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Newport Half Marathon + Workouts that guarantee a PR

So, now that I am marathon training, I am happy to sign up to do a half marathon on my way there, to sharpen speed and practice a fueling strategy. A PR in the half is this close and I determined to make it happen! I just need to slice 5 seconds and I promise I’ll be happy forever!

And with that, such turn of events… I am running the NEWPORT HALF MARATHON again this year! Hahaha, such turn of events, I know…! 

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I did the race last year (and their 10K also in 2016) and it was amazing. The Newport Half is in right in the heart of Newport, New Jersey, just across the Hudson, and is super flat and fast. It covers some miles on the town, an extra few miles on a park, and then the river front, with amazing views of the nyc skyline and Miss Liberty, there is a few turns, just the way I like it, BEST WAY TO PR! Also great, it’s just a few minutes away from NYC, via the path! Also, check out the finish line spread in the pictures… delish and impressive. If you sign up, tell them I sent you 😉

When: Sunday, September 17th, 2017. Racers take their mark at 8:30 a.m. 

Where: 100 Town Square Place,  Jersey City, NJ 07310. Click here for directions

Logistics: Bag check is offered (limited to one bag per runner). All runners will receive medals at the end of the race. Packet pickup will take place from 6:30 to 8:15 am in Newport Town Square, 100 Town Square Place, Jersey City.  Free parking is available in the North Garage at 561 Washington Blvd. (Enter on Washington Boulevard, see parking information in Directions). No Headphones.  No Baby Joggers. THERE IS RACE DAY REGISTRATION.

NOW… LET’S GET READY…

If you’re doing your FIRST HALF this Fall, make sure you get 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.) and know exactly where you are, fitness-wise. And, race rehearsal is super important!

– At least one long run every week. Doesn’t have to be long long but at least get up to anything from 7-8  miles to 15-16 a couple of times.

Now, if you’ve done a FEW HALFS and now you 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 to learn. 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, I’ll be adjusting my training a bit because I am also doing a full marathon this year, just a few weeks after the half. 

CONSISTENCY + ENDURANCE + SPEED are the main ingredients to a bulletproof half marathon training program. You have to do enough miles to build a great endurance base (whatever that number is for you) and throw in as many speed workouts as your body can handle without falling apart. Periodization is Key. Sit dow and plan this out in 7 or 10 days periods to have a good idea of what’s ahead and where you’re resting. DO NOT SKIP RESTING.

These are the workouts I usually do, in a period of 7 to 10 days depending on the workout.

LONG RUNS: Anything from 10 to 16 miles. Pace can be easy, or progressive, or you can add a few race pace miles in the middle or end. For example, on the last 3-4 weeks before the race, you can add 3 to 6 miles at the end at the projected pace.

TEMPOS: As uncomfortable as they can be, tempos are the bread and butter of a half marathon training! A tempo can workout to be anything from 3 to 6 miles. Or less when you’re’ starting out, or more if you’re more advanced. Pace should be around your 10K to half marathon pace. you’ll have to adjust based on your level and where you are in the training program. After a few weeks, add a Progression tempo: start at race pace and drop 10 seconds per mile.

SPEEDWORK:

  • Long Intervals: 2×2 miles at goal pace, with 4 minutes recovery jog in the middle. After a few weeks, updgrade to 2×3 at goal pace miles and then to 3×3 miles at goal pace, both with 3 minutes recovery jog in the middle.
  • Mile Repeats: Start with 3 x 1 mile at 10K pace with 90 seconds rest. After a few weeks, you can upgrade to 4 or 5 x 1 mile at 10 seconds pace with 60 seconds rest. Eventually, you can do up to 6 x 1 mile, 2 weeks before the race.
  • Hill Repeats! Hill intervals are speedwork in disguise, right? Go do them. Find a hill you can climb, time yourself, and do it a few times.  Jog down as a recovery. The slower your recovery, the faster you’ll go up in your next climb.
  • Yasso 800s. Basically: you run the 800 meters as fast as possible and then jog for recovery in the same amount of time it took to run the 800 meters Maybe start with 4 to 6 reps and build up to 10.

Of course make sure you warm up thoroughly before, do some drills and loosen up. And REST. you need time to recover so I usually like to have an easy week (where it’s just half the mileage and no hard workouts) every 4 weeks.

I am excited!! What’s your next goal race???

AND… who is doing the Newport Liberty Half Marathon with me?

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Brooklyn Half Course Elevation, Details and Tips

I know you all have been asking me for a post like the one I did for the NYC Half/Marathon, but I don’t think we need something that long for this race, but still, here you go… Not sure I am an expert on this one (I don’t go to Brooklyn enough!) but this will be my NINTH Brooklyn Half in a row, and all my GPS data matches, and I do have 7 years of race reports I can check back on (which helps a lot to write this!).

