Monday, November 30, 2009

Back To The 20 Mile Week

My normal "base training" while not focusing on a particular race has been a 20 mile week. I usually run 4 times a week - 3 weekday runs of 3-5 miles and a longer weekend run in the 6-10 mile range.

Since the marathon, I haven't had a 20 mile week yet. First it was due to recovery and then it was due to time constraints.

This past week had its fair share of time constraint issues, but I was able to squeeze in runs where I could and I logged 21 miles over five runs. Hooray!

These runs included slipping out for a 4.5 mile run on Thanksgiving morning after the turkey was in the oven, meeting up with a friend that I went to high school and UofM with (neither of us were runners back then and we only reconnected when he searched for descriptions of the Turkey Chase and found my blog!), and a short Sunday morning run.

Sunday's run was chilly - about 31 degrees. It was my first sub-freezing run of the season. I wore running tights, a heavier long sleeve shirt and a beanie...winter is a-coming! I didn't want to run long because I traveled later that afternoon to Irvine, CA for work. I left my house at around 12:30pm Eastern and finally arrived at my hotel around 11:30pm Pacific - 14 hours door to door. Yuck.

However, when I walked out of my hotel this morning I saw how beautiful the weather was. I am so psyched to run out here!!!

BTW...if you take a look over on my training log, I have now logged 978.9 miles for the year. If I repeat last week's 21.1 miles, I will hit my 1,000 mile goal! Woo hoo!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Few Cold And Rainy Runs

Work has been really busy this week - trying to pack almost 5 days of work into 3 days. Even though I have Friday off, I'll likely work a little. I'm starting a new project - and traveling out to Irvine, CA next week to meet with the internal and customer teams and get the whole thing kicked-off. It's very exciting...yet it is tough to get to everything in my normal routine. (and it will be nice to run in some warmer weather...)

Luckily, I haven't totally abandoned running (blogging, reading other's blogs and spending time on Facebook have all been put by the wayside).

On Monday - the day after my 6 mile (not 10K) race - I slipped out at lunchtime for a easy recovery run. It was a cold and misty afternoon, so of course I started out a bit too fast in order to get warm quicker. A bit after my 8:59 first mile, it started to rain...and I started to run faster. When a mostly uphill Mile 2 came in at 9:17, and the rain started to come down harder, I decided that this was not going to be an "easy recovery run" anymore. I started to haul it back home. Last mile was in an 8:22 pace, and last third of a mile in an 8:04 pace. 3.3 miles in 29:06...not exactly a recovery run for me.

On Wednesday morning I took my wife's car into the shop and decided to run while waiting. I headed out for an easy run - again in the cold rain. This time I was able to keep the going a bit slower. I ran 3.5 miles at a 9:43/mile pace. The best was coming back and looking at all of the aggravated people waiting for their cars at the shop...I was able to avoid that annoying wait by using the time wisely and getting a run in!

Today is Turkey Day! Unfortunately, no Turkey Chase 10K. But if I get my act together, I may be able to go for a short run while the turkey is in the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Decision On The How To Count Yesterday's Race

After some discussions on Facebook and RunningAhead, I have decided to change my running log entry for yesterday's race and use the Garmin mileage instead of calling it a 10K.

So, yesterday WAS a PR. It was just not for 10K, but for 6.01 miles.

And along the way, I smoked my PRs for the 5K and 1 mile as well. I guess I'll need to find some more races.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 Cold Turkey 10K Race Report

The Cold Turkey 10K is a small race (448 runners this year) held by the Annapolis Striders. Since I was not able to run some of the other local Thanksgiving races - and I wanted to test my post-marathon conditioning with a 10K - I signed up for this race.

I must say, this race was a great value. The pre-registration cost of the race for non-club members was $18 which included a long-sleeved moisture-wicking shirt and a great food spread after the race. For frugal runners like me, this was a great race!

However, there was one small problem - I think that this 10K race was shorter than 10K. RedG measured it at 6.01 miles - and he normally measures races long. There were some other Garmin wearers that also measured the course short.

Normally, having a short course on a small race wouldn't concern me much....but today I was a bit upset since I ran a PR. A significant PR.

My previous 10K PR - set in 2006 - was 56:14...a 9:03/mile pace. Today, I finished the race in 49:04 - a seven minute PR. If the course was a true 10K, that would put me at a 7:54/mile pace. If I go by Garmin's pacing, I ran the course in a 8:07/mile pace - equivalent to a 50:27 overall time or a near six minute PR.

Either way, it's a big PR. However, I have no idea how to log this one. With the "official time" although the course distance is short? Or with the extrapolated time - which really isn't what I ran.

One other note about this PR - my 5K PR is 25:17 - or a 8:09/mile pace. Which means I blew by THAT PR during today's race as well. WOW!

All of this talk about PRs is a bit surprising given the way the race started for me. It's a small race with no pace groups, no chip times or anything like that. People lined up where they thought they would need to be - I chose the middle of the pack. The starting siren went off and everyone started to run. Or jog. Or walk. Which meant I was trying to weave in and out of runners - and trying not to bowl anyone down - during the first mile.

When I crossed the line the official clock was at 12 seconds - not too bad given what I am now used to with larger races. After the first turn there were a few puddles I avoided, but then I realized my left shoelace had come untied. I had forgotten to double-knot my shoes before the race...what an idiot! I got off to the side to re-tie my shoes and I probably lost about 45 seconds.

I got back up and started to run strong. I totally missed the Mile 1 marker, but this is the marker that most people said came too soon (and the rest of the mile markers were correctly 1 mile apart). RedG chirped in when he measured his first mile and it displayed 8:44. Given that I had lost time tying my shoes, I could not believe I was going that fast.

Mile 2 was on an uphill slope. Still feeling really good I attacked the hill and passed many runners. Also, since this was an out-and-back course, it felt good to know that mile 5 would be mostly downhill. When the Mile 2 marker came up, RedG measured 1.85. This continued at all of the mile markers - Garmin measured them at .15 miles shorter. My Mile 2 split (according to RedG) was 8:40. Still on pace for a PR!

A little after Mile 2, the course turned left onto a residential street with some rolling hills. The hills were not long, but they were a bit on the steep side. This was out-and-back as well, so I knew some of the steeper uphills would be downhills on the way back. I was still feeling strong and kept pushing - attacking the uphills and coasting on the downhills. Mile 3 split - 7:59. Mile 4 split - 8:25. I had this PR!!!

