We are one week away from the New York City Marathon. For those of us running, it is time to virtually wrap up our training and enjoy that nice taper week where we can give more attention to resting and carb-loading than we do to pounding our feet. For those of us planning our last longish training run for yesterday (Saturday) we received a rude shock. We were treated to a vicious winter storm with strong winds, frigid temperatures, and, would you believe it – inches of snow.
I had been planning a ten-mile, marathon-pace run but, choosing discretion instead of valor, decided to do my gym workout Saturday instead and postpone the run. Good choice. Today Nola and I ran a pleasant 10 miles along the Hudson, in cold, but otherwise friendly conditions.
What looks particularly attractive, so far, is the weather forecast for marathon day, November 6 – no precipitation, a high of 64 degrees F and a low of 49. You cannot ask for any better than that. Life is so much easier when we don’t have to prepare for nasty environmental conditions at Ford Wadsworth. Of course, forecasts do not always follow through their promise but we can cross our fingers.
I wish all marathoners good luck and a memorable run in the amazing NYC Marathon, and thank all spectators in anticipation of their marvelous support.
The Staten Island Half Marathon was run on Sunday. The course takes the runners from the stadium near the St. George ferry terminal, along the streets to Fort Wadsworth, south about two miles to South Beach, and then turns around to return to the start mostly reversing the outbound route.
It is a quite tough route, with several hills and no shade. This year, the weather was a lot warmer than normal, with the temperature in the 70s throughout. I ran the race this year and, at the finish, felt zapped of energy and dissatisfied with my performance, thanks to the course and the weather. I heard of similar feelings from many runners. Nola was even less satisfied, struggling with a leg injury throughout the race.
One valuable aspect of this race for NYC Marathoners in training is that it helps condition runners to the logistics of the marathon, by having to get to Staten Island for the start. This race started at 8:30 am and the only Staten Island Ferries available were at 6:30 am and 7:30 am. I figured the 7:30 might be too tight time-wise so braved the early hours to catch the 6:30 and suffer the 1-1/2 hours of waiting around at the start. This turned out to be a good choice. There were way too many people at the Manhattan terminal for the 7:30 ferry and a good number were left behind. DOT was good enough to run a special, additional ferry but this did not arrive until the race was just starting. Nevertheless, it was a very successful race overall, made possible through the excellent planning skills of New York Road Runners and their volunteers.
In the northeast, summer has been very hot and humid this year and not conducive to comfortable running. However, that long-anticipated change has arrived. As of last weekend, the temperature and humidity both dropped to respectable levels and running started to feel easy again.
In New York, last Saturday brought the running of Grete’s Great Gallop, the early fall traditional half marathon conducted within Central Park. It was a particularly touching event since it memorialized the passing of Grete Waitz, famed and beloved nine-time winner of the NYC Marathon, who succumbed to a lengthy battle with cancer early this year. The race was run in refreshingly pleasant conditions, although still a touch warmer than some of us prefer.
I have been struggling all summer recovering from an injury and the weather has contributed to keeping my performance level down. I ran Grete’s and was delighted to see my performance getting back near where it should be. Nola leapt out into the park Monday and ran a 23-mile long training run without a second thought. Welcome fall running conditions!
We runners now have a busy calendar for a few weeks. There are forthcoming marathons in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Philadelphia, to mention a few. Nola and I are looking forward to the Staten Island Half next weekend and then the NYC Marathon on November 6. It is a busy schedule but very enjoyable training conditions, thanks to the arrival of the fall weather.
Best wishes to all runners preparing for the great fall races! Arrive fit at the start line and let the routine play out…