First, get excited, here’s a few of my pictures, more on the links below.

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COURSE DESCRIPTION

With this cheating sheet you won’t be surprised or  have any reason to fade off in the second half. This  course is easy to take on, quite similar to the NYC Half actually, but faster (there’s less hills, no wind in the second part, and a faster last mile -NO TUNNEL!)

  • Green is DOWNHILL (fast!!!)
  • RED is UPHILL (careful!)
  • and YELLOW is FLAT (you got this!)

nyrr airbnb brooklyn half course elevation profile

This is what the elevation profile looks like:

Brooklyn Half Elevation

If you want to click on the course elevation and get more details (so you know exactly where everything is on the map) that’s all here. I compared the last two years and I got the same (160.65 ft elevation vs 162.03 ft, but pretty similar).

HOW to run this race?

Part 1:

Race starts (awesome sight of the Brooklyn Museum) downhill, for a half mile, then up for another half mile while you run towards the Grand Army Plaza (which you’ll run around), then up and down again.  Something to look forward to on the second mile is the rest of the runners in front or behind you. I love turnarounds, heeeey heeeeey everyone!

These red parts are not big HILLS ok? Nothing to worry about, check up the elevation on the chart above, and you’ll see. Very very manageable and sweet.

Course is very scenic and pretty quiet until you get to the Prospect Park Hill (there’s only one) (does it even have another name???) a bit after Mile 4.5. It’s looong and you can’t see where it ends but it’s also not super bad. Check the elevation above again (almost comparable to Harlem Hill). You have a nice down after the hill another tiny bump in the course and then you’re in the clear. All downhill or flat from here. Seriously, the bumps (can’t call them anything else, they’re NOT hills!) are done before Mile 6!!!

Part 2:

Part 2 is when you crank up the heat (STFU!). The race is flat or downhill past mile 6 so you have a lot of room to play with. I’d run the first part very carefully (aka slowish) so you can spread your wings in the second part. You could start part 2 right after the hill in Prospect Park, right before Mile 6. I like to start when I exit the park because, mentally, it’s an easier break. Park: slow. Not Park: FIRE!!!

Once you exit the park (Mile 7), you will be in Ocean Parkway all the way until the last mile of the race. There’s a steep downhill into the parkway, be ready for it! Just past that, it’s OPEN, it’s wide, there’s tons of space and people to chase down. This is the best part, because you can really go crazy here. Some people will tell you it’s boring and there is nothing to look at, etc. It’s a highway, it might be… There’s less spectators than in the park, it’s quiet and it’s just a STRAIGHT LONG road to the finish. But it is, to me, an amazing opportunity to zone out, drive hard and bring it in. Choose a runner ahead (not the one right there, the other one!) and focus. Or count down the avenues (they’re lettered!). Once you make the right turn, you’ll have about half a mile, you make a left at some point, go up a ramp, and a right into the boardwalk to run about 200 meters (in the boardwalk!) straight to the finish line!

Other tips and things you should know:

  • Pre-Race Party is a blast. Bring your friends. Come with time to enjoy BK (pics here and here from 2016), there’s food vendors, drinkies, and cool Brooklyn gear to buy (start saving now!)
  • On race day, take your time to get to the start. Weekend trains can be more sporadic so plan for it, ok? If you don’t want to plan: leave early and follow ANY runner. We are all going to the same place. No Race Before The Race!
  • Every year they’ve had portapotties inside the corrals. Lifesaver.
  • Last year they had these big water dispensers at the start. Bring your own bottle!
  • Course is really fun. you’ll see a lot of locals and teams cheering. Holla back!! Have your own party on the road.
  • It can be crowded in the first few miles. Please be careful and try to not use headphones. It  really really spreads out in the second part and you might miss the coziness of the park.
  • Bring sunglasses, or a hat/visor: the 2nd part doesn’t have a lot of shade.
  • Boardwalk running can be tricky so please watch your step and pick your feet up a bit more than usual, ok?
  • Don’t trust your cell phone to find people after the race. Make specific plans on where to meet people as cell service might be spotty out there in old Coney (worst for some than others based on your provider).
  • Also bring swim-wear, a beach picnic is a must after you pick up your medal and some funnel cake (or  hot dog from Nathan’s Original store if you will!)

Weather:

It’s tricky. Either it’s great to race in (40s, 50s) or great to have a picnic at the beach after (60s and over). Either way, it’s a win win!!

Historical data for reference:

  • 2016: 58 degrees, humidity 60%, wind 5 mph
  • 2015: 62 degrees, humidity 76%, wind S 5 mph
  • 2014: 58 degrees, 67% humidity, wind NW 10 mph.
  • 2013: 59 degrees, 72% humidity, wind SE 3 mph
  • 2012: 58 degrees, 56% humidity, wind calm.
  • 2011: 55 Deg., 96% Hum., Wind 5mph
  • 2010: 58 Deg. 86% Hum. Wind 6mph

If you go to the corresponding race report (below) you’ll see what I wore each year (and if it was a “racing or beach” year!)

