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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!

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!!!!!!

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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: NYC Half 2014 – training starts here!

Well, the NYC Half happened. Again. For the 6th time for me. And I am VERY happy about it. I hadn’t trained, I was 13 minutes slower than last year, but this was such a different story from the NYC Marathon a few months ago…!

The truth is, since July my training has been a disaster for one reason or another (and there were many!!), and I knew I wasn’t going to PR, so I just wanted to use it as a training run, maybe to see if I can muster Boston in a month, maybe to see if I had lost all my running mojo. But it was horrible going into it, I had done so well last year in this race so coming back with no expectations was hard. And the NYC Marathon 5 months ago was just so painful on my untrained legs that I was really dreading this. I had assumed I was going to suffer for 13.1 and there was no way around it, turns out, there was one.

Race Morning: It was really cold, and I was getting to the start 1 hour early. Brrrr. Walked into a brand new clean portapotty with no line and I just wanted to stay warm in there… I had extra clothes on, two mylar blankets, hand warmers, you name it, I could barely move with that many layers on, but my feet were not having it: they froze! They had security checking our checked-bags and then we all went through metal detectors going into the park (yey!), and then a walk to the corral where I met up with a few friends (Rose, Ilana, Julie, Marie, Jason!). We huddled and waited. Rose and I determined we’d take it easy and to try to go together. We talked about how we both had so gotten off the wagon, I said training starts here. This would be a long run, and I would take if from there. Soon enough we were moving…

Race ON: The first miles felt ok. My feet were still frozen but we were determined to take it easy, have fun, run it as a longish run and that’s what we did. We held our horses.

Miles 1, 2, and 3 were quite conservative.

2014 nyc half marathon course

On my post where everyone guessed my finish time, I had assumed I’d do around 1:50, which is 8:30 pace, so I started thinking that maybe I am more in shape for a 2 hour marathon, which I haven’t done in a looong time. Oh well, it is what it is. I felt GOOD, and that is all that mattered, I was not going to push it.

At Mile 2 I saw Juan and his phone froze so he got no pictures. I am sure he was as frozen as the phone… I always feel so bad for the spectators! Then I just started seeing everyone pass me, everyone. People I know did slower than me in the NYC Marathon. I knew I hadn’t trained since so I know I was in way worse shape but it made me feel good that I could hold my pace back as much as I wanted. You can all go!!! I felt so relaxed and in control. Being in control in the early miles of a race is  tots HARD people!

Soon we were up in the Harlem out and back and hello Harlem Hill x2. I love out and backs! You get to see everyone! It was wild to be out of the park and everyone sped up a little. Rose and I held it in place.

Miles 4 and 5: a bit faster and settling up in a rhythm.

2014 nyc half marathon course

After we crested the hill and went to the 90s, I saw Juan again. I stopped for a roadside kiss. I was feeling good now that I was feeling my feet again (it really took 4 miles!!) and was warming up. Then I started losing Rose, she told me to go, I told her I’d get Gatorade and wait for her there but never saw her (I’d end up losing her and she’d come in a few minutes behind me). But, I just wanted to hit the gas. I wanted to get to Times Square, make that turn and see what I had. I turns out, I didn’t wait until Times Square…

Miles 6 and 7: need for speed already!!!

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Going through Times Square is ALWAYS exhilarating, even the 6th time you do this race. And it widens up SO much, you feel like you can fly… I spotted a Team Up runner and we introduced! It was pretty cool!!

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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww: F U N!!!! Then we turn onto 42nd st, the street narrows a bit and the wind….!!!!!! well, we pushed through and kept rolling down. Luckily, my Dashing Whippets team was there to cheer us all up, handing out gels and water. I got so excited, I grabbed a 2X caffeine gel which would probably kill me if I tried it, so I put it right back. And forgot the water. Cheering stations can really make you lose it.

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Seems like I was having a fun time, right? I was. I have a slow time to prove it 😉 (don’t scream, slow compared to last year’s!!!)  But… with fun comes responsibility and since mile 5 I was feeling good: I was on a roll and kept tearing at it little by little.

As soon as I hit the westside highway and found NO WIND (WTF?!???! It was colder in the park!!! I was dreading the wind and cold here for no reason!?!), I opened my lungs, I let the Hudson nasty air sip in, and sped up. UP UP. From there on, I was picking up runners 10 at a time. You know, if you were there, this is quite probably where 9 out of ten people started to slow down: I WAS FLYING!

Miles 8 and on: Time to Fly!

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I lapped the tunnel part up there (“mile 12”) as there’d be no GPS there, and the last bit (“mile 13”) I am sure is wrong because in the seconds it took to locate satellite it made it look quite slow. I know I was sprinting for my donuts…!!!

Did you see  how I sped up after mile 6, as I had recommended to do in my post? If you didn’t notice, here it all goes again:

2014 nyc half marathon course

Yes, I probably did start too slow, but whatever. What matters is that I was strong at the end and had a lot too push. Quite a difference from last year‘s pace, but still another great pacing example.

The last mile includes over a half a mile in the tunnel, which I didn’t hate as much as last year (because I knew there was an exit somewhere!!) but then you get out, you make a left and OMG, I was SOOOOO EXCITED to be there. I had to hold the tears back (yes, I cry all the time when I race) and all the flags and the finish and it felt SO GOOD to be back, and to be on the road again and to feel strong and to be able to finish with a kick and to know that even if unprepared it doesn’t have to be as bad as the NYC Marathon was if you can pace yourself… It was amazing.

