Tag Archive | mary wittenberg

2015 Brooklyn Half Race Report. Where do I even start?

Well, at the start line of course! The expo was fantastic, as usual, the race was great (minus baggage!) and my performance… well, I had so much fun trying not to melt… the weather was the big question mark leading up to the race… Is it going to rain?  I prefer rain to that stooopid humidity that doesn’t let you breathe… so, yeah, rain please! And then maybe sunny and hot after so we could enjoy the beach with the team? That’d be the perfect scenario really!!

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2014, sunny post beach picnic!

I had done this race a few times, had to go back and check, 5 times!

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SIX Brooklyn Half Marathon in the bag!

This was my 6th… so I feel like I have the course down, plus, you know I do all the crazy drawings and pace bracelet, and math… hey, planning is the FUN part!

Juan and I woke up at 3:50, left our apartment in the Upper East Side by 4:30 am to get on the 4:46 4 train to the start. There was another train 20 minutes later but it’d be too close to baggage closing and we don’t like to stress so we got very little sleep in exchange for the “no rushing” deal. The 4 train left us like a block from baggage at about 5:30… and then we had an hour and a half to kill where we caught up with pretty much all 26K runners and everyone who was working and volunteering.

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Anthony loooooooves pacing!

The biggest advantage of showing up so early?? Brand new portapotties!!!! I got in there twice, all smelled nice and was clean… so wonderful. The stuff dreams are made of. I prefer all of this luxury to an extra hour of sleep. And if you know me, there’s nothing NOT MUCH better than sleeping to me.

Anyway, Juan and I got into the 3rd corral LONG before there were lines in the porta-potties and saw a lot of friends and team-mates. Blaise and Patricia were meeting us there and Juan was going to run with them for a bit. We had a lot of time to discuss pleasantries like the course and mile splits. I was going for 1:39, or 1:40 but with the 100000% humidity I started to doubt I’d get under 1:40. I do ok in the heat, but I suck in the humidity, it just zaps me out for some reason. Anyone knows why? It must be a low-blood pressure thing. I was doubting myself, thinking about starting slow and just coasting. We’ll see, I thought.

We hear the national anthem, then Mary speaks: her last race!! UGH, I am beyond upset that she’s leaving, but I am sure things will be ok. I just hate change 😉 and I really like her. Peter and Mary blow the horn and I see the all my team mates and Juan go off. Bye bye. I hold back a bit. This was my plan if the weather let me know ma thing:

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I didn’t know if I could bit my NYC Half time (1:39 something) but why not try? Then, the humidity attacked. I felt it early on, half a mile in and I was DYING. MELTING. I just was burning up, same thing that happened last year, also half a mile in, at the Boston Marathon. I was roasting inside and wanted to take all my clothes off and jump into the ocean (but we gotta get there first?!?). I actually thought about taking the singlet off but it’s a mess with the bib there… so I gave up and as soon as I saw the first water stop I started the dives. I was throwing 3 cups of water on me (or as many as I could gracefully grab) per table. I really felt like giving up and slowing down. I didn’t think I could even go sub 1:40 so why bother?

Mile 1: 7:39

Mile 2: 7:50 So far so good.

I told myself to keep trying, maybe it’d start raining and things would get better. They didn’t get better, but you know, we all play those tricks on ourselves… What kept me busy: it was waaay too tight in the first two miles, and quite busy and messy until about mile 5 when things started to open up a bit, but definitely crowded. I almost got tripped a few times. UGH. Almost like the NYC Half. Also, I saw a lot of Whippets pass me on those first 3-4 miles, and a lot of people in general.But I already know how that works, so I don’t stress: 90% of them come back later.

Mile 3: 7:21

By Mile 4, I run into Marie Whickam, I love seeing her, we run a bit together until I saw a water table and I had to take another shower, which was adding many many seconds (at least 10) per mile. After a quarter mile, I caught up back to her again. I kept seeing this team mate, Adam, who was running quite even pace, so I tried to follow him too.

Mile 4: 7:44 not enough water!

I was having 1 cup of Gatorade per mile (which is INSANE!!!!! I know!!!) and all the water I could throw on me. Then, at the next water stop I decided I couldn’t wait anymore. I decided I would have my gel right there. I only had one but if the Gatorade was helping so much, maybe I needed the gel asap.

