September 2017 Recap

September

Ooops. Forgot to post this last week! September had some ups and downs. I got sick and my runs suffered. I lost about 8 pounds in 4 days and I got really weak. Took me about 2 weeks to be able to eat normally and 3 weeks to feel normal again. Somehow, unlike previous times, I actually managed to do all my long runs, YEY, but I didn’t get to do the races I had slated as fitness tests (to give me a good idea where I was for the marathon!). I was REALLY upset to not be able to do the NB 5th Avenue Mile… You know it’s bad when you’re too weak to race ONE mile. UFFF. I did also manage to not miss any work, so I was there at the Mile and the Tune Up. Mileage and speed suffered but somehow it all got done. I did race the NB Bronx 10 Mile race. It was HOT. I did ok. I do have to watch out for hard and hot efforts like that as it took me about 10 days to recover fully from it. With 2 weeks to go to the Hudson Mohawk River Marathon, 10 days is too much. Aging, as my grandma used to say, is a b!tch.

  • Total Miles: 150. It’s fine, I am already tapering.
  • Races: 1. NB Bronx 10 Mile
  • Ups: The long runs with my girls. Love you guys!
  • Downs: Being sick sucks. It happened earlier in April where I had to stop running for weeks. So happy this time I run through it. But I was soooo weak!
  • Balance: Marathon Training is done. I am happy to close this out. I have too much in my head.

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August

August was a whirlwind! I started a new job, that I am really excited about, and I am still training for a marathon. Those two things combined. plus working two weekends, plus coaching, plus all the summer plans, made the month feel a bit busy. Luckily things fell into place in the last two weeks while I am peaking in the training. I was a bit tired, but I managed a lot of miles and quality workouts. August was definitely beyond awesome. We have Summer Streets in August, which I definitely used up for my long runs. I had a great run in Brooklyn with friends: I love to get out of Central Park for a change. I paced an NYRR run to Roosevelt Island, another out of town excursion, this time with a lot more new friends! And I raced the Percy Sutton 5K, in the middle of a long run.

This was definitely an excitement filled month. 5 weeks to the marathon. Let’s do this.

  • Total Miles: 183. 2nd highest monthly mileage ever
  • Races: 1. Percy Sutton Harlem 5k.
  • Ups: All the fun miles and workouts. The long runs were super great. Sharpening block about to start and I am very excited.
  • Downs: I am a bit wee tired. The high mileage during the peak weeks and a new job have me a bit spent.
  • Balance: Seems like I am really going to do a marathon in 5 weeks. Training is almost complete.

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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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Hudson Mohawk River Marathon Race Report: Last Marathon. In the bag.

Heeey! I run the Hudson Mohawk River Marathon today… let me make it short but show you a bit of the day (will update later with links and more pics!)

At the Expo:

After the expo we walked around downtown Albany for a bit with Juan. It was very quiet.

We settled in our Airbnb apartment which was right across the street from the Executive Mansion and less than a mile from the race finish line and the morning busses to the start. Very convenient.

I was still not sure if I was going to race but I got ready anyway.

My main problem was that it was going to rain, or thunderstorm, and the temperature was in the 70s very early in the morning. I wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out but I decided that if I was not having a good day, I would drop out at 16, 18, or 20.

This is what I saw when I woke up at 4:30 am:

Ugh. Scary. Hot. Humid. Thunderstorms!?

What to do? Literally NOT WORTH IT.

But… I am here, I might as will get a long run out of it.

Gordon and I got on the bus to the start. The ride was about 30 minutes and completely stress-free.

There were barely any lines for the porta-potties when we got there, everything was so simple. At 7:55, we took our extra layers off, it was raining. Fine.

I saw Wayne at the start with the 3:45 at Pacer sign. I lined up with him and then I saw Dave also, from the Flyers. Soon enough, we were off in the rain. It felt OK, actually, because without the rain it would’ve felt too humid or hot. Dave run ahead and took this shot below, thanks Dave!!

I was trying to slow down because the first miles felt like it was too fast. Who knows what kind of day is waiting for me out there, let me be careful!

The pace actually felt OK but I did feel like I didn’t have enough energy without the gels. I had 4 Huma gels with me and every time I had a gel I felt amazing for 3 or 4 miles and then I would feel like I was fading off…

I kept trucking and had a gel every 5 miles.

