First things first: before we get into this week’s long-run adventure, take a look at a brief overview of this week’s planned training and what actually became of it.
Tuesday: 4M @
Wednesday: 5K race in 23:37 (7:37/mile) – EXACTLY the same time I ran two weeks ago. Two more chances to break 23 minutes…
7M @ 9:10 - I was that genius who sets her alarm for 6 PM instead of 6 AM. I woke up naturally at 6:45 and bolted out the door for 3M instead. Just as well since my legs were dead after the 5K—those 3 miles were painfully slow.
7M @ 9:10 I took the day off from work, so I ran 11M @ 8:57 to keep this week’s mileage on track after Thursday’s mistake.
Sunday: 20 miles@
Total: 41 miles
Going into this 20-miler, I was nervous that a longish run on Friday would leave me pretty slow this morning. Not the case. This run felt fantastic. The plan was leave my apartment at 8, run the first 10 miles on my own at a 9:10 pace, meet Abby and Sara in Riverside Park at 72nd Street, continue up to the George Washington Bridge (at 181st) and, depending on our mileage at that point, run across it. I ended up leaving 10 minutes late, so I booked it to still get there on time. This meant I was throwing down 8:30s-8:45s, and I had a feeling I’d pay for it by not being able to keep up my goal pace during the second half.
Again, not the case.
Our next 5 miles jumped between 8:55 and 9:10, and then we had a bit of a hike uphill as we tried to decipher just exactly how to get up to the bridge once we reached it. It felt very 127 Hours for a while on that secluded path (seriously, when you’re on a trail surrounded by trees and the skyline is out of sight, it sure doesn’t feel like New York City anymore!), and we all agreed that we were glad we weren’t attempting this run alone! We ended up exiting Hudson River Park at 181st and coming back around to 177th. Along the way, we stopped at a deli to buy some water. (I naively thought that since there are water fountains along just about every mile of the West Side Highway path, it would the same situation all the way up to the top of Manhattan. It was not.) When we got to 177th, we found the entrance to the running path—but it was behind a locked gate and a sign saying to go to the other side. So we jogged to the other side, where we were faced with spiraling ramps of traffic entering and leaving the bridge, but still no sign of a running path. Luckily, a few nearby cyclists informed us that it was actually right in front of us along one of the ramps and we were off.
My pace predictably slowed on the incline toward New Jersey, but coming back on the downhill made up for it! The views of the distant Manhattan skyline didn’t hurt, either. I was still only at 17 miles when we climbed back down the bridge, so we continued downtown. At this point, I was pleasantly surprised to still be clocking in some sub-9 minute miles. Overall, I’m very happy with these splits!
I’m so thrilled with this run—if I can run 20 miles in under 3 hours on a training run, surely I can bring that down on race day. Could I have kept this pace up for another 6+ miles for a sub-4 finish? I’d like to think so! However, I was absolutely ready to wrap it up at 20 today. I finished around 125th Street and caught an express train to arrive back in Brooklyn within an hour and engage in some well-earned lounging for the rest of the day.
Next week’s long run cuts back down to 16 miles, but that’s still plenty of distance for another new destination. Any suggestions?