Tag Archive | BIOMECHANICS

HEY!!! May 2019 Recap

May

was a quick one… It bothers me a bit that mileage goes down as soon as the weather gets nicer BUT that is only because I race much more and hey quality over quantity (plus mini tapers…!). You just can’t do it all -or do it all well, correct? So, I’ve been replacing my tempos by races this past month, I only got in a tempo or two, I just can’t do that many hard miles a week. But I always get my intervals in!

Early May I run the Sharon 5 Miler, which was super horribly hill fun! 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I REALLY need to get out of NYC more… I always say that and I then I get so lazy. Anyway, that was a super fun weekend out of town with friends. Then we had the Brooklyn Half, which was also awesome!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 134, I am getting behind on my 1800 goal!
  • Downs: just the mileage.
  • Ups: all the races and the runs and the friends. Life and running is GOOD.
  • Balance: I am in a good, GREAT, place. see below…

I have come to terms with WHERE I AM. For 3 years I haven’t PRed and I was pouting about it. I had a few PRs this year, yes, but it’s because it’s at distances I hadn’t bothered with before, it’s like they almost don’t count. A few months ago, I’d get a 1:40 half and I’d point it was about 4 minutes off my 1:36 PR. Now I KNOW that 1:40 is where I am. I am training hard, I am doing all that I should be doing, and HEY, I am older, THIS IS MY BEST. And it’s fine. I am happy with it. Not sure how to explain what changed in my perspective. I am not sure I can say that I will never get closer to 1:36 again -because the truth is not only I am not sure I can get there at all but if I could it is a very remote possibility I am not willing to chase. This, this right here today, is my best. And it sort of reset my goals and status quo of what I can and want to do. Hard RESET. Let’s go.

April

Just like that, we are back to RACING!!!! I started the month with a race I had heard SO much about, the Washington DC Cherry Tree Blossom 10 Miler, an epic run through a very scenic and historic course. The race was truly beautiful, joyful and fast. The race report is here and the video recap is there as well. There was a taper before, a recovery after and then I race the Hot Chocolate 15K in Brooklyn. Also Fun. Did pretty well and the speed is coming back (slowly). Training is good for the soul. And the race results ;-). Oh and I almost forgot: I did a relay marathon in a 200-meter track. That was fun and brutal and insane and fun. More here.

Of course, there were many other fun runs, speedwork sessions, group intervals and what not. See pictures below for more:

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 127, CRAP. Three races really bring down the total with the taper and the recovery…
  • Downs: legs were sore
  • Ups: All the fast miles!!!
  • Balance: Good month overall. Hard work is starting to pay off!

March

was momentous!! On December 10 I started a training program (that I wrote obviously) that would take me through the NYC Half on March 17. It took 527 miles, 14 weeks, 101 miles at goal pace, 6 training partners, two continents as training grounds, and a lot of sweat to get there. The United NYC Half popped up and it was glorious. My race recap is here, and the race video recap is here if you are curious. It was not a PR or a particularly fast race but I felt strong and did amazing. I was able to crush the distance and come out happy. I love halfs. This one is super scenic and that helps.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The other BIG thing is that I was in Buenos Aires for a week and the running was AMAZING!!!! I will post a video soon. Or maybe a “where to run” type post but for now, here are a few pictures for now:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Running in Palermo was a total blast. Can’t wait to go back. I really will work on a post. 100%!

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 159, still ok, the taper and the post half recovery slowed me down! Though I am still somehow 31 miles ahead of the 1800 miles goal for 2019.
  • Downs: not one!
  • Ups: I had an insane 5-mile tempo that will inspire me all year. Running in Palermo. Finally managing to do speed by myself when I don’t have an option. This month was above the charts!
  • Balance: TOO GOOD

February

was cold and FAST. Did I tell you I have been training HARD?? I started mid-December, this is week 12 of 14. First race is the NYC Half in two weeks. Training is going amazing. The hardest part was the first 2-3 weeks… when I still didn’t think I could do it. It had been so long since I had a written-down-formal-training-program that I was a bit scared. But if my runners do it, why wouldn’t I? They inspired me. They ask for it, they pay for it, they’re not afraid… what am I waiting for??? So I did it to myself!!!!

So… it was aggressive. So far in these 12 weeks, I’ve run 83 miles under 7:30 pace. Which is what I think should be around my half marathon pace (though who knows?); that’d be around a 1:38 half, not a PR but I don’t think I am in PR shape. We shall see in the next few months… stay tuned.

February had a little snow, some cold days, some brutally cold days, lots of friends and runs, no races, and I don’t remember what else. It was chill, fun, and rewarding.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 170. not bad. at all. for a short month
  • Downs: by the end of the month I was getting sick of the cold… as usual.
  • Ups: Training is going amazing!
  • Balance: Excited for warm weather and less laundry soon!

