October 6, 2013
Grete’s Great Gallup
Half Marathon, NYC
It was a foggy morning in NYC.
A creepy yet cool mist hung in the air, making it hard to see past the tenth floor of any skyline today..
But it’s still beautiful. You never get tired of running the city regardless of the weather. It was really humid. It was a nice 60 degrees. I hydrated really well last night, and this morning I woke up and went through my pre run routine.
I drank a tall glass of water as soon as I woke up, made my cup of oatmeal, and a cup of coffee. A lot of people don’t like to do oatmeal before a race because of the fiber but it works for me.
I went to the bathroom and I was out the door. I got to the race with 45 minutes to spare, hit the bathroom and I was ready to go. I went through the warm up routine my son showed me and my legs were feeling really good. I didn’t feel that deep inner thigh soreness as much as I have all week.
Now yesterday I made a statement that I should run this one smart and use it as a training run, well below race pace. I questioned whether I had the discipline to pull back the effort when all those people are competing around me. As an athlete for my whole life, pulling back effort during a game is taboo. But I was determined to try, and see if getting older really does mean getting wiser…I predicted I would run somewhere between 1:45-1:50. I started off….slow, I tried my best to ignore all those around me starting to push pace. I looked at them and thought to. Myself “I can take this guy”, or “I can’t take this girl”. But I let them go, made it a point to start off with 8 plus minute miles for the first two miles. I set my goal at 8 minutes and really honed in on a 1:45 finish time..I basically maintained a steady methodical pace the rest of the way and finished right at 1:45:07.
I. Never pushed my pace, never had to catch my breath or ever felt like I was pushing hard. It was almost boring, except that I was running in NYC with 5000 plus other runners..
For the second week in a row, I was able to complete the race without stopping for a water break. Last week I ran the bronx 10 miler and never stopped. Today 13.1 miles and I never felt that I needed water or an energy chew which I had in my pocket. I’ve trained myself to hydrate in the hours before a run and days before a race. I take it very serious and it seems to work. After the race I drank two cups of Gatorade and two cups of water, ate a bagel, and it was good. I never felt uncomfortable, under nourished or dehydrated. If it was a hot day I would stop for water. If I had to do a marathon, I would drink every 10k. But for anything under a half I can get by without stopping no problem.
It was tough after the race running into some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. “How did you do” they would ask, uuuugh..1:45…“but wait I just had heart surgery 4 months ago…I swear”.lol…now they all had better times than me when I had them all behind me just months ago. Running a time like this I know was strategic on my part, but I am finding it hard to swallow kind of. Good news is I have the Staten Island half next weekend. This will be my last long distance race this year, so I am leaving it all out there…suicide pace a la Prefontaine. I have nothing to save myself for after this half. All I have on the calendar is a five miler on October 27 and my race season is over. So I will go all out. I’ll see how I feel during my runs this week before I predict my time.

October 5, 2013
It’s the day before Grete’s Great Gallup half marathon in Central Park NYC. I’ve had soreness in my legs all week, probably from my crossfit workout on Tuesday. I got away with doing a crossfit workout before last weeks bronx 10 miler, I thought I could get away with it this week, but I wont try that again next week. There will be no lifting at all leading up to the Staten Island Half next week. So today was just a couple of super easy miles, enough to work up a little sweat. It was nice and cool out this morning as well.

So for tomorrow..half marathon, I have a dilemma.
I should really not run hard during the half tomorrow.
I should just coast and save myself up for next week.
I have a a few reasons for this first of all I know my level of fitness is not where it needs to be. I am still on the comeback trail and have not been able to properly train for 3 big races in 3 consecutive weekends.
I am not a disciplined other words if i am involved in a race, I don’t quite know how to scale it back. I should run tomorrow at 8 minute miles and just take the time..whatever..I still get the credit for the 9+1. But I know that once I get going, and I start seeing people around me competing, I may not be able to help myself. So I know what I should do, but I don’t know what I will do…
If I end up competing..I demand a time of no less than 1:40..
My half PR is 1:34:23 but I will not be approaching this time this year. But at the very least a 1:40
If I stay disciplined and worry about keeping myself healthy (I’ve had a really sore deep inner thigh for a while) I’ll do a 1:45-1:50.