NYRR Al Gordon 4 Miler – Tiny Recap

Tiny recap because my husband wasn’t there, so there were no pictures. It’s amazing how I don’t remember to take one picture!!! And without pictures… can it really be a good post?

I was working on race distribution starting at 6 am (as setting up can take a bit) and by 7:30 am I remembered I hadn’t eaten anything… so I pulled a gel quickly out of my bag as there was tons of people getting their bibs and tried to swallow it while I handled bibs quickly. Next time I looked down at my watch it was 7:55!!!!!!!!!! Race was starting at 8:00 so I pulled all layers off, and run off to the start. I was soooo cold! I had been outside for two hours so it was hard to pin on the bib, put the watch on and stuff with my frozen hands. I barely got it all on me in time to start the race!!! what a rush!

There was so warm up and my legs and feel were not only cold but frooooozen! Mile one has the hill and I was still feeling out for my feet, 7:27. Mile 2 I started to warm up, and feel the rhythm, and it’s amazing how quickly these races go, mostly without a warm up or 5 minutes in the corral to know what I was doing, so I kept trying to wake myself up! Mile 2: 7:11. Half way through mile 2 I started to warm up and feel comfortable, I actually tossed my shorts. All of a sudden I was in shorts in bra. IN FEBRUARY. Amazing. I love this crappy  global warming, YEAH! Mile 3: 6:43. I always tend to speed up a lot in the last mile, or last half mile but I knew (from last year!) that there was a little uphill on the last 800s so I took it all out on Mile 3, to be safe. Mile 4 was just pace maintenance until about the last 300 hundreds. Mile 4 was 6:51.

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:12 Average Pace: 7:03

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 70.25%

Overall Place: 509 of 5258

Gender Place: 52 of 2539

Age Place: 3 of 619

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What a rush!! Also, how lucky am I that I get to work until 2 minutes before a race??? I know you might not know it but

THIS

IS

THE

BEST

TEAM

EVER:

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This is the only picture I got, Michael Capiraso came by to take our picture and that’s it!

By 10:30  I was home, showered and off to the Run Center to spend some more time with the rest of the team! Juan had been on the bike all morning.

Next week is the Washington Heights 5K… here we go again…!

 

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A Salute to the Runners that Inspire me

Carolina, this is for you.

I am newly inspired. Even more than usual. I always say I have the best friends but you need a bit more info, correct?
I saw someone last night get a huge accolade that, of course, she wasn’t expecting.

Carolina has no idea. I spend enough time with her every week to tell you this. She loves running. She enjoys running. The rest is just noise. She really doesn’t care. When she was about to run her marathon last year, she had no idea what 6:55 pace or 6:58 pace would do. When she signed up last minute to run an early Spring half after having trained very very little most of the winter, I run with her to the start and she said she would be happy with a 1:28. She went under that by a lot. She also got a PR. But I was there that winter, I can tell you she didn’t train, maybe she did half the miles I was doing and you know I don’t run a lot of miles.

Carolina doesn’t expect the PRs or the awards or the age group wins. She doesn’t train for them. She doesn’t worry about them. Running is fun for her. She has no thoughts on gels and will take what the guys at Jackrabbit give her. She will listen to all my advice and try to remember, and she’s super smart about it, but there’s something in her head that is just not in your typical fast runner’s brain.

I always felt the same way but I never knew somebody who could take it to the extreme like she would. She would pick a party over a race morning. She will pick champagne over proper hydration. She does many other things that most runners wouldn’t even think of doing, because it might mess up your running… but: FUN OVER EVERYTHING.

I always thought FUN was something that we, “slow runners” could get. The “fast runners” don’t get that. O wrote this post a while ago that got some people irked about how it was my choice not to be a better runner.  This is a hobby guys, a lifestyle at best, not the end of the world, and we should enjoy ourselves. Well, enter this Super Star to prove it.

Carolina, I raise my morning apple cider vinegar to you and your accomplishments. If I could pick between the fast times you have and the fun, I will pick the fun. But above everything, I will pick having you as a friend. You deserve this, and the world too! You’re the best, Love you tons!

CONGRATS!

And, congratsX2, because now we have one more reason to celebrate!

Lovie Dovie Indoor Triathlon. Yes, I (WE) did that!

Some of you know how scared I am of tris… if you don’t, well, I am scared of swimming, I can’t handle the bike, and omg the logistics… ay.

