Sunday, February 28, 2010

Third 20+ miles!!!

I am in pain. My feet hurt, I can't really bend down without whimpering, and my ass is a whole other story. And it feels daaaaaaamn good.

I completed my goal of doing three 20-mile runs before my marathon, and I completed it today!

There are two obstacles that I keep mentioning here when going on these long runs: mental and physical. The physical obstacles are some what easier, because the origin of the obstacles are usually clear, and you can do things to avoid it. The mental, on the other hand, is not as easy. One of the biggest mental obstacles on these 3-4 hr run is boredom. It's different from your normal boredom, where you're sitting at your desk, clicking through Facebook just because there's nothing else to do. It's the type of numbness you have to deal with, when you're looking for SOMETHING to distract you from the fact that you're pounding on cement and have been doing this repetitive motion for 3+ hours.

I was able to have some distraction this time around that helped a lot. One is, I tried running the surrounding streets of Central Park first to get the mileage and try a "new" route. It turned out to be great. Just going up 5th Ave from 60th to 110th is interesting because the socioeconomic level of the community changes drastically one you enter the late 90s. For you LA people, it's like going down Huntington Blvd from the Echo Park area straight into San Marino. Or going down 6-7th St from the Financial District straight into Skid Row.

My second help was meeting my friend Carmen back at 60th St and 5th Ave to go into Central Park and overcome the 110th St. Killer Hill together. She's running a half marathon the same day that I'm running the marathon, and we always talk about how hard that one hill is. I met up with her late (SORRY!!) because I had lost track of time while running around the top of the park, but we were able to run through half of the park together, before I had to make another detour to complete my mileage.

I had a great amount of energy. I really didn't need any supplement stuff, except for some coconut water that I packed with myself. The weather was perfect, and the park was winter white and beautiful. My mother and I were both concerned about this but the area I ran in were not covered by trees, and I was able to make it back safely without any freak accidents. (KNOCK ON WOOD.)

Now I am backing, noshing on this:

I have this breakfast/lunch that I eat after every long run: peanut butter, pumpkin butter, and banana open sandwich with some cottage cheese. I have been eating some sort of peanut butter and banana combination breakfast for almost 3+ years now and it's my treat for completing my run. I eat the cottage cheese to pack in the extra protein and to help my muscles heal. I SELDOM go a day without this type of breakfast ( cottage cheese only for weekends). I really hope I don't develop some adulthood peanut allergy, because that will be a very sad sad day.

Today is the beginning of the end of my training. I love training. I do. Someone once said this: It is not the race that makes you a runner, but the daily runs you do up to it that entitles you the label. I sincerely feel that way. The race is an event with some thrills that can't be replicated. But I also love this regular training and the commitment I make to myself. It's kind of bittersweet. From now until the marathon, I'm going to be decreasing my mileage on the long runs, and won't go past anything over 15 miles. I'm kind of sad about the end of my training, but also really excited to run the marathon and to see my favorite people in the world in my city!

Until next week! It's almost done, but it ain't over yet!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm back!!

I HAVE PICTURES Y'ALL, because my parents gave me a digital camera that they won in a raffle. However, they aren't heavily interesting. Visuals, though, visuals!

Let's start from the beginning.

I ran yesterday and today, like all of the weekends that I've been running to train for this marathon. However, yesterday's run was a 4 mile race for New York Road Runner's Race for Haiti. It was a fundraiser that the New York City and NYRR decided to do together, and 100% of the proceeds went to Haiti relief. The race alone raised $400,000. Pretty amazing stuff.

Anyway, I usually run 6-8 miles on Saturdays, so I decided to run to the race venue (Central Park) and then run the race. I've only done a half marathon and a full marathon as races (minus the 5ks that I did in Spain when I didn't run at ALL about 5 years ago), and I didn't have the slightest of ideas how to get a good time on such a short race. I knew enough that shorter distance did NOT mean easier run. If you're looking for some kind of time, it's actually a lot harder (in my mind, at least). But, it's for Haiti, I thought, and just ran it.

