United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 4

61 Days Until the United NYC Half Marathon!!!

Planned mileage: 18.75 miles

Completed mileage: 16.3

It felt nice getting in a full week of running and getting back on track for the United NYC Half Marathon. I will say that I kind of missed it over the Christmas and New Year break. Oh, I would have completed all of my planned mileage, but all of the treadmills were occupied for my three-mile run on Sunday. I did 30 minutes of elliptical work instead.

This will have to be a quick report because I have to start doing some work. Actually, this will be quick because I cannot remember much of what happened this week. I guess that my mind was still in vacation mode for most of the week.

Monday:

Planned: 40 min X-train

Completed: 3 mi run, 25 min elliptical, and stretching

Basically, I did a morning run and an evening workout that consisted of elliptical work and stretching.

Tuesday:

Planned: 4 mi run

Completed: 32 min on the rowing machine and 30 min stretching

I do not really remember why I did not run on Tuesday. Maybe it was raining in the morning.

Wednesday:

Planned: 1.75 miles (7×400 meter speed intervals)

Completed: 3 mi (7×400 intervals) + warm up and cool down

Ok, now my mind is back. I really enjoyed this workout. I performed the 400-meter speed runs followed by 128-meter cool off. I am quite proud that I managed to run sub 2min for all seven of my intervals. Hopefully, I can extend a similar trend once I start doing Yasso 800m intervals in the upcoming weeks.  Oh shoot, I need to start doing some hill work soon too.

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I really love Marcus Garvey park because it has a path that is very similar to a regular track. Oh, and the park is like one block away from my apartment. One loop is a little more than 500 meters, so it is perfect for running 400m intervals with a track vibe to it.

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Actually, the folks smoking cigaweed first thing in the morning is a little annoying, but what can you do? I guess you could call the police, but snitches get stitches.

Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: Nada

Eh, I overslept and missed my morning run. Then after work, I decided to get much-needed after work cocktails.

Actually, I overslept because I woke up a bunch of times during the night due to the BFs LOUD ass snoring. How do y’all cope sleeping next to a loud snorer? I need some tips.

The meme is 100% correct.

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Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: 3-mile treadmill and strength training

What KOS doing a workout on a Friday night?!!! I guess that one has to do what one has to do.

My local Crunch fitness installed new treadmills that are supposed to closely mimic outdoor running.

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Honestly, I did not really see/feel a difference between this treadmill and the regular treadmills. Maybe I did not play around with all of the “fun” features. It seems as if the person who authorized this purchase for the gym may have gotten scammed. Great, so Crunch fitness will probably raise the membership fees for this waste.

Saturday:

Planned: 7 miles

Completed: 7.23 miles

This run made me feel like such a whiny baby. Well . . . the pre-run made me feel like a whiny baby. Saturday’s temperature was around 31 F, and as most know, I cannot stand running in the cold. I knew that I needed to get this “long” run out of the way. Also, I knew that I needed to do it because I need to start getting used to running in the cold. After bitching and moaning for most of the morning, I decided to get my act together and do the dumb run. And then, the cold weather was not THAT bad. For my upper body, I wore a short-sleeved tech T, a long-sleeved tech T, and very light hoody. Within 200m of the run, I had to take off the hoody.

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I will say that I really enjoyed the run. Aside from the 28 F weather, it was a very lovely day. My run pretty much consisted of running to Central Park and doing loops around the Harlem Meer, which is about 0.8 miles. I really need to decide if I want to report my distance in miles or meters because this back and forth is really annoying me. 

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During my one of my loops, I ran in and around Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. In all of my 16+ years in NYC, I have never visited the Conservatory Garden. The garden is quite nice, but I think the views would have been better in the spring and the summer.

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Sunday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 30 min elliptical and strength training

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Without going into great detail, Sunday was pretty much a leg day.

Although I did not get into it in this update, I have been trying to do daily stretching and core exercises at home before going to bed . . . except on those cocktail nights.