Mile 5: 8:12 where I had brunch

As you can see, per the pace, I had to stop to eat and drink…  Wow, the gel worked like a charm… I caught up to Marie in a second, and then Adam too. I was ON FIRE. It made me feel SO much better. I don’t tend to have gels or that many Gatorade in a half but apparently I really needed it. I felt like I was speeding up a lot as I left the park.

Mile 6: 7:56 still digesting

Soon I left Adam and I started picking up a LOT of people. There wasn’t anyone passing me anymore and I made a point, at mile, 8 to grab another gel at the gel stop and eat it. I just didn’t want to feel like I was dying again… I kept picking people up. SO MANY. I love this long stretch of the race…

Mile 7:21 let’s do this!

Mile 8: 7:26

Mile 9: 7:20

I saw a few team-mates on my way and chatted them up a bit. We were all feeling it a bit and I just felt like I had to keep pushing. Around here I saw Blaise going about 8 pace and I asked WTF and told him to come with me. He was shooting for 1:33, so it was shock to see him there. I am not sure if he tried to follow, but he didn’t, he didn’t have a good race.

Mile 10: 7:14

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Shot from last year… when I run it a bit less worried with time!!!!

Mile 11: 7:14

AH, a tiny little mist. Not quite rain but something!!! I felt so grateful!!! I knew I was close and I just had to close it in. But I wasn’t sure if I had enough for a really fast last mile. I started looking at the pace bracelet and I saw I as a few seconds behind. Nothing a 6:30 mile can’t fix… but I doubted I had that me.

Mile 12: 7:04 is that a mini rain I am feeling???

My team was there! Scott shouted “Pick it up Elizabeth” I smiled and pretended to go faster but… I probably I did a fast 400 there and that was it. Michelle gave me high five, thank you guys!

Mile 13: 7:02 slippery boardwalk, let’s do this!

Finish: 1:39:10

Well, there you have it. I tried my best (in the last 100 meters!) to go sub 1:39 just because, but didn’t happen. Whatever! 16 seconds faster than the NYC Half earlier this year, but given the weather (and how I felt), I’ll TAKE it. Also, I was a bit overweight. I know you can’t tell and I look amazing and all that, but my scale doesn’t lie, and the chafing in between my tights is REAL too. OUCH. Actually, that’s how I usually know I put on some weight; it hurts there. I blame the little Miami vacation the week before (mental note, vacations are AFTER the race, not before!!!!). So, these are not excuses, just a way to measure how happy I am with my time (maybe 30 seconds extra for the weather, and 5 seconds per each extra pound… it’s a flat 1:38 in my head!!!). I am still FAR FAR FAR from my 1:37 PR but if I can bang out a 1:39 consistently, how can I really complain??? I am not far.

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:39:10 Average Pace: 7:34

Previous PR: 1:37:35 From: March, 2013

Age Grading: 68.60% 

Overall Place: 2511 of 26,482

Gender Place: 443 of  14,216

Age Place: 35 of 1,403

Wait a second… 35th in my AG out of 1403??? What? that’s insane.

Another way to look at my splits:

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Seems about right, I would have loved for the last 5K to be a bit faster but the rest seems ok. Now,  I’ll say this to ALL OF YOU who run: 90% of you are starting WAY too FAST. You know what I mean. Look at your splits. I know it’s hard to hold it in, but it pays, I promise you!!! You want proof?? proof you say? There’s so much!!! (I like to do this exercise once in a while to remind myself during races why I need to let people go in the early miles). These are the 12 people who finished with me, in 1:39:10 exactly, 6 before, 6 after.

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I am the orange, so you don’t get lost. We all finished at the same time, right? the fun part is WHERE they all were at the 10K mark. If you think about it, that’s the slowest point of the race, the 2nd 5k is the hardest, you just climbed all the hills this race has, so, if you’re going to slow down, that’s when you’d be at your slowest point, and save your speed for the last 5 flat and fast miles right? Ok, look, I was at 48:39 by 10K, ten out of those twelve were one or two full minutes ahead of me. That is a lot in a 10k, and a lot more in this type of course (where that 2nd 5k, the 10K point should be your slowest). Seven of those twelve where still one or two minutes ahead at the 15K mark, the rest started to drop back. By the finish, I had closed on all of them. I know this because I saw a lot of people passing me earlier on than I caught later, but this shows a LOT. Only two out of those 12 were able to hold it past the 10K mark. Don’t ever forget this, you now have proof that people that go out too fast will come back to you. Even if you don’t believe negative splits is the way to go, at least even effort should do it, and in this course, your first 10K is the slowest of the two… any questions!??!?!?

