The fall edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Brittany, a Race Pace Runner, on her journey of training for her first marathon, the New York City Marathon on November 3rd. Learn more about Brittany here or follow her daily adventures on twitter.
Somehow my peak training week came and went, without a hitch! Just two months ago I was shocked when I reached 30 miles in a week, and now I ran 40?!
Last Saturday I ran 22 miles, the farthest distance I’ll do before the marathon. I took all the lessons I learned from my 20-miler, and I’m happy to report this run went much better!
Jess suggested I sign up for the New York Flyers 3 Bridges 20-mile Run. I figured it would keep me accountable, I wouldn’t have to worry about planning a route, and I’d get more experience with bridges. Perfect.
The Flyers run is set up with pace groups, and the group I chose was meeting at 6:50am. I planned to run the additional 2 miles prior to meeting up with the group, which meant it was going to be going to be an early morning.
Since this run was Saturday morning, I didn’t have to worry about my self-control issues while watching college football interfering. I went to bed early Friday night and actually woke up before my alarm Saturday morning. What?!
I ran the 2 miles to meet the group and by the time I got there, the sun was coming up. I was starting to dread that I still had 20 miles to go, but seeing this picture hanging in the Time Warner Center reminded me why I was running 22 miles. Can’t start slacking off now!
The 10-minute mile pace group was pretty large and there were 3 pacers, so they decided to break it down into smaller groups. I went with the “slightly faster” group, but our pacer promised it would barely be any faster. This turned out to only be semi-true.
The weather was perfect and the miles were flying by. We started out in Central Park, ran over to the West Side Highway, and then over to the Brooklyn Bridge. I was feeling great at this point and staying right behind the pacer.
Once we got to Brooklyn, people in my group decided to start running IN FRONT of the pacer. The pacer had done an excellent job of keeping us in the 9:50s, so I was quite annoyed that these random people were now pushing the pace. At one point the pacer told the group that we should slow down, but they wanted nothing to do with it!
Around mile 15 (for me) we passed the 10:30 pace group and I’m pretty sure faster groups starting passing us. I was trying to focus on staying with my group, but because we were starting to spread out so much, it was getting confusing.
As we were approaching the Queensboro Bridge, I realized I was now towards the back of the group. I really wanted to slow down, but I forced myself to keep the group in my view while going over the bridge. The Queensboro sucked just as bad as everyone said it would, especially since I was at mile 18!
Once into Manhattan, we ran back to Central Park and I decided to break away from the group. We had already lost a few people by this point, so I felt better knowing I wasn’t the only one that wanted to slow down. I really didn’t want to push myself so I started running closer to the original pace.
Running with a group was definitely a learning experience, and I blame myself for picking the “faster” group. Even so, this run was very well put together and I’d definitely recommend it. It was a good reminder of how much a difference it can make when you’re running by “feel” versus a time on a watch or speedy pace group. I better keep this in mind come marathon day!
Walking home (more like shuffling) I kept thinking, it’s all downhill from here!