Pacing bracelet

It’s here. Adjusted for the course, though you can adjust it as you like.

More and more here:

Questions? Comment know below and I’ll answer!

Am I missing something? also lmk below!

Can I ask you for something? After the race, would you come back and let me know how it went, or what went right/wrong, or what you’d add to these tips?

My favorite things! April Edition

whatever

It doesn’t really feel like Spring…

so, just because Oprah and I are basically the SAME thing, I give you THIS: the new edition of my favorite stuff, where you discover new things you might like  or tell me you’ve been using that old trick for 5 years, and quickly unsubscribe from the blog. 

In no particular order:

stink free sports detergent

wow. seriously. there’s some gear I am careful with. Like my 2014 (neon orange) Boston jacket (because I RUINED my 2010 boston jacket, ha). I love this detergent! Try it (also check that site as they have other amazing things!).

What I love more than this detergent? The mini version of this detergent!! I travel super light I usually bring 1 pair of shorts, 1 bra, etc, so I just leave my clothes on the sink with this for a bit, and voila, ready for the next run!!! Won’t travel without it! WHY RISK IT, right?

fitletic double pouch

fitletic double pouch belt review product review running gear running belt this thing is my house. I have SO many belts (I’ve literally haven’t touched the other ones in years!) but this one is my favorite. Because it has TWO pockets! one is always pre-loaded with my keys, a tissue, some cash, sometimes a gel, whatever! The big one is for my iphone (currently a 6).

I usually add honey sticks in there and what not. I like that the phone is separate as I was always worried, when you take your phone quickly, that all the other crap (keys!!) would fall out! That’s not a problem here! You know we take stuff out without stopping the run!!! I’ve had it for over 2 years and it’s still in top shape. I just did a get new one because my dad sorta “claimed” my old one when he saw it…! check it out here.

I am so comfortable with it that I’ve run many races with it, including the Boston Mary.

runinkspired running tattoos

umm. yes. motivation? check. fun on the road? check. badass look? check. Temporary??? YES! easy to put on, what else do you need to know??? They are awesome. They are here. I got a bunch and been using them when it’s hot out. Love them!

sweatstyle

Designer fitness apparel hand picked just for you. I stole this text from the website because how I could I say it better? Basically you create your own profile, pick what sort of sports you do, what you like (patterns, colors, etc), what sort of stuff you need more or less of (tops, bottoms, accessories, etc.) and then… you get a lovely package with things they select for you (and a return envelope to return what you don’t want to keep). Just like Stitch Fix for sports!

I like this sort of stuff because, let’s be realistic, we’d all be buying the same exact crap into eternity. It’s like when an ex (years years ago) gave me a light tan max mara cute little bag… ugh, TAN? YUK. Does he not know me at all? Every purse I own is neon!!! Anyway, because it WASN’T just like everything else I had, I ended up using it a LOT. I still have it actually. My point is that, because WE didn’t pick it, it might actually fill some hole in our wardrobe.

So, in my first shipment I got TWO things I NEVER would have bought, or really, even bother to look at a store. And I am obsessed with them!!!!! Worn them SO much already in two weeks! I even wore the tights in my race this past weekend! The top has three things I’d usually HATE: white/kangaroo pocket/mesh fabric!!! And, I LOVE IT. The tights… omg, they’re so soft and comfy… For anyone who’s ever tried to buy a present you know I am IMPOSSIBLE (my bday was two weeks ago, I returned most of it!) so this is a miracle.

under armour anything studio lux shoes

It’s not a secret that I am obsessed with all the UA gear. Want me to tell you again? Their infrared shirts have changed the way I approach winter now! but this is my obsession of the month!!! these shoes are SO COOL, and LIGHT, and COMFY, and BENDY. It’s a go.

I included some vacation pictures so you can see how I wear them with ANYTHING. It’s shocking I haven’t worn them to bed yet.

I also got a bunch more stuff from Under Armour in the last months. These blue tights are amazing (besides cool), super thin and soft. I wore them once and then to the NYC Half (that’s how much I trusted them!). Ps: they have a side pocket that fits my iphone 6, with a little hole for the headset!

The shell storm jacket, OH, obsessed, best top layer ever. And the shoes, those are the new record-equipped Gemini 2 that connect via bluetooth to a phone and track your mileage. Even when you run without your phone. I still have two Geminis (1) that I love and these feel quite similar, but it’s fun to think about going out without a gps watch!!!!

Questions? Anything you discovered this month that you love and couldn’t live without???? Share!

