This was the dreaded 20 miler week and I survived. Except that I didn’t quite hit 20 miles on Saturday as planned. But, eh, close enough. I hope.
Monday 10/10: Still in Chicago, so 6 lakefront miles with Carla. I only really ‘needed’ 4 but am glad we did the extra. We picked up the pace on the way back after breaking for photos with a nice skyline view. I foolishly wore my shorter shorts and forgot to wear Body Glide and after a mile or so it was Chafe City, population me. I also had a finicky left calf during and afterward. You can imagine how nervous this made me at the start of peak week (even if this run felt more like a week 12 because of the location). I foam rolled and used her Tiger Tail, then wore my Birks to brunch at Ann Sather for the best cinnamon rolls of my life. I later explored some of the major tourist area with my friend who ran the marathon, took the architectural boat tour, and had cocktails on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building.
Boat tour from Lake Michigan
Pausing during our 6-miler for some cityscapes
Tuesday 10/11: Early flight back to NYC wearing my compression socks. I was hoping to do a short run but the calf still felt tweaked, so I laid off.
Wednesday 10/12: First day back at work and had a long ride home from a meeting in the Bronx, and the calf was still a smidge sore, so I took the day off.
Thursday 10/13: I skipped a morning run so brought all of my gear to work, including my GPS watch but also with my lock in case I wanted to try the treadmill at the gym. Despite the cool weather, I was feeling the treadmill option more, especially so I could easily pull off in case of my calf still feeling tight. I wore shorter shorts and stupidly forgot Body Glide again. Chafe City, I’m coming back! I did a warmup mile at my long run pace, then an 800 at threshold pace, 3.5 miles of the hill workout, 800 mile moving from threshold pace to 5K pace, then a cooldown for 6 miles total.
Friday 10/14: Day off running and a quiet night in with a box of Annie’s white cheddar macaroni and cheese to myself.
Saturday 10/15: Saturday was “the” 20 miler day. I can probably put that into quotes too. I signed up for a supported 30K in Flushing Meadows Park, which included 4 laps of the 4.something mile loop. 30 kilometers is 18.6 miles, so I planned to do a mile before and 0.4 after. I took the train (well, a couple of trains) there and was fine on time until I realized I didn’t know exactly where the race start was. I knew we were running around the Unisphere at some point but the course map link was on the registration page and that was closed day of. I found a low-res image that included the map and started running that way while still in my sweats and jacket. Not my ideal warmup. I veered toward a table setting up water, but they were there for a 5K and had no idea where my event table was. Based on Google’s assumptions of how far I was from the start, my warmup was just about 1 mile and extremely stressful. They delayed the start a bit since dozens of us were in line for the bathroom.
View from the start
I stuffed my pockets (Lululemon Sculpt short, the perfect length with plenty of pocket space) with gels (3 salted watermelon, 1 caramel macchiato flavor) and a Shotblock (salty margarita flavor) and put my phone as well with earbuds. I don’t usually run with music and don’t plan to race with it, but do plan to have my phone to better facilitate any post-marathon meetings or mishaps, plus get those last-minute texts about which corner people will be standing on to cheer, so it was good to practice how heavy or not it was in my pocket. I cued up the Hamilton soundtrack, did a last-minute swap of my regular glasses for my prescription sunglasses, and we were off.
I took the first 2 miles way too fast. I plan to have a marathon race pace between 10:15-10:45 minute miles, so I’m not sure what happened that made me go under that. I think my legs were just young, fresh, and hungry. I took my first gel after the first loop, second gel after the second, two shot block chews halfway through the third loop, the more caffeinated coffee-flavored gel after the third, and two more shot block chews during the fourth (pausing off-course at a water fountain, contributing to my slowest loop at mile 13). I could have used a couple more water stations for sure.
Looking at my Strava map, I now see why the course was short for me; I went the correct way around a the NY State Pavillion and the fountain only the first time but the incorrect way the next 3 loops, which must have shaved off 0.2 each time. You can see it as the farthest left red line out around the Fountain of the Continents (did not know that was its name). Weirdly, the organizers were waving us through at the turn points, so I’m not sure why this happened. I’m looking at the Strava map of someone else who ran it and she did the same thing. I think they might have diverted us because of a 5K also happening in the park that day. I tacked on another 0.6 miles to make it 18.2 (not 18.1, Strava. Rude!) before I had to thrown in the towel and stop the watch. Counting my 1 mile warmup then my 2 portapotty shuffles as cooldown, I hit 19.6 miles. 19.6 miles is not 20 miles. I think the “shortened” course threw me for a loop (haha get it?) and was weirdly discouraging when it came time afterward to tack on more mileage.
I was hoping to have a solo finish photo but she and I had been passing each other for all of the last loop and she wanted to catch up. Then they tried to hand me a medal and I said “I need more mileage!”
Sunday 10/16: I wanted to do a recovery run but instead had a very productive morning of dropping off donated goods to Housing Works and getting my favorite bagels, then seeing Girl on the Train. I had read the book, so twists and turns were not surprising, but it was still well done. I ate a lot of candy and sweets both during the movie and after with a stop at Maison Kayser for their amazing cookies.
Total: 31.6 miles out of a recommended 32-35. Harumph. That being said, I don’t feel ready to taper! So many more miles I wish I had run! This should have been Peak Week but was actually a little less than 2 weeks ago! I’m freaking out! Taper time!