Then it was over. I was so happy. I wanted to hug all those sweaty runners. Then I wanted to punch a few of them who stopped right at the finish for a selfie (seriously people!!! there’s 15K runners behind you!!!! WTF!). I was back to happy in two seconds. I am moody like that 😉

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Got a few pics and with two steps I found friends and team mates… I was just back to frozen in a few seconds!!!

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I love this race.

Now I know that, not only I can set the tone for a race and pace as I please (without pushing myself into pain for no reason!) but that I can also enjoy a race and finish it without ANY training… in a decent time too, plus have fun, AND not FALL!! I felt very happy about the results…  

see how happy I was???

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Juan knew I wanted donuts. Juan got me donuts. Juan is a keeper. I ate almost all of that.

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Right after the race ended we got on the 1 train uptown to Finish Line, we had some food, chatted, celebrated, all that. The platform and the train was crowded… and a bit smelly ;-P

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Finish Line was fun, but soon I couldn’t wait any longer for the 3 hour shower  I was looking to do at home… plus the nap. Then burgers… ah, I love how doing a 13.1 makes me think I can go on some sort of food bender. I do have 5 weeks until the Boston Marathon and I know I am not in shape to run 26.2 comfortably, but I can’t seem to be able to make a decision about going or skipping it… I just counted the weeks back. If I manage a long run the next two weekends, I’ll let myself participate in the marathon. If not, then I am not going to Boston.

One week until my birthday, the next craziness. One thing at a time here.

Running Form: top 10 at Healthy Kidney’s 10k in Central Park

Video from Mile 4.

NYC Half 2013: Biggest “FINALLY” ever!

Well, the NYC Half happened. And I haven’t blogged about it yet. Strange, right? I don’t really have much to say and, by now, I am sure everyone heard about how happy I was with my finish time.

I put it out there, a month before, that, for the first time ever, I had a time goal. Some of you were in shock I’d do that. I never have many expectations for a particular finish time. I was afraid I’d be shooting myself in the foot too.

I hadn’t PRed at a half since September 2010. Two years and 6 months: talk about blue feet! I knew I could PR, but…after so long, you start losing track of where you are too! Then, I asked, in another post, what you thought I would finish in: some of you were so confident, it scared me a bit… I really wanted to go sub 1:40, that’s all I cared about.

RACE WEEK, from “YEY!!!!” to “oh CRAP”.

– Monday, Tuesday, 6-5 days to go: SUPER confident! Had many amazing runs in a row and felt ready to destroy the race! I was peaking, primed, ready to blast off and almost upset I couldn’t run that day!

– Wednesday, Thursday, I was in a conference, away from home, sleeping little, tired, eating horribly, losing all confidence.

– Friday. Getting teary and excited all day thinking about how this was my first race ever, and now I was coming back to claim my streets!

– Friday afternoon. Started freaking out. Weather was going to be COLD. 29 to 32. I can’t. I don’t well. I. No.

– Friday afternoon part 2. Decided I didn’t have time for a run (too much to do, with just Friday free in between jobs,  and hadn’t run since Tuesday, so I decided to do drills instead. BIG MISTAKE. When I was about to be done, my legs gave in. Cramps or something. I was stiff and in pain. WTF?!?!? !!!

Oh no.

– Saturday. Couldn’t walk downstairs, sit normally without grunting, or bend to pick stuff from the floor (there is always stuff on the floor when you feel like this), like I had just run a marathon the day before!! WHY?? it was just the usual drills!!!!!! WTF?!?!?!? And I was also freaking about the weather. I don’t run well when I am cold…

– Sunday… it was freezing. I was told later the feels like was 12, glad I had no idea. I really run a lot better when it’s hot. And my legs were still really hurting, walked a bit less stiff but still very sore… OH WELL.

RACE ON!

Got to the corral. Overstuffed in throwaway clothes, with toe warmers taped to my butt, and waited for half hour. Glad portapotties are in the corrals now, such amazing logistics! Blaise was there too, underdressed and freezing, in the 3XXX corral with me. Soon enough, at 7:30, we get moving

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I am in there, I promise!

So, I was shooting to have 7:35 average pace, which would be right under 1:40. First mile was CROWDED. I know better than to weave, so I stayed put: Mile 1: 755. Great. Conservative start. Nice job Elizabeth. Nothing worse than opening up with a fast mile and then crash, and also worry the other 12 that you already messed it up!

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I kept trucking along, and I was just trying to stay relaxed and run by feel. I am good at not looking at my watch. Then Cat hill: Mile 2: 7:37, not so shabby. Mile 3 is the fastest in the park: 7:01, good! (too fast?!?!). Mile 4 is the scariest one in the whole race, it has Harlem Hill, a fun climb I’ve done a million times, so I was expecting anything over 8mm. Mile 4: 7:18. What? I tend to freak out when I see fast miles.

By then I was getting warm, a climb would do that to you. Blaise was always a bit ahead or right by me, which really helped me focus and stay calm (thanks B!). I kept seeing another team mate, Shay, we’d pass each other constantly, and I wanted to pace with her, but my two water stops really messed up my pace. Mile 5, where I stopped for half a gel, 7:41. Yes, I stop for gels. Deal with it.

Soon we were out of the park. I couldn’t believe this was turning out so easy and fast.. HOW? ah, I trained…

Times Square is always fantastic. It’s UNBELIEVABLE how much I HATE Times Square all year long and how much I LOVE it for those 10 minutes!!!!!!!! Glorious mile. Mile 6: 7:31, Mile 7: 7:24. Setting on a rythym here.

