Saturday, I ran 21.6 miles. That’s the longest I’ve ever run in my life and the longest I will run until the November 5 (you know, during the NYC marathon). For the first time this training cycle, I ran with a group.

I love the idea of joining a running group/club/team but in practice, I wasn’t sure if it would work for me. I’ve had mixed results with group runs.  With other people around, I get in my head about keeping a certain pace and I end up going slower than I otherwise would just to make sure I can maintain.

There is a very popular training run in NYC where you hit three or four bridges: the Queensboro, the Pulaski, the Brooklyn and/or the Manhattan. The Queensboro (aka 59th Street Bridge) and the Pulaski are in the NYC marathon. I knew at some point during marathon training I wanted to do this run but I was a little intimidated by all of the street running. I was concerned I’d get lost or spend too much time waiting at lights and mostly, I had better, traffic-free options in Central Park and the West Side Highway.

three bridges run nyc

Three Bridges Run in NYC

Anyway, I saw that a running team called the NY Flyers was hosting a 20-mile “three bridge run” on Saturday, October 14. That’s three weeks before the marathon and a popular time to get your last 20 (or 20+) mile run in before you taper. For $20, non-NY Flyer members could join and receive the aid of pacers as well three hydration and nutrition stations along the route. I signed up.  I’m ever grateful they let non-members into this group run.

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Welcome to week infinity of marathon training.

There are only 25 days until the NYC Marathon, which make sense seeing as I’ve been training for this race since the dawn of man (or 14 weeks, tomato tomato). This week was a “drop down” week which is an insulting way to say I only ran 14 miles this weekend. I don’t think I’ll ever be so tough that I’ll put a decreasing modifier before “14 miles.” 14 miles is far. And it was hot and humid and hard.

I can’t change the weather, but I can distract myself with music. In consequence, a big interest of mind these days is having a strong soundtrack on training runs (and eventually during the big show on November 5). To that end I made a 7-hour-plus playlist on Spotify. I want to be able to hit skip when I’m not feeling a tune and still have a new songs to listen to.

The playlist includes current rap, hip hop, 90s pop and maybe even a song from Rent, you’ll need to listen to all of it to know for sure. Ok yeah, definitely La Vie Boheme is there. Feel free to use it. I’d also love any additions you have to make it even better! Please leave song suggestions in the comments.

On to week 14’s workouts.

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Let’s start with a little roundup of interesting bits and bites from around the web before I dive into week 13 of marathon training.

    • 99U (Adobe’s creative online mag) shared 7 pieces of advice to help you approach your own work, pulling from the wisdom of some incredible creative minds, including this from Kurt Vonnegut,

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

      • A cold cup of truth this week from ZenHabits in a recent post, “The Ideal vs. the Reality of Changing Your Life
      • NY-ers, Self magazine is teaming up with some great fitness brands and hosting group runs around the city through the end of October. It’s all free, check it out.
      • Outside Magazine published a “Go List” of 6 places to visit where the dollar is currently strong. (I love Outside Mag.)
      • Runs for Cookies is a new-to me blogger. She lost 125 pounds through some major lifestyle changes, but that’s not the only thing that makes her so incredibly interesting. She bares it all on her blog, and her honesty, transparency and good humor make it very easy to connect with her. Not sure where to start? I really liked this post.

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Good morning!

Before I go into this week’s training recap, I wanted share a few links from around the web that I found fun, useful or fascinating.

Now on to the week 12 recap. I can’t believe there is just one month left until the NYC marathon. OMG.

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My training plan lists week 12 as a recovery week. That means the weekend long run was “only” 12 miles. I signed up for the Hamptons Half because I figured 13.1 was close enough to 12 and using the water stations that a race provides would be good practice. The race is something of a tradition in my little group of friends. Here’s a recap of the race in 2014 and this is a recap of when I ran the Hamptons 5K in 2015 post-ankle injury. (I skipped it in 2016 to participate in Dare to Bare.)

After running 15 miles and 16 miles the last two weekends, I think it’s safe to say I took for granted how tough a half marathon can be. While I didn’t race the distance, 13 miles is still freaking far.

This half marathon course (and full marathon course) runs through Southampton and we had a warm, sunshine-filled, blue sky day, which for runners, can be terrible. I prefer a little cloud cover, maybe a nice chill in the air? Light rain would be agreeable, too. This sport can bring out the vampire in you.

Hamptons half course map

Hamptons course map

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