NYC Marathon Training Week 9: Off to the Races


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This was a busy week of training (my highest weekly mileage ever) that finished in races both Saturday and Sunday – the Fifth Avenue Mile and the NYRR 18 Mile Tune-Up!

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Monday – Easy yoga class

Tuesday – 5.25 miles (5 miles easy + 5 x 20-second strides)

On my morning run, I had a solo photo shoot with my new self-timer camera app on my iPhone. How did it take me so long to discover this?

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That afternoon, my friend and I got free manicures as part of a Fashion Week promo…

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And then went to the Oiselle Fashion Week after party!

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Hanging out with my buddies Lauren Fleshman and Dr. Meggie

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Carla and I were very excited to meet Kara Goucher, who will also be running the NYC Marathon this fall!

The Oiselle party was a lot of fun. Meeting Kara Goucher was the highlight of the evening, of course, but it was wonderful to connect with other Oiselle Team members, especially the ones I hadn’t had the chance to meet before. Oiselle events often feel like big reunions when the Seattle-based company members come to NYC, and it’s great to reconnect and hear about what’s next for the brand.

Wednesday – 7 miles (2 miles warm up, 3 miles @ tempo pace, 2 miles cool down)

Thursday – Pilates video

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Volunteering at the Fifth Avenue Mile bib pickup with Carla, for our 9+1 volunteer credit. I really didn’t intend to get sucked back into 9+1 this year (for entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon) but I was doing 6 NYRR races, so I decided to just do 9 to give myself the option. I am considering registering and then deferring until 2016, even though that would mean paying the entry fee twice. Luckily I have until March to decide!

Friday – REST

Saturday – 3.5 miles (20 minute warm-up, 4 x 20-second strides, Fifth Avenue Mile, short cool down jog)

I had never raced a mile before and I had no idea what I was capable of. My speedwork paces have been in the 7-8 min/mile range, depending on the day and the interval length, so I was hoping that if I ran all out I could break 7 minutes.

I had real old-fashioned race nerves for this one, which I haven’t had in a while. My stomach was full of butterflies at the start line.

Coach Jess gave me my race plan:

20 minute jog before the race + 4 strides
Run the 1st .25 at a 95% effort
2nd .25 pull back your pace a bit, 80% effort (there is an uphill in this section!)
3rd .25 back up to 95%
last .25 as fast as you can

I love being able to focus on effort level rather than specific pace, because that takes the pressure off of reaching a certain speed and just lets me focus on how I’m feeling that day. Since it was just one mile, I didn’t wear my Garmin, nor did I wear my Road ID bracelet, a hat, sunglasses, or a belt – it felt so freeing!

The race start was crowded and it was hard to hit a 95% effort level right away, but by the .25 point I was already feeling winded and was happy to pull back a bit on the uphill. At .5, I kicked it back up and at .75 I passed the Prospect Park Track Club cheer station (this was a NYRR Club Points race) and that helped me sprint the last few hundred meters to the finish.

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I was shocked and thrilled to see my finish time – 6:37! I had never seen a 6 at the beginning of my paces before!

My lungs were on fire and I was coughing (sprinting-induced asthma, I joked) for about an hour afterwards. It was SO HARD. Almost harder than a long run. But so addicting; I already want to run next year’s race so I can try to beat my time!

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After my heat, which was the first group (we were split up by age and gender, not pace), I went to cheer with the rest of the PPTC group. My mom also ran, and she clocked in at 9:25! I was so proud of her for breaking 10 minutes, which I knew she could do. And her age-graded time was 6:31, so technically she beat me!

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Sunday – 18.15 miles at the NYRR 18-Mile Tune Up

Like I had expected, this one was rough. Three loops of Central Park – all those hills!!!

Luckily I met up with Katherine, a PPTC running buddy, and ran with a few other friends for a while. It really helped pass the time. Katherine took off without me around Mile 16 and I put on my headphones for the last two miles. It was hard to walk afterwards (longest distance ever!) but Leticia told me that people say if you can run three loops of Central Park, you can run any marathon. I hope so!

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The only picture of me and Katherine running that I didn’t hate. It’s hard to look attractive when you’re running 18 miles.

Total – 34 miles

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Special shout-out to Oiselle teammate Courtney from Eat, Pray, Run DC who listed me as one of five blogs she’s loving right now.

Thanks Courtney!

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Which do you prefer – shorter or longer distances?

Any tips for my first 20-miler next weekend??

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