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As soon as I crossed the finish line, I got my third hug from MaryW of the week, saw Richie, then Patricia, then Keith… and soon Juan. And it started POURING. Now??? now you’re going to pour on me!!??!?! WTF!!!!!! whatever….

We got some mylar blankets, pretzels, apple, and kept going towards baggage… and then… a scene worse than the humidity: major chaos at baggage. Actually, it needs caps: MAJOR CHAOS AT BAGGAGE. If this was Fox news, it’d be a: THE BAGGAGE SH!TSHOW type of headline. I seriously considered going home wet and cold but I really needed my phone and keys… It was such a clusterf*ck, I’d consider not bringing a bag if the weather was better next time. A MESS. There was just one truck for 2 thousand people, corral 2 and 3. The first UPS truck (0 and 1) was fine, the 4-5 was fine… OURS was A MESS. There was a mob of about 300 (500??) people shouting and putting their bibs up in the air. Shameful. Truly awful. And stinky, of course.

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From left: My apple and I, Juan, Patricia, Blaise

Juan and Blaise didn’t have a great race but Patricia KILLED it. She had been doing 1:36 since September in about 5 halves, so frustrating! She did 1:33!!! As we train together, that means, I can now start shooting for 1:36!!! haha, thanks Patricia, her PR is my incentive!

Eventually we grabbed our bags, warmed up, and walked to the train. I wanted a Boston creme from DD but it was too crowded. Rain = No beach post race picnic. We just hobbled home, showered and skipped to Bareburger, as usual after a race.

Oh well. If you run Saturday, I don’t know if you saw, there were MANY runners down. Passed out, getting CPR, a friend told me there were 6 runners in the Coney Island ER alone, so I can imagine it was quite bad. I can’t be the only one affected by that humidity. A really good friend of mine hobbled the last mile and a half just trying not to pass out. So scary. Just promise me you’ll always keep an eye on your health instead of your speed first, ok? So many people fainted, that could have been any of us. Also remember to update your emergency info and buy a road id!!!

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And now… I wasn’t really expecting much from this race. But I will, come Fall go for IT. I really want to PR. well, I would like to. That means, sub 1:37. I will shoot for 1:36. And do whatever it takes to get there by September.

Before I close the door though, three weird things: this was probably the first race in years that I don’t have one picture on the course!!! I got a tan on my legs, you can clearly see the short’s line. I had my headset on the whole time but I didn’t feel like listening to music. I tried twice but it was throwing me off so I must’ve listened to music for about 20, SO WEIRD.

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how cool is this? – NYRR Giants Run of Champions 5K

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The results from last weekend’s 5K at Giants Stadium. A First place is always pretty ridiculous, but a 1st at a NYRR race is INSANE for me. This one will live with the other 1st AG place award I got this year, so they can strategize (or motivate me?!?). Pretty cool, right?

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Race Report: NYRR Giants Run of Champions 5K

As usual, I will be dividing this report in two: The Race (bib pick up, amenities, course, atmosphere, etc.) and My Race below

THE RACE

This was the second year of this 5K, which happens in the NY Giants MetLife Stadium, in NEW JERSEY (I originally signed up for this race because NY and Met sounds to me like the NY Mets Stadium in Queens, ay!). The race has a huge Health Fitness attached to it, and a very family oriented vibe, as there are kids races, and lots of fun activities for everyone to do, like rock climbing and playing on the actual field, so you see a lot of families and first timers. Which always means fun in my book! And it’s out of town… man, I need to get my sports team/geography in check!

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Lots of information on the race here, and lovely pictures: NYRR Giants Run of Champions 5K if you want to get a visual.