Random: I really want this T-shirt.

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That’s it out of me. I hope y’all are having a great start to your week.

Catch you in the streets.

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I’m back . . . kind of sorta.

Not only did I take two weeks to “celebrate” the birth of my Lord, but it also seems that I took two weeks away from my half-marathon training plan. Very bad, KOS. Very bad, KOS. Now, I’m getting back to my routine . . . I hope.

Lol, I actually forgot the floor where my office is located. 

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Word on the street is that we have 69 days left until the United NYC Half Marathon. I didIMG_4876 complete a very struggling 3M run this morning. Man, it was cold AF this morning (24F). Although this entry is not going to be my usual weekly training recaps, because I have not done shit since the 20th. No wait, I lie. I did attend ONE Zumba class during my break. Well, I did watch over 18 seasons of The Amazing Race. So, I did “run” 18 “races”.

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Here are a few things that I think that I need to do to get back on track.

Lose some damn weight. OMG. How in the hell did I gain 18 pounds from June to last week?

Weight Loss Struggle

There were some good lows and bad highs regarding my weight in 2018.

This graph confirms one thing – Intermittent Fasting (IF) works for me, and I will start IF’ing tomorrow. During 2018, I IF’ed from February (the start of Lent) until June (my all-inclusive aka drink like a fish vacation in Cancun). It’s kind of strange that I gained weight while training for the NYC marathon. Actually, it’s not that strange (for me) because I tend to overeat while training. Just because I run 15 miles does not mean that I should eat a million tacos and wash them down with a million margaritas. Ok, I guess that I may have partied a little too much during December and January with all of the holiday parties and birthdays. I know too many people born in Dec. and Jan. Come to think of it, I have another bday party this weekend. Oh and my delicious eggnog martinis, eggnog smoothies, screwmosas, and any & all things whiskey- or gin-based did not help.

During today’s run, I noticed that the middle part of my back was super sore. I think my back muscles may have atrophied during my staycation because of my extreme couch surfing. Hang ten. I hope this is just an issue of getting back into the groove. For January 2017 and 2018, I have been cursed with flare-ups of my herniated disc in my lower back. Actually, Facebook reminded me that two years to this date, I was in the ER for FOURTEEN hours because of my back.

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To get more integrated into some running communities, I have renewed my lapsed membership for the New York FrontRunners and joined Harlem Runs. The latter starts its runs a block away from the apartment so no excuses.

I hope everyone is having a great time meeting their new year’s resolutions. Or rather new year’s intentions. Recently, I learned that you are supposed to make intentions instead of resolutions. Ummm, aren’t they both the same thing? Something you start on Jan. 1st but fall off around Superbowl Sunday. Ok, let me stop hating.

Let me see what y’all have been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Catch you in the streets.

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 1

LET’S DO THIS!!!

Planned mileage: 12 miles

Completed mileage: 8

Lesson(s) learned from this week:

My hip abductors are really weak/underdeveloped so this is something that I will have to work on in the upcoming months.

Being sick kind of sucks. Also, hot toddies and manhattans are not so great for a cold. I thought whiskey cured everything. Maybe, that remedy works in your 20s and early 30s.

Monday:

Planned: X-train

Completed: 30 min. cardio class

The BF and I attended BLT (Butt, Legs, Thighs), a low-intensity class at my gym. Man, that class really kicked our butts . . . no pun. I thought the class was going to be super easy, but I clearly was in the wrong. Let me step back. The class was not super hard, but I really have neglected those types of lower body exercises for quite some time. I definitely plan to do more of these types of exercises during the week.

Tuesday:

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: 0 mi

Since the BF, his friend, and I went to our favorite seafood restaurant ( *** ) in Astoria, Queens, I was far too hungover to even think about running. Oh, after dinner, the three of us went to my beer club’s meetup at The Freckled Moose, which was a couple blocks away. Basically, on Monday night, I shared a bottle of champagne and wine, then I had a couple of bourbon neats, a few beers, and a couple gin and sodas.

