a thought dump, two weeks before a marathon

Spent a few weeks trying to figure out what was worth writing about after my most recent race. Race recap didn’t sound all that interesting. Couldn’t draw some sort of non-cliché lesson from the experience. Nothing all that entertaining happened, either. So don’t write about it, I thought.

But I’m still thinking about it three weeks later — two weeks before my first marathon — so I’m going to do some mental housekeeping.

Brooklyn Greenway Half Marathon, the quick & dirty version (in no particular order)

  • it wasn’t quick, by personal standards (1:54:19)
  • dirty? yes.
    • leapt over what appeared to be drunk pizza vomit in Williamsburg
    • ran into a pedestrian in Williamsburg
    • dodged a fair amount of dog crap
  • the course
    • out & back, mostly flat
    • most urban route I’ve raced (but that was kind of cool)
    • somewhat technical — lots of 90-degree turns
screen shot from Strava
  • the actual racing part
    • started out great. felt great. looked at my watch and I was like, “wow, I feel amazing for how fast I’m running.” << not necessarily a good thing
    • made an effort to pull back on the pace
      • didn’t make a good enough effort, apparently
    • hit a 15K PR — in a half marathon
    • shocker: I bombed the remaining 4ish miles, dragging myself to the finish
  • nutrition worked
    • breakfast: bagel & cream cheese + coffee
    • hour-30minutes before: Hammer bar (oatmeal apple) + water
    • race: 18oz Hammer HEED (strawberry)
    • after: bagel & peanut butter

The race was supposed to be a pre-marathon confidence-booster. It was fun, but I didn’t race smart. That’s not great for the whole “marathon confidence” thing — you know, the point of doing that half marathon in the first place.

But I think it worked out. In the three weeks since that silly half marathon, I’ve thought a lot more about my marathon race strategy and paid closer attention to pacing during my training sessions — now, two weeks out, I feel ready. (Watching the NYC Marathon today got me pretty revved up, too.)

We’ll see how it goes on November 20th.

{above: scenes from the last few weeks of training. main image: the view over the east river from williamsburg — that’s where packet pickup was the day before the race. the views on race day were similarly amazing.}


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