January

was something: it started REALLY HOT (the first day of the year I did speedwork in a sports bra!) and then it was record-breaking COLD. Running in the cold is so tricky… if you’re underdressed you’ll be miserable (and prone to injure stiff muscles), but if you’re overdressed you’ll also be miserable (and prone to not finish a workout either). Not only I spend way more time layering up but leveling each layer’s materials is a science I work at perfecting every day. Plus, add the wind-chill, the humidity, the area you’ll be running around, and the specific workout to the variables and it could literally cripple you in distress before you even start running… WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF, HUH?

ANYWAY… so it was hot, then cold, then freezing, then back to cold that felt warm because after freezing cold is nothing. I am, somehow, still sticking to my crazy exhausting training plan, and it’s actually going great (some days better than others!). It’s mostly 4 hard workouts a week, but I built them slooooow, so it’s all safe. Painfully horrible BUT SAFE. It’s going well. Plus, I’ve had a few good friends jump in to help in, to pace, to train with, or just distract me from my thoughts of jumping into the reservoir. They are ALL faster than me. I swear. No joke, it’s super humiliating humbling, every week. My main pacer, Pamela Hunt, just won Runner of the Year at the NYRR Club Night. And there I am, trying my best, huffing and puffing, week after week. Why? Because I a not ready to give up. Not yet.

January was a challenging month on the personal side, most of you know. It was heartbreaking but also full of joy. I am trying to navigate all those super strong emotions. We learn something every day if we keep our eyes and hearts open. I am mostly thankful to get to go through this, and to know the people in my life are super strong and we hold each other up.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 147. Not bad! IF I am shooting for 1,800 miles in 2019, the monthly average should be around 158, so I need to up it up a bit. I think it’s hard to put on a lot of miles when I am training because I am currently doing 4 hard workouts a week, so I need more rest than usual…
  • Downs: just the world-record-breaking really really really cold temps
  • Ups: I have managed to stick to my training even in this cold weather!
  • Balance: starting the year STRONG! Let’s go!
Advertisements

April 2019 Recap

April

Just like that, we are back to RACING!!!! I started the month with a race I had heard SO much about, the Washington DC Cherry Tree Blossom 10 Miler, an epic run through a very scenic and historic course. The race was truly beautiful, joyful and fast. The race report is here and the video recap is there as well. There was a taper before, a recovery after and then I race the Hot Chocolate 15K in Brooklyn. Also Fun. Did pretty well and the speed is coming back (slowly). Training is good for the soul. And the race results ;-). Oh and I almost forgot: I did a relay marathon in a 200-meter track. That was fun and brutal and insane and fun. More here.

Of course, there were many other fun runs, speedwork sessions, group intervals and what not. See pictures below for more:

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 127, CRAP. Three races really bring down the total with the taper and the recovery…
  • Downs: legs were sore
  • Ups: All the fast miles!!!
  • Balance: Good month overall. Hard work is starting to pay off!

March

was momentous!! On December 10 I started a training program (that I wrote obviously) that would take me through the NYC Half on March 17. It took 527 miles, 14 weeks, 101 miles at goal pace, 6 training partners, two continents as training grounds, and a lot of sweat to get there. The United NYC Half popped up and it was glorious. My race recap is here, and the race video recap is here if you are curious. It was not a PR or a particularly fast race but I felt strong and did amazing. I was able to crush the distance and come out happy. I love halfs. This one is super scenic and that helps.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The other BIG thing is that I was in Buenos Aires for a week and the running was AMAZING!!!! I will post a video soon. Or maybe a “where to run” type post but for now, here are a few pictures for now:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Running in Palermo was a total blast. Can’t wait to go back. I really will work on a post. 100%!

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 159, still ok, the taper and the post half recovery slowed me down! Though I am still somehow 31 miles ahead of the 1800 miles goal for 2019.
  • Downs: not one!
  • Ups: I had an insane 5-mile tempo that will inspire me all year. Running in Palermo. Finally managing to do speed by myself when I don’t have an option. This month was above the charts!
  • Balance: TOO GOOD

February

was cold and FAST. Did I tell you I have been training HARD?? I started mid-December, this is week 12 of 14. First race is the NYC Half in two weeks. Training is going amazing. The hardest part was the first 2-3 weeks… when I still didn’t think I could do it. It had been so long since I had a written-down-formal-training-program that I was a bit scared. But if my runners do it, why wouldn’t I? They inspired me. They ask for it, they pay for it, they’re not afraid… what am I waiting for??? So I did it to myself!!!!

So… it was aggressive. So far in these 12 weeks, I’ve run 83 miles under 7:30 pace. Which is what I think should be around my half marathon pace (though who knows?); that’d be around a 1:38 half, not a PR but I don’t think I am in PR shape. We shall see in the next few months… stay tuned.

