Tag Archive | nyc

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!

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

 

NYRR Hope And Possibility 4 miler – best race ever

Well, I’ve written about this race SO many times, I am sure you’re sick of it. It’s AWESOME. Take my word. Or go see the NYRR photo galleries here

From their website: more than 5,600 runners, walkers, handcyclists, and wheelchair athletes arrived in Central Park to take part in one of the most powerful events on the New York Road Runners race calendar. Many participants in today’s race were part of Achilles’ Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, a program that provides athletic training and specialized adaptive devices, like hand-crank wheelchairs, to wounded members of the U.S. military. The long-term goal for these athletes is to complete a marathon; along the way, they hit smaller milestones, like today’s Hope & Possibility four-miler.”

anyway,you get a great idea of what race looks like in those pictures right?

My race was quite uneventful. I run there with Carolina, IT WAS SO HOT. I was ready to run back home after 1 mile… Race also starts at 9 am. I wish it started at 6! which was also hot but at least I would be back home in the shower earlier…!

NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (4)

gosh we were so hot, we stopped at the boathouse to throw water on ourselves!

I saw Dan and Phillip on the corral and they were going out faster than me, and I, at the point, was still so hot I was wondering if I should even “bother”. You know? Can I dial it down a bit and just take it easy? UGH. I started conservatively and decide I didn’t want to die at the end. Mile 1: 7:13. it’s funny because I NOT even once looked at my watch during the race. I just totally forgot about it. Weird, right? Christine found me going up Cat Hill and then Dan and her took off. I felt so lonely! Then luckily I saw Juan on the course!

NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (5) NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (1)

He had finished his run and was just cheering me on. So happy he was there! Mile 2: 7:01. Mile 2 is always the fastest. If I had looked at my watch I would have known there how slow I was going. Glad I didn’t look. I just tried to keep going. I felt thirsty since I started but at the water stations I just threw water in my head. It really helped. Back on the west side, and there was Juan again!

NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (7) NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (6)

He was right by Mile 3: 7:19. that’s not so bad… Mile 3 is when things go down to hell. Then I just wait a bit and by the last 800s I start to push out whatever I got left.

Mile 4: 7:03. Last few meters: 6:44 pace

well, it wasn’t a PR by a LOT. final time was 28:43 but I finished in one piece without feeling like i’d throw up. That’s a LOT in that weather!

 

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Sweaty Elizabeth, Christine, and Carolina at the finish

Then Juan showed up, we had some water and walked back home. We re-did last years shot just because we totally coordinated our bras, yes on purpose.

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I had given my abs an ultimatum to show up after this picture last year. They didn’t hear me AT ALL. Losers! Not like I did much about it… eeeeek!

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:43 Average Pace: 7:11

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013 (UGH!!!!)

Age Grading: 69.00%

Overall Place: 372 of 5,629

Gender Place: 35 of 2,781

Age Place: 7 of 336

I was hot. Period. PS: Carolina was 3rd woman! Wow!! 

Also, let me share a few pictures from Saturday’s race, cheering at the Front Runners Pride Run 5 miler with the Dashing Whippets. Cause they’re fun.

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That misting station on the back looks amazing!

cheering Front Runners Pride Run NYrr (4) cheering Front Runners Pride Run NYrr (1)

 

 

NYRR Run for the Parks 4 miler – and the #IronStrength workout that almost killed me

This past Sunday I run another race. Yes, another race. I know, you’re sick of me telling you about another race I did, but this one I am quite perplexed about. I’ll get to it fast.

Basically it didn’t go well and I have no clue why. Other than my legs being dead from the week. But really?

The Start. It’s April. It shouldn’t be 30 degrees at the start! It was though. Luckily, I had the biggest luxury anyone can have at a race start: a gorgeous husband waiting by the corral to take my jacket at the last minute so I don’t freeze not even for a second!

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Found Courtney in the corral, a team mate I hat just met at the start corral in the NYC Half. See? I have full on jacket and stuff. it was cold. Picture Credit: my awesome husband Juan!

We tried to get our shit together about pace. And given I just had a MASSIVE PR at the NYC Half, I was almost sure I’d PR. HEY, how could I not????

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1 minute to go, I unrobe. It was COLD. but singlet was ok, 30 FREAKING DEGREES in April!

Given that most of my 4 milers are around 28:00 flat (last one was in February in 28:03 and my PR is 28:00) I just have to stay around 7:00 pace and go under it on the last mile.

I get moving and I try to not take off too fast. Mile 1 has a huge climb so you have to be careful. Mile 1 was 7:10. This was amazing, so fast. HM, do I smell a PR?

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Courtney and I, cruising. Picture Credit: my awesome husband Juan!

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Yes, that IS a cookie monster hat. plus some cool new tights from sweatstyle, and new arm warmers that I got as a gift from the Runners Clinic. Picture Credit: my awesome husband Juan!

I keep at it, not letting it go for 1 second. Mile 2: 6:59. WHAT. wow. Great. For some reason, this didn’t scare me as it would have any other day. I then saw Carolina and Christine cheering, yey, at the top of the reservoir!

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Why so green? Because its the Run For The Parks!!!! Duh Picture Credit: Carolina

Mile 3 is when things always fall apart and I end up with a 7:40 mile or something ridiculous. I told myself to take this like a 5K and not let go. Bring it in, not one second of slow, don’t even think about it. I don’t think I’ve ever pushed so hard at a small race (and WHY?). Mile 3 was 7:17, which is quite ok, given what I usually do here. But really, that’s all I had. And I get to see Juan on the road!

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he practiced this shot with that background. Can you tell? Picture Credit: my awesome husband Juan!

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PAIN PAIN PAIN!

I did my best to hold on the last Mile. But, there was no kick. nothing. My legs were lead. Mile 4: 6:46. A disappointing 28:13, which is the slowest I’ve run the 4 miler in a few years. Annoying. And WHY?

WHY?????

well, let me back up because this is ALL I could think about. 4 days before, Wednesday, I did something stooopid. Cross training. Yes, me, don’t judge me.

obama-upset

we all make mistakes, “APPARENTLY”

So, yes, I admit it. I cross-trained!

There was this “IronStrength” workout in the park, quite convenient for me, at 6:30 am which is also perfect. I had heard about this workout, and Dr Jordan Metzl has a DVD and book with these workouts… so I figure there’be no harm in checking it out.

OMG

WHAT A MISTAKE

Workout was SO SO SO SO SO SO SO HARD. I must have done about 60% of it and I was barely able to walk that same day. The next day, I looked like in 2008, when I did my first marathon: going down the stairs backwards, yelling when sitting at the toilet, all that CRAZY stuff. OUCHIE.

Saturday, I remember I was coaching and I could barely move (STILL) to show the running drills.

So, maybe it was that?

This is a picture of the workout I took from Dr Metzler’s Instagram… It looks normal but if I told you what he made us do, you’d just cry.

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complete torture. EVIL. Going back next week. If you want to suffer, show up next week or get the DVD. I DARE YOU.

anyway, I almost forgot to wrap up the race…

Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:12 Average Pace: 7:03

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013 (UGH!!!!)

Age Grading: 70.27% 

Overall Place: 535 of 6922

Gender Place: 39 of 3426

Age Place: 4 of 433

oh well, we can’t win them all. Still a race that gets me over 70% AG works ok…

 

 

what did you race this weekend? how did it go???

NYRR Al Gordon 4 Miler, first race of the year!

 

Saturday was my first race of the year!  And you know, at some point, they’ll start happening every weekend until you’re pulling your hair out and yelling why doesn’t this woman stop with the blog posts every week about one more race!?!??! but this one is special, it’s the first one!!!!

HA.

Actually, this was my 125th race. EVER. I had to look that up for course. But it’s a cool roundish number that I could push as “special” and semi “anniversary”. you can tell had coffee this morning, right? b

WHO IS AL GORDON YOU ASK?

Well, I asked myself that. How come I don’t know who that is?? Given that the race is in Brooklyn, maybe he’s famous just in Brooklyn. Well, NO, I am just clueless. So here it is, in case you’re as clueless as I was, I will declueless you!

“My favorite story about the spartan Al Gordon was his gift to St. Bernard’s School in New York while he was chairman of the board. Al made two conditions on his gift, I was told. First, there was to be no elevator, so that the students would have to walk up and down several flights of stairs. And secondly, Al wanted to make sure that the school would not close on snow days. A rigorous philanthropist he was, but keep in mind that Al was such a fanatic fitness person, he would often walk or run into Manhattan after landing at LaGuardia Airport. He was also a leading benefactor and board member since the early days of the New York Road Runners club..” from this Forbes article which is quite interesting. There is also this article in the NY Times, if you have time. He died at 107 so he must have been doing something right. WINK WINK.

Back a few months, Juan went into a race-signup rampage and signed up for this race among 10 more, without realizing it was in BROOKLYN. Yes, no biggie, but on a weekend, early, when you leave on the Upper East Side, getting to Brooklyn is quite the nightmare. A real pain. You know how much I love the MTA? ZERO. Anyway, what am i going to do, just get up at 5 am and travel to the end of the universe to cheer for 2 minutes? NO,  I signed up too. I was in.

Disclaimer, travelling wasn’t so bad. We met up with Ivy in the corner at 6 am, and got to the start by 7:20, ready to freeze our a$$es for 40 minutes. It was 40s, but cold 40s. I think it’s just colder in BK that in the city. We met up a lot of people at the start and Juan started fading. He had had this flu for the last 3 weeks, you see? He hadn’t run in weeks but he had been feeling better for the last 4 days and we assumed he was ok to run. Emmmm.

We undress down to our short tights and singlet/shirt and get to the corral. HELLO SUN!

