Tag Archive | running biomechanics

March 2019 Recap

March

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

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

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

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

February

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

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

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

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

January

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

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

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

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DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

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

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

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

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

January

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DATA DOWNLOAD

Overall Small Recap

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

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.

cheering Front Runners Pride Run NYrr (2)

That misting station on the back looks amazing!

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

 

 

Airbnb Brooklyn Half – Custom Pace Bracelet

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

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

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

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

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!

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (1)

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????

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (2)

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?

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (3)

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

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (4)

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!

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (5)

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!

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (6)

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

run for the parks nyrr elizabeth maiuolo central park nyc marathon (7)

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.

2016-04-06 16.31.40

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???

United NYC Half Marathon – Custom Pace Bracelet

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

you can download the excel sheet here: NYC Half Splits

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

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

 

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!

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (1)

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:

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (6)

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (4)

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.

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (5) nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (7)

And… guess what

Yeah, NO PR! DAMN

nyrr al gordon brooklyn pictures results (1) laps

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!

2016-02-21 07.37.48 2016-02-21 07.46.43

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