Then we turn into the flat straightway, where you can really hit the pedal.

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Mile 8: 7:10. This is ridiculous. This is the pace for my last few 5Ks, 4 milers… Mile 9 I finished my gel: 7:30.  I kept seeing people all over the course, but it’s always so nice to find people in these miles… you spot everyone in the park, and then the final miles, but it makes such a difference in this part of the course, it can be a little lonely, and flat, and straight…

Mile 10 is when I wanted to start moving, and treat it like a 5K: 7:20. I really started pushing but I knew there was the tunnel to deal with in the last half mile… Mile 11: 7:15. Mile 12: 7:09. Then we went underground, and when coming up (tiny but annoying hill SO late in the race!), we just had 800 meters to go. Not enough time to recover and sprint, but I gave it my all.

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And I PRed!

After 2 years and a half, I PRed at the half. Phew.

I cried. Of course I cried. A LOT. I made Blaise uncomfortable, ha.

I spotted everyone at the finish… I cried some more, hugged some more, took pictures, all that stuff you do, then cried some more. I was cold. Nothing new. Like it was just another morning.

Stats!

Finish time: 1:37:35. Average Pace: 7:27, OMFG!

Previous PR: 1:42:47. From: September 2010, OMFGx2

Age Grading: 68.64%

Overall Place: 1,474 of 14,527

Gender Place: 304 of 7,607

Age Place: 40 of 1,222

I met Kets, had eggs, met Sole, got home, got a shower. All that. INSANELY HAPPY.

See ? I didn’t have anything particular to say about it! I raced it, went fast, I PRed, end of story.

I love this race. ❤

Fitness 4 Miler RR: A few steps closer to the “dream”

The first race of the “five in a row” was this past Saturday and it went exactly as I had planned it, andbetter than I expected… but I do tend to have very low expectations.
 
To start, Friday was Fashion’s Night Out, and not wanting to miss out on anything, my friend Flor and I created a shock and awe plan to attack the stores and be in my apartment to eat pasta and go to sleep on the earlier side. I really wanted to do well in this race. I was committed. We stuck to our plan, had fun and cookies/gelato/cupcakes, even got a free FNO dri-fit shirts at Niketown and headed home for fuel and rest. This ties up to my previous post: I don’t want to miss out on ANYTHING! My dad tells me at least twice a week “You can’t sit in 2 chairs with just one @ss“. Well, I gotta try!
 
Saturday morning, I was ready to go. IN DA ZONE. I could not have been any more focused. We got our Starbucks and face game on. I lined up in my corral 2 minutes before go time and spotted my team. Megan was there, and I wanted to stick with her, she said she was aiming at low 7s and wanted to do the first mile slow, like 7:15 (Cat Hill is there!). I said Perfect, I’ll just make sure I’ll stay tucked in behind you.
 
This race last year I clocked 29:34 (average pace of 7:23). My last 4 miler was on a very hot day, July 4th, and it was still a PR: 28:45 (pace of 7:11), and my 5 miler pace was faster than that (7:07), so I was confident I could get around 7:05. That was my goal. But instead of pace, I was going with my HRM, I’ve experimented enough with it, that I knew my first two miles had to be at 185 bpms, the 3rd at 190, and push to a bit over 200 from 3.5 miles on. That was the plan. And for once, the plan worked.
 
Rocco Dispirito did the intro

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and we were off. I let Megan go and I took it easy. I felt really calm, relaxed and confident. In a 4 miler, that is ridiculous. I kept check on my HR and I seemed to be right on target. Mile 1 comes back and I was at 6:56. Ooops, too fast. Not a surprise though. But HR was fine so I kept at it. Megan was like 50 meters ahead, I just made sure I didn’t let her go further than that. Mile 2 comes around at6:54. Ok, this will start hurting soon. For sure. Two minutes later, I felt like I was dying, I wanted to quit so bad, so bad… But I kept telling myself, I always want to quit and this would be over very soon, it’s just a matter of holding it now. Just HOLD IT. HOLD IT!!!! Mile 3 comes by slowly and with a slap: 7:24. Yeah, I had lost it, but at least it was just one slow mile instead of 2! HR was still right on target but both Megan and I had obviously had gone out too fast. I catch up to her by 3.5 miles and try to not pass her. Then it just came to me. I got up beside her for a bit, then I pass her, and she hits the gas and takes off. I manage to follow a few seconds behind. I knew pushing her would help her and push me on the last painful half mile where I was losing my mind. Talk about team work!
 
I did 28:09, average pace of 7:02. My HR at the finish line was 201. Right on.
 
The NYRR photographer snapped a picture of me in my Nike’s FNO t-shirt, it’s on the NYRR site too! Pretty cool.

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We watched the kid’s races, which is always super cute.

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Then we had a team picnic near the finish line. This team really rocks. 

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When I got home, and looked at my results, I almost flipped. I was at 69%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
This year, I had a few races in the 66% to 68% range. And my goal has been to get closer to the 70% Age Graded time. In case you have no clue what I am talking about, your age-graded score is the ratio of the approximate world-record time for your age and gender divided by your actual time. A performance level of 100% is approximately the world-record level, 90% equates to world class, 80% is national class, and 70% is regional class. Here is a calculator if you want to check it out.
 
69% is pretty close though. Could I be any happier with this race? No, not really.  
A WIN.
Philly Half this weekend: you better watch out.