I got to run the first 2 miles with Dave but then we separated. Actually, after about 5 miles I had caught up to the 3:25 pacer and I was running right behind him all the way to about mile 12. Why? No idea. It felt “comfortable”. My average pace until then was about 7:50ish (which was about a 3:25 finish).

Miles 12 to 16 were a blur. I was starting to get bored and the music wasn’t doing it for me. Soon enough, when I saw the 17 mile marker I was in shock: it was going so fast. I was in for a 2-3 min PR if everything stayed that way. Or better, as I would usually do, I would pull a big negative split. Then it happened, basically all the bad things happened at the same time. It stopped raining, so I got really hot, the humidity made me feel like I couldn’t breathe AND we had a CRAZY headwind. It was like the perfect storm. We all started slowing down a lot and struggling. I actually tried to stay behind a few people just to block the wind, but it wasn’t working. We had had wind the whole way but for some reason, in this portion of the course, it wasn’t helping me cool down, it was throwing me off so hard that I could barely keep the pace. I really felt myself struggling to keep pushing.

It got ROUGH.

Rough ROUGH.

If the weather had been the same since the start, I would have adjusted my pace accordingly. It was too late now. We were too deep into the mileage, and I figured I would start suffering a lot more soon.

I had been under 3:25 pace until then and I started losing it. I wish I had en extra gel to help me out. The rain stopping made me so so so hot. The humidity was insane.

I considered dropping. Like every 10 seconds. I was having such a hard time… then I started thinking. 

If I dropped, having done 20 miles at around 7:50 pace, I would still be really tired for a few weeks. I would also feel tempted to do another marathon in a few months to use up my fitness. So I thought about it, and I thought about it and I decided to just finish the race because I didn’t want to have to do this again. Ever. EVER.

I remembered why I stopped doing marathons three years ago: I don’t like that the pace is so slow for that long… you have to wait about 18 to 20 miles finally to go HARD…! It’s a long wait. It takes a lot of patience.

Anyway, that was it. This was to be my final marathon and I was going to finish it. The problem was… I didn’t have a lot left in me, fighting all the wind and the humidity. Oh, and my music player died. My last 2 miles were me just trying to hang on for dear life. I sped up a bit, once we changed direction and the wind faded off, but the humidity was there and it was hard to pick up the pace. It was very ironic that I had been worrying about the rain all week, and all I wanted in the second part of the race, was more rain!!

I finished in 3:32:57. 23rd woman, 3rd in my AG. Not close to my 3:27 PR but, given the conditions, I’ll take it!!!!

Splits are the biggest disaster in race history. YUK.

I’ll take my award too! Thankyouverymuch!

So, at the finish, I chatted with a of people. Everyone struggled, mostly in that same patch I mentioned. Gordon, who won her AG, came about 15 minutes slower than her expected time (though she was on pace for a 3:07). Everyone I talked to fell apart. Even the male winner was cursing and shocked and upset about his time.

It happens.

Isn’t that the beauty of the marathon though? There is always going to be a curve ball. They are always unpredictable. And that is the allure. Right?

You just deal with the mess, the disaster, the curve ball. There’s very few cases where a marathon goes right. Very few. But I think that is what makes it so special.

Juan got me donuts ❤️❤️🍩🍩❤️:

With Gordon, celebrating that we don’t ever want to do this again:

The King of my ❤️ and inspiration:

Found Dave again!!

And that is it. Legs are tired, but we are recovering!!

So for the record again: no more marathons for me. There is a reason I had stopped. I remember now. This was IT. Back to my beloved Halves and what not.

Thank you all for the love, best wishes, support, miles and inspiration.

I carried two things with me today: Juan telling me I was the most obsessive and strong headed woman he ever knew, and Carolina repeating my own mantra I gave her for her last marathon (and knowing she’s currently injured and unable to run). 

I also kept thinking what a luxury it is to have a body that can run a marathon. Distance is HARD and most people can’t do it. I kept remembering how sick I was a month ago that I couldn’t eat (or even drink water) or even go up the stairs of the subway. I felt really lucky to be running. And feeling strong. We should never take that for granted.

My last marathon medal.

marathon this weekend – what to do?

 

so… the hay is in the barn. But… it seems like the barn is about to be set on fire. The forecast for my Sunday marathon has been saying this –>

80s is too hot for me. heck, 70s is too hot for me. I did a 10 miler two weeks ago and I melted.

