July 2017 Recap

July

Well, first of all we had a run on Freshkills Park in Staten Island. The park is not open to the public yet (and I didn’t post about it!) and won’t open for a few years but NYRR got permission to bring some runners and walkers there for an exploratory 10K and 5K so some of us coaches got to lead the run. It was fantastic. Then on the 6th, I did the Tracktown Summer Series 5K, which is a track series with a 5k component. There is a post here with more info but it was pretty cool. Juan did the NYC Tri so I spent the morning of the 16 yelling like a crazy person and running around to see him everywhere. So fun. The next day, Monday the 17 I did the NYRR RUN Brooklyn, and 10 days later I did the NYRR RUN in Central Park, two 5ks back to back! In the middle I did an super hot nasty 18 miler, and a 20 miler while I led a run to Roosevelt Island.

  • Total Miles: 169. yes, I run a lot this month!
  • Races: 3. No PRs of course but loads of fun. And, all were 5Ks… I never do 5ks!
  • Ups: I love summer running. I love it. Did I tell you I love it? I do love it!
  • Downs: When I don’t run?
  • Balance: I might actually be doing that marathon in October if things keep going like this…

June

OMG HOW I LOVE THE SUMMER!! I can’t even do a tiny recap without getting excited about all the things that happen in the 2-3 hot months we get. June was a blur! I have a feeling I am gonna close my eyes and it’ll be October in a NY minute, ugh. So I signed up for a marathon… we’ll see if I end up actually racing it (aka, last years’s botched Philly Marathon) but we’re going with it for now. I did make myself a very fancy training plan with all the stuff and then I forgot I was training for a marathon and carried on with my life. Until last week, then I did a long run. Anyway, June was cool, I did not do a lot of miles which means… I did a bunch of races! I started the month with the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, then the awesome Mini 10K (which I was horrible at), then the Queens 10K, and then the Achilles Hope and Possibility. There was a lot of cross-training in the stairs, lot of coaching workouts and lots of Tuesday speed. I just can’t miss anything in the Summer. The math for the monthly mileage must be wrong!

  • Total Miles: 127. how? too many races!
  • Races: 4. 1 automatic PR and one where I placed 1st in my AG. Wohoo!
  • Ups: YES TO LESS LAYERS!
  • Downs: I am now training for a marathon?
  • Balance: let’s go!

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May

started with me pacing the 1:55 group at the Shape Half. The next weekend I paced a New Balance run from Brooklyn to the Run Center, as a training run for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half (a 10 mile run). The next weekend (see a theme here? there’s always a run/race!), I raced the Japan Run 4 miler in Central Park. That was a bit painful (I didn’t fuel properly, ooops). There were a few stairs workouts, and speed workouts and I coached a few training runs per week… then the big day came along: the Airbnb Brooklyn Half! It all started with the 3-day Pre-party. Race Day was a fun riot. No PRs in May, but it was definitely “active”.

  • Total Miles: 148 (biggest month but not that many miles this year)
  • Races: 2 racing, 1 pacing.
  • Ups: managed to get enough miles
  • Downs: my race speed is MIA
  • Balance: I had fun!

 

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April

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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NYRR R-U-N 5K Race Report

this one only took a week… but that’s not bad right? As usual, lots happening every single NY minute but I really want to stay on top of this!

The R U N 5K is only two years old and I had never done. Yeah. Not sure why. I always feel strange running on a weekday, I am never sure what to eat or when to stop eating, and it’s always really hot in August in NYC. But this time, riding high on my RACE EVERYTHING mode, I signed up. It’s about 10 days after the Brooklyn version of the race, which had been really hot, so I wasn’t expecting much other than a good effort.

I worked a couple of hours at registration and a few minutes before the start, (I took my shirt off and) a few of us run to the start, and got corralled in. The first mile has a few downhills so you really have to control it down or you’ll be toast. A very slowly-burned toast, because it was hot also. Well, more humid that hot.

