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!