This post title has been brought to you by Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg…
Soooo I have been talking about my “Chicago costume” for awhile and well without further ado here it is:
Or here it is on me (probably the only one I will have as no running pics of me today…)
So I have decided for Chi-town that in lieu of the “club uniform”, I’d like to wear something fun…the top and the socks started it off, just needed to top it off with the black shorts and arm warmers (the latter only if necessary) And believe me, the outfit did get noticed, especially the hot pink socks…as Katy says in her song “so hot will melt your popsicle” 🙂
So after this tough training week, I tried to put it behind me and start fresh today…the dawning of a new day so to say. Today was the NYCM 18-mile Tune-Up…which I think is a good race when you don’t actually “race” it. I dunno, I just think that 18 miles is a bit much to race all-out. But take the intensity back a step and it’s a good atmosphere for a race-day dress rehearsal. Today the plan was to run 3 miles up to the start (probably more reliable than taking the subway) and then for the “race” itself, to take the first 2 laps easy and the 3rd at MP or faster. Coach JM said the other day that if I can hit MP that late in the race, especially in hilly Central Park that it’s a good sign…we shall see!
Ah, gotta love the city streets at 6 AM…no traffic!! Ran the 3 miles from midtown up to the start area (kinda strange running past my old neighborhood!), chucked my bag and barely had enough time to wait on line for the porta-potties before getting to the corrals-and I ran into Peter in our corral and chatted for a few minutes, including reminscing about the infamous 2007 Queens Half. (Yes, yesterday was Yom Kippur but I was a bad Jew and didn’t fast. I did go without caffeine all day…little something counts?) So anyway, it’s 7 AM, we’re waiting for clearance on the roadway and after asking more than once looks like we finally got it and could sound the starting horn.
So I just let whoever pass me, just tried to stay relaxed for 12 miles…kept an eye on the heart rate to make sure it stayed in the easy zone. At around mile 2, ML from Urban caught up to me and we ran together for about a mile, when Flyer EG caught up to me and said “Good choice!”-referring to me going without an iPod…yeah, last nite I pondered on my Facebook status whether or not to use the iPod today…those who said to leave it at home won out 🙂 Anyway, here ML went ahead (which was just as well, he’s faster than me anyways) and EG and I ran together for the rest of the loop, til she went ahead (her strategy was to run the first and third loops easy, second loop hard, so I figured I’d catch up to her on the next loop. I finished the first loop in a little over 53 minutes…so something like 8:50-8:55 pace? Was still feeling comfortable, so my goal for the next loop was to just maintain it.
So starts lap 2. I took my gel during mile 7 (and I took another one during mile 13-I’m sure the race nutrition police would arrest me, tee hee 😛 )…and even though it was relatively cool (65 degrees), the humidity was high and was very sunny, so I made sure to hydrate at least every other mile, if not more…Gatorade at the table near miles 4, 10 and 16. (though apparently I made a faux pas around mile 4 by putting my hand up and edging left to the table…as some guy wasn’t happy. Um, isn’t putting the hand up the etiquette to signal that you are moving over?) So around mile 9, the halfway point, I saw my time was 1:19 and change…hmmm my PR in this race is 2:38 and change. (though I’m sure I have at least one 18-mile split, if not two in a marathon thats faster.) Did begin to ponder a new PR for a few seconds. But decided that I must stick to the race execution plan, and finish this loop at the same effort. The total time is not important, hitting MP on the 3rd loop is, so no need to tire myself out now. If I wound up with a PR in the process, that’s great.
So passed by the start/finish (only lapped by 6 people this year…not bad!) which marked 2 loops down so was time to get to work. Figured between 8:15-8:20 would be a good average to shoot for (in the UA classes, they’ve been using 8:15 as my MP.) The first couple were a little on the slower side, which included Harlem Hill and a water table (I swear, having to slow for those who stop at those tables are gonna be the death of me) but the next 2 miles were pretty much on track. Mile 17 was slower than I would have liked…included Cat Hill and for whatever reason, my legs were not happy about climbing it for a 3rd time. But I was still passing people there, as I was during the rest of that loop…The last mile I picked up the pace since I was so ready to be done! Saw GA and HM from Urban cheering at Engineer’s Gate and I gave them a little thumbs up, like “I got this.” Finally, the finish was in sight…was great to see the “finishing lane” right before 102nd. Though I was actually moving faster than some of those in the finishing lane…I had to stay in the “passing lane” (which consisted of those that still had one more loop to go) just to be able to keep pace. But eventually I edged over to the left, saw Flyers SD and EF cheering, made the left turn onto 102nd to the finish and actually heard my name being called (and thankfully not butchered…hehe.) Ahhh…so glad to be done. 21 total miles for the day-check!!
Final time was 2:35:38, 8:38 overall pace…PR of 2:47 from my 2006 time! By the numbers:
Bottom line-I needed this one big time. As long as I take good care of my legs over the next few weeks, ice, stretch, whatever…and make it to the start line uninjured hopefully things will go well? Well as long as the weather gods behave (praying for overcast skies on 10-10-10!) And the “costume”? Gets an A+ and is so being worn on marathon day. Obnoxious hot pink compression socks FTW!!
And as I said earlier on Facebook…taper starts. NOW.