#runstreak Day 13: The Streak Begins

Saturday’s run totally sucked.

I headed out the door around 1:30 PM, hoping that the weather had warmed up just a little and that the snowplows in the Town of Irondequoit had removed at least some of the 14″ of snow we had received overnight.

Both hopes were dashed within seconds.

Turning west out of the driveway, I ran into a headwind that immediately froze my cheeks and nose (the day’s temperatures were about 14F/-10C with the wind chill at about 0F/-17C — not the coldest I’ve ever run in, but pretty close). Then, it was into the slush and snow. I was running on a skating rink, and my hips and my lower back immediately began to ache as a result.

I wasn’t even a tenth of a mile in. Continue reading

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Top of the Heap: The 2017 New York City Marathon (Part Two)

I read, and listened to, a lot of advice in the build up to the big day. Most of it, especially the stuff about not going out too fast, I heeded. I took my own sweet time over the Verrazano and found a good groove from the outset. I also saved a lot of energy by not fighting the pack — another piece of wisdom I had learned weeks before. I deliberately hung back, telling myself that I would pass everyone later.

But there was one piece of advice I’m glad I didn’t take.  Continue reading

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Top of the Heap: The 2017 New York City Marathon (Part One)

In the end, it was everything I had hoped it would be. It was one of those days when it all went right — one of those days that will stay with me for the rest of my life. From hearing the blast of the Staten Island Ferry foghorn to feeling the medal being draped around my neck, every moment, every sensation, is etched into my memory.

OK. I’ll be the first to admit that, at 4:02:17, I wasn’t A-number-one.

At 2:10:53, that honor went to Geoffrey Kamworor.

You couldn’t even call me king of the hill. On the day, those honors really went to Shalane Flanagan, the queen of the hill and the first American woman to win the women’s division in forty years, and to the undisputed king, Meb Keflezighi, who finished his last ever professional marathon — his eleventh New York City Marathon — in eleventh place.

All of them were showered and well into their burgers and beers (or the professional equivalent thereof) by the time I wobbled across the finish line.

But I got to follow in their footsteps. Literally. As far as I am concerned, that meant my day, the whole experience, was the top of the heap.


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Leaving Today: 2017 New York Marathon Training, Week 15

And just like that, it’s taper week. A mere seven days remain until I join the throngs pounding the pavements of New York.

Maranoia is setting in. For me, this year, that means two things: endlessly picking apart my training to see if I have done enough, and endlessly picking apart accounts of the upcoming race to find a strategy that will (a) get me around in one piece and (b) (hopefully) get me to the finish time under four hours.

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Spreading the News: 2017 New York Marathon Training, Week 13

The Four Stages of Marathon Training:

Stage 1) I’m really doing this!

Stage 2) I suppose I’d better do this.

Stage 3) Do I really have to do this?

Stage 4) Time to finish this.

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The Very Heart of It: 2017 New York Marathon Training, Week 11

There’s one universally acknowledged rule all marathon runners adhere to: never do anything new or different on race day.

During training, though, it’s good to experiment and learn from your trials and errors, especially when those experiments are conducted during a long run — the bedrock of all marathon training programs that often becomes a dress rehearsal for the main event.

But what if a long run experiment is so radical that failure could jeopardize the program and threaten success on the big day?

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These Little Town Blues: 2017 New York Marathon Training, Week 9

46 days to go. The intensity of the training is ramping up. Two 16-mile long runs are already behind me, and my tune-up half marathon is in the books. I am still healthy and, for the most part, running fast and pain free, but fatigue levels are high, and the upcoming weather — unseasonably hot and humid until the end of September — does not bode well for future training.

So does that mean I’ve got those little town blues? Let’s hear the tune those long runs are singing. Continue reading

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