H-Burg 26.2

aerial_view_harrisburg_pa

Oh yeah.  Like that aerial shot of Harrisburg, PA?  Looks nice enough right?  Well I’ll be there this coming Sunday pounding the pavement for 26 miles, 385 yards.  I’ll tell you how nice it is after that.  As I mentioned on Sunday, due to the cancellation of the NYC marathon I signed myself up for Harrisburg this coming weekend.  So B, A and I are headed to the State Capitol on Saturday afternoon to check into a hotel, ingest some carbs, and partake in H-burg Marathon Madness.  And by madness,  I mean a pre-race early bedtime watching some boob tube.  I don’t do much the night before a race.  I’m hearing the race is about 1,500 people which should be a hoot.  The funny thing is with it being so small and local, I feel a lot more relaxed than I did before NYC last weekend.  Funny how that happens.

To prepare myself this week I ran a quality 10 miler on Sunday (slightly under race-pace), but was forced to take Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off due to crazy busy days.  For some reason I’m just too popular at work these days.  People have gotten on the S-train bad these past 2 weeks.  Everyone thinks I need to be in their meetings.  I think it’s my dashing good looks and keyboard shortcut agility.  Thursday I squeezed in a light 3 miles at lunch and I think I’ll jog with KP on Saturday morning for a mile or two.  I like doing that to loosen up my legs and calm my nerves.

But that’s it.  Bet you didn’t think you’d still be stuck in this marathon monotony come the middle of November did ya.  Thanks for sticking it out!

NYC 0.00.

disappointed_face

And then there were none.  No miles run today in NYC, as I had been planning on doing since I got into the race via lottery back in April, as the race was cancelled late on Friday afternoon.  While I completely understand the decision to do so, I can’t help but be majorly disappointed.  It’s been a long 4 months of reconfiguring schedules for running, sacrificing doing fun things, and bribing B to watch A during extra long training runs while I eagerly anticipated 11/4/12.  I think I’m still in shock tonight that I did NOT run the marathon today.

I’m not a fan of wasting things.  I despise wasting time almost as much as wasting money (it’s a really close call between the two), so I was NOT going to let all that time spent training go down the drain.  So, after some googling and debating, I have decided to run the famous Harrisburg Marathon next Sunday, 11/11!  And by famous, I mean not at all in the least bit famous.  I’ve never heard of it and I hear it’s less than 2,000 runners.  “The good old H-burg Marathon”, as B has been teasing me.  I thought about the Richmond Marathon on 11/10, which had been my back-up plan if I didn’t get into NYC this year, but the logistics are too difficult since it’s a Saturday morning race, about 5 hours from here.  I also thought about the Kiawah Marathon on 12/8 since we had such a great time there back in May, and it could have been really fun to plan a spontaneous trip (which we never do, obviously…you know I don’t roll like that), but it would have been a little more expensive than what we had slotted in for the 2012 marathon budget (aka $0).

So Harrisburg it is.  State Capitol here we come…

NYC 26.2: Weeks 16, 17, & the start of 18 (last week!)

Hal Higdon-NYC 26.2-Marathon Training

It’s here!!  Marathon Week!!  NYRR and Mayor Bloomberg have said the NYC Marathon will be a GO this Sunday, despite recent devastation to the NY metro area.  I’m excited to be a part of this special race, which is being dedicated to the City of New York, the victims of the hurricane, and their families.

So alas it’s time to begin to wrap up this series, which probably caused me to LOSE readership over the past 4 months since I’ve been just droning on about running, Hal, and my side stitch that won’t quit.  A big thanks for sticking it out with me – your regularly scheduled organizing will be back once this race is complete.  But you know I won’t put the series to bed without a full marathon recap, so expect that next week.  And now, I present my last weekly training recap.

Week 16: Following my last long run completed last weekend (20 just under 3:00) I felt confident about going the distance on 11/4, but was starting to get a little worried about pace.  Not a great feeling going into taper mode.  But I thought I could work on pace a little at lesser mileage over the next 2 weeks before I completely rested in Week 18.  Didn’t happen.  My side stitch came back with a vengeance on Monday and Tuesday when I tried to squeeze a few miles in at lunch.  I was able to get a slow 3.5mi in on Mon and only 3 on Tues.  GRR.  After that I decided I’d do everything nice and slow, trying to rest my side while keeping my legs moving.  So I rested Wed/Thurs before attempting 12 on Friday.  That 12 turned into 10 pretty fast because it was POURING rain and I had A in the jogger (with a rain cover, but still).  I needed to get it in before JB’s bachelorette.  It wasn’t the ideal first week of taper, but I’m glad I got in what I could.  Weekly total: 16.5.  Kinda lame.  Yikes.

