Tag Archive | Newport Half Marathon course

Newport Liberty Half Marathon Race Report

Sunday I ran the Newport Liberty Half Marathon.

I didn’t win. If you’re still interested in reading, there’ll be a few “oh!”, “ah”, “wow” and “what?” in store. Obviously, let me backtrack first.

BEFORE

These past 3 weeks have been insane. Like, so busy, I have been barely able to shut my brain down to get some rest. I’ll share a lot of it soon, but it’s basically like having 4 full time jobs, and add the couple of health hicccups I have going on (my stomach is a problem, my gastroenterologist has me in a no-dairy, no-gluten diet and it hasn’t helped, plus the IDU is still giving me daily cramps and stuff) and you’d be exhausted. It’d take a week to tell you all that’s happened in the last 3! soon!

Anyway, to recap: I was exhausted, I overdid it on my mileage this past week (I also started coaching for NYRR a few nights a week and didn’t pay attention… it all adds up really quickly!!!), I barely had time to sleep and I couldn’t remember this week I had MY GOAL RACE.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS.

RACE MORNING

Up at 5:30, leave the apt at 6:15 with Juan, my hot husband and Race Partner Extraordinaire, and meet Courtney by the 86th Street 4-5-6 train stop. ]

We saw a lot of Tune Up runners getting off the train. So funny to be going in the opposite direction.

Funnier, to see some people getting off the train at 86th and get on a cab to the start… when they’re about to run 18 miles. Early in the morning, everything is funny to me. Yes, I am one of those annoying people that don’t need coffee (but I do pass out at 8 pm!). Took the 4 (or 5) to Fulton, then the Path into NJ for two stops. We were there in no time. Too easy. Plus we got to walk through the Oculus, which is EMPTY on a Sunday at 6:45 am.

RACE START

The path is about 1.5 blocks from the start and also race bib pick up. And there’s portapotties right in the middle, wohoooo! So in about 20 minutes we had peed, picked up our bibs, pinned them, peed again, and dropped our bag.

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Don’t we look so friendly in the morning?

Soon we caught up with Hannah (another team mate) and JJ, and we headed for the start. We peed again, that’s THREE TIMES. Such a luxury. There was something special about those portapotties that didn’t smell bad (though they were SO dark!!!).

Juan left us, he had about an hour and half to run so he took of early, in the north direction, towards Hoboken, so I never saw him on his run! We had a little pow wow at the start, a guitar version of the Start Spangled Banner and we were off.

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A note of the weather because everybody said it was really hot. I only remember that humidity was 84 or 85% but the weather wasn’t my biggest concern. Don’t ask me why.

7:20 was a PR pace for me. And I was going to try. Why NOT? So I told Courtney I’d start slower (Mile 1 was 7:30) Courtney was behind me for a bit but by the half mile we were running together. So happy about it.  The first few miles we had people around, and most of them kept passing me, actually. I made a mental note of most of them, because I know how this works…

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Mile 2 or 3, where I saw Elaine Acosta and she snapped this one! Thanks Elaine. I see the clock behind us, that’s mile 2!! (no way I can run 3 miles in 14:58!)

The miles kept clicking and by mile 3 or 4, I had lost Courtney and my pace was back in the 7:20s. The crowds had also dissapeared. I’d have people here and there but we were all mostly in packs of 2 or 3 runners. By Mile 6 or 7 I felt like I needed a sugar pick me up so I took out m Gu and that didn’t work out well. My stomach became all knots and it wasn’t happy. I was having some weird cramping. Mile 7 and 8s were in the 8s, I felt myself slowing down and eventually my stomach stopped hurting. And of course, I then felt like I needed more energy. I decided I wasn’t going to have another gels as my stomach was not having them. I pulled out my caffeine kicker (two chocolate-covered espresso beans) thinking that’d be better than nothing, because you can’t really swallow those, so it wouldn’t upset my stomach more. Oh well. Not a good idea either.

My stomach was not having it. Even water was upsetting it. UGH.

The second half of the race (actually, miles 5 thru 9) goes through Liberty State Park, and at about 6.5 we turn a corner and the Statue of Liberty was right there!!! Like, so close I could touch it. Mile 11 and a half all the way to the finish are right on the water, with amazing views of Downtown Manhattan. The sights are incredible.

