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Airbnb Brooklyn Half – Race Report

well, don’t tell me I am late, at least I am doing it!

The week started with a lot of work and then a few very busy days at the PreParty (which is what we call the “expo” or where you pick up your bib). As it’s a Brooklyn race, it’s natural that we’d roll over to the good ol’BK to pick up the bib. The promenade has changed a lot in the last few years and it’s totally worth the trek. That building with the green top is where the Preparty is. Nice views, right?

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2

Hi!!!

I spent most of my time at the Running Lab, which is where the Pacers are (we have all those pace bracelets for people, and also where the Course Strategy is held, basically, the funner area but I am totally biased!

if you want it come and get it, lalalala, lalalala

Fun times at the preparty, plus you get to see everyone… The first day, my friend Courtney showed up right on time to come back to the Upper East Side together, so after she put up with my course strategy, we got a shot and headed back!

The next day, the husband picked me up. They have some food trucks parked there so we stayed a bit, enjoyed the mac and cheese and Airbnb set up and obviously we had to get the crazy pics…!

Race day…

We got up at 4, I had my breakfast:

At 5 we were in an uber to the start, got there around 5:40 and we had plenty of time to check our bag and get to the portapotties and corral. There was a fun flash rain for about 10 minutes which came out of nowhere. Then we just huddled in the corral.

Me, Patricia in a nice shirt, Courtney, and Juan

More people started showing up…

Patricia, Courtney, Richie, me, Juan and Keith. We are ready!

Soon enough, all the corrals merge, the national anthem happens and we get moving. Time to run!

Patricia, Courtney and I started together. We all train together and finished within a minute from each other in the United NYC Half, all between 1:36 to 1:37 so we knew we could at least start together. The first 2 miles were crowded and we all stayed close. I felt Patricia pulling up and Courtney pulling back, and by Mile 3 Patricia had gone ahead and peeled off.

I saw so many people cheering it’s not even funny how many shout outs I got. Even from runners. This lady in white and black top is Katie, who I just met on that mile, she was doing great! I knew Helen would be around the 10K mark with her 4 month old Leo so I made sure to keep an eye out!

heeeey Helen and Leo! Thanks for picture also!

My pace in the park tends to be quite conservative, but it was a bit on the slow side. I had no energy. I had brought only one gel with me and wanted to eat it so bad by mile 3, but if I did, what was going to happen at mile 9 or 10, or 11…? so I saved it and kept trucking, slow trucking, and hoping for the best. I had no idea why I has spent, but… looking back about now, I realize that I didn’t taper enough, I had run too many miles that week or 10 days before the race and should have rested a bit more. I need to pay more attention to the mileage I do before races, it’s very easy for me to overdo it.

Around mile 7 or 8, when I left the park, I finally had a gel. Felt so good…!!! The second part of the race is always great. I love it. There’s a lot of space to run free, lots of people cheering, lots of teams cheering and I made sure I got high-fives from all of them.

this is me running towards November Project, which you could hear about a half mile away…!!!

The last miles are always fun. You can run hard + you realize the race will be over soon. Why does this always happen? I always feel like the race ends too quickly!!!! As slow as I was going, it still felt too short!

Boardwalk running FTW! Also, before you get on the boardwalk I remember seeing the 800 meter to go sign… what a THRILL!!!!!!!

Why does no one look happy in the last 200 of a race? it’s the most exhilarating part of the race???? did you all go out too fast by any chance??? I’ll do the digging below…!

Done!!!

Oooops: 1:40:01 WHAT?

Patricia was 1:39 and Courtney was 1:41 so we all had a similar day, AGAIN. Now that I’ve looked back at my training log I see what happened, way too many miles that week!!! Also, I didn’t eat enough. I usually do 2 cups of rice but didn’t finish it that morning… Note to self: please pay attention!

We all had stuff to do (travel, weddings, etc) so we hopped on the first train back to the city. As usual, it gets crazy and stinky in there!

my awesome rolls!

So, here’s the splits. Disregard the messy laps. I usually manual lap at the race signs but I had it on automatic mile lapping (which I usually turn off) and it made a mess. But it’s all there. No hiding.

I did some serious negative split but still there was no way of getting back to a 1:36/1:37… Glad I didn’t fizzle out though. That’s just too painful (for my body AND my ego!).

Stats Time!

