saturday was my second staten island 6 hour run, and my first race since getting sidetracked with anemia. for the last few weeks my weekly mileage had hovered around 30 miles, with my longest run at only 12 miles the previous sunday. with only a couple of weeks of 2x daily iron supplements in my system and doctors still insisting i keep the running to a minimum, i wasn't too sure what to expect out there. my plan was to cover at least 26.2 miles - enough to satisfy the race minimum. then, if all went well, i'd push on to 30 miles (and, maybe, 50k).
the drive down to staten island started with some bloody excitement. as rob and i sat in the car, emmy let out a scream as she opened the hatchback to grab some water for the trip! the door caught the edge of her forehead and sudden a nasty little gash appeared. when she got behind the wheel, we were shocked to see the amount of blood! despite the pain and blood, emmy lined up for the start - not to be distracted by that incident.
when we arrived at the start, needless to add, the dried blood on her forehead was a topic of conversation. out of my earshot, she dropped hints that it was my fault - that i knocked her on the head because she was late meeting us! that explained the very strange looks i got - until she finally fessed up and absolved me of responsibility. phew! still, emmy sported quite a knot for most of the day. but she didn't let it stop her from logging 37+ miles!
it also turned out to be a good mileage day for me. i started off with susan for most of the first mile and then continued on with brennan through the end of our third loop. the 49:18 split for the first 6 miles (3 loops) was a bit too fast for me. brennan went on ahead (to ultimately finish 3rd overall), and i slowed down for the next few loops. still, the next 4 loops were all between 16 and 17 minutes, which netted me 14 miles in just under 2 hours (1:58:30).
the next 3 loops, 18:22, 21:15 (which included a bathroom break), and 18:43 got me to the 20 mile split in 2:56:56 - a roughly 7:54 pace. just short of the half-way point of the race i was more than pleased with my performance. the combination of low mileage weeks and the iron supplements had really helped me bounce back. but i wasn't in the mood to push my good fortune and risk my recovery. and fate did intervene to slow me down a bit.
my next 3 loops 21:01, 22:35, and 23:15 included a series of calf cramps that appeared in mile 21 and nagged me until mile 25. i drank as much gatorade, and ate as many banana pieces as i could swallow, each time i passed the aid station. aside from the calf problem, i was in otherwise great condition throughout the day. i also took the unexpected slow-down as a positive omen. even with three slower loops, i reached the marathon split at 4:06:06 - not too shabby under the circumstances.
i did the next three loops with rob, who had gotten sidelined with a flair-up of his planter fasciitis in the last loop. rob had just run the first 22 miles with susan (who finished in 3rd place). susan had just passed me midway through the last loop, as i headed toward the marathon split. since i still had almost two hours left on the clock, i planned to keep moving forward (even if at a walk). with the extra 3 loops (6 miles), i reached 32 (and passed 50k mark). then, with one turn of the small loop (0.4 miles), i increased my total to 32.4 miles.
what surprised me the most was that this total was less than one mile off my 2007 result (33.19 miles)! granted, we had very humid conditions (and even rain) last year. but, it hardly explains the similar outcomes. be that as it may, the post-race festivities were great - and included beer and pizza! the only negative, to an otherwise excellent day, was the long drive home (3 separate traffic jams on the belt parkway alone).
it that wasn't enough running for one weekend, the next day we (emmy, rob, and i) drove up to stratford and volunteered at the fall distance frolic 30k.
next up: the nyrr marathon tune-up 18 miler.
check out the race photos and results.
check out emmy's race photos.
from the archives: my 2007 staten island 6 hour run race report.