Marathon training update!
12 miles: Two weeks ago I did a nice leisurely twelve miles through Central Park. After the previous 18-mile disaster, my goal here was just to survive. The run went very well; I felt great, especially with the short distance, and there was a half-marathon road race occurring at the same time. On the plus side this meant that I could take advantage of the water and Gatorade prepared for the runners; on the negative side this meant that I was completely subsumed by a tidal wave of fast runners during the last quarter of the run, when I was at my slowest and most pathetic. But the race went well, and I don't care what other people think of me!
13.1 miles: Last weekend I participated in the Staten Island Half Marathon. Woke up at 5 to take the train all the way to South Ferry, then the ferry over to the island. Staten Island, it turns out, is kind of a pit. We ran through some industrial areas with very little shade or scenery, and the landscape was so bleak that they had a couple of DJs stationed intermittently to keep things moving. Even though the day was hot, I was very pleased with my time. I did well, and I think the excitement of running on unfamiliar roads (rather than the intimately familiar topography of Central Park) gave me some fresh power. On the way back I felt a little queasy, but I distracted myself by talking to some nice Canadian tourists about all the sights and sounds of our fair city. I came back and showered at the our old gym in the Village, which was about as nostalgic and bittersweet as showering at a gym can be, I guess.
20 miles: Today I ran 20 miles! Approximately. I ran down the West side of Manhattan, then back up the east side, then cut over along 110th street until I reached my familiar end-point in the Park. The run went very well - I felt good and strong, although on the Upper East Side I couldn't figure out how to get down to the riverfront, so I had to stagger along York and First Avenues for much of the time. Also, early on in the run, there were a couple of miles when I was afraid I had pooped myself a little. But thankfully, false alarm! I felt good and strong after the run, too, and I think I figured out the nutritional/hydration element I had been missing: I carried some salt packets and pretzels with me, and I snacked on them at the halfway point as well as at the finish. It was a little odd downing a packet of salt (it all just stuck to my tongue, until I drank something to wash it down), but my body seemed to appreciate it.
Now, I just have shorter runs until the actual marathon, three weeks from today. It's happening! And I'll be ready.