Just What I Needed

My last post probably left you thinking, “Oh my word, get another hobby.”

And, maybe I should. Competitive knitting or something.

Kristy commented that I should “not think, just do.” I think I should have that tattooed on my arm or at least engraved on one of the Erica Sara “Say It Do It” bracelets. [I might just do that, actually.]

On Saturday morning, Gia and I ran 3 loops of the park (a little over 18 miles). I was actually a bit nervous (and Gia said she was, too) – I always get this little voice in my head saying, “Can you run 18 miles?! That is really far.” But, I guess, the tiny nerves with weekend long runs or hard workouts are what make the marathon (and training for anything, actually) fun. If training ever becomes mundane and ordinary, then I’ll find a new hobby. Maybe curling.

The plan was to run 18 with 4 miles in the middle at MP + 30 sec (around 8:40-ish). For any of you who might know the park well, we did those miles on the West Side after Harlem Hill (so basically from reservoir on west to reservoir on east).

We ended up running 18.23 miles in 2:38:16 seconds and I’ll do the math for you, that averages 8:42 pace for the whole kit and caboodle.

The MP + 30 sec miles ended up being a tad faster than prescribed at 8:19, 8:21, 8:26, 8:23.

I was tired by the end and definitely did not want to run 8 more miles at that moment, but I was not defeated. And, that’s a big difference from last week’s LR where I was sort of questioning if I could make it through the marathon distance.

Yesterday was probably the best long run I’ve ever had. For 18 miles and all of those Harlem Hills (well, three, but it’s a long hill), it was pretty, well, painless. We spent most of it chit-chatting about Gia’s adorable twins, how I want to try out Pure Yoga’s Figure 4 class, living Upper East Side vs downtown, and what I will do with my hair for the marathon (braid, to prevent tangles).

Blood, sweat, and ugly hair.

I wore my Garmin, but I looked at it maybe a total of three times. I probably won’t wear my Garmin for the marathon. Or a watch. Just going to go off the talk test. Run happy. High five some people. Hoping to feel good up until the Queensboro and then some pain then is ok.

Look at me – I didn’t make my bed yesterday, I drank a non-diet soda, I was in bed after 10 pm (rather than before), and I’m contemplating running a marathon without a watch — I’m living on the edge!

So, that’s that. Today’s post brought to you by the mantra, “Don’t Think, Just Do,” the number 18, and the letter M.


PS – use hydrogen peroxide to get blood out of clothes – works like a charm

PS2 – go wish Jocelyn a HUGE CONGRATS on her 23 min and change marathon PR – she ran 4:03:52 at Chicago!

Until next time…


14 thoughts on “Just What I Needed

  1. I like having the splits to analyze later from my watch so I don’t think I’d ever run a race on purpose without a watch. If you find it makes you obsessive you could just change the fields on the watch so you cant stalk your pace but you still have the data at the end.

  2. i always race with a regular (non garmin) watch. stressing about each mile is silly and useless because courses vary. i look at course clocks and do math in my head the entire time – to keep my mind off the pain (engineer much?!) – but if i’m on, say, mile 3 of the CP 4 mile loop and it is 20 seconds slower, i’m not freaking out because that’s simply a harder mile and my body feels it and my eyes can see it. if i were only using my garmin, i might freak out a bit, try to speed up, and have to finish the race without any gas left.

  3. You have no idea how helpful that hydrogen peroxide comment/revelation was! Thank you! I am so jealous that you have people to do long runs with, I swear running with someone just changes everything. Also, I wore a braid on a long run and my hair was STILL tangled! I think you should go with “messy bun”. With 9384375465 ponytail holders to keep it in place. As for watches, I do not own a Garmin, and have been running most of my runs – speedwork and all – off the breathing/perceived exertion test. I find that I run faster when I don’t know how fast I’m going because I can’t psych myself out (i.e. “omg I am not going to be able to run this fast for as long as I am supposed to)

  4. Of my four marathons, I’ve never had a watch on during them. Well the last one, I started with a watch but it died shortly after the start. P.S. I hate my Garmin sometimes because I plug it in, confirm it’s charging, and still wake up to a dead Garmin. Annoying! But this time, I’ll have my watch because I’m trying for a certain time. If I was just going to have fun, I’d leave it at home.

  5. I love that you are thinking about running without your Garmin on race day. That really is living on the edge! I don’t think I could be the brave, but it sounds like you are much better at running by feel than I am. I am glad that you had a great 18 miler- you have to feel great about it. Pretty sure you will have no problem tackling 26.2 miles now. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

  6. yay for the long run confidence!

    i run with a gps watch but don’t use the pace setting… i have it set to show overall time and distance (nike sportwatch). i love running on feel and not getting pace crazy. been running like that all training cycle and plan to do that for NYC.

    i love my erica sara “say it do it”… have not taken it off and definitely is a positive constant reminder!

  7. “Don’t think just go,” one of my favorite gymnastics sayings to get me to go for my flight series on beam. It usually worked!

    Nice run, and especially during three loops of the park. That takes mental strength too, in my opinion! I’m also trying to decide what to do with the hair (braid vs. ponytail) – hmmm. Thanks for coming to visit today! You made my day 🙂

  8. I ran my half-marathon PR with a plain old stopwatch and a paceband because my Garmin was in the hospital. And I reallyyyy wish I could have had the splits to analyze later, because that one time was just a fluke when I was at the peak of last year’s training. In other words, I normally suck at running by feel and usually inadvertently slow wayyy down. I know I’ll definitely want to know my pace at some points at NYCM, so I will wear the Garmin. However, I know the signal is going to go wonk on the bridges, so I’m planning to turn off autolap and hit it at every marker. Here’s hoping I remember to do that every time!

  9. I ran a recent 5k without a watch-it was 90% humidity and over 80 degrees, so I thought I would just focus on moving up throughout the race. To my shock, I ran my fastest road 5k in the past 2 years, even though I wasn’t in my best shape in the past 2 years, and the weather was definitely not in my favor. I ran harder than I usually make myself with a watch. I realized that I never raced with a watch when I was in HS or college, and while, yes, my coach was there to scream at me, he didn’t give me regular splits at every single mile! I’m running a 10k today and trying to decide about the watch… your post has me leaning toward no. And, yes, regular soda! I swore off diet coke a few months ago, and am feeling very excited about that. I think I have like 1 soda every six months, and now I’m not ingesting chemical weirdness. So, yeah!

  10. Gosh I love Erica Sara jewelry! I want all the things!!!

    I ran my first half marathon without a watch. I had no expectations and it was liberating.

    The last few races that I have ran I have been aiming to PR so I rock the GPS. During my last half marathon my battery died and I quickly became frustrated and defeated. I had to reevaluate and run more by feel and less by numbers. Working on that notion more and more.

  11. Pingback: Running in 2012: A Fun SHORT Q&A « The Thinks I Can Think

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