NYC Marathon Race Report

It has been just over a month since the race and I’m finally sitting down to write down my thoughts on what was an awesome experience in NYC.

Pre-Race

I flew into New York on the Friday afternoon before the race and met my parents, who had flown in from Texas to watch race, at LaGuardia.  We got all settled in our accommodations and enjoyed a great dinner before heading off to Broadway to catch “Waitress”.  After the show I went back to my neat place just steps away from Central Park.  I somehow managed to score an awesome Airbnb a few months ahead of the race that was in a great location right less than a mile away from the finish line of the race in Central Park.  It was a cozy one bedroom apartment on the 4th floor of a brownstone and really helped to give me an authentic Manhattan experience while I was in the city.  (If you need a place to stay for an NYC trip hit me up and I’ll be happy to share the info on this place for you, it is great!)

I woke up on Saturday morning and headed over to Central Park for an easy 4 mile warm up run.  It was a cool, misty morning and an awesome experience to run through Central Park.  As I was running, I was thinking to myself, if I wasn’t running the marathon tomorrow this little shakeout run would be one of the highlights of my trip!

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During my shakeout run in Central Park

The main focus on Saturday was getting to the expo to pickup my bib and shirt and explore all the awesome vendors assembled at the Javits Convention Center.  There was a great energy in the building as all the runners converged and a lot of great photo ops at the expo as well!

After the expo it was time to grab some yummy pizza and relax in my parent’s hotel room while watching Aggie football on TV.  We finished off the day with a good dinner and it was back to my place to attempt to get some sleep before race morning dawned.

 

Getting To The Race

After tossing and turning through the night, I got up at 5:00 to get dressed and start my journey to the starting line for the 9:50 starting gun.  It was a short walk over to catch the Subway and about a 30 minute Subway ride down to the southern tip of Manhattan and the Whitehall Ferry Terminal.  Once I got to the terminal I joined the swarm of other runners waiting in line for the next Staten Island Ferry to arrive.  I found a good seat on the outside part of the ferry and had an awesome view of the Statue of Liberty as we crossed the harbor to Staten Island.

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Lady Liberty on Race Morning

Now that the train and boat leg of my journey was complete, I stood in line for a good 15 minutes or so to add the final mode of aided transportation before it was all up to my legs, the bus.  Over an hour later I finally stepped off the bus at Fort Wadsworth at the athlete’s village with just under an hour left until start time.  That’s right, it took me almost 4 hours from the time I woke up and got dressed to get to the starting line, which was less than 20 miles away as the crow flies…. Despite the long time, it was a fun to experience all the different modes of transportation in NYC and quite impressive to witness the logistics it takes to get over 50,000 people to the starting line and off on their race.

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At the base of the Verrazzano Bridge in the athlete’s village awaiting my start time

The Race

All the months of preparation and the long travel led up to the race I’ve been waiting to run for quite some time.  It was an absolutely perfect morning weather-wise with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 40s/low 50s with just a light breeze.  I made my way to my starting corral 30 minutes before the start and did the best I could to get loose amongst a huge crowd.  About 15 minutes before the race they let us start the walk up to the start of the bridge and the starting line.  After the national anthem and a few speeches the gun finally went off and Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” began to blare over the loud speakers.

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Making our way up to the starting line before the race

My corral was slated for the bottom of the bridge and it took two or three minutes to get to the starting line after the gun went off.  It was a pretty amazing feeling finally crossing the starting line of such a huge race after the last couple years dealing with knee problems.  The excitement didn’t wear off too quickly as I fought through crowds heading up hill for the first mile to the middle of the bridge.  I had been worried that being on the bottom of the bridge was going to impede the views of the New York harbor and Manhattan skyline to my left, but those concerns were unwarranted.  The views on that clear morning were awesome and it was a pretty cool experience to see the fire boats blasting their water cannons off in celebration of the start of the race.  By the time I got down off the bridge at two miles I had managed to get into a bit of a rhythm and settled into my desired pace of 7:50 – 8:00 miles for the first half.

