so hot will melt your popsicle

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:

1st loop
53:03 (8:51 pace)

2nd loop
52:58 (8:50 pace)

3rd loop
49:28 (8:15 pace)

Mile Time Mile Time Mile Time
1 9:01 7 9:04 13 8:19
2 8:53 8 8:52 14 8:27
3 8:48 9 8:36 15 8:07
4 8:46 10 8:43 16 8:15
5 8:55 11 8:57 17 8:36
6 8:40 12 8:46 18 7:44

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.

not a white singlet kind of day

With the exception of 2006, sounds like the NYCM 18-Mile Tuneup and white singlets do not mix (at least when I run it!)  Last year, the excuse being “with 93% humidity, you can bet the white one would not be a smart choice today!”  This year?  Rain, rain and more rain.  With a little bit more rain on top of that.  Whatever, I can deal, I’m tough, I ran my first 20 in the rain, remember!!  Plus it’s just a long run, not a race.  (Boy, oh boy am I glad that I changed my initial plans to do a half marathon this weekend instead of the previous one!)

So I awoke way too damn early with a “let’s just get this over with” mindset.  And waited til the last possible minute to leave…as I wasn’t frontloading and didn’t want to stand around more than I needed to.  I didn’t even bring a bag…whats the point?  It would just get wet anyway, and I planned on leaving ASAP when I was done.  So on my way over…and I realized that I did have to get to the start before the corrals closed…forgot about that!!  Let’s hustle a little.  I made it there and even though I had a red bib, I went to the green corral and met up with Runner26, as we were gonna try and run at least a little bit together.  So of course, before we could start, there was another Queen Mary speech about what a great day it is for running, what a great event this is, yadda yadda yadda.  (Personally I wish they’d ditch this and replace it with a 3rd LTR, but I know it’s a numbers thang, $$ wise…)  And we are off and running.

So I guess the first few miles were pretty uneventful…Runner26 and I kept a consistent pace of 9:20s (I even said after the 2nd mile “we are nothing if not consistent!” and Harlem Hill didn’t sneak up on us like it did last year 😉  However, the two of us got separated after the water station at mile 3…oh boy was that water station a disaster, i swear there needs to be some etiquette lessons.  I’m one who prefers to drink “on the fly” and not walk through the water stops, yet it never fails, there are always collisions or near-collisions with those walking who will not get out of the way…anyway, as I was saying, me and Runner26 got separated after here, but she wound up running a great race anyways-very consistant pacing and a sweet PR-and she did it on her own! 🙂  (v. proud of you, girl!) 

So I just settled into nines, give or take a few seconds…I feel the next 6 miles or so were pretty uneventful.  Well for the exception of Crazy bandanahead taking pictures (what else? 🙂 ) near Cat Hill…thank you bandanabrain 😛  Oh, and so after that same water stop, this time around mile 9, there was a way-too-enthusiastic volunteer…while I give her credit for trying, was just not in the mood to hear it…i actually said out loud “I want some of whatever she is on” and a coupla other runners by me laughed 🙂  And on that lower loop, I saw my friend BC volunteering as a course marshall and he called out to me…was good to see him.  And of course bandana-brain by Cat Hill again, and he even said “i’m gonna get you every time” or something like that! 

But around this time, I was wondering what was going on…I should have been lapped by now…either the field wasn’t as loaded today or the rain either kept the racers away or slowed the leaders down?  Well i guess I didn’t need to fret, sure enough the leader passed by during mile 11 🙂  And I was only lapped by 4 people total (actually just barely 4-the 4th place finisher made the turn onto 102nd right as I passed by.  hmmm so maybe that one doesnt count?)  So yeah, this was prolly like a record for me.  And since we passed near the finish, I heard music playing and “Celebration” by Madonna was on…and hmmmm guess I sped up a little for mile 12.

One more loop to go…I didn’t want to race this last loop but I was so ready for this to be over.  I had picked up the pace slightly, but I was still well within my comfort zone, which was good.  Saw BC again on the lower loop and was hoping to see bandanahead again…guess he left-smart guy 🙂  Going up Cat Hill, I pulled up alongside Flyer JW and we worked together to get up the hill (though surprisingly, Cat Hill was not a problem for me at all each time…in fact, I passed people there on each lap) before he took off once we got to the top.  Only 1 1/2 miles left, all downhill from here.  Thank god.  Flyer EA was cheering by Engineer’s Gate…crazy, but much appreciated 🙂  Finally, the finish was in sight…was great to see the “finishing lane” right before 102nd.  (Now does anyone else think this is sorta a recipe for disaster?  We’re told to stay to the right when lapping runners, yet the finishing lane is on the left and the passing lane is on the right…makes no sense, I tell ya!)

