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!

Training Update

I know it’s been 3 weeks since my last post but things are STABLE, which is my favorite state ;-)

Since my last race, and PR, at the Achilles – hope and possibility 5Miler, I’ve been running. Not a lot of miles, about 25 miles a week, doing speed work twice a week, and a few easy runs. I opted out of most races I wanted to do in July because I felt I needed to train a bit more, but I’ll be back racing this weekend or next for sure, I miss it!!!

I am struggling to do two speed workouts a week: I am tired on all my runs!!! I’ve reduced the amount of intervals, I’ve slowed down and I am still tired when I start. When I get going, I nail the goal of the workouts, but I wish I felt springier and ready to go at the start… I think that if I can hit the pace, it’s all ok. Here’s an example of the last 3 weeks:

dsds

Notes:

1- I write some intervals by pace instead of time. I know that’s SUPER weird, but  I am SO BAD at timing myself that many times I forget to start or lap or whatever, so I’ll have laps that are .0.23 or 0.26, this is easier. Even the ones I did at the track, sometimes I miscount laps and I have “miles” that are 0.75!! UGH.

2- most of these runs, I’d say 80% of them, started with me saying something like this feels awful. I am always tired. I am not sure if it’s because I don’t warm up with drills or what. When I am doing a hard run, I feel better towards the middle. When I am doing an easy runs, I just suffer through the whole thing. Apparently going hard is easier than going easy. Figure that!

3- it’s been quite hot and humid but I don’t know that it has affected much of these workouts. So I am ruling that out.

4- Mileage is low: I’ve only had  4 weeks the 30 miles a week this year. These are my monthly totals:

monthly

5- I have never before done speedwork twice a week. I do intervals on Tuesday: 400s, or 800s or ladders or whatever. And then I alternate Saturdays between Mile Repeats and Tempos. Tempos are around 7:10 to 7:20 and Mile Reps at about 6:45 to 6:55.

6- I’ve been doing my running drills every week. Some weeks TWICE

7- My Target Race (a Half Marathon) is exactly two months out. I am hoping to break 1:37 (which is my PR). What would you change/add/do???

Nuts June – 6 races and the ONE long-sought PR!

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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NYRR Achilles Hope and Possibility, 5 Miler… FINALLY

Another weekend, another race. Seems like races is all I write about lately! Well, I just counted, and I did SIX races in June… 87 miles total and 18 of those were racing! wow, 87 is not much… but there was a lot of tapering before races and resting after races… Sometimes the racing bug bites me and you know there’s no antidote for that… July looks a bit race-less, well, probably 4 races (all my races are listed here if anyone is interested) but I am hoping I can stop this madness and get some more quality training and miles in! Fingers crossed.

Every year, I do the Pride Run. It’s SO fun and a points race, and always spectate and cheer at the Achilles Hope and Possibility. It’s wild that we have 2 5 milers back to back on a weekend but the Achilles race is amazing to watch. So inspiring. Check out the race pictures here if you never have.

On Saturday, Carolina and I had planned to go cheer at the Pride Run. I took a lot of pictures that you can see here, but I’ll leave you with this craziness:

pride run nyc cheering tutu spectating carolina pena

We cheered our freaking legs out! My hair is TOO LONG.

Sunday, I woke up early. Juan was already up as he had planned to bike but it had been raining, so he was just going for a long run… I got ready, had TWO cups of coffee and set out to run the 1.5 mile to the start by myself.

I had two things in my mind going into this race:

  • the weight. I had been hovering at 106 for the last 3 weeks since I was sick. And my last two races, I felt flat. Was I tired from the 5K a couple of days earlier or was this weight catching up? I asked Juan, he gave me very politically correct “you know your body better than anyone else”. I love him. I was fine last Saturday at the 5K I won, then I was flat and had no kick in the 5K three days later and the Mile on Sunday. Nothing. We’d find out soon what was happening. Am I weak or was I just not recovered?
  • Something told me I was going to do well in the this race. This, I didn’t mention to anyone. I was 100% sure. Since the day I signed up. I have no idea why. I found myself thinking of mantras when running to the start line, which I never do. I was ready to set myself on fire and blast out of the gates. Maybe it was the two coffees but I was 105% sure.

