Tag Archive | nyc racing

Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe (4M) – Recap

I am signed for SOMETHING every weekend for the next two months so I am going to keep these reports short (this one ends with a twist…).

So, this is the same 4 mile loop I race about 15 times a year… or so. I’ve done this course soooo many times I can do it in my sleep. And like those super-tired-just-did-speedwork sleeps… I met Patricia at the start corral (and Steve, heeey!!) and she asked me what pace I’d do it in… I said around 28:30. Then I told her “my first mile is going to be 7:15, my second mile is going to be 7:02, third mile is usually around 7:30 and then a 6:55 or 6:56 closer”. She looked at me like I was crazy, but that how I pace to an average 7:02 or 7:05 average race. IN GENERAL, of course.

The weather was great, which I wasn’t expecting. We had been told all week it was going to rain. Now, if I have to count how many races the weather people got it wrong for, I can just give you a list of all my races…!!! I still didn’t feel like racing, so I had woken up at 6:30, took Diego (my friend’s dog I was watching) out to pee and got back into bed. Until 8 am. Race was to start at 9.

When the gun went off, I went into auto mode. At mile 1, I pointed at the clock, I was right on what I had predicted. I then noticed I hadn’t turned on my gps. Oh well. I had no idea what my first mile and a bit was … that’s why I am not posting screenshots of my laps. Mile 2 was fast as usual and I lost Patricia. I wasn’t sure but I thought she had dropped back a bit. Mile 3, I remembered to lap my watch so I have the two last laps, mile 3 was 7:15 (what?) though I didn’t look at it at the time. And last mile, here is the twist, was a 6:33 closer. WHAT?

WHAT?
where did that come from??

Still, I waited a bit to check my results (I had forgotten about live results…!) and I saw 28:04. that is SO close to my 28:00 PR!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was another shocker. Maybe I am closer than I think to PR shape… I went into the United NYC Half thinking I wasn’t, I didn’t push to PR, then I had that whole mess with the layers…. Last week’s 10K went great, even tired a week post-half. Seems like I might be sharper than I thought… Yes, I have the lowest expectations and you all told me, I know, but I get there when I get there, okay?

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:04 Average Pace: 7:01

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 71.06%

Overall Place: 338 of 4,731

Gender Place: 30 of 2,250

Age Place: 3 of 240

back into the 71% AG wohoooooo. I love it when you are just sitting in bed on race day and really don’t want to get out of bed but then you have a fast and surprising race… Mostly because that happens aaaaall the time!! 😉 

then Patricia and I run another loop cheering, total 11 miles

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Central Park Spring Classic 10K – Recap

This is going to be quick because:

1- I don’t have race pictures

2- I wasn’t really racing…

Patricia and I met up at the B corral as usual. Patricia finished a few seconds behind me at the United NYC Half last weekend so we figured we were in good shape to run together. Also, we were still recovering from the half so we were taking this as a workout. A very hard, structured, tempo, with lots of pacers. We met Gordon in the corral, along with a bunch more people. This is a “classic” NYRR race, like a toned down version of their usually big megaproductions, where the price is lower, there is no t-shirt, smaller field, and no prizes. Closer to what a regular race anywhere else in the world looks like. But I had never done one of these and was super curious.

Anyway, the horn blows, Patricia and I start together committed to run together. We’d start slow, as there’s Harlem Hill on the first mile. And then pick it up.

It was SO HOT. I was wearing a bra and tiny shorts already. In March. Amazing. We pretty much run good splits though we kept telling each other we were going too fast about every 20 seconds… We saw a few friends cheering, heeeey, we went up and down Cat Hill and then we pushed a bit. And we were done. We actually finished the race and crossed over the finish line holding hands, given how we had worked together through the whole race. Note to self: SO hard to run proper tangents when you run with someone (who doesn’t!!!), after a few miles, I started pointing where to go, I hope Patricia learned!!

Then… we did caught up with Carolina who was at the finish, we did a northern loop with Patricia and Justin, then I run to the Run Center, and then I hosted the NYRR History Tour with Gordon Bakoulis through the park. 15 miles total. I was RAVENOUS after. I almost ate my arm.

don’t ask. I don’t.

NYRR History Tour. Organized by NYRR and usually hosted by Grandmaster Stuart Calderwood, Gordon and I were sub-hosting as he was out of town. You learn facts and story of Central Park this, with a 4.6 run in there too!

