So unlike one month ago, the Heatpocalypse decided to stay away from the 2nd NYRR Long Training Run. However, this wasn’t gonna be totally challenge-free, as the humidity was definitely on full-blast for this one. Additionally, this would really be my first true stint in the 9 minute pace group, as we wouldn’t be getting the blessing to take it easier as we did last time. But I had a feeling it would be fine. As I had to run 18 total, my plan was to run with the group for the first 3 loops (16 miles), then one more mile on the 4th loop then back to the staging area to make 18.
Unlike last time, the MTA was kinder to me. Then again, I left a little earlier, not wanting to take any chances. The A train showed up after only about 5 minutes (as opposed to 20 last time) so I got to the staging area a bit early, but it was nice to not feel rushed. As we were waiting for the cue to line up with our groups, we were playing with the pace signs…me particularly, the “7:30 pace” sign 😛 Hey, that could mean 7:30 race pace, right…lol. But eventually I was given my TRUE pace sign and me and the other 9:00 pace leaders went over to our group to divide and conquer.
So, a few minutes after 7, we were off. The run started out normally…first half-mile a little fast due to the downhill Harlem Hill, make up for it on the uphill. After that, my goal was to just “lock in” and keep an even effort, regardless of what the other leaders may be doing…and in the first loop I did lag a little bit behind the other leaders, though I was right on pace (and one person even asked me if the others were going too fast) First loop ended fine, second loop went well too, Flyers and co-paceleaders HM and MR stuck with me through this loop, as did one girl from Dashing Whippets who was training for MCM. And of course, MR had to mention how much I just loved that marathon…not!! Needless to say, I did warn her about the so-called “honor system” at the start! 😉 Another guy said to us midway through this loop, “how good are you, everything is within 5 seconds of 9:00!” yay 🙂
The third loop was a little bit of a struggle…not sure if it was the humidity getting to me, or I felt a little under-fueled, though I had already taken 2 gels (after miles 6 and 12.) Or it could have possibly been the Gatorade that was being served on the transverse…not sure what variety it was, but it was really watered down and I sure hope they do not serve that at the marathon and stick to the tried and true lemon-lime endurance formula! But the gel kinda kicked in around mile 14 and I felt fine for the last 2 miles of that loop. MR had gone on ahead (his excuse-“needed more rest at between this loop and the next…uh yeah right :-P”) but HM was struggling a little. I felt bad at leaving the group after 17, as she was doing 20 and needed the support, but I was not prepared-endurance wise or fueling wise to do 20…I had to stick to my plan. Thankfully MR was going to take on the last 4 miles as well.
So I ran out to the 17 mile-marker, wished everyone continuing on well, then turned around and headed back to 102nd. And still had something left in the tank to pick it up a little for this last mile or so, while I gave the usual cheers to those heading out for the last loop. As I got to 102nd, I heard Flyers ST and KH yelling for me then JM saying via the microphone “she can’t talk yet…she’s finishing her run.” LOL. 18 miles down, no worse for wear. Though I couldn’t chuck the singlet, Brandi Chastain-style, soon enough…that thing was soaked!! Oh the humidity…
Annddd…how it netted out in the long run (har har)
So I pretty much stuck to plan. And encouraging that this felt comfortable, whereas the last coupla years whenever I was debating between 9 and 9:30, I felt 9 seemed like too much of a jump and I was unsure if I I would have been able to handle pacing…but the last 2 LTR’s put those worries to rest (well, for now.) I didn’t feel like “oh I can’t run any more” when I was done, but there was no reason to keep going…quit while you’re ahead, I say! 🙂 And as always-the Flyers kicked butt paceleading and coordinating the event, as usual! 🙂