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 run this route but I was turned off by all of the street running required. 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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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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Do you use a mantra when you run? I don’t. On an ideal run, my mind is blank. For those Harry Potter fans out there (and no spoilers please, I’m on Book 6), I think I may have a knack for Occlumency, that’s how empty my head is when I run (at least when I’m lucky).

SNAPE

But I know other people who use motivational phrases to keep themselves positive during a grueling workout. An NBC affiliate in Chicago has 26 suggested mantras (one per mile, as it were) in advance of the nearing Chicago Marathon.  Has anyone tried something like this? Does it work? How do you possibly remember 26 lines while you’re running?

Here’s last week workouts:

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