That’s what I’m going to say to every single person I come across for the rest of the day. And tomorrow it will change to “Oh hi. I ran 20 miles yesterday.” And so on, and so on. Because guess what…I RAN 20 MILES TODAY! Actually, according to MapMyRun I did 21.58, but who’s counting? Oh, I am. Because if 20 is cool 21.58 is 1.58 times cooler!
Word vomit over. Let’s recap correctly.
I didn’t get home from work last night until about 1 a.m. and it was straight to bed. Rather than attempt a big run this morning off zero sleep, I decided to forego the alarm and let myself wake up when I wake up. Unfortunately, I had a lot of pre-marathon
nightmares dreams going on and didn’t sleep that well anyway. Oh, well.
I rolled out of bed a little after nine and was pretty hungry since last nights work dinner was a simple PB&J. I decided to risk switching things up a bit and rather than doing my normal pre-run snack of a nature valley bar (or two) or a honey stinger (keep forgetting to buy) smothered in peanut butter, I lathered up two Van’s low-cal, low-fat waffles instead. They were filling enough and I figured had just about the same amount of fueling ability.
After letting that settle a bit and doing some half-assed attempt at stretching (my legs were still super sore and tired from lots of running/working/etc) I laced up and headed out the door!
The plan was to do four of the 5-mile loops around Central Park (102nd street driveway looping around the southern tip and back up). During the first 10 miles/2 loops all I could think about was how much more enjoyable that distance was two days ago with Katherine. However I got myself through it mentally by reminding myself we covered that distance in the rainnnn, so surely today–a beautiful (albeit slightly overcast) fall day in NYC–two loops would be a piece of cake!
Cake? Maybe not. Slightly enjoyable red velvet cake flavored yogurt or those low-fat dark chocolate decadence jello pudding cups? Maybe.
About halfway through my third loop (this is maybe mile 14?) a fellow runner strided up alongside to make a bit of conversation regarding my compression socks. Do they work? He wanted to know. I told him the same thing I tell people about the knee bands I occassionally wear: I’m not so sure that they do anything, but in my head, they are life-savers.
Compression sock question answered and fellow runner stayed in stride. And here is where we get to the part of my 20+ mile recap where I gush about HOW MUCH I LOVE NEW YORK. Where else, other than Central Park, do you just make friends with other sweat /self-induced pain lovers? My new bff (his name is Paul) was out on a lunchtime run as part of his taper period before the NYC marathon in two weeks. This is his 5th time running the race after about a 3-year hiatus. And from mile 14-about mile 19, I got to pick his brain, chat marathon training and gush to each other about our mutual love of Central Park. I doubt Paul reads my marathonwining blog (afterall, with a full-time job in Manhattan and a family out in Jersey he’s a very busy man…and yes, I gleaned this information and much more somewhere between miles 17 and 18), but Paul, if you’re out there, please know you saved my run today, and without you I may have never ever finished this distance. You Paul, are an angel.
Not only did my new friend Paul help me through some particularly tough miles, he encouraged me to switch up my plan of four 5-mile loops, and together we tackled HARLEM HILLS. This came at about 17 miles in…when I had NO desire to climb any unanticipated hills. But we did it. And we did it at what I’d call an impressive pace for mile 17!
We both let out giant
pants sighs of relief coming back down around the west side and stayed together over the 72nd transverse. From there we exchanged names, thanked each other for the company and gave giant high-fives and well wishes for our respective marathons. Paul headed back south to the office, and me back north toward home.
I pulled out of the park and walked the mile or so back to my hood–only after lots of internal turmoil debating whether or not to jog it. My conscience finally told me 20 is enough to be proud of. And if I broke my ankle at any point after that just because I wanted to feel a little more like a badass, I would be a very, very unhappy (non)marathonwiner. I dragged my toosh back home, but not before stopping at Westside market and getting myself the BIGGEST salad known to man, a bottle of raspberry-lime HINT water annnnd a mini chocolate-chip muffin loaf…just in case As it turned out, the waffles were wonderful pre-run fuel, because I accidentally forgot to fuel as much as I should have during the run. In fact, while Paul and I discussed our favorite fuel tactics and failures (more so in my case, as I the marathon is three weeks away and I still don’t know what my plan is), I assured him that I had already had 2 vanilla GUs. But when the run was over and I was digging through my gear belt for my cell (so I could text everyone under the sun about my accomplishment), I found two full GUs and only one empty one. Oops. Told you guys, I really think I black out when I run and forget MANY, many details of many, many miles. Better luck next time? Oh wait, next time is THE MARATHON.
In the meantime, taper begins NOW. Which means I’ve got the next few weeks to carbo-load (no problem there), stalk the marathon website/course elevation chart/everything else related to Richmond, figure out EXACTLY what I will be wearing/consuming/every other detail of raceday overanalyzing, and probably lose so much sleep due to nerves that I’ll spend the month of December catching up. Good plan?
Happy happy Friday kids, have an excellent weekend!
- Are you running NYC? I’m getting so pumped to watch everyone!!
- What’s your max mileage/taper period like? I feel like after doing 15/18/13/18/14/20…three weeks of taper maxing out with a 12 mile run just isn’t enough before the marathon. I KNOW it is, but it FEELS different. Gah!
- Any other exciting weekend plans? My favorite running friend and the JDs sisters are all in the city this weekend Good times!