February had a little snow, some cold days, some brutally cold days, lots of friends and runs, no races, and I don’t remember what else. It was chill, fun, and rewarding.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 170. not bad. at all. for a short month
  • Downs: by the end of the month I was getting sick of the cold… as usual.
  • Ups: Training is going amazing!
  • Balance: Excited for warm weather and less laundry soon!

January

was something: it started REALLY HOT (the first day of the year I did speedwork in a sports bra!) and then it was record-breaking COLD. Running in the cold is so tricky… if you’re underdressed you’ll be miserable (and prone to injure stiff muscles), but if you’re overdressed you’ll also be miserable (and prone to not finish a workout either). Not only I spend way more time layering up but leveling each layer’s materials is a science I work at perfecting every day. Plus, add the wind-chill, the humidity, the area you’ll be running around, and the specific workout to the variables and it could literally cripple you in distress before you even start running… WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF, HUH?

ANYWAY… so it was hot, then cold, then freezing, then back to cold that felt warm because after freezing cold is nothing. I am, somehow, still sticking to my crazy exhausting training plan, and it’s actually going great (some days better than others!). It’s mostly 4 hard workouts a week, but I built them slooooow, so it’s all safe. Painfully horrible BUT SAFE. It’s going well. Plus, I’ve had a few good friends jump in to help in, to pace, to train with, or just distract me from my thoughts of jumping into the reservoir. They are ALL faster than me. I swear. No joke, it’s super humiliating humbling, every week. My main pacer, Pamela Hunt, just won Runner of the Year at the NYRR Club Night. And there I am, trying my best, huffing and puffing, week after week. Why? Because I a not ready to give up. Not yet.

January was a challenging month on the personal side, most of you know. It was heartbreaking but also full of joy. I am trying to navigate all those super strong emotions. We learn something every day if we keep our eyes and hearts open. I am mostly thankful to get to go through this, and to know the people in my life are super strong and we hold each other up.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 147. Not bad! IF I am shooting for 1,800 miles in 2019, the monthly average should be around 158, so I need to up it up a bit. I think it’s hard to put on a lot of miles when I am training because I am currently doing 4 hard workouts a week, so I need more rest than usual…
  • Downs: just the world-record-breaking really really really cold temps
  • Ups: I have managed to stick to my training even in this cold weather!
  • Balance: starting the year STRONG! Let’s go!

March 2019 Recap

March

was momentous!! On December 10 I started a training program (that I wrote obviously) that would take me through the NYC Half on March 17. It took 527 miles, 14 weeks, 101 miles at goal pace, 6 training partners, two continents as training grounds, and a lot of sweat to get there. The United NYC Half popped up and it was glorious. My race recap is here, and the race video recap is here if you are curious. It was not a PR or a particularly fast race but I felt strong and did amazing. I was able to crush the distance and come out happy. I love halfs. This one is super scenic and that helps.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The other BIG thing is that I was in Buenos Aires for a week and the running was AMAZING!!!! I will post a video soon. Or maybe a “where to run” type post but for now, here are a few pictures for now:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Running in Palermo was a total blast. Can’t wait to go back. I really will work on a post. 100%!

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 159, still ok, the taper and the post half recovery slowed me down! Though I am still somehow 31 miles ahead of the 1800 miles goal for 2019.
  • Downs: not one!
  • Ups: I had an insane 5-mile tempo that will inspire me all year. Running in Palermo. Finally managing to do speed by myself when I don’t have an option. This month was above the charts!
  • Balance: TOO GOOD

February

was cold and FAST. Did I tell you I have been training HARD?? I started mid-December, this is week 12 of 14. First race is the NYC Half in two weeks. Training is going amazing. The hardest part was the first 2-3 weeks… when I still didn’t think I could do it. It had been so long since I had a written-down-formal-training-program that I was a bit scared. But if my runners do it, why wouldn’t I? They inspired me. They ask for it, they pay for it, they’re not afraid… what am I waiting for??? So I did it to myself!!!!

So… it was aggressive. So far in these 12 weeks, I’ve run 83 miles under 7:30 pace. Which is what I think should be around my half marathon pace (though who knows?); that’d be around a 1:38 half, not a PR but I don’t think I am in PR shape. We shall see in the next few months… stay tuned.

February had a little snow, some cold days, some brutally cold days, lots of friends and runs, no races, and I don’t remember what else. It was chill, fun, and rewarding.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 170. not bad. at all. for a short month
  • Downs: by the end of the month I was getting sick of the cold… as usual.
  • Ups: Training is going amazing!
  • Balance: Excited for warm weather and less laundry soon!