I get moving, and I swear about 6000 people passed me in about 3 minutes. HOW SLOW AM I GOING?? OR, really, how fast is everybody else going? I know it’s a 5K and all, and that the start is fast, but come one people, save a bit for the other 2.1 miles! My mile 1 was 7:00 exactly. I didn’t look which was great because I would have freaked out that it was too fast. Oh. there was Juan spectating right before mile 1 too!

we are all really struggling but Juan is so good looking we all look at him!

ok lets do this. lets make it hurt!

Mile 2 is supposed to be slower and this one also includes the one hill on the course, Cat Hill, which on a 5K turns into a bit of a Tiger Hill… prrrrrr. Mile 2 was 7:24, not so bad. I could have imagined  an 8:30 in my watch. Mind you, I never look at the pace while I am racing, I go wholly by my perceived effort. The whole time I kept trying to decide which one of the 5Ks had worse weather… Then I saw Juan again!!! YEAH!

I had picked up a friend. He was walking ahead and about to start running back up when I caught up to him and told him to come with me. He said he started too fast, hey, I think about 6000 people did!!! He stayed with me for a bit.

I run a bit harder. Mile 3 was 6:48. Then I saw the finish and that was it. Last bit was at 5:54 pace. WHAT?

Stats Time!

Finish time: 21:57  Average Pace: 7:04

Previous PR: 21:09 From: 2012?

Age Grading:69.99%

Overall Place: 489 of 4857

Gender Place: 65 of 2503

Age Place: 5 of 273

Not a PR by a lot but somehow about 30 seconds faster than the week before…

The BEST THING: the had ice pops right at the finish!! Yeap. I’d sign up for this again in a heartbeat! ICE POPS!

COOLEST team -not literally, of course-. From left, Jackie -fearless leader!- Michael, Lindsay, me, Claudia and Caitlin. All winners!

WHEN IS THE NEXT RACE!??!?! I NEED MORE OF THIS FEELING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K Race Report

Another week another race!

This past Monday was the firt R-U-N 5K in Brooklyn! Wohoo! Weekday races are the best! Also, it was on the hot side, hey, it’s mid-July but no matter. I am always game to race tempo in somewhere other than Central Park. I spend SO SO SO much time in Central Park that anything else is quite a treat.

I worked at registration for a couple of hours, but the set up was in the sun. I had the sun in my face and was sweating like a crazy person. Good thing we were handing out caps as it was the thing I needed the most. The hats were actually quite a nice perk of the race!

After two hours of sweating (ugh I was gross!!) I rushed to the start and barely made it. B a r e l y. The course is a bit under a loop of Prospect Park, with the Battle Pass Hill smack in in the middle of mile 2. But after 2.5 is all downhill or flat!

We got moving and I noticed I was overheated so I decided to take it easy and keep it under control, no heavy breathing, no suffering needed. Also, my body was confused, we never run after 7 am anymore!

I had Juan cheering, spectating, taking pictures at around mile 3 (I think)

I went over a bit and it was over. I had my music but didn’t really look at the watch (not that I ever do). I walked a bit and run back to try to find Juan but couldn’t. Finished

22:36 finish in a pace that I would have used in a half marathon just a few months ago, but now it’s a tempo. These 5Ks are really hard (even harder when you don’t really train for them, or even taper for them) but it’s the best way to push sometimes, as I don’t tend to do that many tempos. A 3 mile tempo is barely the minimum distance I should be doing but yes, better than nothing!

I went back to Race Day Central to hang out with my pees and it was bopping there! There were so many people, there were some food trucks, enormous games to play in the lawn. It was really fun.

After we finished clearing most of the registration-situation, we took this team shot also, by Juan of course.

And that’s it. That was my 15th race this year. Crazy, right?

