NYRR’s France Run, a sweet new 8K!

you know me, I’ll do them all, but this one is new!! NEW!!!

Patricia, one of my training partners, is French and I figured it’d be so much to race this together. Well.. it’s usually her racing and then me chasing her 5 minutes behind, and I am happy if I see her at the finish line before she went back home to shower, but you get the point. Turns out, she would end up being in la France!! And ALSO, turns out, that it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to race. Because you know, I am so awesome, sometimes I have to be quite stoooopid to even the world out. I just do it to make you all look better you guys!!!

Anyway, the problem started about a month earlier, when I overdid it a liiiiiiitle bit and I pushed it WAY TOO MUCH. Ooooops. Mr Precious Hamstring has been messed up since. Such a spoiled BRAT. I know what I did. I know how I did it. I know not to do that. But hey, I haven’t messed myself up since 2011 so cut me some slack. Mostly because I am cutting myself zero slack. Still, this sucks A LOT. I basically threw all my training down the toilet in the last month. More tomorrow on my end of month recap. UGH. I barely even want to talk about it. I can’t even. I will try to even tomorrow.

The race on the other hand, was AWESOME! THEY HAD CREPES AT THE FINISH LINE GUYS!!!!! I didn’t get one, I had my usual finish line apple, because it seemed like I had to walk about 20 meters, but they look fantastique! and OMG, they played La Marseillaise at the start. Oh la la. I was feeling so french. Then I waited for a few friends and run with them. I promise: an elizabeth that is not racing is the loudest person in the race. I felt like I was cheering instead of racing!!!! So I kept yelling encouragement to everyone around like a mad person, mostly up Harlem Hill, because you know, it’s a beast climb in a 5 miler. Anyway, any race you’re not racing is always super fun so I was happy to be out there chit chatting with everyone. I just wished in was in old Paris instead and not here worried about my training… I’ll tell you more tomorrow. UGH. I makes me very cranky and this is enough for today. Plus, I am tired. And already cranky. But I still love you guys!!!

Juan had just finished his 16 miles around Harlem hill, yes, clockwise, and was able to see us around and take some pictures. Someone is training like a beast. Not me.

Challenge Pocono Mountains – race tips and report

This past weekend I attended a triathlon… there was a group of 7 of us: six of them were racing; I was volunteering/spectating/cheering/taking pictures and being the official obsesser about everything. Turns out, only two of us had combed through the Athlete Guide, which was useful because it was a complicated event. For a runner like me, a tri seems overcomplicated already, so I overprepare (and will share), but for them, this is just one more, so, whatever. But for you all triathletes out there who might be considering this event, I jotted down my thoughts, well, pretty much all I saw and MOSTLY heard from everybody else.

  • It’s just 1.5 drive from NYC.
  • The “mandatory” athlete meeting didn’t seem quite mandatory ;-)
  • Very small field, so you won’t feel too crowded
  • It’s very family oriented, relaxed and fun event
  • The race gave every athlete a shirt, plus a fantastic running backpack (that my husband already donated to me) full of goodies, wohoo.
  • Really well organized, there were millions of volunteers, people helping with everything and super well managed.
  • It was a million degrees hot hell, but apparently this is totally normal in EVERY triathlon (true so far for all I’ve been at).
  • There was, for some of us, ZERO phone signal at all times. If you need to meet up with people, CRAP, plan ahead. A couple of people had phones that worked. totally random (Sprint didn’t work! which was horrifying for 20 minutes, and then I LOVED IT!) Just be prepared as you won’t have access to any of the race info, so print it all out or email it to yourself. ok?
  • There are THREE spots to get to know
    1. the swim start, T1 and T2
    2. the expo/finish
    3. parking

all these places are about a 10-20 minutes drive away from each other, but you can’t park at 1 or 2. So, on Saturday, we parked at 3, took a shuttle to 2 to pick up the bibs, etc, then a shuttle back to 2, headed to 1 to drop the bikes. Race day was messier, as you have to park at 3 (or maybe you have someone to drop you off at 1, but have to be out of there by 9 am), then take a shuttle to 1, then you race, and you finish at 2, take a shuttle 3, pick up the car, and head back to 1 to pick up the bike. I, as a spectator/volunteer who doesn’t drive spent quite some time going back and forth in the shuttle. Post race, it took quite a while to get on a shuttle so be prepared.

