Sunday, September 30, 2007

35 Days until the Marathon
Today's weather: 68º
Today's humidity: 40%

20 miles baby! Okay, technically it was 19.6 but if I add the walk to 57th Street train station I'll be over the mark. But what a run!

I can't believe I covered such a distance. 3 loops around Central Park, plus a mini loop pass the great lawn. I feel totally accomplished now!

Woke up at 6:30am, drank some glucose water and had a bagel and headed out the door at 7:30am. Got to the park around 9am. Thankfully the great weather afforded us the time to get our run in a little later. When we got there, there was a tune up race going on already, so we just slipped ourselves in.

I had to keep my pace in check. The runners who did the race were so much faster than I am. I didn't mind, just that I had to make sure I didn't run faster than I should. As usual GP bounded ahead by mile 2 and I was on my own for the rest of the run. She was able to keep pace with a lot of the runners, but I was happy just to be able to say I can put in the distance.

The first loop was uneventful. Slow and steady with the exception of Harlem Hill, which was two minutes of fast uphill. It makes me feel good that I can do the entire uphill without walking. And today I got to enjoy the beautiful autumn morning in the park. The trees were a lush green and the skyline sparkled in the background.

During the middle of the second loop I began to get this little nagging feeling on my back, which I suspected was from my fuel belt being a bit too tight. My left knee also started to make its presence known, so I slowed down to take a tylenol and a gel. A lot of the runners cleared out at the end of the race, so the path wasn't as crowded as the first time around. There were a lot of bikes though, and towards noon people came out to enjoy the beautiful Sunday morning.

That's one thing about being at Central Park. It's a wide road, but you have to be aware at all times. Those bikes are no joke whizzing by, usually 5 or 6 at a time. There are a lot of bikers training for their races, all wearing the same color tops.

Then there are the horse and buggies trotting along with tourists, pedicabs weaving in and out with passengers, runners with strollers, roller bladers and the occasional police car and truck passing by. It's a peaceful city scene but somewhat dangerous if you're not paying attention. Too many people make their way across the path carelessly and once in a while you'll hear people on the bikes yelling out while they pass, barely missing the unaware.

The third loop was a bit of a struggle so I took it easy the entire way with plenty of walking in between. With this type of distance it does take some getting used to, and I wanted to protect my knee smartly. I didn't have a watch on me, but I know we started a little after 9am and finished at about 1:30pm. Given this estimate I'm on point to finish my first marathon at about 5:30, which would be a-okay with me! I've been envisioning crossing the line, and it never fails to put a smile on my face. Who knew I'd come so far with this training thing?!

Anyway, after a bagel and some water, GP and I went our separate ways. I get home and found new areas of chafing, particularly the front of my ankles and the tops of my feet. I caught a small blister on my left foot, but thankfully no inner thigh chafing or back bra strap chafing. (Last two long runs I had both and didn't realize it until I jumped into the shower. ouch!)

Running such distances takes a lot out of you, (though I'm sure you guys already know that). I fell asleep on the train home, got home, took a shower and passed out in front of the television. Woke up to a lovely beef stew that Chris cooked, so I feel awesome even if I'm a tad sore all over! Woo hoo! Go me!


Road Warrior said...

20 miles. That's fantastic. You'll be in great shape for the marathon. Great job!

ShirleyPerly said...

Lisa, congrats on getting that 20-miler done!!

That cool weather sounds so nice as does seeing so many people outside and about being active. Perhaps you should consider lacing your shoes differently? I actually prefer to use the stretchy speed laces that many triathletes use -- no more tying shoe laces and they're always the perfect snugness once properly adjusted!

Maddy said...

Way to go on that 20 Miler! Awesome Job!

I like Shirley's shoe lace suggestion. I use regular laces, but I tuck the ends in under the criss-crosses so they're not rubbing on my ankle.

Great Job girl! You are going to rock that marathon! I know it!

CewTwo said...

Wow! 20 miles! Congratulations! I have no doubt that you were tired!

I always think of New York as a center of mass humanity. Your appreciation for the city show in every running commentary that you write. I want to experience it now!

I like Shirley's laces suggestions. I am the kind of guy that would use velcr closed shoes if the made them. I tuck my laces under my RoadID.

Congrats on the long run!

peter said...

Terrific run. Well done! You won't believe how unbelievably fun running the NYCM is. The Verrazano Bridge (I grew up on Staten Island), the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, a brief foray into Queens, the 59th Street Bridge, Manahattan!, the Bronx, then back down 5th Avenue to Central Park. It was a year ago for me but it seems like yesterday. I'm so jealous!

MorseyRuns said...

20 miles! That is fantastic- if you convert it kilometres for the likes of me it sounds even further- 32kms I think- great work.

Nicole said...

Great job on the 20 miler!
I hear ya on the chafing- it ceases to amaze me how many new place can suffer from it. :)

CewTwo said...

I saw the map of Central Park in Runner's World and immediately thought of you!

Now I have a far, far better idea of your Central Park runs!

Susan said...

Please show us a sign of life -- your marathon is almost here! :)

peter said...

Lisa! Good luck on Sunday!! You'll do terrific!!!