Really?  I took twenty to my parents and twenty to the Bengals bar in Pasadena to celebrate another victory, but that left me with eight.  I have never thrown away a cupcake in my life…until now. Ugh, DAMN YOU TAPER!!!!!!!!  You’ll be happy to know that before I gave any of them away I decided to do what any normal person would do with 48 cupcakes…


Sunday – 8 Miles – This is not a long run.  It was at the beginning of training but now I am a MACHINE.  I fear nothing under double digits!  Seriously though, my main concern was running this too fast.  I kept it reeled in the entire time.  A little difficult to do because my mind was all over the place.  Thankfully my preoccupied thoughts made this challenging and reminded me that I need to be completely focused on the ENTIRE race for the ENTIRE time on Sunday.  8.15Miles @8:44/mi pace.  That first mile time is off, the app jumped about a tenth of a mile…I fixed it at the end.


SUMMARY -  So it is finally marathon week…again.  I am still not nervous.  I am slightly concerned about my goal but have confidence that my training has earned me whatever time I achieve.  If I don’t hit the specific number then life will go on and I will still be entirely happy.  My main goal is to finish and give it the very best effort possible.  Barring any unforeseen natural disasters or accidents, this marathon business should be crossed off the bucket list in less than 7 days!  I have done everything but set specific time goals for each checkpoint in the race…i.e. my goal overall time for 5k, 10k, half marathon, 40k etc.  I need to put together a spreadsheet to see and write those times on my forearm so I know if I am on track or not.  My outfit is pretty much picked out.  I have all my gel packs and fuel.  I have my transportation figured out.  My throwaway clothes.  I am set.  I guess the last thing to do will be to make a marathon mix for the last 10k but as of right now I am thinking of bagging that and just enjoying the crowds.  We’ll see.  Anyway, if I don’t post before the race…I’ll see you on the other side!

Do you run with music?  If so, have you raced without it?  Should I run with or without it?

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About Dominick S.

I am no longer new to the running community. I started this blog in 2012 as an outlet. I decided to express myself but had no idea anyone would actually read my posts. I don't have a ton of subscribers but after 2 years of "expressing myself" I do have a solid group of new friends. Hopefully I can continue to share something of value to someone. Thanks for reading! Dominick

19 responses to “NYCMarathon Training : Week 17”

  1. Jen says :

    I’m writing this comment using my phone so please excuse the potential typos. I never race with music. I believe it can be helpful but I’d rather be in the moment on race day. If NYCM is anything like MCM re:spectator support and crowded course, then you’ll have plenty to keep your mind engaged. The one red flag that popped up while reading this post is the split plan. As this is your first marathon, I’d urge you not to have anything concrete. I feel like I wasted quite a lot of emotional energy at MCM being down on myself for not hitting my goal paces, when I should’ve been focusing on the race and enjoying it for what it was. I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer here – I’m very confident in your training – it’s just that you never know what’s going to happen on race day. It’s better to roll with the punches. Oh, also I didn’t take into consideration how much the crowded course would impact my race plan. Every water stop broke up my rhythm, even when I didn’t stop, and the mental energy it took to avoid/run around people took a toll. Just remember to start easier than you think you should, then go easier than that. Bonking is the worst. Good luck and have a safe trip!

    • Dominick S. says :

      Thanks for all the feedback Jen! I have a plan and I am going to do my best to execute. That plan includes feeding off the crowd when needed and enjoying them but ignoring the potential energy rush when I don’t. The water station advice is valuable, hopefully my wave in NYC is more efficient but I am planning on it being a cluster, planning on hitting the last table at the stations where I want water. Super easy first 2 miles and an easy first 15. I’ll know where I stand once I get across the Queensboro Bridge (mile 16) and right now I have confidence that I will be ready to rock coming out of the Bronx. Then rolling hills at mile 24-26. Nothing is concrete but I am going to give it my all. If I bonk executing the plan then I will know I made a strategic error but I will be ok with it either way! Racing as smart as I can into the unknown. Thanks for the well wishes, I will post pics on IG!

      • Jen says :

        One more thing – I think you’re much better prepared than I was leading up to race day because you’ve been practicing your race paces a lot. So go out there and kick butt! Excited for you!

  2. gina4star says :

    Oh my goodness, it’s this weekend? Wow, good luck! Seems like you’re pretty prepared! Will be really excited to hear all about it and how it goes! Though I am running positively tiny distances in comparison (!) I can’t do it without music. Just simply cannot do it. It helps me with my rhythm, and pushes me when I struggle. But then my brother can’t run with music. I guess everyone is different. The crowds at the last part of the race should be amazing though, especially to motivate and spur you on to the very end! Wow, just the thought of a marathon is so overwhelming to me, will be sending good vibes this weekend, good luck! And enjoy it! :)
    ps. I was totally distracted by those delicious looking cupcakes!

    • Dominick S. says :

      I was beyond dependent on music when I first started running. It wasn’t until recently, like this year that I abandoned headphones BUT I listen to the music out of my speakers in my phone instead. Usually I run by myself so it is no big deal. I will probably just stick to that this weekend but I highly doubt I will be able to hear anything. Those crowds will likely have to get it done for me. Vibes are always appreciated!

      I ate 3 of those cupcakes over two days. If I was not tapering I would’ve eaten about 10.

