Sunday, September 28, 2008

20 Mile Run.....Put It In The Books! (ugh, lol)

After sleeping about 5 hours, I got my stuff ready and drove on out to Queens, for what would be perhaps, my final 20 mile run before the New York City Marathon in November.

The weather was balmy and drizzly, and it was complete pitch black outisde. I had decided to break in my New Balance 1062, which would hold up remarkably well.

My only concern really was driving through the fog at 5 am on a Saturday morning down the Southern State Parkway. This is when the really, really, really drunk people are driving.

For the first 5 miles, I ran in darkness. I made sure to run on the left side of the road so that I could see the traffic in front of me (or at least the headlights). I focused on staying as close to a straight line as possible, and remembered about using correct upper body form, by only pumping my fists when I went uphill.

I also took my Camelback with me. It was loaded with Gatorade, and it proved to be a valuable asset.

Once I approached Queens Center, I turned left and made my way down to QueensPlaza (Skillman Av. intersection). By the time I reached there I had completed 6 miles. My splits on the way there were

The blackness of night converted into the cover of clouds, as I ran back the way I came down Queens Boulevard.

I reached Union Turnpike, hooked a right, and went down all the way till I got back to Woodhaven Boulevard, where I made another left.

When I approached my teammates, I had hit exactly 14 miles, but I did not want to stop for fear that I would start to tighten up. I made my way into the park, and did my normal 4 mile course back to the meeting area.

Once I finished that, I did one last jaunt, to the south side of the park this time to Oak Ridge. Noticing that it was not quite a full mile out, I made sure to run past it for awhile, until I got to 19 miles, and then made it back to the clubhouse in time for the meeting.

20 miles. Mission Accomplished!

As for the other sports story in New York (and no, not football), all I will say is this, I am sorry for all the fans (just the good ones - not the low class filth) out there that put their heart into something that is beyond their control. All I can say is to all of them, is to take pride in what YOU do that is good and be proud of that. I, was actually happy that I had destiny in my hands, and was able to accomplish my objective today. That should be far more important than what a bunch of millionaires do or don't do.

So, I have done this year a total of 1,445 miles. Last year in all I did 1,507.9. So it looks like I will be breaking that record for sure. Last year I did 14 races, compared to 17 so far this year.

Here were my mileage splits

Mile 01 - 9:50.28
Mile 02 - 9:30.74
Mile 03 - 9:28.23
Mile 04 - 9:32.98
Mile 05 - 9:45.88
Mile 06 - 9:20.08
Mile 07 - 9:40.09
Mile 08 - 9:18.86
Mile 09 - 9:29.38
Mile 10 - 9:35.3
Mile 11 - 9:38.58
Mile 12 - 9:33.85
Mile 13 - 9:15.68
Mile 14 - 9:13.28
Mile 15 - 9:07.28
Mile 16 - 9:09.23
Mile 17 - 9:40.65
Mile 18 - 9:27.15
Mile 19 - 9:39.99
Mile 20 - 9:51.61
Total Time - 3:10:09.12

Perhaps the most encouraging news of all is that I did the last 10 miles almost a full minute faster than I did the first 10. As evidenced by Miles 15 and 16, seeing me pass my teammates by, definitely gave me a confidence booster. My overall pace today was 9:31 per mile. My all time record for a marathon was set in 1985, when at the age of 20, I did the course in a time of 4 hours 9 minutes and 47 seconds. The pace for that was 9:32 per mile. But the last 10k of a marathon is perhaps the most grueling moment of all for a runner that is not prepared. And that's why I've been working so hard to avoid a repeat of years gone by where I cramp up.

By the way, speaking of cramping up., I have been taking something by Hammer called Endurolytes. It is a specially formulated capsule consisting of Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese (not Pekinese). I have been taking them for a month and I can now say without a doubt that it has helped me to reduce the amount of cramping that I get, especially on my feet, which has all but screwed me in the late innings of a race. Innings. Ugh.

Back to stats. This year for me, the "Holy Grail" would be to break 4 hours. To do this, I need to have a pace of 9:09 per mile. Weather, Rest, Diet, Injury, Energy. I will do whatever I can to achieve my goals on those factors I can control. The rest is up to "Mother Nature".


DGA said...

You're definitely crazy! Running at 5 AM in the dark. Do your New Balance 1062 have front and back lights? I've done that on the Southern State, in my car going to Bethpage to get a tee time for
9:oo AM!
The question is...Did you pass Scott?

Alex Gonzalez said...

Scott's knees are giving him pain. Hopefully he will come 'round for the Hartford Marathon in 9 days!!!!