Bib Pick Up/Registration. Was a zip as usual. I gave my shirt away as usual, as it was a bit big for my taste, but it was kinda nice:

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Transportation to the Race. Well, this is where things got messy for me, even if it was super organized and it went perfect. There were two shuttles from Secaucus Junction to the Stadium (a ten minute trip), one at 7:25 and one at 8:25. So, if I went for the 8:25, it’d get me there at 8:40, corrals close at 8:50 so that wouldn’t leave me enough time to drop my bag, go to the porta-potty, etc, and I do NOT like rushing on race morning. Can’t. So I decided I had to be on the 7:25, which meant leaving in the 7:07 train from Penn Station. Getting to Penn Station from my apartment, mostly at 6 am on a Sunday can be horrible, so I left at like 5:30 (woke up at 5 and was ready super soon) and for some weird reason, today, all was working on time and got there in like 25 minutes (unheard of!!!!). So at 6 am, I was sitting at Herald Square with nothing to do.

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All trains and shuttles got everywhere in perfect time. I froze to death in all of them but that’s just my own fault!

Start. Was super organized as usual. I got a ridiculously low number for some weird reason

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so I got a few looks and was feeling like such an impostor… but I found some team mates and we stood in the middle of the blue corral. Luckily, I was right in front of the ceremonies so I got to see all the speakers, which included Mary Wittenberg, some football players (Giants?!?!) I didn’t know, and we started to feel the heat… It was 86. Ouch. My skin was sizzling.

Race Atmosphere. Like I said, there was a lot of first timers, even in the blue corral which you never see in a NYRR race! It was so strange, because you’d see the usual familiar faces from the front of the races, and also runners with cameras and spibelts. Loved it. I looked around and there were a few women but not a lot.  There were also a lot of the Giants players racing, and lots with the friends/families. Not a lot of support on the course, but enough for a smaller race, in such heat.

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Weather. Well, it was HOT. As soon as I started running I felt it. weather.com says 86, feels like 88. I heard it was hotter last year.

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The Course. It was good for a 5K, but I am not sure I’d love a 10k there. It was almost completely flat minus one little bump at around 2.5. There were enough turns that you wouldn’t get bored, but not one ounce of shade, we were COOKING! We were mostly running around the stadium through parking lots, so lots of cement

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 then you get into the stadium for

The Finish Line. And you drop a lap around the stadium, in the field, in the springy grass, with LOTS of people cheering while you try to figure out if you can actually finish or will die a meter from the finish, but then you turn and you see the finish arc, right there in the field… kinda really cool. It makes you sprint a little in heart when your legs can’t.

The Post Race. Lots of events!!! Lots where health related, lots were fun activities. Many many games for the kids. We stayed for a while (the first shuttle out to Secaucus was at 10:45) and I was trying to figure out when the awards ceremony was, turns out I had already missed it. We got some bananas and bagels, hung out for a bit and got some fun in.

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MY RACE

I wasn’t sure if I was in sub21 shape but I thought I could do it. It had been over a year since my 21:09 PR and I really wanted to go sub 21… My pace would have to hover around 6:49 to PR and I just did a hilly Central Park 4 miler in 7:00 pace: sub 21 seemed doable…

When I got into the corral with a few of my team mates, I didn’t find anyone I could pace off, they’re all TOO fast. But, I know I can do this, and decided to take it easy on the first mile, because standing there I was already feeling the heat.

As soon the gun goes off, every one sprints for their life. I felt like I was standing and everyone was going so fast! Oy, people, there’s 3 more miles!! Waaait!

But I felt it right away: my race wasn’t there. I had been playing with muscle tension again and I was waaaay too tight:  there was not enough springiness there. Oy. Legs felt like lead, even when I had warmed up a bit. Pffff. It is really hard for me to get this right!

Four women passed me on the first half mile. I knew there were more ahead but I kept an eye on the one I had closest, she had a white hat, bu let them all go. I am always conscious not to get sucked into someone else’s pace.

Soon enough, a mile goes by: Mile 1: 6:40. Okaaay, that seems fast, but who knows. Never give up in your head because then your body gives up. I kept telling myself. Also, it hurts but it’s just 20 minutes! You can hurt for four songs!

I got really really really hot after that. I was thirsty and burning. I wouldn’t stop for water, but I grabbed a cup at the first water stop and threw it in my hair and back. That helped… for like 5 seconds! I kept going, hoping to sustain the pace. Mile 2: 6:58. Ah, there we go then, that was it. I knew there was not much left for the last mile. By then I caught up to David and Otto, both way faster than me. Everyone was suffering, and I felt awful for them, as I could hear them trying to breathe. I also caught 3 of the 4 women who had passed me, somehow. Everyone was fading. I was too, but I think I went out a bit more conservative than everyone around me. And then I saw it, a little hill up ahead.. I was dreading it for some seconds, was over it it quick and soon and kept my head down. I didn’t have enough to speed up the last mile but I wasn’t slowing down as much as everyone else around me was. Mile 3: 6:54.