Bronx Half Marathon RR – more ?s than !s

I was really questioning my sanity today at 4:30 am when I woke up to head up to the Bronx Half Marathon. But, one of my 2010 goals was to do all five boros pikermis and now I just have one more to go, Staten Island in 4 weeks. Almost there!

 
I met up with JohannaTS early for our train ride from the Upper East Side and then met up Blaise in our corral; and we set off. Weather was great, 70 degrees and overcast. There was a 70% humidity which didn’t bother me much with the sun rays hidden… A PR ahead…? Who knows… We set off at a fast pace: the first three miles are 7:4Xs… I knew it was fast but I felt confident… That’s the hardest thing in a race: trying to gauge what pace you can handle any given day. You go up fast, you hold it and have a PR, or you go out fast, break down in a few miles, and pay the price for starting too fast… Too bad I still haven’t gotten to the point where I know what that “this fast pace feels ok” means… All I know is that sometimes I can hold it, and sometimes I can’t!
 
I didn’t know much of the course, which always bothers me: I don’t think you can race well without knowing the course. I knew there were some hills, and that it was pretty flat/downhill after mile 11, so after losing Blaise around Mile 5, I decided to keep the pace manageable and leave it all for the last two miles. Anxiety.
 
There was very little of the course that was flat, which made pacing a nightmare. The green is the elevation (red is heart rate):

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Can you see how good I am at keeping my heart rate consistent? WIN!

But the problem was that many of those uphills had very little incline so you didn’t even see them coming. And they lasted for miles, but they’d creep up on you!! And I wondered why I was having so much trouble keeping my pace up! The good thing is that the course was three out and backs, so after the first run-through you knew what was coming. Love out and backs!!!
 
By Mile 10, I did very limited math and I realized I was very far from a PR, but I figured it was a good effort anyway, good for my marathon training. I pushed really hard the last miles. I was passing a lot of people. Mile 13 was 7:41 and the .1 was at 7:17. It always makes me happy to finish strong, but I wonder if I save too much for the end, huh…
 
Finish time was 1:47:37. Three minutes and a half away from a my PR from May. A mystery given the good weather. But it’s ok; JohannaTS made me feel a lot better saying I shouldn’t be peaking now, cause that would be not so great come marathon day. I think she’s right. But it’s still a mystery how this all works. After Boston I was PRing left and right and I hadn’t done anything special. And now, it’s just not working, whatever it is.
Besides the confusion, I really think I am racing too much, almost every weekend, and that could be a problem. I am committing to not racing for three weeks (though, who could stop me if I change my mind??), but after that I am racing 5 weeks in a row, that includes three pikermis and also my long runs. Someone save me!!!!!!!
Ah, I lost my horse a few months ago, and it’s fine. I can walk for now. As long as he’s back for the marathonl!

Anyway, here’s the Bronx Pikermi pics from Sunday, a bit late, but late is better than never! And I am NOT posting the disgraceful ones. There were too many. YUK.

 

Running.. you know…one foot in front of the other!

 

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Waving, HELLO, the camera is over heeeere! DUH. But I am so fast I am blurry! blog post photo

 

Done! FINALLY!!

 

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No banana jokes please. This is a SERIOUS blog. My knees look like they’re talking to each other. AY.

 

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Post-race chilling. Obviously HE was wrong.
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Chilling Take Two. See that purple shirt on my left (your right)? It’s my OSOM purple 13.1 Team Pikermi shirt!  
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Rock ON!!!!

NYRR Team Championships 5 Miler RR – WTF?????

I feel like Bolt.. what the #)@*^(%^$%)*# just happened? 
WHO TOOK MY HORSE????????????? HUH

???

I am not upset, just a bit disappointed and mostly confused…
I really thought this would be a good race… it was 70 this morning!!
Again, I HAD NO CLUE… I really say that a LOT.
To start, I LOVE LOVE LOVE 5 milers, I love them. I really could love them more.
Second, my last one was great, I posted a brutal PR of three minutes, finish time of 35:37, avg pace of7:07.
I figured… it’s been 7 weeks, it’s the exact same course, but today the weather is almost winterishy (unlike the nasty hot hell of the last five miler!), so I’d definitely PR… right?
Of course I’d still have to run hard for it, but I felt I could do it…. It was only teams competing, so not a big race, but super super competitive, which would probably help too…
Ah, and I would have been happy with a 35:30! Or a 5 second PR, I’ll take anything… but it was not to be!!
As soon as we got the GO, I felt it… How? Why? I had no idea what was happening. I usually go out too fast, and this time I felt like I wasn’t moving at all!
My first mile is usually in the 6:50 range. Today’s first was 7:21!!!!!!!!!!!! I know I said OH SH!T out loud when I saw it… I knew my effort was doomed.
A second later, I wanted to quit. I didn’t. I finished in 36:49, average pace of 7:21. Ridiculous. And strange.
My last mile was still the fastest at 6:57, but there was no sprinting, it was a pathetic “letshopeIdon’tdiefromthishowmuchmoretogoIamreallydyingIswear” finish! Definitely not a bangle pump situation.
I know we can’t always have a good race, but I was so confused… I just couldn’t understand it… We can always find something to blame for our crappy performances, but there was nothing too obvious there.
The only thing I can think of is that I didn’t have any Nutella yesterday… That could totally have been the problem. Pasta is not really enough carbs for me and I should know better. I had no energy today. Why do I stray from the process I know works???? Why do I keep doing this every so often??? Ah, I am frustrated and also feel a bit stoopid.
A picture with the team, I am on the left, in pink
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After that, Blaise and I did a few more miles, to complete our “long run”, and a bit later I had an OSOM milanesa with two OSOM runners. I am not on my horse today, but I guess we can’t really ever predict what our bodies would do, right???