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.

summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (1)

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

summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (2)

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)

summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (4)

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!!!

summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (24) summer streets 2015 pictures nyc run elizabeth maiuolo running (25)

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Race Report: NYC Half 2015 – running naked

Well, the NYC Half happened. Again. For the 7th time for me. And I am VERY happy about it. Such a huge learning opportunity!!!I love that every race is something completely different from what I expect… (sometimes!)

Where I Was: I wasn’t sure it was great, but I did a 5K two weeks before in 7:18 pace, and a 4 Miler in early February in 7:35 pace. My last halves were in October, there were 2 (1:43 and 1:44), plus add the winter training, I figured I’d be around 1:45 or 1:43 if ALL went well. 1:45 is 8 pace, and given I had done 7:35 in the 4 miler, that seemed like a stretch…

my  #unitednychalf nails. crazy ready.

nyc half nails. logo and all, crazy ready

The Expo: I almost forgot to tell you all about the expo and skipped all over this: it was in a new location (in a part a of town I usually ignore, yuk) and it was big! I am so so sick of the tight tiny expos, I loved that there was space to walk and breathe, and many exhibitors and activities. The only complain I have is that the lighting was so bad it gave me a headache. So weird.

Juan, me and Flor getting our bibs with a giant medal

Juan, me and Flor getting our bibs with a giant medal. Click if you want to make any of this a LOT bigger

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35 degres is bikini weather after the winter we had here, puh-lease!

Race Morning: Juan and I were in wave one (7:30 am start) so we got there around 6:30 to get to baggage, last minute potty trip, and get to the corral before the 7:10 close time.I was the first person in corral 3. Seriously, so early, but I rather sit there, knowing all is done than stress myself stooopid. I can’t handle rushing right before a race anymore. At my age, I can’t be bothered with rushing or stressing so I woke up EXTRA early.

murtaugh too old for that shit

we actually run into him a couple of weeks ago so he must live in the UES, York Ave. I guess, I have no idea.  Juan almost had a heart attack.

In the Corral: That’s when I decided to turn on the watch, get gps signal and some music. Ummm [email protected]@#@#[email protected]%_)[email protected]_#)@_)[email protected])!_! to say the least. My watch (and also mp3 player, I use the same device for both) was NOT CHARGED. I freaked out a bit like a maniac. How on earth am I going to know if I am going too fast??? I don’t think I’ve ever run a race naked (no watch!!!) or since… EVER!!! Ugh. Crap. Kept freaking out.  First, I won’t have any pace information, second, I’d have to race with no music?!?!?! Third, I don’t want to be carrying this watch around 13.1 miles for no reason. I am not gonna lie, I threw a little fit.

My problem is, unlike everyone else, I tend to start super slow and go crazy later. I need to know if I am going too fast (to slow myself down!) in the first miles!!!! I know, I am not normal.

I put the headphones in my back pocket, decided not to go back to baggage to leave it, and, for some very strange reason, I knew this would be a good thing. I would miss the music, but I knew it’d be a great challenge for me. I know how to pace, now just do it.

A few minutes before the gun, my friend Patricia shows up and Juan goes up to his first corral. I wasn’t running with Patricia, as she’s way faster than me (she’d end up doing 1:35). Bye hon, I’ll be back here by myself, with no pace info or music. Pffff. Great.

Race ON: This post, for the first time ever, will not have any mile splits (can we even handle this??), or any of that. I made sure I looked at the clock when I started and it read 1:40 (I think), so I thought I could subtract from the next mile markers. That did NOT work out. When I got to mile 1 the clock said 19:20 and I had NO IDEA what that mean. I gave up instantly forever and just kept running.

Mile 1, past Cathill, I know was fast. I could tell I was going fast, but hey, who knows??? Sometimes a 10 minute mile seems fast!!!! Mile 2 was uneventful, and on mile 3, one of my favorite things: an out and back!!! Is there anything more fun in a race than seeing the people who are running ahead and behind you??>? The only right answer is NO, people! SO much fun. I saw my husband and yelled at SO many people, I am sure I was ruining a lot of people’s jams around me with my constant yelling! Mile 3 back into the park to the lovely hellish Harlem Hill. That’s when something hit me. Right ahead of me was the 1:40 pace group. I knew the pacer for that group, Anthony, and he had told me he was in wave 1 corral 5, so he had started after me and had already passed me, so I guessed I was about 1:43 or 1:42 here, just a dumb guess. I was SO tempted to sneak behind him and chase him, the pace didn’t seem so scary, but I mentally screamed at myself and virtually slapped myself. NO. LET HIM GO. I made sure I stayed back, bye Anthony, byyyyyyye!