By the numbers…

And the Flyer women came in 2nd and I was the 5th scoring female for the Flyers. Obviously a lot of the fast ladies slept in today because under normal circumstances, I would not be in the top 5 🙂

So as I said before, I didn’t want to stay around too long, but posed for posterity for the NYRR site with Bandanabrain (ah that’s where you went!) and Flyers AW and LZ.  By then I was freezing, so I got out of there…and yes I was lazy and took the subway one stop.  Oh and on the way to the subway, a couple of people recognized me from leading their pace group at one of the NYRR Long Training Runs (and apparently one of them was using me as a rabbit for the last 2 loops!)…and on the subway was someone who was in my group at the Bridges Run!  Kinda cool getting recognized like that 🙂  Anyway-home, hot shower, Snuggie, nap…in that order 😛

So even though the conditions were sucky, still a solid run in the books.  And based on my heart rate data, it is encouraging that an 8:30 pace for the last loop still fell in the easy zone, even after having done 12 miles before.  One more tough week to go…boy oh boy I can’t wait to taper!!  And I think my body agrees with that, I will be handling it with kid gloves this week…

dress rehearsal? literally.

Thank god for 18 weeks of training…plenty of time to make mistakes, and learn from them. And swear to not do the same thing on marathon day. And for me today-that would be running attire.

Today was the NYCM Tune-Up 18 miler. Unlike 2 years ago, I resolved to really, really hold back and not race this thing. And for the most part, that was the case. My plan was to run 2 miles beforehand, making this 20 for the day.

Attire was the red Flyer singlet (with 93% humidity, you can bet the white one would not be a smart choice today!) and my red and black RunningSkirt-was a dress rehearsal to see if I could possibly wear it in the marathon. But during my 2-mile warmup, I noticed the skirt kept slipping down and it was getting annoying…like the waistband was stretched out or something. I didn’t really have time to go home and change, so I took the 2 bottom safety pins off of my bib and tried to fix it. Seemed to do the trick…but little did I know, it was only a quick fix…

So when I got to the start, I looked for Runner26, as we planned to run together for a little bit. Didn’t see her…so I went to the corrals to line up-actually went a corral back and the person policing the corrals said that “you can move up if you want.” I said that was OK, as I was not racing this thing. I then saw Runner26 and actually, I was lined up in the corral she was supposed to be in, so it was all good. The conditions were crappy and humid, but that just solidified our plan to be conservative and just have fun…

…which we did!! The first few miles were pretty easy, we saw other Flyers we knew, including DG, who joined us in mile 4…and commented on the fact that my skirt was again slipping down :-p Yeah, I kept having to pull it up. And it was getting annoying. So annoying, in fact, that I went a little ahead of Runner26 and DG in mile 5 up Cat Hill, and they waved me on ahead (I knew they’d be fine running together)…I just wanted to finish this as quick as possible without it turning into a race effort. So I just flipped on the iPod and settled into my normal long run pace. The legs were fine, I slowed for gel/water/Gatorade when I needed it, but my god, the damn skirt was annoying…my arms were tired of always having to pull it up, and I felt bad for anyone running behind me. On the other hand, maybe it prevented me from running too fast 🙂

With 4 miles to go, I was so ready for this to be over. So I picked it up to around 9 minute pace for the last 4, with a strong last mile. Finished in 2:47:41-9:18 pace…which is exactly where my long run pace should be so mission accomplished 🙂 Forget 2 weeks ago, now I have never been so glad to be done with a 20-miler in my life!!

The tale of the splits:

Honestly-if the only bad part of this run was a “wardrobe malfunction” and not the legs or feeling like bonking, I’ll take it. And was proud of myself to have shown restraint this time 🙂

So 2 more weeks to go before it’s taper time!! My 2 heaviest mileage weeks…includes 15 miles next weekend, my last 20-miler the weekend after, and lotsa weekday mileage and having to fit it in with the Jewish holidays (at least Yom Kippur is not before a long run this year!)