  • Not a lot of portapotties at the start so the lines were long. Be prepared to wait (or, ehem, go in your wetsuit like most people do!). The staggered start helped with the congestion though.
  • The SWIM, some people loved it, some didn’t. The water was super clear so you could see through it, and there were fish, almost as fun as snorkeling. But, there was some really high seaweed/grass that would entangle you. At some points it was quite shallow. Some people grabbed the rocks at the bottom to propel themselves forward, that is legal I guess.
  • The BIKE course is very technical. There’s some serious SERIOUS rolling hills (mostly on the first miles) and turns that you’ll have to be quite aware of. There were also some potholes on the middle of the road. Be prepared for the bike leg. Good thing is that it is mostly shaded.
  • RUN is also quite shaded, yey, but I heard there were a few tough climbs, and that walking them was more efficient, so you can imagine…. if you like the trails, you’ll love the run (but bring appropriate shoes for it!)
  • FINISH line, was so much fun. There were water/Gatorade/towels for the finishers and a ridiculous amount of DELICIOUS food, I am not kidding: chicken parm, pasta, salad, etc. It was great. And beer! A nice gazebo sitting area, and there was a vendor with hot dogs and burgers and drinks. There was games for the kids, lots of areas to spectate and cheer and tents. It was fun for all.

Now onto our weekend…

challenge pocono tips report strategy poconos triahtlon 70.3 course info elevation photos reviews (1)

Overall, we had a fantastic time. We drove out of NYC,  at 11 on Saturday, got there by 1:30 (traffic!!!!), right for the athletes’ meeting. First, we parked the car, and took the shuttle to the expo.

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waiting for the shuttle in the woods, and mostly, IN THE SHADE

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We got bibs, burgers at the vendor (which were ok), lots of Gatorade and pickle juice at the expo (it’s a thing!), I got my volunteer shirt and stuff, and we got to check out the finish line area…

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We then took the shuttle back to the parking lot, and headed to start/T1/T2 to leave the bikes and stuff. Then to the hotel, dropped the stuff and headed to dinner to INTI, a fantastic peruvian place, I recommend it, I had the ceviche and the stuffed avocado. YUM.

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The town is really cute. There’s wawas and CVS so don’t stress if you forget something: there’s many stores that have Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups!!!

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Race Morning, we got up at 4 (that’s two days in a row for me! ugh), headed out at 5, transition was closing at 6:10 but first we had to park the car and get on the shuttle:

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Dan and Maggie’s shuttle-selfie. we’re in the back

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All 6 of them race ready. 3 doing the half ironman (Juan, Maggie, Dan) and three doing the Olympic distance (Dan, John, Keri)

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Lots going on at T1, meters away from the swim start

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There was a lot of action at the swim start, were I was positioned. I saw every wave into the water, it was quite exciting!! at some point a guy gets back out of the water all pissed and throws his googles towards the shore (us), and we were all worried that something awful had happened, maybe he twisted an ankle, slipped, was having serious issues..? No, his goggles broke… there was a cop there and, because he littered, or something, they were having a chat. Interesting.

Anyway, they all headed into the water, and I walked about 20 yards to watch them come out of the water. Juan was going at it, in the top 10 out of the water, for sure, and he looked great. 

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I walked a few other 20 yards and watched him out of T1, we yelled some I love yous, got some shots and we each darted in opposite directions.

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He headed out for a 56 mile bike ride, I went back to watch all the other friends out of the water. As soon as I saw the last one, two seconds later, I hear my name. Juan was out and telling me he was ok and nothing happened (before I freaked out instantly) and that his bike had a mechanical problem. Apparently, the back wheel was breaking in the hills. He went back out three times, tried to fix it, the onsite mechanic looked at it, no one could figure it out. He has a camera on the bike and I saw the video later that night, it was dangerous, the back wheel kept breaking for no reason. So glad he dropped out, those downhills were no joke and an issue like that could have killed him.