Finish time: 1:40:01  Average Pace: 7:38

Previous PR: 1:36:03. From: March 2016

Age Grading:68.39%

Overall Place: 3252 of 27,461

Gender Place: 569 of 13, 979

Age Place: 38 of  1,432

So here is the eye-opener, and if you’ve read my posts you know I do this is all the Brooklyn halfs, because I am too lazy to do it for every race, but the point is always the same. You have to start slow-ish. It’s even worse in this race as there are hills on the first half and ZERO bumps on the second half. Ok, I grabbed a bunch of people that finished around me, all with the same 7:38 average pace. Check where where I was at the 5K, or 10K or anywhere (I am towards the bottom of the list), and check where all these runners were… Sometimes they were 3, 4 or 5 minutes ahead of me. So, by the first 5K they had not only run around 7 pace, as they thought they had a 1:35 in them, but their last 5K might have been even more dramatically off. This is a good way to see how good your splits were and a good reminder to start slow:

Anyway, 7th Brooklyn Half in a row, in the books… onto the next one!

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April 2017 Recap

April was an interesting one… the month started with the Run to Breathe 4 mile race. That went quite well. So well, I came in 3rd in my AG, 4 seconds away from a PR and got super excited about my fitness level… The first Monday of April, I started the new session of Stairs of Fire, a workout just on stairs designed to kill your legs… it killed MY legs… I was beyond stiff and sore for 3 full days… OUCH. Of course, I still coached that week, did speedwork and run a lot so by Friday I was feeling ALL THE NAGS. Luckily, I was to be locked indoors all weekend at the Road Runners Club of America Coaching Certification, which got my legs some rest. They were still not great after that, my feet were iffy and tight… so I just took it very easy for 3 full weeks until it was all back to fighting shape, yes, I AM THE OPPOSITE OF EVERY RUNNER. When there’s a nag, or a little nothing, I try not to “run through it”, I STOP, to make sure it doesn’t turn into something bigger down the road. Luckily, I don’t have to do this often. Last time it happened was in September and was back on the horse after 2-3 weeks. I had very tight calves and it was making my feet super tight (pre-Achilles tendinitis!!!) so those 3 weeks I run very little and very slow, did Epsom salts bath almost every day, I stretched twice a day, slept, got massages, and voilaaaaa. Good to go! The stairs workout did me in. My legs weren’t ready for that hot mess of a workout! My goal for May is to stretch every day (after not stretching for …5 years?)

I missed out on coaching for a full week but I did so many other things, like a biomechanics running event at the Hearst Building, a few fun events (like a Gala and a staycation) and I  paced the 1:55 finishers at the Shape Women’s Half this past weekend. Not a lot of mileage or quality work but got out of it unscathed…!

  • Total Miles: 109
  • Races: two! 1 great time, and 1 pacing gig
  • Ups: Pacing was fun… the rest was a bit tentative!
  • Downs: mileage and workouts went DOWN!!!!
  • Balance: I am ready to ramp up now!

Here is my training for April…

March

Didn’t I just write a Feb recap?? Is this what happens when you get older? Times really flies!

The month included a lot of coaching, loads, a few miles, lots of work hours, a November Project workouts, a visit to the Asics showroom, my birthday celebrations, a few Facebook Live Chats, the big United NYC Half Weekend and race, Club Night, lots of runs with friends, and two races: the United NYC Half and the Central Park Spring 10K this past two weekends. Now that I think about it, I see why my mileage was so low… makes sense!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hoping Spring makes things easier and I can get out there more. I need to figure out a way to not need that much sleep…!

Here is my training for March:

March pictures:

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  • Total Miles: 127
  • Races: two! (6 total for the year!)
  • Ups: had fun. The NYC Half!!!
  • Downs: Not super up there with the splits or the mileage.
  • Balance: move on March, April is coming!!!!!!!!!!

 

February

hello March! I have no idea where these weeks go!??! I actually freaked out a couple of weeks ago, because I realized it was too late to train for the United NYC Half… these weeks are faster than any of my races!

Well, the month started with the Gridiron 4 miler, which I totally phoned in. What a loser I am sometimes. Actually, that’s why I freaked out, because, seriously Elizabeth, get it together! Why show up at a race and not even try? UGH. I frustrate myself so much sometimes! The next weekend, pre-Valentine’s Day, Juan and I spent some romantic time in the city, NO MORE DETAILS of course. The weekend after that, we raced a relay triathlon, as a Valentine’s Days Weekend thing: the Lovie Dovie Triathlon at Chelsea Piers. That Thursday was Club Night. a fun event to celebrate NY’s runners. Fun. And last weekend I raced the Al Gordon 4 miler, which went a bit better than the first 4 miler this month. Very busy weeks with lots of events and work and life stuff. All of it fun.