Stats Time:

Finish time: 45:27 Average Pace: 7:19

Previous PR: 44:32 From: May, 2013

Age Grading: 69.63%

Overall Place: 343 of 3672

Gender Place: 43 of 1895

Age Place: 2 of 208

Another race this next weekend, the Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe (4M). Let’s do this!!!

Race Report: Grete’s Great Gallop

hey hey friends! This isn’t going to be much of a race report as I didn’t really race Grete’s Great Gallop (a half marathon if you’re not from NYC!). I wasn’t sure what do make of the race, as I wasn’t tapered to race it fully so I checked with Martina what she had planned for race day. She said she’d be doing 12 miles at Marathon Goal Pace (about 7:35 for her, I think I am closer to 7:45 but how do we know MGP until Race Day, huh???) and a total of 20. That seemed like a good plan to me, and at least I’d have company!

My A goal for this race was to test out another fueling strategy. Goal B was to have a good workout. Goal C would be to have a good time…

Thinking back, two loops of Central Park at MGP doesn’t seem like a good plan. It hurt. I was almost hoping I was doing the Tune Up, as that’s an easier pace to hold in the park for THAT LONG.  But anyway, goals A, B, and C achieved and more! Let me tell you.

I started doing some major research on fueling on Wednesday. I spent 4 hours on this guys! I hadn’t had a good race where my stomach held out. Basically, I either run out of energy because I am avoiding putting stuff on my stomach, OR, I get stomach cramps for about 5 to 10 minutes anytime I put a gel or Gatorade on it. I can handle water, but not a lot. It’s a catch 22 really.

According to my gastroenterologist, I can’t handle anything with sweeteners on it (Acesulfame Potassium is everywhere guys!) ever, and gliadin (in gluten!) while I am running (which is also everywhere!). So, from that I moved onto finding out that I don’t do well with the maltodextrin/fructose combo (aka: most gels…). Anyway, if you want to read more, this is a good start about fueling with fats, but I made a list of things I should try and my plan for Sunday was:

  • Pre Race: 2 cups of white rice, with coconut oil, and salt. Water.
  • Race: 1 gel and LOTs of water

Gels I wanted to try out:

  1. Huma
  2. Vega
  3. Pocket Fuel
  4. Glukos Energy

in that order. The gel situation is complicated though, because there’s a lot of things about my stomach I still don’t understand so I have to avoid LOTS of things that might not even be a problem (like honey for example).

So, Sunday morning, I had the rice, but only 1 cup because 2 seemed like too much and I wasn’t hungry and apparently I am into boycotting my own plans… I was so not stressed out that I forgot to put my bib on and run out. Had to come back. Then, I run the 2 miles to the start. Yey, 2 miles in already.

I was supposed to meet Martina in the B corral and she wasn’t there… even though I was the first person in the corral! I waited and then the start… UGH. I figured she’d be catching up (or coming with the 1:40 pacer, 7:37 pace) soon so I took it as easy as I could in the first mile and kept my eye out for her. About a mile in, she caught up! Phew. I was running at 8:00 and already felt uncomfortable. Why is marathon pace SO uncomfortable??? It’s not SUPER EASY pace, but it’s not ALL OUT either… Plus, mentally, it’s a lot of work to balance in that middle ground. UGH. These workouts are HARD! Oh, add the Central Park course to the mix… by the time she got to me I was already sick of it!

Mile 1: 7:51 But I had Martina!!!!!  Friends are always the super powers you need in a race. Aren’t they?

So we started trying to pace ourselves around 7:40. Which wasn’t so easy. But we kept ourselves entertained. Plus, I saw Juan about 1.5 in yelling!

gretes-great-gallop-nyrr-half-marathon-central-park-3

Photo Credit: my husband, the tallest man on earth

We kept trucking and right before Engineers Gate I see Carolina cheering and taking more pictures. How could we get bored??? Mile 2: 7:50

gretes-great-gallop-nyrr-half-marathon-central-park-1

gretes-great-gallop-nyrr-half-marathon-central-park-6

Photo Credit: Carolina Pena. The guy in red is just amazing.