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Sad bike that didn’t get to race

So, we grabbed some of his stuff, I was done with my volunteering gig, and he waited for the shuttle for some time, to head to the finish line to wait for everyone.

challenge pocono tips report strategy poconos triahtlon 70.3 course info elevation photos reviews (23)Kerri was the first one of them to show up, fifth woman in the Olympic race and 1st in her AG, so CONGRATS Keri. It was so hot, more kudos to you all! Slowly, everyone else showed up, we ate a bunch, had lots of water, sat at the Medal Ceremony and took pictures and we had an overall fantastic day. While we all wondered WTF happened to Juan’s wheels. Two days later, they figured it out. There’s a screw (notoriously called the “drop out screw”) that needs to be adjusted when you put those zipp wheels (these are not his/everyday wheels!). He took the bike for a spin with these wheels and there were no issues, and there were no problems with them around transition, or that the mechanic could notice, because this only happens in steep heels, when the tire is on an incline, it rubs on the frame. Anyway, lesson learned and we move on.

and the Newport Liberty Half Marathon Entry Winner, is….

And the random winner of a half marathon entry to the Newport Liberty Half Marathon, as selected by the random thing where I just push a button, is…

tarararararraraaaaaaaaaaa…

#Entry #9: Instagram Follower: frenchersss

!!

Congrats!! Please email me ASAP and I’ll put you in contact with the race organizers, or give you a code to sign up, or something! you have until Friday to email me or I’ll press another button for another winner!

Summer Streets in NYC

What is Summer Streets, you say?

On three consecutive Saturdays in the summer, nearly seven miles of New York City’s streets are opened up for everyone to play, run, walk and bike.

I love Summer Streets! You get Park Avenue on the Upper East Side all the way downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge for yourself, and then some. There are events, water stations all over, and you really feel like you own the streets. I love Summer Streets, did I tell you already?

The first one was last Saturday, and I missed because I was racing the Team Championships… no way I’d miss this one!!!

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In case you are the type that could get lost following the crowds: a map

Blaise, Patricia, Juan, Kyra, Jessica, Shawn, Gerry and I met by the Brooklyn Bridge at 7:30 and we got moving, they were all doing a long run (16 to 20), and Juan and I were shooting for 12, all about 8 or 8:20 pace.

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We might be the only south americans that are always too early to everything. And what happens? we do stooopid things like these pictures!

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thanks lady runner for this shot. ALL ready to go!!!!! Let’s do this!

We decided to take on the Brooklyn Bridge first. Well Patricia decided and we all usually do whatever anyone suggests!summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (3)

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THIS. only. way. and. time. to. be. there. seriously, right?

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Now on the Manhattan Bridge, back towards the city

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Elizabeth, take a picture of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha, I did!

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Back in the city and on Summer Streets!

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very sweaty and thirsty gang!

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I love these things. Yes, I love water, I love free water, and I love water that is everywhere. These things are EVERYWHERE. So I love them. Can I be more repetitive and obvious?

Towards Grand Central now…

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And now on Park Avenue, north of Grand Central, my favorite stretch!!!

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Then we headed into Central Park, because, it’s there, you know?

This is the route we ended up with, Brooklyn Bridge to, duh, Brooklyn, back in the city through the Manhattan Bridge, then back to Summer streets up north to 72, north in the park for a Harlem Hill Climb and … that was 12 for Juan and I, the rest kept going

summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (1) If you haven’t gone, DO IT. SO SO SO worth it.

1- go early, 7 am, it gets very crowded (and almost not worth it) after 9ish.

2- there’s those water stops, so no need to carry fuel belts.

3- take pictures. it’s amazing. I can never get over it.

4- plan a post-run brunch along the course, so you can watch everyone go after you finished your run!

Promise me you’re going next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NYRR Team Championships – a 5 Mile race and a Dashing Whippets’ picnic!

And we started August with a bang! I decided to sign up for this race pretty much a week before. I am glad I did because Patricia and I ended up leading the women masters for the team: everyone else was at a beach somewhere, which is, SURELY, what we all should have been doing that day! I woke up at 6 and it was already “warm”….