?
UFFFFF

 

Queens Half, RR: HOT HOT HOT

How do you manage to have a good race and an kick at the end in a half marathon in 90 degrees (feels like of 94)??

Don’t know? Well, I would say having a good memory (or a blog!!!) made the difference this time. I’ll tell you how.
I had been dreading this race all week because of the weather. I even figured I could “oversleep“. But that would leave JohannaTS waiting in the corner at 5 am. Then I thought maybe I could “pretend” to run it and tell everybody my chip didn’t work… Ah, OK, I set these goals myself, can’t lie to myself, I AM running. GRRR.
Against my will, I met Johanna at 5 am and the train was really crowded with runners, which I always think is strange and cool. I found Blaise in our corral and we both knew we wouldn’t try to go out “fast”. I was determined to NOT race, it’d be an easy pace for me thankyouverymuch. If I wasn’t going to PR, then why suffer the whole way? If I go slow enough, this could be ok. And I figured this would be our “summer moonsoon”. We did a 16 mile run in February in the middle of a monsoon, crazy winds, downpour, cold, and ITBS (I like it rough post), but after that day, every run I did with the ITBS was cake. This could be our new “hot summer” standard!!!!!
So we set off together, mile 1 was 8:04. He thought that wasn’t bad as he had wanted to stay in the low 8s, but I knew then that there was no way I could hold that pace for the rest of the race. So, he went, and I slowed down. The course had a few outs-and-backs and I got to see a lot of my friends out there (even fellow loopster BattleSoul), which always keeps me entertained. Of course I shouted at every one I recognized, but I got passed a lot. Like, a LOT. Then I had a thought: they were not passing meI was letting them go. I was just trying to enjoy the race and I needed to slow down even a bit more, my heart rate monitor said so. By mile 3, there were already people walking or collapsing left and right. Then a genius thought popped in my head: if I had been able to run easy and relaxed in Boston, how would I not be able to do it here, when the weather is horrible and I have nothing to lose??
Just like that, my body gave in and relaxed. I found my rhythm and I was fine. I was stopping for water and Gatorade in every single mile and taking my old sweet time, thanking the volunteers and cheering on the runners. I didn’t have to walk once, which is usually my problem in hot races. And between the water cups I was pouring on myself and the sprinklers… I had never run so drenched in my life! This wasn’t so bad. I felt like the Queen of the world for conquering my body and being able to pace myself smartly.
Then Blaise appears from behind, seems like I had passed it at some point, but he was struggling and couldn’t stay with me. I finished really strong, way under 8 mm for the last two miles, which made me really really happy. I got to pass a couple of women I had run with for most of the race to finish 7th in my age group. Finish time was 1:49:30, five minutes slower than my PR (but most people were at least 10 or 15 minutes off their PRs); and an average pace of 8:22, which is closer to marathon pace. But today, I took it all as a major WIN.
I jogged around a bit after the race, I still had tons of energy. Not a surprise, I had a huge bowl of pasta and a full jar of dulce de leche for dinner. Nutella, you’ve met your match!!!!
The Old Spice moment you know was coming: I always find that all those things I dread the most end up surprising me, in a really good way. I am very happy I showed up to this challenge today. And I am very proud that I was able to hold back and pace myself  in a smart way. I think that’s my biggest accomplishment in my running this year. I am, obviously, on a horse!
Horse needs some water and rest today. We’re off to the trails upstate tomorrow for a few hours of running. Need to speed-recover: ice-bath, refueling, and major napping. Ah, the post-race high!

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Johanna and I after the race
———————-
Not so dear 2010 Summer,

What happened to you? I loved you; you used to mean fun, pools, tiny dresses, sun, rooftops, sandals, beaches, vacation, funny tan lines, coconut smelling lotions, and friends…
 
And now, you turn into this?? Why treat us so badly? What have we done to you? I am not sure what you’re after, but I can tell you right now YOU ARE NOT GONNA WIN.
Just like I screamed my face off to my ITBS a few months ago, I will not let you step all over us now. It’s not gonna happen. You might slow us down, make us cut some runs short, get us dehydrated, but we’re not backing off. We’re united and ready for the battle. IT IS ON. This is your two weeks notice.
 
Remember this past weekend? Huh? Yeah? You hit us with “some heat“.
You made me feel like I was running Badwater. Yes, I dreaded the pikermi all week, during the first miles I wanted to poke my eyes out and you slowed me down me a lot, but you didn’t kill my spiritAnd you know what? I had a wonderful race, thankyouverymuch! It was not about the results. Because, YOU KNOW, it is NEVER about the finish time. I conquered my pace and my willingness to turn a bad situation into an opportunity to celebrate what running has brought into my life. Thank you for this lesson.
 
Because of you, yes, thanks to you, I’ve been feeling like the Queen of Queens. And I have proof. In case you think I am bluffing just to scare you off. Check this out.

There is proof in the form of video. That’s me clubbing you on minute 3:55, my end of the race. Pretty ridiculous how badly you lost this fight if you ask me.
 
Yes, it was hard. I have pictures where you can see in my face and my form how badly you were making me feel (and you can also see a famous Queens landmark in the back, you have seen it in Men in Black).

