Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NYC Marathon Training Week #11: Tuesday & Wednesday

Tuesday Midweek Long Run

I ran with a friend at six a.m. today for 5.5 miles. I was afraid that my legs would feel the lingering effects of my long run from Sunday. But to my surprise, all was well. They had more pep in them than I had expected at fairly early in the morning. However, I wished I was able to run slower in the first mile or so and then do my usual stretching. But I was too timid to let my friend know. To stop, I was afraid, I might hold her back. I went along without stretching and hoped that I would not damage anything for this week. I was taking a huge risk. Bad Aileen!

After the run, my Garmin showed a pace of 9:10 min/mile. I was glad to see this since I have just hit my pace run on Saturday. This is very close to my pace effort. What a way to start the day! However, I was still short 4.5 miles which I ended up finishing at lunch. In the heat of the day, I did not push the effort at all. I just wanted to finish my 10 miles. I must have been relaxed not caring about the pace because low and behold, with hills and all, my pace ended up being 9:18. I was very happy with the results. This day has been great and I am so proud with the quality of my workouts.

Wednesday Tempo Night

Today I ran my tempo on the track. I needed to do a total of 45 minutes with 10 minutes of warm up, 30 minutes of tempo work and 5 minutes of cool down. To get my body to learn pace, I needed the track where it is flat and easier to get visual cues as far as distance goes. Prior to the run, I calculated that I needed to do 15-30 seconds slower than my 10K pace to get to my tempo pace. Based on my recent 5K race performance, I calculated that my 10K pace would be somewhere around 8:05. So adding 15 to 30 seconds to my 10K pace would yield, 8:20 to 8:35 as my tempo. That meant hitting each quarter or lap around the track between 2:05 to 2:09. I set my Garmin to 14 laps or 3.5 miles. If I run according to pace, I should be able to finish the 3.5 miles in under 30 minutes.

I must say my calculations were right on. I finished the 14 laps or 3.5 miles in 29:09 with a pace of 8:19! That's a 2:05 average for each quarter. As I've been trying to do lately, I end the run with a fast finish. No matter how tired I may be, I force myself to dig deep. My last quarter was the best at 1:53 or 7:34 pace. The first lap was my second best at 1:57 or 7:49 pace. The rest hovered between 2:01 to 2:10 quarters. I would say that was pretty good for not looking at the watch at all. I also made sure that my cooldown was proper. I know Hal Higdon said 5 minutes, but I needed 2 miles of cooldown. All in all I completed 6.5 miles tonight. Another successful workout.

Earlier in the week as I was looking at the schedule for Week #11, my first thought was, could I pull off a tempo run right after a 10 miler? And before that, 19-miler long run and the 9-mile pace run? I assumed that my legs would likely feel the lingering effects of the previous hard efforts, that the tempo effort might not look so good. Tonight, I was pleasantly surprised. I have to learn to trust the plan.

The week is still young. I have 3 more hard workouts left unchecked. I can't allow myself to celebrate yet until the week is over.

By the way, I just got my bib # info for NYC last night: I'm #24529. Corral #24, Wave #2, 10:10 a.m. start,  I can't help but feel excited. This feels like it's on now! These next 5 weeks are all about the 20 milers--all three of them gunning for me!

Happy running and keep training smart, my friends!


  1. Hi Eileen- Hope your training is going well! I'm in wave 3- 10:40. Taking the bus at Midtown at 6 am. Where you in wave 3 last year? If so any words of wisdom? That seems like a long wait!! But I've been reading how traffic is so bad, that it's better to be early than late. Anyway, have a good week!

  2. Hi! I am also catching the bus at the NYC library at 6 am. I was wave 3 last year where i took a cab to the ferry. It was easy and quick. I imagine the bus ride will take longer and we might be standing around for a while. The ferry seats 4,000 folks at a time and leaves every 20 minutes so it moved fast. It is better to get to the village early, they have breakfast and tons of porta potties, you can chill relax and people watch. I know it seems like a long wait, but it will go by fast.
    Think about bringing some kind of soft foam or cardboard box to sit on or even old blankets you can discard to keep toasty. Those gardening foams people use on their knees is a great find. I wished I had it last year.