On Mile 4 I looked for a few friends who I figured would be watching here (so I could toss my watch!!!!) but I didn’t see anyone. I was running mostly by myself and without the music so it was hard to settle on a rhythm and relax. I haven’t learned how to do that. I was breathing hard and it’s quite loud and annoying, even to me (sorry everyone!). I really wanted to relax, but I just couldn’t.

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Soon I am leaving the park and I have no idea HOW IT ALL WENT SO FAST! Not pace wise, because I had no idea how fast or slow I was running, but the first 5 miles are usually super hard controlling my speed and my willingness to start going a bit faster. I was out of the park in a jiffy and I couldn’t believe it. This is probably the fastest race I ever had (nooo, it would not be a PR!).

Times Square was amazing. Seriously. I was having way too much fun!!! I saw everyone there. Oh how much I enjoyed it… DON’T BELIEVE ME, JUST WATCH!!!

Marathonfoto: just take all my money and shut up!

Anyway, this is when I would start pushing the pace. Thing is, I felt like I had been pushing the pace all along. Had I started too fast and would soon die off, or did I go the tiny bit harder that I could handle if I didn’t know how fast I was going??? So complicated. And who knew, really? A few times I felt like asking people around how fast we were going, but, you know, whatever!

42nd street is always SO MUCH FUN. I saw Ben taking pictures, Annette cheering, people who I didn’t know yelling my name. The whole race was like that.  I know this is isn’t true (maybe, not really) but I felt like all NYC was out there to cheer on me. I did. I took that to heart too. And I pushed the pace.

Soon is the turnaround to hell. That’s what I call it when you have to hit the gas and not look back.  We’re getting close to the West Side Highway and I see Anthony again with the 1:40 stick. Ummmm. How did this happen??? They can’t be falling back? I must be pushing too hard. Maybe? I decided to stay behind them. Then, soon, when I was right on their heels, I decided I’d just sit behind them, and let them figure out the pacing. I was sure now I was ready to hold whatever 1:40 pace was. Theeeeeeeen, I said hello to Anthony, and I just FREAKING KEPT GOING…

what?

I even thought of asking him what pace was 1:40. I didn’t. I went too fast to talk much to him. I just kept going.

WHAT??!?!?!

So that, I kept going. I told him I’d blow up soon and he’d pass me in a mile or two. I hit the gas.

I just focused on getting to Mile 11 where the next Whippets cheering section was (I had already seen Scott and some Whippets on Times Square and more Whippets at the gel station). I knew Michelle, Tessa, Atsede would be there. I just had to get there. Soon enough, there they were, all yelling and cheering!!!!

Mile 11, Mile 12, I felt like I was flying. At least my hair was!

The Finish: then the tunnel. AY: I was done. I had a side stitch, I was dry-heaving and I felt like I was going to either throw up or pass out. I felt nauseous. WHAT?!??! Just relax and keep going. I started telling myself to just hang on. Hang on. Hang on.

I remembered from last year, after the tunnel we had just 3-4 blocks. This year I knew, after the tunnel, we had two blocks left, and two blocks left again. BUT OMG I had no idea there was still half mile to go after we exited the tunnel before we turned. I remember there was a hard  left off the tunnel last year. Not this year. I kept looking forward and I couldn’t see where on earth we were turning left…!!! That was the LONGEST part of the race. That half a mile, to me, was longer than the other 12.6 (or whatever the math is!). I didn’t have much to sprint with but I tried. Someone yelled my name. I smiled. I looked up. I crossed the finish line. I didn’t have a watch to stop but I had a nose to wipe, that thing was a fossett during the whole race!!!! YUCK. And there was Mary Wittenberg and I have to say hello with this sweaty-nose stuff? Ay dios!

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Well, the clock said 1:41 something, but who knows what my time is. I saw Juan right away, then Richie, then Daphne, then Caitlin, then Cara… like 3000 of my friends and team mates!!!!!!

nyc half nycunitedhalf nyrr nychalf central park elizabeth maiuolo (11) nyc half nycunitedhalf nyrr nychalf central park elizabeth maiuolo (12) nyc half nycunitedhalf nyrr nychalf central park elizabeth maiuolo (13)

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Richie is so special to me!!!! Not only is he an overall amazing and cool guy, he photographed our proposal and wedding!! Like how cool is to have a team mate like that?!?!?!?!??! HUH??????

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there’s Anthony, the 1:40 pacer and major Ironman superstar.

Juan and I grabbed our bags, went to the side to fully change (yes, I took off my sweaty bra and all) into clean/dry clothes and all of a sudden I realized I had no idea what my time was. I had a twinge of an idea I had been around 1:40 or 1:42 or 1:44 but really, I had no idea. Juan got to it first and told me: 1:39:26.

WOW.

That’s quite different from 1:45. Or from the 1:50 I got last year… Or the 1:43 and 1:44 I did in October.