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But what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger (and faster come fall), right? Look how strong I looked later…

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The more you tortured me, the stronger I felt:

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I am mentally done with you. SO over you, but thank you for putting up a good fight and challenging me. I appreciate the lessons I learned, but I see you shaking now.. HUH?

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See? I WIN. You should know better and back off now, before it’s too late.
You can slow us but you can’t stop us. We love this too much to be brought down.

Here we go again

For the third year in a row… Gotta get ready for the NYC Marathon!

Ten days until the “official” training begins. Only 10 days left of freedom, of “I run whatever I want to“, at “whatever pace I feel like“.. Oh, I am going to miss this “in-between-marathons phase SO much!

Bye bye traveling at the last minute and just because. Bye bye last minute decisions about races and runs. Bye bye Friday nights!!! Hello countless Nutella jars!

I am still looking at some more races so the program will have to be adjusted (a lot), but I will have to plan around it to keep my mileage and pace on track. My main goal is to get to the start line injury free! I really want to enjoy the marathon this time (unlike last november’s fiasco!).

I am using SmartCoach just like in my previous three marathons (2 NYCs, 1 Boston). Sixteen weeks. 500 miles. 7 runs longer than 16 miles, peaking at 40 miles per week (average: 31 miles per week). Four pikermis included.

I still need to find training shoes I like… Eeeek, why do they have to change models so much from one year to the next??? Huh?? WHY?

And now, to the MsRitz’s NYC Marathon Awards… Best News Ever!
My sis (little MsRitz) would be coming all the way from Argentina to watch the race. How super OSOM cool is that?? I am SO excited. SO excited. I am SO SO SO SO HAPPY!

 

Hopefully, she’ll see something like this: NYCM 2008
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And NOT something like this: NYCM 2009
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Fingers crossed, right?

What kind of horse am I in? Maybe one with a Prince on it…!

So, I’ve been doing amazingly well lately, if I may say so myself… I’ve been PRing with a lot of margin, with paces that seem neck-breaking for me!! And everyone keeps asking me what am I doing differently…

I wish I could tell you… you know I would!

All I can say is that I am “running happy” (I know, I am an idiot!!), but basically I am running on dirt and dirt alone, unless there’s a road race. I am running in the VFFs once a week, which I think helps develop my legs and my form. And at least twice a week I do a strength routine: core and butt (ok, glutes!). Stretching has become my religion. I pretty much run whatever/whenever I feel like. No speedwork, just fast hill repeats on dirt twice a month, and racing. That’s about it…. All the other things I do are definitely not performance enhancers… (cupcakes-eating tournaments anyone?) so I’ll keep those to myself so you don’t laugh at me. But my pace during the week is even slower than before, and I think it makes sense not to push or stress the body too much. How that could make me faster… no clue!!!

On the other hand, things are SO good that when I think too much about it, I get scared that it could all disappear; that all would go away as fast and mysteriously as it came. So I don’t think much about it and enjoy it, from my horse. I really think it’s more of a mind adjustment, because there is really not much else tangible that I can explain this with.

Talking about running + happiness…. this past Sunday we had the Achilles Hope and Possibility race in the park. You have to go to the site and look at these pictures, you’ll be SO inspired… I always wonder if I would still run if there were all these obstacles in front of me to sort through… These people are just amazing. I decided to spectate instead of running it because my legs were still sore from the day before and I was glad I did. I run back and forth so I got a few recovery miles in the dirt.

Argentina in-da-house!

 

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Prince Harry and Toby…

 

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In case you want to know, Prince Harry is pretty cute. And, OMG, he’s a sweetheart, he shook EVERYBODY’s hand. I am not kidding, EVERYONE, I got tired for him!!!
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I felt bad for him, this guy has SO much attention on him everywhere he goes… I can’t even imagine how horrible that must be. You would have to have an immense patience and nerves of steel…  I had never seen so much police and secret service guys in the park!
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This is Trisha Meili, a very inspiring woman who created the race (or so I heard…). You know her, she’s the Central Park Jogger.

 

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Heather Mills, former model and Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, she lost a leg a while ago and she’s a big activist. She was supposed to do the race but she had a back problem and didn’t. ;-(
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Prince Harry takes over and blows the horn. 
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They go. Prince Harry talking to Dick Traum, founder of the Achilles International Org.
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I walked to the finish line and in a few minutes the first male was done!! A few random shots from the finish line:

 

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All an all, another more than amazing day in the park. With the most inspiring people you could think of.

Then I had to go and keep freaking out about the World Cup game. The Prince went to the polo game.Nacho Figueras beat him, see? 😉

 

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Oh, and Prince Harry fell off this horse (Sunday was not a good day for Englishmen playing Sports…) 

 

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Well… so far, I haven’t!!!
Hold on to your horse. Ride on!

DONE with #@$%#%^ Summer Racing!!!/ON-a-HORSE!!! (Front Runner’s 5 Miler RR)

I did the Front Runner’s 5 Miler today. I love 5 milers but the last one I did was this same one last year, so I knew there was a high probability of a PR in the forecast, despite the weather forecast: it has been insanely hot all week. Call me crazy, but I don’t enjoy racing in an oven, I am just nuts like that. Love 5 milers, hate the heat. Ergo, I race and whine/curse.

Anyway, my PR was 38:32 (average pace of 7:42). Given that my pace at the 10k two weeks ago 7:25, I had targeted an average pace of 7:20. But I figured in this heat I would be happy with a 37:30 finish time. Ha, as usual, I had no clue….!
 