I knew no PR was happening,  but at least I wasn’t bleeding speed out on the course. I held my ground tight, forcing myself not to get excited when we got in the stadium, did the last bit in 7:08 pace and finished with my head intact, though breathing like a fish out of water. Man, was I happy to be done. The finish line was amazing though, too bad I had nothing left to sprint with.

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Stats:

Finish time: 21:39. Average Pace: 7:00

Previous PR: 21:09. From: July 2013

Age Grading: 69.87%

Overall Place: 162 of 2,993

Gender Place: 11 of 1,281

Age Place: 1 of 206

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NYRR Giants Run of Champions 5K, official race results

Worth noting: Wow, I won my age group????!?! With THAT time?!?! See, when they say that half the win is showing up, this is what they are talking about. I guess nobody wanted to wake up at 5 for a 9 am 5K (because that makes no sense). Well, I will definitely take it! My time was super crappy and, besides the mess I made with the muscle tension, and bit of the heat, I am not sure why I didn’t do better. But anyway, just because I won my AG, I am happy!!!!

And the Erica Sara Designs winner to my Guess My Finish time contest is Smith2429 with the closest guess: 21:37!

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I can’t believe no one got this one… Smith2429, email me at [email protected] and I will get you set up with ESD!

Next time I’ll be more predictable, I promise!

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Race Report: NYRR Oakley Mini 10K

As usual, I will be dividing this report in two: The Race (bib pick up, amenities, course, atmosphere, etc.) and My Race below

THE RACE

The Mini10K is one of the most traditional women’s races in the world, as it was the first race to cater to women. It was the original girl power event, organized by Fred Lebow in 1972, and had Katheryn Switzer and Nina Kuscik, who you usually see invited to the festivities. Tough course, big names, and always running celebrities and traditions in place, it’s one of the nyc races you don’t want to miss! trust me, you don’t.

For more info and some great pictures, check the NYRR Oakley Mini 10K official page (And you can spot me in the photo gallery!)

Bib Pick Up/Registration. Was a zip as usual. I was excited about the shirt, as every year we get a fitted cotton shirt I can (sometimes) wear to work, but this time, given the new Oakley sponsorship, we got tent tank tops. I call them tents because I got the smallest size they had (an S) and it was enormous for me. It’s on the “give away” pile. Sad. I had liked it!!!!

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Start. Was super organized. I always get stuck in lines in these big races but these one felt like a small race..?!?! I had no problems getting to my corral, to a portapotty, all super easy, even if my nerves were expecting all of the opposite. Luckily, my corral (blue) was right in front of the ceremonies so I got to see all the speakers, which included Mary Wittenberg, some triathlete I didn’t know (was just told by my Ironman boyfriend that it was Jenny Fletcher) Desi Davila and…

Who better to kick off the morning than running legend Nina Kuscsik, co-founder of the original “Mini” in 1972 (along with Kathrine Switzer and the late great Fred Lebow)? “Look how far we’ve come,” Kuscsik said into the mic. “It’s great to see you all out here.” Toshiko d’Elia, an 83-year-old masters age-group winner, joined Kuscsik and Mary Wittenberg to wish everyone good luck at the start; she had her 1978 Mini shirt with her.

Chilling. This race always gets to me: Girl Power!!!

Race Atmosphere.

Like I said… it’s so friendly in there, at least until the gun goes off and then it’s elbows up.  Just kidding. or am? I am! I am!! I saw a lot of my team-mates there, Lora of LVrunsnyc.com, everyone was in there in the blue corral an we were all hugging! We chatted, got excited that all the race elites were a meter away (SO crazy)…

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we were right behind that timing mat, yes, THAT close.

Also, it always smells better in the corral in a women’s race. I wonder…

The NYRR photographer got a pic of Michelle, Elke, and I (gallery here!) and soon, we’d be on our way!

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Photo Credit: NYRR, from their gallery. And, of course I wear lipstick to a race!!

Weather. Well, I’ve done the Mini10K seven times and this was the best ever. By FAR. It’s usually in high 70s or even mid 80s with humidity. Always the humidity fro some reason. It must have been 62 or 64, that is usually hot for me, but for the Mini, that was the best weather in… ever. Sun came out and people said they felt the humidity in the last miles. I was just happy it wasn’t as bad usual 😉 Low expectations help!!