It is still not a PR, which is 1:37 from this same race in 2013, but I was soooooooooooooo happy, I think I cried a little. Quite in disbelief, I got a little teary. We’re coming back. Slowly. It’s happening. Finally!

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:39:26 Average Pace: 7:36

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

Age Grading: 68.03% 

Overall Place: 2063 of 19,455

Gender Place: 447 of 10,150

Age Place: 60 of 1639

This is very good-looking. I like the 68% percent there, given I am changing age groups in ONE week. I’ll be 40 next week, so, being 60th out of 1639, when I am at the bottom of my AG is not so shabby!

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We then went to the Whippets Party, stayed there until around 11 am then headed uptown to Bareburger, Juan’s favorite place that we never go to, home, shower, and OMG I was so tired the rest of the day, Juan had to carry me from the couch to the bed and all that. I was destroyed. But happy.

Then I saw that the results had 5K splits!!! Wohooooooooooooooo!! some data!

My first 5K was an average 7:44 pace. Remember, overall pace was 7:36, so seems like I started a bit slower, so, GREAT. the second 5K, where most of the hills are, was slower: average pace of 7:52. So far, so good. The third 5K was 7:21 and the 4th 5K was 7:20. So, seems like a negative split and run well without a friiiiging clue. Pinch me.

More and more pictures of the race, here

Race Report: 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

As I had declared last week, I am done with running for now, I needed a mental break after 10 years and I wasn’t going to run anymore. But… I was signed up for the Brooklyn Half and the Mini 10K (in 3 weeks)… what to do? Well, I’m gonna pick the bib and tshirt and decide later. Maybe I would feel like running by Saturday…?

Pre-Race Party/ Bib Pick Up  Bib Pick Up is more like a party, hence the renaming… It’s a nice place, by the water, with a GREAT view of the city, many food and drink options, a lot of space to hang out and see your friends, and the truth is we were running into people we knew every inch we walked. It was bit crowded, there was music, things to shop for, fun atmosphere. Too bad the weather didn’t help much but we got there, got our bibs, took some pictures, looked at the new balance stuff (nice!), went outside, got some food (there was a truck with melted cheese deliciousnesses) and stayed on the “lawn” to hear the band, then it started raining so we left soon. The trek from the Upper East Side where we live took about 1 hour each way, mostly because the 4/5 leaves you like almost a mile away. It’s a super nice walk though, and that street Lululemon or something off the Borough Hall stop is so super super nice!! I am planning to go back to the area.. on a nicer day. It’s a really nice park and you can’t top the views (says the Manhattan girl: if there is no view of the city, there’s no reason to leave the city!!!).  Now, if you want to get in and out fast like this was midtown, won’t happen! I liked this place, though I liked the place they had last year too

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that's called

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that’s called

We have been bibbed!

We have been bibbed!

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city...

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city…

Friday: D (decision) day  So, come Friday I hadn’t made a decision yet (Title should be more like INdecision day). Should I eat some carbs? Should I prep running clothes or should I just find something to do? If this was just a race in Central Park, it’d be easy to decide to skip it. But… the Brooklyn Half is more like an event… or a trip out of town with hot dogs and beach… AY, I couldn’t make up my mind, and by 4 pm I was stressing a bit. Juan was going to race it, so I’d be up at 3:30 am no matter what. If I could stay and sleep it’d be a different thing. BUT, if I had to get up and get out anyway (I am not just not going to not go cheer or meet him at the finish, can’t just stay home, what type of wife would Ii be??) then I might as well put some running clothes on…? So, staying in bed and sleep through it was not an option. I determined I’d go, try to run and enjoy it and if I didn’t, I’d just take the train… I had two exit strategies, my friend Tessa at mile 1.5 and my friend Flor at the 5 mile water stop. I’d just go with them to the finish and whatever! Flor even had a shirt for me. Then… I had the idea to wear the tutu to amuse myself: tutu power ON! You know my tutu, right? The BIG ONE!!!!

tutu

Then… I had the idea to ask on Facebook… because it seemed everyone I knew would be running Brooklyn to see if anyone would want company at my slow chatty pace! I wanted to make sure I had fun, and I was not going to do it alone for sure! I was looking for someone to chat through 13.1 in around 1:50 to 2 hours… I got offers to pace people but, pacing wouldn’t work, the other person would be working hard and who was I was going to have fun with?? Still a few people offered and we planned to meet in the corral! If all else failed and I got bored, I had my metrocard with me and would hop on the train to the finish! I had no issues giving up fast if I am not having fun. No guilt!

