I had a change of scenery this week as Sam and I visited New York City! How did we get to The Big Apple? Well, Sam had graciously offered to run the marathon with me, but there's no way I could keep up with his pace, and there's no way he wouldn't be miserable trudging along at my pace for 7 hours. Still, it's going to be immensely helpful on the weekday runs to have a running partner going through the same training buildup. For example, on Wednesday morning, we went to the park and ran 1-mile loops in opposite directions, and it just helps knowing he's near if I get injured or need a pick-me-up laugh. A thumbs-up every half mile is the best when the miles get tough.
Anyway, Disney requires a proof of time race result to get an early starting corral if you say you can run the marathon in less than 4 hours and 30 minutes. Unfortunately, Sam hasn't run a half marathon in a few years, so he needed a qualifying race. A little research of half-marathons in baseball stadium cities we haven't visited yet later, and we landed on NYC to run in Central Park and see the Braves play the Mets! I was also going to run and check off another state on my map, but they only had the half-marathon distance. After taking off almost 6 weeks, I just wasn't ready.
On Friday, I got my short run in before heading to the airport. Unfortunately, my right calf cramped up about 2 miles in, which proved nagging over the weekend. We got to our hotel, found packet pickup, and ate dinner, before getting a good night's sleep.
On Saturday, we made it to the "NYC Summer Half Marathon." It wasn't a closed course, which means non-racers, as well as bikers, walkers, rollerbladers, and doggies were also on the course. It also meant I got to run "with" Sam. His course consisted of a 1 mile half loop, then three 4-mile loops. He started in one direction, and I started walking in another direction, so I got to see him just past mile 1! I waited for the racers to pass, then joined the course at the end, doing my own 4-mile loop. I stopped twice for a few pictures in the park, and I stopped at his mile 9 because my mental math knew he was a minute or two away. He passed with a thumbs up, and I finished my 4.5 miles and waited for him at the finish line. I don't think New Yorkers are used to the heat and humidity because they kept talking about it, but to us, it wasn't terrible. Yes, it was hot and humid, but the course was pretty shaded and there was a decent breeze which is more than we get in Atlanta sometimes. Sam finished in 1:54:37 for his Disney proof of time!
I had a decent run even though I couldn't really pay attention to my run at all. My right calf and left hip were cranky most of the way (ironically, my right knee did just fine). There was a lot to keep up with on the course. I needed to find and stay in the runner lane, watch out for bikers on my right, pay attention to the most off-leash dogs I've ever seen on my left, watch for cars and crosswalks, and not get run over by much faster runners. I've never run in the same direction as super fast runners, so when the race leaders were lapping me, it was unlike anything I've experienced before - just how easy they make 7-minute miles look! Still, it was a great experience, and I'm so happy we did it!
Week 2: Run 13.26 miles + Walk .7 miles = 13.96 total miles
Cumulative: Run 35.48 miles + Walk 1.94 miles = 37.42 cumulative miles