Now I was heading back towards the High School where the race finished. This stretch was downhill and I still had a lot left in the tank so I started to turn on the burners. When I passed the mile 5 marker on the course, I took a look at my watch and saw that I was at 40 minutes. Wow! Even though my watch showed 4.85, I knew that I was a shoe in for a PR. Mile 5 split - 7:44.

One mile (or 1.2 miles) left. I had no idea if the extra distance would be tacked on at the end or not. Either way, I started to go for it even more. I continued to pass other runners up to the 6 mile marker on the course. Come to think of it, after I tied my shoes about 1/3 mile into the course, I passed by tons of runners, but I don't think I had a runner pass me.

With the last .2 left, I started to fatigue. I pushed myself to keep going, but I wasn't accelerating like I was since the mile 4 marker. I made the final turn, dug in deep and then saw the clock - 48:58, 48:59, 49:00... I passed the finish line in 49:04 - a huge 7 minute PR. RedG displayed the final distance as 6.01 - and my final mile 6 split of 7:19!!! My previous mile PR was 7:25 set last year...

I checked the results page and it looks like I came in 127th of 448 runners - in the top 30%! In five years of running I have moved from the back-of-the-pack to the front of the middle-of-the-pack runners. I set PRs in the 10K, 5K and mile - although the only one that I have a non-extrapolated time for is the mile :-)

I may need to find another 5K or 10K soon, though. Just so I can have some more "official" times.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pre-Race Thoughts - Cold Turkey 10K

Tomorrow morning I am running the Cold Turkey 10K near Annapolis. I normally run the Bethesda Turkey Chase on Thanksgiving Day, but we're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year stuffing and roasting turkey.

What's strange is that I'm normally a bit more excited for a race than I am for this one. I've put very little thought into running this race and I have no idea what the course is like (hilly? crowd support? loop or out-and-back?). All I know is that I'm pre-registered (bib number is 93! I don't think I have ever had a bib number that low!!!).

Once I started thinking about the race earlier today, I became a bit nervous. With the marathon training I know that I can run better than my previous 10K race PR of 56:14. However, with my recent training of fewer miles (15 miles last week and with the 10K race I'll have 15 miles this week), I'm not sure whether all of that conditioning is still there. What a letdown it would be to NOT get a PR when a month ago it would have been a sure thing.

My strategy will be to try and run around a 9 minute mile pace for the full race and if I feel good in the second half start to pick up the pace. Worst case is that I run out of steam, need to slow down and I don't get the PR. Either way, I think I'll do better than my last few 10Ks - all Turkey Case races of over one hour.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two Treadmill Runs

My younger son had no nursery school Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week due to some conference that the teachers were attending. I guess it is nice that the teachers are getting some "continuing education" opportunities, but it just makes all of the non-Stay-at-Home-Parents need to scramble.

Our scramble was this - I took Wednesday and Friday morning off and all day Thursday off. I have some vacation to burn before the end of the year, so it was not a big deal for me.

On Thursday, I took my son on a road trip to the Statue of Liberty! I did the same thing with my older son 3 years ago when he was 4 years old and had the same situation. Although, on that trip we actually visited family afterwards and stayed in New York for a night. This time I just went up in the morning and back home in the evening.

With the scramble - the only way I was going to manage to get some runs in was to wake up early or take my son to the gym. So on Wednesday and Friday morning I went to the gym (for some reason I have not been able to wake up early lately...). My son played in the babysitting room which he loves. He plays SuperMario, watches television and runs around with other kids his age. What's not to like?

I focused on moderate intensity runs on the treadmill - based on Heart Rate. Wednesday's run was 4.5 miles at an average heart rate of 143 and an 11:00/mile pace. Today's run was a little higher on the heart rate - I started at 145 and bumped it up 2 bpm every mile until I hit 4.5 miles and then cooled down for half a mile. I ended up running at a 10:22/mile pace with an average heart rate of 147.

All said, I have 9.5 miles in this week which is pretty low. I have a 5K this weekend on Sunday, so the total weekly mileage will barely be over 15 miles. I used to run 15 miles before 9am!

Starting next week I need to get my behind in gear and get more miles in. Especially since we're in the Halloween to Thanksgiving to Channukah/Christmas/New Year's prime eating season...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Running = No Blogging

I haven't run in a few days and I'm starting to feel a bit lethargic. I just haven't been able to drag my lazy behind out of bed in the mornings (OK...we had a 4 year old visitor in the middle of the night twice last night) and I have been a bit too busy during the day to cram in a run.

The rest of the week is a strange schedule for me - my younger son's nursery school is off and since I have some vacation days to burn I'm taking half days on Wednesday and Friday and the full day off on Thursday.

I intend on going to the gym on Wednesday and Friday mornings and having my son play in the child care room while I run on the treadmill. Not ideal, but it will do.

Thursday, I'm going to take him to see the Statue of Liberty! I took my older son there when he was 4 years old and had a day off from his nursery school, so I decided to do the same thing with the little guy. Should be fun!

Sunday is the Cold Turkey 10K. A few weeks ago, I thought I would be going for a new 10K PR, but my training has been pretty on and off since the marathon. We'll see how I feel and if I still have kept that marathon conditioning!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long Run - Sans Watch

I woke up Saturday morning ready to get in a long run before heading to synagogue with the family - like I normally do. I was planning to do somewhere in the 7-8 mile range and decided to run to the Rio center and either around one half of the lake (for about 7.6 miles) or around the lake one and a half times (for 8.3 miles).

The weather was still a bit on the chilly side - about 50 degrees - and overcast and misty with a few drizzles. Not beautiful, but not too bad for a run either.

I had laid out all of my clothes and gear the night before, but when I went to turn RedG on, he wouldn't wake up! This had happened once before - at the Rockville Twilight 8K race during the summer - but since then he has been trouble free. I decided I would just grab my old Polar HRM watch since I knew the total distance of the route and I wasn't so concerned about mile splits. I found the Polar watch and it was totally blank - the battery had died.

So off I went on my run - no watch and no heart rate monitor. I can't remember the last time I ran without a watch....I mean I'm so addicted to my running log that I NEED to have at least my distance and time, right?

The only piece of technology I had with me was my iPod shuffle. I had loaded some Idan Raichel albums onto the shuffle - good tunes to get lost in while going on a nice, long easy run.