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we were FREEZING

Soon enough we go. Juan passes me, as usual and I just commit to taking the hill as easy-hard as I can. You know what that means right? Uh. It’s not steep but it goes on and on and ooooooon. I see a team mate, Ian, as he passes me on the uphill, we wave and say hello and I decide to let him pull me Keep Him in Sight I kept telling myself. He ended up sitting about 10 yards away from me and it was perfect for me to just chase him.

Mile 1: 7:16

By Mile 1.74, yes, I remember exactly, I saw him coming back to me (though I knew it was me pushing the pace) and I saw a little hill come up, I told myself to not pass him until after the hill. Oh. As soon as I noticed I had passed him and I was running like a furious crazy person. I knew the last half mile was uphillish so I had save time now, until 3.5ish. Mile 2: 7:01

I kept pushing up and down the little bumps on road. Running tangents in Prospect Park is so hard!!! There’s more than in Central Park and I am NOT familiar with them! Mile 3: 6:36 So, If i can run a 6:36 in a 4 miler, I wonder if I could break my 6:05 Mile PR… interesting!! Then I see Juan on the side of the road looking for me, all spent the poor thing. I yell at him and he gets back on the race, right ahead of me, tells me something about how he’s done and he’ll just run with me and take few pictures.

Ooooops. Then I passed him. You know he’s SICK if I can pass him!!!! But, these pictures:

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by then, I was ON FIRE. If you’ve run with me on the last mile of a race you know how I get. FURIOUS. my breathing is loud… I really take out all of my oxygen out. Juan now has video to prove it but as you can imagine. it’s too scary to share. So, no.

I crossed the finish line ready to puke, as usual.

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And… guess what

Yeah, NO PR! DAMN

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:03 Average Pace: 7:01

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 70.21% 

Overall Place: 414 of 4477

Gender Place: 40 of 2126

Age Place: 2 of 249

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (1)

NO PR!!!!! but 3 seconds away is ok. We are just starting the season. UGHHHH

Take a look at the hill on mile 1, fun times

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (1) course


oh well. 2nd in my age group is fun though. I am getting one more of those plastic squares with the placing for the window!!!! Wohooo!

We caught up with the team, a lot of friends and then we just walked like to miles to have brunch with Flor at Miriam, which was amazing. Plus it was also a block away from R&A Cycle which is probably where Juan would spend all his money if he was a millionaire.

who needs a 20K dollars bike? THIS GUY

who needs a 20K dollars bike? THIS GUY

see how happy and not miserable he looks when he’s close to a bike? OY

PS: I went for a little 7 mile run in Central Park on Sunday and felt ok… which is weird. I am usually destroyed after a race. I wonder if all this crosstraining is helping…!

Two pictures from Sunday morning! It was FIFTY DEGREES. THIS IS THE AWESOMEST WINTER EVER!

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what did you race this weekend? how did it go???

Fun weekend: Bronx X 2!

I know I don’t post nearly at all as much as I used to but here goes a tiny update.

Saturday

I did my longest run since May!!! I just have stopped running long, so the longest runs I’ll do might be 7 or maaaaaaybe 8 miles. The Brooklyn Half was the longest I had run since! HA. I decided I’d try to do 10 or 12 so I joined the JackRabbit group, out of the Upper East Side, how convenient, as they had a 12 mile run to the High Bridge. I had seen it in pictures and I knew it had just reopened but I don’t go to the Bronx ever so I thought it’d be the perfect run. Kent took us out at a FUN (perfect) pace and the group (8? 10?) managed to stay together throughout! It was awesome. Check how cool it looks!

Me running off in the bridge!

Me running off in the bridge!

View from the top, the city in the distance

View from the top, the city in the distance

the group, posing before heading back. and thinking of a GU probably

the group, posing before heading back. and thinking of a GU probably

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We then run back. I was EXHAUSTED. 13 feels like 20 when you’re not used to it.  Or forget to bring gels or have any breakfast. Still, success!

Sunday

It was the Bronx 10 mile and 5K. EVERYONE I knew was racing, including my husband so we woke up early, got the BX in no time and I set out to cheer. I am a pro by now. I had SOOO much fun.

my cheering partner, Batkid. We had this thing where I'd yell: Batman High Five for extra power to the finish and things like that. Everyone got a kick out of it.

my cheering partner, Batkid. We had this thing where I’d yell: Batman High Five for extra power to the finish and things like that. Everyone got a kick out of it.

the megaphone has a siren option, which I loved!! A break to my voice ;-)

the megaphone has a siren option, which I loved!! A break to my voice 😉

my awesome friend Allison from Harlem Run. Super Cool Wonder Woman. On TIPTOES, Allison!??!??!! you're already taller than me!

my awesome friend Allison from Harlem Run. Super Cool Wonder Woman. On TIPTOES, Allison!??!??!! you’re already taller than me!

Caught the husband on the course, both times, wohoooooo!!!! HOT!

Caught the husband on the course, both times, wohoooooo!!!! HOT! And there’s Sid Howard on the left!

Almost unthinkable that I was in the same spots, twice in 24 hours, but that’s life… that was my weekend! How was yours???

The day I won a race – Alive and Running Contact We Care 5k

This post is hard to do because I think I am still exhausted -mentally exhausted- from the race. I’ll back up a bit and hope I make it there! If you find this long, I promise you it’s worth the read (I hope!!!).

Every year, on this weekend, I go to see my family in New Jersey, it’s my second-cousin’s birthday and I never miss it. He’s now 15. Check these pictures out, times flies, YOLO! I used to have him up all day long, now HE PICKS ME  UP. Shameful.

2015-06-15 10.41.39The last EIGHT years, I did the Mini 10K and then rushed over to New Jersey to make it to the celebrations. This year I decided to skip the Mini (WTF right?!?!?!) and just have cake. But then… you know… what’s a weekend without a race?? Really, what is it? I need to know!! So I found ourselves (because you know I’d bring force the husband to race too!) a race close enough to my family’s home (is 10 miles close?! who knows! the Upper West Side is far to me!) to not disrupt the weekend celebrations, and have ourselves a little speed-fest! The weather was supposed to be AWFUL (HOT and HUMID!) so I wanted to wait until race day and decide. I didn’t. I jumped the shark and was all signed up by Friday. I am weak, can’t help myself.

The race was a 5K in Nomahegan Park, Cranford, NJ to benefit a Suicide Hotline called Contact We Care, called Alive and Running 5K. It seemed like a fun small local race, so I emailed the contact listed to check if there was a place to leave our bags (aka, a shirt to wear on the train ride back and forth) and Lucinda replied that she’ll take care of it all. Great!

Race Morning… I hadn’t sleep well. Again. I have trouble sleeping on not-my-bed (and sometimes in my own bed for no reason too). My stomach was fuzzy so I skipped the coffee, and just had some water and a few spoons of honey. The weather was… unbreathable. That’s probably the best description. It was in the 90s with high humidity, but unbreathable sounds more like it. I really really regretted signing up, but still decided to go, I was up at 6 anyway. We were at the race start by 7:30 and the race would start at 9:30, so it was just Lucinda, Juan and I. We offered to help so we put the tents up and tried to help without getting in her hair until a massive amount of volunteers arrived and all was taken care of super quickly. Juan and I kept drinking water, taking pictures, and running around for a bit.

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but first, let me take a selfie

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But first, let me jump in this lake to cool off

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the Ironman himself!

Everything had gotten set up really fast and lots of people starting showing up (closer to 9:30 am than we did: SMART).

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So, the fun part: exactly at 9:20 am the sun decides to start blasting. I freaked out. REALLY??? NOW???? What about those thunderstorms you had promised? It was unbreathable before, now it was UNTHINKABLE. The weather channel should stop using numbers when the temps feel like that and just put my picture grunting and cursing.

We line up. The amazing race organizers describe the course: “there are 23920329 loops, 293029 small loops, 20932 big loops, then the other types of loops and a few loops in the middle of the loops“. Seriously that’s what I heard. Maybe I was already overheating, or it was just really confusing. I thought, I should have emailed Lucinda to send me a map of all these loops, but soon enough I realized there’d always be someone ahead of me I could chase, so let’s hope they don’t get lost or confused!

He tells us 30 seconds to go, my heart gets up to 200 bits, CRAP. It is too damn hot, why am I even attempting this? I was quite upset with myself. Juan and I kiss, we hear the gun, everybody runs. I saw five women ahead of me and tried to remember the color of their shirt, but 1 second later I wasn’t even sure it it was five or fifty or what numbers or life on earth meant. We all had gone out too fast, which is something that usually happens in every single one of these small races and I am always careful to avoid, but the heat had just burned my brain and I reacted without thinking. I was so upset with myself. 1 minute in and I was already panting, with a 180 heart race and fearing for my life. Stooopid stoooopid little silly girl.

To add to the loopy course, and ugh the heat, was the worst part of this: strategy. I am used to racing in the big NYRR races with 5,000 other people where there’s no need to position or strategize (at least at my level!). I just find my pace, ride that, then hit the gas. I know the course… there’s no stress. I can do that with my eyes closed, figuratively. In these smaller races, it’s ALL about strategy, unless you’re just going for a PR. This was definitely NO day to PR, so I was focusing on picking up these 5 women ahead and that would take a lot more than just running fast. How far back to stay? For how long? When do I surge? Do I pick it up now? Or should I hold it? How long should I hold it for? If I pass someone now, will she pass me back because I went too early? Are they all suffering so badly? Why do I feel like dying? Am I going too fast? Are we all going to burn out? Should I surge now? Can I please pick it up now? Could she please slow down a bit? Should I even bother at all? Should I keep waiting? Do I go now?? Does she know I am here? What am I doing here? I don’t even belong on the podium. I am good closer though. If play it right, I can get closer to the top 3, Can I go now? Wait a bit. Pace it out. Just don’t give up in your head because then your body gives up. Can I go now? It was 3.1 miles of THAT. I am not even joking for one second. Relentless crazy chatter. Well, for a few seconds I would stop those questions and would think something along the lines of I am going to die here today. One or the other. It was pure hell of mental anguish and torture.