January

was something: it started REALLY HOT (the first day of the year I did speedwork in a sports bra!) and then it was record-breaking COLD. Running in the cold is so tricky… if you’re underdressed you’ll be miserable (and prone to injure stiff muscles), but if you’re overdressed you’ll also be miserable (and prone to not finish a workout either). Not only I spend way more time layering up but leveling each layer’s materials is a science I work at perfecting every day. Plus, add the wind-chill, the humidity, the area you’ll be running around, and the specific workout to the variables and it could literally cripple you in distress before you even start running… WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF, HUH?

ANYWAY… so it was hot, then cold, then freezing, then back to cold that felt warm because after freezing cold is nothing. I am, somehow, still sticking to my crazy exhausting training plan, and it’s actually going great (some days better than others!). It’s mostly 4 hard workouts a week, but I built them slooooow, so it’s all safe. Painfully horrible BUT SAFE. It’s going well. Plus, I’ve had a few good friends jump in to help in, to pace, to train with, or just distract me from my thoughts of jumping into the reservoir. They are ALL faster than me. I swear. No joke, it’s super humiliating humbling, every week. My main pacer, Pamela Hunt, just won Runner of the Year at the NYRR Club Night. And there I am, trying my best, huffing and puffing, week after week. Why? Because I a not ready to give up. Not yet.

January was a challenging month on the personal side, most of you know. It was heartbreaking but also full of joy. I am trying to navigate all those super strong emotions. We learn something every day if we keep our eyes and hearts open. I am mostly thankful to get to go through this, and to know the people in my life are super strong and we hold each other up.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 147. Not bad! IF I am shooting for 1,800 miles in 2019, the monthly average should be around 158, so I need to up it up a bit. I think it’s hard to put on a lot of miles when I am training because I am currently doing 4 hard workouts a week, so I need more rest than usual…
  • Downs: just the world-record-breaking really really really cold temps
  • Ups: I have managed to stick to my training even in this cold weather!
  • Balance: starting the year STRONG! Let’s go!

February 2019 Recap

February was cold and FAST. Did I tell you I have been training HARD?? I started mid-December, this is week 12 of 14. First race is the NYC Half in two weeks. Training is going amazing. The hardest part was the first 2-3 weeks… when I still didn’t think I could do it. It had been so long since I had a written-down-formal-training-program that I was a bit scared. But if my runners do it, why wouldn’t I? They inspired me. They ask for it, they pay for it, they’re not afraid… what am I waiting for??? So I did it to myself!!!!

So… it was aggressive. So far in these 12 weeks, I’ve run 83 miles under 7:30 pace. Which is what I think should be around my half marathon pace (though who knows?); that’d be around a 1:38 half, not a PR but I don’t think I am in PR shape. We shall see in the next few months… stay tuned.

February had a little snow, some cold days, some brutally cold days, lots of friends and runs, no races, and I don’t remember what else. It was chill, fun, and rewarding.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 170. not bad. at all. for a short month
  • Downs: by the end of the month I was getting sick of the cold… as usual.
  • Ups: Training is going amazing!
  • Balance: Excited for warm weather and less laundry soon!

January

was something: it started REALLY HOT (the first day of the year I did speedwork in a sports bra!) and then it was record-breaking COLD. Running in the cold is so tricky… if you’re underdressed you’ll be miserable (and prone to injure stiff muscles), but if you’re overdressed you’ll also be miserable (and prone to not finish a workout either). Not only I spend way more time layering up but leveling each layer’s materials is a science I work at perfecting every day. Plus, add the wind-chill, the humidity, the area you’ll be running around, and the specific workout to the variables and it could literally cripple you in distress before you even start running… WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF, HUH?

ANYWAY… so it was hot, then cold, then freezing, then back to cold that felt warm because after freezing cold is nothing. I am, somehow, still sticking to my crazy exhausting training plan, and it’s actually going great (some days better than others!). It’s mostly 4 hard workouts a week, but I built them slooooow, so it’s all safe. Painfully horrible BUT SAFE. It’s going well. Plus, I’ve had a few good friends jump in to help in, to pace, to train with, or just distract me from my thoughts of jumping into the reservoir. They are ALL faster than me. I swear. No joke, it’s super humiliating humbling, every week. My main pacer, Pamela Hunt, just won Runner of the Year at the NYRR Club Night. And there I am, trying my best, huffing and puffing, week after week. Why? Because I a not ready to give up. Not yet.

January was a challenging month on the personal side, most of you know. It was heartbreaking but also full of joy. I am trying to navigate all those super strong emotions. We learn something every day if we keep our eyes and hearts open. I am mostly thankful to get to go through this, and to know the people in my life are super strong and we hold each other up.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

  • Total Miles: 147. Not bad! IF I am shooting for 1,800 miles in 2019, the monthly average should be around 158, so I need to up it up a bit. I think it’s hard to put on a lot of miles when I am training because I am currently doing 4 hard workouts a week, so I need more rest than usual…
  • Downs: just the world-record-breaking really really really cold temps
  • Ups: I have managed to stick to my training even in this cold weather!
  • Balance: starting the year STRONG! Let’s go!