I must tell you, the first mile or so was really strange. I'm always checking my HRM feedback every few minutes just to make sure I'm not overtraining or if I can pick up the pace a bit. I got to where I normally check my mile 1 split and there was nothing to check. Really. Strange.

However, I finally got into a groove. I was free to run - and I ran hard. There were a few hills that I decided to attack - and there was nothing telling me to slow down - so I never stopped.

When I got to the lake at Rio, I decided to go for the extra lap around the lake. Why not? I had no idea what time it was. I had no idea how fast I was running. It was just me, the drizzle and my tunes. What's not to love about that!

It's still a bit strange that my RunningAhead running log only has a distance for my run - no time, no pace, no average heart rate. However, I must say that after the first two miles or so, I really didn't mind running without the watch. Perhaps I'll do it more often when I'm not training for a goal race.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch - CHANGES!

Well...the sale of Nortel's CDMA unit to Ericsson completed today, so I will be an Ericsson employee as of Monday. I'll have the same job, reporting to the same boss and working with the same customers and products - so the change is not too drastic. However, I've been working for Nortel for 16 years now - they were my first employer out of college - so switching to a new company will be somewhat of an adjustment.

Hopefully the learning curve of new systems (ordering, financial, telephone, email, expense reports, etc.) and the new corporate culture will not be too steep.

In other "changes" news, I'm always amazed to see when there is a shift in technology in how people communicate with one another. I get to see this pretty often within the Israeli Dance troupe for teens that I co-direct. When I started with the group about 7 years ago, the teens all had AIM screen names - and this seemed to be the main source of communication for them. If I needed to ask someone a question as to whether they could attend a particular performance, I would see if they were on AIM and IM them. A few years later, we started to do all of our performance scheduling on Evite. Last year, I saw that the Evite system wasn't working so well (many of the Evites got stuck in spam folders) and I realized that I needed to use Facebook.

In the span of 7 years I have been through 3 separate systems of communications. I wonder what next year will bring??

And one more thing about Facebook. I have been writing this blog since last January - it is almost two years old now! However, about a month ago I linked the blog into Facebook and I must have at least quadrupled my readership. This week I have bumped into so many people who have told me that they have been following my marathon training on Facebook. Nice!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sneaky Speed Run

I'm working a lot of nights this week for work. I knew that last night was going to be an all-nighter given the scope of what needed to be ends up that I did not get into bed until 5:45am! I have woken up earlier for a normal weekday run!!

I somehow was able to sleep until noon. I'm usually not a good daytime sleeper but I guess I really needed the sleep (OK...Benadryl definitely helped!)

I decided to go for a quick run before getting to work. 4 easy miles was the plan.

I looked out the window and it seemed like the rain had stopped. However, it was still a bit chilly and windy, so I wore my microfiber pullover. This was a good call as it definitely helped with the wind and it started to rain a bit mid run.

Since it was chilly, my body wanted to move to warm up. I looked down at RedG to get my first mile split - 9:26. I wanted to slow down after that, but I kept up the pace to keep myself warm. Mile 2 split - 9:51.

At this point I decided that if I was already running sub-10 minute miles, this wasn't going to be an "easy" run. I may as well start running and a good clip, attack the hills, etc. Mile 3 - 9:15.

As I worked my way back into the neighborhood, I must have turned on the burners a bit. I know I wasn't going full out - I would have remembered pushing it hard if I was - but my pace over the last mile sped up to 8:49.

Overall, I ran close to 4.2 miles at a 9:19 pace. So much for a "nice and easy" run around the neighborhood.

Upcoming Races

Now that the marathon is behind me - and that I'm running again (unlike after my first marathon) - I'd like to take advantage of my marathon conditioning and run some races...and perhaps earn some more new PRs.

My 10K PR was set in 2006, when I was training for my first Half Marathon. It was in the Pike's Peek race which is net downhill and a pretty fast course. My time was 56:14 - a 9:03/mile pace. Based on some of my training runs, I'm pretty sure I can go sub-9:00/mile.

I would normally run the Turkey Chase on Thanksgiving Day, but it looks like we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, so I'll be busy with the turkey and getting the house ready. So I found another 10K the Sunday before Thanksgiving that is held by the Annapolis Striders. I know nothing about the course - I hope it is not too hilly!

Following up after that, I may try running the Gar Williams Half Marathon on December 5. My Half Marathon PR was set earlier this year at the Run For The Shelter Half Marathon in 2:13:22 - a 10:11/mile pace. I'm pretty sure I can run a Half Marathon in a sub-10:00/mile pace - again, if it is not too hilly.

I hope I can stay healthy and injury-free to get to the starting line of these races - and kick some behind!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Morning Run DENIED!

With the procurement of my seasonal GU flavors, I was actually really psyched to wake up early and run with a shot of Vanilla Gingerbread GU.

I was winding down around 9:30pm last night - I was going to hit the sack early so I could get up early to run. Or so I thought...

It was about then that I remembered that I had to open up a conference bridge at 11pm for another maintenance window activity at work. If everything went right, I could open the bridge, see that everything had started up nicely and then hang up by 11:20pm. Of course, if this happened often, there would be little need for Project Managers.

You guessed it - things did not go as planned. "Luckily", I got to bed at 1:30am. However, that meant no morning run.

I did carve out some time in the late morning after a few conference calls to go for a 3 mile run. Even though I didn't exactly need the GU to run a 3 miler a few hours after breakfast, I decided to try the Vanilla Gingerbread flavor anyhow.

This tasted a lot like the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte. It tasted a little more ginger-y and not as sweet as the Starbucks drink, but overall I was pretty impressed. I'm not usually one for strong GU flavors - especially mid-run - but to start off your morning with a shot of this (or the mint chocolate) before an early morning run will be enough of a treat to make those "dark o'clock" runs worth it.

I hit my 3-mile neighborhood lake loop. I took it easy the first two miles - 10:37 and 10:40 - and then somehow I tore it up in mile 3 with a 9:52. Avg HR was 152, but this included some elevated readings in the first mile (second mile's avg HR was 149 and third mile was 151).

I'm not sure what the rest of the week will hold for me in terms of running. I may have some more late nights ahead, so I may need to rest up a bit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Seasonal GUs Are Here!! (a new motivation for a morning run...)

I'm working in Reston, VA today so on my lunch break I walked around Reston Town Center and walked into Potomac River Running (to my friends at Fleet Feet...I'm sorry - I'll be back by you very soon!).