And as for marathon day attire-I’ve decided I will repeat my outfit from the Philly Distance Run…hey-if it ain’t broke… 🙂

Also on the topic of marathons-can’t believe the WR went down again!! Unreal…

18 glorious miles

(plus 2 warm-up beforehand…)
today’s miles have officially redeemed me for Grete’s Great Washout and the LTR #2 fiasco. I think this says it all…

Loop 1
(53:01, 8:50 pace)
Loop 2
(52:53, 8:48 pace)
Loop 3
(52:31, 8:45 pace)
Mile Split Mile Split Mile Split
1 8:56 7 8:53 13 9:09
2 8:49 8 8:50 14 8:59
3 8:39 9 8:46 15 8:33
4 8:49 10 8:37 16 8:43
5 9:01 11 8:52 17 8:50
6 8:47 12 8:55 18 8:17

Final time was 2:38:25, 8:48 pace.

My original plan was to start off the first loop slower than 9’s…then pick it up with each loop and try to get some marathon pace work in. What happened? I was actually surprised to see those first coupla splits, but I just went with it…

So, I tried to put last week behind me and start fresh for today. The weather was perfect, and even though the iPod was on the fritz (though I just got a replacement one today for free-yay!) I had my Rio Cali loaded with great songs and set on shuffle. I was running this at the end of a 41 mile week, so I wasn’t going to be tapered or anything.

I jogged 2 warmup miles to 102nd street and a little bit down the east drive (and one of the marshalls was yelling that “the race is THIS way!” umm…haven’t you seen anyone adding on mileage before?) I ran into Jon just as I finished up my warmup and we chatted while I waited on the long-ass line to check my bag and we walked over to the start, where we lined up with a bunch of other Flyers, and eventually we were off!!

Mile 1 was very crowded, and but felt pretty relaxed and content to let whomever pass me since I’m sure no one lined up right. However, I still had Jon in my sights near the first mile marker and hoped I hadn’t rabbited the start. Was a little faster than I had planned, but not so bad. I tried to pull it back for mile 2 but another one faster than expected…hmmm. I decided to just take advantage of the fact that I was feeling good and just go with it. Sister Smile was running in the other direction, cheering on the runners-thanks and good to see you out there! I was still feeling strong through the first loop, so tried to either maintain or pick it up a little for the second. Saw Derek and he ran with me for miles 11-so fast it's all a blur...14. But I honestly did not feel like chatting, I just felt like running by myself, listen to my music, do my own thing. (BTW-you are officially not allowed to run with me at the marathon :-p )

The last loop had heated up quite a bit and I felt it getting to me a little. By that time, I knew I could ease up a bit and still put up a good time, but I felt I needed to prepare the mental game…c’mon, no slowing down with 6 miles to go in the marathon!! Once I hit mile 14, it became more of a countdown to me…“you got a 4-miler to go…now not even a 5K…2 miles, that’s 4 songs…1 mile, take it strong to the end!” And that last mile turned out to be my best! I finished up strong (hey Josh-was that you I saw near the finish line?)…and thanked the Harrier guy that I was sorta pacing off for a good part of the race and told him “good job!” (we had been sorta trading places throughout the run until I passed him for good around mile 15. I finished a few seconds ahead on the clock, he got me with 1 second on chip time-so all in all, pretty much equal.) Chatted with a coupla other Flyers and said hi to a coupla Rez Dogs before walking home (and who comes up to me while I was walking home? The cute married guy who was in my LTR #2 pace group. Too funny.)

And as for today, I really needed this one. Finally, the hard work is paying off. Very respectable time, considering it didn’t even feel like a race effort (well until the last loop-but I think that was more due to the heat.) Plus, I didn’t lose time at the water/Gatorade tables…yay, I finally got the funneling thing down! (Only took 2 years…) I doubt 8:48 is going to be my marathon pace (not too sure I trust Toby Tanser’s theory that your pace for this 18-miler will be your pace in the marathon)-the goal remains the same-4 hours. But at least it’s a little boost of confidence that all is not lost and a 9-minute pace is realistic (of course, as long as the weather cooperates.)

One more 40-mile week to go…man, I can taste the taper!! It’s getting soooo close…

now playing: “maneater” ~ nelly furtado