I run into Juan on my run to the start.

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I look so tall!

We kissed and he said he’d be at Engineers Gate, waiting to cheer: that’s mile 2. Weather was fine.

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A bit humid but it was overcast. I barely felt the humidity to tell you the truth. When the heart is fired up, there’s no slowing down for the little things!!!! I had checked my post about my 5 Miler PR, which was in the 2010 Pride Run with 35:37, and a 7:07 pace, memorized the splits, did all the homework, I was ready…

Carolina had signed up but she got there later and never saw her! I lined up, saw a team mate Adam in the corral, chit chatted around a bit, and heard all the speeches. Jon Stewart was there as usual, being funny and fantastic.

achilles hope and possibility pictures nyrr jon steward results central park (3)

A bit blurry because my iphone was in a sandwich bag in case it rained. Which did. BUT AFTER THE RACE!!! :-(

Soon enough, there’s the gun and hand-cyclists go. 10 minutes later, the runners go. And we are off. I trailed behind a girl wearing a purple tnt shirt for about a half mile, and then broke free. I had started a it harder than usual, but it was sustainable pace. Mile 1: 6:50. Mile 1 was mostly flat, Mile 2 on the other hand, has Cat Hill on it. I kept truckin’ trying not to slip off the pace: Mile 2: 6:59. that’s fine for the hill mile! Still on pace for a PR. As soon as I clicked Mile 2 and headed to EG, I relaxed: this is going to be the fastest mile and Juan was there… Hey!!!!

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He yelled at me, I yelled at him. And as soon as that happened I heard my name also coming from a few other directions. I turned left and I saw Stuart! If you don’t know Coach Stuart Calderwood, you should! He’s a freaking legend!! He’s got a bunch of American records and one of those “sub 3 marathons in every decade” titles, plus he has a 28 year running streak (that’s EVERY DAY people!!!) and he’s super fast, and a NYRR Coach, and really fast. Plus, I get to run with him once in a while. Well, he shouted, then I heard someone else, then someone screams from the bridal path (turned out to be Eric), I look down and my heart rate had spiked from all the excitement. NO!!! Focus Elizabeth!!!!! Mile 3: 6:47. FAST YEAH! I have to admit, mile 4 is when I start to hurt and question everything in life. I wanted to quit, or go slower, or sit down. “Don’t give up in your head because then your body gives up” one million times. I always slow down in this mile (same in a 10K) and it’s just a matter of saving enough for the last mile!!! Hang on. Mile 4: 7:16. It’s ALLRIGHT. Just one mile to go. I spent all of mile 4 doing the math: if I hit Mile 4 about 28 minutes, I can PR. that was all I came up with. Of course, when I got to the clock, I forgot to look… haha. The last mile is a tough one, but I was ready to hit it hard. As soon as I leave the reservoir, Stuart, who had crossed over from the east side, joins me and keeps pace with me. He was telling me stuff, I feel awful but I have no idea what he was saying. I do remember something about trying to catch 2 girls who were ahead of me, and I knew I just didn’t have enough for that. It was not a chase race for me, it was a race to try to PR and I had to keep my head on my pace. I tried to navigate all those little hills as careful as I could but my breathing was SUPER loud and I knew I was annoying everyone around me. I always feel so bad. Some guy even turned around from about 4 yards ahead of me. Oh well. I tried my best. I really felt like I didn’t have the kick I usually have but I got the job done: Mile 5: 6:45.

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Yeah, that happened. I crossed the finish, freaked out at the time, dry-heaved for a bit, thanked Stuart for the company, finally started breathing, saw a lot of people vomiting, and then I looked at my watch. 34:36. That’s ONE MINUTE and ONE SECOND PR.

2015-06-30 08.54.41

WHAT!!!!!!

That’s a bit much huh? Is my watch really working?

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Well, I have the 5 miles so I think yeah. I got overly excited really fast. Then Carolina showed up and we took some pictures!

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OMG look at her stomach!! and she has FOUR KIDS! Plus she’s a sub 3 marathoner. Crap, I have to think of a good excuse, quick!!!!!