Why. Do. We. Do. This. ?

I knew I had gone out too fast. By the half mile, I had passed 2 of the 5 women. Mile 1, I knew would be the fastest and the rest would be hell. I just hoped everyone else had been stooopider than me. I picked two more up. There’s all 4 behind me right by Mile 1, which clocked at 6:52. Oh oh, when I saw that I knew I was in trouble. I just had black tights girl ahead of me (the only woman left ahead) and hoped no other woman would surge. PLEASE. Ahead of her was TNT redhead guy. I kept tabs on them to make sure I didn’t get lost and could just follow one of them. Black tights girl had about 30 seconds on me. Another loop, one more loop, a loopy loop, and Mile 2: 7:21. Shit.

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this is no random lipcolor. There is no blood in my head and that’s why I look like that. I remember seeing the guy and deciding to smile and assuming I’d still look awful. I was probably a ghost then. Photo Credit: Bill Burrows

I knew I was falling apart and seriously considered dropping out. Only I had no clue where I was… Don’t give up in your head because then your body gives up. I kept trucking in steady mode. But obviously still freaking out in my head. It was too early to make any moves or decisions. Plus, I had nothing left to surge with. But… black tights was coming back to me. She was about 10 seconds close. Then five… I just have to wait here patiently until it’s time to make the move. But when? I had no idea when this would end… My GPS was all messed up so I had no idea if I had a half mile to go, or 400m or what. Soon enough, we get to the parking lot where registration was, the finish line arch was RIGHT THERE. Black tights is about 3 seconds ahead of me, 5 meters ahead there is a bifurcation with two marshals: 20 meters to the left was the finish, to the right there was another loop of some distance to the finish. I had no idea which way we’d go. But the finish arch was right there and I knew that if I waited I wouldn’t have space to pass her… so I decided to GO. I passed her, got the the bifurcation and they pointed to the right… FCK! I have to keep going!!! This was NOT the finish. I was done. I was toast. All I had left, I had spent it sprinting to pass her. For no reason. Of course 5 seconds later, she passed me again. Good for you, black tights! Oh well, I took my chance and it didn’t work. We kept going. She had now 3 seconds, AGAIN, on me. We get to a turn an the marshalls tell me to take her, that I had her, she was close enough. I shake my head no. I was done. Don’t give up in your head because then your body gives up. I tried… but I was dying. Another bifurcation, a right and a left. To the left, we had about 150 meters to the finish, to the right, about 400 more to go, at least. Black tights went left, and hit the gas. The marshals started shouting THAT’S THE WRONG WAY, COME BACK, WRONG WAY. So I assumed I had to go right but they were not even looking at me and I couldn’t see TNT redhead guy anywhere. UGH. Am I going in the right direction? Did she heard that and is coming behind me?  I didn’t have enough energy to turn around or look at my watch, so I had no clue wtf was happening but decided to turn off my brain and just push. Just push. Just push. Assume black tights is coming for you and push. I am gonna die. There’s the finish. Just push. Get through it. 

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I was done. I wasn’t even sure I had won when I crossed or if I could stay up. Juan was already there so I hung to him because I couldn’t breathe. My watch said 21:36 but the official time was 21:50. Denise, aka black tights, was there. She assumed I was the one that went the wrong way so she didn’t turn back and hadn’t even noticed she was DNF. UGH. Race Timing people knew but I hated to be the one she had to hear it from. She had fought a great great race too. Damn loops.

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SO happy we’re DONE

Juan ended up 4th overall, FIRST in his Age Group and OMG, he PRed!!! HOW?!?!? what a beast. I checked with the timing people and yes, I had won. So weird. So SO SO weird. Really? I guess it takes being sick for a week, losing about 5 pounds, and then not dying in the hottest day: there’s the reward!

Check out the loops in the course:

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Okay, you can’t really see it, but it was messy. Well, only messy if you didn’t know what you were doing or where you were like me! Or if the heat just gets your brain.

In the next graph you can see EXACTLY when I sprinted to pass Denise, when I thought the finish was 30 meters ahead. Pace went up, heart rate spiked, cadence blew up to 200 from an avg of 180, and my vertical oscillation jumped (I went from running to sprinting position), and ground contact dropped. Then it all went back to “normal”. I really like that the red heart rate line is so steady going up…

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A bit more data in case you’re interested.

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And this is from the race results website:

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I’ll take it. It wasn’t easy. I had no idea what would have happened if Denise didn’t take that left and DNF, or if she turned around and chased me. I want to think I would have had enough to take her again, but who knows.

Awards Ceremony!!!

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Juan and his First in AG! Photo Credit: Bill Burrows

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Somebody please ask him how he PRs in that weather!! Oh wait, that’s my job!

Lance, the guy in green, was so super nice, and super involved in the race, he’s with a team called Run Anyway, check them out if you’re in the area!!! Thanks Lance for all you do!!!!

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Color is coming back to my face. Or maybe its because I was called the First Woman WHICH IS CRAZY. Photo Credit: Bill Burrows

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Everybody there was SO NICE!!!!! Photo Credit: Bill Burrows

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something…??

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And we were done. And I mean: literally. All I remember doing all day was searching for words, I was SO MENTALLY DRAINED… I just figured if I kept saying Happy Birthday Alex I would be okay but I kept falling asleep everywhere. Wow: my brain is not used to all that much activity apparently. So happy this happened. I’d love to go back next year and race this again. What are the odds the weather will be AS BAD? At least I’ll know the course!!!!! 😉 Thanks Lucinda and Lance and Run Anyway and Denise and everyone involved in this event!!!!

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NYRR Retro, 4 Miler: 2 years, 1 month, and 2 days without a PR, and then….

Really, I am about to throw my hands up in the air and shout “who the eff ever knows????” Remember how I was telling you mid-week I had been sick since last Sunday? How I had lost 6 pounds (hey, that’s a 5% of me!!!) and was dizzy and weak and barely coherent? Well, I somehow managed to do all my workouts without fainting (though it was close) last week but I wasn’t sure I should even show up to the race. Then add just 4 hours of sleep the night before. I was really doubting what was I doing up Sunday morning… I tried to gulp some Gatorade (forget the pre-race coffee routine!!!) and it was making me sick. So I headed out with just two mouth rinses of Gatorade, which is NOTHING.

Luckily the weather was perfect, 56, low humidity, lovely. We had a nice slow jog to the start, got there early. Saw all the usual suspects and before the corral I even run into my bestie Patricia who was ready to KILL it.  My husband had less sleep than me so he had no idea what he’d do. Me? meh, I figured I’d try to stay under 7:30s or just jog to the finish. I had such little expectations that I got in there with my fitness belt, phone, and all, like I really wasn’t racing. Because, you know, I was sick and weak!

This race was a RIOT!!!!!!!!!! I am not gonna lie, the theme can soon become my most favorite thing ALL YEAR. Everyone was dressed up in old gear, it was so fun. Given, I only started running about 12 years ago, I never seen things like these other than in magazines, photos or Pre movies!!! It was SO exciting and fun!! So many mustaches and knee-high socks that I felt like I’d run into Pre any minute!!! OMG OMG OMG. OMG.

Check out the lead car. INSANITY:

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The start looks all OLD SCHOOL, so simple and old-timey!!!! OMG.

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That’s us, right by the start, before we go let it happen, whatever that might be.

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and OMG priceless!! Peter Ciaccia, dressed up. I can’t get enough of this outfit! the stopwatch, the clothes, those glasses: too GOOD!

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We see a lot of team mates, friends, we just we get into the corral and I decide this is a whatever. I am thirsty already. Soon enough, the start. We go.

I felt a bit empty going up the hill but I knew I had hold back. After 3 minutes, before I even get off Cat Hill I get a thirst attack. How am i going to finish this thing? I am already super thirsty and not even sweating… ugh, SO dehydrated…!!! I REALLY considered stopping for water. Can you imagine? Stopping for water in a 4 miler? I told myself I’d have to slap myself if I did. Of course I wouldn’t. Really, I rather pass out than have to stop for water. Eff NO. Now I just hope I don’t pass out. Mile 1: 7:14 Okay, that’s not awful. I didn’t have my music (I am so brave now,  I know!) but I’ve done 3 of these exact same 4 milers in the last 2 months and I could definitely get myself on autopilot. I need to focus if I want this to keep going well. I told myself the same thing I always repeat in my head in every race when I just want to give up “Don’t give up  in your head, or your body will give up“. I got into on a relaxed form and just kept plodding. Mile 2: 6:52. Oh, okay, not bad, but this is when the wheels come off and things fall apart. I told myself to keep it together on Mile 3, always the hardest part, but don’t push just yet. Mile 3: 7:08, quite probably my fastest Mile 3 in history. My third mile is never faster than my first… hummmm. Interesting. I waited, waited, such a patience game racing is… waited and when I felt ready, I just went for it, probably with 800s to go. I passed a team-mate who was so scared by my breathing, yes, that’s how it works. I get into the 6th gear and I sound like I am drowning!!! Before the turn, about 500 meters from the finish,  I look at my watch and I couldn’t believe the time, I was in the 26 minutes range… I’d have to go sub 28 to PR, I was sooo close…. With 50 meters to go, Steven, a course marshal on the bike started shouting at me and cycling right by me, it pushed me a bit more. Mile 4: 6:35. Done. I  started dry-heaving on the side. If I had something on me, even water, I would have thrown up. I did hit the stop on my watch before that. It read 27:59. My PR is 28:00. I decided to forget about it and wait for the official results. Walk it off. Somehow being sick and losing weight, even if you feel weak and dehydrated, works? I am probably giving you all really bad ideas here!