New York City Half Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Logistics

2018 Update: even though this post is awesome and contains a lot of information you can still use, it talks about the OLD course that was discontinued after the 2017 race. Read the tips below, and then head over here for the new course info. I am going to mark green the text below that doesn’t apply anymore.

You know the “don’t wear anything new on race day” and all the basics… now, let’s do the United NYC Half Marathon as well as we can. I have done this race 8 times so far -from 2:06 in its first year, 2006, to 1:36 in 2016, and I keep running into people who haven’t raced it and have lots of questions (post in the comments section below if you have any questions not covered here!).

And in case you want to see photos and read my race reports, go here for all of them, or, here is the 2015 NYC Half report, here is 2014 NYC Half and 2013 NYC Half. Also, download the custom pace bracelet, I created for this pace strip based on the race strategy below.

PRE RACE LOGISTICS

Make a race prep list of what you’ll need a week or two before and sort it all by stages, here is a Marathon Packing List to start with. Whether you’re traveling or not, get everything in the list ready as soon as possible. Start prepping 2 weeks out.

Plan your nutrition waaaay ahead. You can buy gels at the expo if necessary, but get bagels/oatmeal/bananas and whatever you need for race day the day before as there will not be a lot of delis open at 4, 5, or 6 am. Some may be, but not a lot.

If you need any last minute thing, you can buy most stuff at the expo/bib pickup (don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your reg form –download it from your NYRR profile they will be ready early March, and photo identification) or here is an organized list with all the running stores by area.

new york city marathon 2014 pictures start (2)

we all look like weirdos anyway, wear old stuff you have to discard to the start of the race!

Prep some cheap or throwaway clothes to the start. Find a mylar blanket from your last half or marathon (and don’t throw away the one you’ll get at the finish here!). You will need them until the last minute in the corral (I wear one as pants with tape and one as a cape). I wear my throwaway cardigan or a sweater (cut in the front for easy peeling, kept it in p

nyc half nycunitedhalf nyrr nychalf central park elizabeth maiuolo (21)

what throwaway-knee-high socks as arm-warmers look like when you forget to take them off (2015 NYC Half)

lace with a safety pin!) during the first mile too! Go to the dollar store and get knee-high socks, cut the foot and you’ll have throwaway arm warmers! I keep half of it on until I warm up, it can be windy and cold at the start!

 

Gear/What to wear… the weather can be anything from 50s to 20s so prepare (aka, train in) a few options and decide the day before. Or that morning. Be smart, and make sure you can peel off layers comfortably. If you don’t want to carry your phone, at least carry a $20 bill, a metrocard, and an ID with you, just in case. My rule is if it’s over 40 degrees, I do just singlet and shorts (pics from last year).

This is what the weather looked like the last few years:

  • 2018: 28 DEGREES, 31% HUMIDITY, WIND 9 MPH NW
  • 2017: 34 DEGREES, 70% HUMIDITY, WIND 18 MPH
  • 2016: 34 DEGREES, 35% HUMIDITY, WIND 14 MPH
  • 2015: 42 DEGREES, 60% HUMIDITY, WIND 10-18 MPH
  • 2014: 31 DEGREES, 40% HUMIDITY, WIND 18 MPH
  • 2013: 30 DEGREES, 64% HUMIDITY, WIND W 7 MPH
  • 2012: 47 DEGREES, 90% HUMIDITY, WIND 3 MPH.
  • 2011: 37 DEGREES, 41% HUMIDITY, SUNNY
  • 2010: 53 DEGREES, 55% HUMIDITY, SUNNY

Temperature has been pretty consistent… but, you should assume it’ll feel 10 degrees under that temperature (hey wind!). So, depending on the wind/humidity/lack of sleep/whatever, you can add hat, arm sleeves, leg warmers, etc. Always add things you can get rid of easily and won’t miss. If you’re not sure about a layer, keep in mind that once you leave the park and get to the West Side Highway, it can get a little windy there. Check the wind direction in the morning!

Best tool to have at any race: your name on your shirt, do not even question this!! If you don’t want your name, write something funny you’ll want people to scream to you all over the course. This is a big race and there will be a lot of spectators along the course and having them scream your name will make your race 100 times better. If you don’t want to ruin your gear, and are not super crafty or into going to Michael’s, cut the letters out of duct tape (like I do!) and voila, they’ll peel right off!

Headphones or not? If you are used to racing with headphones, bring them. I sometimes leave them on my ears (with the music off), and turn them on only when necessary. Central Park will be CROWDED, seriously crowded, so it’s smart to keep the music off, or very low so you can hear people around you. Once you are in the West Side Highway, and if it gets a little monotonous for you, go for it. You’ll have a lot of people cheering and you don’t want to miss it, but if you do have the music on later on, still make sure you can still hear what is happening around you!!!! Okay?

