Hello! I know I said I was back blogging, but as I’ve been saying for almost the past two years….anesthesia school takes up a majority of my time and marathon training isn’t exactly not time consuming either haha. Between studying, running, and taking breaks with friends, maybe my return to blogging was a bit premature.
BUT! The big news of the week is that it’s MARATHON WEEK. Man, I’ve waited so, so long to say that again. My last marathon was the 2015 New York City Marathon, which was about 2.5 years ago and was a bit of a disaster.. It was also long before I started anesthesia school, long before bilateral hip surgery, a possible almost stress fracture (“stress reaction” whatever nonsense my calf was), lots of life stress. (And only one haircut – my hair is really, really long, haha.) Anyway. It has been a long time since I’ve thought about running a marathon, and I’m very excited that that time is here.
Nervous, but excited. I’m not sure I remember how to do this.
Training has gone pretty well, and if there’s anything I’m proud of over the past few years, it’s how I dealt with injury and recovery. I was very smart in coming back from surgery and took things super slow. I still feel like I’m coming back from injury/surgery mostly because I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I also haven’t done any speed work outside of random days where I just tried to run fast. However, surgery was about 1.5 years ago so I feel a little silly saying that I’m still coming back from it. Maybe this marathon will mark the end of that. My training plan was loosely based on one of Hal Higdon’s intermediate marathon training plans, more so based on a progression of long runs and whatever training runs I could fit in based on my clinical schedule. (How tired I was, how late I got home, etc.) I did two 18 milers, two 20 milers, and maxed out at 50 mile week, which is the highest weekly mileage I’ve run in years.
I did my first 20 miler solo as an out and back along the West Side Highway. I love running with people, but it’s just going to be out there on race day, so the mental game needs some edge. I averaged 7:59 pace which is probably too fast for long run pace. I mostly blamed the guys I ran past who just wouldn’t let me get ahead of them….I was like, “I can run 8:00 pace all day, just you watch.” Finally they gave in. VICTORY. Hopefully I can hold 8:00 pace for 26.2 and life will be golden. I did have to give myself a huge pep talk at mile 18, but that’s alright. I blame that on little hydration because the water fountains were quite on yet.
My other 20 miler was with ridiculous wind while running with Abbe, but pace was 8:29 and felt easy. Same with the 18 milers (which took us on tours of Queens and Brooklyn, highly recommend switching it up), so I feel good about that.
I don’t think I mentioned this in my last post, but I started fueling with Snickers bars. If you’ve been around for awhile, you may remember that never in my life have I been able to eat gels, so I normally use chews (Powerbar Energy Chews, usually) for my long runs/marathons. I went to buy some when my long runs ramped up, and it appears they don’t make them anymore….I’ve been out of the game for too long. In discussing this with Abbe and Baker, the idea of using candy (specifically Snickers) came up, so I’ve tried them on my long runs and I’m happy with it! I cut the fun size Snickers bars into two or three pieces, put them in a ziplock bag, and carry them in a RooSport pouch. So far, so good! I’m worried about if it gets warm on race day (weather looks okay so far, fingers crossed), so I may put some in the refrigerator the night before just to harden then up a little. The freezer is a little too intense, but the refrigerator seems to keep them hard enough that it’s not a melty mess while still being easy enough to chew.
I don’t recommend putting them in a zip lock bag in your sports bra because: 1) they melt and 2) your swimsuit model career will be ruined. Thank goodness I have anesthesia school as a back up.
Current weather reports are calling for partly cloudy with temperatures in the 50’s-ish, so fingers crossed that doesn’t change. That would be pretty magical and I could run in shorts in a tank, which is what I’ve worn only once this year because spring is taking forever to reach NYC.
My goals for the race are pretty simple. They are as follows:
- Qualify for Boston. And by that I mean, “run a time that would actually get me into Boston.” So, 3:30 because 3:34:59 isn’t going to cut it.
I will honestly be happy with both of those. Or even just the second one. I would love, love, love to qualify to run Boston again next year. I haven’t run it since the bombings in 2013, and I really want to go back. I may have a back up marathon in my mind in case this doesn’t happen. But overall, I truly feel lucky to have the privilege to toe a start line agains, so I will be happy just to finish. Having surgery was a little bit of a reset on my running career (so maybe I should want to beat my first marathon time, which was 3:51…maybe?), so I’m trying not to compare to my previous PRs quite yet. I hope to run that fast (and faster!) again someday, but coming back from surgery and training while in anesthesia school isn’t the time for that.
As an aside, I’m sure you may know by now that the second place woman at the Boston Marathon is a CRNA. I attribute most of her toughness in the race to having survived anesthesia school, haha. Four more months to go…
Let me know if you’ll be out at the New Jersey Marathon – running the full, half, or cheering! I will definitely take all the help I can get and I can’t wait to toe that line again.