The crowds throughout the race were incredible and the first few miles off the bridge in Brooklyn were no exception.  The amazing energy made those early miles click by easily and I kept cruising along around a 7:55 average right on plan.  I felt like I needed to hold back a little at this point so I thought things were going pretty well.  Coming off the bridge into Manhattan around Mile 16, I knew that my plan was to start ramping it up a little bit if I felt ok.  Did I feel ok?  That is hard to say, I definitely felt like I had the ability to pick it up a little bit, but it wasn’t as easy as I hoped it would be.  I should have realized that was a sign that the end might not go as well as I wanted it to, but I still managed to reel off 3 sub-7:45 miles from 17-19 before I entered the Bronx.  Around Mile 20 I knew it was starting to get tougher but I was still able to keep to my planned pace and was ready for the fight to the finish line.

And then comes The Wall…. In all my marathons I have run, I have managed to meet The Wall at some point between Mile 16 and Mile 22.  One of the big positives of this race was that I met the wall at the latest point so far, right around 22.5 miles into the race.  What is The Wall you might ask?  I’ll skip the physiological definitions to tell you how it feels.  While running long distances at a fast pace is never easy, when you come upon the wall, the ability to keep your legs churning disappears and your will power completely evaporates.  At that point in the race I only had a vague sense of where I was and what I was doing.  You keep moving forward, but it feels like there is no way you can continue running.  I took a couple short walking breaks as I came through water stops and struggled through Miles 24 and 25 at just over 10:00 minute pace.  I knew that my A and B goals were out the window at this point, but I felt pretty confident I could still manage my C goal of coming away with a PR.  I dug a little deeper the final mile and pulled off a 9:30 mile to come to the finish line with a final time of 3:34:40, 80 seconds faster than my previous PR!

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The long slog out of Central Park after the race

What’s Next?

If I look back to what I thought I could accomplish at the beginning of this training cycle, I really have to be quite thrilled with my performance in this race.  I didn’t have anywhere close to the base that I would prefer to have before starting a training cycle thanks to my knee injury.  I had to cut my plan down from 18 weeks to 12 weeks and decreased my peak mileage from a planned 55 miles to the mid/upper 40s instead.  With all of that in mind, I still was able to pull off the fastest marathon I’ve ever run on a pretty difficult course in NYC thanks to the ups and downs of the bridges and the hilly final miles through Central Park.  While there is definitely some disappointment from not reaching my A or B goals and not being able to hold on to my pace those final miles, I couldn’t really ask for much more given the circumstances.

So what’s next in this journey?  I obviously still have plenty of time to shave off for my goal of a BQ, almost 35 minutes, so how does that happen?  The main thing in mind for me right now is to maintain consistent training and to build off the experience here and get ready for another marathon test in 2019.  I took the first week after the race pretty easy, and have slowly ramped  my mileage back up to 25 miles a week over the last month.  My knee has bothered me a little bit more than I would like the last week, so I’ve taken a little bit of a break to hopefully get it feeling better.  My plan is to keep a base mileage of 25-35 miles a week for the next few months while I figure out what my next marathon is going to be. I will probably run the Garmin Half Marathon in April and a marathon sometime late spring or early fall.  I can’t wait to see what the next one brings!

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On The Starting Line

I started this blog a little over two and a half years ago to document my thoughts on my journey qualify for the Boston Marathon someday.  A lot has happened in that time that has made it difficult to focus on my goal, some good things (the birth of my now almost 2 year old son!) and some not so good things (knee injuries that sidelined me for almost 6 out of the last 18 months).  Sunday morning will be the first time since I started this blog, and the first time in over 4 years, that I toe the starting line for a marathon.

I’ve just finished getting my bag packed and ready to go for my flight out to NYC tomorrow morning so now it is time to write down my thoughts and goals heading into this race.  As I have discussed in the last few blog posts, I honestly couldn’t be much happier with the way my training has gone.  Looking back over my running logs from my previous marathon attempts, I feel confident that this is the most consistent build up to a race I have ever had.  Now I certainly didn’t have my base training where I wanted it before the training cycle started at the end of the summer, but I was able to put together a very solid 3 months of training and I have been very happy with the results of my long runs and tune up races.  Based on my performances in my tune up races, I should theoretically be able to run in the low 3:20s on Sunday (according the this online calculator at least…)

Race Prediction
Time prediction based on my tune up races

Now, that prediction is nice and all, but my history in my previous 3 marathons has to be taken into account.  The table below details just how terribly the 2nd half of each my marathons has been in the past.