Right after, the 1:40 pacing group catches up with us, and Stephen tells us we’re chatting up too much! Ha. We let them go! Mile 3: 7:33

There’s to letting pacers go… Up Harlem Hill at Mile 4: 7:48 So crazy to have to do this twice in a race! Somehow our pace wasn’t as awful as it felt.  Mile 5: 7:49

Right around here we had built a little pace group of our own, with this guy Tony, in orange below, the girl in the blue shirt next to him, and this guy Jeff, who’s right behind us in this picture, from GNY. So much fun to run in a group!

gretes-great-gallop-nyrr-half-marathon-central-park-4

hey hey look at me! By then Carolina and Juan had joined forces cheering!

The Lower Loop of the park always gets to me, there’s so many turns… I don’t know but I don’t like it there (basically mile 1 and 7). Mile 6: 7:33  But we were doing fine. We were getting tired, but you know, pace was fine.

Mile 7: 7:35 I had told Martina, we could take the first loop easy and reassess after the second Harlem Hill, so I was saving a bit for the end as usual. Then we go up Cat Hill, which was ROUGH for me Mile 8: 7:51 as you can see in the pace! But the next one is the easiest stretch so we take it easy there! Mile 9: 7:33 Martina wasn’t feeling well so she said she was going to slow down up Harlem Hill, the Sequel. We did. I was obviously happy to take it easy up the hill. Though, as in any hill, everyone would take off and I’d be left breathing like a crazy person ways back!!! Mile 10: 8:11 Then, I started to feel my legs getting super stiff. I knew I needed the %^[email protected]#@$ fuel. What to do, what to do?? I am just so scared these days, I rather fall apart slowly because I have no energy, than cramp up and have the pain for a mile.

But the point of this “training run” was to test out my fueling!!!! So I manned up, had the Huma, STOPPED for water for about 10 seconds or whatever, and dealt with it. I figured, if it didn’t help, it’s not like I cared much about my finish time. And what was I waiting for to try it? It’s not like I can try it in a long run at 9: 30 pace!!!! Mile 11: 8:00

I actually felt better instantly…. I had to rush to catch back up to Martina, she was like 30 seconds ahead (because I stopped for the water!). I pushed and pushed and got there. And when I got there… I sort of kept going… Oooops. I felt bad. But my legs wanted to move!!

Mile 12: 7:25 and Mile 13: 7:35

gretes-great-gallop-nyrr-half-marathon-central-park-2

Right before the finish. Photo Credit: Steve Mura

Point 1: 7:16 pace

I was done! average pace was 7:44. I wish it could have been a bit more even but between the hills and the stomach things, I had a hard time focusing this time around. I waited for Martina and the rest of the little 2nd loop group by the finish and we caught with a few team mates at the finish too.

gretes-great-gallop-nyrr-half-marathon-central-park-5

Young (in the middle) had a 1:34 PR. We met DURING this race a few years ago (so Sat was probably our runniversary!), and we run it together. We also run the second half of the NYC Half this year together.

Stats Time!

Finish time: 1:41:12. Average Pace: 7:44

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

Age Grading: 67:12%

Overall Place: 464 of 4177

Gender Place: 69 of 2015

Age Place: 5 of 258

– NYRR Grete’s Great Gallop (13.1) race results

Training run, done. New fueling protocol tested with positive results. Mission Accomplished.

Now another 20 miler (while you all race Staten Island), then a taper, and then another Half! Can’t wait!!!!

Check out this picture from a few years ago at the same race!!

GGG-TOGETHER15

 

Airbnb Brooklyn Half – Custom Pace Bracelet

I adjusted this based on my Race Strategy here. I know, you love me. I love you too. Make sure you do read that race strategy info, or adjust this pace bracelet as you please. Or don’t wear it. I won’t know.

you can download the excel sheet here: Brooklyn Half Marathon Pace Sheet

all you have to do is enter the desired finish time on the yellow cell on top and watch the magic happen. Then you can adjust the splits if you feel like it. I won’t be offended!

for more info on how to tackle the race, check the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Race Strategy and Tips post. Comments? Questions? there’s a box below!!

United NYC Half Marathon – Custom Pace Bracelet

I adjusted this based on my Race Strategy here. I know, you love me. I love you too.

you can download the excel sheet here: NYC Half Splits

all you have to do is enter the desired finish time on the yellow cell on top and watch the magic happen. And you can adjust the splits if you feel like it. I won’t be offended!

for more info on how to tackle the race, check the New York City Half Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Logistics post. Comments? Questions? there’s a box below!!

 

New York City Half Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Logistics

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 travelling 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). Last year it was 34 degrees, 35% humidity, and 14 mph wind (2015 was 42 degrees, 2014 was 31 degrees, 2013 was 30 degrees), but assume it’ll feel 10 degrees under that. 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.