The NYRR Team Championships is a race to be raced only by NYC running team members, where we all get team points in different categories and stuff like that (more here). It’s quite a different vibe, a bit more competitive, but on the other hand, EVERYONE on a team is in the park either racing or cheering. The whole 5 miles were pretty much lined with people, usually cheering for one team, but the crowd support was fantastic.

The men and women race separately. And it’s a smaller race, with about 700 finishers for each gender: that’s a huge difference compared to any weekends’ regular 5000 participants race! So, it’s QUITE a different vibe to say the least! The men’s race was at 8:30 but I was up early so I met the team at 8 am to cheer. It was quite hot already. We did some fun cheering.

Dashing Whippets Cheering! Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

Dashing Whippets Cheering! You’ll recognize me easily from now on from my PINK shorts…!
Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

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Dashing Whippets Cheering! Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

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DWRT. I think the logic here is that runners are coming from the right…???? Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

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Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

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Dashing Whippets Cheering! Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

Anyway, I tried to not get overly hot and sweaty and save it for the race, but the women’s race was starting at 9:30 am, there was nothing I could do: it was HOT. And you know I LOVE THE HEAT… I went to a water fountain, soaked my singlet, soaked my hair… It was all dry in two minutes. It was gonna be ROUGH. Patricia and I headed to the corral early, there was no one there and we kept being yelled at to get to the front. We really didn’t want to. After the 10th time, we moved up, just assuming they’ll start yelling at us and we could move back. We kept chatting and when we noticed we were in the front and couldn’t move back at all. I just made sure we were as close to the side as possible, I was so scared I’d get trampled over!!!!

NYRR did a few shots with the us, and a lot of Dashing Whippets that were right there, which was cool. In case you’re not from NYC, that blonde gentleman on the left is Peter Ciaccia (President, Events, and Race Director, TCS New York City Marathon) and the other gentleman on my left is Michael Capiraso (President and CEO of NYRR). I’d say this is a cool shot:

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo - NYRR

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo – NYRR

A few seconds later Henrietta shows up and lines up right there, THANKS!!! YOU hold the masses and lead the Whippetes, OKAY??? Patricia and I keep chit-chatting, it’s our thing…!

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Soon enough Jonathan Kline, another team mate, sings a lovely version of God Bless America and it all becomes WAY TOO REAL. I am racing this, I am UP HERE in the front, I am gonna get trampled over, I FREAK OUT a bit. Everyone’s faces is GAME ON, I am OMG what am I doing here?

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo - NYRR

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo – NYRR

These pictures are from the NYRR Gallery, which is here, but there’s a cool NYRR video here, I didn’t get trampled over, thank Pre, it was actually OK… ;-) I get scared for nothing sometimes

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo - NYRR

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo – NYRR

soon, very fast, we get spaced out. Sooner though, with about 300 meters in,  I was questioning my sanity. What am I doing? It was just way too hot to race, and 5 undulating miles in the park seemed like an ultra. For about 2 minutes I kept telling myself Elizabeth, this is the best workout you could do today, just do the workout, it’s just a workout, on and on… Which is true. This is not my goal race and the truth is I NEVER run as hard as when I race, so racing shorter races is the best workout I could do, off with the race pressure and ON with the workout. Just run. But I really really really wanted to give up.

Before Mile 1, on the top of the reservoir, I spot Juan. I KNEW he’d be there, but I was so hot and out of it, I almost forgot and was all the way on the other side of the road…

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Check out how it’s not as crowded as it usually is… so much nicer. I ended up racing around the same group of 4-5 women the whole race!

I had looked at the last 5 miler I had done in the park, in 34:36 and wrote the laps in my hand (6:50, 6:59, 6:47, 7:16, and 6:41) just so I’d have an idea where I was, even though the course started somewhere else. I obviously discarded a PR in this weather, but I was hoping I could stay close. Mile 1: at 6:59, not so bad. It did feel like I had a LONG WAY to go though… Mile 2: 6:50, I am getting faster? that’s not gonna last… so far, I am doing the same time I did 4 weeks ago. But it shouldn’t be… When the pic below was taken, I was about past Tavern on the Green. I did high-five and yelled back to a lot of people on the course!