Wk 17: Came down with a monster cold (what is the deal with this, I’m always sick!) so I rested Monday and Tuesday.  I felt really good during a 4 miler on Wednesday at lunch and then again on Friday for another 4.  Saturday morning I was up early to squeeze in 8 miles before heading to A’s pal S’ first birthday party!  I felt really sluggish and slow the first 2-3 miles of this run, but felt great at the end.  So things were definitely starting to look up.  Weekly total: 16.
Wk 18: The Last Week! Hurricane Sandy forced some rest on Monday and Tuesday, but it was kinda of welcome because I’m still battling this annoying cold and my IT band was feeling tight after this weekend.  Happens every time the temp drops.  Boo.  Snuck in a very light and easy 3 miles on both Wednesday and Thursday (today).  I may get out to walk or jog a mile on Saturday followed by some stretching, but that’s it.  I like getting out the day before a race just to freshen up my legs.  Makes me feel better too.
But other than that…that’s it folks!  It’s been a long journey since I started this series back in June, and it’s hard to believe that 26.2 has snuck up on me already.  In general my legs feel pretty good, but am really hoping my cold is fully gone by Sunday and my side stitch doesn’t act up.  I’m anxious and nervous which is silly, but I can’t help it.  I get like this before every race.  You’d think after 15+ years of running competitively I’d be over that, but nope.  Happens even before local 5k races!  As for race weekend plans, we’re headed up to NYC on Saturday to hit up the race expo at the Javits center and have a pasta dinner with my family.  And then before I know it I’ll be standing on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge wondering what the %$^& I’ve gotten myself into!
Again, a big thanks for sticking with me through this training, and I’ll be reporting back soon with a race recap.  Have a great weekend!

NYC 26.2: Week 15.

Hal Higdon-NYC 26.2-Marathon Training

Last week was my final push for mileage before starting to taper for the big day.  I can’t believe it’s actually coming up so fast.  I feel like I’ve been training for this race that will just happen “some day” and now it’s less than 3 weeks away.

Unfortunately I still have this extremely annoying side cramp that I’m dealing with.  Ironically it’s really bad at like 2-3 miles in, but then it goes away a few miles later and I’m able to push through for long runs, almost like my body is saying, we’re way too tired to deal with this – we’ve got bigger things to worry about!

Twice I tried to squeeze in 4 miles on the treadmill at work, and both times were painful in my abdominal area where the “cramp” is (I really have no better way to describe it other than that).  So then I let myself rest on Thursday to see if it helped.  I went for 20 on Friday and it was bothering me in the beginning, but I was able to get through and complete the 20 in a decent time.  A little slower than I was hoping because I ran in the ‘burbs and the hills were killer, but I was happy to at least be able to run through my cramp and complete the 20 without stopping.

I rested my legs on Saturday and went for an easy 3 miles on Sunday with A and KP.  Not an easy task, but it was so nice out and I thought it would be good to get my legs moving again after the 20 on Friday.  Now I’m in taper mode, and while I’m happy to be close to the end of all this training, I’m a little sad that it’s coming to an end!  This week’s total: 31 miles vs. goal of 35 (89% attainment).

NYC 26.2: Weeks 12, 13, 14.

Hal Higdon-NYC 26.2-Marathon TrainingNot my best 3 weeks, but I’m still hanging in there.  I think on average I hit about 70-75% of my training goal over the past month.  Hopefully my 99% attainment at the end of August will carry me through…

Week 12 recap: I was still recovering from whatever bug hit me the week before, and started to get this side cramp that just will not go away.  So I took Monday and Tuesday off, but got 5 miles in Wednesday morning.  The cramp was seemingly a lot better, but since then it’s gone downhill (read on…).  I was only able to get 1.5mi in on Thursday at lunch, I felt like my insides were going to fall out.  This side cramp is extremely baffling.  It might just be a treadmill issue because then I was able to push through 3.5mi during the day on Friday.  I rested on Saturday, and did 19 on Sunday.  (Had to switch with week 13 b/c knew I couldn’t get that much mileage in with A’s party!).  I actually felt really good on the long run.  The cramp kicked in but wasn’t nearly as bad as earlier in the week.  I was able to run through and feel OK.  Weekly total: 24 vs. goal of 34 (71% attainment).  Not great but feeling good for 19 has helped me keep a positive attitude.

Week 13 recap:  Because of my long run on Sunday, I rested Monday.  I got in 4 miles at lunch on Tuesday (still cramping on the treadmill!) but then ended up resting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (yikes!).  I was anxious to get some miles in so I got a quick 5 miles in before A’s big party on Saturday, and rounded out the week with 13 miles on Sunday in the ‘burbs near B’s parents.  Suburbs = Hills = very sore calves!  Weekly total: 22 vs. goal of 31 (71% attainment).

Week 14 recap: Rested again on Monday, but got 4 miles in at lunch on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  The cramp is still there but it seems to be getting better and I’m just learning to push through.  I’m thinking it’s actually a strained abdominal muscle, and hoping I can make it through my last long run on 10/13 then really taper and let it rest until 11/4.  I rested Thursday and Friday, then squeezed in a successful 15 miles on Saturday.  I felt slow to start but my pace picked up after about mile 6.  Not where I was hoping I’d be, but with this pesky cramp and a ton going on at work and home, I’m satisfied.  I rested Sunday but do want to note that I did walk 3 miles to/from JB’s shower and Penn Station!  Weekly total: 23 vs. goal of 30 (77% attainment).

On a side note, one of my non-running goals of the month are to get back to weekly recaps; these multi-week novellas are way too boring to read through, even for me!