Place your spectators in spots where you’ll need encouragement (quite probably along the West Side Highway). If they are not the adventurous kind, they could see you anywhere in the park, always on your right, and then head over to the finish. Otherwise, there is an insane amount of combination of spots they can see you at. Study the map with them and calculate how much time they’ll have to get from one spot to the other based on your speed. For example, the 1st location would usually be in Central Park, east side, around 85 st, on your left (they need to be on the inside part of the park), that would be your mile 1. After they see you, they walk across the park (it won’t be more than a 10 minute walk) around the Great Lawn to West 86th, where they can see you again at mile 4.5! They have to be on the runner’s right (the outside of the park lane). Elite runners will be there in 20 minutes, and you can tell them how long it’d take you to do 4.5 miles! So, they have to hurry and cross over the quarter mile in less than 20 minutes or they’ll be trapped  inside the park. Once they see you go, they exit the park and the B and C trains are right there at 86 and CPW. They could also do this in the 102 transverse (instead of 86) and the trains are at 103 when they exit the park on the west side, but the time to cross over from east to west is a lot less, but totally doable if they zippityzip. C trains go downtown, so they can head over to 14th st, though there is a bit of a walk from 8th ave to 11th avenue, so if the C train shows up fast, I’d say yes, otherwise, just keep going to Chambers and head over to the West Side Highway to cheer. A cab would be messy as traffic will not be open in many streets so the trains are better! Once they see you in Chambers, the can head over to meet you at the Finish (find a corner to meet up ahead of time, it’ll be CROWDED!) or at some brunch spot! Call ahead to see if they are open at 9 or 10 am so they can wait there and be warm! // When they’re cheering, it’s important to know exactly on what side of the street they’ll be so YOU can spot them (they won’t be able to spot you!). Send them with something big: a flag, a sign, balloons, huge funny hat, etc. Tell them to get comfy shoes, really warm clothes and bring food. It will be an early and long morning for them too!  //  If you need an extra push, ask for help!! FORCE all your friends to come watch you. Ask them “where are you going to be?”. Then tell them a time you’ll go through there, give or take 10 minutes, and decide if they’ll be runner’s Left or Right. Then make a little-tiny list you can carry in your pocket (Example: 102nd st, John, left / 86st st, Mike, right, etc.) in order or appearance, put clear tape all over it so it won’t get sweaty and basically go from John, to Mike, to etc… Let them pull you along the course and that’ll break the course in parts, instead of think “AH, I gotta go all the way to the end of the island, ugh” you’ll think: “I am just going to 102nd st, to see John, then we’ll see!

Oh, and have them download the NYC Half mobile app (will probably be ready to download a week or two before the race) where they can track you and a few more runners at a time.

Get yourself the custom pace bracelet I created for this race based on the race strategy below.

If you need a short run before the race, go to Central Park. You’ll see many of your race-buddies and get to enjoy the best place in the world as a runner.

Find a mantra, or two, you might really need them. I write them in my hand where I am sure I will see it.

RACE LOGISTICS

Memorize your Start Schedule (or write in your hand like I do)

nyc half start times

Getting to the start/Baggage Check. The easiest way to get there is always a cab or running there of course, but if you have to take the train, take anything to 57th or 59th streets or any of the trains that leave you close to Central Park South/59th st. You will have to enter the park through Sixth or Fifth Avenue. Check the Start Map carefully.  Before entering, check your (nyrr provided plastic) bag outside of the park (on 59th Street, between Fifth and Seventh Avenues). Give yourself ample time (as this is weekend schedule) and check  MTA for weekend alerts, or try any subway app: make sure your train is running! Also, if you are not sure, I am 100% confident that if you just head over to the closest train stop, you’ll see someone you could follow to the Start 😉 // Kiss your loved ones buh-bye, they won’t be allowed anywhere close to the Start!

During the race, the course WILL be crowded, so PLEASE, if you need to stop for a walk or move sideways for water, please please please signal with your arms, and look around behind you before you make any moves, DO NOT just stop or go sideways. Be considerate of your fellow runners who could trip! The good side of having all these people around you that you’ll always have someone to run with, pace off, or follow when you’re tired. Pick them up when you feel strong, encourage them when they need it, and keep your eyes peeled for anyone who might need help!!

There will be Water/Gatorade around every mile or so, so if you miss one, don’t stress. Don’t go for the first table as everyone will do that. There’s many tables: go to the last one. You’ll find the portapottties where the water is, so keep an eye out and don’t dart sideways! There will be Gels at mile 7.5, on 42nd street between 10th and 11th avenues, on your right.

Think about joining an official pacer from the NYRR Pace Team, they’ll be wearing their signature white and blue striped singlets,  and will run even splits through all 13.1 miles of the United Airlines NYC Half. Pacers will lead runners to finish times at every five-minute interval from 1:20 to 2:15, and will also offer a 2:30 pace group. You can visit the Running Lab at the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance to meet the pacers and learn where to find them on race day (I will be there Saturday morning, so come find me and say Hi!).