Photo Credit: NYRR Gallery

Photo Credit: NYRR Gallery

Mile 3 was a struggle, there was a group of us, pacing each other. I’d like to say we kept switching the lead, but really, we kept falling off… oh well, it’s just a workout!!!! Mile 3:  6:57. Oooops, there I lost 10 seconds to my previous 5 miler…. I see where this is going…! Mile 4 is close and I know I need to save something for the last bit, plus, this is when we all fall apart, oh, and Cat Hill ON FIRE. Mile 4: 7:15 (gained a second!)

As soon as I turned on 96th, I see Juan again, I knew I had less than a mile and I waited to hit the gas. I wasn’t sure I had much left.

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

But then it happens. ALL THE TEAMS OF THE WORLD are lining up the last mile. The WHOLE LAST MILE. It was quite overwhelming… You’d see so many of us surge, and fall back and try to keep the momentum (I still have to yell back, and thanks and high-five!) but it was super super amazing. SO SO SO LOUD and awesome. Mile 5: 6:49, the fastest!!!!! Plus , I run a 0.05 extra and it was at 6:23, so you know I came in hard!

laps

Given the hills you can’t trust the pace, but the heart rate tells the whole story….

Stats Time:

Finish time: 35:09 Average Pace: 7:02

Previous PR: 33:36 From: June, 2015

Age Grading: 71.17%

Overall and Gender Place: 93 of 694

Age Place: 9 of  99

7:02 pace in Central Park on hell-hot weather is a win any day. Hey, finishing this race in ANY pace was a win. I really wanted to leave. REALLY. The fact that I didn’t walk out is what makes me the most proud. I wish they could start this race a bit earlier… or install misting stations every 10 yards?!?!?!

Plus, I am happy I got some points for my team. Patricia was the #1 master and I was 2nd, so there’s that. PLUS PLUS, there was a Dashing Whippets picnic after. SO, THAT. Celebration Nation.

I ate about 5 of Lara’s cookies, then a few donuts from Dough Loco, then some popcorn, then some chocolate covered pretzels, and a few more things I’d rather forget: NOTHING of the healthy stuff WE brought… (hahaha, of course not). I was ready to lay down under a tree and sleep it all off for a few hours. But, before, there’s a group shot!

Missing some team signs letter!

Missing some team signs letter! WHERE IS THE T??????

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That is Lillie, Patricia’s girl and future runner, making the shot way cooler and Frencher

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One of the final shots. With Bryan as the star!!!

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then Patricia Tirona had the cool idea to shoot the Master Women’s, plus Lillie!

So, I declare, every single race needs to end with a picnic, really.

Did you do this race? Did you melt? What did you do this weekend?????

Also, don’t forget you can still play and win a Newport Half Marathon Entry Giveaway!

July was just a lot of quality training… hello August racing!

July

July!! Summer is here!!! And then the excitement fizzled, or burnt up, I’d say, fast! It was lovely and HOT. And I got some quality training done, all described here if you’re extra curious. I did exactly 20 runs, 6 of those were intervals, there was 1 tempo run, and the rest was easy running. I decided not to race anything as I had done 6 races in June and I need to regroup the training! I am doing the Newport Half Marathon in September and there’s just 7 weeks left! No need to freak out, it’s going fantastic, but just gotta have patience and keep training. I have settled on a very comfortable running routine, with no long runs and I am loving it. Really really loving it. This is SO different from last year’s June when I was sick of running and gave it all up for a few months, huh? Other exciting July things: IronJuan did his first triathlon in over 3 years, the NYC Tri and he did fantastic!! Total Miles 110.

