Back to Double Digits with 14 Weeks to Go Until the NYC Marathon!

There is now less than 14 weeks to go until I take on the 5 Burroughs of the NYC for an epic 26.2 miles. By the time this post goes up, I’ll be running the NYC Marathon in 96 days! Y’all, this is getting real!

Free of illnesses this week, I started off with a run on Wednesday. Tuesday didn’t happen because of lack of sleep. 4:30am isn’t the easiest time to get up in the morning. So, Wednesday it was. Now that my Garmin watch is out for the count, I had to rely on my Nike Plus app on my phone to track the run. I went for 4.08 miles because that’s what the Nike App read at the end of my last run with the Garmin. So, I wanted to be able to compare apples with apples. I decided to keep my run 30, walk 90 seconds run/walk intervals this week. So, let’s see how the run went…

As you can see, the run went pretty well in comparison with what I’ve been doing. The 12:12 for mile 1 may be a little misleading because the Nike Plus and Garmin would read the end of miles in different places. However, when I looked back later, I realized that I was still faster at the end of mile 1 than the previous 4 mile, mid-week run! Still, I was pleased with the 12:12 time. Mile 2 ended up being the fastest of the day. It actually felt pretty good. I thought I might have been able to finish the mile with a cumulative time of under 24 minutes. Being 7 seconds over, felt amazing! I started wondering if I could finish mile 3 in under 36 minutes. As you see from the splits, I didn’t. That’s okay. The last quarter-mile of mile 3 is where the slowing started on this run. At that point, I was actually on track for a possible sub 36 minute, 3 miles. The slowing kept going into mile 4. A large part of that slowing happened in the last half mile. At that point I was around 30 seconds a 12 minute per mile pace. By the time I got to 3.75 miles it had grown to almost a minute. I did take back some of that in the last quarter-mile. However, as you see, I finished mile 4 in 49:03 and 4.08 miles in 49:55. Even with that slower number, I was 23 seconds faster than the Thursday before!

Back to back runs are hard. Especially when you are waking up at 4:30am. The ONLY thing that got me out of bed on Thursday was the understanding that running so early gives me fantastic weather to run in! I’ve been noticing that lately. These mid-60 degree temps are amazing! I’m also loving that I get to wake up with the city. It’s so peaceful out when I start out.

Check out the improvement! I love it! When I got up, I was totally prepared to slow down. After all, I didn’t want to be up and running. But, the illnesses I’ve gone through on this training cycle have put me in a place where I simply can’t miss runs now. So, I got out to see what would happen. I loved the results. In mile 1, I totally thought I’d finish in under 12 minutes. I was going good right from the start on this run. I’ve never had a sub 12 minute mile 1 with these run/walk intervals on this route. Finishing mile 2 before hitting 24 minutes for the run was imperative. After all, I only had to pull back 1 second. I did just that. Again, mile 2 was my fastest of the day. I’m not sure where I slowed in mile 3. However, I was still thrilled to be at the end of mile 3 in under 36 minutes. As I started mile 4, I wondered how much time I would give back. I was proud of myself in mile 4 because I fought as hard as I could to surrender as little time as possible. Guess what? I was 12 seconds faster than the day before! At 49:04, I was 51 seconds faster than the day before! Yep! It was a good run.

Friday evening, I went to a Men’s BBQ at my parent’s church up in Victorville, CA. The featured speaker was former NFL defensive back Vernon Fox. He went to college at Fresno State and played for the San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, and Denver Broncos. Let’s just say, Vernon brought it with his speaking. One verse in particular really caught my attention…

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

This used to be my life verse. As Brooke and I went through the wait process to be chosen as adoptive parents, I sort of lost this verse and it’s hope along the way. To hear Vernon Fox read off this verse has brought it back into my life and the verse I’ll be using as a reminder in this marathon training. God has allowed me to get into the TCS NYC Marathon and will not see me stumble. This race is part of God’s plan for my life. So, I believe he did not allow me to get in for my failure, but to give me a future success that will blow my mind. I still have a lot of work and no amount of faith will make up for lack of training. However, as I go along, I need to remember that God is with me every step of the way.

I didn’t get out for a long run on Saturday because we desperately needed to get my boy his second hair cut. Given my late night on Friday and a 10am hair cut appointment (combined with highs in the 90’s) meant that I wouldn’t be running on Saturday. The hair cut turned out pretty good. Don’t you think?

So, Sunday, I set out for an 11 mile run. It was my first double-digit run since running the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon in June. Yikes! I was supposed to run 11 miles the weekend before. However, getting a bug on the Thursday before, ended that. So, I pushed the run back one week. Even if I had done this run on the previous weekend, it would have been at Santa Monica. I haven’t done a beach run in forever. So, this 11 mile run seemed like the perfect time to go back.

I won’t go mile by mile on this run. However, the goal at the start was merely to finish and show myself that I can still do double digit training runs. Not only that, but I wanted to set a baseline for the rest of my long runs heading into the marathon. So, as the miles ticked by and my times were going well, my confidence grew. Even at the end of mile 4, when I was sitting at 49:46, I was okay. After all, this time was pretty much what I’ve been running 4 miles at in training. Knowing that, helped me continue to press on and not give up. Expectations play a huge role in our running. While I was a little bummed to be 3:22 over the 12 minute per mile pace at the end of mile 5, I reminded myself that I’ve been slower at this point on this same route. So, 3:22 wasn’t too bad. I think I might have given up on other days. Not on Sunday. I kept going and even saw faster times in miles 6 and 7. Even after slowing down in mile 8, I had a faster mile 9. Miles 10 and 11 were a little rough. I knew it had been a while since going that far. But, I just kept pushing. Finishing 11 miles in 2:22:53 is not a bad time for me at all! I was hoping to finish in under 2:30:00 and I did! On top of that, I hit every single run interval for all 11 miles! That’s not all….unlike my previous 11 mile training run, I had no twinges in my lower calf! Score! Y’all, while I want to be faster over 11 miles, this run was a complete and total success for where I’m at right now! I’ve got 14 weeks to get better…and I will.

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