2015 Brooklyn Half Race Report. Where do I even start?

Well, at the start line of course! The expo was fantastic, as usual, the race was great (minus baggage!) and my performance… well, I had so much fun trying not to melt… the weather was the big question mark leading up to the race… Is it going to rain?  I prefer rain to that stooopid humidity that doesn’t let you breathe… so, yeah, rain please! And then maybe sunny and hot after so we could enjoy the beach with the team? That’d be the perfect scenario really!!

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2014, sunny post beach picnic!

I had done this race a few times, had to go back and check, 5 times!

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SIX Brooklyn Half Marathon in the bag!

This was my 6th… so I feel like I have the course down, plus, you know I do all the crazy drawings and pace bracelet, and math… hey, planning is the FUN part!

Juan and I woke up at 3:50, left our apartment in the Upper East Side by 4:30 am to get on the 4:46 4 train to the start. There was another train 20 minutes later but it’d be too close to baggage closing and we don’t like to stress so we got very little sleep in exchange for the “no rushing” deal. The 4 train left us like a block from baggage at about 5:30… and then we had an hour and a half to kill where we caught up with pretty much all 26K runners and everyone who was working and volunteering.

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Anthony loooooooves pacing!

The biggest advantage of showing up so early?? Brand new portapotties!!!! I got in there twice, all smelled nice and was clean… so wonderful. The stuff dreams are made of. I prefer all of this luxury to an extra hour of sleep. And if you know me, there’s nothing NOT MUCH better than sleeping to me.

Anyway, Juan and I got into the 3rd corral LONG before there were lines in the porta-potties and saw a lot of friends and team-mates. Blaise and Patricia were meeting us there and Juan was going to run with them for a bit. We had a lot of time to discuss pleasantries like the course and mile splits. I was going for 1:39, or 1:40 but with the 100000% humidity I started to doubt I’d get under 1:40. I do ok in the heat, but I suck in the humidity, it just zaps me out for some reason. Anyone knows why? It must be a low-blood pressure thing. I was doubting myself, thinking about starting slow and just coasting. We’ll see, I thought.

We hear the national anthem, then Mary speaks: her last race!! UGH, I am beyond upset that she’s leaving, but I am sure things will be ok. I just hate change ;-) and I really like her. Peter and Mary blow the horn and I see the all my team mates and Juan go off. Bye bye. I hold back a bit. This was my plan if the weather let me know ma thing:

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I didn’t know if I could bit my NYC Half time (1:39 something) but why not try? Then, the humidity attacked. I felt it early on, half a mile in and I was DYING. MELTING. I just was burning up, same thing that happened last year, also half a mile in, at the Boston Marathon. I was roasting inside and wanted to take all my clothes off and jump into the ocean (but we gotta get there first?!?). I actually thought about taking the singlet off but it’s a mess with the bib there… so I gave up and as soon as I saw the first water stop I started the dives. I was throwing 3 cups of water on me (or as many as I could gracefully grab) per table. I really felt like giving up and slowing down. I didn’t think I could even go sub 1:40 so why bother?

Mile 1: 7:39

Mile 2: 7:50 So far so good.

I told myself to keep trying, maybe it’d start raining and things would get better. They didn’t get better, but you know, we all play those tricks on ourselves… What kept me busy: it was waaay too tight in the first two miles, and quite busy and messy until about mile 5 when things started to open up a bit, but definitely crowded. I almost got tripped a few times. UGH. Almost like the NYC Half. Also, I saw a lot of Whippets pass me on those first 3-4 miles, and a lot of people in general.But I already know how that works, so I don’t stress: 90% of them come back later.

Mile 3: 7:21

By Mile 4, I run into Marie Whickam, I love seeing her, we run a bit together until I saw a water table and I had to take another shower, which was adding many many seconds (at least 10) per mile. After a quarter mile, I caught up back to her again. I kept seeing this team mate, Adam, who was running quite even pace, so I tried to follow him too.

Mile 4: 7:44 not enough water!

I was having 1 cup of Gatorade per mile (which is INSANE!!!!! I know!!!) and all the water I could throw on me. Then, at the next water stop I decided I couldn’t wait anymore. I decided I would have my gel right there. I only had one but if the Gatorade was helping so much, maybe I needed the gel asap.