I was looking around and saw that the seasonal GUs are in. Hooray!!!

Last year I bought a box of the Mint Chocolate GU in the spring when it was on sale, and I loved this flavor. It was like downing a peppermint patty before my run...yum!

The store had both the Mint Chocolate and a new flavor (at least to me) - Vanilla Gingerbread.

I bought a box of both.

I now can't wait for my run tomorrow.

First Post-Marathon "Long" Run

It's kind of funny to be calling a 6 miler a "long" run now :-)

However, now that I'm not training for a marathon - or really anything right now - a 6-10 mile run is what I'll likely be doing on the weekend as a "long" run to compliment my 3-5 mile weekly morning runs.

The weather yesterday was beautiful - sunny and 70 degrees. Definitely not what you normally expect from early November in the DC area.

I had to drop my older son off at an afternoon birthday party which was conveniently located at the North end of the Rock Creek Trail. I said to hell with watching football (the Redskins are horrible this year anyhow...) and decided to go for my run on the trail. I parked the car near the trail, headed south on the trail for 3 miles and then headed back up to my car.

I brought my iPod shuffle along loaded with a playlist that I used during my speedwork runs - Lose Yourself, Pump It, Kashmir, Fire and some other tunes that get me going. This was good and bad - I found myself moving a bit too fast for a nice, easy run. My splits were 10:10, 10:11, 9:57, 10:11 and 10:08 before I slowed myself down for a final 10:40 mile.

The good news - I was able to run the six miles pain free! The bad news - later that evening and today, I have some soreness in my hip-flexor muscle. I'm already stretching it out as part of some of the stretches my chiro gave to me, so perhaps the focus on this area is also contributing to the pain.

I was a bit bummed out that I was sore today since the weather is beautiful again. I would have loved to jump out for a run before it gets cold again tomorrow, but I know my body would not appreciate it. I'd rather run healthy in the cold than with pain on a beautiful day. I guess I'll just have to find something else to do outside today!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Getting Back On Track

The post-marathon soreness in my legs was virtually gone by Thursday morning - I'm sure the massage helped tremendously!!! So Friday morning I headed out for a morning run. I wanted to get a few miles in before my chiro appointment to see if my hamstring issue flared up again.

It was still dark outside at 6am when I left the house Friday morning. Hey...wasn't changing the clocks supposed to help with this morning darkness thing??? Also, it seemed really cold. I found out later it was only 37 degrees - so my choice of a long-sleeve NikePro crew (which retains heat) may have been a bit too much...but it sure made the first mile a bit more bearable.

I headed out on a route that I could make 2 miles or more - depending when I re-entered the community. It's a bit hillier than my normal route, but I didn't want to go 4.5 miles - just in case the pain came back. Luckily, the hamstring didn't bother me.

I ran 2.5 miles - at a 10:42/mile pace. Nice and easy.

I did not run this morning - I think another day of rest is probably a good thing right now. However, resting didn't mean that I sat on my behind all day. This afternoon, I took my 7 year old to Seneca Creek Park for a little hiking. We hiked all the way around Clopper Lake. It was about 4 miles of walking for the two of us. My son did start to complain about 3/4 of the way around the lake, but otherwise he was a real trooper.

At the very end of the hike, we started to hear a sound that was like a hyena or monkey, however, we realized it was coming from the sky. We stopped and looked up and saw a bird stop at a nearby tree. When we got a better look at it, we saw it was a woodpecker! The bird stopped "laughing", pecked the tree once and then entered a hole in the tree. It was really cool. A little bit after that we started to see lots of deer. Seeing all of the wildlife definitely took my son's mind off of the fact that we had just walked 4 miles.

I'm planning to go for another run tomorrow morning - hopefully in the 5-6 mile range. We'll see how that goes and then decide on next week's plans for running...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The 2009 New York Marathon - Race Report

I've already blogged about the day before and the morning of the 2009 New York Marathon. I'm now lined up in the corral and ready to go!

My goal for this race was to first to run as close to an even split as possible. Last year at the Frederick Marathon, I ran a 2:13 first half and a 2:46 second half (where I started to fall apart around mile 16). This year, I was shooting for a 4:40 finishing time - which equates to a 10:40/mile pace. My strategy was to break up the race into three chunks - 10-10-10: the first 10 miles at a sub-150 heart rate, the next 10 miles by feel and the last 10K in smaller chunks to take me to the finish line.

The corral was pretty chaotic when I entered. I was in corral "G" - which was the last one. I saw one of the pace team signs about 20 yards ahead of me that read "5:00". I mentioned to ZF that we should try to line up a little ahead of that pace group since we were both shooting for 4:40-ish finishes, however, there was no way to navigate through the mass of humanity. I had already disposed of my sweatshirt and left it in a pile to be donated, but many people waited until they were in the corrals to take off their "throw-away" layers. Sweatshirts and sweatpants were strewn upon the chain link fence to our right and hanging off the top of porta-potties to our left...and some pieces just left on the ground for everyone to step on (and hopefully not trip over).

Finally, we heard the cannon go off (I guess they shoot it off multiple times for the different wave starts) and we started to slowly move forward. In a few minutes I was able to see the bridge again and all of the runners ahead of us starting out their race. At this point I saw two crazy costumes - one guy had a huge inner-tube looking thing with an ostrich coming up from it...another person in the adjacent corral had a tall Eiffel Tower costume. I don't know how they can run a full marathon with those things...

We finally crossed the starting line at around 10:30am and started to climb up the Verrazano Bridge. What an awesome way to start the marathon! I was lucky to be on the left side of the bridge as I got a good view of the NY skyline. It was definitely windy on the bridge - part of me wished that I would have kept an outer layer for this portion of the run, but I knew I would warm up very soon. I had to keep telling myself to slow down - I had tons of adrenaline running through me and easily could have tried to attack the bridge, but I knew it would be better to have a slow mile up and a faster mile down. I was able to hold to this strategy:

Mile 1 - 11:18 / avg HR 163 (false HR readings? adrenaline?? all uphill???)
Mile 2 - 9:51 / avg HR 145 (more like it!)

