New York Marathon – Final Dress Rehearsal

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Training
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Saturday morning I had a short 6.2 miler on the schedule, the same distance I ran on my very first workout of NYC Marathon Training back in June.  Same distance but a very different workout.

Back in June I was just getting things started, I had 98 more runs ahead and just under 1,000 miles to go before the starting line.

Today just tomorrow’s 10 miler at a relaxed pace and three more short runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday totaling only 9 miles are all that are left.

Saturday’s 10K was my final “Dress Rehearsal” where I would practice the opening 5 miles of the race followed by an easy 1.2 mile cool down back to the house.  I picked the hill route that features a 1.6 mile climb out of the neighborhood up into Cat Hollow, then after a left turn a long downhill stretch that would mimic the opening climb to the top of the Verrazzano Bridge to start the marathon, then a second mile coming back down the other side.

I wanted to run even effort, allowing the incline to drop my pace to around 7:10 min./mile pace, then lock in at goal pace at/around 6:52.

As poor as my pacing was earlier in the week – I was dialed in just about perfectly on Saturday.

7:06, 6:51, 6:53, 6:56, 6:48 with a cool down 1.2 at 7:47 pace.

An opening 5 miles like that in New York and we would start mile 6 just :02 seconds behind our exact goal pace of 6:52.  Not too fast, not too slow – just about spot on perfect.  From there we can evaluate things and determine if the pace is too rich for us or if the weather will not allow us to chase 3 hours.  We still have time to adjust and run a strong, strong marathon.  Shoot for sub 3:10 or even sub 3:05 and run a monster PR which will improve our seeding at Boston.

If things feel smooth and easy we’ll run another 5 at the same effort and evaluate things at the start of mile 11.

If I feel good at that point, don’t speed up.  Run another 5.

If I feel good after mile 15, don’t speed up.  Run another 5.

At mile 20 if we still feel like we have something left, don’t speed up.  Run another 4.

At that point with 2.2 miles left in the race it will be time to hang on for dear life and try to ride this thing out to the finish.

But it all starts with that opening 5-miles when my legs feel fresh, the sights and sounds of the largest marathon we will ever run in fuel us on kicking up that adrenaline and making it tough to run with ourself.  In some ways those opening 5 miles will be more difficult than the last 5 to stay on track and not make the most commonly repeated error in all of marathoning – going out too fast.

There will come a time all too soon when “running easy” is not going to be enough – I’ll try to put off those “tough miles” as long as I can and when they arrive do my best to hang on.  It’s a tough race the marathon, it takes a lot of confidence, patience and the right attitude to really “race” the distance.

If you believe in signs or omens, then Saturday’s run was a good one.  We’ll find out in 8 days what it all means.

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Comments
  1. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Joe! I am doing a NYC Marathon Blogger Runner Series on my blog and I was wondering if you would want to be featured. (If will end up on the ING Marathon Facebook page) Do you have an email address? If you could just send me a quick email at enthusiasticrunner@gmail.com that would be great and I could let you know the details!

    I think this is an absolutely amazing cause and friend to be running for.

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