While lining up at the corral, I drunk 2 Gatorade cups and dumped 3 cups of water on me. I was already hot and dreading it. We are OFF! This time, I didn’t fight my urge to go out too fast. Why bother? I went insanely fast at the last 10k and it was fine; and I was sure I was going to be miserable very soon not matter what I did… Mile 1- 7:07, whatever, I am hot. Even before the Mile 1 marker I had already fought like 30 million thoughts about stopping to walk. It was very hard for me not to, I was so annoyed at myself and I remembered why I would stop last year to walk in all these races: the #@$^&^& HEAT!!! I decided I would distract myself with all I had, and I would not stop, at all, GGRRR< I am tough, I can do this, no I can’t, can I?,  uh, I hate this, I want to walk just a bit, just a couple of seconds, NO! Please, it’s hooooooot, and this is soooo hard, that’s what she said, keep going you m*r*n, you are better than this, but I am hot… the whole five miles went exactly like that!
 
Mile 2- 7:06… ok fine, but I really wanted to stop. It’s all I wanted.In life. Forever. I saw (and waved at) a lot of people in the park cheering (including yours truly jflecks79), and then this guy runs up to me and says: I was running by you for a while and everybody knows you here, I am getting depressed that no one waives at me. He must have thought I was mental, I was so out of it it took a little while for me to understand “words”… I was just trying not to stop! Or die! Heart rate: INSANE. Yes, I am always this specific and accurate.
 
Mile 3- 6:50… what? how? I was just focusing on finishing this. I hated racing. All I should be doing today is sit by a pool. Shut up B!tch, you’re MsRitz, you run the run today! Hahahaha! Misting stations are heaven, I need more!
Mile 4- 7:28  let’s finish this…. time to sprint? Can I even try?  Mile 5- 7:06. Last mile was run hard but it all paid off. Finish time: 35: 37… WHAT? Yeah, 35:37!!! Average pace of 7:08. Insanity!!!!!!!!!! Almost a three minutes PR!!! And, #4 in my Age Group. That, in NYC, is HUGE! Insane.
 
As soon as I crossed the finish line I had to hold on to the railings. I couldn’t stand up or see much. People were asking me stuff and pointing to the Medical tent, which was 5 feet away. I couldn’t say no, I just held on. After a few minutes I started walking, slowly, in zigzags… Found Blaise right away, I was still dizzy, it took me a good 10 minutes to feel normal again.
Someone Run the Run today! It was horrible, but I figured I would NOT race in weather like this for a while so I had to make it worth it, and leave with a bang (I am not coming back until it’s snowing!!!). And I didn’t stop once, which was the hardest part for me. We took a million pictures after and since then I have been telling myself all day how happy I am with myself, to the shock/annoyance of strangers, and nodding of friends. I really feel really OSOM. #4th is HUGE for me. HUGE. I am on a horrrrrrrrrrrrse!!
 
Now I need to recover for tomorrow’s Argentina’s game! At least I got this RR out before who knows what happens to me tomorrow during the game… rough weekend!! 😉 Just one pic for now. More to come!!!
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Enjoy the weekend! Trust me: stay indoors!!!
original post here

Mini 10K RR

Everybody I know was wondering why I’d be racing while Argentina was playing. I was questioning it too: I never do well in this race, it was hot, humid, and… the World Cup was on.
Still, I’d rather be the main character in my life before being a spectator of anyone else’s, so off I went to the park with my white chocolate mocha… A PR wasn’t the goal, but just to do this race justice. My 10k PR was three weeks old: a 46:43 (average pace of 7:32); but weather yesterday was not cooperating… I wasn’t expecting much, just to start slow and pick it up later.
Mary Wittenberg (President and CEO of NYRR), Paula Radcliffe, and Kara Goucher wished us luck and we were off. I was in the first corral, and that always spells disaster for me; I went out way too fast. (My first mile in the last 10k was 7:40.) Mile 1 and 2 got merged together as I was too hyped up to press the lap button. They averaged 6:59. Ooooops, crap. I am in big trouble. Then I heard/felt a bunch of people surrounding me: a huge group passes me with Mary and Paula. Pretty cool.
We then go into Central Park and I saw pretty much everybody I know there cheering (even Pottbott, remember him?). This race is just bigger than life and everyone comes out to watch!
Mile 3: 7:24, still going too fast, and I was definitely feeling the effects of the heat and humidity. That’s when I started to fall apart. Mile 4: 8:01. But when I saw the 4 mile mark I decided to step it up, though my mind kept wandering… The extra effort felt ok but I was so unfocused. Mile 5: 7:21. Until I started chasing this tall woman until the finish. I’ve noticed I’ve been doing that more and more, just chase someone… Mile 6: 7:28. The final .2 was done in 7:16 pace. I clocked in at 46:05. That’s a 38 seconds PR.
How?
How?
I have no idea…
Weather was yucky, Blaise wasn’t there to pace me, I went out too fast, I had the same shoes, the same coffee… Someone figure this one out please. It’s making me mental…
Off to find everybody. Now, about the outfit: I have a couple of running skirts that I NEVER wear. I figured it I didn’t wear a skirt to the Mini10k, then I’d just have to recycle them. And the pink… it’s a all women’s race, I had to! Right?
I saw Kara, who looks OSOM as you can see, and I don’t have to tell you how sweet she is!

kara goucher mini 10k nyrr mary wittenberg kara goucher mini 10k nyrr mary wittenberg

There’s Mary too. You all know she is “The Most Amazing Woman In The Whole Wide World”, right?

Katherine Switzer Kara!