But there it was, an indoor triathlon, plus, it was a RELAY, within a few miles, add my will to try new things and a triathlete husband to reluctantly do all the stuff I didn’t want to do. Basically, I convinced him (not the other way around!!!) to do the bike and swim, and I’d do the run. Also, it was for fun, and somewhat a Valentine’s Day Weekend fun thing.

The event was at Chelsea Piers. The pool is not deep, but I was a bit intimidated anyway. Also, we were the only two not doing it as a relay, so at some point I thought it’d be better for him if he just did the whole thing. He’ll be faster that me, even after the bike, but he had a long run to do, and we didn’t want to mess that up!

Anyway, registration and check in was a breeze, race was starting at 7 am, we got there at 6:35 and by 6:38 we were getting undressed. 6:45 at the pool.

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You can’t say he doesn’t look super ready to swim!

I don’t have pictures (because I was distracted?!?!?!) but they did a snake swim. Which is really hard to explain but I am sure you can look it up if you want the details. Once the swim was underway I sort of wished I was swimming and just hung around. Juan got out of the water and transitioned/run to the bike. This is a spin bike Juan, NOT your bike, okay? that was rough for him.

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I don’t think he’s ever sat in a spin bike so that was a bit hard to adjust to. He’s crazy obsessed with biomechanics (like I am!) so he was looking at the power and position and stuff that was completely not important. Chelsea Piers does have compu-trainers (whatever that is!) where he could have put his own bike, but we didn’t want to bother with bringing it. There’s options! I focused on refilling his water bottle, so useful, team effort!!!!!!!

When he was done, it was my turn!! Let’s goooo!

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hey hey!

It was weird in a way because, as we were all starting at different times, I couldn’t pace with/off anyone… I had to do my own thing. LAPS. Luckily it wasn’t as hot as I had expected, and the views are always amazing. Oh those boats!

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I had to do 12×400 so they gave me 12 rubber bands to put on my wrist and I would throw one into the basket with every lap. Best Idea EVER. That’s how I didn’t lose my sanity. I have no idea what’s the trick to count laps. I’ve never been able to do it. I remember when I did the 60K, 9 laps of 4miles, COULDN’T DO IT. And doing an extra lap there would have been crazy… chelsea-piers-indoor-triathlon-7

I would also tell Juan how many laps I had left. Just in case I forgot. I would lose my mind if all my races were laps. Or maybe I would get used to it. Who knows.

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Can you tell how happy I was to be done?

My run was 22:12 for the 5000 meters. Not bad after all the crazy stuff I had done that week (and a long run the day before).

They had a great spread, food and drinks. It was about 10 of us…? Can’t remember. Some triathletes, some runners, all cool people. We actually stayed for a bit and enjoyed the quiet Chelsea Piers on a Sunday at 8 am. Juan run back home, to do his long run. I took the train back thinking I had just done a triathlon. Not really, but almost.

If you’re thinking about participating, there’s a few more coming up. Details here. Thanks Chelsea Piers team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was awesome!!!

Fun times!

NYRR Gridiron 4 Miler – Recap

Another short recap, because I really have to catch up and because there’s really not a lot to tell. I have been taking races so easy that it’s scary…

Juan was running this one (wohoooo!!!) so we met up with Courtney and jogged a couple of miles to the start.

As you can see, I still suck majorly at selfies. I have no idea how people do these (or where to look!!!) UGH

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They changed the course!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These 4 milers would usually start around 66th st on the east side and run the 4 mile inside loop (cutting across 102nd st) and finish on the 72nd transverse or right before Tavern on the Green on the main road. This one now starts right before the 102 transverse, does the same loop and ends right at the start. The previous course was hard because you had Cat hill on your first mile or first half mile even. This is one is ALSO hard because you have Cat Hill in mile 3 which always ends up being the slowest mile anyway. Plus, it was a bit congested at the start, for about at least a mile. The 102 transverse was super slow.

Anyway, I wanted to see where I was, so I didn’t race very hard. Or much. Or really at all. As you can see:

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Also, I was totally overdressed to race. If I wanted to go hard, I probably would have worn shorts and a shirt. It was 33 degrees (feels like of 28), but I got hot quite fast.

My husband was a bit ahead of me!