Mile 5: 8:12 where I had brunch

As you can see, per the pace, I had to stop to eat and drink…  Wow, the gel worked like a charm… I caught up to Marie in a second, and then Adam too. I was ON FIRE. It made me feel SO much better. I don’t tend to have gels or that many Gatorade in a half but apparently I really needed it. I felt like I was speeding up a lot as I left the park.

Mile 6: 7:56 still digesting

Soon I left Adam and I started picking up a LOT of people. There wasn’t anyone passing me anymore and I made a point, at mile, 8 to grab another gel at the gel stop and eat it. I just didn’t want to feel like I was dying again… I kept picking people up. SO MANY. I love this long stretch of the race…

Mile 7:21 let’s do this!

Mile 8: 7:26

Mile 9: 7:20

I saw a few team-mates on my way and chatted them up a bit. We were all feeling it a bit and I just felt like I had to keep pushing. Around here I saw Blaise going about 8 pace and I asked WTF and told him to come with me. He was shooting for 1:33, so it was shock to see him there. I am not sure if he tried to follow, but he didn’t, he didn’t have a good race.

Mile 10: 7:14

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Shot from last year… when I run it a bit less worried with time!!!!

Mile 11: 7:14

AH, a tiny little mist. Not quite rain but something!!! I felt so grateful!!! I knew I was close and I just had to close it in. But I wasn’t sure if I had enough for a really fast last mile. I started looking at the pace bracelet and I saw I as a few seconds behind. Nothing a 6:30 mile can’t fix… but I doubted I had that me.

Mile 12: 7:04 is that a mini rain I am feeling???

My team was there! Scott shouted “Pick it up Elizabeth” I smiled and pretended to go faster but… I probably I did a fast 400 there and that was it. Michelle gave me high five, thank you guys!

Mile 13: 7:02 slippery boardwalk, let’s do this!

Finish: 1:39:10

Well, there you have it. I tried my best (in the last 100 meters!) to go sub 1:39 just because, but didn’t happen. Whatever! 16 seconds faster than the NYC Half earlier this year, but given the weather (and how I felt), I’ll TAKE it. Also, I was a bit overweight. I know you can’t tell and I look amazing and all that, but my scale doesn’t lie, and the chafing in between my tights is REAL too. OUCH. Actually, that’s how I usually know I put on some weight; it hurts there. I blame the little Miami vacation the week before (mental note, vacations are AFTER the race, not before!!!!). So, these are not excuses, just a way to measure how happy I am with my time (maybe 30 seconds extra for the weather, and 5 seconds per each extra pound… it’s a flat 1:38 in my head!!!). I am still FAR FAR FAR from my 1:37 PR but if I can bang out a 1:39 consistently, how can I really complain??? I am not far.

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:39:10 Average Pace: 7:34

Previous PR: 1:37:35 From: March, 2013

Age Grading: 68.60% 

Overall Place: 2511 of 26,482

Gender Place: 443 of  14,216

Age Place: 35 of 1,403

Wait a second… 35th in my AG out of 1403??? What? that’s insane.

Another way to look at my splits:

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Seems about right, I would have loved for the last 5K to be a bit faster but the rest seems ok. Now,  I’ll say this to ALL OF YOU who run: 90% of you are starting WAY too FAST. You know what I mean. Look at your splits. I know it’s hard to hold it in, but it pays, I promise you!!! You want proof?? proof you say? There’s so much!!! (I like to do this exercise once in a while to remind myself during races why I need to let people go in the early miles). These are the 12 people who finished with me, in 1:39:10 exactly, 6 before, 6 after.