Here is my training for February:

february-notes

  • Total Miles: 131
  • Races: three!!!
  • Ups: it was almost summer.
  • Downs: I need more time before the NYC Half PLEASE!!!
  • Balance: Someone please slow down time. seriously.

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January

went by ridiculously fast. So fast I didn’t even notice I didn’t post a recap for the Half I did. I literally started the year racing. Or running on a race course.. We did the Midnight Run, which happens right at the stroke of midnight on January 31st. I was signed up for the Kleinerman 10K because I had a little head cold and decided to focus on my health first. I was moving two days later so I didn’t want to overdo the weekend. So, I changed apartments, and I also started a new job (and career). Life got busy. I am also still coaching a lot. I renewed my CPR and AED cert. I led a few runs and coached many biomechanics 1x1s. Then we went to vacation to Antigua, which was more necessary that I had time to realize. January was a bit crazy. But we made it, with decent mileage, 118 miles in. The United NYC Half is dangerously close…

  • Total Miles: 118
  • Races: one (Manhattan Half) though I wasn’t really racing.
  • Ups: a vacation. And feeling the need to RUN on vacation. Who does that?
  • Downs: January was busy so I wasn’t really paying attention…
  • Balance: meh, in a holding pattern for now

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Tomorrow/this weekend: Out for the Run

You don’t want to miss this one.

Do you know Da Ping Luo? If you’ve done ONE race in NYC, it’s quite probable that you’ve already met him. He has amazing pictures and he has an exhibit opening tomorrow (everything purple is copied from the site):

Out for the Run, May 5-7 at the Leslie-Lohman Prince Street Project Space

“Out for the Run,” a photographic and archival exhibit by Da Ping Luo, brings to life the achievement and solidarity of Front Runners, the LGBT running club that has unified an international community of gay athletes over four decades. Luo mixes his own photos – soulful expressions of meaningful moments – with historic images and memorabilia to celebrate the communal power of everyday gay athletics. “I’ve been exploring the larger meaning of Front Runners as a societal force for over 5 years,” said Luo. “Clubs like Front Runners provide individuals a greater sense of LGBT identity, as well as community, that they probably never had before.”

Here’s a little preview to get you excited!

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Opening Reception: May 5, 2017 6-8pm
Exhibition: May 6-7, 2017 12-6pm
Artist Talk: May 6, 2017 at 4pm

Prince Street Project Space, 127-B Prince St., New York City

More info on the website.

I am super excited! I’m hoping I can make the reception tomorrow, but definitely making it this weekend. Don’t miss it! See you there?

Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe (4M) – Recap

I am signed for SOMETHING every weekend for the next two months so I am going to keep these reports short (this one ends with a twist…).

So, this is the same 4 mile loop I race about 15 times a year… or so. I’ve done this course soooo many times I can do it in my sleep. And like those super-tired-just-did-speedwork sleeps… I met Patricia at the start corral (and Steve, heeey!!) and she asked me what pace I’d do it in… I said around 28:30. Then I told her “my first mile is going to be 7:15, my second mile is going to be 7:02, third mile is usually around 7:30 and then a 6:55 or 6:56 closer”. She looked at me like I was crazy, but that how I pace to an average 7:02 or 7:05 average race. IN GENERAL, of course.

The weather was great, which I wasn’t expecting. We had been told all week it was going to rain. Now, if I have to count how many races the weather people got it wrong for, I can just give you a list of all my races…!!! I still didn’t feel like racing, so I had woken up at 6:30, took Diego (my friend’s dog I was watching) out to pee and got back into bed. Until 8 am. Race was to start at 9.

When the gun went off, I went into auto mode. At mile 1, I pointed at the clock, I was right on what I had predicted. I then noticed I hadn’t turned on my gps. Oh well. I had no idea what my first mile and a bit was … that’s why I am not posting screenshots of my laps. Mile 2 was fast as usual and I lost Patricia. I wasn’t sure but I thought she had dropped back a bit. Mile 3, I remembered to lap my watch so I have the two last laps, mile 3 was 7:15 (what?) though I didn’t look at it at the time. And last mile, here is the twist, was a 6:33 closer. WHAT?

WHAT?
where did that come from??

