1 weekend, 2 good runs

19 Sep

Yay!  I had 2 decent runs this weekend!  And an all-around great weekend.

Friday night, I met up with Cookie (one of my best friends– yes, she goes by Cookie) and some of her colleagues at a Belgian beer bar near our offices– BXL.  I drank this.  It was OK; not my favorite

Then, I grabbed a cab and dashed downtown to meet up with my buddies Dana (in town from London) and Erica at John’s Pizza in the West Village.  I very rarely let myself splurge on pizza, but an 18-miler looming in the future made the already delicious pizza taste even more amazing.

I got to bed early and woke up the next morning feeling happy, refreshed… and a bit nervous(?)  I have never in my life been nervous for a solo training run and actually not even really that much for a marathon!  But now that I actually care about my time in the upcoming race, and have had so many bad long runs lately, it felt like I needed to make this a good one, or else give up my hope for having a time in Columbus I could feel good about.

My good buddy Lori is training for her first race– the Hamptons Half– with Team in Training (TIT, hehe) and she generously shared with me the routes they had recommended for the weekend.  I grabbed a 16 miler I was excited about.  It involved running down the west side path, over the Brooklyn Bridge, back over the Manhattan Bridge, and back up the west side.  I was excited to do a run somewhere NOT in Central Park (no offense, CP.  I love you longtime, but I need a break) and one that involved bridges.  I love running bridges.  I figured starting and finishing at my apartment rather than in the middle of the park would tack on the extra 2 miles I needed.

To cut to the chase (har-har, chase) I felt OK, good even, but not great, about this run.  My Pfitzinger plan said to run 18 miles with 14 at MP.  I’m still not sure what MP is gonna be, but I’d like to keep it under 8:30 and under 8:25 would be amazing.  I ran the first 2 miles at a leisurely pace, allowing myself to warm up.  Then, I picked it up.  I was in an absolute reverie running in the beautiful fall weather along the west side — so many runners!  I had to control myself to keep the pace above 8 because I just wanted to gun it.  I felt so awesome.  The weather, like I said, was picture-perfect — sunny and cool.  I will take this weather on marathon day.  Maybe a few degrees cooler, but this was definitely a step in the right direction, Mother Nature.  Here are some shots I took while running down the west side– of the view of Jersey from the path and also the view of downtown.

Check out that beautiful, blue sky!

I ran down the path to Chambers, where I was instructed to take a left and then “the bridge would be on my right.”  Errrr… I got a little worried I would miss it, took a few turns and then had to ask a cop how to get to the bridge.  I always get confused and a bit panicked finding bridge entrances!  Luckily, I found it, struggled a bit going up the incline, and then sailed down the other side.

beautiful, beautiful, BK bridge

When I got to Tillary, I took a left (as directed) and then a left again on Jay.  Then the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge was supposed to be on the right… but I literally came to a stand-still looking for it.  I am pretty sure I looked a lot like this:

I finally saw a little opening in this iron fence, thank goodness, but hello– it was NOT very visible!  Ran back across into the city and up Bowery to Houston, where I cut across.  This portion of the run was slightly frustrating and not great, because the streets were so crowded and I also was starting to feel a little drained.  I don’t usually eat in the mornings before runs, so I was getting pretty hungry, and I also hadn’t drank much other than a few quick sips at fountains while going down the west side.  I planned to eat my Gu and take a water break when I was back on the path, as soon as I saw a fountain, but the time started to stretch a bit here…

Finally made it to the path and found a fountain where I could get a nice, long drink and gulp down a Gu.  And by “gulp,” I actually mean “choke-cough-cough-cough-snot pours out of nose-desperately wipe at snot-try to breathe-choke-choke-finally stop coughing-breathe-finish Gu-choke some more-gulp down more water.”  Put more succinctly, not pleasant!  After this, I have to admit I never really felt that I got my groove back.  I couldn’t seem to get back to a pace I was happy with, but it was worlds better than any of my long runs in the past month or so, so… all-in-all, I was happy!  My splits went as follows:

1- 8:55

2-10:28

3-8:17

4-8:12

5-8:06

6-8:36

7-8:17

8-8:39

9-8:16

10-8:36

11-8:14

12-8:45

13-8:39

14-9:56 (due to cough-sputter-etc!)