I am not into doing a marathon just to finish anymore. It’ll leave me exhausted for days, my running will suck for weeks, and I might even get sick.  NO. On the other hand, marathons are 100% unpredictable and that is the whole point. I have done well in awful weather and circumstances before. I’ve also melted into a pool of gel… It’s not even about the weather sometimes. It’s about how you deal with the obstacles. Every marathon has a curveball or 5.

Should I take a chance and risk it on something that I know can be a hot mess of unpredictability? Or is it safe to assume it’ll go bad and why bother?

Some decisions need to be made today before 4 pm which is when I’ll be packing.

(no, it’s not Chicago, it’s Mohawk Hudson)

Guess my Finish Time at the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

I am running a marathon this Sunday and because I am not stressed enough, I figured I’d see who has the most guts to dare guess a finish time.

No real rules here and no prizes (as I’ve done for every race before this one) because I am in LAZY blogger mode. Sorry Not Sorry.

Here’s the Deets:

  • Race is pretty flat they say, we shall see.
  • Last races were the
    • New Balance Bronx 10 Mile, in 1:16:28 / 7:39 pace
    • Percy Sutton Harlem 5K, in 21:58 / 7:05 pace
    • NYRR R U N 5K, in 21:57 / 7:04 pace
      • if it matters to you, they were all in hot weather.
  • Predictors based on those races shoot out a 3:29 to 3:31
  • Last Halfs were 1:40, 1:37 and 1:37.

Go ahead, place your bets below. And good luck (to me).

NYRR Bronx 10 Mile Race Report

Well, soooo, did I tell you I am training for a marathon? Same thing happened last year, I start training for a marathon and I totally don’t admit it to myself until a couple of weeks before when I decide I need to book a hotel or whatever and everything is sold out. Well, so, yes, I am signed up for a marathon in two weeks (notice how I said “I am signed up” and not “I am doing a marathon”: denial until the last second!), that is the Mohawk Hudson Marathon, October 8th, in Albany. Easy to get to from the city. All I need. Cause I don’t care for traveling unless I am going to Italy or the Caribbean or a few other super fun exceptions.

Anyway, my plan was to race the 5th Avenue Mile two weeks ago, and then the Newport Half Marathon last weekend to see where I stood, fitness-wise. Then, my stomach decided to change all my plans and mess up my life for about 2 weeks. I couldn’t even drink water without stomach pain. Not only I couldn’t do a lot (though I managed to do my long runs, smart move Elizabeth -NOT!) but I lost about 8 pounds, which is a lot for me. I felt like I was stick and bones, and couldn’t run a few of my workouts for 3 weeks. I had to skip the 5th Avenue Mile, I was literally too weak to run. I did manage to work all day and have a great time!

The next weekend, I was signed up for the Newport Liberty Half. Turns out I messed up my dates and couldn’t run it. I thought the race was Saturday, and I was working at the Tune Up! I did a long run instead the day before. This is me working, with the orange cone and the coolest: Kathrine!

Anyways, given I had missed all the predictor races, all I had left was the Bronx 10 Mile this past weekend. Then, a heat wave rolls in and on race day, we had this, EARLY!
Ouch.

Given my stomach hates me, I wasn’t sure what to eat. So what did I eat? Nothing more than a spoon of honey. And a glass of water. Awful and dumb yes, but YOU go deal with the pain!

I got on the uptown train early, and found SO many people heading to the race. One of them, was my Italian friend Davide who was in town just for the weekend and I forced him to register. I am so sweet. Somehow we were able to find each other on the train, after not seeing each other since Milan last year! It’s a SMALL world!

We got to the start quickly, left our bags and did some warm up miles, though we were already warm (HA), plus pictures of course!

Elaine, Davide, and me

Jackie, Steve, and me. Selfies are hard.

Jackie and me!

So, Jackie, Davide, Gordon and I went for a warm up. Felt hard. I wondered if I should risk it and have a gel. I had thrown a gel inside my bra. I was too scared. Didn’t.

Soon we were corralled in, found Martina, as we had planned to start together and we were off. She wanted 7:40 pace. I wanted to negative split, and didn’t care about pace. It was hot guys. Actually, let me rephrase that. It was hot, guys! Half a mile in, my mouth and throat were super dry. ALREADY? I could see Martina drenched in sweat. I wasn’t sweating at all. No good. For either of us.

