Grete’s Gallop 1/2 marathon, Year #4

Happy Sunday! It has been the most perfect fall weekend in NYC and about time, too…that rain last week was gross….

Yesterday I ran my 4th Grete’s Gallop Half-Marathon in Central Park. The event is named after Norwegian marathon champ Grete Waitz and it’s a really special race for me. When I ran it in 2007, I had just moved to the city and it was my very first race in NYC/Central Park. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to run 13.1 miles! In 2008, I ran it as I was gearing up for my first marathon and it’s the day I met Alma! Last year, it was my first long race after dealing with many, many months of injury. It really kicked off what has been a good year of running. And 2010? Well, I decided not to race as my calf is not 100%, so instead I approached the 13.1 miles as a workout. I ran to the start (3 miles), completed 13.1 at marathon pace (~7:30 pace), and then tacked on another 5 miles. NYRR told me my official time was 1:38:07 for 13.1 miles – not bad for a training run! Also, note to self: you suck at running the tangents. When I finished, the Garmin told me I had run 13.35 miles instead of 13.1 – I really need to work on this for marathon day!

The stats –

1    00:09:08    1.00    09:08
2    00:09:15    1.00    09:15
3    00:09:02    1.00    09:02
4    00:07:22    1.00    07:23
5    00:07:41    1.00    07:41
6    00:07:22    1.00    07:22
7    00:07:22    1.00    07:22
8    00:07:33    1.00    07:33
9    00:07:18    1.00    07:18
10    00:07:24    1.00    07:24
11    00:07:34    1.00    07:34
12    00:07:24    1.00    07:24
13    00:07:17    1.00    07:17
14    00:07:15    1.00    07:16
15    00:06:54    1.00    06:54
16    00:06:51    1.00    06:51
17    00:08:21    1.00    08:21
18    00:09:22    1.00    09:22
19    00:09:19    1.00    09:19
20    00:09:19    1.00    09:19
21    00:08:55    1.00    08:55

Summary: 02:48:10  21.00 miles (8:00 average pace)

My calf was pretty tight and sore, but it didn’t get any worse, so I decided to carry-on with the planned mileage. I’m going to take a few days of cross-training. As much as I dislike getting in the pool or on the bike, now is not the time to screw around with possible injuries. But besides the calf, I felt excellent! 7:30 pace felt easy, I was conversational the entire time, and I didn’t start feeling fatigued until the last 2 miles of the fast portion (and they were sub-7:00, so that’s probably why). My fluid/calorie intake for this run was minimal – not really intentional, but I just didn’t feel like I needed anything. I had a few sips of water and Gatorade, but never used the gel I had stashed in my pocket. I think during the marathon I’ll just force myself to eat a gel, even if I think I don’t need it. I don’t want to crash and burn!

Pre-race breakfast was my go to: black coffee, banana, peanut butter, piece of a clif bar.

Immediately after the run I snagged a plum and drank a pumpkin spice misto from the ‘bucks.

As I was icing my calf, I finished off the Clif bar and then devoured a big bowl of apple, greek yogurt, peanut butter, and cereal. Plus coconut water to rehydrate!

The rest of my day involved napping, more eating (obviously!), some walking, and a glass of wine. I feel pretty good today – minimal soreness – and I think that can be attributed to a few things:

  • I walked for about a mile after I finished my run and then walked some more later in the evening – I think this helped prevent my legs from getting too stiff.
  • I wore my compression socks during the run – I noticed that my legs didn’t get that tired/stale feeling that usually crops up after ~2 hours or so of running.
  • My hydration/fueling routine isn’t perfect, but I made sure to get some fluids in me ASAP (even if it came in the form of half coffee, half milk from Starbucks…)

Finally, Happy 2-year “friend-versary” to Alma!

We actually met mid-race during Grete’s half-marathon 2 years ago. Around the 6 mile mark, we started talking and decided to work together to finish the race strong. Our finish time was 1:41:57 and I don’t think I could have gone that fast without Alma’s motivation! Afterward, it was chilly and rainy and my bag got lost in the bag check. Alma stuck around for a solid 20-30 minutes until I found it. When we discovered we were both training for Fall marathons, we exchanged emails and decided to become running buddies! 6 months later we ran the Boston marathon together and then became roommates in Fall of 2009. Now we’re both members of the Central Park Track Team and just signed our lease for a 2nd year! Isn’t that a sweet story?

How did you find your current roommate? Is it a family member? friend? significant other? Do they support your running?

p.s. I fixed the link to my marathon training plan, it should now be accessible if you click on it! I accidentally made it private before which prevented others from viewing. Let me know if you have any issues with the link!

  • I live with my boyfriend and he is very supportive of my running but doesn’t like the early morning races so he rarely attends. My dog on the other hand only loves my running if he can go along. 🙂

  • Aww I love your roommate story- it’s such a good one!

  • Love the calendar! I’m curious – do you do any yoga during marathon training? I find it boring, but I’ve heard many of my friends tell me that it totally helps them with their running. All of these friends have BQ’d, which leads me to believe that it actually does work. I have 2 weeks left until my marathon and I’m feeling extremely fatigued and tight. Any suggestions? I’m thinking it’s too late to attempt to add yoga to my training plan, but I need something b/c my body is so exhausted 🙁

    Um and I want to do that half marathon next year…sounds like so much fun 🙂

  • I live with my boyfriend. We met because we are both runners and foodies, a mutual running friend introduced us. So he is very supportive and its motivating to know you aren’t the only one getting up at the crack of dawn!