Still, I waited a bit to check my results (I had forgotten about live results…!) and I saw 28:04. that is SO close to my 28:00 PR!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was another shocker. Maybe I am closer than I think to PR shape… I went into the United NYC Half thinking I wasn’t, I didn’t push to PR, then I had that whole mess with the layers…. Last week’s 10K went great, even tired a week post-half. Seems like I might be sharper than I thought… Yes, I have the lowest expectations and you all told me, I know, but I get there when I get there, okay?

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:04 Average Pace: 7:01

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 71.06%

Overall Place: 338 of 4,731

Gender Place: 30 of 2,250

Age Place: 3 of 240

back into the 71% AG wohoooooo. I love it when you are just sitting in bed on race day and really don’t want to get out of bed but then you have a fast and surprising race… Mostly because that happens aaaaall the time!! 😉 

then Patricia and I run another loop cheering, total 11 miles

March 2017 Recap

March

Didn’t I just write a Feb recap?? Is this what happens when you get older? Times really flies!

The month included a lot of coaching, loads, a few miles, lots of work hours, a November Project workouts, a visit to the Asics showroom, my birthday celebrations, a few Facebook Live Chats, the big United NYC Half Weekend and race, Club Night, lots of runs with friends, and two races: the United NYC Half and the Central Park Spring 10K this past two weekends. Now that I think about it, I see why my mileage was so low… makes sense!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hoping Spring makes things easier and I can get out there more. I need to figure out a way to not need that much sleep…!

Here is my training for March:

March pictures:

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  • Total Miles: 127
  • Races: two! (6 total for the year!)
  • Ups: had fun. The NYC Half!!!
  • Downs: Not super up there with the splits or the mileage.
  • Balance: move on March, April is coming!!!!!!!!!!

 

February

hello March! I have no idea where these weeks go!??! I actually freaked out a couple of weeks ago, because I realized it was too late to train for the United NYC Half… these weeks are faster than any of my races!

Well, the month started with the Gridiron 4 miler, which I totally phoned in. What a loser I am sometimes. Actually, that’s why I freaked out, because, seriously Elizabeth, get it together! Why show up at a race and not even try? UGH. I frustrate myself so much sometimes! The next weekend, pre-Valentine’s Day, Juan and I spent some romantic time in the city, NO MORE DETAILS of course. The weekend after that, we raced a relay triathlon, as a Valentine’s Days Weekend thing: the Lovie Dovie Triathlon at Chelsea Piers. That Thursday was Club Night. a fun event to celebrate NY’s runners. Fun. And last weekend I raced the Al Gordon 4 miler, which went a bit better than the first 4 miler this month. Very busy weeks with lots of events and work and life stuff. All of it fun.

Here is my training for February:

february-notes

  • Total Miles: 131
  • Races: three!!!
  • Ups: it was almost summer.
  • Downs: I need more time before the NYC Half PLEASE!!!
  • Balance: Someone please slow down time. seriously.

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January

went by ridiculously fast. So fast I didn’t even notice I didn’t post a recap for the Half I did. I literally started the year racing. Or running on a race course.. We did the Midnight Run, which happens right at the stroke of midnight on January 31st. I was signed up for the Kleinerman 10K because I had a little head cold and decided to focus on my health first. I was moving two days later so I didn’t want to overdo the weekend. So, I changed apartments, and I also started a new job (and career). Life got busy. I am also still coaching a lot. I renewed my CPR and AED cert. I led a few runs and coached many biomechanics 1x1s. Then we went to vacation to Antigua, which was more necessary that I had time to realize. January was a bit crazy. But we made it, with decent mileage, 118 miles in. The United NYC Half is dangerously close…

  • Total Miles: 118
  • Races: one (Manhattan Half) though I wasn’t really racing.
  • Ups: a vacation. And feeling the need to RUN on vacation. Who does that?
  • Downs: January was busy so I wasn’t really paying attention…
  • Balance: meh, in a holding pattern for now

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Speed Workouts to destroy a 10K

First quarter done… United NYC Half done…. and now what? I did the Central Park Spring Classic 10K this past weekend and I am signed up to a “few” races…. but there’s 7 weeks til the Airbnb Brooklyn Half and I definitely will be racing my way into speed-shape. There’s two ways to get there. Either focusing on the half distance or the 10K distance. So, endurance or speed. Or: Quality vs Quantity. Given I spent most of the last 6 months building a base and not really working on speed, I am going to focus the next 6 weeks on the 10K/Speed/Quality option. And I am going to target the Newport 10K in May 6 -then I’ll have to weeks to recover for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half! Voila!