RACE STRATEGY

Here is the official course map: NYRR New York City Half Marathon course map

Custom pace bracelet, if you can’t remember any of the info below

nyc half course elevation

Elevation profile from my 2014 race, same as all the last ones of course. elevation is the red line.

This is an easy race to figure out. Basically, you have two parts: the undulating Central Park (first half) and the straight and flat run to the finish (the second half). Which makes it a perfect course to NEGATIVE PR!!!!

Break the race in parts, device a plan, and stick to it no matter what. Plan for negative splits: keep it strong and conservative throughout the park and ram it home once you leave the park. It’s super simple. I am an average runner and have negative split in this race every time. Basically: you have to believe in yourself and wait for the time of your life.

This is how I like to break this race down. In 4 parts.

Part 1 – Mile 1: HOLD YOUR FREAKING HORSES!!!!

There are 2.5 hills in this race: Cat Hill as soon as you start, Harlem Hill(s) (THREE blips) at 3.5, and a last small one going up the Battery Park Underpass at the end (this one counts as just half a hill). Cat Hill and the Tunnel are short and tiny but annoying because of their locations right at the start and right at the end…! People get excited at the start, and take off like maniacs… if this is going to work, we have to hold it in, climb the hill carefully and let everyone (and their grandmother) pass. You’ll see. Tell yourself: Yes, go ahead and go. I’ll catch you later when your quads are screaming, buh-bye

nyc half marathon course strategy part (1)

Cat Hill is 0.25 long (in miles), or 400 meters long; but it has a 49′ rise (average grade of 3.7%)

Part 2 – Mile 2 to 6: EASY, LIGHT, SMOOTH

The park is a string of undulating hills, but after Cat Hill you have the longest flat stretch, almost a half mile (heaven…!) so, use that to get on a rhythm, find your legs and a pacer. It’ll be crowded so I doubt you’ll be able to utilize the tangents well but at least avoid tripping, did I mention it’s gonna be a bit CROWDED?

Your goal for the first half of the race is to exit the park in one piece, feeling strong, to let it all unfold in the second part of the race. Exercise all your patience here and keep yourself in good checks to not let yourself go. If you are running “hard-comfortable”, you are doing it right.

nyc half marathon course strategy part (2)

Blip 1 in the course profile is 0.36 of a mile and a rise of ’33. You exit the park for two blocks, go around the Frederick Douglass Circle and come right back downhill. Then you -re-enter the park, make a right, and start the climb for Blip 2: Harlem Hill!!! HH is 0.32 long but it has a 84′ rise (average grade of 4.4%). Fun times. As soon as you finish the downhill on the back end of HH, there’s another climb, Blip 3 is 0.60 of a mile and has a rise of ’58. Blip 1 is short and mild, blip 3 is longer but mild as it’s stretched out, but watch up for Harlem Hill, short and UPWARDS!

Part 3 – Mile 7 to 10: IT’S ON!

nyc half marathon course strategy part (3)

This is where I like to stretch out my legs: the race starts HERE. From now on it’s flat and steady. When you exit the park you’ll have a lot of space, cheering and excitement to carry you on, and as soon as you turn right on 42nd, you’ll be rolling down. Hit the gas.

Note: Something about Times Square can make you or your gps go crazy. Ooops. No, you’re not running a 3:20 mile. I set my gps watch to manual and I lap it myself when I see the mile markers. Way safer!

Part 4 –  Mile 11 or 12 to 13.1: YOLO

ALL. HELL. BREAKS. LOOSE.

That is all. Go Crazy. Bring it in. Drop the Hammer.

nyc half marathon course strategy part (4)

As you can see in the map, I obv didn’t have gps on the tunnel, and you won’t either. But it won’t matter, when you get to mile 10, or 11 or 12 and you know you’re ready to start your KICK, you go. Keep in mind there’s a little climb out of the tunnel, short but steep, and then there’s not a lot left to go. Hopefully you’ll see the 800 meters sign if you’re focused but who is at my that point? It’ll seem like forever but once you’re out of the tunnel the finish line is RIGHT THERE.

… then… 

Walk, get your medal, take pictures, get your stuff, find your friends/family, go get brunch (there are many good places downtown), enjoy, stretch, ice bath, rest, eat more, sleeeeeep! Tell everyone about your race, plan your next race, have a congratulatory donut. Or at least that’s what I am planning to do!!!

I’d suggest checking the Finish Map also (mostly if you want to meet up with people afterwards).

Also, post race, if you’re a NYRR Member:  Join NYRR at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub after the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half for complimentary finisher medal engraving!

Sunday, March 19: 11:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
Monday, March 20: 11:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.