Katherine Switzer, who I had met in Boston earlier this year. You know her: a true pioneer of women’s running. She created this race, along with Fred Lebow, and was the first woman to run NYCM (won it twice) and the first winner of Boston (after they established the women’s category). She was also the one who pushed for adding the women’s marathon to the Olympics.

Where would we be without her?? Well, I’ll tell you: we’d still be holding our uterus so it wouldn’t fall out when we run; and running anything but marathons!

kara goucher mini 10k nyrr mary wittenberg adam goucher
Adam Goucher wasn’t getting as much attention as super-rockstar Kara, so we chatted for a while. He’s super nice and was telling me about his training and how much he suffered while injured. I get moody and grumpy when I can’t run, but I couldn’t even imagine how the elites would deal with it, it’s gotta be 500 times harder (he said he put on 15 pounds!!!); and he’s targeting the Olympic trials (for the marathon) so he’ll do the half in January instead. And… it’s confirmed, it’s a BOY!!!! Seems like they were all expecting a girl, but he’s happy as it took them so long to get pregnant. He’s super nice, that boy’s gonna be fast and OSOM with those genes!!

And, the myth, the woman, THE Paulinator! Not sure if Paula is a soccer fan but she didn’t say a peep about the Argentinian shirt. I was not about to bring it up.

She was SO nice!

kara goucher mini 10k nyrr mary wittenberg adam goucher paula radcliffe

The winner, Linet Masai, on the left by Katherine, with a yellow shirt. The race story is here.
DSCN9029 The winner, who was super super shy, and the rest of the top three!
go here for pictures and video.
Then was the turn of the two running Gods/hot mammas!
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They stand there like they are normal. Do they not realize how amazing they are?? Seriously????
Then they heard about my race, and they couldn’t hide it…
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So, it’s ok that I didn’t miss this for (the first half of) a soccer game. Right? 😉

2010 NYC Half Fun and Pics

Six am on a Sunday morning is just cruel, but I was really looking forward to see Deena, Haile, Nick, Abdi, FAM, Madai, Claudia, and all the other amazing runners in my park. So there we marched, Jodi and I. I had planned to see them go on Mile 1 on the east side, sprint to the west side, see them at Mile 2, then take the downtown train and catch them right before the Finish. It was all precisely planned down to seconds. You know it worked because I am an OSOM (ok fine, obsessive) planner!!
 
They all looked so strong and fast, it was impressive… And I just love this half, it goes around Central Park and then through the heart of NYC: Times Square. And I hate Times Square. I hate it; just like everyone else who lives here. But there’s just a couple of hours a year when it’s magical: this race!
 
Anyway, here’s a few pictures…
Peter Kamais already leading by Mile 2.
How did he know??? If I was running with Haile, I’d be crying in the back of the pack (or at home!)
new york city half marathon nyrr ny (3) Abdi, Haile and a guy in green (?) leading
And there’s Deena, already leading the chase pack, which she held all the way up to Mile 11. Mara Yamaguchi has some guts passing her with 2 miles to go! And, no, that is not Brian Sell behind Deena. It’s local amazingness Mike Cassidy.
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OSOM Sunglasses, right? yes, they're the same!
The two osomest runners that weren’t running Sunday!!! Happily waiting by the Finish line, though I was a bit upset the someone passed Deena! Nice shades, right?
You know someone's coming...
Peter Kamais crossing the finish line. Event Record. It was the best weather this half has had. This is the first year they do it in March, it was always in August and the weather had been ridiculous. First time I did it, in 2006, it was pouring. Last year, it was 82 degrees at the start. YUK. So, back to my point, this was great weather for records.
Photo Finish for 2nd place. INTENSE!!!!!!!!! new york city half marathon nyrr ny (25) new york city half marathon nyrr ny (26) new york city half marathon nyrr ny (27) Peter and Peter and Moses!

The INTENSE fight for second place between Kigen and Trafeh, way to dig til the end!

hey hey! When would I get to wave a flag??? AAAH, NEVER!
First and second male: Kamais and Kigen, super happy, obviously!
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There’s Nick Arciniaga, looking strong on his way to 15th place
then…Mara Yamauchi, of Great Bretain approaching. First Place!
new york city half marathon nyrr ny mara Checking the rearview mirror for a come-from-behind mess new york city half marathon nyrr ny (42) Mara Yamauchi of Great Britain took the women's win in approx 1:09:25. new york city half marathon nyrr ny (44)
Mara crossing the finish line in 1:09:24. I like what she said: “My race went from bad to good today, I didn’t give up because as soon as you give up in your mind, your body gives up. I told myself that a bad day was better than a really bad day. Maybe this isn’t so bad, let’s get moving.”

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Deena, just a few seconds behind Mara, and Madai coming right behind too. All too close!
Deena and Madai at the Finish line. So glad she got this one in!
America's sweetheart! new york city half marathon nyrr ny  deena kastor new york city half marathon nyrr ny  deena kastor new york city half marathon nyrr ny (56) new york city half marathon nyrr ny (57) new york city half marathon nyrr ny (58) new york city half marathon nyrr ny  deena kastor
Deena and her biggest fan!

After that we watched a couple of friends finish and we were off to get the cookies Jodi has been talking about for years… There’s a happy girl

levian bakery chocolate chip cookie

The cookie was ridiculously good. But you probably need to run a pikermi right after one. Now that I think about it, I could have these cookies instead of Nutella before my long runs from now on…!
If you want more pictures, there’s a bunch more here. Have a great week!!!