Last year, when training for the NYC Marathon, I remember my first 16 miler as being a huge step for me. It was a personal distance record, sounded really far (i.e., bragging rights: “I just ran 16 miles, yo”) and was only 10 miles short of the marathon distance.
I thought for the first time, “If I can run 16 that strong, then 26.2 is totally doable!”
16 miles is still one of my favorite distances, and I’m excited to be at the point in training when I get to crack it (and exceed it!). So I set out early on Saturday morning, which was a delightfully pleasant 75 degrees with low humidity at 6:00 a.m. – a picnic compared to last weekend’s slog fest.
I did my usual loop around Central Park and out to Riverside Park for another loop, and returned to CP to meet up with Ali for the last part of the run.
We chatted away the miles, and before I knew it the run was over (though I was totally tempted to keep going with Ali, who had an 18 miler on tap). We parted ways after taking a sweat-tastic photo.
I heat running with this lady!
I was pretty happy with my splits – my goal for the run was to keep it fairly easy paced and hover around the 9:00 minute/mile range.
I usually do about half or a third of my long runs on the bridle path and the rest on the roads, and during the week I tend to stick to the bridle more often unless I’m tempo-ing. But a recent article in the New York Times by Gina Kolata (a runner who often writes about running. I heart her) debates whether running on soft surfaces is actually better for you.
According to Ms. Kolata, there are limited studies on actual runners and injury rate on soft surface vs. hard, and there’s no actual proof that soft surfaces can prevent injuries. Some can even cause them because of uneven surfaces increasing risk for things like rolled ankles or falls.
Still, I’m not completely sold. I’m pretty injury prone, and last year did a lot of my marathon training on the bridle and managed to stay healthy. I think that’s definitely worth something!
However, I do see the importance of running on the roads too – most races are on roads, so it’s important that our bodies are used to running on them. I guess like a lot of things, balance is key.
And of course, getting to the starting line healthy and in one piece.
On long run days I always crave pizza, and decided to make a super easy version with some whole wheat flatbread, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and tons of veggies.
It only took about 10 minutes in the oven – easiest dinner ever!
Of course it needed to be followed by 16 Handles
I promise there is froyo underneath the toppings and that I demolished every ounce of this massive creation.
Congrats to everyone who raced yesterday and good luck to everyone racing today!
Question: Hard surfaces, or soft? What’s your favorite distance to run?