Wednesday:

Planned: 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Completed: 3 mi and 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Because the distance for this speed workout was pretty short, I decided to add Tuesday’s run to this one. Actually, it was quite refreshing to do some speed work. For the most part, most of my 400 splits were in the 7’48’’ – 8’04’’, which is faster than my normal 5K pace.

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Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 3 miles and weight lifting

Unfortunately, I had to do this run on a treadmill. BOOO, but I was lucky enough to find a treadmill that was under a fan. For some reason, Crunch Fitness seems to have two temperature settings – HOT and HOT AS HELL.

My weightlifting activities primarily focused on the lower body. My exercises included: deadlifts, sumo squats, calf raises, barbell squats, dumbbell side bends, concentration dumbbell curls, dumbbell pullovers. It felt nice having time to combine running and weightlifting. Because of the short distances of the training runs for a half-marathon, compared to those of the full marathon, I like having enough time to combine two or more workouts while training for a half.

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: X-Train,

I tried out a newish class called BOING. Actually, I have attended this type of cardio class in the past. Basically, you wear these mini trampoline boots and bounce around to different music. This class further confirmed my need to work on my hip abductors. Although you are bouncing around, a lot of the moves incorporate front, rear, and side leg lifts. Also, the boots are a few pounds heavier than your normal shoe. The class was really fun, but I was disappointed in myself because I could not lift my leg too high and my hips were pretty sore. Even by Sunday, my hips were still sore. 😦

Saturday:

Planned: 5 mi

Completed: (Unintended) Rest

Since my hips and my right foot both were really killing me, so I figured that it probably would have been best to chill and let my hips and feet rest. Also, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. Man, I cannot seem to win for this week. Saturday, I pretty much chilled at home to recuperate a bit.

OH, BTW. Where the hell have I been for the last 17 years?!!!! One of my guilty pleasures is Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, and I watch it on Hulu. After the newest episode finishes, Hulu will randomly select other similar type show. Hulu decided that I wanted to watch “The Amazing Race: Season 1”, and I was not too mad at Hulu for this suggestion.

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OMG, I am hooked. I pretty much watched the entire season in one sitting. Well . . . I did not see the final episodes, because I knew which team won. Basically, I did not like any of the final three teams, but of those three teams, I’m glad the two lawyers won.

One thing that kind of annoys me about this more (well some of the contestants on the show) is that it plays up to the mean, nasty American tourist stereotype. I was really disgusted when one team was saying the native people (I believe they were somewhere in India) were dumb and stupid. EVERYONE IN THE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. You are a guest in their country, stop being a-holes. I get that the show is a big race, but it is not their fault that you screwed up the challenge. Also, I really do not like how many of the contestants’ bark commands or requests to the host country’s citizens. Maybe . . . I do not like the show that much 😉

Goal for the week:

Try to do some type of foam rolling and/or stretching every night before bed.

It’s on like Donkey Kong

Annnnnnd we’re off. Today marks the first day of my training plan for the United NYC Half Marathon, which happens to be 97 days away. Woo Hoo . . . I hope.

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This time around, I decided to work with the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan for a half marathon. I’ve already put all of the workouts into my Google Calendar. Yay me. To summarize, this training plan has five days of running (one day dedicated to speed work), one day of cross training, and one day of rest. However, I think that I may modify this to alternate between two days of speed work and two rest days.

My overall goal is to become a faster runner because I can do the distance. I hope. I mean, I just ran a full marathon last month. Also, this past weekend, I ran a 15K, which is about 70% of this distance for a half-marathon. Sooooooooo, I need some advice from you expert runners.

Question 1:

This training plan has long runs that are all under 13.1 miles. I’m thinking that maybe I can throw in a couple of long runs that are in the 15-18 mile range. I know some folks do not like to run a longer distance than the race that they are training for; but in my case, I think running further would be beneficial for me. I have completed quite a few half-marathons so it is not like I am going to blow my wad running more than 13.1 miles during the training period.

