I ran the Baltimore Marathon just this past October so I wasn’t planning on entering another marathon so quickly. I was going to focus on strength training and some shorter races. My plan was a Warrior Dash in July, the Men’s health Urbanathalon in October, and maybe a few 5k’s sprinkled in. However, when I watched the NYC Marathon last year it was pretty amazing. So, I started doing some research online and finding out a lot about it. Apparently they are making it harder and harder to get in. Here are your options to be one of the 40,000 + runners.
Join a ING NYC Marathon pre-approved fundraising team. I looked up Livestrong which sponsors a team. I would need to raise 15,000 dollars for their charity to get in the race. Although it’s a great cause I have 2 jobs so that wasn’t happening.
Get a professional exemption. I don’t think my 3:57 time at Baltimore is quite up to par for “Pro” status.
Qualify by completing another approved race leading up to the ING NYC Marathon. Ok, let’s look up the qualifying times. New York Half Marathon for my age group. 1 hour and 23 minutes. Yea not gonna happen.
Lastly you could enter your name in the lottery. According to the website depending on how many applicants you have between a 6% and a 12% chance of getting accepted. They do have a rule that if you get denied through the lottery for 3 consecutive years than you gain automatic enrollment the following year. I decided I might as well pay the 7 bucks and enter my name and maybe 3 years from now I can do my next marathon. (I recently found out that they are getting rid of the 3 year rule but I didn’t know at the time.)
I play the lottery pool at work all the time and have yet to win that lottery but somehow I won this lottery. With about an 8% chance I am now running the 2012 ING NYC Marathon on November 4th. Oh boy now I have to get my mind right to train all over again. Here are my initial thoughts.
I never really stopped running after my last marathon. I continued with my normal routine of trail running in the fall / winter and road running when the weather gets nice again in the spring. NJ typically has bad winters with lots of snow for at least 2 months and I hate running on a treadmill so I usually take at least 2 months off during that time. This year that never happened so I have been running non stop. So, to avoid burnout and overtraining I am going to keep running until about June 10th and then take 2 straight weeks off. During this time my wife and I are going on a vacation so that will work out perfectly anyway.
I still have that Warrior Dash in July but I had to postpone the Urbanatahalon because it is just too close to the marathon date. In the mean time I am focusing more on speed training. My runs are anywhere from 3-7 miles but I am trying to increase my pace to about 7 minutes a mile. I am experimenting with lighter sneakers (Brooks PureFlow) but I don’t want to overdue it because I don’t want an injury. I am not a typical 120 pounds marathoner. I weigh about 190 pounds depending on the week. I am also experimenting with a weighted vest for my shorter runs. The Nike Sparq weighs about 12 pounds and I have been wearing it on shorter runs of 3 miles or less. The last thing I have been doing is more fartlek type runs which I tend to neglect when my miles get longer and longer.
Once July hits I will start my official marathon training. Last time I used Runners World Smart coach app on my phone which worked out great. I did modify it slightly and I probably will again because I am in a running club that runs out of LifeTime gym in Florham Park. So on those days I will just do whatever run is on the run coordinator’s schedule. I enjoy having the appointment of meeting with the group at a certain time. It keeps me motivated during the hot summer months. The basic routine of the Smart Coach is 2 weeks of increasing mileage with one week of decreasing. The beginning of the week are the shorter runs with speed work built in. The weekend runs are the longest. During training I will run 4 times a week until the mileage gets up past 12 then I will cut it down to 3 times a week. I also intend to strength train all throughout the marathon training but less reps and no more than 70% of my 1RM.
With about 3 weeks to go before race day I intend to stop lifting legs all together and with 2 weeks to go I will taper my runs to keep the legs fresh for race day.
It’s always bough to set goals for a marathon because so many things can come into play or go wrong but as of right now I would like to finish around 3 hours and 50 minutes and set a new PR for that distance. My goals os to be consistent all throughout the race and not have any outlier miles mixed in. If you read my blog on the Baltimore Marathon I had that one mile which was over a 12 minute pace right as I crested the hill on mile 21 that really bothered me.
So, ready or not I am running the 2012 ING NYC Marathon with about 43,000 other people. As I get closer to race day I will let everyone know what I am wearing so you can play where’s Waldo on TV.