Monday, October 4, 2010

Week 16 Chicago Marathon Training plus a Rabies Advisory in Central Park?

Rabies Advisory in Central Park? 

Central Park is my favorite place in the world. What other large city has a hilly, 6 mile race track in the middle their city? Sometimes when I run in Central Park, I see a raccoon, skunk, or other little critter. Once earlier this year I saw a raccoon so big that I at first thought it was a little dog. I froze in my tracks... it heart starting beating super fast....I suspect the same for the raccoon....then it thought about what to do.....I was still frozen....and then it scampered into the North Woods of the park. Today as we were walking around Central Park, we saw the rabies advisory sign above. I did some searching online and found a bunch of articles saying that 3 rabid raccoons were found in Central Park in 2009 and that 20 animals tested positive for rabies throughout New York City .  What I find peculiar about this is that this is the first I've heard of it.  Maybe I live under a rock?  My kids, 4 and 2, go to a school on Central Park West and go to Central Park to play everyday (definitely lucky kids).  I am in Central Park almost every day and I go with my family to Central Park every weekend. Despite all of this, today was the first day I saw one of these signs or heard of a rabies advisory, nearly 10 months after the rabies alert came out.  I guess it took them a while to get the word out, because surely I would have seen those signs somewhere or heard about it somehow.  I really would have panicked had I known that the big dog-like raccoon I was near might have been rabid.

Now for my Chicago Marathon Week 16 Summary
I just finished week 16 of my Chicago Marathon training.  Only 1 week until the race (10/10/10).  I'm in heavy taper mode this week.  I'm running 3 miles on Tuesday, 4 on Wednesday, and 3 on Thursday.  Then I will take off Friday (travel day to Chicago) and Saturday.  Hopefully I'll be fresh for race day.  The forecast looks dry, with a temperatures projected to be in the low 70s.  Uh oh.  The low the night before is projected to be in the mid 50s, so hopefully with a 7:30 A.M. race start time, so hopefully it will be cool at the start.  Of course we all know that weather projections a week out are worthless, but all marathon runners look at repeatedly to get the latest updates.

I had a good week of training for week 16.  I ran 5 times, 27 miles (5.2, 6, 5, 3, and 8 miles).  I feel good, although my right knee/IT band started hurting yesterday and I caught a cold on Friday too.  My 3rd marathon taper and my third cold during the marathon taper.  Oh well.  I also got my New York Road Runners volunteer event done this week by volunteering for the 1.7 mile Norway Run (my friend JS came in second overall with a 5:01 per mile pace - he is awesome!) and the 13.1 mile Grete's Gallop half marathon.  Since I have run 9 races and volunteered for 1 race in 2010, I now have automatic entry into the 2011 New York City Marathon.  Totally sweet!!!!!!!!

Over the last week, I listened to my body and ran easy, letting my body dictate my speed.  What's funny is that all of my easy runs have gotten much faster over the last few weeks.  3 of my 5 runs were done at a sub 8 minute pace (5.2 miles at 7:58 pace, 6.04 miles at 7:49 pace, and 8 miles at a 7:42 pace).  My other 2 runs were 5 miles at an 8:25 per mile pace (in Washington DC, where I stopped to take a lot of pictures) with a moving average of 8:02 per mile and a very easy 3 miles at 8:39 pace.  No question that my fitness level is at its peak right now. 

For my 8 mile run today, I went out very easy because I was feeling crappy because of my cold.  A half mile into my run in Central Park I looked down at my watch and it showed a pace in the low 8s.  It felt very easy to me, so I held the pace.  After I was warmed up (usually takes 3-5 miles), I felt even better and started to push a little.  I still felt great, so I pushed miles 3 and 4, took the pedal off for miles 5 and 6, still felt great, so I pushed miles 7 and 8, finishing mile 8 at a 6:37 per mile pace.  A great and confidence building final run before tapering.  My splits in order were (click here for the Garmin File)

mile 1 - 8:11
mile 2 - 8:00
mile 3 - 7:44
mile 4 - 7:22
mile 5 - 8:08
mile 6 - 8:00
mile 7 - 7:32
mile 8 - 6:37

Overall - 7:42 per mile

I'm excited to go home for the weekend.  I arrive in Chicago on Friday, will go to Kenosha on Friday to stay with my mom Friday night (which I'm really looking forward to), then will go to my friend RL's house in Highland Park on Saturday.  We will go to the marathon expo on Saturday, I will stay at his house Saturday night, then we will drive to the race Sunday morning (one of RL's friends is also running the marathon and will come with us).  I will come back to NYC on Sunday night.

Recently, a guy that I met doing my first triathlon sent me some pictures from the event, and here is the one of me that I liked...

1 comment:

  1. I used to run all the time in Central Park, too, and rarely saw any wildlife. Besides squirrels maybe a raccoon once?! Scary. There are supposedly coyotes!! in Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco but I've never gotten a glimpse of one of those.

    Good luck in Chicago! Sounds like you are ready for a great race!

    I believe Big Sur is 60% full. It definitely fills but not super early. I'd keep an eye on the price increases (the price went up a lot this year). I suspect once the first increase comes it will fill quickly right before that. I'd sign up for the newsletter or follow their facebook or twitter page.

    I definitely recommend Big Sur! It is one of my favorite races. I am already signed up. For sure let me know if you run it!