RACE MORNING!!! It was cruel how early we got up, and we went to sleep late because we got sucked into watching the Barbara Walters special…beeeeep beeeeep beeeeep 3:40 am alarm!!!! We figured we’d leave by 4:20 to get to the start by 5:40. It’s a long way from the Upper East side and I didn’t want to stress being late. I was going to be miserably sleepy and tired anyway! Luckily, it had just stopped raining, wohooo. We got ready, bundled up and got on the 4 to switch to the 2 in Fulton with another 10 thousand other runners. It was quite simple but I am always scared some train might not be running, we got there quite early. And sleepy. As it would turn out, we were quite right to get there early…

Look AWAKE!!

Look AWAKE!!

Bagagge and Start As soon as we got out of the 2 in Franklin Avenue, wow,  there were high fences all over the place and only one way to go. Note: always check the NYRR website and use the train exit they tell you to use (if you go with the one you think is closest you might end up walking miles because of the fences!). That way then security and metal detectors then security again and IN! We then walked towards the corrals (starting from the back), where we saw the portapotties inside!! Wohooo, we rushed into those, as they were all empty, took care of business, then kept walking to drop our bags and back to the corrals. It must have been like a half mile walk, we got to the trucks and deadline was 6:20 am, we had 10 minutes! We had to rush and change as they were NOT waiting one second!!!! We dropped our stuff quickly (it seemed like a liiiitle bit chaotic) and headed back to the corral. Yey, portapotties in the corral again!! For a change, the first wave started late, this is never the case in NYRR races. I was a 4 corrals back so I am not sure what was going on in the front, but the first runners were 7 or 8 minutes late to start. Wave 2 seems to have started on time.

Race Atmosphere This race was huge, you could tell right away. I wasn’t sure how many people would be there… 20,000? 30,000? It seemed super ultra mega organized: like they were expecting Obama… there was a LOT of people, but still I never felt more crowded than usual. I saw so many people… many from out of town (sometimes you can tell by their t-shirts!). It really felt like something big was about to happen. By the afternoon, it’d be confirmed that this was to be the biggest half marathon in the US with over 25K finishers… craziness.

Weather. It was coldish waiting at the start, glad I had brought an old turtleneck I wanted to get rid of. It was 58 at the start, but with the little clothes and wind, we were freezing! Of course as soon as it started, it was perfect (and I was wearing as little as I could!) but then the sun hits you on Ocean Parkway, and oh uh, hottish! It was totally fine though.

The Corrals I was corral 3, Juan was 4, so we had told everyone to meet us at 4. We got there early and met up with Patricia, a lot of my team mates, Elyssa, Lara, and so many more people. Apparently Blaise was right there too and I missed him. It gets crowded quickly so if you’re going to meet someone in the corral, always pick a corner!

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half PreRace (1) Elyssa, from this Bridges Runner blog, orange shirt, had volunteered the day before to run with me. I shyly asked “I like to talk when I run, is that ok? do you like to chat when you run?” I know some people hate it but as I said, I needed to have fun, and I needed help! But also, I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day! She said YES. I was so happy. Now let’s see if we’re both comfortable and happy at the same speed…! The Course is…GREAT! There are a couple of little hills in the first 10K, and then flat or downhill past mile 6. You REALLY have to negative split here or you did something wrong. Good course to PR in, though for some reason, I never seemed to PR here… There is the one hill in prospect park, which is not that steep but seems to last foreeeever (elevation profile is here) because it bends so much you have no idea where it ends. There can be way too much sun after you leave the park, but luckily there’s a few trees. MY RACE Well, I really I had no idea what to expect. Having felt so slow and tired lately and with my crappy attitude… we started slow, we chatted… we cheered, we screamed, we talked about how we both didn’t feel like running but we were still running because, by talking, it didn’t feel like running. We stayed on the side and made sure we didn’t bother anyone, mostly in the first couple of minutes when it seemed like all 20 corrals were passing us. Soon, everybody’s speed matched our non-speed and we were seriously cheering people around us. I am sure we bothered some people, as the people who talk sometimes bother ME when I am racing hard and unable to focus, sorry. We tried to not be obnoxious but most people were happy to have us cheer for them. We checked on each other and made sure we were going slow enough to not push ourselves, to make sure we were relaxed and having fun. We somehow managed to have a lot of fun the whole way!

Picture by Ben Ko- thanks BEN!! Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn't match, i need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

Picture by Ben Ko – thanks BEN!!
Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn’t match, I need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

I got hot soon, even though I wasn’t racing and I was wearing less clothes than EVERYONE around me. The tutu was great though… it got SO many cheers and shoutouts that all I was doing sometimes was say thank-yous nonstop!! I love my tutu! The park was bit more crowded than the rest of the race but it really wasn’t so bad. We were having fluids every 2 miles, and one gel as we left the park. I saw so many people cheering, at the water stations, passing me in the race, really you felt like everyone was there! Pace-wise, I have to admit, I barely looked at my watch once or twice… I had no idea. Elyssa shouted mile splits sometimes, just because our only thing was to check not to go over 2 hours, but as I can’t do any math, I figured I’d look at mile 10… I like to hit the pedal when I leave the park but Elyssa had an irish soccer game -or something- to play that afternoon and wanted to save some energy, and I was comfortably having a good time that I was not chancing it by taking off! By mile 9 we decided we’d finish together and we did just that! Easy peasy, half done! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (2) We got to Coney Island, we put our hands together and crossed the finish line. 1:57 and something.