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Carolina and Colleen were cheering and taking pictures and they did an amazing job at it. I saw them on the west side and them on the east side. And they put on a complete mess of yelling when they saw me. YES. MADE MY RACE.

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Courtney and I didn’t run together much. She was a little bit more determined than I was. I just didn’t have it. You know, when you just don’t care and you wonder why are you even racing? THAT. I could have done a longer run, why am I pushing these short miles.. but to tell you the truth, it all backfired right on my face the next day. I realized I am 7 weeks away from the United NYC Half and there is no time to waste… my run Monday was FIRE. Tuesday’s speedwork was FLAMES. Wednesday’s run I push as much as I could.

Tide has turned.

We’ll see how long that lasts… but for now, I AM ON.

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:51 Average Pace: 7:13

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 68.67%

Overall Place: 546 of 5156

Gender Place: 87 of 2435

Age Place: 8 of 299

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well, there’s another one in two weeks. Let’s see if I can bring my head and fire to that one! Also, if you ARE running Al Gordon and need a race recap with a course elevation chart, here is mine from last year.

Manhattan Half – mini Race (?) Report (?)

this is going to be quick because I already went on vacation since. When you go on vacation everything before sort of self-destroys. Correct?

So, I worked a bit before the race. Weather was great. I was overdressed

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I answered many questions, 99% of them were about the location of the porta-potties. Some people called them porta-johns. Some called them toilets. All that made it quite fun. Also, everyone shows up right at the last minute.. ehem.

I then unzipped, by then I was frozen, but it was about 44 degrees and went to the start with Courtney.

We run all of it together, taking it easy, chit chatting.

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Marie, in the teal Boston jacket on the left (my right) joined us for most of the first half. Also Serena run a few with us. The weather is usually a challenge in this race, ranging from frozen, to icy, to snowy, to bitter effing cold. This time, it was balmy and humid. Go figure. If I didn’t have my bib on my shirt, I would have tossed the shirt, I was so hot!

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I even took the hat off. If this isn’t proof of global warming, then I don’t know what is.

We got to the finish line.

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We were happy. The end.  Then we went to Juice Press.

Did you ever see a crappier shorter race report? We did 1:48 or 1:49 something, I have no idea. Then Juan and I went to Antigua, so THAT.

What?? you expected those long posts with details? well, don’t complain next time when it’s LONG!! 😉

January 2017 Recap

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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2016 Numbers and Overall Balance

I’ve kept the last few years for comparison purposes… and my comments in Italics. I expect your comments below. What do YOU think are the wins and fails? what about your wins and fails? What is the most important factor for you? Mileage, PRs, races..??

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Total Miles:
2009- 678
2010- 1217
2011- 886
2012- 1241
2013- 1109
2014- 1081
2015- 1237
2016- 1502 most
— wow. simple: most miles ever. And I just took 3 weeks off. awesome. thumbs up

Races:
2009- 10 (9 in NYC, 1 in Nashville) 1 marathon, 2 halfs, one 18 miler, one 10k, one 5M, two 4M, one 3 miler and a Mile.
2010- 19 (13 in NYC, 1 in Boston, 1 in Boulder, 2 in NJ, 1 in Philly, and 1 in Buenos Aires)
2011- 12 (10 in NYC, 1 in DC, and 1 in NJ)
2012- 16 (13 in NYC, 1 in PA, 1 in Germany, 1 in Argentina)
2013- 11 (10 in NYC, one in NJ)
2014- 15 (12 in NYC, one in NJ, one in MA, and one in Argentina)
2015- 17 (16 in NYC, one in NJ)
2016- 13 (11 in NYC, two in NJ), 6 were half marathons
— ooops, I seemed to have skipped a few classics. Crap. thumbs down

PRs:
2009- Six! (Out of 10 races)
2010- Thirteen! (Out of 19 races)
2011- Six + 1 automatic one (Out of 12 races)
2012- Three (marathon, 5K, mile) + 1 automatic (out of 16 races)
2013- Three (half mary, 4 miler, and 10K)
2014- ZERO!
2015- ONE – at the NYRR Hope and Possibility 5 Miler in June. I also came first woman in a 5K, but no PR there.
2016- ONE! at the United NYC Half.
— just one seems like a “thumbs down” situation but I also got just one in 2015, so maybe this is how things are now… Also, on the plus side, it is AMAZING that it was a half marathon PR, plus the fact that I got the PR at the hilliest of all the halfs I did. I also like the fact that I did 5 more halfs  and in a few I was within seconds of that same PR. thumbs up

