I seem to be keeping up the trend of barely posting these days. I meant to post on Sunday after my 18-mile race, but never got around to it. Then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur once again, so here I am on Thursday playing catch-up.
First of all, the race went far better than expected. The weather was a little unfavorable, upper 60s with 93% humidity and light rain on and off again, but my leg held up and that's all I could ask for. I tried to keep my pace conservative, especially in the first half of the race. I experienced some ITB pain around miles 4 and 5 and my pace during these miles showed it. But I was able to run through it and pick up the pace around mile 12 to make up for some of the slower earlier miles. This was a very challenging course - three counterclockwise loops around Central Park, which means three times up Harlem Hill and three times up Cat Hill, plus all the other smaller hills in the park. It was good for me to get out and run on some hills since I've been training mostly along the river where it's dead flat. The NYC Marathon isn't crazy hilly or anything, but it certainly isn't flat either.
I finished the race in 2:45:13 just slightly slower than my marathon goal pace. I really don't think I could have pushed it any faster, but it had me wondering if I could still make the sub-4 goal. I stretched and quickly went home to ice before everything swelled up. I put 20 pounds of ice in a tub of cold water and suffered in it for 20 minutes. This was one of the coldest ice baths I've ever taken and I was shaking the entire time even with a fleece top on. But it wasn't as bad as one I had last year after a 20-miler that actually made me cry. Yes, I'm a wimpy girl and I couldn't help it. I thought my feet were going to fall off. This is what 20 pounds of ice looks like on your legs:
I was feeling rather overconfident all day about my seemingly injury-free run and finally felt back on track. But then Monday morning I stepped out of bed and it all went downhill from there. My plantar fascia in my left foot was super tight and I could barely step on it. After some stretching it was better, but it cramped on and off all day. I had a swim planned that morning with my friend Louise, so I walked the mile down to Tribeca to meet her only to find out they closed the pool unannounced yet again. We decided to grab coffee instead and sat on a bench in Tribeca for 1.5 hours enjoying the nice morning. I have to say it was more fun than the swim would have been.
Since I missed the swim, PT was my only real activity for the day. It hurt again, but I can tell it is really going to help if I stick with it. I need to do some more stretching outside of my sessions because I'll admit, I've been slacking.
On a more fun note, I had a friend in town on business so I was able to forget about my foot, ITB, broken shoulder and lack of training for awhile and just go out like a normal person. The timing was perfect since I couldn't run anyway. Of course I now have no excuse and since everything is feeling better, I'll give running a try again tomorrow.
I'm off to DC tomorrow night for the Army 10-miler on Sunday, a race I was originally planning to add 10 miles to for a long training run. But given the latest setbacks, I've decided to just do the 10 and start my long run build up again the following week. I'll only get one 20-miler in this season and I'm sure I'll be cursing this decision at mile 23 of the marathon, but at least I should be able to make it to mile 23. With the way things were progressing, I was likely on track for a DNS. This may not end up being the race I had planned or hoped for, but I'd still like to be able to do it. So I've let go of my sub-4 goal and am now just hoping to cross the line by 4:15:00. I need to look ahead to my Ironman training and starting with an injury is not the way to go. There will be another marathon and another time for me to achieve the sub-4. And who knows, by then I may be able to just skip sub-4 and go straight for a Boston qualification.
Sunday - 9/28
Distance - 18 miles
Time - 2:45:13