15-8:16

16-8:50

17-8:29

18-8:46

Average pace-8:40

I would have preferred it be a bit faster, but I’ll take it!

The rest of the day was really nice.  I met up with the awesome Lori at Starbucks where she bought me a salted caramel latte.  I had never had one before, but YUM!  We also split a pumpkin loaf.  Then, we went to Jackrabbit where she kindly shared her TIT 15% discount and I got a few things.  Then, I did some more shopping, cooked myself dinner (pumpkin ravioli!  Do you see a trend?) and then ventured out to Brooklyn.  I met up with Melina and we went to The Vanderbilt.  We shared smoked potato and cheddar croquettes and had a few beers.

Sunday, I met up with my friend Nina and her fiancee Ilan, who I was just meeting for the first time.  They are in town from Israel.  It was great seeing them!  We went to My Most Favorite Food on the Upper West Side.  Then I did a bit of shopping.  I found some black riding boots that actually zip over my calves and were a bit cheaper than the Tory Burches, so the Tories are going back!  I’m actually thrilled about the new boots.

The rest of the day I was actually very productive, but I managed to put off my 9 miler (including speed work) until nearly 8 PM.  No biggie, though.  I got it done and felt great about it.  Pfitzinger said to do “9 miles with 5 x 1,000 m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.”  So… I have to say one of my biggest complaints about Pfitz’s plan (besides the freaking killer mileage) is that it involves a lot of math and a lot of meters and way too much thinking-while-running.  Mmmmkay, I do not know what 1,000 meters feels like, really.  I don’t feel like figuring out how long it takes me to run 1,000 meters and then figuring out what 50-90% of that time is.  And I don’t know what my 5K race pace is, ’cause I can’t remember the last time I ran a 5K, much less raced it.

What I decided to do was do 3/4 of a mile at a sub 7:50 pace, then jog the final 1/4 of the mile very slowly… and repeat 4 times.  I arrived at this because I know that 800 meters equals around half a mile and so I decided to make 1,000 meters equal 3/4 of a mile.  (I just looked this up and 1,000 meters is  actually .625 miles, but whatever– that is tougher to keep track of on my watch.)  And I decided that jogging the final 1/4 mile would make it easier to round it all up.  Also, my10K PR was at a 7:52 pace, so I decided to just keep the 3/4 miles under that.  Anyhow, this all made the 9 miles go by really fast, and that was awesome.

This morning I went for a quick 4 mile jaunt around the reservoir.  It was an absolutely beautiful fall morning.  The only disturbance was actually, er, a BIG disturbance.  On my second lap around the reservoir, suddenly there were cops all over the place, emergency vehicles, and even a helicopter hovering.  I told T I felt like Henry Hill from Goodfellas!  This is all I could find out about it thus far:

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/man-pulled-from-central-park-reservoir-20110919-KC

Anyhow… kind of a wacky start to the day!  But it’s beautiful outside and I’m having drinks with Jane tonight AND I get to see T again after he was gone all weekend!  Good stuff. 🙂

Oh!  And my friend Emily, mentioned in a previous post, got engaged to her sweet bf Shawn over the weekend!  So yay for that!

Here they are, lookin’ studly after completing the 2009 Nashville Country Music Marathon.  Aren’t they cute?

One Response to “1 weekend, 2 good runs”

  1. Lori September 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    I am exhausted reading about all of your running — you are my hero. What a productive weekend, that even squeezed in time with ME. Great to see you….sad to hear the Tory’s are going back – I was so hoping to meet them!

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