I gotta wear shades! Or so goes the song by Timbuk3, one of the 80’s “one hit wonders”. I am always intrigued by the notion of one hit wonders – artists or groups that somehow put it all together for one shining moment and earn a place in music immortality that no one can ever take away from them. For me the term suggests that all of their effort went into that one accomplishment and as such they should be quite happy with the results. The reality is that many of these acts toil for years getting to that one shining moment and then they spend many more trying to get back to the top of that hill just one more time. Anyway that song put the punctuation mark on yesterday’s final double digit mileage run before the New York Marathon and I did finish feeling optimistic about my prospects even if I had to remind myself it was “only” 12 miles. The fact that I now see 12 mile runs as no big deal is an accomplishment all its own.
I came to New York this weekend to go see the New York Jets -the NFL’s one hit wonder- not because I see any hope in this dismal season but because I have already paid for the now unsellable seat licenses and the tickets. I figured it would also give me an opportunity to replicate marathon day conditions as much as possible. I started Friday night by having my planned pre-race dinner of spaghetti and meatballs although I had to have it at Sbarros at the airport, which is sadly something I cannot recommend. Then although I normally run at 5AM I instead ate breakfast and waited around till my race time of 10:15 AM. I drank water, ate a bagel an hour before and drank 8 ounces of gatorade on my way out the door.
The weather in New York was a brisk 47 degrees which felt great, plus a strong headwind which did not. But now I know that if race day is over 45 degrees the singlet I’ve been wearing running in the summer heat will be just fine. Because of the cool temps I was barely sweating at all, and the morning’s hydration routine began to haunt me around mile 8. I have been drinking around 40 ounces of water during my long runs, never once feeling like I had to go, but yesterday I drank maybe 8 during the run and even that was too much. I think I will drink less beforehand on race day. I adapted my fueling a bit by adding a caffeinated gel for my last one and I do have to say that I felt it added some extra kick to the final miles. I’m sure it was psychological and after all it was only 12 miles, but I’ll bring one Jet Blackberry Gu with me to the NYC Marathon to go along with the 4 Lemon Sublimes and see if it helps once I pass mile 20. As far as the running goes I was able to stay pretty much to my goal pace and I had mostly negative splits on the second half. All in all a good day.
So the NYRR virtual training program is finally winding down. It has been a lot of sweat and toil getting to this point, but I know that as long as I cross that finish line even if I have to walk across I will achieve a marathon PR (since this is my first) and I will have done it at the NYC Marathon. One hit wonder or not it is something I will always have. Really looking forward to it.