Tag Archive | racing

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT?
where did that come from??

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

Stats Time:

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

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 71.06%

Overall Place: 338 of 4,731

Gender Place: 30 of 2,250

Age Place: 3 of 240

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

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

Central Park Spring Classic 10K – Recap

This is going to be quick because:

1- I don’t have race pictures

2- I wasn’t really racing…

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

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

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

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

don’t ask. I don’t.

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

Stats Time:

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

Previous PR: 44:32 From: May, 2013

Age Grading: 69.63%

Overall Place: 343 of 3672

Gender Place: 43 of 1895

Age Place: 2 of 208

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

Race Report: Grete’s Great Gallop

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gels I wanted to try out:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

 

NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (2)

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.

NYRR Achilles hope and possibility 4 mile race Central Park (3)

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!

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

 

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???

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

December

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

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

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

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November

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

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October

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

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September

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

September runs

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

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

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August

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

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

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

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

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July

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

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June

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

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May

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

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April

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

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March

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

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February

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

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January

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

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

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

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November… what happened to November?

November

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

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October

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

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September

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

September runs

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

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

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August

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

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

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

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

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July

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

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June

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

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May

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

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April

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

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March

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

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February

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

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January

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

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

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

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September Runs: smells like hope and recovery

September

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

September runs

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

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

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August

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

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

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

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

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July

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

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June

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

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May

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

April

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

February

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

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January

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

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

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

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Well, I hated August!

August

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

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

July

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

June

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

April

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

February

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

January

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

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

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

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

July

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

June

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

April

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

February

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

January

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

June

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

April

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

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March

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

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February

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

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January

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

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

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

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Oooops, I did it again: PPTC Al Goldstein Speed Series 5K

Because apparently I have a substance abuse problem (besides sushi) and I can’t stop. You know, I am not really really racing, but I do treat my weekly racing as the best workout I can do all week. When do you ever go as hard in a workout? If you’re in a race.. then, you do! I believe 100% in racing yourself into race shape! Plus, you do learn a lot about pacing, and nutrition, and gear, etc. Then, there’s the other things, that you can’t figure out… how I do so well when I haven’t slept, or felt like crap, or have a stooopid race when it should have been great or conditions were perfect. Still trying to figure that out, any tips?

So the Prospect Park Track Club puts these awesomely fun 5Ks every other Wednesdays in Brooklyn, at 7 pm, and it’s a great chance for me to get out of Central Park for a bit and do a tough 3 miles all out. That means, having just done a 5K on Saturday, that I had to skip my beloved Tuesday Speed workout… oh well. Sunday I did 5 miles easy with 2x800s in there, Monday was an easy 6, and then just rested Tuesday and Wednesday. Which, you know, not really rested, but didn’t run…

The fun part about these night races is all the stress about what do I eat? when do I eat it? I do all day. For future reference, I OF COURSE, had sushi at 12 (chirashi, though I skipped the salad), then lots of water and tea and coffee by 4 pm. Then more water. (you watch, next time I won’t remember, won’t reread this, and do something stoopid).

Flor, Tessa and I were having a fun time. Turns out there’s this whole new restaurant there at the start in the park, with a big rink and a burger place. So cool.

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By the way, this race, 3 years ago is my 5K PR, 21:09 from 2012. I went back to check my mile splits, so I’d knew during the race how far off I was. 1: 7:23, 2: 6:30, 3: 7:03. Good to have something to pace off!

The race start is a 5 minutes walk down from there. About 6:50 we headed there and then we waited and waited… eventually we got going, I see about 20 women ahead of me, but it could have been 40 or 10, who knows… the first 3 or 4 minutes everyone is just trying to figure out their pacing. Tessa was going to run with me because she swore she hadn’t done any speed since Brooklyn Half and didn’t want to race. AH. I told her, if she felt bored with my pace, or just wanted to, to go. She left me after about a minute!!!! hahaha, so happy to see her go chase her speed! There’s one hill in Prospect Park, and I knew it was on mile 1. I have no idea when I went up the hill: I didn’t even notice it!!!!! ha, when does that happen? Mile 1: 7:24. Well, close to my previous race in 2012!!! OKAY. Mile 2 I passed about 5 women, then, there was just this one girl in the green shirt and I know I chased her down for a LOOOOONG time, but I have no clue if I caught her!!! Mile 2: 6:44.  I was really trying. Then I was just running with these two guys and I tried my best to keep it steady and hold it. Mile 3: 6:45. Meh. Not happening. I felt really really flat. I guess having run a very hard and hot 5K 4 days before is something I don’t recover from that fast. I’ll take it though. I felt ok, just had no kick. I ALWAYS have a KICK!!!!!

Finish time: 21:33 officially. Exactly 3 seconds off last Saturday’s 5K but… weather last night was amazing compared to Saturday… oh well. Still happy with it!!!

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I love that NYC Runs sends you an email as soon as all the results are final with all of it. LOVE this technology!!!

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and turns out, there were only 7 women ahead of my.. ALL YOUNGER!!!

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Tessa was 4th overall and first in her AG. SO happy she left me. Sometimes, the races you don’t even worry about are the funnest!!!!!
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Then they called the grannies, ME!!! I had also won my AG, holy crap, because there’s lots of fast women in PPTC! two medals in 5 days!!!!!!!!!!

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Showing the hardware….

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So, I have lost now about 9 pounds since I got sick 2 weeks ago but I’ve been racing a lot better… there’s something to this weight thing. I wish I had tried this before… 9 pounds is a lot for me. I used to be around 112 pounds to 116 for the last months/years (and anything up to 120 at some points, like vacations and Thanksgiving) but I assumed that if I lost weight I would be too weak to run… excuses!!!! so now I am trying to see if 109 can be the home and go up and down a few pounds (today I woke up with 106). I remember the 1st time I run Boston (2010), I was around 100 to 102, and it was fine… Apparently, I had some weight to lose and now I got to it by luck. We’ll see if I can keep this up and not overeat…

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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