Thursday, January 27, 2011

The 2011 Chicago Marathon

Several of you have asked me what my thoughts are about this year's Chicago Marathon falling on the day after Yom Kippur. This may come as a surprise but I don't have a problem with it. This is a much different situation than this year's Ironman World Championship in Kona falling on Yom Kippur or when NYRR scheduled Queens Half Marathon on Rosh Hashana a few years back. This year's Chicago Marathon is on the day after Yom Kippur. Is it the best idea to run a marathon after fasting (no food or water) or 25 hours before the race? Definitely not. I am not a medical professional but I think you could run a marathon the day after a fast day. You have to be 100% on top of your nutrition and hydration. I would also suggest eating  substantial pre and post fast meals. I would not expect to PR but you could finish the race. If you're looking to PR or BQ, I would suggest finding a different fall race.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Change of Scenery

This past Sunday, I had a 2:30 zone 2 with 3 minute surges every 20 minutes and 3 minute finishing surge. Being that I live in the burbs, there is still a good deal of snow on the side of roads. Couple that with cars parked on the streets and I am left with running in the middle of the street. I really didn't feel like dodging cars for 2:30 so I headed into NYC for a run in Central Park. Since I don't live in the city, running in Central Park is a treat. Even though I was running alone, I never felt lonely. There were so many other runners out, that's not something I'm used to seeing on the local streets of Bergen County. If I'm lucky, I'll see 4, maybe 5, other runners during my long run.

Sunday's run reminded me how tough a place Central Park is to run. The hills are unforgiving and will eat you up if you're ready for them. To switch things up, I ran the first loop counter-clockwise, the second loop clock-wise, and the last loop (which wasn't a full loop) counter-clockwise. To me, running clockwise always felt easier. Harlem Hill is still there but you run down Cat Hill and the West Side hills are not as daunting. The counter-clockwise loop goes up Cat Hill, Harlem Hill, and, in my opinion, the West Side hills seem harder.

I was very pleased with the way the run turned out. I hit the starting point (West 91st St.) for 3rd time at 2:24. My legs were screaming and would not keep going. I could feel my form breaking down so I called it quits right then and there rather than pushing on for another 6 minutes. I ran 17.32 miles in 2:24:33 (8:21/mile). I'm not used to running this many miles 4 months before my marathon, but Coach Jeff has big plans for me at the Vermont City Marathon. I promise there will be more on this later. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mental Challenge

I can't believe I haven't blogged since New Year's Day. I hope that 2011 is off to good, if not great, start for everyone. Old Man Winter has reared it's ugly head a few times already making running outside difficult. Most of us are not the biggest fans of the treadmill. I, for one, feel like a hamster on its wheel. We go through the motions of running without going anywhere. I don't care what's on TV or what music you listen to to help pass the time, it's still not a substitute for being outside, inhaling fresh air and noticing the subtleties of the neighborhoods we run in. However, safety always comes first. If the roads are not safe, I always take my run inside rather than risk an injury.

My assigned run for this past Tuesday was 1:30 in heart rate zone with a 3 minute finishing surge. That's a long time to be on a treadmill. I got it done, running 10.36 miles (8:41 average mile pace). As I was writing my post-run thoughts to Coach Jeff, I saw the silver lining in running that long on the treadmill. The marathon is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I had no problem running the distance physically, the hard part was focusing mentally. If I lost focus for one second this could have happened:

In all seriousness, I learned from Tuesday's treadmill run that marathon training is not just about the mile repeats, tempo runs, and long slow distance, it's also about making sure you're dialed in mentally so that you remember everything you need to do to run a successful race.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Totals for 2010

Total Number of Runs: 188
Total Time: 192:30:53
Total Distance: 1349:6

Average Time:1:01:26
Average Distance: 7.18 miles
Average Pace: 8:33/mile

I know what you're asking, "Ansky, couldn't you have run an extra 0.4 miles to get to an even 1350?" When I ran my last miles of 2010 on Friday, I had no idea I would that close to 1350. It is what it is. Taking a cue from Claire, 1350 miles is the distance from Teaneck, NJ to Key Largo, Florida. 

2010 was a really good running year, thank you for coming along for the ride. Hope you stick around for 2011.

Totals for December 2010

Total Number of Runs: 13
Total Time: 14:33:21
Total Distance: 104.42

Average Time: 1:07:10
Average Distance: 8.03
Average Pace: 8:21/mi

December was all about base building and completing my Newton transition. Coach wants to build a big base so I'm strong going into the "official" training for Vermont. The Newton transition went smoother than I thought. I feel very comfortable in them and I think they'll help me become a more efficient runner, as long as I lift from the core.