1st Half 2nd Half Total
Race Time Pace Time Pace Time Pace
2009 Houston 1:40:01 7:37 2:03:13 9:24 3:43:14 8:31
2010 Austin 1:43:30 7:54 1:52:30 8:35 3:36:00 5:14
2014 MCM 1:45:36 8:03 1:57:36 8:58 3:43:12 8:31

One of the most encouraging parts of my training cycle has been my ability to negative split my long runs, meaning that I have run the 2nd half faster than the 1st half.  Every long run in this training cycle from my half marathon tune up race up to 20 miles has come with a negative split.  These results have given my confidence in my ability to take a more conservative approach this time around and hopefully pull that 2nd half time much closer to the 1st half time than I have been able to do in the past.

My plan for race day is to stick to a 7:55 – 8:00 pace for the first half of the race, and then to slowly start picking it up a little on the back side in an attempt to negative split, or at least come much closer to even splits.  I’m confident in my ability to maintain this pace and in my fueling strategy with Gu that I have used on all my long runs.  With that said, I like the idea of going into a race with 3 different goals.  An A, B, and C goal.  The B goal is probably the most realistic goal for what I think I can accomplish.  The C goal is something that I could still be happy with if things don’t go well.  If all is clicking and I’m feeling great on race day, the A goal might be achievable.  With that being said, here is what I’m hoping to be able to do on Sunday morning:

  • A Goal – 3:25:00 or under [7:49 pace]
  • B Goal – 3:30:00 or under [8:00 pace]
  • C Goal – 3:36:00 or under [8:14 pace] (A new PR!)

Tips for Following the Race

If you are interested in following my race on Sunday morning, here are a few tips on where to look:

Start Time: I’m at the back of Wave 1, which starts at 9:50 Eastern Time, so I’ll probably cross the starting line around 10:00 Eastern

TV: The race is being televised on ESPN2 starting at 9:00 Central Time.  There is almost no chance you will see me but if you want to get a feel for what it is like out there be sure to tune in!

Live Track/Splits: https://twitter.com/xcaggie08 Check out my twitter profile on Sunday morning and you will see a post titled something along the lines of “Watch my live activity….” with a link (you can see a few examples on there already from past runs).  This link will direct you to my Garmin LiveTrack which will show you where I am on the course in real time.  I also have my profile setup through the NYC Marathon to automatically tweet out my splits at certain times so you can check that too.

NYC Marathon Website: https://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/race-day/app-and-runner-tracking  You can also check out the tracking features available here by searching for my name.

I want to conclude this post by thanking everyone who has followed along on this blog and supported me and my running goals.  I’m very excited for this race and can’t wait to see what I’m capable of!  I look forward to sharing my experience with everyone when I get back.  Now its time to get a little rest and on to NYC in the morning!

Final Tune Up – KC 10K Race Report

Saturday morning dawned crisp and chilly here in Kansas City with temps in the low 40s as I drove off from my house at 5:30 in the morning for my final tune up race for NYC in two weeks.  Ok, enough of the romantic writing…I had to flip a quick u-turn a mile from my house as I realized I left my Gatorade at home in the fridge and had to pick it up.  This was after setting off my truck alarm a few minutes earlier and waking up my whole cul-de-sac ridiculously early (sorry guys!) because my remote on my truck seems to be dying and when I lock it with my remote and open it with my key it seems to think someone is trying to break in.

The craziness of leaving the house aside, I queued up my old high school XC playlist in the truck on the way downtown and made it to my parking spot right at 6.  I chowed down my pre-race Cliff Bar with the aid of the Gatorade I had u-turned to pick up and got out of my truck for a pre-race selfie with my new headphones I was generously gifted by AfterShokz due to my affiliation with Garmin at the race.

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Pre-race selfie with my new headphones downtown

My parking spot was about 1.5 miles from the starting line at the other end of the KC Streetcar line (which served as my ride back to my truck after the race) so I shed the warmth of my pullover and warm up pants and headed south towards the start about 45 minutes before race time.  After a quick port-a-potty stop and a little stretching I got into the corral about 20 minutes or so before race time.  I know I’m going to be in a corral even longer than that for NYC in a few weeks so I wanted to simulate a little bit of that waiting around in this race.

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Waiting in the starting corral
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Jeff Galloway speaking before the race.  I had the opportunity to run with him at Garmin a few months back while he was working on the new Garmin Coach feature.