I kept trucking, I made a friend on the road who decided to keep me company (or pace me!?!?!?) for the last 5 miles. Anton (who I had never met before) and I run the whole last portion together, which I think saved me. It was very lonely at times, and it gets hard to keep the pace honest when you’re hurting. By mile 9 I knew I wasn’t going to PR but decided it’d be a good workout anyway, so why not fight hard til the end?

I was suffering and it wasn’t pretty but, did we really expect it not to hurt?

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My new friend Anton and I on the last two miles. Thanks Elaine for cheering and the pics!

On the last half mile, Anton left, I saw Juan, and I knew I had to book it!

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I don’t remember passing this fella at all. See how how spread out it was? Hi Juan! 300 meters to go!

We go around the bend, I see the finish line, 1:37 something, I cross the finish line, and I knew I needed water asap!

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I am DONE for today! WHERE are my eggs????

I looked around for Courtney. No luck. I saw Juan, he snapped the pic above, we walk about 50 meters back to grab my bag while we keep an eye on the finish line for Courtney. I see her coming around the bend, Juan and I start cheering for her and she looks at me and goes “did you PR??”….!!!…!!!! WHAT! Girl is running her last 100 meters and asking ME if I PRed!??!? OMG< TOO CUTE!

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Whippets Finish Line Reunion! From left, me, Courtney, Hannah, and Stephen! At least Stephen had a great race!

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Stats Time!

Finish time: 1:37:49 Average Pace: 7:27

Previous PR: 1:36:03. From: March 2016

Age Grading:69.42%

Overall Place: 163 of 2548

Gender Place: 23 of 1149

Age Place: 5 of 146

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Meanwhile, Juan had gone north to run his 12 miles

The post race spread was fantastic. they had these square bagels (are those really bagels????) and I NEVER touch a bagel but I ended up eating a whole one. They were delicious. Or I was ravenous. Or delirious. Who knows. I don’t even remember. I know I had about 5 cups of Gatorade (even though I also can’t stomach Gatorade) and chips. And a banana. They really had lots of delicious options.

newport10K newport jersey city 10K (10)Views by the finish line… not bad huh?
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oh, we went back through the Oculus again. It’s actually REALLY NICE, if this shaded NYorker can say so…

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—–  the GUESS MY FINISH TIME WINNER IS….

winner

rdr, email me and pick a gift from that post!!!

Who raced this weekend???? Can’t wait to hear from you all!!!

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Training for a Half? Newport Half Marathon Entry Giveaway!

You all know I’ve been training (like a maniac) for a half…

My half PR (1:37 something) NEEDS to go down this year. I am not much into goals but this one has been on my radar since earlier in the year (when I surprisingly and miraculously got super close to breaking it without trying) and I am VERY determined to get to it. Calculations are saying I “could” (you know those coulds) run a 1:36 something now, so I’ll keep chipping at it for a few more weeks until I race… And with that, let me announce… I am running the 22nd Annual NEWPORT HALF MARATHON!!!

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I am so excited to do this race! Looks like an amazing course, plus it’s super flat, and it’s just a few minutes away from NYC, via the path! And you could get an entry!!! See below for how to enter the GIVEAWAY for a free spot in this awesome race.

When/Where: Sunday, September 20, 2015. Racers take their mark at 8:30 a.m. Registration opens at 6:45 a.m. Newport Town Square, 100 Town Square Place, Jersey City, NJ 07310.

More Info on the Race: Jersey City’s popular half marathon championship marks its 22nd year! Recreational and elite runners from around the country can compete for $3,000 in prize money on a USA Track & Field-certified course that interweaves with the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway from Newport to Liberty State Park. The open-air race has been called the most beautiful course in the Tri-State area with spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge. Winnings and records will be awarded immediately after, during the Post-Race Party with refreshments, a local DJ and several prize drawings for gift cards and event tickets. All runners will receive finisher medals. Proceeds are being donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, the area’s newest regional teaching hospital, proving the highest level of care for women, infants, and trauma and heart patients. Registration: $50. More Info and Registration here: www.newporthalfmarathon.com 

If you’re doing your first half this Fall, make sure you got 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.) Race Rehearsal is super important!

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

Now, if you’ve done a few halfs and you just 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. 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, who is doing the Newport Liberty Half Marathon with me?

Here’s how you enter to win a free entry! You have until August 17 to enter, we’ll select a random winner on August 18! And you can play as many times as you want!