The Course. Well, I think it’s one of the roughest 10ks you can do. Seriously hurtful. Elevation profiles are here if you feel like reliving the pain or wonder if you dare. It’s such a tricky race… you start in a mile long straightaway where everyone usually takes out too fast. I promise you, 94% of the people, are going too fast and WILL fade. Never look around!! As soon as you get in the park, there’s a hill, there another climb, then a mountain, then everest. No, I don’t think I am exaggerating. For some reason, this race didn’t feel too crowded for me. I was running comfortable and usually around the same people. My only issue is that NO ONE around me was running tangents. Ahem girls, seriously?  There was some serious cheering on CP West, on Engineer’s Gate and at 72nd tranverse, but most of the park was quiet. Loved it.

The Finish Line. Fun to go through and no crowding. We got medals, flowers, bananas, bagels and water. I was able to meet up with some friends right there and catch up.

The Post Race. There was a line, loooong line, for picture taking?? We spotted Desi Davila in the Oakleys tent!

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Kirby, Desi Davila, and me

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We stayed for the raffles and team pictures… I won nothing, how is that possible. It was such a gorgeous day to stay in the park so Kirby, Juan and I walked back to the UES. I love this race.

MY RACE

I wasn’t sure how I’d do but having done a 10K a month before in 44:32 I knew I would try to go sub 45. This course was harder so I was sure I wouldn’t PR. Actually, it’s not that this course is just harder, it’s that this race always leaves me weeping. It’s just hard. And hilly.

I woke up already serious and with a will kill you if you talk face so the boyfriend knew to stay out of the way and did a wonderfully supportive act. I had my coffee, nothing else, and took the bus downtown to 57th and walked west. By the time I got there, I found a portapotty, did my thing, had a cup of water, which was ALL the fuel I had in me (plus/minus the coffee I had and already got rid of), kissed him and went to the corral.

I found a lot of people on my way, it was cheery and fun and everyone was smiling and relaxed. Is this not the hardest 10K ever? I guess I was the only one dreading it… Well.

I wore my mizunos sayonaras, as usual, love those shoes. It was in the 60s so just booty shorts and bra, this is too hot for singlet and I really have no shame. I know, I am older and should hide some stuff/care but whatevers, this is me.

I got the the blue corral, got photographed, heard the opening speeches, and was ready to go. I think, for the first time ever, I knew what I had to do: Hold it!!!

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Running on Central Park West (thanks Ben Ko for always taking amazing pictures!)

Mile 1 is always rough, people go out like CRAZY. Seriously. And I made that mistake in every of each Mini I did before. Focus, stay down: 7:09. Nice slow opening. As soon as we enter the park there is a hill, then another. It gets really tricky and a few of us kept pacing each other: 7:03, so I am starting to warm up. Then we climb and we climb and there is no one to cheer there (other than Helen, thanks for being there and the pictures!)

I was really sweating so I had to put the glassed and headband DOWN! (Thanks Helen!)

I was really sweating so I had to put the glasses and headband DOWN! (Thanks Helen!)

It starts to sink in: 7:09.  This is all great but this is the part where the wheels come off. Always. This time, even if I couldn’t stop it, I held my ground: 7:38. It really could have been worse, I thought.

Now: 1, it starts hurting, and 2, I start pushing. Both, of course.

Mile 5 is 6:58, I got this. I start feeling ok but I know I can’t get excited and mess this up now: it’s too early! Mile 6: 7:03.

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Going up on the last 50 meters! Can’t believe I blocked Mary Wittenberg with my hand!!!! Uffff (thanks Ben Ko for the fabo picture!)

And the last bit in 6:49 pace. I guess I had some in there, even up another hill!!!

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Stats:

Finish time: 44:46. Average Pace: 7:13

Previous PR: 44:32. From: May, 2013

Age Grading: 69.25%

Overall/Gender Place: 207 of 5595

Age Place: 27 of 925

NYRR Oakley Mini 10K, official race results

Worth noting: I am getting this pacing thing right, I think. A 10k is Central Park is always brutal, in any direction, and I don’t think I messed this one up!

Fun at the finish line:

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Pink Bling

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Kettia and I!