  • i just ate that same type of cliff bar! yummy 🙂 and heck YES to this perfect fall weather. ah-maz-ing

    such an awesome roomie story! the girl i’m living with went to school with me. and we now live in the same city so it was a good deal.

  • Congrats on the run/race. Not bad at all for a training run!

  • holy macaroni and cheeeeese. you are in SUCH great shape. of course it is all earned- you put such hard work/ training/ time / effort in!! congrats on the half + mileage!!! and if 7:30 feels easy that is really good news 🙂 it is just amazing to me how high/ where you can get from putting in quality work… it really is such an accumulation.

  • oh answers to your questions!!! i live with my boyfriend Elliot. he is also a runner (and plays basketball) so we are workout buddies often, too.

  • I ran GGG yesterday, too! Saw some other CPTC-ers and wondered if you were there.

    I met my roommate though a magazine internship program in May 2008– we went to different colleges and were working at different magazines but living across the hall from each other in the NYU dorms and have remained close friends ever since. I even rang in her 21st birthday that summer by going skydiving with her!

  • Great job Megan. Once I knew a half mara race was not in me (5k), I planned to hang w/ you guys at MP … would have been much more fun … then the stupid cramps happened. Oh well. I followed your advice on tangents and Garmin had me at 13.13.

  • What a strong training run! Your roommate story put a big smile on my face — she sounds great, and what a blast it must be to have a runner as a roommate. And thanks for the tidbit on how much the compression socks helped. I keep thinking about getting some… one of these days…

  • congrats! This is the first time in 3 years I haven’t run GG Half! It’s always a tough one. I have read that marathons are calculated at the shortest possible distance, so usually, you end up running further than the actual distance, but .25 is a lot extra.

  • Thats such a cute roommate story! Also, congrats on running the half + more 😀 I hope your calf starts feeling better! I’ve been having a weird left ankle problem but have a marathon in 14 days, so I’m taking this week off for cross training. I hope it helps! Have a good Sunday 🙂

  • Oh my God, Megan, I may be almost as excited for your marathon as you are. Hehehehe. It’s going to be great.

    You and Alma are lucky to have each other (in a totes platonic way). I found my roommate off Craiglist – we have NOTHING in common, but a very symbiotic relationship. I clean stuff and he lifts heavy things.

  • tricia

    I wouldn’t worry to much about the Garmin, they always overstimate the distance!

  • Nice job with the race and long run – sounds like your plan worked well! The first morning after I moved to NYC the 2006 Grete’s race was taking place in pouring rain – I was so excited to be here and finally run in Central Park that I ran in the race for a few miles before heading home, soaking wet. It was great 🙂

    No roommate for me! Hope the calf is feelin’ better and I see you later this week 🙂

  • AR

    Nice run!! I’m impressed you did the 5 after as opposed to before – having done it both ways in training runs, its much harder slogging the miles afterward!

  • Happy Friendversary to you too! I was so bummed that I couldn’t run with you this year!

  • Wowsers congrats! Even though I missed almost all races this year because of being pregnant I can’t wait until I establish races I run each year to mark improvements and celebrate.

  • “Tacked on five miles…” Girl, you so crazy! 🙂 Awesome job! It’s great that you’re listening to your body. I know that bananas are supposed to help with muscle cramp/tightness, and you seem to eat plenty. Hopefully you’ll feel 100% soon!

  • Great job in the race! I wish I could’ve cheered for you but I was thinking of you on the train!

    Neither of my roommates run, but I think they like that I do since it keeps me out of the apartment longer and frees up couch space when I stretch on the floor 🙂 So far they tolerate my wet sneakers by the door, walking around in a sports bra when it’s hot out (their girlfriends don’t mind either), and my general smelliness.

  • Congrats on killing your 21 – that’s some solid pacing. Glad you’re taking care of that calf.

    I live alone so I don’t have to worry about any roommates in my way at anytime 🙂 However, when I did have a roommate it was hit or miss. I had one that would stay up all hours of the night and make a ton of noise – it was not good for my training (she was in grad school). That was not a lot of fun!

  • Great race– and keep taking care of that calf!

  • That’s such a nice running friend story! It’s awesome that you got to run Boston together. My best friend is running a marathon on Oct 17th hoping to qualify for Boston so we can run it together in 2011. We met running as well – on our high school cross country team!

  • 7:30 pace for a training run? you are sick, girl. way to rock it! i love races like this that you do year after year… i’m like that with the CP mini 10K. i’m pretty sure that was one of my first 10Ks, back in high school.

  • I met my hubby at a CSUS party. Pretty fun and odd way. We were both not looking for anything. It always happens like that.

  • consistent splits on a great race. mile 15 and 16 looked pretty snazzy

  • what a cute story!!! congrats on a great race.

  • Nice run/race!! Very very consistent. I am with Sarah – I am so excited for your marathon. 🙂

    My roommate? He’s an okay guy, I suppose. 🙂 The two furry beasts that roam around here, however, need to start learning how to pull their own weight. I’m tired of sweeping up cat hair while they lounge in a patch of sun all day!

  • Year 4, awesome! It was my first this year and I had to tack on 7 miles to get to 20/training for NYC also 🙂 I love your blog and it gives me such incredible inspiration to ‘pick up my pace’. I got pretty badly injured (hamstring/sciatica situation) and now my pace sucks, it used to not be so bad…I digress 🙂 You’re so inspirational, just thought you should know! Should I ever get fast enough I definitely would love to run together if you ever needed a running buddy, my fiance has a bad back so i’m often left running all over NYC alone 🙂

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