Question 2:

How much speed work and why types of speed work should one incorporate to become a faster half-marathoner? I’m thinking Yasso’s 800s, some hill work, and tempo runs. Interestingly, the training plan only has 400 m at 5K and 30 – 40 min tempo runs.

Question 3:

Aw, hell. I forgot the other question.

I know that I’m going all over the place with this next point. But, I think that I may have  a-man-with-a-shade-said-duh-memeto add another cross training component to this plan. Yesterday, the BF and I went to the cardio class, B.L.T. (Butt, Legs, Thighs) at Crunch Fitness. Man, that class kicked our collective asses. The class was not hard at all, but I have like no core strength whatsoever. Also, I struggled to do all of the balancing exercises that focused on the left side of my body. Come to think about it, I did not do much better with the right side of my body either.  Actually, as I write this, I think that I should do some core work every day of the week. I mean, these exercises are easy enough that I can do them at home while watching TV or general bullshiting around the apt.

Speaking of TV. The BF just started watching “The Good Place”, and I have to say that I really like the show. I do not know if this is a good or bad thing, but Eleanor Shellstrop reminds me a bit of myself. Yeah, I can be a little self-centered. BUT, at least, I am not delusional enough to realize this character flaw.

Ok, that’s my peace for my training plans for the United NYC Half-Marathon 2019.

See you in the streets!!!

Race Report: Ted Corbitt 15K

Date: December 8th, 8:30 am

Distance: 15K

Place: Central Park, New York, NY

Weather: 29 F, 54% humidity

Finishers: 4,971 total (2,553 men / 2,418 women)

Official time / pace:  1:31:02 / 9:46 min/mi

Swag: Long-sleeved tech shirt

 

This 15K race honors the life of Ted Corbitt, who was the first president of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the first African-American to compete in the Olympic marathon. During his life, he ran over 223 marathons and ultramarathons, so many cool achievements!!!

Going into this thing, I was not really feeling the race because the weather report called for mid 20 F temperatures. Y’all know that I don’t mess around with super cold or super hot weather. However, I am glad that it did not rain or snow.

I was not feeling mentally strong going into this race, because of a couple of struggling ass short runs during the week. I did a (near) 5 mile run on Thursday, and it was so much of a struggle to finish. WTF? I just ran a marathon last month, but I was struggling to finish a 5-mile run. Since this race takes runners through two loops in Central Park, the plan was to run the first loop and do 400m and/or 800m walk/run intervals for the remaining distance.

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Getting to the start was a little of a struggle because I did not set my alarm the night before. Why do I self-sabotage myself so much? I woke up at 6:30ish in the morning and was like I can sleep for about 15 more minutes. Yeah, I guess that 15 minutes became 60 minutes. Well, why did you do that? The race starts near 102nd St. in Central Park, and I live in Central Harlem in the low 120s. Basically, the distance is about a mile or so from the start. I am so glad that I laid out all of my clothes the night before. At 7:30 am, I started preparing the coffee, took a poop (while smoking a cigarette), threw on my clothes, hopped on a Citibike, and biked to Central Park just as the race was starting. I did not mind starting near the back of the pack (even though I was assigned to the B corral) because I knew that I was going to be a little lot slow for this race. Come to think of it, I did not stretch before starting.

Ok, let’s get to the damn race.

The race started off really slow even for being near the back. I think the cold made folks a little cautious about slipping. Also, I think many folks are still coming off of the marathon and were doing this race to finish up their 9+1 requirements for next year’s NYC Marathon. I think that I had the perfect amount of clothes for this race/weather. I never felt too cold or too hot.

