Reports From The Front II: ING New York City Marathon Tune-Up (and a bit from Ned)

 “I run…so I can eat whatever I want!” L.C.

Today we continue our ongoing series of race reports with yet another offering from our very own Jason Connolly on the recent Marathon Tune-Up held in Central Park, along with a short entry by our resident Running Alchemist-In-Training, and newest member of the Sub-3 fraternity, Ned Cunningham.

Jason introduces himself (in a highly descriptive manner) as follows: “Art Director at FoodNetwork / Cooking Channel, triathlete, bottle washer.  Perhaps not in that order.  Started running round about Dec. 2010 and now I’m crazy for the thing.  I also do duathlons, triathlons and the occasional bar mitzvah.  Hey-ooooo!  In the process, I’ve dropped 50 pounds and have had to replace my wardrobe twice in the last two years.  A good problem to have, I guess.  Current goals: finish TOUGHMAN Half regardless of time (Sept. 2013), and a sub 3:45 NYC Marathon (Nov. 2013).”

I invite you to now enjoy Jason’s reporting on his Tune-Up experience, entitled…

A New PR! (Yawn)


Yesterday [ed: Sunday, 9/15]  I set a new PR for 18 miles at NYRR’s last “tune-up” run for those training for marathons and the like for the fall/winter.  My official time was 2:24:17, an 8:01 pace, blasting my previous record by more than 2 minutes.

Now, you would think, I’d be overjoyed, right?  You’d think I’d take out a full-page ad out in “Running” magazine?  But I’ve gotta tell ya, outside of a short humble-brag on Facebook, I was kind of “matter-of-fact” about the whole affair.
This perplexes me since I must sheepishly admit I usually am the first one to post a pic of my sweaty face with yet another “run-triathlon” feat to Facebook.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not sad or disappointed in my performance but I think I may be transitioning into a “different space” when it comes to races, PRs etc.  Maybe?  Hmmm.
Without a doubt, yesterday’s run was undeniably the best experience during a long run I’ve ever had. (A long run for me is a half-marathon or above).  I can point to four reasons as to why:
1) Proper rest: The week prior I did the TOUGHMAN Triathlon, and that, my friends, was a bear (6.5 hours of physical activity).  So this week I wisely chose to rest and only ran 4 miles during the week.  Well, I really had no choice.  My body DEMANDED that I rest.  I’m just glad I listened to it for once.
2) Prior training: The two previous 20 milers in Central Park earlier this summer saw my performance improve from one to the other and I was able to refine my rituals leading up to a race as well as hydration/nutrition during the race.  I think I’ve got what works for me down – more or less.
3) The weather conditions were perfect: I mean PURRRRfect.  Fifty-five degrees, partly sunny with a gentle breeze.  Just cool enough to cool you off when you got hot, but not cold enough where your fingers and nipples go numb.  Please, baby Jesus, make that be the weather on Nov. 3rd!
4) Attitude: As in positive attitude.  The TOUGHMAN did much to quell my anxiety about this particular long run.  Trust me, after you’ve pulled your body through a 6.5 hour TOUGHMAN Tri, a 2.5 hour run seems like a welcome break.  So, not only did I know I’d finish, but I knew I could push earlier in the run and still have some gas at the end. And that’s exactly what I did.  My strides were longer, quicker and my legs only started to feel sore at the last mile or so.
I was amazed at how just “good” I felt during the run but looking at the four reasons above, it makes sense.  It was the perfect storm for the perfect run. Perfect for me at least.
But still, why was I a little “ho-hum” about it?  I think perhaps I’m moving into a phase where I’m drawing my attention more to my overall health and fitness rather than what my time is.  Because after all, I want to be running when I’m 70.  That’s a long run I truly wish to be a part of.

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And now, as an added treat, our own Ned has offered up an efficient, brief and potentially brutal workout cobbled together deep in the recesses of his evil running mind.  Please enjoy the following journey deep into dark caverns of our Devilish Ned, as he introduces and explains this delightful ditty he likes to call:

“The Fitness Run…”

Ab workouts are likely everybody’s least favorite training element.  You know core work is essential to running strong, but at the end of every workout, the motivation to do those push-ups, sit-ups, and planks just seems to vanish along with your energy.A couple years ago, I came up with a way to wrap both the running and core work into an effective one half to full hour workout (…this might be the only genuinely original idea I’ve ever had…).  I call this workout: “The Fitness Run.”

The “Fitness Run” consists of:
A short run (3-5 miles), BUT,every time you pass a bench you do:
– 10 pushups
– 10 dips
– 20 crunches

This workout is great for people who, like myself, are ADD, challenged, as it turns the environment around you into an aerobic playground.  The running prevents your arms and abs from recovering, while the exercises make even a short, slow, run challenging. I highly recommend this program for anybody looking to do a shorter run, while also working on developing his or her beach body.  It works particularly well as a recovery run – your legs won’t get beat up but you’ll feel the same sense of accomplishment as if you did a longer, more exhausting workout. Facebook me if you ever want to do a “Fitness Run”, and happy training!-NC

P.S.: Bonus points: do 10 pull-ups every time you pass construction scaffolding.
P.P.S.: Dulog (who is sitting next to me in a bar) likes hill sprints.  He says this is a result of Whippet induced Stockholm syndrome.
This post is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Dashing Whippets Running Team, its board, or its captains.

More about Dashing Whippets Running Team

The Dashing Whippets Running Team is a New York based running team that is founded on, and driven by, the diversity of our team members. With team members from all over the city, the country and the world, and with greatly different running goals, we find unity in recognizing and appreciating each others differences and our mutual enjoyment of running and participating in the New York running community and beyond.

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