Thursday, October 29, 2009

Less than 72 hours till the NYC Marathon

Seems like only yesterday I was in a hotel room in D.C. reading my email, when I came across the message from The ING New York City Marathon saying that I'd been selected for the 40th running of the event.

Well, that was over six months ago and now the race is right around the corner. I'm feeling pretty good. I feel like my legs and lungs are in shape and should be able to handle the distance. I had my annual check up with my cardiologist today and he said that my heart was looking great and shouldn't give me any problems either. I'm injury free and my joints have felt great on my long runs. All that said, it's a bit daunting as this is my first full marathon, and that whole fear of the unknown thing is creeping into the back of my mind. 26 miles feels like a pretty long ways.

I remember standing at the start line at my first half marathon having a similar feeling. Just not knowing what to expect makes it a bit nerve racking. Although, now having done 6 halves, they no longer really hold any mystery to me and I pretty much always know what to expect, which is one of the reasons that I'm stepping up to the full. It should be quite the adventure and I'm really looking forward to it. From what I've heard about the route and the fans, it's going to be an epic, memory filled run.

Gear wise, I'm good to go as well. My shoes are broken in, I've got my favorite socks ready and I found an armband case for my phone so I can use that instead of my iPod. My new myTouch phone has all my music on it, has a running app that interrupts my music every half mile with a nice voice that tells me how far I've run and what my pace is. Plus when I'm done, I'll be able to call Becky and hopefully won't have a too hard a time finding each other after I get out of the finishing corral.

So that's it. I think I'm ready. I'll put on my 'I think I can' hat Sunday morning and just start running. I plan to sign up for a pace group so I can finish with a goal time of under 4 and a half hours. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

4 days till Hartford, 26 days till NYC

So, I've been off the bike for a bit, in true noncyclist style. If I'm honest, which I'm told is the best policy, I haven't been on the bike since Philly.

I know, I'm kinda embarrassed, but it's the truth. The last time I was riding was the finish line of the century. I can't believe it and now you know the reason behind the lack of posts.

Now, to be fair, I feel like I have a somewhat legitimate excuse. Every time that I have an extra minute to exercise, I've been running. With the Hartford Half Marathon coming up on the 10th and the full New York City Marathon looming on Nov. 1st, I think that while cycling may be more fun, if I hope to survive these events, I've got to keep running.

I did a nice 15 mile run on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and a great day for a run. Becky and I set out together and the plan was to run the 7.5 mile loop by our house. She was going to accompany me for the first loop and then I would do a second loop. Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling well that morning and had to bail, deciding to turn around and do the 3 mile loop.

That meant that I was on my own for the lion's share of the run. The good news is that my legs and lungs were feeling great. The major challenge then became staying focused mentally for the whole 15 miles and making sure that my joints didn't take too much of a pounding. I finished feeling great, but it's still a little daunting when I think about having to do 11 more miles after a run like that. NYC should be interesting.

Hartford on the other hand, I'm feeling really good about. I think I should be able to go for a personal best time of under 1:45 and I'm feeling more confident in my body's ability to push it at this distance. The half marathon, for me, really is a nice distance. It's long enough to make it a challenge and to be taxing both physically and mentally, but now, having done a few, I feel like I know what to expect and can run my race.

My friend Casey is coming in to run Hartford and Becky is running the half as well, it should be a great weekend. The only downer is that Becky's dad Larry, (the proud owner of the Lotus) will not be able to run with us. He registered and was looking forward to running Hartford, but a cliff diving mishap in Hawaii has left his back a bit of a twisted painful mess, and running is out of the question right now. Total bummer, but we just wish and pray that his back will heal up and that maybe he'll want to give it another shot next year.

As always, look for post event pics and wrap up here after the runs.
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