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Then the official results came out… it was a flat 28. A PR TIE.

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Stats Time:

Finish time: 28:00 Average Pace: 7:00

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 71.01% 

Overall Place: 615 of 5,101

Gender Place: 39 of 2,249

Age Place: 7 of 692

So, it’s a tie PR!!! 2 years, 1 month and 2 days waiting for something like this to happen, minus a second. If I had known I had a chance, who knows? I almost didn’t even show up for this!!!! and it ended up being the best race of the year. I guess weight is really THAT important, even if it’s just 6 pounds, which yeah, 5% extra is definitely a lot in me! My previous 28:00 PR (here is the full report), was also an unsure type of race: “ I signed up at the last possible minute and until 2 hours before the race, I wasn’t sure if I’d race it..” It seems common in my history to do well in the worst set-up situations, somehow. And to do crappy races when I am primed and ready to go. Obviously this is all mental.

I am excited that I am in PR shape, or that there could be a PR around the corner… this has been a LONG LONG wait… I remember my days when I’d PR in every single race. I REALLY miss those days!

As soon as I finished, I regrouped with Juan, Patricia, Christine, and lots of friends and team mates. I had seen Kettia cheering on the west and east sides and Tracey was running. We walked over to the west side to find my team mates who were doing awesome at cheering: RETRO style

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Isn’t this amazing???????? I know it gave me such a boost in the last 600 meters…. It was awesome. this team rocks. There wasn’t another team cheering, and definitely not like this. AMAZINGNESS X 100000!

2015-06-07 09.08.07So we hung out there for a while, cheered, chit chatted and all the other weird things we runners do after a race. Everyone had done amazing. Juan PRed!!!! Whaaat? He had also not PRed in a few months. Patricia and I did this weird shot… she obviously PRed, usual!!
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I don’t look good this skinny. Oh well. We then run up to Harlem hill and back to the east side home, 9 miles total (on 4 hours of sleep!!!!!!). We showered, went to an open house, and Juan did some majorly amazing rooftop asado (the argentinian barbecue) because you know we both earned it 😉 It was that or passing out at 1 pm until the next day!

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YUM!

how was your race? do you find you do better in awful situations? Do you think weight is SO important and do you make sure you’re on race weight for every race?? any ideas on how to stay skinny now that I got there? 😉

Pacing the #morefitnesshalf. Such an interesting task…

hey friends! So, I run a half this past weekend but I wasn’t racing. Or or just Running. I was an Official Pacer. Such a cool task you say, right? Man, I hadn’t stressed about a race in… forever? Probably since my first half ever, the NYC Half, in 2006!!!

Anyway, I offered to do the 1:50 group, as I had raced the NYC Half mid March in 1:39 so 1:50 sounded like I could do it without stress… that pace was already taken and as I am doing a marathon this year for the first time in… ever… I don’t want to run for 2 hours! So I stepped up and took the 1:45. Ouch, It was going to be tight, but, hey, it’s Central Park, I can do it!

Anyway, I got myself super stressed out about it. About everything! I was supposed to do even pacing… WHO RUNS EVEN PACE??? I have NEVER! You start slow, then you go fast, then you get tired, then you go mental in the last 3 or 4 if you did it right. Well, I was told to come in under 1:45 (which is 8 pace) and to shoot for 1:44:30, so 7:58 pace it is!!! I made a pace bracelet, I fussed with my watch, then tried Juan’s Garmin 920XT as it has (fast and slow) pace alerts but decided to go with mine, I know it well and don’t want to stress with anything new! I was so scared I’d forget to charge the watch, I was having nightmares, I really drove myself crazy (and prob everybody else). It’s so easy to mess up your race and live with it, but when other people depend on me, I get super stressed. I don’t know why it’s so stressful when people depend on me, obviously (why I never wanted to get married or have kids, or plants even!!!!). Then I stressed about the stick, you know, the one with the pace group time on it. I wasn’t getting the stick until race morning, as well as the singlet, so I’d have to figure that out later.

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Ready to go!

See what I did? Instead of carrying it in my hand, like every pacer does, I covered it in duct tape, then I put it inside an arm warmer, then I stuck it inside my bra, and added a second bra for extra pressure. Gosh was I HOT!! But it worked, and NO chafing!

I got to the corral, walked around to make sure everyone saw me there, the question of the day was “what pace are you doing?” #7:58 was trending! I had a big group around me. I was right at the start line in the blue corral and probably 1 yard behind Deena Kastor, quite insane!

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See the blue sign right on top of Deena’s head? c’est moi!

 

We got moving and soon enough we became one big happy group. Juan was lapping around us, sprinting, and taking approximately 50 million pictures. cutting them down to 15 was HARD. That mile was a bit slow because it was quite crowded.

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Mile .5

Don’t we look so happy? Check out Chelsea on my right; she somehow stuck by me the whole race and got a 14 minute PR, that’s INSANE guys!!!!!

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Mile 1 as you can see…

The stick was still not moving, which was great. Pacing was averaging 8, we’d go slower on the hills, faster on the downhills and catch up when we needed. I’d signal when I’d go get water and try to give out as many course advice as I could, as well as pointing out fluids, mile splits, or when to speed up or take it easy (hello Harlem hill!). Other times,  I just read the signs and laughed. My favorite was a guy on our way up to Harlem Hill with a “I hear fast women” so I pointed him out to whoever was single in the group. Someone had to do the talking, you know?

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It’s funny that I remember most of this people around me

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West side, lap 1 still

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How amazing does the park look?

I have to say, this was one of the most amazing weekends to be out there race. Every single tree in the park was blooming. I would have been really distracted if I had been racing, I am not gonna lie about it.  I was ogling and smelling and wishing I could stop for pictures!

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Juan did 9.5 miles, can you tell?

After we had crested Harlem Hill, the second time (which: UGH), it actually got a little crowded as we were lapping runners in the first lap, so there was a lot of of weaving.  And also, since mile 2, I was SO SO SO HOT. I kept pouring water on my shirt and bras, ugh, I have no idea how people had long sleeves, or pants. On another day, I would have ripped the singlet off (hard to do with the stick there) and run in a bra!!! Why do I get SO hot???

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just one more!

The last mile we brought it in hard. As soon as we got to the Mile 12 marker I told everybody to GO or to hold on to my back for their lives. My last mile was a 7:14… eek, but you know, the sub 1:45 was guaranteed at the point, I wanted to see how hard I could push them all. 😉

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Juan was waiting by the finish of course!

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My thumbs means… I didn’t mess up the pace!!!

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And… done!

I am not gonna lie. I was really worried that I’d go too slow or too fast. It’s hard to do even pacing in a course as undulating as Central Park, and I always run by effort and not pace. But was I SO happy to have done this.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I went to the side and waited with my stick. Every other person would thank me, even people I had no idea were pacing with me!! It was really sweet and I was so happy to have helped so many people. As I had never used a pacer, I had no idea how many people would follow me…. seems like I was able to help!!!!

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should I have kept my eyes open???

 

Check out this awesome shot from the race page!

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And that’s Chelsea, see? Besides the volunteers, I think I high fived 500 people in those 10 minutes there!!!!

I saw Juan, had my apple, got my Gatorade and mylar blanket and went to wait for Flor who was a bit behind. We then waited for the awards ceremony, hey hey, TWO masters in the top 3, which… Deena Kastor… I love her…

Oh Natalie Morales run the race too (and Ivanka Trump, but she was behind and I didn’t see her)

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Natalie Morales run a 1:38 (or so she told me, I didn’t fact check!)

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There’s Mary Wittenberg, Deena Kastor, and the rest of the top 3 and the rest of the today show team and the More peeps. 

So then we went to EJ’s for brunch and of course, I was freezing. I am always either boiling hot or freezing. WTF? So, there’s one more cool experience to add to the book! (no, there’s no book, that’s what the blog is for!)

2014 – Looking back and forward

And there goes another year. It was quite full of experiences. There were a lot of great things, lots of love, friends, big family visits, all exciting, but not all sunny and happy, of course. I think it was one of those years when you’re supposed to grow a lot. Running-wise, it was probably my worst year; I lost motivation and failed miserably (but with dignity!) in most races. I don’t see that as a particularly bad thing, it’s a learning process and we can’t always win them all. And off-the-track, it was amazing. We just can’t have it all, can we? 2013 had been a big year. BIG BIG and busy. I met Juan in January, he moved and we got married by September, I changed jobs, PRed at the Half and got a few AG Wins. Then I got an ulcer and it all went downhill, including my 5th NYCM in a row (a blah 3:49). 2014 started weak…

January

You can imagine how weak it started that I didn’t even had resolutions or goals. I wrote tips to run in the winter because I was having issues with it myself! I was signed up for the NYC Half and the Boston Marathon and barely run. The cold just got to me and I lost a lot of will. Then, I fell again for the 3rd time in 5 weeks. A mess. I started to fear running. COLD and SCARY: little running. Total Miles: 77

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February

Juan and I showed up in the Runners World feature: Valentine’s Day “Romance Found on the Run“, and I was Women’s Running Blogger on the Run. But, we moved out of my studio into the penthouse.  I felt like I spent all winter hiding from the cold. I trained little. Very little. Total Miles: 87

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March

I had a slooow NYC Half but it was quite photogenic, fun, and really well run, progressive-splits run all the way! I was still struggling with motivation and goals. I also had a fun trip to SoulcycleTotal Miles: 105

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April

I had an ok Scotland 10K, though I had no interest in racing. Soon enough, we shipped to do the Boston Marathon, here are the Saturday pictures, which are awesome, and the Sunday pics, also awesome. And then there was the race (race report here), slow (3:48) and painful but oh so inspiring and uplifting. Glad I was there for the race (not for my legs or ego!). Total Miles: 80

