I think, therefore I blog
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Finding Wilson – NYC Marathon Training

    Posted on September 9th, 2013 Michele Sun No comments

    Today I went to pick up my inhalers; thank goodness that my family doctor is back from vacation!! I am done with codeine and antibiotics last Friday, and the planned Sat 12ml run did not quite happen. But I was feeling much happier and positive after Sat run/walk attempt at Santa Cruz. Whether it’s the negative ion in the Pacific Ocean water or the beautiful sunshine at coast, I was feeling good about my training toward NYC Marathon and the anger and self-pity has downgraded a lot!


    I always think that I am one super lucky person, because I am always surrounded by great friends who showered me with friendship! Especially friendship and supports from running buddies! I would say runners are generally good people, who will tell you “looking good” when you feel like sh*t after a tough run, and “great job” when you have to drag your non-existing legs across that finish line. And hi-five you when you show-off your hard earned finisher medal on your neck even when you are the last one in the crowd and two hours slower than everyone else. Though someone did tell me once that she thinks fast runners are usually “jerk” who are so self-centered and they only care about themselves, I am afraid there might be some truth in it, but still, usually runners make great and accountable friends!!

    With the injury and illness ever since entering into NYC Marathon training, I was and still am experiencing chains of bad luck. And I was angry that why I am not having a good season this time while other runners are at their peaks of their training? But luckily Mike picked up my vent and he saw how frustrated I had been; last Thur he suggested that I start training with him!  When he said that we can run together in NYC Marathon, I was like Tom Hanks finding Wilson!

    (photo credit: Wiki)

    Sat Sept 6th, we met up at 6:00am in San Jose with couple other runners and he drove us to Santa Cruz. More runners were waiting there, including Coach John, and around 7:00am they all took off running toward the scrubs, except Mike and I. He told me we would run the West Cliff which would be what we needed for New York — street running. We were scheduled to run 12ml  that day and he told me to stick to 10:30 min/ml pace and just focus on the distance, “though 10:30 would be slow for you” he said last night. But as soon as we took off he noticed my breathing wasn’t right. I couldn’t breath!! And I needed to stop only few minutes after  we started, not from lack of cardio but I simply needed to gasp for air. He immediately told me to “Run/Walk” with one minute interval and  you can tell this was coming from a very experienced mentor! I didn’t want to screw up his training, so I told him to go ahead with this run and I would be fine. He then changed today’s goal right there for me — do Run/Walk for 8 miles with very clear instructions on which direction to go and where to turn…etc. Then he took off continuing his run. “Just focus on your distance” he reemphasized!!


    I did exactly as Mike told me to — run for one minute and walk for one minute, starting from Natural Bridge and made a left turn toward the Boardwalk via West Cliff. By the time I reached to the Lighthouse at around mile 1 1/2, I progressed to 2 minutes run and 2 minutes walk. From there I was able to stick to this exercise all the way passed Boardwalk. This was the reverse Santa Cruz Half Marathon course and is one of my most favorite running routes; lots of special memory came back to me and the run became emotional.

    Breathing was not easy but at least I wasn’t coughing as badly. After I reached the not-so-big big bridge that Mike told me earlier, I recognized this was where the Scottish  pipes and drums had been during the Wharf to Wharf race . There was that San Lorenzo River sign at the bridge and I turned around here as instructed. It seemed easier coming back even though it’s more uphills now. Somehow I missed the Lighthouse on my way back, so by the time I saw the grassland and scrub I was surprised that I was almost done with my 8ml run. I didn’t remember where we had parked, and I was cursing myself why I did not take a good look of what kind of car Mike drives. So I had to make a guess and just turned left. But I spotted Teresa and John stretching not too far ahead of me, and Bruce was clapping and  cheering me on as I slowly ran toward them. I felt like million bucks!!


    On our way back to San Jose, I quite enjoyed the friendly insults that only take place between good friends :-). Everyone went on with their weekend business, but Mike gave me more tips and pep talks. “Take care of your breath and your legs will come back.” “I am confident that you will do fine at New York; you will run fast at New York. Don’t worry.” “But have your lungs checked by your doctor.” As I was waiting for my maple latte at Peet’s, he asked me if I had studied the course map yet. Then as a 5 times New York Marathon runner, going for 6th time this Nov, he told me how great the race would be, what kind of excitement I would experience, how the terrain would be like, where we would be doing carbo-load on Sat night…etc. “Just don’t give up, Michele; you don’t want to miss New York!”

    His words gave me so much assurance and confidence that for the first time in two months I actually did feel that this New York Marathon will happen and it probably won’t suck too badly. So on Sunday morning, despite the heat, I went out and did an easy 2ml recovery run/walk routine again, on concrete as he has told me to. This time I was able to run for 3 1/2 mins before gasping for air. I was so happy for this 30 sec improvement!

    Sunday night, Mike forwarded this week’s training schedule and tips — find a rolling hills, small hills that won’t impact your speed, that mimics Central Park route. Wow, it’s getting more real! So first thing  this morning, I called my family doctor and made the appointment for this afternoon. I am so glad that I am getting all these constructive advices from Mike that I no longer feel like being strangled on the island by myself!!

    And  finally I am getting the chance to wear my silly “ING NYC Marathon Training 2011” shirt to the upcoming party ^_*


     (inner joke - the ING NYC Marathon Training shirt from 2011)

    Leave a reply