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Juan, who cheered from west to east to west, and caught me when I finished!

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yes, those are my shorts: NO shame!

dashing whippets

Whippets who Raced

So, get ready for this. Sit down. Because the Mini is a ladies race, the men in my team have nothing to do but cheer… so cheer they did… Are you sitting down?

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One of us is wearing a skirt

Right? I love this race! (as much as I hate the racing a 10k in Central Park part itself). It’s always a riot. Glad we have nice weather and soooooo much fun on the course. And… get ready, ladies will be cheering this next weekend at this Sunday’s nyrr race… it’s on.

And the Garmin winner to my Guess My Finish time contest is MN Slow Runner, who guessed exactly 44:46, but there were SO many people who were super close!

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NYC Marathon Opening Day – The excitement behind the scene!

As I posted yesterday, I was going to be part of the NYC Marathon Opening Ceremony, but in case you don’t know what it is, it’s a Kick Off party for the marathon, they bring some elite runners, some celebrities who will be running, there’s interviews, and it is all live. And as soon as it ends, the lottery is picked.

Anyway, the live transmission starts at 12 and I was asked to be there at 11 am. Love that they hold it in Columbus Circle, the .2 of the marathon!

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People were already lining up. If you are in the lottery you might get an email a few days before inviting you to be part of the Opening Ceremony, and the people there have a chance to get their name picked live!

Oh, HELLO.

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Transmission was all set up for live broadcasting!

Soon enough, all the lottery participants that rsvped and made it there were ready, all dressed in the NYRR shirts and with all fingers crossed…

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And the fun started… The MC was Victoria Brumfeld, an impressive athlete and also someone I work with!! She is one of the organizers of the NYC Tri and NYC Ironman and given that I am the triathlon manager for Team in Training… well, it’s a SMALL world!!! Even when there’s 10 million people in this little island!

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Ready to go on stage!

Two seconds later, I am, OF COURSE, screaming and jumping, trying to get this people pumped. They always respond! It was a gorgeous day to be there and, having done this marathon so many times, I get excited just thinking about it, even if I already qualified!

Then I talk and talk and tawk!

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Soon, we are down… Phew… I get sometimes nervous because I know I say a lot of stuff I sometimes shouldn’t, or I curse a bit much, and I don’t censor much either. But it went fine. People seemed moved and excited and some stopped me later to talk about the stuff I had said, it was really nice to be able to share and maybe inspire others. That’s always an honor.

We remained, there, by the stage, as we were asked to do little vide interviews soon. We see this guy:

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Is that…?? Is that..?? OMG, yes it IS! How did I not know James Blake would be there AND running the NYCM?!?!?!? How? I love tennis, and mostly I love tennis for the men… hmmm. What is wrong with my life that I wasn’t on top of this?! Priorities, Elizabeth, PRIORITIES!!!!!

He goes up, selects a bib winner…

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okay, wake up, pay attention!!! ffffffffffffffffff.

I really wasn’t paying attention.

So, a few minutes later I have to ask around WHO on earth is that on stage??? I have no clue!

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Who????

Ah, Ridiculously Photogenic Guy!!!! Apparently he IS real!

NYRR KNOWS how to do media…!

Now… head to head… what say you?!?!?!??!

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HUH??? who??? just say it!!!!!!!

Best part: Mary Wittenberg goes on stage, and they keep selecting bib winners.

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Meanwhile, I see Kim Smith and she looks bored… We had met before a bunch of times, last time was a month ago at the Dinner with Champions when we spent some time talking about the course. She seemed to remember me (?!?) so we talked about Boston, the 5K and the hot marathon, and a lot of stuff, mostly boys…! hehe. autofoto!

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Meanwhile, in front of the stage, the live transmission is still going… Amani Toomer is being interviewed. No clue who he is. If it’s some kind of sport that is not Track and Field, Tennis or Soccer, I have NO clue.

Kim goes on stage, gets interviewed by Victoria, and selects one more lucky winner.

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Soon enough, too soon maybe, the live broadcast is about to be over and the lottery results are going to be picked… they gather all stars on stage to symbolically shoot a cannon with lottery results into cyberspace…

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Exciting right? Even more so if you got IN. The problem was that… the site seemed to have crashed for a few hours… And I was getting so many text, as if I could do anything about it… Some people found out because their credit cards got charged, some had to wait hours. But when we were there, names were scrolling in the screens… I can’t even imagine what it must be to see your name scroll by… Now, should we start planning?? Who is IN?