The 10K was mixed in with the full and half marathon so it was a pretty busy starting line.  The races stayed together for the first 5 miles (almost my whole race!) so it was nice to have more of a crowd around throughout the race.  When we split off for the last mile or so to finish the 10K I could only see one or two other runners out on the course.  Little did I know there weren’t all that many more in front of me.  All in all it was a pretty solid race on a very hilly course, with a long uphill for the first 1.5 miles, long downhill for the next 1.5, and a pretty good uphill from 4-5, followed by a downhill finish.  This made it tough to get my splits where I wanted them to be, as I wasn’t able to pull off the negative splits I was hoping for, but it still served to set a new 10K PR (in only my 4th 10K race ever) so I can’t complain too much!  Due to the 10K not being the main attraction at the marathon, I was also able to pull off a surprising 2nd place finish in my age division and 11th overall!

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Race Results

Looking back on the last 10 weeks since I started my official training cycle for NYC, I am incredibly happy with where I am at right now.  I have managed to make much more progress than I thought possible in just over two months and I feel like I’m in a really good spot heading into race day.  One obvious sign of progress was my first 5K split in the race Saturday of 20:56.  Just over 2 months ago, on August 4th I ran a 5K race in 21:25.  I know this training cycle wasn’t ideal either with a much shorter build up and base building period than I would have preferred, so I know that with more work I’ll be able to accomplish even more than whatever comes from this race in two weeks.  I’ll check back in one more time probably before race day, thanks to everyone for following along on this journey!

Building Confidence – Prince William Half Marathon Race Recap

What an awesome time we had back in Northern Virginia last weekend!  I was reunited with my family after a week apart at Reagan National Airport on Friday just before noon and we proceeded to head into DC for some delicious crab, shrimp and lobster rolls at one of our favorite lunch spots!

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Lunch at Luke’s Lobster in D.C.

After our delicious lunch, we proceeded to spend the next few days enjoying time with old coworkers and friends from church.  It was really great getting to see everyone and spend time back in familiar spots on a beautiful weekend!

Now on to the race!  Sunday morning the weather was near perfect for a long distance race with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s and partly cloudy.  I got to the race in plenty of time for my warm up and got in a mile or so before going through the same set of stretches and running drills I’ve been doing for races since high school.  I got back to my car about 15 minutes before race time to put on my bib and lose the sweats, only to realize that I had managed to forget my safety pins back at the house we were staying at!  That caused a little anxiety pre-race, but I was confident the race would have extras available as I jogged towards the starting line.  With my bib secured I made one last pre-race pit stop before lining up and waiting for the starting gun.  By virtue of my predicted race time I was able to line up in the A corral for the race.  The corral was fairly lightly populated compared to the others behind us so it was nice to have a little room to stretch and get ready.  An electric guitar led us in the national anthem and then it was race time!

My goal for the race was to get out in about 7:30 pace for the first 6 or 7 miles and then see how I was feeling and hopefully be able to speed up from there.  Things were going great through 2 miles as I hit 7:29 and 7:31 splits until I started feeling like I needed to pee, despite a couple trips to the restrooms in the hour before the race… I debated internally for a while whether it was worth a quick port-a-potty stop or if I should just gut it out and try to ignore the urge the next 11 miles.  I decided to make a quick stop about 2.5 miles in and then picked up my pace a bit the rest of that mile to try to make up for the lost time.  Even with the detour, I still managed a 7:47 split for mile 3 and after a 7:21 and 7:22 for the next 2 miles I was right back on my 7:30 plan.  At that point I tried to relax a little bit after speeding up to make up for lost time and I was able to do that relatively well as I went through the 7 mile mark right at 7:30 average for the race.

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Stone House: The real life inspiration for the giant medal!  This was right at the turnaround point around mile 6, I’ve run right by this house many many times on weekend runs at the Battlefield so it’s neat to have a medal showing that familiar scene.

This was the point where I really started to feel good.  I clicked off miles 8 and 9 at 7:14 and 7:16 and then managed a 7:07 on mile 10 despite the rolling hills throughout.  I could tell things were going well and I just kept dropping the hammer more and more as my body felt smooth all the way to the finish.  I took advantage of the last mile being downhill to drop a 6:21 split for my final mile on the way to a 1:35:16 finish, good for a roughly 7:15/mile pace overall.  I ended up finishing 41/1113 participants and 10th in the 30-34 male age group.  It was an excellent race and exceeded my expectations coming in of what I was capable of at this stage in my training.

