NYC Marathon Episode 7: The LAST Long Run

Hi Everyone!

A lot has been happening behind the scenes since my last long run (which I did not complete)

I paid a visit to a) my Primary Care Physician – she was delighted with me weight loss, blood work and breathing. “Must be all that running” she concluded.

b) my Podiatrist – Have you ever seen an x-ray of your foot? What a glorious creation! All these little bones, carrying all our body weight every single day. Amazing! All is well, just needed a pad which she made for me right there for under the ball of my foot to protect my second metatarsal which was carrying most of my weight and was hurting as a result.

foot xray

(Note: not my foot)

c) my Physical Therapist – turns out my left knee pain has been because I have not been stretching enough, nor hydrating enough. I am now on a twice a week schedule until race day for intense stretching, PT exercises and deep massage. These guys are awesome. Well worth it!

And so…armed with my foot pad, a set of well-stretched and strengthened muscles and a bigger bottle of Gatorade (on top of a week of drinking, drinking & drinking) I did my long run this week.

And I DID it!!!

Started from home, through Prospect Park, down Flatbush Avenue, over the Manhattan Bridge, up along the East River to 59th Street, Crossed there to Central Park, did the entire Central Park Loop (WITH the treacherous hills) and then out and down 7th Avenue to the 42nd street train station to catch the train back home.

20 Miles!!!!

It took me 5.5 hours, so I am not kidding myself about how long the actual race will take me…but one thing I can now be certain of is that I really CAN do it!!

The only thing I have to figure out now, is how to protect my toes. I had them taped up, but they still hurt.

This was my last long run in training. From now on, we are tapering the distances to build energy for race day in 20 days.

Here are a couple of things to report:

  • Boredom is a thing! This is the honest truth! Running long distances can be really boring. Even with varying podcasts, music, radio or whatever else is playing on those headphones. That is way I keep trying new routes to keep it interesting. I got really bored with the Prospect Park loop and the West Side (Hudson) Greenway. When you are bored, it is VERY easy to talk yourself out of a run. So switch it up!
  • Jealousy is a thing! Yes, it is! Yes, I feel jealous when those young girls go sprinting by me in perfect form and leave me panting in the dust staring after them in their little shorts showing well sculpted buns, hamstrings and calves as they disappear miles ahead of me. Ugh! Hey, at least I am being honest!
  • Hydration Hydration Hydration!! It really is all about hydration! Dried up muscles tire out quickly. This might have been the problem with that last run gone wrong. I have to drink all day every day…not just on race day. The difference is drastic. Two fellow runners chatting with me this week recommended adding salt to my drinking water while running to help retain fluid. I tried this in the first few miles today, and it did work with the fluid retention, but it gave me an instant headache. I guess with my high blood pressure, I am not a good candidate for straight salt. So I switched back to Gatorade.
  • Exercise is SO good for you!! I cannot recommend running highly enough. Or any kind of good exercise. Needless to say, at 20 miles only two words come to mind – ‘tired’ and ‘pain’. But after a good stretch, and a warm shower I feel rejuvenated and energized. It is such a great feeling and well worth every minute of strain.
  • Last but by no means the least, THANK YOU!!! Your feedback and comments are SO inspiring. I truly might have given up a while ago but for your relentless encouragement. Every email I get, every shout out in the hallways, every conversation filled with advice and experience, every wish of good luck, or just asking me how it is going, means so much to me. When I cross that finish line, I will be thinking of and thanking every one of you as you have made this the best experience ever. Thank you!

Here is one example of your encouragement. My very own subway poster. Thank you so much Glenniver S.

subway poster.jpg

 

20 Miler Photo Blog

 When I started out this morning, it was cool and foggy. There was an actual layer of fog covering the Long Meadow in Prospect Park

Foggy Park1

Foggy Park2.jpg

Next Stop: Manhattan Bridge – Notice the building next to it half engulfed by the fog

Manhattan Bridge

 Manhattan Bridge2

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park from the Manhattan Bridge – Sorry…it’s a little fuzzy.

 Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan Bridge

 East River Greenway – The fog is beginning to lift 

 East River Greenway.jpg

 Don’t ever let anyone tell you can’t do just about EVERYTHING right here in the City.

This is Stuyvesant Cove along the East River Greenway (Right across from Stuyvesant Town in the mid-twenties) but it might as well be called “Fisherman’s Cove”

I don’t know if I’d want to eat what they are catching, but they are out there with their coolers ready to take dinner home.

 Fishing

          Fishing2

 “Still Hunt” the name of the stalking cat on Cat Hill in Central Park (East 75th – East 81st Street) – This is one of the “lesser” hills in Central Park, but it tends to be run towards the end of most races when most runners are nearing exhaustion. This gives Cat Hill and Still Hunt a pretty bad reputation.

Today Still Hunt was approximately my Mile 14 with 6 miles to go. I didn’t feel too bad about seeing him. I was still going strong 🙂

 CP cat.jpg

 Today was also the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Walk by the American Cancer Society, so there was a lot of PINK going around in Central Park.

I was pleased to see such a big turn out, and that there were so many survivors, but I was also saddened because this disease is so prevalent and is still claiming so many lives.

The fight must go on!!!

CP cat2.jpg

CP Pink.jpg

Have a great week!

 

 

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