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someone was happy…!

well, it’s official. I PRed. After 2 years, 2 months and whatever, it finally happened. by a minute, which is A LOT in 5 miler!!!! Also, I am FIVE years older since the day of the PR… crazy.

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 34:36 Average Pace: 6:56

Previous PR: 35:37 From: June, 2010

Age Grading: 72.28% 

Overall Place: 157 of 3,318

Gender Place: 19 of 1,627

Age Place: 2 of 389

I am ALSO happy about the Age Grading of 72%. I’ve been getting to 70% often this year, but 72% is the highest so far, EVER.

Carolina and I grabbed some Shake Shack they had at the finish, plus some goodies, coffee at Le Pain and walked home in the rain.

achilles hope and possibility pictures nyrr jon steward results central park (18) achilles hope and possibility pictures nyrr jon steward results central park (19)

I was soooo hyper  from the two coffees and the race time, I had no clue I was walking through the whole city soaking wet… oh well. Juan was so happy… we celebrated with more Shake Shack and then some 16 handles. Because.

I am so happy it finally happened.

So, apparently this weight is ok. I still feel like I have no kick at the end, but turns out I am running faster from the gun, instead of saving more for later… it works. Doesn’t feel AS GOOD but I’ll take it!

Harlem One-Mile Race – that’s THREE medals in 8 days (2 podiums and 1 AG win)

In case you forgot, I had raced (and WON!) the Alive and Running 5K last Saturday (as if I could let anyone forget!!!), then on Wednesday I raced the Al Goldstein Summer Series 5K and got a medal for 1st in my AG and then… Sunday, I showed up at the Harlem United One Miler… I wasn’t sure if I’d be recovered from the last two 5ks in the last week but  I really wanted to support my friend Allison who was working really hard for this event. I invited everyone I could to could help with the turnout; plus, the more the merrier, right? A mile is always better with friends!!!

The race was a loop and a bit around Marcus Garvey Park, the little green memorial we circle on mile 22 of the NYC Marathon, still Juan and I run waaaay past it on our way there… We had to turn around and got a bit lost… I think the 92% humidity got to our heads, and I had about 3 miles in me before the race!!! That’s a GOOD warm up!!! ugh.

When we finally made it, there was already a nice crowd, got our bibs and spotted Daphne after a bit!

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Juan and I, never giving up on selfies, though they SUCK

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Check out the shirt on Lesley’s boy. TOO AWESOME!

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Daphne and I, photobombed! LOVE!

Anyway, the men were racing first, there were some pictures, then about 60 guys lined up (I have no idea, I could have been 40 or 100), I only knew Kevin in the race, and he ended up winning it. By a lot. #BEAST.

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO View More: http://dapingluo.pass.us/harlem-one-miler-2015

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO View More: http://dapingluo.pass.us/harlem-one-miler-2015

Around 10:30 am, as soon as the sun goes out of course, the women’s heat goes. Lesley, who is a super fast runner says her husband did 5:17 so she should be around there. I made a mental note to not even look at her back. Obviously. My fastest mile was 6:05 and that was a week before my 3:27 marathon. I am NOT in 6:05 shape so… Stuart said I’d do around 6:15 or 6:20 if I remember right, but I just wanted to see where I was, didn’t have much expectations. Plus, I had two 5Ks still in my legs weighing me down a bit. Oh, and it was 91% humidity, did I say that?

Soon enough we get moving to the line and the gun goes off.

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

I see a LOT of women take off (as usual) and I just focus on my pace (as usual too). Lesley was flying, the rest… too early to tell. A minute in, I knew who was going to come back. And there’s Juan before the corner taking pictures!

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that was the front of the race at about 200 meters in, Lesley in white, literally flying, a girl in long tights, and Deirdre chasing Lesley in the pink top

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See how far behind I was??? I am not even kidding when I tell you I don’t go out hard and focus on my pace. It’s hard to tell in those first 60 seconds who will stay ahead and who won’t, so just gotta RUN YOUR OWN RACE!

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Obv I see my husband and I smile. check behind me, pink top and black shorts, is Daphne, who is also running a smart race as she’ll finish right in the same place with me!

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No, Elizabeth no, you’re NOT stopping for a kiss here, don’t do it!!!! SOOO Tempting.

