So, I was in NYC for work this weekend and my hotel, and every other hotel, eating establishment, subway train, and crosswalk was full of marathoners – many of them speaking languages other than English. Very cool! And it made NYC look like a city full of *exceptionally* fit individuals if you didn’t know the marathon was happening. I was excited to maybe watch part of the NYC marathon Sunday morning before I’d have to get to the airport. I have three friends running the NYC marathon and it would have been fun to get a glimpse and let out a loud “YOU GO!” for good cheering. Then it occurred to me that if the marathon was underway, there was NO way I’d be able to get out of the city and make my flight. So, sadly, I switched to a 10:45 pm flight out of New York on Sat evening.
BUT – as I was sitting in the airport catching up on Breaking Bad (thanks, Neflix!) – I saw Seth – The Guy- from my local running store, Maine Running Company. Seth has counseled me on shoes, gear, socks, and most recently, on water amounts and Power Gel to kick my cramps. He’s an elite marathoner. He’s also a professional rep for Mizuno, so he had been in NYC working at the Expo. I said hello and it took him a second to recognize me out of the context of my whiney visits to his store, but then he smiled and sat down next to me.
I like Seth, but really, the best part of our chance meeting and shared waiting time is that he has run the Philly Marathon (more than once, I think) and had lots of good information. This is *exactly* what I’ve been craving. I need details. Where’s a good place for my daughter to cheer? How will I get the food that I want to eat in advance when I don’t have a car or a place to cook and I don’t want fancy, saucy, restaurant food? Where are the hills? How dark is the start? Etc.
I like to prepare. It’s my personality. I can hold a lot of details in my head and knit together a good problem solving plan. I have been woefully short on Philadelphia Marathon details. The website hasn’t changed in months. No email updates. No tasty nuggets of new info. Basically, I know it’s 26.2 miles and my hotel is 1 mile away from the start, the race will provide water, Gatorade and Clif Gel.
I did NOT ask if this marathon has done the right math on how many porta-potties are needed to get 30,000 runners relieved before take off… and also placed at key intervals along the way because runners like me, who will be at it for 4+ hours, may need a pit stop. As I said, I like Seth, but I was careful not to cross the line, so I kept quiet about my porta-pottie concerns. He also runs a marathon in about 2.5 hrs, so I’m pretty sure he’s never stopped for anything. (And, how cool is it that his name is Seth Hasty? Hasty.)
According to my training plan, I am officially “tapering” for two weeks. This means that my last really long run was the 20 miler last weekend. Mid week runs were 3-4 miles with 12 miles as the long run this weekend. You might think that after 20, 18, 15, 18, 20 milers that 12 would be a breeze. Nope. Twelve miles is still 12 miles. It’s a long way. But, as I look ahead to the weekdays my runs are only 3 miles each. That is pretty breezy compared to the long stuff, so I’m pretty happy about that.
Since I won’t be torching 600-2000 calories every time I lace up now, I need to really think about my food intake over the next couple of weeks to be sure that is efficient, healthy, and in line my caloric storage needs without overdoing it. In other words, I can’t have the whole pint of Ben&Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk for dessert. At least not all in one sitting. Discipline. Breaking Bad is the only binging allowed between now and race day.
Today’s project was making lots of “Confetti Chili” (I made up the name) that is full of healthy stuff, including cumin, turmeric, and touch of cinnamon – all of which are supposed to have healing and anti-inflammatory powers. It’s also colorful, which makes me happy:
Plus, the other good thing about this meal is that, because it’s chili, I’m not likely to overdo it with 2nds and 3rds. A chili meal is a one serving meal – always.
The combo of the NYC marathon and tapering makes me want to just get to Philly already. The challenge will be to divert the energy I’ve been leaving on the pavement to other productive things in the meantime. Chances are, my house will be REALLY clean.