Head: a Baseball cap and a head/ear band

Upper body: A singlet, two long-sleeved technical tees, and a very, very light hoodie

Lower body: A pair of shorts, tights, and over the calf socks

Hands: I only needed my gloves for the bike ride to and from Central Park

The crowd was pretty packed for most of the first loop (~4 miles). I decided that it would be too much work to zig in and out of the pack to pass people, so I figured that I would just “enjoy” the race. Although the weather was below freezing, I’m really glad that it was a sunny morning. Actually, it was a very picturesque run. Too bad that I could not take many pictures . . . dumb iPhone. I remember last year that it snowed a little bit towards the end of the race so this year’s race was leaps and bounds better than last year’s.

Finishing the first loop, we were able to see some of the elite runners finish. Man, they were so freaking fast. Ok, the annoying part of the run where I wasted some time.

I wanted to shoot a quick video of the top three runners, but my phone died. It’s getting that time of the year when my phone does not do well in cold temperatures. Before shooting the video, the phone’s battery was at 60%. After the quick, five-second video, the battery went to 2%, and the phone died. I am so glad

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that I had my iPhone external battery/case. If you are in the market for a case/external battery, I highly recommend this case from Gasopic ( *** ). I completely charged my phone back to 90% and there was still 75% of reserved juice in the case. Although it’s a little bulky, I love this thing.

I think that my second loop went better than the first. Although I have not really investigated my splits, I definitely was passing folks and did intervals between two light posts starting at mile 7.

Interesting randomness:

  • I ran a better marathon this year.
  • I ran a faster Ted Corbit last year.

What’s the point of this info? I figure since I was in better shape this year, based on my marathon finish, I would do a better job for this year’s Ted Corbitt run. I guess that you can never use one metric for predicting your finish for a run.

Last year’s Ted Corbitt 15K

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This year’s Ted Corbitt 15K

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Eh. Oh well . . . what’s done is done.

With the conclusion of this race, I earned my 9+1 guaranteed entry for next year’s TCS NYC Marathon. 

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Man, there were so many people waiting in a line to take a picture with the 9+1 sign. I swear, NYCers love to wait in lines for the most random shit. I pretty much took a selfie and kept it moving. It was far too cold to be bullshitting around in a line. 

I hopped on a Citibike and rode my ass home, and the BF had breakfast waiting for me!!!!

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  • Anyone else doing NYRR’s 9+1 program for next year’s marathon? If so, which race was your favorite?

Making some plans – Weight Loss Part I

In the past couple of years, I try to come up with some things that I can do to get into better shape. Clearly, I’m not doing something right because I have not significantly dropped any major poundage. Usually, this idea comes right off of the heels of the NYC Marathon. After running the marathon, it takes me about 2-3 weeks to care about doing physical activity again. Recently looking at my beer gin gut, I guess now is the time.

For the longest, I have not been happy with my body. Not like sad, depressed unhappy. More like, I want to have a better figure/share. Yeah, yeah, yeah, men can have self-image issues. I’m not super big, fat, thick, chunky (whatever you wanna call it), but I would not mind dropping a few pounds over the next few months. Right now, I am hovering in the 203 – 205 pound range, which is not HUGE (for the average individuals of my height), because I have some muscle. I’ve even been told that I “hold the weight well” because of my somewhat muscular frame. Perhaps, this was a back-handed compliment. Unfortunately, I have inherited the body type of my mother’s side of the family, and all of my uncles generally plump (and that’s being nice) up around the age of 40. It’s funny, one of my uncles was pretty lean and fit at 37 years old, then by 39, he gained like 50 pounds.

A few things that I plan to do going forward. We’ll see how much I screw this up. 