OMG it was so hard. I can't even tell you how hard. It wasn't hard physically, but mentally difficult. I was just thinking about whether or not I should speed up, about how hard I should hit the hills, and about my pace overall etc etc. Suddenly I saw the 3 mile mark, and I was forced to realize that I had to give 100% and gun it through, without really knowing how much energy I had to give. It was a very confusing race. On long runs, I start out slooooowwllyyy, and my body eventually knows how to get a good pace and last for the entire mileage. That is not the case with these short runs. I finished with a time of 32:01 and 8:00/mile split. I'm not sure if that was the best I could do. I do know, however, that I ran really hard the last mile, which made my ass sore for the rest of the day. Lesson learned. I need to do some serious speed training, i.e. shorter faster runs. (BLEEEGHHHH)

Now, on to today. I just checked, and I did a total of 14.8 miles. Not tooo shabby. I'll show it to you in forms of pictures. (YAYYYY)



After I typed that, I looked for the chord to upload all of the pictures, and I cannot find it. Come to think of it, I never saw it

I am so sad. I will report back with pictures as soon as I find it. Let me just say, that it was a fantastic 14.8 mile run, because I fucked around the entire time TAKING PICTURES. GAAAHHH.

I will try to figure something before my last 20 mile run, next week, before the marathon which is ONE MONTH AWAY. (I'm hoping that the caps will distract you from the lack of visuals. SORRY. i'M sO sOrRy. ) (i CaNnOt bE yOuR fRiEnD iF yOu sTiLL tYpE LiKe tHiS.)

Sunday, February 07, 2010


I had recently made some concrete goals for my marathon training, and today, I got 2/3 closer to one of my goals.

One goal I made was to run 3 20-mile runs before the actual marathon. I wanted to spread it out so that I can complete my last 20-mile run a month before the marathon, which meant that I do my second 20-mile run today. I had a healthy shorter run last week, and I thought I had prepared myself ready for today's run.

Let me just say, first of all, that it was successful. I was able to run the 20 miles, 21 in fact, and I ran the exact route I did 2 weeks ago.

No two runs are the same, and this 20-mile run was so different from my last 20-mile run. I didn't have any trouble with motivation, and I didn't have any mental blocks along the way that deterred me. This time, my hurdle was biological. I got really really tired and really really hungry. I felt so weak, despite having energy gummy chews. There was one point when running around the 90-100th Sts on the West Side, that I felt like I was in a dream and running through water. My limbs felt extra heavy, and I couldn't focus on one thing in my path. I felt like I might pass out at some point, but on some miraculously conscious level, I knew I wasn't going to. Training for these extreme things really makes you amazed at the body's capacity. It was also really cold again (20 degrees) but, the temperature was the last thing on my mind. I also knew on this conscious level that, despite my fatigue, I was going to be able to finish. The mind-body connection really worked it's magic today, because if the two didn't communicate, I still might be in Central Park, passed out on the road some where right now.

Anyhoo, that's one resolution almost being complete. The other resolution I had made was to do some type of strength training twice a week. One of my favorite stores in NYC, the JackRabbit had a January challenge. If you wrote a resolution at a JackRabbit store in January, and stuck with it for a month, they said they were going to give out free technical shirts, if you claim them before February ended. That little challenge worked on me, and I did my strength training twice a week. It wasn't the most strenuous training, but it was as much as I could squeeze in. I went to claim my shirt yesterday, and here it is!

I wore this bad boy today.

Anyhoo, that's the end of today's post. We're having a Super Bowl get together in my apartment. Although I have no clue as to what is going on with the game, it should be fun.

Next week, there will probably be no long run. My brother and sister are visiting me from California, and I'll be spending the weekend with them. I'm really excited to see them, but also because they are bringing me a digital camera that my parents won in some kind of raffle. More visuals more visuals!!

Have a nice Sunday!