Week 9 of NYC Marathon Training

This week was quieter overall but with the mileage back up to the 30’s. I only ran 3 times instead of 4 because one of those was the NYRR 18 Mile Tune Up. My actual NYRR Virtual Trainer plan had me doing only 15 miles as my long run this week, but with the caveat that I could add on a couple more if necessary. I figured this was a good time to tackle the distance at a slower pace than my usual long runs, closer to the top of my recommended range.

Monday 9/12: Off Day. Running club meeting where I scarfed down some pizza then went to the bar to watch football. Had 1 beer and 5 Buffalo wings and stayed until the end of the first Monday Night Football game (oh Washington team, you almost never fail to disappoint me).

Tuesday 9/13: Shocker, I hit snooze on the 5:20AM alarm and again at 6:20AM. At work, we had a motivational interviewing training session and part of the examples and role play/real play for affirmations & summarizing allowed me the chance to talk about my issues getting up for runs (particularly on Tuesdays). My partner in the role play had to listen to me talk about it for 2 minutes than summarize what I had said while adding some nice affirmations about the good behaviors I was exhibiting. Honestly, it was so helpful to hear about my problem from someone else. It gave me a little kick in the pants to do better and stick to my plans.

Wednesday 9/14: I was able to get up at my regular time (7:20am) and still get 6(.1 but my Garmin then corrected it to 6?) miles in because of later work meetings. The weather was pleasant with low humidity and I felt great. I did the PP loop counterclockwise and it felt really good overall. Since it was a later start, I only saw one teammate in the park, but I tackled the hill head-on.

Thursday 9/15: Rest day and I actually opted out of rock climbing in favor of sleeping in.

Friday 9/16: Almost the same 6.1 miler as Wednesday but I surprised myself by doing it a little faster. I took the PP loop clockwise and thought the more graduated hill would suck on the way up and out, but it went well. So well that I sped up more for the next 1.5 miles to keep it going. Also, I actually got up at 6:20AM with a renewed resolve for morning workouts. I think the motivational interviewing session on Tuesday really helped (funny that I’m learning MI to be on the giving end, not the receiving end, but whatever works).

Saturday 9/17: Rest day other than < 2 hours of slow bicycling around Governor’s Island after dim sum.

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Brooklyn from the Governor’s Island ferry

Sunday 9/18: 18 miles on the 18th. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to complete the distance for whatever reasons but also knew that once I hit 15, it would be easiest to do the full 18. I planned to run with the roughly 11-minute mile pacer but ended up doing the first loop between the 10:52 and the 11:03 pacer. My NYRR Virtual Trainer has me shooting for a 4:37-4:45 and while I would be thrilled to get lower in the 4:30s, I’m not confident about that yet. A teammate who started late caught up to me and we ran miles 2-8 with each other, saying hi to other teammates we saw as we went. I stuck it out through the 2nd part of Harlem Hill then peeled off around 8 miles to use the bathroom. When I came out, I was right on target with the 11:03 pacer. She was super energetic and had a countdown of “3..2…1…GO!” after water stops. I loved running with her and that group and made a bit of small talk with others, feeling pretty relaxed overall. Then for some reason at mile 12, right before the final 3rd loop of Central Park, I passed the pace group and kept going in the 10:40s. I’m still not sure what happened (the salted watermelon Gu gel I ate kicking in? caffeine from the Shot Blocks?) but I was feeling pretty good. I saw a teammate on my last lap around mile 13 who high fived me and told me I was looking strong, which was such a confidence boost.

At mile 14, I did a little cheer to celebrate my new longest run ever distance, then kept right on running. I saw my teammate from the first loop ahead of me and decided to try and reel her in by mile 16. She stopped for water and I surprised her with my appearance, then we ran the last 2 together at a quicker pace. My feet were kind of tired and my shoes were tight, but I felt fine aerobically. I think it’s time for compression socks, as my calves felt like Jell-O right after. We grabbed lots of Gatorade, banana halves, and pretzels (my mouth was too dry to eat more than one) before meeting up with teammates. I’m so glad that I was able to run the whole thing and pull off a negative split for that 3rd loop. This was a huge confidence boost for my overall training and I feel better about that future 20-miler coming up. This is the 2nd long run that I’ve gone longer than the virtual trainer recommended. My overall pace as per the NYRR result was 10:51 min/mile, which I am very ok with, given that I ascended Harlem Hill and Cat Hill three times.

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Some of the group after; I joked that I wouldn’t be able to get up again after sitting down/squatting

Total: 30.2 out of a recommended 30-34.

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