Immediately coming off the bridge, we were met by hundreds of screaming spectators in the first block welcoming us to Brooklyn! It seemed like entire communities were out - kids lining the streets with hands out for high-fives, bands playing every few blocks, people with signs encouraging their friends and family members - and encouraging strangers with the names that they had on their shirts (or in my case, since I had "FOR NANA" on my shirt, I had many people encouraging me to run for Nana!) It was truly AMAZING. What was absolutely insane, however, was that this continued for the majority of Brooklyn. All 11 miles of it - with the exception of about 1/2 mile through the ultra-religious chassidic Williamsburgh area.

I asked ZF, who had recently run the Rock-n-Roll Seattle Marathon, if that race had as many bands playing. She laughed and said that there was no Seattle there was either a band or a cheerleading squad (and mostly cheerleaders - not bands) every mile or so, but what we were seeing in Brooklyn was some kind of music playing (rock band, DJs, bongo players, bagpipes, marching bands, chiors, etc.) every few blocks.

Mile 3 - 10:40 / avg HR 151
Mile 4 - 10:34 / avg HR 152

Around this time the three color groups converged. I looked to the other side of the road and saw Coach Jeff and his wife running. I called out and ran over to him. We wished each other good luck - I thanked him again for all of the coaching support! - he snapped a picture and we were off again.

It was also around this time that my left foot started to have little spasms. Kind of odd, since my foot wasn't hurting at all leading up to the race and this didn't happen during training. I let ZF know that I had to stretch it out. She went ahead and I went to the side of the road to stretch for a bit.

Mile 5 - 10:52 / avg HR 150 (included stretching my foot, so I must have run the other parts pretty fast...)
Mile 6 - 10:33 / avg HR 147
Mile 7 - 10:46 / avg HR 149

At this point I was running completely solo - and I would for the rest of the race. Every so often I would start talking to other people on the course. There were two guys who live in Florida who saw my shirt and asked me about my connection with the Alzheimer's Association. I told them my Nana's story - arriving in Ellis Island 100 years ago in November of 1909, living in Brooklyn most of her life (we were close to her 'hood while I was telling the story...whoa!) - and then we started talking about the other marathons we had all run.

Later on I met two women who were running for the charity The Lunch Box Fund which provides lunches to school children in South Africa. I asked how big their charity team was and they told me that I was looking at the team! I don't know if they had tried to register an "official" charity team or not...but either way, they had a cause that they wanted to run for and made it happen. It definitely puts things in perspective - if you want to do something, you don't have to wait for it to happen...just make it happen!

Mile 8 - 10:43 / avg HR 152
Mile 9 - 10:55 / avg HR 151
Mile 10 - 10:44 / avg HR 149

I was now done with the first third of my 10-10-10 marathon strategy. My average HR was in the low 150s and my pace was right around 10:41. Pretty much where I wanted to be. Since my HR was a little on the high side, I decided to try to keep to this pace until the 59th Street Bridge and then see if I could ride the excitement of First Avenue up to the Bronx.

Mile 11 - 10:54 / avg HR 155
Mile 12 - 10:41 / avg HR 153
Mile 13 - 10:37 / avg HR 158
Half Marathon Split - 2:21:30

My Half Marathon split was pretty spot on - about 90 seconds slower than the 2:20 I was shooting for, but so far I wasn't over-taxing myself and I had plenty left in the tank for the second half. I was taking a GU every 45 minutes and drinking plenty of water. Well, perhaps a little too much water, as I really had to pee by this time; however, all of the porta-potties that I ran past had lines - and this was New York City so there were no trees to go behind to take care of business.

At this point, we were entering Queens. I was looking for fellow running-blogger TK who lives in Queens and whose normal running route is over the 59th Street Bridge. I didn't look at my emails since I had left Maryland, so I did not know exactly where she would be. It ends up that I had missed her since I was in the last wave of runners. However, looking for her in Queens gave me more purpose at this part of the run which helped. Also, at this point of the race I heard my phone go off - I had a text message from my sister. She had arrived in the city and was waiting for me at 71st Street and 1st Ave in Manhattan.

Mile 14 - 10:51 / avg HR 159

At around this time, I started to feel a little pain in my right calf. I was telling myself to run through it and the pain will go away - just like it did with the pain in my left foot a few miles earlier. We were about to ascend onto the 59th Street Bridge - which meant I was very familiar with the remainder of the course as I had run it two weeks earlier. I tried to take it easy going up the bridge - just like with the first mile of the course - I could run a slower mile up the bridge and then take the downhill a bit faster to make up for it. For some reason, I ended up getting boxed in a lot while on the bridge - perhaps the course is a bit narrower here as they only use one side of the lower deck of the bridge for the marathon (the other side of the street is empty - likely for emergency personnel to get through...just in case).

For me, there wasn't too much that was memorable on this bridge. However, for teammates JM and TA, this bridge - and this point on the course - will be a lifetime memory and the start of a new chapter of their lives. As they were on the bridge looking at the Manhattan skyline, he proposed to her! Congratulations guys!!!

Coming off the bridge I was anticipating the "wall of sound" of cheering spectators lining the ramp onto First Avenue in Manhattan. I saw the people there, but the cheers were not as loud as I was expecting. Perhaps the cheering was louder earlier and the spectators were just tired by then? I'm not sure what happened, but I have to say that the folks in Brooklyn did a better job greeting runners off their bridge. Manhattan - you have a bit of work to do to catch up with Brooklyn for next year...

One thing that did excite me coming off of the bridge was a long row of porta-potties - many of which showing the lock "on green" meaning they were vacant. Score!

Mile 15 - 11:27 / avg HR 162 (up the bridge)
Mile 16 - 12:27 / avg HR 161 (includes the porta-potty break and a brief stretch of my right calf)

I was now on First Avenue in Manhattan which was lined with spectators on both sides of the street. The throngs of fans rarely thinned out over the four mile stretch of 1st Ave - it seemed that there were people cheering you on constantly from the 59th Street Bridge to the Willis Avenue bridge 70 streets later. The best "pick-me-up" for me was seeing my sister at 71st Street. She had made a big sign - which I had spotted a block and a half away - and was cheering for me like crazy! She brought some extra GU, Larabars and socks - none of which I needed at the time, but I was very appreciative that she brought things for me. Actually, the one thing I really wanted to eat at that point was a banana and she didn't have one with her. We took a picture together and decided we would meet again on 5th Ave and 98th Street.