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I am the orange, so you don’t get lost. We all finished at the same time, right? the fun part is WHERE they all were at the 10K mark. If you think about it, that’s the slowest point of the race, the 2nd 5k is the hardest, you just climbed all the hills this race has, so, if you’re going to slow down, that’s when you’d be at your slowest point, and save your speed for the last 5 flat and fast miles right? Ok, look, I was at 48:39 by 10K, ten out of those twelve were one or two full minutes ahead of me. That is a lot in a 10k, and a lot more in this type of course (where that 2nd 5k, the 10K point should be your slowest). Seven of those twelve where still one or two minutes ahead at the 15K mark, the rest started to drop back. By the finish, I had closed on all of them. I know this because I saw a lot of people passing me earlier on than I caught later, but this shows a LOT. Only two out of those 12 were able to hold it past the 10K mark. Don’t ever forget this, you now have proof that people that go out too fast will come back to you. Even if you don’t believe negative splits is the way to go, at least even effort should do it, and in this course, your first 10K is the slowest of the two… any questions!??!?!?

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As soon as I crossed the finish line, I got my third hug from MaryW of the week, saw Richie, then Patricia, then Keith… and soon Juan. And it started POURING. Now??? now you’re going to pour on me!!??!?! WTF!!!!!! whatever….

We got some mylar blankets, pretzels, apple, and kept going towards baggage… and then… a scene worse than the humidity: major chaos at baggage. Actually, it needs caps: MAJOR CHAOS AT BAGGAGE. If this was Fox news, it’d be a: THE BAGGAGE SH!TSHOW type of headline. I seriously considered going home wet and cold but I really needed my phone and keys… It was such a clusterf*ck, I’d consider not bringing a bag if the weather was better next time. A MESS. There was just one truck for 2 thousand people, corral 2 and 3. The first UPS truck (0 and 1) was fine, the 4-5 was fine… OURS was A MESS. There was a mob of about 300 (500??) people shouting and putting their bibs up in the air. Shameful. Truly awful. And stinky, of course.

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From left: My apple and I, Juan, Patricia, Blaise

Juan and Blaise didn’t have a great race but Patricia KILLED it. She had been doing 1:36 since September in about 5 halves, so frustrating! She did 1:33!!! As we train together, that means, I can now start shooting for 1:36!!! haha, thanks Patricia, her PR is my incentive!

Eventually we grabbed our bags, warmed up, and walked to the train. I wanted a Boston creme from DD but it was too crowded. Rain = No beach post race picnic. We just hobbled home, showered and skipped to Bareburger, as usual after a race.

Oh well. If you run Saturday, I don’t know if you saw, there were MANY runners down. Passed out, getting CPR, a friend told me there were 6 runners in the Coney Island ER alone, so I can imagine it was quite bad. I can’t be the only one affected by that humidity. A really good friend of mine hobbled the last mile and a half just trying not to pass out. So scary. Just promise me you’ll always keep an eye on your health instead of your speed first, ok? So many people fainted, that could have been any of us. Also remember to update your emergency info and buy a road id!!!

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And now… I wasn’t really expecting much from this race. But I will, come Fall go for IT. I really want to PR. well, I would like to. That means, sub 1:37. I will shoot for 1:36. And do whatever it takes to get there by September.

Before I close the door though, three weird things: this was probably the first race in years that I don’t have one picture on the course!!! I got a tan on my legs, you can clearly see the short’s line. I had my headset on the whole time but I didn’t feel like listening to music. I tried twice but it was throwing me off so I must’ve listened to music for about 20, SO WEIRD.

NYRR Brooklyn Half Expo

Why a post about an “expo”, right? Really, they call it a “pre-party” and it’s totally fun, which is why I am sharing! This pre-party is beyond fun every year… I was there yesterday for like about 3 hours, not easy if you know me. I get bored in 5 minutes! It has a great view, lots of activities, lots of food (GOOD food, I mean, delicious!), and everyone you’d want to hang out with. NYRR has the training section where they do talks about the course and a race predictor. The Team for Kids booth has the most awesome people (Sid and Asteria) and delicious lip balms, New Balance has the coolest gear, there’s bands playing, people hanging: the place to be! We got LOTS of great swag, including these awesome sunglasses that I didn’t take a picture of, and all the fun you’ll see below. Make sure you give yourself a few hours if you’re going, or sign up for the Brooklyn Half next year, even if you hate running, just for the pre-party fun!

If you need the Brooklyn Half elevation profile, it’s here, just thank me later! ;-)

NYRR Japan Run, 4 Miler… no sleep until Brooklyn!

