Monday, October 17, 2011

Training for the NY Marathon - 3 weeks to go

First let me get it off my chest. The excitement of the upcoming marathon is kicking in. There I said it.
Gratuitous image of a fantastic sunset. Has nothing to do with my training :-)

The week in review
Most mileage in one week ever. 49.45 miles. Was supposed to be 50 but on Friday I accidentally went right instead of left out the driveway and did the 5 mile loop instead of the 6 mile loop. It was early. I was sleepy. What can I say?

This week included a Yasso 800s workout. So the deal with Yasso 800s is that if you can do 10 of them at your goal marathon pace its a good predictor that you'll finish the marathon in that time. So, my goal is 4 hours and 30 minutes. If I can do 10 800s in 4 minutes and 30 seconds then that's a reasonable goal. Well, I didn't pull it off. Actually only 8 800s were on the schedule but I thought there were 9 so I did 9 800s. The first 3 were under 4:30. The other 6 were between 4:40 and 4:50. So according to Mr. Yasso my time will be more like 4:45 - he's a smart guy - he's run a lot more than me so he's probably right.
Yasso 800s are hard. I was just finished and was trying to climb into my ac vents in the car. Also I go immediately for a large diet coke at McD's across the street. Lots of ice, please.
Buuuuut ....

I was, of course, doing my track workout starting at 9:30 in the morning. So it was about as hot as the surface of the sun. I'm exagerating. A little bit. It was 91 degrees when I finished. So there is a piece of me that is hoping that I can still pull off a 4:30 what with the heat effect. I do fear that I'm putting too much faith in this "heat effect."

The other runs this week were 3 easy 6 mile runs and the long run.

The Long Run
The long run was ... really long. Twenty-two miles. From all the weekly mileage my legs were tired at the start. I was actually expecting that from the last time I went from 18 to 20 week to week. So, my plan was to get it done. That was the whole plan. I wasn't worried about walk breaks or keeping a tempo or going strong at the end. Just finish 22 miles.

We started at 4:40 AM. Okay we actually met at 4:40 and left at around 4:50 but still it was super early. Luckily for my my running buddy Melissa had put the cooler out this week so I was in bed early. But I didn't sleep well. Then again who sleeps well the night before the long run?

My running buddy Carol had taken her speedy pills that day and she pushed the pace fairly early. She'll deny it but it's true. When she gets in her groove she is fast. She pulled away at the downhill of the bridge and all I could do was watch her speed away.
Carol finishing her 22 miles. Looks super strong, right?

During miles 16 and 17 I was spent. I stopped in the park to visit the restroom and I walked maybe 3 minutes - maybe more. I had been doing an experiment where I was trying to drink from my water bottles without stopping to walk. I am not good at this I must swallow air because I was really uncomfortable due to an air bubble in my belly. So, I won't be trying that on race day.

We had all gotten split up during the run but luckily I reconnected with Melissa at our secret water cooler. We ran a few miles together and that was great.
Meli finishing her 20 miles!
The good news is that without even trying I did hit a few miles at marathon goal pace during this run. One of those was the 21st mile. Once I got that air bubble out of my belly I felt much better and I was faster coming back than going out.

Also on the good news front my nutrition is working well. I stuck to lemon-lime gu and plain gu alternating. I would stick to just plain but it has caffeine and 4-5 in a row of them makes my stomach do flip flops. So, that's what I'll do on race day.
22 miles in the bank. Woot! Woot!
More important things I'm obsessing about
So, at some point I was asked by the NY Marathon peeps to select start transportation. Due to what can only be a lack of oxygen to my brain I selected the 7:00 am Staten Island Ferry. Seems reasonable if I was in the 8:40 start. But I'm not in the 8:40 start I'm in the 10:40 start. Good grief that's going to be ridiculous. I know one person who lives on Staten Island ... Stanley get ready because I might be coming over for breakfast.

Daylight savings. Just to make this year's race fun we change our clocks Saturday night. Ha! How many people will be early to the start. :-) Better early than late of course.

Also I'm trying to decide what to wear and what to pack in my gear bag. Here are the pertinent facts I'm trying to keep in mind. I have to be dressed to not freeze to death for the 4 hours before the start. Also I have learned that after the finish it will take me about an hour to exit the park.

Did I mention that it's still in the high 80s here everyday. So it's hard for me to comprehend what I'm going to want to wear for a run that might be 55 at the finish. But my working plan is to wear everything I own on the ferry. At the gear check I'm going to check one pair of sweats and a hoodie (a la target purchase in Minnesota) I'm going to be wearing between the gear check and start my running outfit and over that tossable sweats and a hoodie.

The big question is: do I plan to run in shorts or capri pants. I train in shorts but it's going to be cold. Will I be too cold in shorts? Try to take me seriously as an intellectual even though I'll admit this ridiculous question is keeping me up at night. Shorts or capris? Capris or shorts?

More later - Amy a/k/a the Mopette


  1. I think if you haven't done a long run in capris, you should wear shorts. Sometimes clothing works great at a shorter distance, but add on a few miles, and it just doesn't.

    Think about it this way, guys don't wear capris, so they'll all be in shorts...