Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Countdown to New York City Marathon

Set as I’m going to be for the New York City Marathon, which I’ve dreamed about doing for more than 30 years, probably since Bill Rodgers’ 1976 victory—a race that brought this marathon (and marathoning) to the forefront. Shorter’s Olympic races and Rodgers’ Boston win in 1975 notwithstanding.

I have few regrets in my 33 year running career (well, counting injuries more like 30years), but not running this event while living just a couple hundred miles away in upstate New York the late 1980s and early 90s might be one. Back then I was working hard on establishing a career track and doing relatively low mileage (mostly 40s and 50s/week), and a marathon was always six months to a year away. Those were probably my best years as a runner, but I didn’t commit to a marathon for the 16 years between ages 25 and 41.

Oh well, at 51 I’m thrilled to be going. But I’m not heading there to set a huge PR and will not be disappointed if I don’t run faster than a 50-54 best of 2:54. This one is about just getting out there for the experience and to enjoy the run. So I’m not planning to go blazing out at 6:10 pace. More like 7:10 and then working into a pace that feels right for the day. I’ve already run my best races of the year, and those were months ago, so this one is for kicks. I do want to break 3 hours.

After feeling surprisingly good in May and June, and cutting back a bit for July, the past 2.5 months of marathon training have been very consistent, with just a few small glitches along the way, but the days of feeling amazingly fit off of a string of 70+ miles weeks are way past long gone. I averaged just below 70 miles for the past 10 weeks, plus some roller skiing to break things up.

Felt okay through most of the training, but never great (except for Santa Claus Half back in early August). The initial three or four long runs (>2 hr) were pretty miserable, and I felt awful most of the time for the first three weeks of September—downhill running for the Equinox relay was tough on the legs.

I wish we had more true cross country (regular races at 8-12K) in this town.

Crashed on my roller skis a couple weeks ago and bashed my wrist which is still pretty sore. Don’t think it’s broken or cracked. Also smacked my knee but pain receeded within a day or two.

Like all good things, however, a 3 year streak of winning my age group is about to end, because it will take a low 2:40s to be on the age group podium at NYC and I’m not there mentally, let alone physically. Still it’s been a good run, and I’ve managed to set or be near a whole slew of Alaska bests for 50-54 age group, from the mile to the marathon.

Likely, others have run faster. But it would be nice to have a statewide age group database and records list for certified courses.

Anyway, NYC here we come! This is going to be a fun one.


Blogger middle.professor said...

Roger - I find it ironic that your contribution to a forum topic about why guys think women are racing against them, was to post to the guy's blog that he "got girled". The point by Joan, which you seem to have missed, is that this is insulting language. But seeing as how no one on the forum called you out on it I guess tribalism rules. And I'd expect more from a competitive masters runner and coach.

Jeff Walker - Falmouth ME

4:05 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

Jeff, like Joan, just playfully amused. You're taking this way too seriously.

9:03 AM  

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