Running 13 Miles in Preparation for the NYC Marathon

Hilary Topper running

Running 13 miles in preparation for the NYC Marathon

I ran 13 miles today. I didn’t want to but it was part of the plan to prepare for the NYC Marathon, so I did it. I strategized for days prior to. How should I do this?

For starters, my coach, Danielle Sullivan of Iron Fit Endurance, reminded me to keep hydrated. “Even if you think you’re hydrated drink more,” she told me.

(Last weekend, I ran 11 miles and got very sick after the run. So I took her advice to heart. I’ve also been suffering from an Achilles problem and took her advice on a ART doc too, which totally paid off!)

I decided to run 7 miles into Point Lookout and back to Lido Beach. It felt so good. I was feeling happy, relaxed and really enjoying the ride and of course, the scenery. It’s absolutely gorgeous in Point Lookout. Some of the homes are magnificent and you’re only steps from the water. When I was at the end of the Point, I looked out and saw the sun rising over the water. I smiled. I looked out and could see Jones Beach and what I thought looked like Fire Island. I started to think about all the people swimming the 5 miles in the Cross Bay event. I was secretly routing for them all!

I made my way back to Lido Beach, wearing my Pearl Izumi sneakers, circled around the Middle School before returning back to my house for a quick bathroom break and restock of my hydration. I took a couple of dollars out of my bag, just in case I wanted something on the boardwalk, and ran out the door. I was still feeling pretty good.

At mile 9, my achilles started to flair up. I had a burning sensation in my leg leading into the achilles. I was in horrible pain. I didn’t know what to do. If I go back, I can’t complete my goal of 13 miles and if I go forward, I won’t be able to walk.

I went over to the man pulling two containers of Ice Cream. “Do you have a chunk of ice I can buy?” I asked him.

“No, but ask that girl over there behind the Ice Cream Truck,” he said.

I went over to her to ask the same question. She opened up the Ice Cream hatch and said, “Nope, I have nothing for you.”

I told her to look in the large cooler.

She looked over at the guy I originally asked for approval. He shook his head and she went into the cooler and took out one small ice cube. It was ridiculous. I didn’t offer her money. I thanked her and sat on the bench and iced my achilles. I started to cry from the pain. I wished I had brought advil with me.

The ice lasted a minute (literally) and I started to do 20/30 on the run/walk. I had to force myself to continue. I needed to get to 10.5 in order to turn around.

I kept going. I pushed myself forward. I saw a little restaurant on the boardwalk. I stopped over and asked for ice. This time, the woman was gracious and gave me a quarter cup of ice.

I hobbled over to the bench and iced away. I just wished the pain would dissipate. After sitting for another couple of minutes. I got up and continued. I had to get to 10.5 before turning around.

10.5 miles came quickly but not quick enough. I turned around. I started to run. I felt that the running felt easier than the walking.

I saw four police officers talking.  I asked if they had advil. “Nope, but maybe the female one over there has some,” the officer said.

I went to the female officer. She didn’t have any either. Why didn’t I bring advil with me?

I headed back. I debated on whether or not to call my friend Marti or call a Taxi. I didn’t do either. I forced myself to continue. I was at Mile 12 now, with only 1 mile to go.

I circled around the Lido Beach Hotel or shall I say Lido Beach Towers and found the water bottle I hid in the grass. I poured it on my head. (Too bad I didn’t bring ice!)

I kept going. The pain was unbearable. I finally reached my house and circled the area before going home.


I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago. I’m hoping by the time it runs I’ll be up to 17 miles (or at least 15!)… See you in the streets! 🙂