Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm confused.

Well, I don't know what happened today, but I ended up running my long run way too fast. I felt great, and it didn't completely kill me (well, maybe I should wait until tomorrow to say that), but I am still perplexed. I even added on about a mile at the end, after looking at my watch and thinking there was no way I'd be close to 17, I must have turned around too early, better run until I hit 2:30.

The first few miles I definitely felt sluggish, and I know I was just under a 10-minute-mile through mile 4. I then left the park for the west side, where I'm not as familiar with mile markers to keep track of myself. I had to guess where my turn around point was because there were no street signs marking 170th St. nearby. Turns out, after having mapped it, it was almost exactly 8.5 miles. I hit that split in 1:24, and the split on the way home (including the extra mile) was 1:04. I knew I had felt better and was concentrating on keeping a relaxed stride in a concerted to pick up the pace a little bit to get to the low 9s, but this was ridiculous. I stared at the online map I made, thinking there must be some mistake, but it would be impossible for me to have accidentally added an entire mile someplace!

Next week is a recovery week, so I will take it easy. At least there is no workout scheduled for Tuesday because I'd be afraid this run would kill it. I'm not entirely sure how I could have prevented this, other than running somewhere where I can keep better track of my splits. I felt the same as on my other long runs, but was just a minute faster? That difference seems so drastic.

You know, now that this is in writing, I realize this has to be a mistake. There's no way I could have run the second 9 miles in 1:04. That would be, like, racing. I must have stopped my watch at some point and not noticed. I'm trying to remember when I stopped my watch for traffic lights or something to think if there'd be something about 10-20 minutes apart. That makes so much more sense.

Well, shit, now I have no idea how fast I ran that run. Bah. I'm going to say 2:42, because that puts me at 9 min/mile, and that would feel about right, I think. But, who knows.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I'm here! I'm alive! I guess when things are just chugging along I don't think about doing a recap after every run. That, and I'm kind of in all-systems-go mode with my focus entirely on finishing my lab work to be able to write my thesis. I'm working on transitioning from "lab work with writing on the side" to "writing with lab work on the side." I'm learning this really means "write in addition to the same amount of lab work. Oh, and look for jobs and arrange interviews for your next trip to Israel. Oh, and make sure you start taking care of things that need to be arranged ahead of time, like making sure that cat of yours is going to be allowed into the country and that you'll be able to drive once you get there with some sort of license. Oh, and you still can't have a conversation in Hebrew (Hi, how are you does not count as a conversation). Oh, and this long-distance stuff isn't really getting any easier, is it?"

Yeah, hellooooo stress. It's a wonder how marathon training on top of everything else going on isn't too much. However, knowing myself as I do and how much running helps me relieve stress instead of adding to it, I had a feeling this was going to happen when I signed on for this marathon. I know how good it is for me to log the miles, and how easy it is for me to get caught up in my stress and let running slide, if I don't have a plan and a training program and motivation to get out there. That, and the exercise certainly helps me sleep at night, if nothing else will. And there is certainly something to be said for the chance to clear my head and be alone with my thoughts for an hour of the day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Holy heat wave, Batman.

Ahhh summer in the city. It's amazing how the asphalt, concrete and steel bump up the temperature about 10*. It's oppressive. Don't get me wrong, I love the heat, there's just something about NYC heat that seems so... unnatural and uncomfortable.

The heat wave started on Saturday, just in time for our annual tradition of camping out at the Belmont Stakes all day. What a great recipe for a long-run prep: bloody Marys, pasta salad, brownies, and horse racing in 90* heat.

My 13-miler on Sunday morning was not actually as bad as Saturday's activities would suggest. I woke up early to beat the heat, although not early enough to think running in Central Park would be a good idea. It was the day of the Puerto Rican parade, and it is notoriously wild. Even at 7am I wasn't going to put myself anywhere near 5th Avenue, so I headed down the East River. I was a little nervous because there is only a couple miles of tree cover on this route, but since I had gotten out the door early, the sun was actually low enough that the FDR overpass provided shelter almost the entire way. Between that and the natural air conditioning provided by the wind coming off the water, my water-soaked towel and hat, and plenty of water stops to refill my water bottle, I didn't actually melt. I've felt the heat a lot worse on other runs.

This morning I was slated for a LT run - 8 miles with 4 miles at LT pace - but I decided to throw in the LT miles into my 10-miler on Thursday, after the heat breaks. It was in the mid-80s already by 6:30, so there was really no chance of beating the heat today. I did a comfortable 8:30-ish pace instead.

Monday, June 2, 2008

In other news...

... I booked a flight to Israel for 10 days in July to visit R. Hopefully by then I'll be in a place to write my thesis and meet with potential lab homes while I'm there. But, above all, it's a vacation and NOT a working trip, and I'm thrilled to be able to see R. before he comes to NY in September!

Stay tuned for the schedule-juggling that will ensue. The trip falls smack dab in the middle of my peak mileage. The 20-miler scheduled for the 20th miiiiight be pushed back a couple days. That should be fun on jet lag - I'll probably end up doing it at 4:00 am when I'm still on Israel time and can't sleep. I'll figure it out!


When I left the apartment for my 12-miler yesterday, I knew it was 68*, sunny, and breezy. I don't know what's definition of 68* is, because it felt so much hotter than that. I don't know what it was, maybe the intensity of the sun or something, but man did the heat get to me! And because I was "only" doing 12 miles and it was "only" 68* and I was running along a path with drinking fountains, I left the fuel belt at home. I should have brought it, because the last few miles (coincidentally, a stretch sans eau), I was sluggish. And I was salt-encrusted - even my watch had a white crust. If I were a red snapper, I'd have been delicious. This run officially kicks off the must-set-alarm-for-6-on-Sunday-to-avoid-heat phase of summer marathon training! 12.3 miles in 1:52:32 (9:08 min/mile).