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May

By now things were looking awful, I hadn’t PRed in a YEAR. A YEAR. So depressing. And I kept struggling with motivation. I decided to stop running completely. I still showed up to the Brooklyn Half Marathon, not knowing if I’ll even run it, and ended up having a great (and slow) time, seems like it’s all about the context for me! Total Miles: 41

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June

This month was also quite running-free and my parents came to visit so I was pretty entertained and didn’t even notice. Still, I did my 100th race, the Mini 10K, as they wanted to see me race in Central Park. This was literally painfully slow. I did run it with 2 friends but it was so slow, I didn’t even run that slow years ago when I started running! And, a fun picture. I took my parents to Bear Mountain and Connecticut and run a bit there, and a bit in the Fort Lauderdale heat, so cute. Stuff gets bad fast when you don’t run, how do non-runners live like that? Total Miles: 30

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July

In July, I saw Daphne, an old friend, running, and basically latched onto her. For Dear Life. I started training again. Good, because I was signed up for a few halfs and the NYC Marathon. Total Miles: 111

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August

Did some wonderful running in the always great Summer Streets, worked and cheered at the NYC Triathlon, then Juan had an awful bike crash in Central Park, which messed up our lives for a couple of months, poor thing. I barely left his side, only to train or work. The running was going fantastic though, fast long runs… who would have thought? Total Miles: 152

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September

I cheered at the 5th avenue mile and took lots of pictures, here and the pros here. The running was going great until we left for our delayed honeymoon in St Croix, there was no running there (but lots of snorkeling!) Total Miles: 116

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October

and we came back straight to racing! First, the, Grete’s Great Gallop, in 1:44. Still, slooow, but getting here. The week after, I did the Staten Island Half, in 1:43 (it’s a bit flatter). Consistency and good predictors for the marathon in 3 weeks. Then the week before the marathon, I did a 5 mile race in Central Park, the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff, in 37:17, average pace of 7:28. Far from a PR. Still. By then it was a year and a half. But feeling GOOD. Total Miles: 132

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November

November was BUSY. I started it at the NYC Marathon Expo, which was all loads of crazy (even if smaller compared to previous years) and an Under Armour Party. Worked all week and then did the marathon, here is the race report of the #marathornado. I struggled to stay focused (in 3:49) so I just chilled, slowed down and tried to enjoy it. oh, whatever!!!! I ended up in the Asics  homepage, I tried one of those treadmill studios, I kept Juan company at the Rocky Balboa run and got many pictures, and I bought a million of really-cold weather running gear. And I raced some more!! I did the Race to Deliver 4 miler in Central Park, which I enjoyed, and then a 5K on Thanksgiving, where both Juan and I came first on our AG. Winning! November was rock solid! Total Miles: 88

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December

Seems like the year just picked up at the end! December was great too. I spent .0005 minutes detoxing from Thanksgiving and 2 weeks eating my way through Buenos Aires. Even though I was a bit overweight and slow, I did ok (21:04) in a hot 5K, where my 67 year old mom joined. What a thrill! As soon as I got back to NYC and got a reminder of what last year’s winter tasted like, I got a bit depressed. Somehow, I’ve been running quite a bit in December, even capping the year of with a holiday pictures themed run, and watching the year close with fireworks at the NYRR Midgnight RunTotal Miles: 87

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And there you have it. Though the running was QUITE blah, the rest was wonderful, so I’d say it’s a win! What awaits in 2015? I have no idea, not signed up for anything, thinking about not signing up for NYC Marathon this year, and maybe focusing on the half marathon. I am turning 40 in a few weeks and I am just trying not to push anything. Whatever will happen, WILL happen. Right?

Race Report: 2014 Staten Island Half

How convenient is it to run a half marathon the week before another half marathon? You’ll know exactly how to pace it!!!! Well, that part I had covered. I had crushed and burned at the Grete’s Great Gallop the week before so I knew

– I had to start a bit slower and save it

– my final avg pace of 8:01 could turn into something a bit faster if I had some grip over the first 5-7 miles.

I had still had the same cold I had the week before, so I wasn’t sure my performance would be any better. On the other hand, the course is a bit flatter… It was easy to plan though. I’d go out easier than last week: 8:15s or around there and at 7 miles, on the turnaround, I’d start pushing it.

GETTING THERE

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Well, I’ve never been one of those people who had issues with the ferry or anything. Yesterday, I did. there was a 7 am ferry, a 7:30 ferry, and an 8:00 ferry. The race would start at 8:30 half a mile from the ferry terminal, so the 8 am ferry was out, it’d leave us in SI at 8:30! So, we got there at 7:23 to board the 7:30 boat. We line up, everyone starts going into the boat, and at 7:35 they close the doors. WTF??? “the boat is moving, are you on the boat??” texted Blaise from the boat. NO!!!!! Crap. They left without us. “It’s not that crowded in the front of the boat”, great! now I am going to make it late to the start, have to wave around like a maniac, UGH, flashbacks to a week ago missing connections when coming back from the honeymoon. The Staten Island turned into JFK and LGA and all my worst possible scenarios. I hate travelling.

Luckily, all the drama in my head, and poor Juan’s ears, dissipated when another boat decked at 7:46 and we quickly left! We made it to Staten Island at 8:15 so we hushed to the corral, undressed and in 5 we were moving. No time to get cold waiting!!!! YEY. #win

THE COURSE

Well, the course is pretty flat. there’s about 3 hills but they’re little (smaller than Cat Hill) and one nasty bump at the end I didn’t appreciate. Still, quite an easy course and I liked it. There were enough spectators to distract us, a few bands and DJs and quite some action…

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THE ACTION

Ugh. At Mile 5.5 (or something) I saw a runner (a man, around 55 years old)  lying on the floor, with a police car and he was getting chest compressions. I was so shocked I almost stopped on my tracks. I barely kept running. About 15 or 20 minutes later, after the turnaround, my mile 8 or something, I saw they were putting him on a stretcher so made me feel a little better. I felt so stooopid running when someone’s live was at risk, i really wanted to stop. You always hear about those races fatalities but it was shocking to see it happening. It took me a while to shake it off. What was I supposed to do? but also, how do you get that out of your head??

MY RACE

Well, it was tough to relax. An 8 pace which should have been easy, was not. My breathing was still shallow and I was coughing and had som fun mucus that wouldn’t let me breathe. LET ME BREATH! Anyway, I tried as best as I could to relax and it wasn’t working. Then I tried to just slow down. It was tough to relax knowing last week i was toast at mile 10. What if the same thing happened??? UGH. Eventually by Mile 8 or 9I started relaxing and feeling normal… by Mile 11 I was able to push a bit harder and finished in an ALL OUT sprint, which was quite exhilarating!

2014-10-12 13.59.25

If you look up there, I didn’t start as slow as I wanted to… even with the little bump on the first mile. Miles 5 and 10 are way slow, but looking at the course profile I can see why! Look at Mile 5 highlighted int his next image:

2014-10-12 14.01.55

And look at mile 10, see:

2014-10-12 14.01.47

I guess that’s why I slowed down. I really don’t remember the hills being that bad, other than the one on mile 10, but with my chest filled up with stuff the whole race was a hard-breathing hill… what a great workout though, right?

THE FINISH LINE

So, the finish line was at the Staten Island Yankees Stadium. A new finish so I had no idea what to expect. this is what it looked like, from Juan’s pictures. He was waiting there the whole time.

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The last half a mile I passed a lot of people. A LOT. I had some nasty speed sprint fever and I burned it down. Then we turn onto the stradiums entrance, which was EPIC, and oh crap, we’re running on fake grass: ugh. Way to slow my sprint down 😦 Still a great finish line… as epic as Brooklyn I’d say!

SI3 SI1

I then bent down holding my knees and coughed for 10 minutes straight. SO GLAMOROUS, I know.

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because 4 cups of Gatorade are not enough

nyrr 2014 staten island half running pictures staten island half medal

heavy heavy staten island half medal

SI2

THE FINISH IS A PARTY

WOW, that finish escalated quickly!! the sun was nice, w could sit in the grass, I saw many team-mates in a minute and we were all happy just laying around. So much for being tired or layering back up so I couldn’t turn the cold into enterofluebolaenza. Nah, I’ll just hang out here.

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why is he eating my apple?? WHY? oh, being married and sacrifice and all that smush

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Stats Time!

Finish time: 1:43:39 (a minute faster than last week’s 1:44:53). Average Pace: 7:55

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

Age Grading: 65.26%

Overall Place: 1614 of 9518

Gender Place: 271 of 4466

Age Place: 39 of 742

Official NYRR Staten Island Half race results and pictures

Soon Juan andBlaise and I headed for the ferry, got back on the Island, had brunch and run some 5 miles more. I turned Sunday into a double. the second run was NOT pretty. Actually, you can barely call it a run, but I didn’t stop once and had an avg 9:47 pace so I am counting it. This cold has annoyed me to no end this week.

Well, so… now I have the NYC Marathon in 3 weeks and I am not sure of my goal, as I HAVE NO IDEA what the hell I could have raced if I wasn’t sick… so my NYC marathon prediction guess will be interesting… 😉 let the gambling begin:

Race Report: Grete’s Great Gallop

I did not run a step on my honeymoon, so there went a whole week. Then, when I got back I run on Wednesday and then… I didn’t feel so good. By Friday, I was shivering, feeling feverish, my chest was tight and my throat was hurting. Booohooo. I had soup and tea and honey and all the crap people do when they’re fending some bug and felt better by Sunday so I decided I’d take a crack at the Gallop. Even if I didn’t win, it’d be a good excuse to get out of the apartment and get a decent run on.

Basics about the Gallop: it’s two loops of Central Park, not the easiest/fastest but close to home and I know the course well. Piece of cake!

It was sunny out but around 47 degrees, brrrrrrr, so early in October for such cold!