Another weekend, another race. I spent all last weekend and the first half of the week out of town, in Miami, doing nothing, and I thought I was keeping things in check… I didn’t.  I was running every day, trying to watch what I ate, and still came back with 5  pounds extra, major UGH.  I even did 6x400s, in 85% humidity and by myself, wich you can imagine is a pretty crazy type of hell. I was signed up for yet another 4 miler (the 4th this year, third in 5 weeks!) for Sunday so when I got back home I tried to reel the craziness in… I had been shaving 6 seconds off the 4 Miler every time and if I got rid of 7 seconds this time… it’d be a PR. Keep in mind, I haven’t PRed in TWO YEARS! UGH!!!!!

Sunday rolled around and it was like 300% humid. It was a SOUP outside. It was usually overcast, but as soon as the race was about to start it got sunny: EVEN WORSE. I got my corral and I figured I would even be able to do what I had done 2 weeks before: 28:06, but… it’s a great workout, so just get it done.

I had some team mates in the corral but I couldn’t find anyone to pace off. Fine. We get moving and it was UGH gross. I just kept telling myself to get it done. I knew Juan, who was signed for the race but had been sick all week and decided to skip it, would be cheering at Engineers Gate, so I just focused on that. A lot of people passed me on the first half a mile. Oh well. Soon enough, there’s the husband!

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That was too quick, I was gone in a second…

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By the way, sidenote, I bought a bunch of running bras with the backs all different and with little straps to AVOID the runner-girl racer-back tanning marks. I am on a mission!! See, some more:

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very important, I know! Back to the race… I left and tried my best to keep the pace. Mile 2 is the flattest flatter.

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the 102 transverse is usually fine but as soon as I make that left turn onto the Westside, i always feel like death: I know what’s coming… an awful string of ups and downs and not even 100 meters flat… This is when the mental game starts and I have to start picking people one by one. I am not sure it was the weather or what but people were melting a LOT more than me…. I was on a conveyor belt, as hard as it felt to breathe, but yes, going slower at the start always works in your favor, mostly when it’s nasty like this. If you save very little, you’ll have NOTHING left. just breathing alone will make you suffer. It was quite nasty. I see the photographer at the finish line… he sees me… and this magic happens all over the NYRR Gallery

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not to be mean but check how everyone around me started in a corral ahead of me (numbers are lower, they’re faster runners) and they were all melting…!

The result, 11 seconds slower than the last one (so not so bad), and 18 seconds off from what I really wanted.

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Still, like I said, I think I did great overall compared to everyone else!

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:16 Average Pace: 7:04

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 70.31% 

Overall Place: 419 of 5580

Gender Place: 36 of 2580

Age Place: 3 of 304

check of the rest… I was the 36th woman of 2580…??? that’s INSANE…. I get that a lot of people are saving themselves for the Brooklyn Half next week, but really, what’s better than a nice short hard effort to tune it up?!?!?! I rather do these little tempos (though I did add 6 more miles after!!!!) the week before a half instead of a “long” run… speed is where it’s at!!! Speaking of Brooklyn, we shall see. If the weather is like yesterday, I am gonna take it easy, because… I am NOT crazy! We shall see….

Now, I wonder… I did the NYC Half in 1:39 2 months ago exactly. Brooklyn Half and NYC Half have a similar course, elevation-wise. Given 2 good training months in the middle, and assuming great weather (which, I doubt it, as NYC Half was PERFECT), how much can a person speed up? I’d say a minute is a safe bet, but on the other hand… my training partner Patricia has been hitting the same 1:36 finish time since September, and she trains like a crazy person… I am probably going to shoot for 1:40 and adjust based on the weather. Deal? Thoughts?

FYI, if you still need the course elevation for Brooklyn, it’s here.

April is OVER? that was fast!

here’s my little recap of April (and this year so far!)

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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Race Report: Run as One, 4Miler. Getting CLOSE.

Another 4 miler yesterday. The last one, two weeks ago exactly, had gone great and I did 28:12. This one, the Run as One, was the exact same course but I decided to switch up my shoes. I decided to pick up my racing Saucony type A5 which is one my lightest pairs… They’re just 5 ounces and about 4mm offset. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it, but it turns out, it made a huge difference. You have to think of everything when you’re just trying to save a few seconds!