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Post race with my giant medal

The ability to come up with big negative splits on my long runs the last few months has been huge for my confidence and it was no different in this race as I picked up the pace tremendously in the second half of the race.  The positive long run trend continued this weekend as I went out for my 20 mile run yesterday and managed to come up with a pretty big negative split there as well, averaging 8:32 pace for the whole run.   I’m feeling more confident than ever that I am going to be able to finish a marathon strong for the first time as my previous 3 marathons all ended with me slamming into “the wall” somewhere along the 18-22 mile mark of the race and struggling to finish.

With only 4 weeks to go until NYC, I’m really starting to get geared up for what I feel like has the potential to be a very strong performance.  I feel like my current PR of 3:36 is easily within striking distance and I can’t wait to see if I can maintain the negative splits I’ve been able to hit on so many runs the last few months.  I’m starting to do a little more research on the course in preparation for the race, as I swung by the library this afternoon to pickup this book:

Book

I’ve got one more tune up race in 2 weeks, running a 10K at the Kansas City Marathon, so I’ll plan on a write up after that.  I’ll also plan on a pre-race strategy discussion before I jump on the plane to NYC in less than 4 weeks.  Thanks for stopping by to read my race recap!

 

Time for a Tune Up

The time for my first tune up race for NYC is here and I’m quite excited about where my running is at and the trip ahead that goes with the tune up race.  This weekend I’ll have the opportunity to head back to Northern Virginia for the first time since we moved to Kansas City over a year ago to run the Prince William Half Marathon on Sunday.  We loved our time in Virginia and my wife and I are looking forward to visiting with friends and spending some time in the area where both of our children were born and we spent 5 of the first 6 years of our marriage.

As far as the race goes, given where I was at with my training when I started this cycle, I’ve been thrilled with my last month or so of training as I have hit almost all of my hard workouts and long runs exactly where I want to be at this point.  Looking back at my training cycle prior to my most recent marathon in 2014, the paces I’ve been able to hit on my 16 and 18 mile long runs the last few weeks are well ahead of what I did with that training cycle.  While my base wasn’t where I wanted it to be when I started this cycle, I reviewed my training logs for the few months ahead of each of my previous 3 marathons and I feel like this build up has been the most consistent one yet.  This has me feeling pretty good for my race in New York in just under 6 weeks, but I’ll know a lot more after this race on Sunday.

That being said, I know I can’t rest on the positive results from the last few weeks and I have to keep up the hard work for a few more weeks to get to the starting line in NYC in the best shape possible.  This thought was going through my head during my 10 mile run this morning and got my thinking a bit philosophically on the importance continuing to do the little things right and put in the work to keep improving and not rest of what has already been accomplished.  I thought to myself how applicable this is to all things in life, not just marathon training.  It is easy to look back and feel good about things you have accomplished, but if you let up and stop doing the things that brought about that success, the success can evaporate quickly.  So to summarise my early  morning run wisdom for today: Don’t ever stop doing the little things that brought you to where you are now.  You have to get up each day and keep grinding to maintain that success.  [End philosophical musings…back to the rest of the blog post]

Going into this race on Sunday, it is difficult to know exactly what I think I can do.  I had the opportunity to run the inaugural version of this race 2 years ago when we still lived in Virginia and it didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped.  My training leading up to the race was fairly solid, but I ended up catching a cold the day before the race and felt pretty terrible on race morning after a bad night’s sleep.  (You can read about that race here: No Sleep = No Run)  I ended up running that race in 1:40:39, an average pace of 7:37.  Going into this race, I feel like a 7:30 average pace is a reasonable goal to shoot for, which would put me at right around 1:38 for the race and improve on my time from two years ago.  Given that I hit 12 of 16 miles on my Saturday long run at a ~7:55 pace I feel like this is an achievable goal.  Right now the weather forecast is looking great for Sunday morning with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s.  If that holds out, it could be a really fun day on Sunday!

Check back in a few weeks for a recap of the race and another update on training as the marathon draws closer every day!  If you want to check out the race results before I post about it here, check out https://www.princewilliamhalfmarathon.com/ on Sunday afternoon or Monday to see the results!

It’s Getting Real

Only 8 weeks to go for NYC and it’s finally starting to feel real that I’ll be running another marathon.  I booked my flights and scored an awesome Airbnb this week so there is no turning back now!  I was lucky enough to find an Airbnb right on Central Park West for a very reasonable rate so I’m quite excited by that.  I’ll be headed up solo for this trip so if anyone near NYC is bored and wants to hang out that weekend hit me up!

