Well I’ve done a few “winter” runs recently with the temperatures hovering between 1 and 5 degrees celcius. They have been chilly runs and I’ve had to wrap up in several layers to stay warm. On the plus side, I’ve not had to run in any rain, sleet or snow yet this winter.
The fun thing I’ve been doing to help pass the time and not think about being chilly is to look for Christmas decorations and lights. In the past week or so I’ve seen many more Christmas trees through windows and other assorted Christmas decorations on front doors and around houses. It really does make running in the cold more pleasant.
Well, I figured I should put a post on here about the New York Marathon 2010. I managed to get a lottery place and was really looking forward to the race. I have to admit I underestimated how cold it would be and that I also expected it to be flatter than it was.
Going over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start was amazing – it offers a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline in the distance. In some ways exhilarating and other ways scary that I still had to get all the way over there. The first 15miles went well – there was fantastic support along the course with many bands playing great music and spectators wanting to slap hands with runners on the way past. I felt like I had a just sub-3h30 time in my legs and was ahead of schedule until mile 25. Around the 15/16mile stage, going over the Queensboro Bridge, I took a bit of a knock. My foot started hurting . Also, going over the bridge there are no supporters to keep one’s spirits up. Add to that my Garmin lost GPS signal so I had no idea of pace – as it happens the pace stayed OK. Going over that bridge is tough mentally.
Turning off the bridge and heading up First Ave is great. The support resumes and the music and festivities commence once more. The only down side to the First Avenue stint is that it is a straight 3.5mile stretch of road heading off into the distance before you. Entering the Bronx (around 20 mile mark) you climb over a short steep (well it certainly felt steep!) bridge which saps the legs. The twists and turns in the Bronx are tough going and stop you getting into a rhythm.
Returning to Manhattan and heading along Fifth Avenue is wonderful – the end is figuratively in sight. Unfortunately the two miles (23rd and 24th) along Fifth Avenue heading to Central Park are uphill – again leg and mind sapping.
It was around here that my foot was in serious agony and my quads had left for the day. The last four miles (two along Fifth Avenue and two in Central Park) were seriously tough and where I lost my time and 3h30 split. The last four miles took roughly 40 minutes and were pure agony. I resorted to a jog/walk routine and managed to limp home to the finish in 3h32:35 with an average pace of 8:07/mile.
I kept to my plan of a gel every 4 miles starting at mile 4. Towards the end of the race I starting taking on the sports drinks which prehaps I should have done sooner.
A great race at the end of the day with superb support and awesome iconic views.
Well yesterday was the 2010 Windsor Half Marathon. I went in aiming for around 1h40 – turned out I managed to do 1h26:47! Yes 1h26:47. Am over the moon with that result.
It was cool and a little chilly but no rain. The wind was gusty and at times annoying. The course is “undulating” but not ridiculously so – apart from the hill just after the 10mile mark.
I headed out during the first mile or so trying to get back on my target time after getting caught up in some runners at the start. In doing so I was running faster than my target pace. I decided to keep at the faster pace and managed to hold on much longer than I expected. After a while I realised that a 1h30 was possible and I fought through the aches and pains and started watching the mile splits anxiously. At 11 miles I realised I was on for the 1h30 and breathed a sigh of relief – all that was left for me to do was not fall over or slow down too much.
I had two gels (4miles and 9miles) washed down with a couple of sips of water – much less hydration than I’d normally do – seemed to work as it was a cool day. Now just to figure out the nutrition and hydration for the marathon in just over 5 weeks time….
I hope my right foot holds up over the next couple of weeks though – the dull ache still persists unfortunately…
So 1h26:47 and 58th overall based on my chip time and 63rd place based on race clock time.