I continued up First Avenue with some more spring in my step after seeing my sister and with the encouragement of the cheering crowds. My fastest mile of the day was right here on First Ave - Mile 18 in 9:41. When I saw how fast I ran that mile, I decided I needed to slow it back down. I also decided it was time to eat the Larabar that I had on me to get some more calories in my system for my body to burn. My calf muscle - and lower hamstring - was really starting to hurt by this time, so I convinced myself to stretch it out after I finished with mile 19. After a quick calf stretch on a lamp post, I continued up to the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx.

Mile 17 - 11:45 / avg HR 161 (stopped to visit with my sister!)
Mile 18 - 9:41 / avg HR 169 (my fastest mile on the day)
Mile 19 - 10:53 / avg HR 168 (while eating a Larabar)
Mile 20 - 11:26 / avg HR 168 (with stretching my calf muscle)

I knew that the distance spent in the Bronx was a little over a mile. I had just stretched and felt pretty good so I felt I could get through this stretch pretty well. The problem was that after entering into Manhattan again, the pain in my calf and hamstring started to get a lot stronger.

Mile 21 - 10:27 / avg HR 172

Upon entering Manhattan from the Bronx, I stopped at the first water station to walk and stretch again. Once I was walking, though, I didn't want to start running. I decided that from now on I would try to walk for a minute and then run for 10 minutes. This strategy worked and got me running again. In this stretch I saw two more teammates of mine - first LC and then a few minutes later AE. Again it was nice to speak to someone while running to help get our minds off of how much our bodies were hurting at the time.

The other thing that kept me going here was that I knew my sister was waiting for me at 98th Street and Fifth Avenue. I had reached my 10 minutes of running when I hit 101st Street, so I kept going until I reached my sister. Somehow, I still had a smile on my face!

She started to run with me up Fifth Avenue towards the park. I wanted to save some energy for Central Park and the last two miles (and plus, it was time for me to walk anyway, right?) so I had her walk with me for a few blocks. She now had a banana for me and started to peel it, however, at that point I thought I would hurl if I ate a banana. My sister asked the runners near us if anyone wanted the banana and someone immediately yelled "ME!". I was not the only runner my sister helped out on the course that day!

Mile 22 - 11:59 / avg HR 165
Mile 23 - 11:55 / avg HR 158
Mile 24 - 11:56 / avg HR 164

I started to run again as I entered Central Park. I knew there were two miles left to go, but whenever I ran my hamstring really hurt. I was going to try to run as much as I could here, but walk up some of the hills if I needed to. I loved running in Central Park during my training, but now I could not soak in the beauty of the park and the magnificent crowds that were there to cheer on the runners. I had to focus on the task at hand - finishing.

By this time I knew that my 4:40 goal was gone. However, as long as I didn't injure myself I would likely be able to finish with a new PR. I crossed the mile 25 marker and RedG showed somewhere in the 4:37 range. If I could manage a 10:00/mile pace over the final 1.2 miles I could still finish in the 4:40s.

Mile 25 - 11:12 / avg HR 165

I started to push myself as I exited the park onto Central Park South. The crowds were amazing and the energy was electrifying. However, I could only run with the pain for so long - about half way up Central Park South I needed to walk for a block or two. The spectators in the crowd were yelling for me, "Do it FOR NANA!", "Don't Let Nana Down!", etc. With encouragement like that, how could I walk? Of course I got started again and turned the corner into the park.

Once I re-entered the park, I knew there was not much left to the course - and that the ending was uphill. My sister told me that my parents were waiting at the finish line - in the bleachers at Tavern On The Green (I have no idea how my mom finagled her way into the bleachers, however, it did not surprise me one bit that she did...).

I turned on whatever "burners" I had left and booked it to the finish line. I saw my parents in the bleachers on the left side of the course and waved and blew a kiss their way - and then crossed the finish line.

Final Chip Time - 4:51:25

I walked around immediately after the finish to catch my breath and calm down. I then went to get my finisher's medal. The medal was a bit disappointing to me. I was hoping it would have the NY Skyline or the NY Road Runner's logo of a runner in front of a big apple. Instead there was a big 40, since this is the 40th running of the New York Marathon. I'm sure this is not an issue for most people, but given that I just turned 38 this summer and for the first time had some difficulty with my birthday (facing the fact that I'm getting OLD), I'm just a bit sensitive to someone draping a big 40 around my neck. Come on, I'm not 40 yet...get that thing away from me!!! OK, I do love my medal. But this was definitely my first reaction to seeing it.

My plan now was to exit the park, get to my friend's apartment on 70th and Broadway to shower, get my bag and take a cab down to the post-race party at Columbus Circle where my family would be waiting for me. The New York Road Runners had a different plan for me though. I couldn't just "exit the park". I had to walk past tons of baggage trucks with the other hundreds (thousands?) of runners who had just crossed the finish line. Runners were herded like cattle all the way to 77th Street. At least they gave us a bag of food to eat - a PowerBar, an apple, a Gatorade, water, almonds and a bagel.

Exiting the park and getting to my friend's apartment took close to an hour. I spoke to Sherry and she let me know that my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins from New Jersey would not be able to stay much longer at the post-race party so I would not be able to see them :-( I felt bad that they made such an effort - especially with the kids - and that I did not get to see them and thank them for coming to cheer me on.

The next hurdle was that there were NO empty cabs going southbound from my friend's apartment. I thought about taking the bus - but I had asked some of the people waiting at the stop and they mentioned that the last bus did not show yet. I was only 12 blocks away from Columbus Circle - so I decided to walk to the party, bag in tow. I finally made it and celebrated with family members and teammates!

Overall, I really enjoyed my New York Marathon experience. The marathon itself was wonderful - such energy from the screaming fans along the entire course and it was amazing to see how many volunteers they had working the race. The scope of this event is so huge and everything seemed to go smoothly. It was a bit of a bummer to have to wait in the starting area for so long and to have such a slow march to leave the park, but I guess that's what needs to happen to get so many runners staged to start the race and exit the park without much chaos.

I also felt that this race was extra special given that I ran for a cause and with Team Run To Remember. In addition to making the training runs easier by running with a team, I felt that I wasn't out on the course by myself and every time I saw one of my teammates I got a lift. Running with a charity team is definitely something I will consider doing again.

However, I'm not sure when I will run another full marathon again. This distance is really brutal for me. I definitely ran a better race this year than last year, but I still fell apart during the later miles of the race. For now, I think my limit is about 18 miles or 30K. Half marathons, here I come!!!

Massage Therapy!

I don't have time to do the full race report blog post yet, it will come soon...

