Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

New York City Marathon, A Shot of Adrenalin

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Yesterday I enjoyed a longish, leisurely 14.5 mile run on a favourite route. I don’t often run it however as the group I usually connect are oriented to a different part of the city. All the photos from my run were taken with my Blackberry.

Palace Pier bridge

Humber river bridge near Palace Pier

Running west along the lakeshore, past the Boulevard Club, Marilyn Bell Park, the Argonaut Rowing Club and along the Sunnyside beach boardwalk over the Palace Pier bridge and through what I refer to as the Humber river spit.

My favourite view of Lake Ontario

Favourite view of Lake Ontario

When I get to this spit, I go clockwise once and then counter clockwise for a scenic two-mile section.  On the southern shore there comes a point at which you cannot see a single building.  I love that!

Favourite view of Toronto skyline

Favourite view of Toronto skyline

Regular enjoyment of the most scenic parts of urban Toronto is one of the pleasures of running.  All the better when done in the early morning. The final five miles loop back through the Humber River butterfly garden and through the southeast corner of High Park.  It always feels much easier than any route that goes north as it is fairly flat.

Humber river

View at my Humber spit turnaround point

While crossing the Humber River bridge at Palace Pier the image of marathoners crossing the Verrazano bridge during the NYC marathon flashed through my mind.  I felt a surge of adrenalin.  Yes, I am training for the NYC marathon.

Later in the day I received an email from the NYC marathon telling me that the deadline for choosing transportation to the start line is July31st.  Yikes . . . such is the way when you run the mother of mega-city-marathons and I’m already too late for the bus option which loads a block away from my hotel.  So I chose to travel to the start on the 6:15 a.m. Staten Island ferry, followed by a bus to the start. Marathon morning anxiety begins to kick in and I ask myself, though I feel confident I know the answer, is this marathon worth the logistical hassles?

For past marathons and Around the Bay 30K I have printed out tiled route maps as part of my visualization process.  I think its time to print out the large map of the NYC course to be hung in a prominent location. Yesterday I jotted down a 17 week training plan.  The peak training weeks will be the last week of September and the first week of October.  If all goes well, I hope to hit 80 miles or more for those weeks.

A few years ago I would have aspired to place in the top three for my age category of 55-59 however, I’ve had a hard time keeping focused on intensifying my training lately and I think my goal will be to better my 3:42 time at the Sacramento Marathon.  This time was run on a net downhill course and New York is not a fast course so, that in itself will be a challenge.

But I’m feeling fitter with consistent mileage since our vacation and last week I started weight training again, and it feels fantastic.  I’ve done upper body weights for most of the past 30 years and lower body weights for the past decade. My recent lapse of a couple of months from this routine was unusual.  Partly to blame was a vague plan of replacing some of the weight work with plyometrics and circuit training, a plan which never took shape.

I’ve done four sessions of the anatomical adaptation phase for weight training as described in my post:  Weight Training, Love It or Lose It and I’m looking forward to the maximum strength phase when I get to bulk up a bit.  The goal of the lower body weight training is to maximize the the musculoskeletal system in preparation for the heavy mileage that will come later on.  While I won’t be trying to log the 100 mile weeks I once did, the time has come come to run, run, run as much as I can!

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