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2004/09/29 Central Park - Half Marathon
π 2004-09-29 20:39 by Merlin in Exercising

Current Music: Awesome Trance Mix a guy gave me on a CD while waiting in line at a club
Current Mood: Worked out physically and mentally, but ok

So, I was curious to know how long the Central Park loop really was as I wasn't quite satisfied with the "about 6 miles answer" when doing mile/mn calculations. I found out that it's actually 6.3 miles, which significantly improved my last times (7:48 and 7:28mn/mile).
Those weren't too hard for me though, my body is geared for sub-hour intense and potentially sustained efforts, but not for anything much past that.
Now, the real challenge for me was doing two laps, which turns out to be really close to a half marathon (just a tiny bit short of the distance). Since Central Park had somehow somewhat motivated me to run (not sure why because I really wouldn't go running by myself otherwise), I made it fit into my schedule to go today around 17:30.
The first lap was not a bit deal. I was somewhat slower than my last two previous times since I was trying to keep a little energy for the second time around (hence 50mn18s or a 7:59s mile) and my second lap started ok until I reached about the 8th or 9th mile, and then my legs started showing signs of fatigue and it became increasingly harder to continue. The pain and general fatigue in my left calf and my right quad significantly slowed me down, to the point that instead of passing people throughout my lap, people started passing me left and right on the last 4th of my run (i.e. 2nd half of 2nd lap). I think the fact that was not going to come back to attempt this again anytime soon (if ever) was probably the only thing that made me finish the 2nd lap, but my end time was pretty poor: 8mn45/mile. It's kind of vexing to lose your muscle capacity when your body/heart/breathing still has a lot of stamina left, but such is life I guess.
However, since I got a better time on the first lap, I'm still ending up with a 8mn22/mile average for 12.6 miles, which considering that I'm not a runner/jogger is decent I guess (eh, I'm happy because I "beat" one of my coworkers' time on his half marathon, and he trained 6 months, while I had never run that distance before :)
But this all confirms that I would never last a marathon without serious training, and that even with good music in my mp3 player, jogging is incredibly boring for me, and I wouldn't stand doing that on a regular basis, not even counting the fact that you're not supposed to do anything silly like increasing your training distance by 6 mile chunks :)
(so it would probably take excruciatingly long for me to train to get there, and I just don't have the interest, sorry :)
The good news is that while my legs felt a little bit tired while I was climbing stairs double time in the subway, they didn't actually hurt, nor did I feel any serious lactic acid.
2004/09/27 Jog in Central Park - Take 2 (updated)
π 2004-09-27 20:21 by Merlin in Exercising

So, my legs were hurting a bit after my jog on friday, not having exercised for 10 days, and well, not really being a jogger :) and this might also have something to do with rollerblading all weekend while visiting manhattan, and doing a fairly good step class on sunday morning.
Anyway, by Monday, my legs well still a bit sore, but since Tuesday was going to have rain all day, I figured I'd give Central Park another try since I knew I could definitely get under the 8mn/mile mark.
Sure enough, this time I did the lap in 47mn08 (2mn01s faster), and brought the mile down to 7mn29s, which is already a bit better and brings me at the last level: level 22 from this page (whatever that really means anyway)).
The good news is that I actually felt ok after the run (ok, I did take two advils, which did go a long way to helping not hurting my knee). I almost felt good enough to go to the step class I had planned to attend at 19:30, but since my legs did feel a little sore in the subway stairs, and since there was a play I had been considering seeing, in a moment of clarity (or stupidity), I went to see the play instead of going to step (where I'm sure I would have done fine as my legs are feeling dandy as I write this).
The play was smack on time square, which was kind of fun, but it was a murder mystery, and required thought and remembering character names and so forth. Needless to say that with that I worked sunday night and today, half of it went way over my head. Oh well, I'll take step next time :)
Anyway, I now know that it'll be much harder for me to take another 2mn off the time I did today (i.e. I'd be happy if I shave another 30s next time), so since I'll probably only get one last time at a run in Central Park before I go home, I'm going to try two laps next time, or 12.6 miles, which will put it close to a half marathon. I know I can run that distance, but I have no idea how fast... I guess as long as I can keep it below 8mn30s/mile, it would be decent.
(I have however no idea whether I could run a real marathon without real training. My guess would be that I'd struggle a lot and risk blowing a knee or something. As for training, mmmh, I don't think I'd ever have the patience :)
2004/09/24 Jog in Central Park (updated)
π 2004-09-24 20:19 by Merlin in Exercising

Well, I haven't had much time to go exercising in the last week (had to work in the morning as soon as I got up, and had plans most nights), but today was a good day to do something about it after work was over, so I headed for Central Park for a jog. I was kind of curious how long it was and how long it'd take me to jog around it.
End result: 6.3 miles (I first thought it was 6.0), 49mn07, or 7mn48s mile average. Not stelar, but considering it was far from flat, and I'm not really a good jogger anyway, I guess that's good enough (I passed a bunch of people, and 6 passed me, 2 going a bit too quickly to last the 6 miles IMO, but who knows...)
While looking for how long the loop was, I found this page on running . According to the end of it, I'm already past level 21 out of 22. Woohoo, I just skipped more than 6 months of training :)
I was planning on doing a second lap, but I made the mistake not to take an advil beforehand, so my knees were starting to warm up and a second lap didn't sound like a great idea anymore. Instead, I walked back to the office down broadway. It was a nice walk and good to see 20 blocks of broadway at night. I even managed to catch critical mass (a bunch of bikers riding across manhattan once a month), followed by lots of cops on motorbikes and vans :) (ok, it was fun, but it doesn't beat critical tits at burning man :)
Eh, I even got lucky for a change, I was using my nice jersey since it had pockets in the back, one with a zipper, and put my cell phone and camera in there. That wasn't the brightest thing I did as they got covered with sweat pretty quickly. Luckily neither my cell phone or camera got damaged by the exposure....
Ah, but the trick is to see whether you can repeat that performance three or four more times this week. ;-) *That's* when the training kicks in. :-) Lucky you getting to go running in Central Park. Grrr.

btw -- ziplock baggies are what you're after to protect your phone, money and such.
posted by goaliegirl : 26 September, 2004 12:23

I am planning on going again, but I did step instead this morning. I did feel it though, my legs just aren't used to jogging.
My plan wasn't just to do it again though, but to do better next time :) (i.e. 8mn/mile or under and/or two laps, or about 20km). We'll see if I actually manage that or not (and also find the time, but that's a different issue)
As for ziplocks, yes, I figured that out, and I'm taking some next time :)
posted by MM : 26 September, 2004 15:04

8 min/mi is quite respectable. :-) Weird that the page you cite has 7.5min/mi as the top speed. But I guess it's for total beginner runners.
posted by goaliegirl : 27 September, 2004 19:25

Turns out that I actually did right under 7:30/mile now that I've adjusted the real distance to 6.3miles, so the end numbers are actually a bit better :)
posted by MM : 29 September, 2004 21:11

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