Tracktown 5K Summer Series at Icahn Stadium

Guys!!! If you haven’t been to Icahn Stadium, you have to check it out! I always love it there. I had been there a few times for the Adidas Grand Prix, or the Tuesday Night Series, or other events. For example, I was there the week before for the Strava Mile (and was ready to get there again). That track is just so nice! Being that is not in the city, it’s never super crowded and it just looks brand new. But it’s really a couple of miles away or just a few minutes away on the train+bus. You can find out more about Icahn here.

There was a huge track meet last Thursday and if you signed up for the Road 5K, you got entry to the meet too so why not sign up? I made the decision the day before so I wasn’t really on race mode (I had done a lot of miles that week including 5x1000s two days before!) but #everythingisaworkout right? So, I just jumped in and signed up the day before!

I run to the stadium (under 2 miles from the Upper East Side) through the 103th St Footbridge. Randall’s Island is quite nice to run on. November Project has a workout there once a month and I always love it. Juan just walked there so I saw him on the way and we met up at the stadium, as well as EVERYBODY else.

The stadium was bopping! Really. Sometimes when I show at these races I feel like I am 16 going dancing: I get ready and I look forward to it, and I show up and everyone is there and it’s so fun and we’re all sweaty and a mess and we have fun and we’re all yelling and giggling, and then we go home exhausted and so happy. Ah, to be 16 again. I just rather show up at a race these days than the club.

There was not a lot of picture taking because Juan went out to cheer and took my stuff (bye phone!) but here is one that Helen took!

All the fast people and me!


I thought this was hilarious

Soon, we all lined up in the track. There were no corrals but Alison and I got in there and waited for the fun gun. There was about 310 meters in the track and then we were out in the Island. The course was great. I think it was the first 5K I run in this city that was flat. It was a bit out right on the island’s edge, some on the bike road, some on some sort of briddle path with stones (which my flats didn’t like). Then I saw Juan cheering and taking pictures!

At the end, we make a turn into the track and run the last stretch to the clock there. That is always fun. And fast!

I paced it pretty well like a tempo, even effort, controlled breathing and nothing crazy. I finished in 22:22. My splits were so insanely even… 7:14, 7:13, 7:15 and the last bit at 6:35 pace. Talk about control and pacing!!!!!

Check out our numbers!! Remy and Mary!

Soon after, we all headed for the stands to catch all the action! When we took this picture, it seems like we were missing something.

I spotted Allyson Felix right on the track and Alison and I took a selfie with her in the back and she played. For the 100000 time, I suck at selfies, so don’t judge. Am I aging myself?

But she’s too cool, way cool, so this happened!

Then I am just walking and I stop. I saw someone who looked a lot like Nick Symmonds, on our side of the stadium (where the people are watching, not where Allyson was, on the track), in socks, talking to someone down on the track but what would Nick Symmonds be doing up here? Is it really him? and why is no one bothering him for pictures as I want to do? Am I hallucinating? Is it really really Nick? Could it be? Hello… he turns around, it’s HIM. Oh, I have really nothing to say actually. Luckily there’s Instagram, and I follow him there, so I feel like I know him and could totally ask him things. We chatted for a few seconds (he is always SO nice) and then got a picture and then EVERYONE around us picked up on the fact that OMG THAT IS NICK SYMMONDS OMG OMG. So I just went back to hug Juan and tell him all about it…!

I am freaking out.

So, we stayed the whole night. Yes, Ms Elizabeth that goes to sleep at 8 pm stays up until 11 pm for special circumstances. At the end of each event some of the track stars would throw up to the crowd their team shirt… Juan just caught Stephanie Garcia’s shirt, which was also almost his size. Not as lucky as spotting Nick but there’s that!

I am not gonna lie, I was bit distracted watching Nick drink ALL night, with Allyson Felix and Bernard Lagat.

It was so much fun. As much I as can’t even try the hurdles and steeplechase, they are SOOO exciting to watch. Of course the 800s are usually the most exciting.

For the men’s 800 we all actually lined the track. Is that a thing? It was pretty cool… What a night.

