est. 1981

Training Midpoint: the Half-Marathon

In Life, Marathon on December 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Exactly 10 weeks from yesterday, I will be running my first marathon. The training program that I am engaged in is a slow build up to the distance, and at about the midpoint, you run a half marathon, which I did yesterday. I thought that it was a successful run, and despite some set backs, I was satisfied with the results.

First, here are the important details: 13.1 miles in 2 hours. On average, that’s 6.55 miles per hour, or a 9.16 minute mile, which is basically my goal for the full marathon. The actual run took a little longer than two hours, for reasons I will get into later, but the important number is this: 6.55 miles per hour. To put that into perspective, the actual, posted speed limit on the bike path I ran down is 5 mph, so for the entirety of my run I was legally speeding. ON FOOT.

As Kelly’s insistence, I did the run outside. She is concerned about my having trouble once I get to the marathon, since most of my training is being done on a treadmill, and I fully respect that opinion. After having some doubt about the accuracy of the GPS tracking on my iMapMyRun App, I decided to map out the course on the bike path down the Hudson River (which, coincidentally, I recently learned is technically an estuary at the southern end of the island). Conveniently enough, the distance worked out so that I could run down the path for 6.6 miles, turn around at the 79th St. Boat Basin, and run the 6.6 miles back. Since Kelly and I have previously walked a good portion of that path, I was actually going to mostly be in familiar territory. The plan was going to work out quite nicely.

Then I had an unfortunate realization. Due to the fact that A) it was before noon on a Sunday, and B) it is (for all intents and purposes) winter, every bathroom on the bike path was closed. Sadly, I did not realize this until I had begun my run.

Luckily, there was a bathroom to save me. Atop the soccer pitch on stilts, as my brother once called it, there is a rec center at Riverbank State Park, and thankfully it was open. I wound up stopping there on the way down and the way up, which added about 30 minutes to my run (before you ask, it’s because the park is up an elevator and rather far away from the bike path).

All in all, I had a good run, even taking my bathroom set back into account. I am proud to say that I ran a half marathon, but the truly amazing part is this: in the past two weeks, I have run a total of 49 miles. For reference sake, the distance to Philly from New York is about 100 miles, so I have just run half way to the City of Brotherly Love. Take that, Rocky! Who’s the champ now?!?

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