It is crazy how time is flying and we are at nine weeks to go! It is time for the single digit countdown but first let’s talk a little about the past two weeks. They were the weeks of my first two twenty milers and the first set of touching twenties in my training plan.
The first twenty I did on Saturday February 2. I haven’t ever done a true glycogen depletion run, because I like to wake up later and do my long runs in the afternoon. If I did not eat anything beforehand it would be way too much time since my last meal so instead I try to do some “modified” ones where I don’t take any gels. I have only done this once before last March with a 20-miler. This time I was happy that I was able to easily run about 30 seconds faster than I did it last year (8:35 ave vs 9:01 ave) on a similar course of loops of Central Park. Energy wise I really felt a difference not having any gels and I barely drank anything so I was probably also a bit dehydrated but I still consistently easily ran in the 8:30s. An easy run the following day finished off 62 miles for the week.
This winter has been much worse than last winter when we almost didn’t have winter at all. Although some days have not been the most pleasant I still prefer winter running over summer running any day! As a rule, I feel you can really only complain about summer OR winter. However, ultimately what matters is the weather on race day.
Yes, nemo means “no one” in Latin and there was Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, but for most people Nemo brings to mind the lovable orange and white clownfish from Finding Nemo. Perhaps that is not the best name for a potentially devastating storm?
Luckily it ended up not being that bad in New York City. I rearranged my schedule so that I ran Friday instead of Saturday (77 miles in 7 days! woo! for sure the most I have ever run in a “week”) and enjoyed a walk through Central Park on Saturday instead.
By Sunday the roads were completely clear and it was perfect running weather for shorts. The twenty this week was the complete opposite of the previous week’s twenty. It was a fast-finish twenty so I mimicked the fueling I would do in a race. I had two Honey Stingers and the equivalent of about 300mg of caffeine from a little less than 3 halves of caffeine pills, which may have been a little too much. It was by far the best I have felt this training cycle and after several loops of Central Park I finished with a 8:08 ave pace for the second fastest 20-miler I have ever done completing 70 miles for the week. It left me feeling excited about running again and eager to use the next weeks to keep improving.
In the near future I also look forward to finding a course that mimics the Boston Course more closely because luckily the course is not like four or five loops of Central Park!