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I cant remember much of the race, so I have no idea why I am smiling, with so many people getting away from me…

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more shots just because I love this bra/shorts combination and because Juan took about 500 pictures and I felt bad putting up just 3 ;-)

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Actually, I love the old buildings around this block. there was a super nice building by the start with flowers… I should have taken MORE pictures!

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Then we turn, we go by the finish line and keep going. I think by then I had passed two women. As soon as I turned on 120th st, I had passed one lady who wished me luck, so sweet, I had close my mouth,  swallow and wish her luck too which was REALLY hard. On the next turn, on Madison Avenue, I saw only Deirdre and Lesley were ahead of me, by A LOT. Deirdre was about 15 seconds away, so there was no catching her. Lesley was barely a little tiny speck waaaay ahead. I had no idea what was happening behind me and couldn’t really look (stay focused) but I didn’t hear any one close at all. I get to the corner of 124 where we turn left again and there’s an ambulance parked there… no tangent: damn!!! that’s when I started to push a bit more, with about 600 to go. I turn again towards the finish, clench my teeth, look for the fifth gear… and NOTHING. NOTHING nothing. I felt so flat the whole race… My legs were pretty ok but there was nothing in my lungs to use up at the end, as I always do. Oh well.

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Juan was by the finish taking these pictures obviously: Lesley winning in 5:24

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Deirdre taking second with 6:07

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and here comes little me, in THIRD place!!!! SO exciting. Juan starts yelling, the announcer asks him my name, I hear the announcer cheering me in, wow.

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the death stare. If I look at it fiercely enough, the finish line will move towards me, I swear!!!!!

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and this is what I do when I am in PAIN: my teeth just clench and hold it all there!

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besides my crazy face -hey, its amile and theres the finish!!!- I love those buildings in the back!!!!!!

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And…. DONE!!!!!!!! PHEW

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OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO. I think this is quite probably one of the most amazing pictures I’ve seen on Juan and I (and you know there’s MILLIONS). His face is precious. You guys know I love this guy so much but I don’t think he could be a 1% more supportive. He got up with me, run there with me, waited, took pictures, run back with me, basically wasted about 5 hours to watch me race 1 mile and take pictures, and he enjoys that. I am so lucky.

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

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OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

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yep, feels like dying. Though… I felt a LOT worse at the last two 5Ks than this. Weird.

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someone gave me a medal…

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there’s Daphne at the finish too!!! We’re done!!!

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HAD to take this picture. how awesome is that building???

So, we just hung out by the finish for a while. Oh, I got a gift card to Harlem Shake for third place. First time I ever get a gift I can use for placing in a race!!! YEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We then watched the family heat, everyone running with their families, kids, dogs, soooo fun and cute. I really do love cheering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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that’s Allison, who put this race together with her team, yep, she founded an awesome team called We Run Harlem! I love this woman and I am so proud of her!!!

Then we took a LOT of pictures. A lot of people took a lot of pictures.

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OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO View More: http://dapingluo.pass.us/harlem-one-miler-2015

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO View More: http://dapingluo.pass.us/harlem-one-miler-2015

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO View More: http://dapingluo.pass.us/harlem-one-miler-2015

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO View More: http://dapingluo.pass.us/harlem-one-miler-2015

and then the awards ceremony by the finish line. harlem run 1 miler unitedharlem mile marcus gravey park run harlem (38)I was so tired… between the morning humid 3 mile run there, the race, the heat… I wanted to jump in a pond…

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

OFFICIAL RACE PHOTO by DA PING LUO

Juan and I run back home, ended with 9 miles total and then we just went crazy… lunch was ridiculous and then we walked all the way to the west side to get me some dulce de leche/dark chocolate beard pappa cream puffs…. I NEEDED THEM. A bit later, we could barely walk back. We were both destroyed, he had a tough week of work out of town and an intense bike ride Saturday and I… my life was catching up to me.  Now I have a week to the next race and I need to make sure I am recovered!!!!

