2021 NYC Marathon Training: Week 4

Week 4 of training was supposed to go up in mileage from the week before, and it did, but only by a mile – a sore heel on Sunday eliminated that day’s planned run.

I ran four days last week: an easy 6 miles on Tuesday, 9 on Wednesday (including 8 x 400 meters at paces in the mid 7’s), 5 on Friday, and a 4-mile race on Saturday sandwiched in between an additional 8 easy miles. Total: a little over 32 miles.

Looking back, I wonder if my right outer heel was too sore to run on Sunday (and as much as I hate admitting it, it’s still a little sore now, later in the week) because I ran too many fast miles on a race week. I did plan an easy run on Sunday, but for whatever reason, my heel wasn’t having it.

This is why I’m glad I keep such detailed records of my running. It’s easier to evaluate what went right and what went wrong, and correct from there. Of course, what I should be doing is planning my week more smartly as opposed to looking back like, “oops.”

The NYRR Retro 4-Miler on Saturday was fun. I think I’ll go back to writing race reports here and include a write-up of that race as a future post. Here’s a photo of a very white midriff taken at the start line.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m running the NYC Marathon in memory of my father, so I’m writing a little about him each week.

Despite my occasional lack of smart run planning, my dad was a great planner. Super organized. Meticulous. He enjoyed making labels, writing lists, and the art of quadruple checking. He was not one to make last-minute plans.

My parents split up in the mid 80s, and my dad spent a few years moving from apartment to apartment, each place becoming my sisters’ and my temporary home every other weekend. At some point, he decided to buy land in upstate New York and build a house. He wanted a place to get away to every so often, but really what he wanted was a place to call his own.

Once he’d purchased the land, he spent a weekend camping on it with my sisters (I don’t remember why but I didn’t go on the trip).

Lacking any kind of architectural background, somehow my father designed the house himself. I’m still not sure how he did this – likely it was a combination of getting input from his uncle John, who had designed his own home, and a lot of studying and reading.

My sisters and I drew up our own plans for the house, but I think they weren’t quite realistic enough for my dad. Here’s my own floor plan rendering. I was 14 when I drew this, so please know I was dreaming big:

Yes, that’s a limo parked out front. There was also a second floor plan which included five bedrooms, a “gymnasium + sauna,” and “servant’s quarters.”

I think I knew this wasn’t a realistic vacation home for my dad; I was just being silly. Maybe.

My great uncle John helped my father build the upstate house, which was a nice size, just slightly smaller than the one in my rendering. While I’m sure they hired a company to pour the foundation and do other heavy duty things, my dad and his uncle did the majority of the construction.

There is a whole photo album documenting this building process, but unfortunately I don’t have access to it at the moment. I do have a few photos after it was built but before it was fully finished. I think this one below was taken around 1990.

My dad with my grandmother (aka Nana) and my youngest sister, Kyla:

Here are a couple photos of the house and its surrounding area in what may have been around 2000. I’m not sure if I took these or my dad did – considering I have them, it’s likely I took them with whatever film camera I had at the time.

I can see what my dad saw in this place. Away from the noise of school days, the traffic of the Long Island Expressway, the hustle and bustle of civilization, he had peace up here. And a place to call his own.

There’s more story to this house, but I will come back to it in a future post.

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