Who doesn’t like a cheese steak?

I have signed up for Philly!  I’ll be running the marathon on November 18, which is 16 weeks from yesterday.  So today is my first day training!

Once again, I’ve signed up for a custom training plan with McMillian Running.  I used a McMillian plan for Boston in 2010, and kind of recrafted it again in 2011.  A great thing about McMillian is you get the plan as an excel file, so you can write all over it, but with a pen and in excel.  It’s easy to change things around and still stay organized.

I’m starting right out of the gate by ignoring the plan — this was supposed to be a rest day, but instead I did a nice 5 mile run.  The plan actually said I can do an optional recovery run, so I guess I’m not totally ignoring it.

It’s been well over a year since I last ran a marathon, I’ve suffered both injury and pathetic race times.  So I’m hoping that this plan will help me stay focused on Philly while paying attention to rest days and cross training.

Last week, I ran a local 5k — the Master’s Challenge.  This race, run every year, is a chance for some local running clubs to get together and churn out an evening summer run.  Last year, the race was in Rockland County, and I PRd with a 19:25.  That course was very very awesome.  And by awesome, I mean very flat.  Like no hills.  And it was around a lake.  All runs should be around a lake, and flat.

Happy Dorky Runner

This year, it fell upon my club to organize the race, and I pulled it together with some other Taconics.  We did it at FDR Park in Yorktown Heights, which is anything but flat.  We had 70 runners show up, and I was excited to be a part of it.

It’s a hilly course.  I don’t know if I mentioned that.  But it’s a park I run in pretty much every Sunday in the winter, so I have know every inch of it.  I think that knowledge helped.   I lined up with a bunch of friends, and we started off fast.  For me.  The first mile was in 6:10 (I think.  I’ve lost my watch.  Temporarily.).  The second mile, I think I did in 6:35 or so, and mile 3 was kind of a disaster — I imagine it was in the high 6s.  I wound up finishing the race in what I’d like to call at 19:61.  Or a 20:01 as other humans would call it.

I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t totally pissed off either.  I’ve turned in some bad bad race times lately, so I was glad it was in striking distance of a sub 20.  Then again, tow freaking seconds would have brought me under 20.  2 seconds.  OK, here comes the anger.

That being said, I had a blast — we even joked around a little bit for the first quarter mile.  Before the humor was overtaken by gasps of pain and the disappointing taste of bitter running spit.  Too much?

This weekend I have the NYRR Club Championships — therefore no long run this weekend.  I’m hitting the track tomorrow.  Big fun.

It’s a great day, day one.  I love the freshness of starting a new plan, and I’ve heard many good things about Philly.  For now, I’m following the plan, pretty much.


Written by Greg Cohen

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