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Nothing to do while waiting for the race to start……..

The husband stayed with me by the corral so I could be warm until the last possible second. When the national anthem was done, I threw all layers, pants and jacket over the corral and went. I felt okish. Slow, sleepy and with a tight chest, but the legs seemed fine. I had a racing singlets and short tights, but kept a long sleeve shirt and gloves for at least the first mini-loop, as I knew I’d see him again and didn’t want to get cold and risk my health.

I started out easy and soon I noticed I was running at a decent clip. Mile 1 was 8:06. I thought it was fast but I kept telling myself I had done 8:16 in the Tune Up (3 loops of the park!!!) so I had to believe that I could sustain in. We’ll see. By Mile 1.5 I saw Juan again and dropped my long-sleeve!

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Kept the gloves! I also had shuffled for a bit with a team mate I didn’t know, Young. Poor thing, we run together 100 meters and he was already laughing at all the shoutouts and attention I kept getting. He laughed that he wasn’t famous and we talked about how we both felt. One had some sort of bug and one had a hangover. That makes for some interesting miles…  I told him I thought I’d do between 1:45 and 1:50 and to drop me when he felt like it but I think the hangover caught up with him soon as I seemed to lose him. Mile 2 was 8:08 and then the interesting part happened: going into Harlem Hill (which you know is a lot harder in this direction, clockwise) I run a 7:41 and a 7:54. Who knows. Heading back on the east side was a 7:51 and it seemed like I had this down. I remember feeling well and strong and hoping I felt the same way on the second loop. It did seem fast, but really, I had no idea what I had with me that day!

When I get off Harlem Hill, closing in on mile 6, I see Juan again and there goes the gloves! Now I am free to run as naked as I possibly can! Mile 6 was 7:58.

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Then I decided it was time to fuel. I didn’t want to stop but I thought I HAD to. I had a gel, sipped some water, and started running back up again. Mile 7 was 7:44 and then things started to unravel.

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Not just because my husband loves that BURST button on his phone but because the gel didn’t sit well with me, for some odd reason. I don’t usually have issues with them. Who knows. My stomach got tight, my chest got tight. I remember trying to figure out why I was running IN PLACE and I knew both things were an issue. My stomach was turning and I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore. My pace felt like I was doing 11 minute miles. In a second, I had no energy left and I just wanted to be done, there was no kick, nothing. Mile 8 was a struggle at 8:20. I do remember I felt well for a bit and thought I had it back and I’d feel better: mile 9 was 7:44. But no. Once I was on mile 10, I was done. I tried to kick, there was no way. The last 3 miles were a drag and there’s nothing I could do about it.

Mile 10: 8:28 / Mile 11: 8:15 / Mile 12: 8:19 / Mile 13: 8:15 / And the last bit was at 7:04 pace.

But really, the last miles were awful. Though you wouldn’t be able to tell, right?

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Here’s all the laps, see how bad it went?

gg laps

You could argue that I started fast. I don’t think I did. I don’t usually start fast and I think if my stomach wouldn’t have played a trick on my, that’s a pace I could have held up. who knows though?

Stats Time!

Finish time: 1:44:53. Average Pace: 8:01

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

Age Grading: 64.49%

Overall Place: 1205 of 5973

Gender Place: 281 of 2950

Age Place: 48 of 445

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

I finished ok, Young and Russell caught with me, there were some pictures, the one below appeared in the NYRR Photo Gallery

GGG-TOGETHER15

Soon I had found Juan (with my warm clothes!!!) and Patricia who run a 1:36… well, I am so far from that. So glad she still lets me run with her!!

There were some race pictures I will be buying soon. Sharing here but I don’t know that it’s common to get so many good pictures!

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Well, so… now I have the Staten Island half this next Sunday. It’s 4 days away and I haven’t run since Sunday, and my chest is still a mess.. what to do, what to do?????

Race Report: 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

As I had declared last week, I am done with running for now, I needed a mental break after 10 years and I wasn’t going to run anymore. But… I was signed up for the Brooklyn Half and the Mini 10K (in 3 weeks)… what to do? Well, I’m gonna pick the bib and tshirt and decide later. Maybe I would feel like running by Saturday…?

Pre-Race Party/ Bib Pick Up  Bib Pick Up is more like a party, hence the renaming… It’s a nice place, by the water, with a GREAT view of the city, many food and drink options, a lot of space to hang out and see your friends, and the truth is we were running into people we knew every inch we walked. It was bit crowded, there was music, things to shop for, fun atmosphere. Too bad the weather didn’t help much but we got there, got our bibs, took some pictures, looked at the new balance stuff (nice!), went outside, got some food (there was a truck with melted cheese deliciousnesses) and stayed on the “lawn” to hear the band, then it started raining so we left soon. The trek from the Upper East Side where we live took about 1 hour each way, mostly because the 4/5 leaves you like almost a mile away. It’s a super nice walk though, and that street Lululemon or something off the Borough Hall stop is so super super nice!! I am planning to go back to the area.. on a nicer day. It’s a really nice park and you can’t top the views (says the Manhattan girl: if there is no view of the city, there’s no reason to leave the city!!!).  Now, if you want to get in and out fast like this was midtown, won’t happen! I liked this place, though I liked the place they had last year too

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that's called

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that’s called

We have been bibbed!

We have been bibbed!

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city...

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city…

Friday: D (decision) day  So, come Friday I hadn’t made a decision yet (Title should be more like INdecision day). Should I eat some carbs? Should I prep running clothes or should I just find something to do? If this was just a race in Central Park, it’d be easy to decide to skip it. But… the Brooklyn Half is more like an event… or a trip out of town with hot dogs and beach… AY, I couldn’t make up my mind, and by 4 pm I was stressing a bit. Juan was going to race it, so I’d be up at 3:30 am no matter what. If I could stay and sleep it’d be a different thing. BUT, if I had to get up and get out anyway (I am not just not going to not go cheer or meet him at the finish, can’t just stay home, what type of wife would Ii be??) then I might as well put some running clothes on…? So, staying in bed and sleep through it was not an option. I determined I’d go, try to run and enjoy it and if I didn’t, I’d just take the train… I had two exit strategies, my friend Tessa at mile 1.5 and my friend Flor at the 5 mile water stop. I’d just go with them to the finish and whatever! Flor even had a shirt for me. Then… I had the idea to wear the tutu to amuse myself: tutu power ON! You know my tutu, right? The BIG ONE!!!!

tutu

Then… I had the idea to ask on Facebook… because it seemed everyone I knew would be running Brooklyn to see if anyone would want company at my slow chatty pace! I wanted to make sure I had fun, and I was not going to do it alone for sure! I was looking for someone to chat through 13.1 in around 1:50 to 2 hours… I got offers to pace people but, pacing wouldn’t work, the other person would be working hard and who was I was going to have fun with?? Still a few people offered and we planned to meet in the corral! If all else failed and I got bored, I had my metrocard with me and would hop on the train to the finish! I had no issues giving up fast if I am not having fun. No guilt!

RACE MORNING!!! It was cruel how early we got up, and we went to sleep late because we got sucked into watching the Barbara Walters special…beeeeep beeeeep beeeeep 3:40 am alarm!!!! We figured we’d leave by 4:20 to get to the start by 5:40. It’s a long way from the Upper East side and I didn’t want to stress being late. I was going to be miserably sleepy and tired anyway! Luckily, it had just stopped raining, wohooo. We got ready, bundled up and got on the 4 to switch to the 2 in Fulton with another 10 thousand other runners. It was quite simple but I am always scared some train might not be running, we got there quite early. And sleepy. As it would turn out, we were quite right to get there early…

Look AWAKE!!

Look AWAKE!!

Bagagge and Start As soon as we got out of the 2 in Franklin Avenue, wow,  there were high fences all over the place and only one way to go. Note: always check the NYRR website and use the train exit they tell you to use (if you go with the one you think is closest you might end up walking miles because of the fences!). That way then security and metal detectors then security again and IN! We then walked towards the corrals (starting from the back), where we saw the portapotties inside!! Wohooo, we rushed into those, as they were all empty, took care of business, then kept walking to drop our bags and back to the corrals. It must have been like a half mile walk, we got to the trucks and deadline was 6:20 am, we had 10 minutes! We had to rush and change as they were NOT waiting one second!!!! We dropped our stuff quickly (it seemed like a liiiitle bit chaotic) and headed back to the corral. Yey, portapotties in the corral again!! For a change, the first wave started late, this is never the case in NYRR races. I was a 4 corrals back so I am not sure what was going on in the front, but the first runners were 7 or 8 minutes late to start. Wave 2 seems to have started on time.

Race Atmosphere This race was huge, you could tell right away. I wasn’t sure how many people would be there… 20,000? 30,000? It seemed super ultra mega organized: like they were expecting Obama… there was a LOT of people, but still I never felt more crowded than usual. I saw so many people… many from out of town (sometimes you can tell by their t-shirts!). It really felt like something big was about to happen. By the afternoon, it’d be confirmed that this was to be the biggest half marathon in the US with over 25K finishers… craziness.

Weather. It was coldish waiting at the start, glad I had brought an old turtleneck I wanted to get rid of. It was 58 at the start, but with the little clothes and wind, we were freezing! Of course as soon as it started, it was perfect (and I was wearing as little as I could!) but then the sun hits you on Ocean Parkway, and oh uh, hottish! It was totally fine though.

The Corrals I was corral 3, Juan was 4, so we had told everyone to meet us at 4. We got there early and met up with Patricia, a lot of my team mates, Elyssa, Lara, and so many more people. Apparently Blaise was right there too and I missed him. It gets crowded quickly so if you’re going to meet someone in the corral, always pick a corner!