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (2)

Done, we had fun, and now we have some more fun. In Coney Island!!!

The Finish Line The best part! You have around 300 meters to run on the boardwalk and it gets loud and crowded, even before 9 am! They had medals, bagels, powerbars (chocolate and mint, yuk!!!) and gatorade+water. It is just such a happy place and by 9 am you are free to just go do whatever you want!!! I had told Juan to wait there for me so I caught him as soon as I got my medal! There were a few blocks walk until we got to baggage but it was super organized and easy. Really nice medal too. And we got more pictures of course! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (4) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (5) The Post Race/Getting my bag back fiasco!  Well.. we had to walk a bit to get our bags and holy molly it was a MESS. Seems like just a few bags where there, there was no line, everyone was against the fence holding their number and shouting their number and if the volunteers found it, they’d bring over the bag. My bib was on my skirt and I just didn’t feel like unpinning it so I asked someone (taller!) ahead of me to shout my number and SOMEHOW I got my bag super fast… Everyone else was just standing there… Apparently, I was one of the lucky few people who got to bag check in time! I learned a LOT of people didn’t get to the bag deadline early on, so they dropped their bags in the “late” truck, so those bags where being brought there in bunches… and/or there were not enough volunteers. I offered to jump in to help to organize the bags by numbers but they didn’t let me. It really was a mess all around. nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Post Race (1) Stats time Oy, this might be painful… or whatever! Finish time: 1:57:32. Average Pace: 8:59. 20 minutes off my PR, ha.

Previous PR: 1:37:35. From: March, 2013 Age Grading: 57.55% Ouch Overall Place: 10,758 of 25,587 Gender Place: 3,831 of 13, 678 Age Place: 523 of 2,105 (still top 25% which is fine… I guess!) To note looking at the stats, not only this is now the biggest half marathon in the US, but also, there were more women finishers (13,678 ) than men (11,909), insane! Total was 25,587 . Also sad, one runner died at the finish. This always makes me so sad.
Splitsville!
splits elevation course nyrr brooklyn half marathon 2014

Seems like I lost satellite in the last mile I think. I kept looking and it said 12.47 for a whiiiile for a long time.

The Result I am VERY HAPPY with the race I run. I was not in shape, I wasn’t into it, actually, I had no interest in even showing up, but I managed my goal, to have fun, to not suffer… This doesn’t mean that I am back. I am not feeling like running still and for what I see, I probably won’t for a while. I am back to not running. But I managed to get to my beach party, the way everyone did: by running 13.1 first.

The Post Race Well, I skipped the MCU park as I had already been there last year for a NYC Runs 5k and my team, the Dashing Whippets, always has a beach party!!!  YEY, beach weather. FINALLY! So we scooted over to the beach after we got our bearings and omg, the FUN

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more than 5!)

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more!)

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cry, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt's face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that...

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cried, no, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt’s face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that…

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

Boys will be boys??

Boys will be boys??

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

He's not normal.

He’s not normal. (It was the Gatorade!!!)

Dashing Whippets Brooklyn Half Marathon

So Many Whippets!! (Apparently I am menopausal as I am the only one without a shirt..!?!??!)

It’s done. I am not sure when I’ll post again, if I have  anything else to say… but, my parents are coming to visit (after 5 years!) and they’re  too excited to see me race, and the Mini10k happens, so, we shall see.

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page, with loads of pictures

– Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

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Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Fun Run, by New Balance

Straight from New Balance!

The Brooklyn Half Marathon is already next weekend and I wanted to let you all know about the Brooklyn ½ Pre-Party Fun Run, Presented By New Balance taking place on Thursday, May 15th at 10:30am. This free event gives runners an opportunity to get in a fun 4 miles and pick up their race packets before the big day!

Wondering how to get to the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance? Why not run? Join New Balance for a 4 mile fun run and you’ll gain early access to the Pre-Party so you can skip the lines to packet pickup, shirt pickup and the official merchandise. The run will start from the New Balance Experience Store @ 150 5th Avenue at 10:30am.  They’ll even take your dry gear over from the store to the party for you and give you a subway card so you can get back home after the party. RSVPs are limited.

Runners can sign up on the NBNY Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/NBNYC.

More information on Pre-Party, check out this link: Brooklyn 1/2 Pre-Party Presented By New Balance

More on the Pre-Party and the race itself on my post about the 2013 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

the expo last year: FUN STUFF

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