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June

June was NUTS. I had very low mileage: 19 runs, 6 of those were races! SIX races! We started the month with National Running Day fun runs, and then I went straight into a constant taper-race-recover-taper loop . Actually, on May 30th, I got some sort of stomach bug. I barely ate from that Sunday to Friday and lost about 8 pounds. I felt weak all week, but managed to get my runs done, dizzy and all. By Saturday I felt okay but still couldn’t stomach many things so I had to expectations for the Sunday race: the NYRR Retro 4 Miler, and ended up running faster than all year…! I felt so dehydrated and weak but managed to tie a PR!!! SO close, 1 second faster and I would have PRed! After 2 years since my last PR, I was a bit desperate!!!!!! I waited a week, signed up for a 5K, and even though it was super hot and humid I ended up winning it! What a cool feeling! That was Saturday, 4 days later on Wednesday, I did ANOTHER 5K, and I won my Age Group. My time was sucky, not even close to a PR, but I figured I was still recovering from the 5K and thought I was doing really well! Then, 4 days later, I did the Harlem 1 Miler and came in third woman! Another sucky time, and had no kick left, but it was great to get on the podium again and actually get PRIZE MONEY!!! Wohaaaa! I decided those 8 pounds I had left needed to stay off and it seems to be helping (A LOT!). That week I felt so so so tired, so I run very little and rested a lot. Sunday, I did the Achilles Hope and Possibility 5 Miler, and I FINALLY PRed!!!!!! By a whole minute, which is a LOT. I came in 2nd in my AG, and 19 woman overall, but I was just so happy to finally PR, that PR is from 2010, I am 5 years older now… June was all kinds of AMAZING. I think I peaked ;-) In July, I would like to get back to training (and not racing so much) for the half, but we shall see. There’s another race this weekend… ;-) I have problems!!! Total Miles: 92

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May

I waited so long for the nice weather this year that when it’s finally here, it just seems to zip by with a PR!!! Speaking of PRs, May 5th was my 2 year anniversary of my last PR. TWO YEARS!!! It’s been long people, too long… I wonder if I’ll ever PR again, have I peaked and I am done??? UGH. Will keep trying for a bit though…
We started the month with a mini vacation in Miami, and my weight was a bit up when I got back for the Japan Run 4 Miler… oh oh. It was a hot morning so I was off about 16 seconds from what I wanted, I still placed 3rd in my AG which is very cool for a NYRR race… the week after we had much fun at the Brooklyn Half Expo, and then the race. I was happy with the results, not much faster than NYC Half but given my weight and the heat, super happy!!! Total Miles: 122

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April

So, we came back from vacation straight to a race-every-weekend ritual. But now I am a MASTER runner!!!!!! YEY. I was doing speedwork on Tuesdays, easy Wednesday and Thursday, and race the weekend away. The first one was the Scotland 10K, still no PRs but I was one minute away!! 45:32 (7:20 pace). The next weekend I did the Run for the Parks 4 Miler, 7:03 pace (28:12) and close to my 28:00 PR! Then, one week later, I paced the NYRR More Half Marathon, the 1:45 group, such a cool (and nerve-wrecking for me!) responsibility!! The day after that, I got up at 5 am to go spectate the Boston Marathon, we were quite wet. And the same week, I saw Meb again at a talk, here’s a lot of what he said.  That same weekend, another race: one more 4 miler, the Run as One! So, 7:02 pace, 28:06… getting close to a PR… after TWO years!!!!! Total Miles: 108.

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March

One day in: snow and a 5K! The Washington Heights 5K is usually brutal but managed an “okay” 22:42 given the course, plus 6 miles after, which is a feat on its own. A few days later we still have a massive snowstorm but Daphne and I run 10 miles in, gorgeous pictures of the park and all in the post. Then the osomest happened, the NYC Half!! My GPS was not charged and I had one of the most shocking and amazing races ever. 1:39, not a PR but faster than the 1:45 I expected! Plus amazing fun and pictures. A few days later, while my legs were still so sore, we went to Turks and Caicos for my 40th birthday, and we run VERY little there! Total Miles: 100.

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February

February was the turnaround of the last (almost) two years of lulling around. I did 110 miles. I did speedwork every week, and I did my drills every week. I did 800s and 400s as well as a few hard tempos. I did race, a 4 Miler that was a hot mess:  I didn’t dress properly and was overheating and I really had no intention to push. A complete real hot mess. But oh well. There’s no 100% perfect month, right? The best thing: I gave up on my guaranteed entry to the NYC Marathon and committed to a Half PR, there I said it, in 2015. It’ll happen in the fall, but the training has started and NYC Half and Brooklyn will be first. It needs to get done. 1:37:35, you’re going down. Total Miles: 110.