A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!

And K and me! You know K… ket’s meow! We met a bit before the event and, really, she’s the nicest!!!! I love her! It’s amazing to think about how many amazing people I met…

A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!

Mini 10K RR

Everybody I know was wondering why I’d be racing while Argentina was playing. I was questioning it too: I never do well in this race, it was hot, humid, and… the World Cup was on.
Still, I’d rather be the main character in my life before being a spectator of anyone else’s, so off I went to the park with my white chocolate mocha… A PR wasn’t the goal, but just to do this race justice. My 10k PR was three weeks old: a 46:43 (average pace of 7:32); but weather yesterday was not cooperating… I wasn’t expecting much, just to start slow and pick it up later.
Mary Wittenberg (President and CEO of NYRR), Paula Radcliffe, and Kara Goucher wished us luck and we were off. I was in the first corral, and that always spells disaster for me; I went out way too fast. (My first mile in the last 10k was 7:40.) Mile 1 and 2 got merged together as I was too hyped up to press the lap button. They averaged 6:59. Ooooops, crap. I am in big trouble. Then I heard/felt a bunch of people surrounding me: a huge group passes me with Mary and Paula. Pretty cool.
We then go into Central Park and I saw pretty much everybody I know there cheering (even Pottbott, remember him?). This race is just bigger than life and everyone comes out to watch!
Mile 3: 7:24, still going too fast, and I was definitely feeling the effects of the heat and humidity. That’s when I started to fall apart. Mile 4: 8:01. But when I saw the 4 mile mark I decided to step it up, though my mind kept wandering… The extra effort felt ok but I was so unfocused. Mile 5: 7:21. Until I started chasing this tall woman until the finish. I’ve noticed I’ve been doing that more and more, just chase someone… Mile 6: 7:28. The final .2 was done in 7:16 pace. I clocked in at 46:05. That’s a 38 seconds PR.
How?
How?
I have no idea…
Weather was yucky, Blaise wasn’t there to pace me, I went out too fast, I had the same shoes, the same coffee… Someone figure this one out please. It’s making me mental…
Off to find everybody. Now, about the outfit: I have a couple of running skirts that I NEVER wear. I figured it I didn’t wear a skirt to the Mini10k, then I’d just have to recycle them. And the pink… it’s a all women’s race, I had to! Right?
I saw Kara, who looks OSOM as you can see, and I don’t have to tell you how sweet she is!

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There’s Mary too. You all know she is “The Most Amazing Woman In The Whole Wide World”, right?

Katherine Switzer Kara!

Katherine Switzer, who I had met in Boston earlier this year. You know her: a true pioneer of women’s running. She created this race, along with Fred Lebow, and was the first woman to run NYCM (won it twice) and the first winner of Boston (after they established the women’s category). She was also the one who pushed for adding the women’s marathon to the Olympics.

Where would we be without her?? Well, I’ll tell you: we’d still be holding our uterus so it wouldn’t fall out when we run; and running anything but marathons!

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Adam Goucher wasn’t getting as much attention as super-rockstar Kara, so we chatted for a while. He’s super nice and was telling me about his training and how much he suffered while injured. I get moody and grumpy when I can’t run, but I couldn’t even imagine how the elites would deal with it, it’s gotta be 500 times harder (he said he put on 15 pounds!!!); and he’s targeting the Olympic trials (for the marathon) so he’ll do the half in January instead. And… it’s confirmed, it’s a BOY!!!! Seems like they were all expecting a girl, but he’s happy as it took them so long to get pregnant. He’s super nice, that boy’s gonna be fast and OSOM with those genes!!

And, the myth, the woman, THE Paulinator! Not sure if Paula is a soccer fan but she didn’t say a peep about the Argentinian shirt. I was not about to bring it up.

She was SO nice!

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The winner, Linet Masai, on the left by Katherine, with a yellow shirt. The race story is here.
DSCN9029 The winner, who was super super shy, and the rest of the top three!
go here for pictures and video.
Then was the turn of the two running Gods/hot mammas!
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They stand there like they are normal. Do they not realize how amazing they are?? Seriously????
Then they heard about my race, and they couldn’t hide it…
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So, it’s ok that I didn’t miss this for (the first half of) a soccer game. Right? 😉