8 weeks from today, 56 days, I will be in Chicago running my fourth marathon. I am officially halfway through marathon training this year. Just less than a month ago I was struggling to get out the door and train, and now as I sit here after my 18-miler yesterday I’m dying to get out the door and run again! I believe finding a new group to run with (see below), having two VERY inspiring and encouraging friends, reading hours of Runner’s World (really it helps), and this ridiculously perfect somehow-fall-even-though-it’s-mid-August weather has helped. Two weeks ago one of my friends introduced me the Nike run clubs. While they used to start at the Nike stores, they have revamped the program with a different runs every day. There are Trunday’s (training and running), cross training days, Track Days (located at Icahn Track), The Local runs (story telling through NYC neighborhoods), Rookie Runs (for newbees), and of course Long Run Saturdays. This week I signed up for the Local run but has having hip pain all day Thursday so chose not to run but to rest. I was bummed as I looked through all the pictures from the run. On a cool August evening, the runners went from Brooklyn to Long Island City and the Pepsi-Cola sign! Oh, and the catch is you sign up for the runs Sundays at 3PM here, and heads up- some fill up by 3:02PM!
Just a small part of the group at Niketown.
After resting Thursday and Friday I was ready to cover 18 miles Saturday morning with Brittany. The Nike Long Run didn’t start until 8:04AM (4 extra minutes for those of us who run a little late) with options of 4, 8, 12, and 18 miles. 18 miles was our goal but we wanted to start earlier so we met at Brooklyn Bridge and run up Summer Streets to 65th, then ran over to the Niketown store at 57th street. We’d covered about 5 miles at that point. From there we ran through Central Park, up Cat Hill, and along the Bridal Path over to the West Side. I usually run along the Hudson but we ran up the West Side through Riverside Park. I’ve never done this route before so it was new and the miles seemed to fly by. Brittany and I talked mostly football and how we’d plan the rest of our long runs around the Dawgs/Gators/Longhorns schedules through September. We made a stop off for a picture by the George Washington Bridge, and then another by the Little Red Lighthouse (I love this place!) From there we ran up FOUR INSANELY STEEP HILLS (I had to walk some of them) to Broadway at 182nd St. This was our last stretch as we finished with two miles up Broadway into the Bronx and 228th Street. We lterally ran the whole island of Manhattan!
Splits: 9:10, 9:16, 9:25, 9:22, 8:44, 9:56, 9:50, 9:18, 8:47, 9:10, 9:11, 8:54, 9:35, 9:23, 10:33 (hills!), 9:32, 9:25, 9:17. Average: 9:23/mile
We started the run with the 9 minute/mile pace group, and finished with the 9:30 group. **I’m not sure these splits are entirely accurate as the GPS comes and goes in the city amongst the big buildings. Brittany and I are SUPER happy with these splits as they are quite faster than our 16-miler which averaged a 9:49 pace.
“If you want to excel at a sport, you have to know it’s history.”
The coolest part of this run was the finish line. I know that seems pretty typical but yesterday’s run was all in honor of Ted Corbitt- member of New York Pioneer Club, founding President of NYRR, first African-American to represent the US in the Olympic marathon, and he ran 19 consecutive Boston Marathons in under 3 hours from 1954-1972. On Saturday our finish line, 228th Street in the Bronx, was renamed Ted Corbitt Way. All of us were running in honor of him.
“Long distance runners have to be very strange people. You have to really want to do it. You don’t have to win or beat someone, you just have to get through the thing. That’s the sense of victory. The sense of self-worth.”- Ted Corbitt