This race is feared by many and rightfully so. This race is held each year in mid-September, mainly as a tune-up race for NYC Marathon, but the pre-race announcers always say, “If you can get through this race today, you will be able to run any of the fall marathons!” (photo credit)
I heard that four years ago, and set off into the race as a novice, never having raced more than one half marathon. I did not like the race. I walked through water stops. The three loops would never end.
And the second year, it got better. Like 20 minutes better. And the 3rd year? I was looking forward to it. And ended up running 25+ minutes better.
And this year? Saw it as a job. Got it done, and ran 30+minutes better than my first time running it.
Something about those 3 loops in Central Park on that particular raceday makes it achievable and almost desirable. I don’t think mentally I could get through 3 CP loops without the support and camaraderie that this race brings. I come raceday ready to make those three loops mine, and we NYC runners have such an advantage since we train there every single week! Harlem hills got nothin’ on me!
As you may or may not know, I’m training to run sub 3:20 at Philly this upcoming November (what, eek, ahhh!). The average pace for a 3:20 marathon is 7:38 so I’ve been keeping that time as sort of a benchmark, obviously I’d like to be under it as much as I can be.
Mile 1 was so clogged and I thought I would come in faster than 8:30 pace so when I saw that, I got nervous, and booked it. Probably not the smartest move, but mentally I needed to kick my butt into gear so I wouldn’t get stuck. 7:18 pace for mile 2 was a bit aggressive. Live and learn!
The overall average pace ended up becoming 7:39 which I was super happy about since it’s really close to 7:38/MGP! My second loop was my fastest, regarding average pace, yet I felt the worst during that lap.
5am – wake up, get dressed
5:30am – eat banana + make Gen Ucan bottle to bring with –> (Mix 10 oz of cold water with 1 scoop of Gen Ucan – I used Chocolate Protein enhanced)
5:45am – get on subway
6:15am – arrive in CP, use bathroom
6:30am – drink Gen Ucan, bathroom #2
6:45am – jog to warm up and get in corral
7am – race start!
During Race Fuel
I had only packed one gel (my new obsession is Gu’s Salted Caramel!) so at mile 3 I quickly grabbed a random Power Bar Gel from the ones that they were giving out. I took that Power Bar Gel at mile 7 (Berry Blast) and I liked that it had caffeine in it but it’s consistency was too liquid-y for me (I guess that helped it go down quicker though) and the flavor was very very potent.
At mile 13 I took most of my salted caramel gel.
Despite having taken the Gen Ucan beforehand, I definitely wanted to supplement my energy with the gels. I would rather be overly fueled than not fueled enough.
I feel happy with my training so far and still have 9.5 weeks until Philly and 6.5 until New York! I’m staying injury free and hope to keep it that way by ramping up my protein intake and strength training.
How is your training going?
How many weeks until your race?!