Highest Age Grading:
2009- 60%
2010- 69%
2011- 68.5%
2012- 71:29%
2013- 70.23%
2013- 70.20%
2015- 72.28%
2016- 72.68%

— good thumbs up

Injuries:
2009- 2 — retrocalcaneal bursitis (5 months out), piriformis syndrome (10 weeks out)
2010- ITBS (three weeks out right before the Boston Marahton!)
2011- broken shoulder, 2 broken ribs, torn rotator cuff (2 weeks before NYCM!)
2012- NOT ONE!
2013- NOT ONE RUNNING INJURY! WOHOOO
2014- just my will to run…?!?! So, yey, good!?!?!
2015- a little adductor strain. It took a few months to diagnose it, but didn’t stop me from running. nothing special. just took off racing and speedwork for 6 weeks.
2016- NOPE
—most mileage ever and no injuries? #winning!  thumbs up

Races Cancelled or DNFed:
2009- none
2010- One DNF, a 50K where I fell twice.
2011- Chicago, DNS because of 2 stress fractures.
2012- ONE DNS (snow storm!), plus the NYC Marathon cancellation.
2013- none
2014- none
2015- Did the France Run without bib chip as I didn’t want to race it and skipped the Newport Half because wasn’t sure what was happening with my leg…
2016- One DNS: Philly Marathon
— got super sick, what could I do? thumbs down

Highest/Average Weekly Mileage:
2009- Highest: 40. Average: 13
2010- Highest: 40. Average: 23
2011- Highest: 36. Average: 17
2012- Highest: 40. Average: 25
2013- Highest: 43. Average 21.
2014- Highest: 43. Average 20.
2015- Highest: 40. Average 23.6
2016- Highest: 50. Average 28.8 most!
—fabo! thumbs up

Marathons:
2009- One (NYC). PR: 3:45:22
2010- Two (NYC and Boston). PR: 3:42:33
2011- Two (National and NYC). PR: 3:37:57. DNS in Chicago for injury.
2012- One (Berlin). PR: 3:27:44
2013- One (NYC). A MegaMESS
2014- Two (Boston and NYC), two awfully-slow-fun experiences. Not even close to a PR.
2015- NONE. isn’t that insane?
2016- NONE
— I tried, I got sickthumbs up

Half Marathons:
2009- Two. PR was 1:45:55
2010- Six. PR is 1:42:47
2011- Two. No PR.
2012- Two. No PR. (though there was an unofficial half marathon PR in the second half of the Berlin marathon)
2013- Three. A 1:37:35 PR and two I did for training (1:45 and 1:42).
2014: FOUR! NYC Half, Brooklyn, Gretes’ Great Gallop and Staten Island. Not ONE PR!
2015- Three raced, one Paced. NYC Half, Brooklyn, More (pacing the 1:45 group) and Staten Island
2016- SIX. the most!
— One was a PR, one was close, two were close and run them for fun, one was a training run, and the other one was a weather mess that I still did great at. thumbs up because I got one PR!

 

THE BALANCE

Overall, I am happy, even though I know I should have expected more of myself. I trained harder than ever before, did more miles, more strengthening, and still just one PR. It was a huge PR (minute and a half, at a half marathon) but I had a feeling I could PR at the marathon, trained like a maniac, and just didn’t get to race it. That left a little of a bitter taste in my mouth but not bad enough to want to go at it in 2017. I am sticking with the halfs.

I am mostly happy about how it all came together. I run so much and did so much cross training, without ever feeling like it was a chore. 2016 was the year of FUN. I really got into November Project and I was going at least once a week. I did speedwork every week, at least once, usually twice. I did many stairs workouts and Iron Strength workouts. I run lots of miles with friends. I coached many NYRR workouts and run many miles in the coaching sessions. It never felt like work or like miles I had to squeeze in.  That is the best thing I could have asked for. I also did tons of hours of plyometrics on my own. Yes, because I like it.

Goals for 2017…? If I could manage to have the same year, I would. I’d do a few more races. I’d try to get out my comfort zone a bit more. And I definitely want to do more strengthening. But overall, I think this works for me. Well, I’d love a couple more PRs… 

what was your biggest accomplishment in 2016? do you have any specific goals for 2017?