pre-race! And a blissfully beautifully perfect day for a run, too - it was pretty cold when we started out, but extremely bright and not excessively windy, and it had settled into the mid-30s by the time we were finishing.
We went on time rather than distance, running south through Riverside Park and along the Hudson - turned around at the 1-hour mark just north of Houston St. I am going to call it twelve miles though the honest truth is that it was probably slightly short of that...
Very very enjoyable! I felt tired during the first hour, I slept short and restlessly last night and have generally been working a bit too hard, but I really enjoyed the second half. And I got some very good - I was about to say stroke coaching, since I have swimming on the brain, but will use the proper term! - gait analysis from Brent.
Make sure to pick up heels on the downhills - left foot in particular but both feet more generally are striking with heels, producing unwanted braking effect (this was more noticeable in Central Park yesterday, but we tested it out on a small downhill in Riverside Park, and the effect was quite pronounced). I will keep this in mind for Antarctica!
I was running some feet ahead during a flat stretch on the way back, so we talked some more about gait things: it is not so much that I need to pick my knees up higher (it is not economical) as it is a question of thinking about the force of the pendulum swing and the notion of running from the hips. Pendulum, running from the hips seem to me good mental triggers for mindful running/gait correction, I am going to pay attention to this stuff both in the race and in the next stint of training.
Having some thoughts about moving stuff around for the fall race season - am leaning towards the notion that I should not run the New York Marathon till next year. Partly I think I have a mild aversion because it is so crowded - I've got to do it one of these years, it is my hometown marathon and it is a huge deal, but it is full of all the things I do not enjoy about racing! - but I'm also contemplating that if I did the trail marathon in Maryland (I did the half-marathon relay this past fall) it would not only be a very lovely and relaxing and pretty fast run (certainly a better race for hitting a time goal than NY), it would also be the case that I could spend August doing a lot of Caymanian swimming (training for that long swim at the end of September) and then have more weeks back in New York to do marathon training in cooler weather - the Maryland race is a full four weeks after New York, so that it would give me a much better stretch of New York fall-semester training. Anyway, things to ponder, but I'm leaning in that direction - will update sidebar once some decisions are made.
(I had a lottery spot last year for the NY marathon and deferred it to this year, and I think I can do that one more time - you pay the registration fee and let them know that you are not going to use the spot and then you are still eligible for a spot the year after, or so I understand it to be - I will take a look at the NYRR site and figure it out!)