Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Miami Marathon Week

The ING Miami Marathon is Sunday morning starting outside the American Airlines Arena on Biscayne Bay. This will be my eighth career race of at least 26.2 miles, and the start of my 2012 marathon calendar that also includes Paris on April 22 and New York City on Nov. 2.

The course will take me past the cruise ships, through South Beach, over causeways, through my old Coconut Grove stomping grounds, toward Key Biscayne and then finish around Brickell section. I ran it in 2010 and had a disappointing finish time due to a huge blister for 14 miles on the ball of my right foot. This time I head there with IT Band syndrome, it will be 70s and humid, and whatever it takes I am running it. This one will NOT be easy!

Live Tracking & Messaging is available for my friends and family who wish to follow my attempt. I am bib #7489.

Wednesday: Belgian waffle with strawberries at Upper East Side diner. Received cortisone injection in left IT Band at NYC Orthopedics. I learned a lot more about ITB and about cortisone. It will go into effect in 3 days and at that point inflammation will be gone as affected cells rebuild. Hopefully that will enable me to start-stop whenever needed on the course Sunday. And because I have lost much fitness through the ITB issue the past month, I will definitely start-stop. My left ITB is tighter than my right one, and it pulls at the kneecap, especially when I stop or when I use steps. I will be on a long physical therapy regimen the next 6 weeks lots of hip exercises, foam roller, etc. Flat course will help.

I have a goal time but I no longer care about anythingother than finishing No. 8. Penne Lasagna for late lunch. Walked past Alec Baldwin (liked him best in "Hunt for Red October") as he was being escorted into our Chelsea Market HQ building. Gym tonight, cardio/core/stretching. Drinking lots of water. Need to buy some parmesan Goldfish. Pack suitcases and put them in core, because Thursday will be a tight work/getaway day to FTL. Beach, here I come!

Thursday: Last tuneup workout at gym, ran 2 miles on treadmill trying to perfect a system of gradually speeding up or slowing down, so I don't run into the start-stop problems with IT Band. At 2 miles, the ITB presented itself again. I am not too concerned because I am told there will be no inflammation on Saturday thanks to the cortisone shot. I also did 120 crunches. Packed running gear, including 4 GUs and 2 pair of shoes, since I haven't decided whether to take the new Brooks to the start line. Lisa and Rachel scooped me up from work (today's celeb spotting at Chelsea Market was Starr Jones btw) and we hustled to Newark Airport, had some pizza slices, got on a squishy Continental flight that charged for everything and were in Fort Lauderdale that night, at Lisa's parents. As we started deboarding the plane, the guy in front of my seat looked around and saw my 2010 Miami Marathon sweatshirt and asked if I was running, and then we were proceeding to talk marathoning. He had run Atlantic City, Philly and one other. It's a great brotherhood of running.

Friday: Paradise! Woke up and looked out at sunrise on the ocean through palm trees. Cheerios and grapes for breakfast, jumped in the ocean (75 degrees), rode the waves, spent most of the day on the beach reading my book "The Tiger's Wife," had a great lunch of mozzarella, sopasada, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, crusty bread. Morning acquasize class with a bunch of retired ladies here at the condo pool, my tradition before each Miami Marathon, to stay loose and limber and stretched. Large bottle of water is surgically attached to one arm the rest of the way, must hydrate like a maniac because it will be about 65% humidity to go along with temps in the 70s when we run Sunday. Went shopping for swim trunks and stuff, wound up with some lime-green movie star sunglasses, too. I was the last person to leave the beach, soaking in every ray, and then I came back in and took a half-hour nap. Dinner was fava-bean soup with broccoli rabe, followed by salmon, followed by an excursion for ice cream. I had a scoop of butter pecan. There was a pet store where we went, and we came pretty close to leaving with another English Bulldog pup. For some reason I decided to buy a 550-piece jigsaw puzzle of seashells, so at this posting I am the only one still awake, putting together a puzzle. It is nice because it is occupying my thoughts, keeping me from thinking about running for now.

Saturday: I am ready. 2 hours at Expo, packet pickup, sat on a Ryan Hall Q&A that was very valuable. He said the marathon is a spiritual journey and he prepares by watching an inspirational movie, prayers, Bible, whatever. I am in that state of mind. It is just me and 26.2 miles. We went to U of Miami and looked at the campus with Rachel, a HS junior. I got a white sleeveless UM shirt for the race. Pasta dinner and cigar. Hydrating constantly. Hall said to "keep topping off." All set. Lismo and I leave at 4:15 am. GO ME!



Cheri Fiorucci said...

Mark, I'm hoping and praying you have a fantastic time and the ITB behaves. Enjoy all that fantastic sunshine (not that I'm jealous or anything). GO BIG CAT!

Mark said...

Thanks, Cheri! I really appreciate the support Big Cat!