Tag Archive | nyc racing

November… what happened to November?

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

2015 New York City Marathon EXPO pictures

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

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

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

Oh, and this one from the pavillion!!

2015-10-28 08.01.56

September Runs: smells like hope and recovery

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, I hated August!

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

July was just a lot of quality training… hello August racing!

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nuts June – 6 races and the ONE long-sought PR!

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 7 times so far -from 2:06 in its first year, 2006, to 1:37 in 2013, and the last two, 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 race based on the race strategy below.

PRE RACE LOGISTICS

Make a marathon 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 leg 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 singlet and shorts (pics from last year). Last year it was 42 degrees, 60% humidity, wind 10-18 mph (2014 was 31 degrees, 2013 was 30 degrees). But 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, cut the letters our 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 (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 it gets a little monotonous, 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!!!!

Place your spectators in spots where you’ll need encouragement (quite probably on the long stretch 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 2016 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

There will be many starts! Last year there were waves starting from 7:30 to 8:30 (this will be updated soon) and in early march you will get a registration card with your bib/wave number and start time.

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. 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 hopstop: 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!

The race 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 this is that you’ll always have someone to run with, pace of, 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.

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 at 3.5, and 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 800 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 enter the park, make a left, 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 better!

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 about 0.66 of a mile to go. You’ll see the 800 meters sign if you’re focused but who is at that point? It’ll seem like forever but eventually you make a left, then another left and the finish line is RIGHT THERE. So don’t wait to see it to sprint and wait a few seconds!

… 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, even if this might be my slowest half!!

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

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

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

NYRR United NYC Half Marathon course map

The official United New York City Half Marathon website.

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