NYRR Marathon Tune-Up recap, fueled by cactus and meatballsSeptember 25th, 2011 | Posted by in Blog Posts | Race Recaps
Sometimes, like this weekend, I question my sanity. I’m pretty sure running has turned me into a crazy person.
All the endorphins have gone to my head, blocking any sense of rationality, making me think I enjoy things that sound absurd and a weird form of torture to most. Like signing up for the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge…yep, 2 marathons within 2 weeks of each other. Next April is going to be a blast.
Also like willingly paying $18 to run not one, not two, but three counter-clockwise loops of Central Park at 7 a.m. this morning.
Most days, you can’t even get me to do one full outer loop. I like variety, the soft bridle path, new scenery…and despise Harlem Hill. I can run 18 miles (for free) any day I want to, at whatever time I want to, on whatever course I want to. So why, despite an awful, awful experience at last year’s NYRR Marathon Tune-Up Training Run, did I still eagerly sign up again?
Sometimes I have a weird way of rationalizing how doing difficult, inconvenient things are actually a good thing for me. Like how I used to trek from the UWS to USQ (yep, 2 subways) just go to to Trader Joe’s. I like that about myself. Keeps me challenged. I could have slept in this weekend and ran an easy long run alone, but decided this
race run would be a nice challenge for just one long run.
- I had to get in 20 miles this weekend, regardless. Signing up reduced the chances I’d skip out or cut it short.
- 3 loops is boring, yes, but great to build mental toughness for the marathon
- My friend Alex was running it too. We both ran 3:04 in NYC last year and are both gunning to break 3:00 this year. I wouldn’t have to run it alone!
- Central Park is hilly. Hills are good to build strength for training.
- Water stations, Gus, and crowd support. Hooray!
See? Not so bad. Okay, maybe a little crazy. I ran 2 miles over to and around the park before the 18 started to ensure I hit 20 for the day. My first 20 of this training cycle.
It was a bit humid, especially earlier on, though it could have been worse. I was still a sweaty mess at the end! The first mile started out pretty slow with the crowds, but once we got into a groove it was great! The first two loops felt pretty effortless as we chatted the miles away. The third loop was a bit of a struggle mostly due to the fact we were lapping people and had to either weave through the thick crowds or keep to the outer edge of the road. Apparently not so great for tangents, as the total distance was 18.21. I am especially happy we were able to drop the pace on the last few miles, going sub-7.
Weird form of torture? Maybe. But I would not have hit those splits alone so I’m glad I did it. Doing hard, unpleasant things are often the best things. My confidence is boosted a bit from this solid effort, though I’m still very unsure how I’ll feel trying to hit sub-3:00 pace (6:50/mile) on race day. Bring it on!
This weekend was also full of good eats and good friends! Despite the rain, I trekked over to the UES to MXCO to meet Susan, Shannon and Christine for dinner. I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to margaritas.
And, we ate cactus. Just had to try it since it was on the menu! It was surprisingly tasty, though the delicious sauce on the top helped.
On Saturday, I watched the 5th Avenue Mile, a premiere event in road racing. I ran to NYRR to pick up my bib for the tune-up and met Terence and Erin to watch the elite and pro races. My friend and old Villanova teammate, Nicole, won the NYRR Local Elite Championship race in 4:38. Woohoo!
Later that evening, I got to see Susan and Shannon again, joined by Kelly and Shannon’s sister at the Meatball Shop! I had been dying to try the spot and eagerly suggested we check it out. Luckily, these ladies <3 balls just as much as I.
I couldn’t decide on just one type of
meatball, so I opted for the sliders to sample a few varieties. I chose the classic beef with tomato sauce, veggie with mushroom sauce, and the special ball of the day: buffalo chicken with blue cheese sauce. The side of special carrots with walnut, mint and prunes. It was hard to pick a favorite!
However, it was not hard to pick dessert. Mint ice cream sandwiched in between gingersnap and brownie cookies.
Well worth the hour wait, and certainly served as fuel for this morning’s run. Can’t wait for more balls! (That’s what she said?)
What was the best part of your weekend? Favorite type of meatball? Ever do inconvenient or difficult things because you rationalize that they’re good ideas? Once I decided it was a great idea to purchase a large floor rug at Ikea and lug it on the ferry and subway all by myself, because I really wanted it and didn’t want to wait another few weeks until going to Ikea with a car. Thankfully today’s 18 miler turned out to be a much better idea, though perhaps equally as tiring.