      • gina4star says :

        Oooooh, I can’t wait to hear how it went…! :)

        Yeah, I get a feeling that running is a bit of a journey. Quite a few hardcore (marathon and the like!) runners don’t appear to use music, so perhaps as I develop, my tastes and needs will change. Perhaps not, but for now I am totally dependent on it, would even consider not running if I forgot my ipod…

  3. Amy says :


    Anyway, I accidentally forgot my iPod at home during the Chicago Marathon, but enjoyed au natural running so much, that I haven’t used music since. For me, I tend to get frustrated that it’s the MUSIC’S fault that I’m slowing down (HA!), or I suddenly HATE a song that gets played at the wrong time, or that the song playing isn’t quite as epic as I want it to be during milestone moments, etc. BUT, no harm in bringing it and turning it off/on as needed. Some study somewhere also said that music loses its motivational power after a period of time, so maybe even consider saving it for the last bit, or during times that you might need a boost (I don’t know the course well enough to ponder when that might be).

    Remember to truly BELIEVE that you can do this and hit your goal. Confidence and mental power will carry you through when your body is ready to take those nice spectators up on their “free beer” offer (DON’T DO IT). Something that helped me was to visualize mass amounts of people getting a text message every time I crossed a timing mat at the splits (even though it was probably just my mom…if even her), and trying not to let them down. Trust yourself, trust your training (advice courtesy of Kelly Stevenson that helped me through the last 10K!), and remember that we are all here cheering for you!!! Ok…Amy’s Motivational Speech over.

    Good luck, and safe travels! You’ve got this!

    • Dominick S. says :

      UGH, I know right…CUP.CAKES. CURSED!

      I do recall you leaving the iPod at home at Chicago. You make great point across the board. I think the only time I will want music is crossing the Queensboro…we’ll see. I will shove those headphones in just in case but I doubt I use them.

      I do truly believe in my training and I have a ton of confidence in myself. I can’t promise that I will turn down every free beer, I may snag one and take a swig. God, I hope no one is signed up for text alerts but if they are…I will be focusing on not letting them or myself down!


      • Amy says :

        We’ll, you have to pay for the text updates, so I downloaded the app, and I am tracking you! I’ll be watching your splits. Don’t suck!!! Or my Sunday will be ruined :)

  4. The Sassy Swan says :

    As someone who ALWAYS runs with music, I assumed that this race would be no different. So I had plans to run with my headphones. Not the whole time, but plug in whenever I got low, or there was no crowd participation. Guess what didn’t happen? Me plugging in.

    I say bring your headphones. You may want them to get you out of a funk or you may not use them at all, but at least you have the option.

    I am so excited for you! I hope you have a wonderful trip – be sure to post lots on instagram and take everything in – You’re going to do amazing!!!

    • Dominick S. says :

      I am guessing this will likely be my fate as well. It’s quite hilarious… the amount of flip flopping I am doing on headphones as I work through these replies. I will probably carry them in the pocket if there is room with the gel packs!

      I will be Instagramming the fuck out of this trip. I may even IG during the first 15 miles…my reservations are not about running and IG’ing but about conserving battery life!

  5. lesleycarter says :

    You should be so proud of your time and accomplishments already. Great job! :)

  6. Megan Cabalka says :

    YOU THREW AWAY CUPCAKES?! I’m ashamed. I’m so pumped to hear how you do this weekend! You’re going to do great! And take lots of pics, of course. As to the music…I never run with music when I run with friends. But when I’m alone, I always listen to tunes. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable. I like having music there to take my mind off the struggle at times. GOOD LUCK!

    • Dominick S. says :

      I DID…it was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I was literally taking the wrapper off one and thinking…no one will know…no one…I threw it away with so much remorse. Seriously though? What is wrong with me, why am I such a fat kid.

      I feel prepared. Whatever I have will be left on the course. Music wise…flip flopping, still thinking no headphones but I will probably play music through my speaker on the Queenboro bridge…the question is what I will play for that mile of peace and no crowds…if anything.

      Thanks for the well wishes!

  7. kandjcolorado says :

    You ARE a training MACHINE you BEAST! I don’t typically race with music but I always have my iPod and earphones on me and ready just in case. Also, as far as your strategy goes, I am someone who likes to know pace parameters low and high- that way I’m not focused on a set pace necessarily, it allows me to adjust my goals throughout the race. With that being said, I tend to break up the marathon into thirds and plan and visualize it that way (miles 1-9 / miles 10-18 / miles 19-26.2). I figure out my fueling, how I expect to feel, pace points throughout the race- mile 5, mile 10, half, mile 20, mile 23. I wrote a post about it after I got the BQ. If you’re interested, let me know and I will get it to ya.

    • Dominick S. says :

      HA…I am not a machine…I am maybe Robocop/Bionic Man…I have not reached full fledged, Ultra-Marathoning, Yoga-Pose Master, 7 Minute 10-Mile running MACHINE yet…like someone we know. PLEASE send me the link to that post in my email. I will read it tomorrow while I am going through my strategery.

  8. Tayler Cabalka says :

    Enjoy every single moment! I’m so excited for you. Your training alone has been quite the amazing adventure so this is just icing on the (cup)cake. I personally don’t like to run with music on longer runs. I like to take it all in. The crowds, the well wishes of runners next to me…but it’s whatever works for you. You are more than prepared for this but I’m going to say it anyway…GOOD LUCK DOM!

  9. Numberz Runner says :

    I am so excited for you. Been thinking about you all week–and that’s saying a lot since I’ve been at Disney World with my family all week. Had to take a minute to wish you safe speedy miles on Sunday in New York. So many miles you’ve trained and traveled to get to this point. So excited for you.

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