As usual, Juan and I walked/jogged the 1.5 miles to the start. I only had like 4 ounces of coffee and a gel. It’s better if I don’t eat before these races… I usually end up dry-heaving at the finish line, sooo: less is more. The walk was gorgeous!!! Last week when we did the More Half and this week… it’s been great, all the trees are blooming and it smells DELICIOUS!

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Gorgeous, right??? Amazing. April and October are just the best in the park!

So, we got to the start, undressed, and headed for the corrals. I found so many friends in my corral! I asked everyone who was going for about 7:02 pace and got not takers. Soon, it was go time. This time, I had my watch and music again. After three races with neither, I decided to add those up to the equation again. Still tinkering with this a bit! Still, I didn’t look at my splits the whole race, I guess I’ve gotten used to running naked…  The race happened fast, nothing to report, other than in the last mile I picked up a LOT of people (that probably went out too fast) and ended dry-heaving again for 20 seconds at the finish.

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28:06!!! that’s… 6 seconds faster than 2 weeks ago!! Wohooooo!!! And 6 seconds away from my TWO YEAR OLD PR!!!!! it’s gonna happen people!!! SOOON!!!!!!!!!! OR else.

Now, notice how I run ALL the tangents…

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Why are you friends not doing tangents??? yes, it’s very crowded, but sometimes, usually after mile 2, there’s space to do this! SO many people out there running on the wrong side of the road… !!!!

Now check out my laps (disregard the one I lapped over, as I hadn’t heard the click). I love looking at my splits after…

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I obsess over this stuff. I care so much more about pacing properly than the finish time. I think this one went great. If the average pace was 7:02, a 7:18 start (up Cat Hill no less) is quite conservative and great. Mile 2 is always the fastest and the only one with no hills, so it’s bound to be fast. Mile 3 is usually when I start to slow down a LOT, but somehow I was able to hold it here, I don’t remember hurting that much either. And Mile 4 HAS to be the fastest, which yes!!! Very happy with how this went. Though I didn’t have a clue what pace I was doing where. Running by effort is SO MUCH EASIER!!!

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I saw Juan soon and my team mates. We hung out for a bit! I was HUNGRY.

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:06 Average Pace: 7:02

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 70.74% 

Overall Place: 664 of 8,098

Gender Place: 63 of 3,910

Age Place: 6 of 445

This is very good-looking. I like the over 70% percent there, given that is usually my goal and 6th in my Age Group is not so bad either in one of these races. I was quite pleased with myself for having cut off another 6 seconds in two weeks… If I can get rid of an extra 7 seconds for the next 4 miler in two weeks, that’d be a PR!!!! I am SOOO CLOSE I can smell it!!!

