The NYC Marathon is getting surprisingly close and I’m not feeling nearly as ready for it as I should. I feel it’s part of the training process, however, to feel behind, to feel like life gets in the way, to feel like you spend too many hours at work, or you have a couple too many cocktails at the few social functions you allow yourself to attend. So, with that being said, the 18 Mile Tune-Up is a necessity in my marathon training! I’ve done NYC once before, and ran it then as well. It is a bench mark in my preparation that, once I’ve signed up for it, I am committed too. No skipping it, no excuses to cut my run short, no stopping to take a long bathroom break in the middle… it’s an 18 mile run, without stopping, without being lazy, and no matter how much I regret that I signed up for it before the starting clock starts, I’m always super happy I did as soon as I cross that finish line.
The day was perfect, the sun was out, it was a cool beginning of fall day. It literally could not have been a more perfect day for a run. I also had the great idea to finally invest in a gps watch and it was my first time using it (although I hadn’t quite figured out all the functions on it yet). I went with the new TomTom Runner and nailed my pace! Ideally I’d like to run around 8 min miles in the marathon and managed to nail 7:55 min/miles on my run.
The race kicked off at 7:00 am, but with long lines in both the baggage check and bathrooms, people were still crossing the start 7:15 and after. I sadly had misplaced my husband (this is a whole other story I’m sure he’d love to tell) and started late, thinking he had already gone. I got a missed random phone call (I run with my phone, because how else can I listen to spotify and take photos) and returned it to talk to a woman who said my man was looking for me, I had just started, literally 3 steps over the go mark, and told her so. She started yelling to him, “go go, she just started”. My first 3 or 4 miles were a little slower than I would have preferred, thinking he would have caught up to me, but not so much that I was off my pace.
The first loop (6 miles) went by fast, it’s amazing how the company of thousands of other runners going along with you make it seem so much more fun and like running 18 miles is a normal Saturday morning. The second loop (miles 6-12) was still good, things start to ache a bit, but that’s what happens when you run miles after miles for months after months. The third lap (miles 12-18) got tough on the Harlem hill, but looping around the bottom of the park, I still had some strength in my legs to finish strong on the last 3 miles. So all in all, I’m feeling good about my training and good about tackling the 26.2 in less than 2 months!