I did it, I did it, and with no real roadblocks along the way. Sure, it was hard, but I ran the whole way through, with some welcome surprises.
First, here's my route:
You're probably thinking, "But Lisa, that's just you going to Central Park... AGAIN". Indeed, my friend, it is. What you can't really see, though, is that I ran to Central Park, did the whole loop (6 miles), ran the reservoir twice (3 miles), ran out of the park at W. 96th St and around the park to enter back in at E 96th St, and cut straight to the West Side (3 miles), ran out of the park again at E. 90th St, and ran back all the way down passing the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art until E. 60th St. (2.5 miles) and ran back home (round trip is about 6.5 miles). 6+3+3+2.5+6.5 =21 !! I actually did 21 miles.
And here is the killer elevation:
The spike at the beginning is me crossing the bridge the first time, and the gradual increase after the 10th mile is the killer hill at E. 110th St. The last spike, of course, is me crossing the bridge the second time.
I treated this run as if it was an event. I didn't go out the night before, I ate a delish bowl of squash curry and rice (which is my own creation that makes me want to pat my own back, it's so delicious), and went to bed really early after downing several cups of water. I woke up bright and early at 7AM, so that I could be out the door by 8AM, to avoid the predicted afternoon rain.
I reached the park, and it was already full of runners because NYRR was holding a half marathon. I knew about this and was a little worried about it, but it actually was pretty fun running along with a gang of race runners. There were less bikers, and the road was entirely taken up by runners. In a way, I had more space. I was running towards the reservoir, when I saw a girl who was volunteering who looked really familiar. When I got closer to her, I realized that it was Betsy who I had never met in person. I've been reading her blog regularly, though, and she's been sweet enough to comment here on some occasions. I had to go up and say hi, and she was just as sweet as the way she writes.
With that fun surprise, I got more energized and attacked the reservoir. The path was practically empty because of the race. I think it was the most enjoyable reservoir run to date. I ran around it, looking at the buildings, and also at the ducks that were walking on the frozen parts of the water (and also slipping and falling).
The rest of the run was difficult, but not mind-numbing. I felt pain, and my thighs and hip flexer were killing me around mile 15, but the air was crisp and I had a good pace. The hills in the park actually gave a relief to my overworked muscles, just the way that it did when I ran the marathon last year. I think I'm pushing in a different way that gives a break to my thighs and starts using my ass in a different way.
Once I got to E. 90th for the second time and ran down to E. 60th, I knew that I was going to make it. I went tortoise slow, but the tortoise won the race, so it was all good with me. I crossed the bridge and ran back home, and felt great. I did it! I did it, and I'm confident that I'll be able to get in another 20ish run before the marathon.
This is how I looked and felt immediately after:
It is now officially 2 months before the marathon. That means, I have about 5-6 more good long runs in me to get ready. NERVES! I bought my flight tickets too. It's getting more and more real!
See you next week!