Gossip from Meb -from the #RunningStrong talk

OMG, so last night a really good friend offered Juan and I tickets to go see Meb at the 92Y (a fantastic gym a few blocks from us that holds these sort of talks every day, with mega stars like Hillary Clinton or Neil Patrick Harris, same level, right? shut up, I love NPH SO MUCH!). Aaaaanyway, we got there early and we were the first in the premium tickets line. Met my friend Carolina there and we all set up in the first row. YEY, score!
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So, here’s a few notes my phone took, because, MEB.
–Because of the war, they moved from Eritrea to Italy when he was ten, there’s no running there, so he played soccer: In Italy, they called me Pele.
–Talking about goals and how he’d been able to stay competitive for s long: I am really looking forward to May 6 when I turn 40 and no one is looking for me to do much! No more pressure!
— He talked about injuries a lot, how anything bad that happened was there to make you work on that part of your body/training so you could come back stronger: Experience is the best teacher there is.
–He also talked a lot about the importance of plyometrics, and how not even elite athletes are doing enough of them. He thinks that’s what sets up him apart, how he’s always thinking of new ways to work or stretch his body: When was the last time you went backwards?  (little sidenote, I was the only one who said “today!!!” Patricia and I had done plyos that day and we run backwards a lot, if you need help with these, here)
–Talking about pre-race rituals: “90% of training is physical and the 10% is mental. On Race day, it’s 90% mental. There is a lot of decisions that are made on the course and you have to be prepared, look at your competitors form, check their breathing, know that their flaws are...”
–When asked if he liked to run with other people: “It’s hard to train with other runners because there’s always drama. Sometimes they want to drop you, sometimes they want to push you, I gotta keep watching my watch! But what happens in Flagstaff stays in Flagstaff”
–When asked what was his favorite marathon: New York City.
This man is so so inspiring… he talked a lot about the hard work it took for him to get over every single injury, hours and hours of PT, you know, things we might not have the patience with… all over OVERCOMING.
Jordan Metzl was there too, with his doctor point of view and his message that exercise cures everything and every doctor should prescribe more of it, which, you know, I agree with 500%  HELLO
And, emmm, Malcolm Gladwell was there… I had no idea who he was (shhh don’t tell him) though his name sounded really really familiar. I have to say, now, I am OBSESSED with him. He’s super funny. Funny and Smart and funny AND smart…! and a Runner obviously, so I’ll have to go check out his books ASAP. or in YouTube or whatever, anywhere. I might start stalking him. He is amazing. I might buy him a sweater.
The host/moderator was great too Jacob Weisberg, probably the best job I’ve ever seen anyone do at something like this, no lulls, no awkward moments, all fun and friends. It was a great night!! PLUS, I was in bed by 10!
Get their books people, they all seem worth it!!!

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Photo Credit: Jordan Metzel from twitter

2015 Boston Marathon – as a very wet spectator

Just click, it’s a crazy slideshow

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I’ve counted, and I’ve been to the Boston Marathon 5 times, 2 to race and 3 to spectate, including this past Monday. I think I’ll be in the spectating side next year too. As I was busy Sunday pacing the NYRR More Fitness Half Marathon, I didn’t decide to go up to Boston to cheer until the last minute… which means, after running 13.1, I slept a few hours and woke up at 5 to make it to Boston at 11 am. By 11:30 Lauren and I were at Mile 25, where we had planned to watch, and we merely caught the elite women by 2 minutes! Talk about perfect timing!!! Soon enough, we caught up with Daphne and we settled a bit before the Citgo sign, by the water station, it was empty there and we had a great visual, lots of space, and music. We saw the elite men go by and then the rest!!! We saw so many Whippets on the course (lots of them with sub3s), Carolina, who waved her arms telling me WTF, and then I’d get the same confused reaction from everyone on the course looking at me like who the hell are you? well, I was wearing 100 layers so I apologize that I confused you all!!! It was cold and rainy… what could I do?

I have to say, all morning I felt awful about the weather and wondered what would I have done if faced with that weather? It seemed AWFUL. It wasn’t just cold or wet.  It was 40s AND pouring rain, AND wind. WTF!!!!! For what I’ve been hearing since then, “it wasn’t as bad”, “it was better than it looked”, “I am sure it was worse for the spectators than us”, which makes me feel really good. And no, I have no idea what I would have done. Why worry with things I don’t have to deal with? Plus, many many friends had insanely huge PRs so maybe I’ll believe them that it wasn’t so bad…

It was a spectacle to see those runners right at Mile 25. Some looked really bad (HEY, Mile 25!!!!) but some people looked strong and happy. The disparity was insane. I also wondered for hours what would I have worn… why am I overthinking a race I didn’t do?!?!? I am weird. I am sure you’re too, so shut up.

We then walked all the way back to South Station, yes, from mile 25, like 3 miles, because the T was major chaos. I got my little backpack checked 72 times, which was amazing. The finish line area wasn’t crowded at all, it actually seemed really peaceful. The one other thing that I thought about that shocked me was this: every time I go cheer at a race I feel like a stooopid idiot that should have signed up and raced. Always. Always. I always feel race-envy when I am a spectator. I didn’t this time, at all. Maybe I am really over the marathon. Or maybe it was the dreadful weather. Nah.

Good job guys, I am SURE it was tough out there… and no matter what, training through this past winter earns you all the virtual PRs and BQs the course might not have brought, I say! GREAT JOB RUNNERS!!!!! ENJOY THE SPOILS!! (donuts?)