  1. Track my calories . . . again. I accidentally updated the Lose It! app to Lose It! Pro (or whatever the hell the highest tier is called). In the past, I’ve tried (and failed in)  logging my daily food consumption. My biggest issue (aside from not logging my food) was logging my food after finishing a meal. One thing that I realized when logging my food (for the past two days) is that I snack A LOT at home. Since they are little bites to eat here and there (a few pita chips, a small glass of egg nog, a slice of ham, another small helping of dinner), I did not realize how much the little things add up. It’s like they say, losing weight is more dieting than physical activity. 
  2. I have started intermitting fasting (IF) again. Right now, I’m fasting for 14 hours. Although IF is not really a dieting plan per se, I did find that I got fuller with less food after a fast. Also, it works well because I get drunker too so I spend less money on booze. Yes, I’m a nut. 
  3. In terms of my physical activity, I have not really made in any concrete plans. I have been running a bit and going to the gym, but I’m kind of all over the place. I’ll need to sit down and think about my goals and plans that I can do for completing these goals. Word on the street is the NYRR is holding its drawing for the NYC Half-Marthon for March 2019. Maybe if I’m selected for that, I can better devise something to help with my getting more fit and losing some damn weight. Actually . . . Why do not I just “pretend” that I’m running a half in March and devise a training plan that way? Yeah, I’ll do that. Running 13.1 miles on my own is not as an arduous task of running 26.2 miles. Look, I’m already making some progress. 

 

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

A couple of questions:

  1. Do you have any plans for dropping some pounds over the next few months?
  2. What has your experience been tracking your food (i.e. counting calories)? Did you find food apps useful?

Race Report: Race to Deliver 4M

Date: November 18th, 8:30 am

Distance: 4M

Place: Central Park, New York, NY

Weather: 42 F, 51% humidity

Finishers: 5,283 total (2,416 men / 2,867 women)

Official time / pace:  34:24 / 8:30 min/mi 3

Swag: Long-sleeved tech shirt

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This is a race where running and charity come together. Race to Deliver with God’s Love We Deliver is an organization that provides food to NYCers who live with severe illness. God’s Love We Deliver has provided 1.8 million meals to over 7,000 people, which is quite a feat. This organization has been providing these meals for over 30 years, and this was the 25th anniversary of the race. After running this race last year, I looked into volunteering with this organization, but most of the volunteer slots are during weekdays (mornings and early afternoon), which did not really work with my schedule. Perhaps, I will visit the site again (after writing this post) to look into volunteer opportunities. 

I was a little tired when I arrived at the start because I flew into NYC the night before.img_4037 What’s with me and flying the day before races? But, it was not a big deal because the race is only four miles. Although I had a B corral assignment, I decided to go to the C corral. After starting, I guess that I should have gone to D or E because those folks started out REALLY fast . . . for me. One of my upcoming fitness/running goals (a post on that later) is to become a faster runner.

Technically, I guess that I did become a faster runner because my stats from last year’s Race to Deliver Run was 35:21 min with 8:51 min/mi pace. 😉 Yes, I know that this probably is not a significant improvement from last year’s race.

There is not too much to write about this race, because it was a simple (near) loop in Central Park. I did not really run with any goal in mind, so I was really surprised that I ran faster than last year’s race. Maybe I was hungover (or still drunk) for last year’s race. 😉 Actually, now that I think about it, this year’s time would have been faster, but I had to take off one of my shirts and tie it around my waist.

After the race, I hopped onto CitiBike and rode about 3 miles home. All in all, it was pretty general and ho-hum run.

On my bike ride home, I saw this castle-like building, which I have never seen in the 16 years of living in NYC.

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Random Thoughts: Ultramarathon

Although I have not run any distance farther than 26.2 miles, I have to give mad props (do folks still say that anymore?) to the folks who ran the NYRR 60K, which was held the day before this race. The running field was quite small with only ~300 runners. On top of that, the 60K is about 9 loops in Central Park. Running 26.2 miles through five boroughs takes some mental fortitude, and I can only imagine what mental strength you would need to run 9 loops and see the same crap 9 times. I do not have any desire to ever run this race. I would not mind running a 60 K (maybe), but it definitely would have to be in the woods or along a route where the scenery would change from time to time. In addition, it would take extra strength because this is not a popular race so the crowds are slim to none. Many times, the energy of the crowd is what got me through certain parts of the NYC marathon. Again, mad props to the runners and finishers of NYRR’s 60K.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week.