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half PreRace (1) Elyssa, from this Bridges Runner blog, orange shirt, had volunteered the day before to run with me. I shyly asked “I like to talk when I run, is that ok? do you like to chat when you run?” I know some people hate it but as I said, I needed to have fun, and I needed help! But also, I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day! She said YES. I was so happy. Now let’s see if we’re both comfortable and happy at the same speed…! The Course is…GREAT! There are a couple of little hills in the first 10K, and then flat or downhill past mile 6. You REALLY have to negative split here or you did something wrong. Good course to PR in, though for some reason, I never seemed to PR here… There is the one hill in prospect park, which is not that steep but seems to last foreeeever (elevation profile is here) because it bends so much you have no idea where it ends. There can be way too much sun after you leave the park, but luckily there’s a few trees. MY RACE Well, I really I had no idea what to expect. Having felt so slow and tired lately and with my crappy attitude… we started slow, we chatted… we cheered, we screamed, we talked about how we both didn’t feel like running but we were still running because, by talking, it didn’t feel like running. We stayed on the side and made sure we didn’t bother anyone, mostly in the first couple of minutes when it seemed like all 20 corrals were passing us. Soon, everybody’s speed matched our non-speed and we were seriously cheering people around us. I am sure we bothered some people, as the people who talk sometimes bother ME when I am racing hard and unable to focus, sorry. We tried to not be obnoxious but most people were happy to have us cheer for them. We checked on each other and made sure we were going slow enough to not push ourselves, to make sure we were relaxed and having fun. We somehow managed to have a lot of fun the whole way!

Picture by Ben Ko- thanks BEN!! Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn't match, i need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

Picture by Ben Ko – thanks BEN!!
Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn’t match, I need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

I got hot soon, even though I wasn’t racing and I was wearing less clothes than EVERYONE around me. The tutu was great though… it got SO many cheers and shoutouts that all I was doing sometimes was say thank-yous nonstop!! I love my tutu! The park was bit more crowded than the rest of the race but it really wasn’t so bad. We were having fluids every 2 miles, and one gel as we left the park. I saw so many people cheering, at the water stations, passing me in the race, really you felt like everyone was there! Pace-wise, I have to admit, I barely looked at my watch once or twice… I had no idea. Elyssa shouted mile splits sometimes, just because our only thing was to check not to go over 2 hours, but as I can’t do any math, I figured I’d look at mile 10… I like to hit the pedal when I leave the park but Elyssa had an irish soccer game -or something- to play that afternoon and wanted to save some energy, and I was comfortably having a good time that I was not chancing it by taking off! By mile 9 we decided we’d finish together and we did just that! Easy peasy, half done! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (2) We got to Coney Island, we put our hands together and crossed the finish line. 1:57 and something.

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (2)

Done, we had fun, and now we have some more fun. In Coney Island!!!

The Finish Line The best part! You have around 300 meters to run on the boardwalk and it gets loud and crowded, even before 9 am! They had medals, bagels, powerbars (chocolate and mint, yuk!!!) and gatorade+water. It is just such a happy place and by 9 am you are free to just go do whatever you want!!! I had told Juan to wait there for me so I caught him as soon as I got my medal! There were a few blocks walk until we got to baggage but it was super organized and easy. Really nice medal too. And we got more pictures of course! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (4) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (5) The Post Race/Getting my bag back fiasco!  Well.. we had to walk a bit to get our bags and holy molly it was a MESS. Seems like just a few bags where there, there was no line, everyone was against the fence holding their number and shouting their number and if the volunteers found it, they’d bring over the bag. My bib was on my skirt and I just didn’t feel like unpinning it so I asked someone (taller!) ahead of me to shout my number and SOMEHOW I got my bag super fast… Everyone else was just standing there… Apparently, I was one of the lucky few people who got to bag check in time! I learned a LOT of people didn’t get to the bag deadline early on, so they dropped their bags in the “late” truck, so those bags where being brought there in bunches… and/or there were not enough volunteers. I offered to jump in to help to organize the bags by numbers but they didn’t let me. It really was a mess all around. nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Post Race (1) Stats time Oy, this might be painful… or whatever! Finish time: 1:57:32. Average Pace: 8:59. 20 minutes off my PR, ha.

Previous PR: 1:37:35. From: March, 2013 Age Grading: 57.55% Ouch Overall Place: 10,758 of 25,587 Gender Place: 3,831 of 13, 678 Age Place: 523 of 2,105 (still top 25% which is fine… I guess!) To note looking at the stats, not only this is now the biggest half marathon in the US, but also, there were more women finishers (13,678 ) than men (11,909), insane! Total was 25,587 . Also sad, one runner died at the finish. This always makes me so sad.
Splitsville!
splits elevation course nyrr brooklyn half marathon 2014

Seems like I lost satellite in the last mile I think. I kept looking and it said 12.47 for a whiiiile for a long time.

The Result I am VERY HAPPY with the race I run. I was not in shape, I wasn’t into it, actually, I had no interest in even showing up, but I managed my goal, to have fun, to not suffer… This doesn’t mean that I am back. I am not feeling like running still and for what I see, I probably won’t for a while. I am back to not running. But I managed to get to my beach party, the way everyone did: by running 13.1 first.

The Post Race Well, I skipped the MCU park as I had already been there last year for a NYC Runs 5k and my team, the Dashing Whippets, always has a beach party!!!  YEY, beach weather. FINALLY! So we scooted over to the beach after we got our bearings and omg, the FUN

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more than 5!)

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more!)

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cry, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt's face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that...

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cried, no, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt’s face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that…

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

Boys will be boys??

Boys will be boys??

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

He's not normal.

He’s not normal. (It was the Gatorade!!!)

Dashing Whippets Brooklyn Half Marathon

So Many Whippets!! (Apparently I am menopausal as I am the only one without a shirt..!?!??!)

It’s done. I am not sure when I’ll post again, if I have  anything else to say… but, my parents are coming to visit (after 5 years!) and they’re  too excited to see me race, and the Mini10k happens, so, we shall see.

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page, with loads of pictures

– Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

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Race Report: Scotland Run 10K (more like two 5Ks!)

Any other time, I would have hated the results. But I am happy.

There I went, into my race #95, knowing I wouldn’t PR and I was still happy. The weather was finally nice to run and race in and it’d be a great way to do some speedwork. Even if I am two weeks away from Boston with just one long run. Whatever, right? So I went in relaxed, looking for a training run, to get in below 50 minutes (so far from my last 10K at 44 mins last year) and I came back with a lot of happy

THE RACE

Getting there. Juan and I jogged to the start, a simple 1.5 miles Start. Super organized as always. I met my training partner Patricia in the corralqu she said she was shooting for 49, perfect, I though.

Weather. 45! Can it be any better? NO. I always say: over 42 is singlet weather. Booty shorts and singlet does it!

The Course. Is… OY. This is Central Park. A whole loop! CLOCKWISE. Rolling hills 75% of the time. And Harlem hill is WORSE in this direction. Not a PR-friendly course, barely any flat, but nothing also that you can’t do.

The Post Race.  I saw everyone I know there, so fun…! Plus the raffle excitement. I love this race! Oh oh and the main thing: BAGPIPES AND KILTS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MY RACE

Weather was nice, all was calm… but I was a mess… 15 minutes before the gun I felt like I had to go #2… TMI right? But if you’re reading this you quite probably are a runner!!! Well, I didn’t have time to get out of the corral, go to the portapotty and start in my corral, so I decided I’d do my best to hold on to it (somehow..?). Is this too gross? Well, I really didn’t think I’d make it. But I had the same gut feeling in Berlin and it lasted 11 miles… I only had to do 6 here! I hoped it’d go away and lined up.

My goal was to be under 50, which is quite far from my PR but oh well, this is where I am now. Patricia and I started together and literally switched leads for about 3 miles. I was feeling ok but she had a lot more than me and I felt I was starting to burn gas so I decided to let her go early on (smart move!! she’d go on to finish a minute before me!). The whole race went well as usual, I had nothing crazy to say about it, more than my stomach held up, YEY. Going up the hill in the last .1 is always hard but had to get done:

dashing whippets nyrr scotland run 10K 2014 (5)

The race ended fine… I never run out of steam but I don’t I run the best I could have, I just really wasn’t sure how to read my body with whatever was going on in my tummy..! If you look at my laps it looks like I was running two 5Ks instead of a 10k…! Ugh.

scotland laps

Stats Time!  

Finish time: 47:41. Average Pace: 7:42

Previous PR: 44:32. From: May, 2013

Age Grading: 65.37% 

Overall Place: 1559 of  8067

Gender Place: 280 of  3899 (wow, I really can’t complain, can I?)

Age Place: 41 of  xx?

NYRR Race Results, Photos, and Recap here.

Anyway, we had some fun after with my friends, team mates, the guys in kilts, the bagpipers, the raffle and the band there (who were they??? so osom!)

nyc scotland parade 2014 (2)

Juan and I, both of us around 3 or 4 minutes off our PRs and for the first time at the same AG!

nyc scotland parade 2014 (2) dashing whippets

With some more Dashing Whippets wagging our tails after dropping many hammers!

Soon after we headed home, showered, complained about how tired we went and headed out before noon to walk through the park (again) to go watch some of the Scotland Parade. I really do LOVE bagpipes!!! Here’s a couple of pics!

nyc scotland parade 2014 (2)

Scotland Day Parade #scotweek (2) Scotland Day Parade #scotweek (2) Scotland Day Parade #scotweek (2) Scotland Day Parade #scotweek (2) Scotland Day Parade #scotweek (3)

And then… we were DESTROYED… seriously, a 10K can drain the LIFE out of you! Hot chocolate, gnocchi and bed!

And with my official time of 47:41, the WINNER of my Guess My Finish time contest is… 

winner

Elaine, pick a prize from the list and lmk!

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NYRR’s Ted Corbitt 15K – Winter Wonderland!

I promise it gets fun towards the end..