Oooops, I did it again: PPTC Al Goldstein Speed Series 5K

Because apparently I have a substance abuse problem (besides sushi) and I can’t stop. You know, I am not really really racing, but I do treat my weekly racing as the best workout I can do all week. When do you ever go as hard in a workout? If you’re in a race.. then, you do! I believe 100% in racing yourself into race shape! Plus, you do learn a lot about pacing, and nutrition, and gear, etc. Then, there’s the other things, that you can’t figure out… how I do so well when I haven’t slept, or felt like crap, or have a stooopid race when it should have been great or conditions were perfect. Still trying to figure that out, any tips?

So the Prospect Park Track Club puts these awesomely fun 5Ks every other Wednesdays in Brooklyn, at 7 pm, and it’s a great chance for me to get out of Central Park for a bit and do a tough 3 miles all out. That means, having just done a 5K on Saturday, that I had to skip my beloved Tuesday Speed workout… oh well. Sunday I did 5 miles easy with 2x800s in there, Monday was an easy 6, and then just rested Tuesday and Wednesday. Which, you know, not really rested, but didn’t run…

The fun part about these night races is all the stress about what do I eat? when do I eat it? I do all day. For future reference, I OF COURSE, had sushi at 12 (chirashi, though I skipped the salad), then lots of water and tea and coffee by 4 pm. Then more water. (you watch, next time I won’t remember, won’t reread this, and do something stoopid).

Flor, Tessa and I were having a fun time. Turns out there’s this whole new restaurant there at the start in the park, with a big rink and a burger place. So cool.

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By the way, this race, 3 years ago is my 5K PR, 21:09 from 2012. I went back to check my mile splits, so I’d knew during the race how far off I was. 1: 7:23, 2: 6:30, 3: 7:03. Good to have something to pace off!

The race start is a 5 minutes walk down from there. About 6:50 we headed there and then we waited and waited… eventually we got going, I see about 20 women ahead of me, but it could have been 40 or 10, who knows… the first 3 or 4 minutes everyone is just trying to figure out their pacing. Tessa was going to run with me because she swore she hadn’t done any speed since Brooklyn Half and didn’t want to race. AH. I told her, if she felt bored with my pace, or just wanted to, to go. She left me after about a minute!!!! hahaha, so happy to see her go chase her speed! There’s one hill in Prospect Park, and I knew it was on mile 1. I have no idea when I went up the hill: I didn’t even notice it!!!!! ha, when does that happen? Mile 1: 7:24. Well, close to my previous race in 2012!!! OKAY. Mile 2 I passed about 5 women, then, there was just this one girl in the green shirt and I know I chased her down for a LOOOOONG time, but I have no clue if I caught her!!! Mile 2: 6:44.  I was really trying. Then I was just running with these two guys and I tried my best to keep it steady and hold it. Mile 3: 6:45. Meh. Not happening. I felt really really flat. I guess having run a very hard and hot 5K 4 days before is something I don’t recover from that fast. I’ll take it though. I felt ok, just had no kick. I ALWAYS have a KICK!!!!!

Finish time: 21:33 officially. Exactly 3 seconds off last Saturday’s 5K but… weather last night was amazing compared to Saturday… oh well. Still happy with it!!!

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I love that NYC Runs sends you an email as soon as all the results are final with all of it. LOVE this technology!!!

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and turns out, there were only 7 women ahead of my.. ALL YOUNGER!!!

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Tessa was 4th overall and first in her AG. SO happy she left me. Sometimes, the races you don’t even worry about are the funnest!!!!!
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Then they called the grannies, ME!!! I had also won my AG, holy crap, because there’s lots of fast women in PPTC! two medals in 5 days!!!!!!!!!!

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Showing the hardware….

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So, I have lost now about 9 pounds since I got sick 2 weeks ago but I’ve been racing a lot better… there’s something to this weight thing. I wish I had tried this before… 9 pounds is a lot for me. I used to be around 112 pounds to 116 for the last months/years (and anything up to 120 at some points, like vacations and Thanksgiving) but I assumed that if I lost weight I would be too weak to run… excuses!!!! so now I am trying to see if 109 can be the home and go up and down a few pounds (today I woke up with 106). I remember the 1st time I run Boston (2010), I was around 100 to 102, and it was fine… Apparently, I had some weight to lose and now I got to it by luck. We’ll see if I can keep this up and not overeat…