Bring your NYRR Member Number. Can’t make it Sunday or Monday? Send a proxy to have your medal engraved; they’ll just need your NYRR Member Number.

Questions?? Anything to add? Anything you want to go over? Lmk in the comments below!

Photos race reports, go here for all of them, or here for the 2015 NYC Half2014 NYC Half  or 2013 NYC Half.

Get the custom pace bracelet maker, so you can plan your splits and stick to them!

NYRR United NYC Half Marathon course map

The official United New York City Half Marathon website.

—-Comment happily: you won’t be asked to create an account!

2015 New York City Marathon EXPO pictures

Juan and I went to the expo yesterday, Thursday, to avoid the masses. I always go on Thursdays, it’s less crazy this is post is mostly pictures to give you a break from all the reading!

tcs new york city marathon expo nyrr nyc (5) tcs new york city marathon expo nyrr nyc (7)tcs new york city marathon expo nyrr nyc (4) tcs new york city marathon expo nyrr nyc (2) tcs new york city marathon expo nyrr nyc (3) tcs new york city marathon expo nyrr nyc (1)

After that, we raced home. I had had a looooooong day at the office, preparing for this weekend’s marathon. Friday I am hosting and MCing my team’s dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square and I have all these other commitments for race weekend. Busy busy. TIRED. See you on the other side? how was YOUR expo trip?

Oh, and this one from the pavillion!!

2015-10-28 08.01.56

Race Report: Run as One, 4Miler. Getting CLOSE.

Another 4 miler yesterday. The last one, two weeks ago exactly, had gone great and I did 28:12. This one, the Run as One, was the exact same course but I decided to switch up my shoes. I decided to pick up my racing Saucony type A5 which is one my lightest pairs… They’re just 5 ounces and about 4mm offset. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it, but it turns out, it made a huge difference. You have to think of everything when you’re just trying to save a few seconds!

As usual, Juan and I walked/jogged the 1.5 miles to the start. I only had like 4 ounces of coffee and a gel. It’s better if I don’t eat before these races… I usually end up dry-heaving at the finish line, sooo: less is more. The walk was gorgeous!!! Last week when we did the More Half and this week… it’s been great, all the trees are blooming and it smells DELICIOUS!

nyrr run as one  (1) nyrr run as one  (2) nyrr run as one  (3) nyrr run as one  (4)

Gorgeous, right??? Amazing. April and October are just the best in the park!

So, we got to the start, undressed, and headed for the corrals. I found so many friends in my corral! I asked everyone who was going for about 7:02 pace and got not takers. Soon, it was go time. This time, I had my watch and music again. After three races with neither, I decided to add those up to the equation again. Still tinkering with this a bit! Still, I didn’t look at my splits the whole race, I guess I’ve gotten used to running naked…  The race happened fast, nothing to report, other than in the last mile I picked up a LOT of people (that probably went out too fast) and ended dry-heaving again for 20 seconds at the finish.

nyrr run as one  (14)

28:06!!! that’s… 6 seconds faster than 2 weeks ago!! Wohooooo!!! And 6 seconds away from my TWO YEAR OLD PR!!!!! it’s gonna happen people!!! SOOON!!!!!!!!!! OR else.

Now, notice how I run ALL the tangents…

nyrr run as one  (11)

Why are you friends not doing tangents??? yes, it’s very crowded, but sometimes, usually after mile 2, there’s space to do this! SO many people out there running on the wrong side of the road… !!!!

Now check out my laps (disregard the one I lapped over, as I hadn’t heard the click). I love looking at my splits after…

nyrr run as one  (13)

I obsess over this stuff. I care so much more about pacing properly than the finish time. I think this one went great. If the average pace was 7:02, a 7:18 start (up Cat Hill no less) is quite conservative and great. Mile 2 is always the fastest and the only one with no hills, so it’s bound to be fast. Mile 3 is usually when I start to slow down a LOT, but somehow I was able to hold it here, I don’t remember hurting that much either. And Mile 4 HAS to be the fastest, which yes!!! Very happy with how this went. Though I didn’t have a clue what pace I was doing where. Running by effort is SO MUCH EASIER!!!

nyrr run as one  (9)

I saw Juan soon and my team mates. We hung out for a bit! I was HUNGRY.

nyrr run as one  (10)nyrr run as one  (12)

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:06 Average Pace: 7:02

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 70.74% 

Overall Place: 664 of 8,098

Gender Place: 63 of 3,910

Age Place: 6 of 445

This is very good-looking. I like the over 70% percent there, given that is usually my goal and 6th in my Age Group is not so bad either in one of these races. I was quite pleased with myself for having cut off another 6 seconds in two weeks… If I can get rid of an extra 7 seconds for the next 4 miler in two weeks, that’d be a PR!!!! I am SOOO CLOSE I can smell it!!!