I have been spending a good amount of time getting back to "normal". I went to the chiro on Monday evening to get adjustments (i.e. back cracking) and to have electro-stim and massage on my right calf / lower hamstring. Yesterday, I had to lead Israeli Dancing in the was good to move around, but I did not over do it. I also iced my quads a bit as they were still feeling very sore.

By this morning I felt almost 100% - no more wincing while going up and down the stairs, although there was still some soreness in my quads. I had an appointment for a massage which I was totally looking forward to. Except, I forgot that my massage therapist really gets into those tight muscles - which can be more painful in the moment than the soreness I have been experiencing for the past few days.

The massage therapist started with my neck and shoulders for about 5 minutes, and then spent the rest of the hour on my legs. Quads, shins, feet, calves and hamstrings. There was so much going on in the major muscle groups there, that she almost forgot about the little muscle in the back of my right knee - in between the calf and hamstring - which was one of the main reasons I was there in the first place!

I reminded her about it, and she started to dig in...OWWWWW! Perhaps I should have just kept my mouth shut...

The massage therapist has a theory about what happened on Sunday - and during last year's marathon. She noticed that my psoas muscles are really tight and that my right leg is twisted/tilted inward just a tad. She's thinking that the muscles in my right leg that were in pain are probably working extra hard normally to make up for this deficiency - and when I decide to go out and run 26 miles, the muscles are in overload which causes the pain that I'm experiencing. This theory seems to jive with the pelvic instability issue that I was told at the Stride Clinic earlier in the year.

I'll review this assessment with the chiro later this week and see if he agrees. If so, I think I may have a new set of objectives and goals forming right before my eyes...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2009 New York Marathon - The Morning of the Race

I have a few moments this afternoon to blog about the morning of the race...the actual race report will have to wait (sorry folks!). However, more time elapsed from the time I woke up marathon morning to the time I lined up in the gate than during my running of the marathon there is plenty to talk about!

As I mentioned before, I woke up before my alarm. I had set my watch alarm for 5:35am - which was actually 4:35am due to the switch from Daylight Savings Time. When I woke up, I looked at the time on my friend's cable box and it said 4:25 - I wasn't sure if that was with "falling back" or not...I took a look at my watch which showed 5:25 so I realized that the cable box automatically turned the clock back.

I had laid everything out the night before - running clothes (shirt, shorts, socks, sleeves and hat), RedG and the HRM strap, my water belt, bodyglide, nipple tape, tissues (for both the porta potties and the sinuses), GUs and a Larabar, pre-race food (a bagel, a banana and a single serving container of peanut butter), my throw away sweatshirt (vintage 1990 UofM Greek Week sweatshirt which I probably have not worn in over 15 years - why it was still in my closet I did not know...). I decided not to wear the throw away sweatpants that I had - my friend's apartment was really warm and it had seemed warm enough the night before so I did not think I needed them. I had put my subway card and a few bucks in my RoadID pouch on my shoe also so I would not forget these essentials. As a result, getting ready in the morning was very quick...I had enough time to strip the linen from my friend's sofa bed and fold it back up before leaving.

I walked out to the subway where I was going to meet teammate LG at 5:15am. As I was crossing the street to the station, a car pulled up beside me, "Are you going to the marathon start?" (umm - it's pretty obvious, don'tcha think?) "Do you want a lift?" he asked me. The driver did not look like he was about to run the marathon, and I was wondering what the guy was up to. A bit sketchy if you ask me...even on the Upper West Side. I politely told him that I was meeting other people - thanks, but no thanks.

I met up with LG and we did the subway thing. It was nice to be underground as it was drizzling a bit outside. There were two types of people on the subway and walking around New York at that time. Those in running gear who were getting to their assigned spots to travel to the starting line of the marathon, and those in Halloween costumes who were traveling back home after a night full of partying. Even though the marathoners outnumbered the party revelers at that time, it was still quite a scene.

We made it to Union Square and boarded the team bus. I had met about half of the Team Run To Remember members over the past four months during the various training runs and meetings I came up to New York for, but there wasn't anyone in particular I was planning to sit with on the bus ride. As I boarded the bus, someone from the back yells, "Go BLUE!" upon seeing the big maize and blue M on my sweatshirt - so I went to speak to this fellow UofM runner, BE. He is another out-of-town team member - from Cincinnati - and graduated UofM last year. Also in the back of the bus at that point was teammate JR who I had not met before but immediately started discussing the various iPods we had used - and needed to replace - due to our running madness! A few minutes later another teammate that I had only briefly met before on a training run, CW, sat down next to me and we congratulated each other on our fundraising achievements (she raised over $20K!!) and started to discuss the nerves and adrenaline that were pumping through us at that moment.

The bus took the long way around to Fort Wadsworth - out the Holland Tunnel into New Jersey and then to the Bayonne Bridge into Staten Island. I guess the Verrazano Bridge closed at 7am and the bus driver didn't want to chance not getting over the bridge in time.

Once we arrived at Fort Wadsworth, there was a small sea of people being dropped off of busses and waiting in line to enter the "runner's village". It must have taken us about 20 minutes to get through this line and enter. Most of the team stayed together and gathered in the common area before dispersing to our different color start areas. We posed for a group picture - there were 3 or 4 people taking photos with everyone's of the "photographers" was a foreigner who would say "PERRRRRFECT" each time he took a photo. It got a laugh from the entire team every time!

A few of us went to get some food and coffee - unfortunately, we trekked through a muddy patch of field instead of following the non-muddy streets...we knew which way NOT to take back to the team site! While looking for bagels, teammate TA met Tara from last season's The Biggest Loser and took a picture with her to show to the rest of the team...very cool!

We all got back to the group and ate, schmoozed and tried to keep warm. About half an hour later, the group started to break up to head toward their different color areas - and some of the runners in the earlier waves needed to hit their starting corrals. It was definitely a bittersweet moment - we were all about to embark on this awesome event that we all had spent the last four to five months preparing for. However, this also marked the end of the team being together.

As someone who was a bit of an "outsider" at the beginning - I'm not from New York and I am not active in the NY Alzheimer's Association chapter - I found that this team gelled very well. I think it was a perfect size - large enough to raise a sum of money that justifies the hard work needed to organize the team and also large enough to sustain all of the training runs/meetings of the team, but small enough that all the members get an opportunity to meet everyone in the group and that the team could take on its own identity without having sub-teams or cliques. I really enjoyed every moment that I had with this team - from my Central Park training runs in August and September, to the meeting I attended when Liz Robbins spoke about her book, to the training run over the last 10 miles of the marathon course, to all of the time spent in the hours leading up to the race. I will really miss the members of this team, and I hope to keep in touch with many of them (and perhaps run with them again!).