I did the Newport 10K last year (as well as the Newport Liberty Half) and it’s a great race to have fun but also to RACE. It’s flat, fast, a few turns, a fast field to pull you along and amazing views and a ridiculous spread after the race. Wide and uncluttered streets, some shade and seriously a view of the city that we don’t get here. Also has the small town race feel, but great great set up, water stops and organizers. Plus it’s just a few minutes away on the path; the train station is literally two blocks for the race start, so easy to get to.  The race is May 6, (there’s NO NYRR race that weekend!), so perfect timing to race all out before the Brooklyn Half…. Check out the event website for more info. 

Pictures from the Newport 10K or the Liberty Newport Half:

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So, I’ll be adjusting my training a bit. I’ll be doing my short speed workouts during the week, but instead of long runs in the weekend (I was doing up to 15 miles leading up to the half), those will turn into specific work, like tempos or long intervals.

These are the workouts I usually do, in a period of 10 days as it suits me better than the weekly planning.

6 X 1 MILE  – THE KILLER BUILDUP BABY

Ideally, you’d start doing this one about 6 to 8 weeks out. It’s really hard. During regular training, when I do mile repeats, I usually get up to 4 and call it a day. They’re leg-makers! When you start, about 6-8 weeks out, you can take up to 5 minutes between reps, you want to make sure the legs can take each rep. You’ll see, as the weeks go by, that you’ll need less rest!!

2 X 2 MILE + 2 X 1 MILE – OH YEAH

This one you can do 4 or 3 weeks out, at goal pace again. It will also be super hard, just try to stick with 10K pace; there’s no need to go faster and make sure you take 3-4 minutes between reps.

3 X 2 MILES – ALMOST A TIME TRIAL

Of course you build up to this one over a few weeks, so you can be able to complete it a eek or two before the race, at race pace of course. This one is always the golden test. If you can hold race pace during this workout, you’re good to go. I am sure I’ll need a couple of weeks to get there.

Of course make sure you warm up throughly before, do some drills and loosen up. Oh, and I’ll be also adding a hill sprint workout every 10 days as well. Just for kicks. Well because they’re awesome!

I am excited!! What’s your next goal race??? Do you have a favorite 10K workout? Which one??

Central Park Spring Classic 10K – Recap

This is going to be quick because:

1- I don’t have race pictures

2- I wasn’t really racing…

Patricia and I met up at the B corral as usual. Patricia finished a few seconds behind me at the United NYC Half last weekend so we figured we were in good shape to run together. Also, we were still recovering from the half so we were taking this as a workout. A very hard, structured, tempo, with lots of pacers. We met Gordon in the corral, along with a bunch more people. This is a “classic” NYRR race, like a toned down version of their usually big megaproductions, where the price is lower, there is no t-shirt, smaller field, and no prizes. Closer to what a regular race anywhere else in the world looks like. But I had never done one of these and was super curious.

Anyway, the horn blows, Patricia and I start together committed to run together. We’d start slow, as there’s Harlem Hill on the first mile. And then pick it up.

It was SO HOT. I was wearing a bra and tiny shorts already. In March. Amazing. We pretty much run good splits though we kept telling each other we were going too fast about every 20 seconds… We saw a few friends cheering, heeeey, we went up and down Cat Hill and then we pushed a bit. And we were done. We actually finished the race and crossed over the finish line holding hands, given how we had worked together through the whole race. Note to self: SO hard to run proper tangents when you run with someone (who doesn’t!!!), after a few miles, I started pointing where to go, I hope Patricia learned!!

Then… we did caught up with Carolina who was at the finish, we did a northern loop with Patricia and Justin, then I run to the Run Center, and then I hosted the NYRR History Tour with Gordon Bakoulis through the park. 15 miles total. I was RAVENOUS after. I almost ate my arm.

don’t ask. I don’t.

NYRR History Tour. Organized by NYRR and usually hosted by Grandmaster Stuart Calderwood, Gordon and I were sub-hosting as he was out of town. You learn facts and story of Central Park this, with a 4.6 run in there too!

Stats Time:

Finish time: 45:27 Average Pace: 7:19

Previous PR: 44:32 From: May, 2013

Age Grading: 69.63%

Overall Place: 343 of 3672

Gender Place: 43 of 1895

Age Place: 2 of 208

Another race this next weekend, the Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe (4M). Let’s do this!!!