Posted by: mmartininycmarathon | February 24, 2011

10 turns to 16 + VIDEO!

Hey there my loyal supporters!

So this past weekend (actually Friday), I was only planning on running 10 miles to challenge myself to a double digit that hadn’t been achieved since last years NYC Half Marathon in March. Well, a simple 10 turned into a challenging 16 miles with nutty butty.

The great thing though about nutty butty (AKA, AM) is she is ALWAYS pushing herself and others. Of course I am always up for a challenge so when I heard she was scheduled to do 16, I was up for it.


We wanted to get an early start since we had plans afterwards and in all honesty just to get the run over with. We had been chatting all day about it and while I was stuffing my face with pasta and bagels AM was having a heart attack! I kept telling her, this is why we run together, to push each other and to get each other through the rough parts of any given run. It really didn’t help much.

Central Park Running Loops


We met up at our usual location and I think we both were not thinking it was 16 but just starting with one full loop of the park. The weather was perfect and our pace was on target consider we hadn’t done anything further than about 10 miles. If anything we wanted to run negative splits on the park loops so that helped keep us back a bit. The first loop was great. It’s the first 6 miles but I honestly thought it was going to be alot worse. We had a reunion with good ol Harlem Hill (nice to see you Harlem, it’s been awhile) and that encounter went quite well. The back end of the loop (west side) was good as both of us were pretty warmed up.

When we reached the bottom part of the part we had clocked in around 51 minutes, not too shabby considering. We got some GU in our systems, washed it down with Gatorade and was looking forward to the second full loop. I wanted to push the pace a little as I was feeling really good and obviously felt we could do our neg splits.


The second loop on the east side was good as we were working on miles 7 & 8. Half way there I kept telling myself. Once we hit 102nd street I felt like we were still on target to hit our goal time of about 49-50 mins. Wrapping around the hills of Harlem we once again reached our nemesis. The second go around was just as good and I decided to speed ahead of AM. As I used to post when training for the 2009 NYC Marathon, Harlem Hill is just a LONG hill that never seems to end. Doing it once isn’t too bad but doing it twice it becomes alot more difficult. Once I peaked the hill I waited for AM and I thought I was feeling pretty good. The plan was to wait and take my second GU when we reached the park but I was soon to be forced to take it as my body started shutting down.

“When glycogen runs low, the body must then obtain energy by burning stored fat, which does not burn as readily. When this happens, the runner will experience dramatic fatigue and is said to “hit the wall“.

At around Mile 10 I had hit a small “wall” and at which point the run went from being great to dramatically awful. We still had around 2 miles to go to wrap up 12.4 miles (almost a half marathon) and it was one of the greatest struggles on a run I had felt for a long time. The entire second half of the second loop AM and I kept pushing each other back down to the bottom of the park.

Once we arrived down at the park I had hid my gatorade and both took another GU and drank our fluids. We only had 2 baby loops to go which would be around 3.6 miles.


Central park is divided mostly into three main loops. The small loop (72nd street transverse) which is about 1.7 miles, the middle loop (102nd street transverse) which is about 5 miles and the full loop which is 6.2 miles.

To say doing these baby loops were easy I would be lying. We were still on a good steady pace but it took every ounce of energy to keep going. Once we had wrapped around our first baby loop, AM shouts we are NOT STOPPING, lets keep going and get this sh** over with. It took everything I had to not want to stop. What became a quite engaging run only moments ago before mile 10, turned into a dreaded I want this to be over as soon as possible run.

We kept encouraging each other while I kept yelling out that we are strong, we got this, noone can stop us. In reality it was just mind tricks to help my body not quit and perhaps it actually worked. We made our way back to 72nd street and finding our way down on the west side towards our starting point. We usually start at the west side entrance but tonight we had to go to the east side which when you are so exhausted and know you will be done in less than 2 minutes, it becomes that much harder. As we picked our pace up we both knew we had achieved our set out goal of 16 miles and had literally run our hearts out.

IT FELT GREAT! No better feeling than knowing you had transcended yourself again and pulled out everything you had to muscle through.

After the run we saw a Chipotle and HAD to eat a huge chicken/rice/bean burrito as part of recovery. As we sat there barely talking, faces of exhaustion, we both knew we had achieved greatness for one moment in time. It is the reason why we run, it is the reason why we go back out to keep pushing our mind and physical limits. And it is the reason why tomorrow nights run will be an estimated 18-20 miles.

As for long term running goals, I am 94% sure I will be running the 2011 NYC Marathon once again and once again with one team, Team for Kids.

Make a believer out of yourself. Make the impossible, possible. Transcend what is unknown to the known.

I leave you with one of my favorite NYC Marathon videos  that may just inspire you to run with me this year. HAPPY RUNNING!


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