I was grabbing water at every water station, I’d drink a cup or half a cup, and throw another one in my head. In a mile, at the next water station, I was already dry. Wild, weird and scary. Marti and I trucked along side by side trying to not freak out. I would have started a tad slower if I was on my own, not gonna lie. So I kept telling myself to just keep up with her.

Mile 1 was 7:45, Mile 2, 7:41, Mile 3 was 7:43, Mile 4 was 7:47 and Mile 5 was 7:44. As soon as we made the turn to start heading back, Martina got behind me and yelled at me to go. I said ok. It was about time for me to start pushing. I know it’s hard sometimes to keep up with me once I start kicking but this felt too early. I hadn’t picked up the pace yet but maybe she was fading. I decided to start to pick it up slowly.

The way back was hard, I am not gonna lie. I really needed more fuel but didn’t want to risk it. I also can’t stomach Gatorade so water and a spoonful of honey is all I had in me all day. I didn’t have enough energy for a kick but decide to just hold it and not mess it up.

Here are the last 4 miles:

It wasn’t the fast miles I had wanted but I held in there and got a bit faster mile by mile. I did my best and that is as good as it was going to get. The official results!

So, given the weather, not sure how great this is a predictor, but it is shooting 3:29 to 3:31 for the marathon. NOT a PR time… two weeks to go. Hear me stress…!

 

August 2017 Recap

August

August was a whirlwind! I started a new job, that I am really excited about, and I am still training for a marathon. Those two things combined. plus working two weekends, plus coaching, plus all the summer plans, made the month feel a bit busy. Luckily things fell into place in the last two weeks while I am peaking in the training. I was a bit tired, but I managed a lot of miles and quality workouts. August was definitely beyond awesome. We have Summer Streets in August, which I definitely used up for my long runs. I had a great run in Brooklyn with friends: I love to get out of Central Park for a change. I paced an NYRR run to Roosevelt Island, another out of town excursion, this time with a lot more new friends! And I raced the Percy Sutton 5K, in the middle of a long run.

This was definitely an excitement filled month. 5 weeks to the marathon. Let’s do this.

  • Total Miles: 183. 2nd highest monthly mileage ever
  • Races: 1. Percy Sutton Harlem 5k.
  • Ups: All the fun miles and workouts. The long runs were super great. Sharpening block about to start and I am very excited.
  • Downs: I am a bit wee tired. The high mileage during the peak weeks and a new job have me a bit spent.
  • Balance: Seems like I am really going to do a marathon in 5 weeks. Training is almost complete.

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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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Newport Half Marathon + Workouts that guarantee a PR

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOW… LET’S GET READY…

If you’re doing your FIRST HALF this Fall, make sure you get the basics covered:

– Consistent training, don’t skip workouts

– At least one speed workout a week. It could be 800s, mile repeats, or a good tempo run! FUN!

– Do at least a 5K or a 10K (better!) before the half so you practice racing (aka: pacing, hydration, pre-race fueling, race day gear, etc.) and know exactly where you are, fitness-wise. And, race rehearsal is super important!

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

Now, if you’ve done a FEW HALFS and now you want to get faster… how do we do that??? that’s the tricky part…  besides all those points above:

– speed workouts twice a week if you can handle them. Maybe do intervals mid week (800s, mile repeats, hill sprints) and a tempo with a few more miles after (to simulate a longish/hard run) on the weekend.

– practice race pace but not more than 4-5 miles.

– practice pacing, maybe you can do your tempos as a ladder (where each mile is faster than the last one)

– practice patience, the half is such a waiting game. You can’t go all out from the start and you need to learn to hold your horses: do a few races to practice this.

– DRILLS, at least twice a week! Here’s a good guide to learn. It’ll improve your form and it’ll help you keep going on the later miles of the half.

And then, set an appropriate goal. Nothing too easy or you won’t be motivated, and nothing too hard that will crush you while trying. This is also really hard to do, as we have to learn to be realistic and humble. But that’s the good thing about running, right? It keep us honest (and fit!!).


So, I’ll be adjusting my training a bit because I am also doing a full marathon this year, just a few weeks after the half. 

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

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

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

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

SPEEDWORK:

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

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

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

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