Juan and I walked home.

The view of the Upper East Side from Randall’s Island is not so bad. Can you believe all this is about a mile away, but it seems like a world away.

I wanted something sweet and delicious so we went for sundaes.  Just like I would when I was 16.

June 2017 Recap

OMG HOW I LOVE THE SUMMER!! I can’t even do a tiny recap without getting excited about all the things that happen in the 2-3 hot months we get. June was a blur! I have a feeling I am gonna close my eyes and it’ll be October in a NY minute, ugh. So I signed up for a marathon… we’ll see if I end up actually racing it (aka, last years’s botched Philly Marathon) but we’re going with it for now. I did make myself a very fancy training plan with all the stuff and then I forgot I was training for a marathon and carried on with my life. Until last week, then I did a long run. Anyway, June was cool, I did not do a lot of miles which means… I did a bunch of races! I started the month with the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, then the awesome Mini 10K (which I was horrible at), then the Queens 10K, and then the Achilles Hope and Possibility. There was a lot of cross-training in the stairs, lot of coaching workouts and lots of Tuesday speed. I just can’t miss anything in the Summer. The math for the monthly mileage must be wrong!

  • Total Miles: 127. how? too many races!
  • Races: 4. 1 automatic PR and one where I placed 1st in my AG. Wohoo!
  • Ups: YES TO LESS LAYERS!
  • Downs: I am now training for a marathon?
  • Balance: let’s go!

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May

started with me pacing the 1:55 group at the Shape Half. The next weekend I paced a New Balance run from Brooklyn to the Run Center, as a training run for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half (a 10 mile run). The next weekend (see a theme here? there’s always a run/race!), I raced the Japan Run 4 miler in Central Park. That was a bit painful (I didn’t fuel properly, ooops). There were a few stairs workouts, and speed workouts and I coached a few training runs per week… then the big day came along: the Airbnb Brooklyn Half! It all started with the 3-day Pre-party. Race Day was a fun riot. No PRs in May, but it was definitely “active”.

  • Total Miles: 148 (biggest month but not that many miles this year)
  • Races: 2 racing, 1 pacing.
  • Ups: managed to get enough miles
  • Downs: my race speed is MIA
  • Balance: I had fun!

 

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April

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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Achilles Hope and Possibility 4 Miler – tiny recap

(super quick recap because I am sooooooper behind, ooops)

Not a lot to tell other than I have stopped looking at the weather. I have. It doesn’t help me to know how hot or humid it will be (as I run by effort anyway) and it won’t change what I wear anyway. What could I change in my outfit really? So I went out, it felt a bit cold actually and wished I was wearing a singlet… and got to the start quickly. Legs were already feeling a bit tired.

So, you might notice I race pretty much every weekend on the summer (twice a week sometimes) so it’s impossible to “taper” for ANY race or I wouldn’t be doing any significant training… I am ok with being a bit tired (but of course then it bothers me when I NEVER PR!).

Race started at 9, a bit on the late (read: hot) side and I got moving.  Mile 1 was HARD. Ooooops, I was slow. Mile 1 was 7:23. So there you have it. Half a mile in I was burning up in flames. I had no idea why I was so hot.

that was Juan cheering at Engineers Gate. Always out there ❤

Mile 2 is always fast (7:oo) and the third one is always a hot mess (7:30). I was so hot.

So happy I had Juan there. I was a bit hot and really wanted to go home.

I told myself that I could place. For some reason, I couldn’t see any (ANY) women around me and that the heat would scare people off. So I had that to keep me going. I actually felt a bit nauseous. And I was wondering how hot was it that I felt cold in the morning when I stepped outside. Isn’t it amazing how a nice day can turn into awful when you pin the number on?

Whatever, I had a mile to go and EVERYTHING IS A WORKOUT. Right?? My time might suck. I might fall apart at the end. I might end up throwing up. But, everything makes you fitter. Right? It’s all about showing up and getting it done some days. Some days, you just battle your head!