I went to the orange runners area and met up with my college friend ZF. She immediately recognized the UofM Greek Week sweatshirt (and was pretty amazed that I still had it!). She had been hanging out in one of the tents with another friend of hers for hours - they had arrived at Fort Wadsworth at 6:30am and it was now about 9:30. About 10 minutes later we heard the cannon go off and we were able to see the runners on the bridge. WOW!

We took a quick Brightroom photo with the Verrazano Bridge in the background. I'm not sure why I did this - I definitely will want the memories, but Brightroom charges so much for the photos it's ridiculous! If they charged something reasonable I would consider purchasing the prints or buying the downloads...but until then it's going to be screen captures with the "Copyright" message going across...

Then it was one last trip to the porta-potty (and thank goodness I brought my own tissues...too much information???) before heading to the corrals and lining up for the start of the New York Marathon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Hours Leading Up To The NY Marathon...

I'm still collecting my thoughts from the marathon, so I'm not going to post my race report yet. However, since I did not have a computer with me in New York, I never got a chance to post about what happened leading up to the marathon.

The Cranky Knee

The main event in the 36 hours leading up to the big race was....a cranky knee.

Yes - a few hours after my last run on Friday afternoon, my left knee started to hurt. UGH! The more I walked, the worse it felt. Unfortunately, I wasn't getting much rest since I was going up and down stairs trying to pack and get ready to go up to New York. I iced my knee for a bit on Friday night before going to bed, but it was still cranky on Saturday.

Saturday started out with not too much moving around - I was driving up to Wayne, NJ for four hours, and then taking the bus in from Wayne to NYC. However, after that there was lots of walking - from the bus to the subway, from the subway to my friend's apartment, then back to the subway and to the expo, to and from the pre-race feast at Carmines, etc. All through the walking around the city on Saturday afternoon, my knee had this cranky pain. I iced it again on Saturday evening, hoping that it would feel better by Sunday morning. I knew that I would just have to run through it on Sunday if it was still there - but I didn't know how long it would be before the pain would get really bad.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, the first thing I checked when getting out of bed was my left knee. It felt fine. The ice had done its job. Thank goodness!

Expo Anxiety

Every email that I had received in the past week mentioned that we needed to have a printed copy of our Runner's Registration Form to get into the expo. I printed mine immediately and ensured it was in my duffel when I packed for New York. I decided to take the subway from my friend's apartment to the Javits Center - which meant walking about 4 blocks over and 3 blocks up (with that cranky knee...). As I stood directly across the street from the Javits Center, it hit me...I had left the darn Registration Form in my duffel bag at my friend's apartment. Oh NO!!!! I called up my friend to see if he could find an internet cafe or Kinko's near the Javits Center so I could go in, pull up the email and print it out. All the Kinko's in the area were closed on Saturdays and no luck on Internet Cafes. He suggested some of the hotels near Penn Station, so off I went, walking back towards 34th Street and 7th Ave. After a block of walking, I decided to call Coach Brian - did I really need the Registration Form? He informed me that there was a special services desk at the expo that would look up my information and print the form for me. No need to go back and get the form. Saved! Thanks Coach Brian!!!

The expo was definitely a lot more impressive than the expo at the Frederick Marathon :-) However, I didn't get all jazzed up about it. Perhaps it was because I was there so late in the game (I arrived about 3:30pm on Saturday - it has already been open on Thursday and Friday and was closing in less than 2 more hours) so there were no speakers or "events" happening at the time I was there. I was interested in purchasing a Mizuno Breath Thermo top, but by that time there were no more in my size (I'll have to pay full price at Fleet Feet sometime soon...). I did purchase a hat for Sherry and a pair of running gloves that had the names of all five boroughs on each of the five fingers - I know I'm going to love running in those this winter!

Pre-Race Dinner

Team Run To Remember held their pre-race dinner at Carmine's. It was a great chance for the team to celebrate our accomplishments - over $325K raised and 75% of the team running their first marathon - and to give our appreciation to our wonderful coaches. There were some speeches at the beginning from board members of the NY City Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and also a special appearance from David Hyde Pierce who is a big supporter of the Alzheimer's Association. David Hyde Pierce started off his speech with a comment like, "you all are the only skinny people at Carmine's..."

I soon would understand what he meant. There was a three-course meal - first course was garlic bread and three types of salads, second course was four types of pasta dishes and the last course was dessert. All of the family-style portions were ENORMOUS! At a normal dinner I likely could have stopped after the salads. But of course I loaded up on pasta too. And had a little bit of the desserts. I was stuffed.

Since I was so uncomfortably full, I wanted to walk a bit to help digest. I started walking with teammate LG and a few of her running friends who were all going to the Upper West Side. We were going to walk to the subway station on 50th and then all go uptown. However, when we got to the station, we found out it was closed. Back to the 42nd Street station we went (and yes, my knee was still cranky at the time). Except at that point it started to rain.

Party Pooper

I finally got back to my friend's apartment and was quite wet from the rain outside. They were having a little Halloween party with friends that night - their apartment is a few blocks from Central Park and you can see the pre-Marathon fireworks from their window, so they invited some friends over to celebrate. It was nice to meet their friends and schmooze. I would have loved to join them in their wine, beer and other drinks, but I stuck to water. At around 10:15pm I reminded my friend that I needed to get some sleep and would appreciate if they would continue the party elsewhere around 11pm. It wasn't a problem with him - or with the guests - but it just felt odd to be kicking my friend out of his own place so I could get some sleep.

I was really tired by then and crashed pretty quickly. I had set my watch to go off at 4:35am so I could get to the subway by 5:15am. The team bus was meeting at Union Square at 6am. As usual with my anxious anticipation, I woke up before my alarm went off.

To be continued soon with the marathon day experience....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Marathon PR!!!

I finished the NY Marathon today in:

4:51:32 (Garmin time)

It's a new PR for me!!! It was a little over 10 minutes slower than my goal time, but I started having the same upper calf/lower hamstring issue that I had in my first marathon.

I'll try to get a full race report out by mid-week...