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December was a rockstar of a month. Even if mileage was small ;-)

December

was awesome!!! It started with 10 days of no running and yes, still awesome. Juan found these very inexpensive tkts on Emirates to Italy, and we just went, with 10 days of planning. It was so amazing, I should probably do a post about it (but who are we kidding, I am so lazy these days!) but OMG, we had the funnest time and we didn’t even bring running shoes with us. Insane right? WRONG. Sometimes I just want to eat, and eat, and sleep late and have a completely different routine. I call it “vacation”. I do vacation 100% sometimes. Plus, our main goal was to EAT EVERYTHING. That routing/goal would have made the running tortuous. No, thanks. We came back after 8 days (just 3 pounds over. how? food is just SO different there!!!) and it was almost the holidays!!! I did a few miles and last week I noticed that if I did about 10 miles more than I’d usually do in a week, this would be my year with the most miles. Which is INSANE if you think about it: this is the first year I didn’t do a marathon. NO long runs over 12… how is this possible?? And I did take a few weeks off here and there… Well, I am enjoying this a bunch more now that I don’t have to do the long runs… Quite mysterious, right?

Last week I managed 41 miles!!! A lot, as I usually run 25 to 35 a week. and then… Sunday I got a chest cold. CRAP. Anyway, I was just 5 miles off so, and I couldn’t muster the last 5 mile run. I couldn’t. My face was dripping in every direction and I could barely get to the couch from bed. OHWELLwhocaresanyway. Got close enough. By the way, GOOD ENOUGH has become my motto, read this (How settling can make people happier and more satisfied than gunning for “the best”) which explains it all, it will change your life, I promise! Here we go 2016!!!!!!! Total Miles: 91

For year’s totals and balance, check this post.

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November

besides the Marathon excitement…. left without a hitch! I cheered about 4 places for the marathon and got to see poor Juan battle an injury for over 26 miles and way longer than it should have taken him. OUCH. The rest of the month was spent trying to see what was up with my hamstring. It had been hurting since early September, started PT, did an MRI: it was my adductor… now we can focus on that. Slow easy fun miles most of the month! Total Miles: 93

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October

was an atypical month. All of a sudden it’s dark in the mornings, cold and we taper. This year, as I wasn’t running the NYC Marathon, there was no taper, but I did run the Staten Island Half early in the month and I made a MESS. I overcaffeinated myself, dehydrated quite badly, got awful cramps and it got quite scary for a bit. It was sad to close the racing season without a PR or a well executed race but, on the other hand, I got about 4 seconds from a PR, which was quite amazing news, I didn’t expect I’d be THAT close. The days after the race I felt awful but I got away from it with just a cold, because my immune system was a mess. That means, no running for about a week and a half, so my monthly mileage was sadder than usual. There was a fun trip to the NYC Marathon Museum Exhibit at the Museum of the City, highly recommended, go see it, it’s there until March. There was also a trip to the NYC Marathon Expo, and the pavilion, always fun too. And then cheering wildly at the marathon, but that’s actually November… 😉 The rest of the month was ok, nothing too wild, just trying to catch up back from the cold. I am gonna miss this weather. Total Miles: 100

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September

was a good month. I managed to calm down my hamstring tear and keep running. I did 120 miles this month guys!!! I did very little speed but I am now trying to get back on it. For example, yesterday we did a crazy hard workout (I am still wiped out!): 4x400s, 1×1600, and 4x400s. It was GREAT.

September runs

Earlier on the month, I raced the 5th Avenue Mile (and here are all the pros pictures) to see where I was after 6 weeks of BLAH, and I came up with a 6:24 which wasn’t so shabby given how long I was benched. I did decide to skip my goal half marathon race and post pone it to next weekend Staten Island half… we will see. I don’t think it’ll be spectacular, but I am ready to give it a try and be done racing for 2015!!

Early September too, Juan and I celebrated our 2nd year anniversary with a trip to DC, and we run a lot there, and we ATE a lot there too. Fun times!! and yesterday I put some pictures up about my run to the Bronx this weekend and then cheering at the NYRR Bronx 10 miler. All fun. See? a really FUN month. Which is pretty much all you need coming back from a furious hamstring battle. 10 days now to Staten Island half and I hoping I will feel like taking a break after that. But who knows. Total Miles: 120

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August

Well, August was rough for me guys. rough. Rough.

As happy as I had been with my training this past year, mostly in the last few months (before freaking August!!!) it all went sorta crazy fast. I did the Team Championships on August 1st, not a PR but it was a messy hot day so I was happy with my 7:02 pace. Plus, it was fun. Then the next day, I did something stoopid. You know, I am so awesome, sometimes I have to be quite stoooopid to even the world out. I overdid it a liiiiiiitle bit and I pushed it WAY TOO MUCH. (the day after a 5 mile race… no less). Ooooops. August 4th, my next run, I was in pain just jogging to the park to workout… crapola. I took it really easy all that week and then that Saturday, we had planned a great Summer Streets run. I thought, having run super slow all week, I’d be A-OK. Wrong. I felt fine until when, at mile 8, I felt my hip exploding, literally, I wish I was exaggerating. It was 3 sharp explosions. It felt like a tear, a sprain, a stress fracture, all in one. Of course, I did 3 more miles after that to get back home. Then went out that night and run the next day 😉 Oh well. I feared the worst, I was so sad. I did ALL easy runs since then but Mr Precious High Maintenance Hamstring has been messed up since. Such a spoiled #$%@[email protected]! BRAT. … …. I know what I did. I know how I did it. I know not to do that. But hey, I haven’t messed myself up since 2011 so cut me some slack. When you don’t ever get injured it’s tough to know where the line is and you don’t remember how bad it can get if you cross it. Now, this sucks A LOT. Last Thursday I finally went to see the doctor, a guy I trust (Dr Rosen, also the guy who did Juan’s shoulder surgery last year), and he didn’t think there was a broken bone, he thought it was a tear or a sprain, and the MRI wouldn’t change the course of action (and always happy to skip it!). So, two more weeks of easy running, PT, strengthening, deep tissue, warm/ice compresses, antiinflamatories and all the fun stuff and we’ll reevaluate. He thinks I’ll be fine. (I am also going to start praying to Pre and the Pope, cause he’s so cool.)

By then (next week), it’ll be 7 weeks of no speed… and one week to go to the half. The goal half is obviously out the window but maybe I can catch back up to do the Staten Island Half. So, I will decide a bit closer but it seems like I basically threw all my training down the toilet in the last month. Too early to make the call. Trying really hard not to.

Still, I had a few fun runs this month, went to the Poconos with Juan and a few friends so he could compete in a half Ironman (though my luck seems to be rubbing off on him!), and then did the France run this weekend super slow. Slow is the new black. NOT. Total Miles (all SLOW): 93

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July

July!! Summer is here!!! And then the excitement fizzled, or burnt up, I’d say, fast! It was lovely and HOT. And I got some quality training done, all described here if you’re extra curious. I did exactly 20 runs, 6 of those were intervals, there was 1 tempo run, and the rest was easy running. I decided not to race anything as I had done 6 races in June and I need to regroup the training! I am doing the Newport Half Marathon in September and there’s just 7 weeks left! No need to freak out, it’s going fantastic, but just gotta have patience and keep training. I have settled on a very comfortable running routine, with no long runs and I am loving it. Really really loving it. This is SO different from last year’s June when I was sick of running and gave it all up for a few months, huh? Other exciting July things: IronJuan did his first triathlon in over 3 years, the NYC Tri and he did fantastic!! Total Miles 110.

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June

June was NUTS. I had very low mileage: 19 runs, 6 of those were races! SIX races! We started the month with National Running Day fun runs, and then I went straight into a constant taper-race-recover-taper loop . Actually, on May 30th, I got some sort of stomach bug. I barely ate from that Sunday to Friday and lost about 8 pounds. I felt weak all week, but managed to get my runs done, dizzy and all. By Saturday I felt okay but still couldn’t stomach many things so I had to expectations for the Sunday race: the NYRR Retro 4 Miler, and ended up running faster than all year…! I felt so dehydrated and weak but managed to tie a PR!!! SO close, 1 second faster and I would have PRed! After 2 years since my last PR, I was a bit desperate!!!!!! I waited a week, signed up for a 5K, and even though it was super hot and humid I ended up winning it! What a cool feeling! That was Saturday, 4 days later on Wednesday, I did ANOTHER 5K, and I won my Age Group. My time was sucky, not even close to a PR, but I figured I was still recovering from the 5K and thought I was doing really well! Then, 4 days later, I did the Harlem 1 Miler and came in third woman! Another sucky time, and had no kick left, but it was great to get on the podium again and actually get PRIZE MONEY!!! Wohaaaa! I decided those 8 pounds I had left needed to stay off and it seems to be helping (A LOT!). That week I felt so so so tired, so I run very little and rested a lot. Sunday, I did the Achilles Hope and Possibility 5 Miler, and I FINALLY PRed!!!!!! By a whole minute, which is a LOT. I came in 2nd in my AG, and 19 woman overall, but I was just so happy to finally PR, that PR is from 2010, I am 5 years older now… June was all kinds of AMAZING. I think I peaked 😉 In July, I would like to get back to training (and not racing so much) for the half, but we shall see. There’s another race this weekend… 😉 I have problems!!! Total Miles: 92

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May

I waited so long for the nice weather this year that when it’s finally here, it just seems to zip by with a PR!!! Speaking of PRs, May 5th was my 2 year anniversary of my last PR. TWO YEARS!!! It’s been long people, too long… I wonder if I’ll ever PR again, have I peaked and I am done??? UGH. Will keep trying for a bit though…
We started the month with a mini vacation in Miami, and my weight was a bit up when I got back for the Japan Run 4 Miler… oh oh. It was a hot morning so I was off about 16 seconds from what I wanted, I still placed 3rd in my AG which is very cool for a NYRR race… the week after we had much fun at the Brooklyn Half Expo, and then the race. I was happy with the results, not much faster than NYC Half but given my weight and the heat, super happy!!! Total Miles: 122

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April

So, we came back from vacation straight to a race-every-weekend ritual. But now I am a MASTER runner!!!!!! YEY. I was doing speedwork on Tuesdays, easy Wednesday and Thursday, and race the weekend away. The first one was the Scotland 10K, still no PRs but I was one minute away!! 45:32 (7:20 pace). The next weekend I did the Run for the Parks 4 Miler, 7:03 pace (28:12) and close to my 28:00 PR! Then, one week later, I paced the NYRR More Half Marathon, the 1:45 group, such a cool (and nerve-wrecking for me!) responsibility!! The day after that, I got up at 5 am to go spectate the Boston Marathon, we were quite wet. And the same week, I saw Meb again at a talk, here’s a lot of what he said.  That same weekend, another race: one more 4 miler, the Run as One! So, 7:02 pace, 28:06… getting close to a PR… after TWO years!!!!! Total Miles: 108.

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March

One day in: snow and a 5K! The Washington Heights 5K is usually brutal but managed an “okay” 22:42 given the course, plus 6 miles after, which is a feat on its own. A few days later we still have a massive snowstorm but Daphne and I run 10 miles in, gorgeous pictures of the park and all in the post. Then the osomest happened, the NYC Half!! My GPS was not charged and I had one of the most shocking and amazing races ever. 1:39, not a PR but faster than the 1:45 I expected! Plus amazing fun and pictures. A few days later, while my legs were still so sore, we went to Turks and Caicos for my 40th birthday, and we run VERY little there! Total Miles: 100.

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February

February was the turnaround of the last (almost) two years of lulling around. I did 110 miles. I did speedwork every week, and I did my drills every week. I did 800s and 400s as well as a few hard tempos. I did race, a 4 Miler that was a hot mess:  I didn’t dress properly and was overheating and I really had no intention to push. A complete real hot mess. But oh well. There’s no 100% perfect month, right? The best thing: I gave up on my guaranteed entry to the NYC Marathon and committed to a Half PR, there I said it, in 2015. It’ll happen in the fall, but the training has started and NYC Half and Brooklyn will be first. It needs to get done. 1:37:35, you’re going down. Total Miles: 110.

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January

Was a great month. It started at the finish line of the NYRR’s Midnight run and then at the Polar Bear Plunge. I was mostly trying to decide if I could run through the Winter. Every day, every cold day, I was testing the water and seeing how many more days I would keep running. Last year I gave up quite early and I was determined to push through. I did. I did 103 miles, I did a few interval sessions and a few long runs (does 9 or 12 miles count?). Even though I am not the resolution type, little by little I discovered weekly goals that worked for me:

  • at least 25 miles a week,
  • at least one speed session per week and
  • at least one session of plyometrics a week.

So far, so good. I am so happy that I was able to push through this (ROUGH) winter. Plus, we did a very cold but wonderful run through the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.  Total Miles: 103.

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