Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NYC Marathon - 4 weeks to go

by Lindsay

The NYC Marathon is fast approaching on November 7.  Personally I'm thrilled that the race is no longer held on Halloween weekend!  It also gives me an extra week to train (not really, but it feels like it).

So far, I've kept up my training plan pretty well.  I've got a good routine with running before school starts in the morning and doing my long runs on Saturday mornings to get them out of the way so I can enjoy the rest of my weekend.  With 4 weeks to go, I am up to 40 miles per week and a long run of 17 miles.  My average pace has been around 8:30 min/mile for the longest runs and 7:30 for the shortest ones.  My goal pace remains around 8:00/mile, for a 3:30.  If I can get down to 7:45 that would be ideal, but maybe not realistic.

What gives me hope is that I have not yet mentally burned out.  I've suffered from this in the past as I try to up the mileage and time right at the end of the season when I need a break most.  My forced break at the end of the summer following my bike fall perhaps let me start this marathon season fresh, both mentally and muscularly.  But the fact that I am not dreading my runs and just wishing the marathon were over is a huge improvement over 2008 and 2009. 

I've also put on a lot more mileage this fall.  I am up to 238 miles since August 1.  With an expected 120 miles to go (45 and 50 the next 2 weeks, then a 2 week taper), I should have 358 pure training miles for this marathon.  In contrast, I only did 264 in my training last year.  So I'll be up 35% over last year, and for marathons the miles is the most important part.

The thing that worries me are weather and nutrition, as usual.  I plan to stick to taking Gu Roctane every 45 minutes,  taking sips of water and sports drink (alternating at every fluid stop), and taking Succeed S! Caps electrolyte tabs liberally throughout the race.  This is usually just enough for me.  But I've never run a marathon in heat and after Chicago (again) I am a bit nervous.  The good thing with a later marathon is that heat is less likely to be a factor.

I have a 19 mile run this Sunday (Saturday doesn't work this weekend).  I'd like to run it a bit faster, around 8-8:15, and still have it be conversational.  At that point I'll really know where to pinpoint my final goals for the race.

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