Well, I am not going to get anyone riled about this one. If something, this is a testament that I can sometimes control my pace… I was NOT racing, I barely showed up to get my last NYC marathon qualifier in and I had one hundred other things I had preferred to be doing. Actually, snow was in the forecast so I spent most of the day before and the night checking to see if they would make it a fun run (you get credit towards the marathon but you don’t even have to show up!) but they didn’t. I was exhausted. I had just come back from Buenos Aires two days before and my husband was super sick with a bronchitis (fever, coughing, the works) so there was no sleep and I really didn’t want to leave him alone at all. I was going to be back in less than two hours and it was early, and the start was less than a mile from the apartment so I knew he’d be okay, but he had a horrible night and neither of us slept. I got up to this:

ted corbitt 15K nyrr

Oy.

It was not supermotivating. Because, mostly, I am in really crappy shape. I haven’t trained in months. I was tired. I had overeaten in my Buenos Aires vacation until I food-poisoned myself… I was coming off a rough week. Plus, coming back from the nice early summer runs in 70 degrees to this frigid cold… I really didn’t want to go!!!!!

But, alas. I HAD to. I really had no choice.

My plan was to get there as close to the start time as possible so I wouldn’t freeze waiting around, not check a bag, run as easy as I could without freezing, and run straight home after I finished. Does that sound like a race strategy? No, I know. But it’s because I wasn’t racing. I was just completing the course and going home without even stopping. Lame, but it’s all I had.

So far from last year’s NYRR’s Ted Corbitt Classic 15K!!! I had a fantastic race, did a 7:27 average and loved the distance… this time, I would be happy to keep it smart and finish without dying or slowing down (ha, like my last race, the NYC Marathon!)

My race, time, and pacing was quite uneventful, as we could all expect, see some veeery conservative (though NOT dying at the end) pace here:

ted corbitt 15K nyrr 3

Nothing to write home about… 11 minutes slower than last year and I barely cracked any effort zone… 8:37 average pace (1:20:10 official finish time) in 9 miles is not even a tempo…!

But… WOW.

It started snowing AS soon as we got moving. I am not kidding. It was freezing cold, we were all shivering and dreading it. Then as soon as the horn blew, SNOW showers… Em, gladly I was covered up like a maniac and I had clear sunglasses to protect my vision (I’ve fallen with clear weather, so why make it riskier?) so I was prepped for it! It was gorgeous. I am not sure I would have loved it if I was racing. People were slipping left and right and I saw a lot of people struggling to see, the snow was coming from everywhere!!! But… it was gorgeous! I don’t have many pictures as I left the hubs locked in, but there’s a few amazing pictures in the NYRR race gallery. I felt awful for the volunteers and spectators, I am sure they were frozen. But 9 miles are over soon and in a bit, with two loops the park, I crossed the finish and kept going home, covered in snow and ice, and ready for a hot chocolate. What a race to cap off the year. Winter is here.

ted corbitt 15K nyrr 2
(help!)

Jenny Simpson’s abs

In case you missed this picture in my post NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – The Pros last week, pay attention:

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Why am I posting this AGAIN?? BECAUSE I AM OBSESSED. THIS IMAGE HAS RUINED ME.
I want to look like that, but… you know me. I like food. And I don’t cross train…

So, at least I’ll try to stop ALL the sugar… this pic has been positioned in “key” places (like my office, how appropriate!)

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There was a Crumbs cake in the kitchen yesterday. I wanted tea but I was scared of how many servings of cake I would have. Genius Idea, I unpinned Jenny’s picture and brought it with me to the kitchen. It works! Thanks Jenny!

 

I get married today!!!

Posts before this one: A Running Proposal / Engagement Pictures 

In case you missed it, I got engaged in my last post. Yes, we do things fast (not running!!) –but also shows how little I’ve been blogging. All I’ve been doing, mostly, is look for shoes. Try to get this all figured out in 10 days, and the shoes become a problem, said the shoe-maniac. Well, I just wanted hot pink shoes, and only figured that out 4 days ago… So, we had to find a place, a dress, SHOES, and figure out who could make it, what we’d do and what we’d skip…

The thing is that was this is one tough month for us with two other weddings, a long holiday weekend, two days working for a race, and out of town for 4 days for another race, plus work and the ulcer. So we picked September 3rd or bust we’d have to wait another month… Which would have given us a lot of time to get it all done right, but… meh, life is too short, right. We get married today and have a little Central Park affair in a few days.  We had our engagement pictures done yesterday, with a team-mate, Richie, who was such a sport… on our last day we’d be engaged… It’s a little crazy to be engaged for just 10 days!

Anyway, I’ll share more pictures soon, but for now one we took on our slow run yesterday; how perfect! Our friend Linda sent us over there and so we made it part of our run!

Kubota's sculpture, titled “Ringo” (the Japanese word for apple), in NYC for just a year!

Engaged in the Big Apple; even if for just 10 days! Kubota’s sculpture, titled “Ringo” (the Japanese word for apple), in NYC for just a year!

Yes, I am running again… Little and slow, but LIFE IS GOOD. Feeling a Lot Better. I think it’s the power of the ring. Or the power of Love. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I never thought I would want to get married, ever. But it’s amazing how things change so fast when the right person comes around. Pure Insanity. Here we go!! Get ready, on your marks, get set… GO!

Posts following this one: A PR Wedding! / Our Central Park Wedding Ceremony / NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – the Wedding Version

(August) Biomechanics Coaching Session GIVEAWAY

JULY’S GIVEAWAY RESULTS!!!

Wow, July’s giveaway was a hitttt!! Thanks all for participating!! As picked officially by rafflecopter here, the winner is… Kashi D!!

I know a few of you will be disappointed you didn’t win, so I am hosting another giveaway for August!! See below and participate!

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Nine out ten people I have coached were wrong when describing their running form. And if no one had video-taped them before, how could they possibly know?? Have you ever seen your running technique close up, frame by frame? No matter how fast or slow you are, there is always something you can do to perfect or injury-proof your running skills.

Not sure what you are doing, form-wise? Or why it sometimes hurt? You know you could run better, faster, or more efficiently? You know you could glide…? Have you been injured? You know you should change your form but not sure what or how?

I am here to help!! I am giving away a Biomechanics Coaching Session a month!

Why do you need a Biomechanics Coach?

Very simple! Running is a skill and it needs to be mastered to avoid injuries and become effortless.
Over 80% of runners get injured every year, and most injuries are caused by a lack of certain skills.
Master the skills of running and you will become an efficient and injury-proof runner!

There are many ways to enter, simply follow the super simple instructions in the Rafflecopter giveaway!

At the end of August, the widget will randomly generate a winner and we’ll announce it here. PS: one condition, we are meeting in Central Park for the session!

And, if you don’t want to wait or just have bad luck with raffles, email me and we can set up a 1×1 session.

Free Biomechanics Talk, don’t miss it

I’ve been invited to host another clinic, this time at the Park Slope JackRabbit Sports Store on July 23rd.

I’ll be going over all the data and science and biomechanics you can handle before you get bored. You’ll clearly see how it relates to your own running and learn what you can do to avoid injuries, get fast, and run smooth! Don’t miss it. I don’t do these often (for free!!).

JackRabbit Sports is located at 151 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215. A few blocks off Grand Army Plaza, the 2,3, and the R an F and G are around there too.

Facebook event is here, so RSVP there in case of updates. It’s an open and public event, so share and invite your friends too! Everyone can benefit from a little bit more info on form and efficiency!!

Plus, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free coaching session! See you there!!

Running and the City

Ah, NYC…

Everyone has a completely different fantasy or experience of what this city is about…

I was talking to a coworker who is leaving town soon. She’s from the south (of the US) and she is used to quieter places, a more relaxed life-style. She was telling me how she doesn’t love the city much because it’s loud, dirty, smelly, super expensive, aggressive, crowded… all those things that I know are true.

Her description was accurate. I get it. I could see it from her perspective and hate it. But, for most of us, all those “bad” things are just the price we pay. Or even the reason why we stay.

It’s common to say that it is one of those places you either love or hate. You either take it or leave it. There’s too much to put up with if you don’t love it.

I can say, with all my heart, that I love it. All those things she mentioned, can be ignored 99% of the time. They can also be celebrated. I like leaving my apartment and not know where I am going to end up. I love meeting people everywhere that are so weird, so weird, that I should probably run away if I wasn’t used to this craziness. You have to be expecting the crazy, the ugly, and the magical every second; and you better have your eyes open or you’ll miss it. You get used to walking around all day with your eyes and your heart ready. There is no comfort zone here. And I don’t want it. I love that I can get in a fight in two minutes, or make a new friend around the corner. You just never know which one will happen first. Ah, yes, always on eggshells.

Yes, if one thing, I’d say living here is exhausting. That’s my word for this city. It can be party/run-all-day-and-night exhausting, or putting-up-with-this-stooopidity exhausting. But I am ok with it. If sleep and rest is the price, I’ll pay up.

But I get it, when I leave the city…. it’s like going through withdrawal. I shake for a few days, crave it, and then I am over it. I get the toxins out of my system, I get some rest, I relax, I stretch out, and I don’t even want to come back to pack up my stuff… Like someone who’s scared of having to deal with crazy and is now happy, warm, and comfy. When I come back, ah, when I come back I always cry a little in the plane when I see the skyline. I always miss this. I love this mess. I want to lace up and go to the park. I really don’t need comfy for now. I want to go out and get lost in the random faces. I want to get in trouble. I want to go to the Met. Do some disgusting shopping. Talk to strangers. Eat burgers and cupcakes. Get in a fight and fall in love all over again.

I never said I wasn’t crazy. I have no problem admitting I do fit in here.

And being in a place where it is so easy to lose yourself, it’s also imperative that you find yourself. I really did find myself in NYC.