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January

Was a great month. It started at the finish line of the NYRR’s Midnight run and then at the Polar Bear Plunge. I was mostly trying to decide if I could run through the Winter. Every day, every cold day, I was testing the water and seeing how many more days I would keep running. Last year I gave up quite early and I was determined to push through. I did. I did 103 miles, I did a few interval sessions and a few long runs (does 9 or 12 miles count?). Even though I am not the resolution type, little by little I discovered weekly goals that worked for me:

  • at least 25 miles a week,
  • at least one speed session per week and
  • at least one session of plyometrics a week.

So far, so good. I am so happy that I was able to push through this (ROUGH) winter. Plus, we did a very cold but wonderful run through the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.  Total Miles: 103.

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Training for a Half? Newport Half Marathon Entry Giveaway!

You all know I’ve been training (like a maniac) for a half…

My half PR (1:37 something) NEEDS to go down this year. I am not much into goals but this one has been on my radar since earlier in the year (when I surprisingly and miraculously got super close to breaking it without trying) and I am VERY determined to get to it. Calculations are saying I “could” (you know those coulds) run a 1:36 something now, so I’ll keep chipping at it for a few more weeks until I race… And with that, let me announce… I am running the 22nd Annual NEWPORT HALF MARATHON!!!

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I am so excited to do this race! Looks like an amazing course, plus it’s super flat, and it’s just a few minutes away from NYC, via the path! And you could get an entry!!! See below for how to enter the GIVEAWAY for a free spot in this awesome race.

When/Where: Sunday, September 20, 2015. Racers take their mark at 8:30 a.m. Registration opens at 6:45 a.m. Newport Town Square, 100 Town Square Place, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

More Info on the Race: Jersey City’s popular half marathon championship marks its 22nd year! Recreational and elite runners from around the country can compete for $3,000 in prize money on a USA Track & Field-certified course that interweaves with the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway from Newport to Liberty State Park. The open-air race has been called the most beautiful course in the Tri-State area with spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge. Winnings and records will be awarded immediately after, during the Post-Race Party with refreshments, a local DJ and several prize drawings for gift cards and event tickets. All runners will receive finisher medals. Proceeds are being donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, the area’s newest regional teaching hospital, proving the highest level of care for women, infants, and trauma and heart patients. Registration: $50. More Info and Registration here: www.newporthalfmarathon.com 

If you’re doing your first half this Fall, make sure you got the basics covered:

– consistent training, don’t skip workouts

– at least one speed workout a week. It could be 800s, mile repeats, or a good tempo run! FUN!

– do at least a 5K or a 10K (better!) before the half so you practice racing (aka: pacing, hydration, pre-race fueling, race day gear, etc.) Race Rehearsal is super important!

– at least one long run every week. Doesn’t have to be long but at least get up to 7-8 miles a couple of times.

Now, if you’ve done a few halfs and you just want to get faster... how do we do that??? that’s the tricky part…  besides all those points above:

– speed workouts twice a week if you can handle them. Maybe do intervals mid week (800s, mile repeats, hill sprints) and a tempo with a few more miles after (to simulate a longish/hard run) on the weekend.

– practice race pace but not more than 4-5 miles.

– practice pacing, maybe you can do your tempos as a ladder (where each mile is faster than the last one)

– practice patience, the half is such a waiting game. You can’t go all out from the start and you need to learn to hold your horses: do a few races to practice this.

– DRILLS, at least twice a week! Here’s a good guide. It’ll improve your form and it’ll help you keep going on the later miles of the half.

And then, set an appropriate goal. Nothing too easy or you won’t be motivated, and nothing too hard that will crush you while trying. This is also really hard to do, as we have to learn to be realistic and humble. But that’s the good thing about running, right? It keep us honest (and fit!!).

So, who is doing the Newport Liberty Half Marathon with me?

Here’s how you enter to win a free entry! You have until August 17 to enter, we’ll select a random winner on August 18! And you can play as many times as you want!