As far as training goes, my outlook this week is much different than if you would have asked me 2 or 3 weeks ago.  I last wrote about a month ago when I officially started my training plan and was very honest about the fact that I was not where I wanted to be to start training for a marathon.  I’ve tried to be very honest with myself about where my body is with this very fast ramp up to high mileage and I’ve even cut back the total mileage of my plan to account for the less than ideal preparation leading up to my training plan.  A few weeks ago I was really feeling the effects of quickly increasing my mileage week after week and my body was just worn out.

I had steadily increased my mileage week after week from 20 to 25 to 30 to 32 to 34.  My training plan called for yet another increase up to 36 but I decided that it was time for a “step down” week and cut down my mileage for that week to 31 instead of increasing yet again.  I changed my long run from 14 the 2nd week in a row down to 10 and gave my body a little bit of a break from the challenges of marathon training.  If this past week of training is any indication, my body greatly appreciated the slight break as I had my best week of training in quite some time while ramping the mileage back up to 36.  I had a good tempo run on Wednesday morning and followed it up with a great 16 mile long run yesterday.  I have used “step down” weeks in the past in my training and this cycle has helped remind me just how critical they are to staying fresh and motivated in the middle of the long slog of marathon training.

I know that the weeks ahead will continue to be difficult, but this week helped give me some confidence that I will be able to get myself ready for my first marathon in 4 years just under 2 months away.

Time to Go For It

I have struggled to pull the trigger on writing up another blog post because I was waiting for a moment of clarity to arrive before posting again.  The last time I posted back in April I had decided to go forward with a PRP injection in my knee to hopefully push me over the hump back to full health.  I did go ahead with the injection at the end of April and the hope was that within 4-6 weeks I would be able to start running again and start to feel closer to normal.  If my first sentence of the blog didn’t give it away yet…that’s not what happened.

The PRP injection definitely improved my knee, there is little question about that.  However, over 3 months after the injection I don’t yet feel I can say I am 100%.  A little over 3 weeks after the injection I went for my first run and a few days later ran the Green Bay 5K with my buddy Zach (that was supposed to have been my full marathon location before the injury).  The knee didn’t feel too bad in the race, but I struggled to feel much improvement during runs in the weeks afterwards.  I ran 2-3 miles every other day for over a month after that race, focusing on PT or strength training on the non-running days.  My knee didn’t ever seem to get worse and it didn’t really seem to get much better either.

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Zach and I before the race in Green Bay in Lambeau Field

I ran another 5K on the 4th of July thanks to the awesome benefit Garmin offers its employees to pay race entry fees of select races.  The knee did ok again during the race and since then I have started upping the mileage a bit more to see what I could handle.  I ran yet another 5K this morning, my 3rd in the last 3 months, and the knee is seeming to get a bit better but I’m not claiming victory yet.

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Crossing the finish line on the 4th of July with the kids in the stroller

Now that I’ve briefly summarized the last few months, I’m sitting here today 13 weeks + 1 day out from the NYC Marathon that I am signed up to race.  I had the realization a few weeks ago that in order to get to the starting line for that race, I  had to start ramping up mileage and get on my official training plan 12 weeks out from the race.   That is exactly what I am doing now, as I’m an 8 mile long run tomorrow morning away from a 25 mile week after 20 miles last week.  Next week I’ll hit 30 miles and then kickoff my official training plan the week of August 13 with a 35 mile week.

I’m not sure how my knee is going to respond to this increase in mileage.  It seems to have handled the modest increase from 10-15 miles up to 20-25 miles the last few weeks ok, so I’m hopeful that the higher mileage ahead won’t be too much for it.  As the title of this post suggests, its kind of now or never for this race so I’ve decided to jump into it and see what happens.

The one thing I’ve definitely learned from this whole situation is that I no longer can get away without serious cross training to build strength and appropriate balance in my legs, so I’ve worked hard to maintain 1-2 days a week of strength training and am also working to add 1-2 days a week of cycling to my mix.  I live about 9 miles from work so I’ve started commuting to and from work 1-2 days a week to give myself a little more mix to my training and to better condition the rest of my body.

I don’t know how the next 3 months will go, but my goal is to be standing on that starting line in Staten Island on November 4th, ready to tackle my 4th marathon.  As I start training more seriously in the next few weeks, I’ll try to keep the blog updated a bit more on my progress towards NYC!