13.7 miles: A Central Park Success

15 Sep

After last weeks horrific 12 mile long run, I was not exactly optimistic about this weeks 13 miler. I kept questioning myself and my running abilities. What if it wasn’t just the heat? What if I really just sucked at distance running? And what if I really couldn’t do this? These questions plagued me all week. Needless to say I wasn’t psyched about running 13 miles.

We had planned on doing this run in Boston, but baby Cameron’s early arrival meant we would be running in NYC. This definitely made me more excited about the run. I really love running on vacations and new places. The new scenery and surroundings make it so much more interesting and fun. I was hoping this would help my confidence a bit and I really think it did.

With some help from Jason, we had figured out our run logistics the night before and we were to run 2 6.2 mile loops around Central Park. With the out and back distance from the apartment we were staying at it brought the total mileage to 13.7. If I ran this successfully, this would be my longest run to date! I was getting a little more excited. Thankfully.

We went to bed around 1 am and the alarm went off all too quickly at 6. We wanted to be able to spend most of the day with the fam so we needed to get the run in early. I rose pretty quickly, excitement and a little nervous anxiety got me up and awake much quicker than normal. I dug around in my stuff picking out all the fuel we had and looked around the apartment for something to eat. We definitely didn’t think this one through and ended up eating 1/2 a protein bar with some water before heading out. Brad’s true Bachelor pad only lent for alcohol and protein shakes. Oh well. No coffee or pbj for me. I would have to just live without. We got dressed, stretched and were out the door by 7 am.

Good morning NYC!

Jason had lent me his Garmin for the day and I was super excited about it. He told me that it may take a few minutes for the satellites to find you so I tried to be patient with it while I started out on our course. The stupid thing took 20 minutes to start so I just had to guess how much further along the course I was than it was telling me.  It was also way too big. It kept slipping and sliding around on my wrist and basically annoying the crap out me the entire run. Although it was nice to know how far along I was and how much time had past. I don’t think I’ll be running out to but one any time soon. I’ll stick with my cheap-o rubber time watch, thank you.

It had taken me a few miles longer than usual for my legs to warm up. I think they were still a little sore from squat workout I had done a few days before. I’m sure the 5 hours of sleep was also not helping the cause. Around mile 4 I was finally feeling great, although I kept my pace modest for fear of burnout. No thanks to last weeks confidence-crusher. I really, really loved this run. Central Park was buzzing with people and it was great to be surrounded by so much positive energy. The were so many runners, I can’t even believe how many people were out at 7 am on a Saturday. There were also a ton of dogs and so many cyclists. I was so amazed by how fast some of them were going and how easy it was for them to fly around  the tight corners and turns. It really made me itch to get on my bike and learn to ride that fast. I also really enjoyed the scenery . The park is so green and I love the skyscrapers in the background. This will most definitely be one of my favorite runs throughout this training process.

*** Note: these are not my pictures as I do not run with a camera. I stole them from other people. 🙂

I felt realatively good the entire run. I had a few aches here and there and I would get tired every so often, but never once did I feel the need to stop. Such a change from last week and it was the confidence boost that I needed. I ran a half marathon and felt great the entire time. I honestly could have kept running.

I attribute my success to 4 things:

  1. The weather was fantastic. 70 degrees and the sun only poked it’s head out for a few minutes the entire run. I don’t know how you Florida people do it. Running in the heat sucks. Sorry, but there’s just no other way to put it.
  2. I stayed hydrated. Last weekend I had once chance to hydrate at the  halfway point. I don’t know why I thought this was sufficient. Even with cooler temperatures I would have needed more hydration. Major fail. This week I attempted to wear a hydration belt(it’s a belt that has four slots to hold mini water bottles) but it was too big and having a heavy belt slide up and down my hip bones for 2 hours was sure to be a disaster. I opted to just carry one of the water bottles in case there was not enough water fountains. It was just tiny and light enough to where it didn’t bother me to hold and I was able to fill it up at a water fountain along the course. I was always with water and stayed hydrated the entire time.
  3. I fueled properly. Despite the lack of breakfast, I stayed fueled the whole time. I brought 2 chews – ate one at the beginning and one at mile 4. I also brought a gel shot. I ate this at mile 7.5. This week I tried the raspberry flavor – huge mistake! The first two gulps took everything in my power not to vomit it right back up. Seriously. It was horrid. I took the rest by gulping the goo and immediately taking a swig of water to drown the taste and urge to puke. It worked good enough and I took the rest  like a champ. I most definitely helped me have a successful run. Although I will not be eating anything raspberry flavored for very long time. So. Gross.
  4. I stayed positive.  Going into this run a little apprehensive was not exactly ideal. I knew I had to keep a positive attitude and believe in my self to be able to succeed. Last weeks run I had already given up by mile 6 and I know it certainly did not help the cause. I kept reminding myself that I had trained enough to do this and if I just kept a positive vibe throughout the run I would finish strong. And you know what, it worked!

At the end of this run I felt strong and confident. Knowing I ran a half marathon, all before breakfast, and didn’t need or want to stop once.  I  feel so much more  optimistic for the coming weeks. I’ve officially reached the halfway point in my marathon training and I now know I can make it the whole way. Philadelphia feels that much closer. Eeeek!


One Response to “13.7 miles: A Central Park Success”

  1. mike 09/15/2011 at 8:20 pm #

    I wish we wou[d have thought of that when we were trying to give you cold medicine many years ago.

Sharing is caring

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: