Tag Archive | nyc racing

March 2019 Recap

March

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

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

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

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

February

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

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

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

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

January

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

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

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

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DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

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

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

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

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

January

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

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

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!!