I met Juan and some friends by the finish line:

From left: Binu, Alberto, Nick, me and Carl. I am always the slowest 😉

Anyway, I checked my time and OMG. I was like 30 to 40 seconds off my usual time, which is a lot in a 4 miler… but everyone seemed to have a similar experience so that made me feel a bit better. Also, my stomach didn’t give me trouble so I was VERY happy with that. More water please.

Here’s the kick, I got first in my AG. With my slowest time in a while. Funny how that works out, right?

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:48 Average Pace: 7:12

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 69.26%

Overall Place: 344 of 5,603

Gender Place: 26 of 2,699

Age Place: 1 of 337

That sort of turned it all around for me. The race was sold out, it’s not like it was a small race or anything… Weird right? Anyway, that made me quite happy! Onto the next one!

TomTom Spark 3 Music+HR+GPS watch – Review and Video

there is a 8-minutes video where I show you the watch and how it works, here

As you might have noticed, my GPS watch was about 8 years old and it needed to retire to a better life. A few months ago I started looking into what would be my next best friend for the next few (8?) years. I needed something with HR, GPS and MUSIC. Yes, I want to have music when I run, just  in case I ever end up running alone (not often, I am needy!).

The Spark 3 caught my eye. Also, there’s not a lot of options. Or any really. There’s a couple other watches but they are streaming from the phone, or you can barely fit 5 songs. Also, I wanted not only music, but also PLAYLISTs. As in “race”, “tempo”, “easy”, “marathon”, “half marathon”, etc, that I created based on bpms.

The Spark 3 was the natural (obvious) choice so I decided to jump in. I’ve been using it for about 2 months now and I think I have a pretty good handle of it. It took me a bit to set up (as I don’t spend much time home in front of the computer ever) and upload the music, maybe an hour or two. All the details of the watch are here.

what it looks like outside, in the Spring

The strap comes in Small and Large, I am definitely a small.

The watch holds battery for about 2 days, including runs (all my runs are over 5 miles), and probably over 5 days if I wasn’t running. The battery is quite good. Once I had it on running mode until it run out of battery (HR and GPS, no music), I think it got to 7 hours and a half (great for my ultra running friends). It does get GPS signal quite fast (faster than my motoactv and LOTS faster than my Garmin).

the day I wiped the battery… before it shut off!

The watch actually peels off from the strap for charging and pairing, but you can pair it via bluetooth with your phone, something I LOVE. I can watch all my stats, right after a race, at the finish line, on my watch. The app is quite great. Syncs up in seconds, and it’s very intuitive. I really do like the app.

Screenshots of the app. This is what the main screen looks like:

As you can see, for example, I had 7.87 miles of activity. My run was 7.62 miles as you can see below. It tracks every single one of your steps.

And if you go to the Activities screen, you’ll see all of it:

One other thing I like is that the watch laps when you hit the screen, which makes it super easy to lap. Once you sync up your workout, you can see the automatic mile laps, or the manual laps you entered. I had never had the option to have both. Check below.

This is the automatic, mile by mile, pace screen:

As you can see, I started with a warm-up, then I started my intervals.

This is the intervals I manually lapped:

As you can see, it’s the same workout, but I didn’t lap for the 3.73 miles of the warm-up!

The one other thing I love about the watch/app combo is that it gives you all this other information about your lifestyle I never used to look at or track. Like sleep for example. I have now forgotten about my non-running watches and wear my Spark3 all day because I get HR, amount of sleep, and all these other things tracked in the app. Do I need it? Probably not. But I really like it.

My sleep activities:

If you go into the Activity tab, you see this:

I totally remember going to the bathroom at 1:24 (I always look at the time!).

And this is what a daily average heart rate looks like

And I made a tiny little video so you can see how the watch works, in case that helps. That’s here.

I took it out on today’s hour-long downpour and it was fine. Phew.

Let me know if you have any questions!