MARATHON TUNEUP 18m

Though I am not running the NYC marathon, I put this race on the calendar for several reasons. With the Montauk Half-Ironman in 3 weeks it is good to put in a long run like this to test my pacing, hit some hills, and get in a crowd to keep my focus. I have added specific intervals to my run routine which differs from Timberman training, where I was still using bball to supplement my tempo runs. My rib has felt much better the past 2 weeks and I had only used 2-3 days after Timberman as rest (Gina let it go) to follow a 4 week program for Montauk. Not pushing it hard has helped me concentrate on putting all my energy into this final race. And I will.

So without any goal except to run a steady 7 minute mile pace for the 18 miles (which would be a 2:05), we got to the park and Gina set her mark at the loop point to be ready to hand any drink/gel I might want. The run was 3 full loops of the park which is tough with the hills and crowd of 3500 bunched into a 20 foot road space. Most here are doing the marathon but a few were here to race. I settled into a good pace hitting the first mile at 7:30 but got into my groove very early. I cleared some space for me by the first loop and was almost a minute ahead of pace. I wore my heavy sneakers to keep me honest, but the weather was perfect and the breathing smooth. I ran with a guy who was training for the marathon and we sailed thru the second loop. I grabbed a gel from G, but didn’t use it since I intended to tighten my hand grip and charge the hills on the final lap. I was 2:30 up by now and cruising. My “friend” now latched behind me as we made our way lapping the mass of runners. It was difficult to get to the water stops since you try to keep your pace and I almost smashed a dude cutting into the lane for a drink (wearing an iPod nonetheless). I gave a shove and continued to pound the hills while zigzagging the crowd hitting my tangents when possible. With a final 6 minute mile to finish I hit 1:55 and loved the whole feel. It was a good indicator of how training has been and a big confidence boost (my RHR is 35). my focus plan was completed while recovery was easy since G and I had to go to Bklyn to watch my Dad’s dog so I soaked in the pool. G makes great pcakes too!!

I finished in 22nd place out of 3500 with a 6:21 mile pace. MMM, MMM, MMM. Now it is just completing the program for 2 weeks and tapering wisely. With the weather cooling down a bit, training in the HHH of August makes this very refreshing. Enjoy it.

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