October 05, 2012

Friends and running

My last double-digit run before the marathon! I haven't been very good at following one particular plan this whole marathon season--I started out with the plan that I got from a Women's Running magazine, and then had to make some adjustments for a couple of races. Then when my knee started giving me problems, I had to adjust even more.

But I did manage to get in a long run every week, including two 20-milers. So hopefully it's enough for the race. My training pace was actually faster than I plan on running at the race, which will help. I've been doing my long runs at a 10:30 pace, but for the race itself, I'm just going to try and stay at sub-11:00 miles. During training, I didn't factor in my bathroom breaks, water breaks, etc., and obviously those will count against my time when I'm racing.

Today I chose to do 12-miles for my long run (per Hal Higdon's schedule). Next week's long run will be eight miles, and then the following weekend is the race.

I had a hard time deciding where to run today. I'm so sick of all my routes. I can't run around my house for anything longer than about 6 miles. The route I've been training on is getting old--I've been doing all of my long runs there from spring and fall. I decided to run the route where I usually run into Renee, along a busy street and through a park on a gravel trail.

I didn't bring Gatorade or GU, since it was "only" 12 miles. I bought a bottle of water to keep in the car, and planned to do the lollipop route (six miles) twice. I only had to stop once in the first six miles (for a traffic light). The second half, however, took me about 25 minutes longer than the first--not because of my pace, but because I ran into friends to stop and chat with ;)

Nothing breaks up a monotonous, boring run like running into friends! First, I saw Alicia, who looked like she was on a mission, so I just exchanged a couple of words with her without stopping the run. About a quarter mile later, I ran into Renee. We always stop and chat for a couple minutes when we run into each other, so I was talking to her when Alicia came back. She was actually meeting Renee to do the second half of Renee's run with her. We were probably stopped for 10 minutes or so, and then I continued on my route.

When I got to the very top of the lollipop route, I ran into Courtney. We stopped and talked for about 10 minutes as well. By that time, I had three miles left, and was just glad to be almost done. I stopped at two water fountains for just a few seconds, and then made it back to the car. Total running time: 2:06:20; total elapsed time: 2:30:29. :)

When I first started running, I would never have considered stopping to talk to someone. I thought it meant the run "didn't count" if I stopped at all, for any reason. Now I realize how ridiculous that is. Running into friends (quite literally) is the best part of running! ;)

Speaking of friends, I get to spill the beans on a secret I've been keeping for months now. I think I've mentioned before that Renee is running the NYC marathon next month. This is her dream race, something she's always wanted to do as a runner.

Me and Renee after my first 5K (2010)
Renee was a huge factor in my weight loss and running success. She encouraged me and believed in me when I first mentioned the possibility of running a 5K--and she even ran the 5K with me (despite the fact that she normally runs much faster than me). I honestly don't think I ever would have started running if it weren't for Renee.

So in that sense, she helped me achieve MY dream goal. There was no way I could just sit at home while she went to NYC to achieve her dream of running in the NYC marathon--so a couple of months ago, I bought my plane ticket to go see her race in NYC this November!! :)

I'll be staying in New Jersey with Jen, from my Ragnar team. I'm SO excited to go, for so many reasons. I'll be arriving the Friday before the race, and then on Saturday, Jen and I are going to run the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K. And then Sunday, marathon day, I'm going to do whatever I can do find a good spot and cheer for Renee along the course. My plane leaves Sunday evening.

Other than Jerry, my mom, and Jen, I didn't tell anyone about this. I was planning to surprise Renee on race day. Even when we were in Minnesota for the Women Rock half-marathon, I didn't breathe a word. But yesterday, my mom mentioned that I should tell her, because what if she doesn't see me? Then it would be for nothing ;) So when I saw Renee today while we were running, I told her what was going on, and she was very excited.

I love that I can talk about it now, because I've been really excited about the whole thing! Any of my readers running the NYC marathon or the 5K the day before?


  1. Katie that is SO exciting!! Renee must be so excited you're going to be there! There's no way I would've been able to keep that secret for so long lol

    So cool!

  2. Happy taper!!! Great job on your 12 miler. I absolutely believe in chat breaks on longs!
    Best of luck to Renee in NYC - I so covet that race!! Have a wonderful time and cheer your heart out!

  3. That is so awesome!!! You know what I'm going to say, right...take lots of pictures!! LOL!!

    Congrats on getting your last double-digit run out of the way. It's all gravy from here!!!

  4. I won't be running but cheering for my husband who will run his first marathon and was lucky enough to get accepted into NYC.
    I'd like to be for him in at least two different spots. Maybe I'll take the train to go see him in Brooklyn or Queens and then wait for him in Manhattan closer to the end. Do you have an idea on where you will be waiting for your friend?

  5. Renee MerkelOctober 06, 2012

    Excited is not the right word...humbled is more like it. I can't believe my family is going to be there, you're going to be there!!! Sometimes I can't think too much about it or I'll have to start breathing in a paper bag! lol. Thanks, Katie, it will be awesome to see you there!

  6. I have a bunch of friends running NYC that day so I may be there to cheer them on....I live a short 1 hour train ride away so after my 5k that morning out here on LI I may head in. I would love to say Hi to you in person to tell you how much I love your blog but lets get real it IS NYC on one of the busiest days of the year so Have a great time in 'our' city!

    The running with friends thing is such a mental block for me. I would love to do it but most of my friends are so much faster than I am I would constantly feel like I had to push harder than I should or that I was holding them back and would not enjoy it any way but I have chatted with people while in races for a few minutes and it was always the best part.....

    Anyway Have a great trip and good luck to your Renee!

  7. Oh yeah! I will be running my first 1/2 tomorrow here on LI. The diva 1/2. I am going to try to find one of your Ragnar teammates Linda there! She lives in the town I grew up in and is so inspiring when we 'chat' on facebook!

  8. I guess Jen didn't tell you I'm running the 5k also! She mentioned it to me when we were running in Central Park in June and I couldn't let the opportunity to run across the official NYC Marathon Finish Line pass me by!

  9. Love love love your blog.

  10. You are such a good friend Katie, what a wonderful surprise!

  11. Great news!! I love your blog and just hahas to share I ran my first 5K today in 39:56!!

  12. You both the best kind of friend to have. Good luck to both Renee and you Katie!!

  13. i got to see the NYC marathon when i was there with friends in 2007 and it was so much fun! we were in central park, near the end of the course, and we got there a couple hours into it, so we got to see some of the crazy fast runners as they neared the finish. keep your eye out for celebrities! we saw lance armstrong run by (he was easy to spot though, because two cops on motorcycles were riding in front of him).

  14. That is so nice! And very cool that you can race as well. I just finished reading, "A Race Like No Other" all about the NY marathon and I loved it. I'll have to try my luck with the lottery, you never know!


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