Philadelphia Marathon Race Report: Vomitphest and a Lesson

Well, there’s not much I can tell you about the marathon because I only saw about 10 second of it from my hotel room. Crap, right?

But I’ll tell you my short story and I promise it won’t be too graphic.

Basically, Juan got to Philly Saturday at noon. We took a picture:

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about 12 pm, happy because I was clueless about how the rest of the day would unfold

That part was easy. Hello Philly!!! Did I tell you I lived in Philly when I first moved to the US? Right in Center City, 2001 to 2005. Fun years!

We left our stuff (basically every single item of running everything I had) at the Sheraton and went to the expo, also easy, there:

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why is my bib blank?!?!?! NOT A GOOD SIGN!

Well. it was about 1 pm and Juan hadn’t run yet, so he had to eat and then wait about 3 hours to run… so we tried to quickly find something around, the Reading Terminal Market was a mess so we ended up at Chilis, which… I had never been at before maybe I jinxed myself?!?!?).

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he’s happy. i was jealous.

He had a crazy burger and I was planning to carboload super carefully with rice. I EVEN WROTE DOWN EVERYTHING I ATE (never done that before either, another jinx-maybe?). I had two bananas in the morning, then rice by 10 am. So I was all-in with the crazy-careful-planning…

We got back to the hotel. I found there was a Harry Potter Marathon

SERIOUSLY.

I NEVER WANTED TO GET OUTSIDE AGAIN.

I went outside to meet all these friends and the reason why I had picked Philly!

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Went back to the hotel. Prepped that flat runner thing people do, which is a LOT of work… I usually just decide in the morning as I am getting dressed. OMG that’s IT, the flat runner jinxed me!!!!!!!!!!!

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I heard putting shoes in the bed is gross, but sorry, hotel comforters are EVEN MORE DISGUSTING. And I am not even touching that floor. YUK.

My stomach started hurting. I was really bloated. I watched some more Harry Potter. Juan left for his run. Also, the wind had picked up. More Harry Potter. Juan told me when he got back it was crazy windy. Harry Potter. My stomach really really hurt. Juan left for his dinner. HARRY POTTER! “Juan, I don’t feel well”.  The ginger ale idea was genius. Two minutes later, I felt it coming back, rushed to the bathroom and vomited SO MUCH. SO MUCH. Everything I had eaten ALL DAY. Everything came back out. The water, the rice, the bananas, the trail mix, the Sprite, everything. Juan told me he’d never seen so much vomit. It was awful. But I felt so happy I had made it to the bathroom.

I calmed down, sat, and felt it again. Again, I made it there on time. LOTS more stuff. UGH, I forgot how painful vomiting is, I hadn’t done that in maybe 10 years, or more? UGH. Awful. I never got that awww feeling you sometimes get after, like all the bad stuff is out and suddenly you feel great. It wasn’t like magic vomit. It was painful, and there was a lot of liquid out. I felt tired and depleted and dehydrated instantly.

More Harry Potter please. Stomachus Reparum!!

My night sleep was a mess. Kept waking up every half hour. I was thirsty has hell, would drink and turn and toss, I was uncomfortable and sore, my bed was too soft, my neck hurt from throwing up. I was an all over mess. At 5 am the alarm finally rescued me from my crappy night. Time to think and make a decision.

Should I run?

Juan was pushed to make a decision and he wasn’t having it “it’s your decision“… “Maybe I can run a few miles and see how I feel..” He was going to be spectating at mile 1 and 6 so those could be good points to assess and decide if I could keep going. I was just scared because I was so dehydrated already. And also had no food in me. Going into a marathon severely deplenished seemed like the stooopidest idea, but I still had trouble letting go. It took about 35 minutes, but I decided it wasn’t my day. Juan agreed. I was mostly scared of passing out on the course. I went back to sleep.

At 7 am, I tried to get to the window to watch the race, and I couldn’t. I was seeing stars and was this close to fainting. I’ve fainted before a few times so now I see it coming (ALWAY SIT DOWN, WHEREVER YOU ARE). Well, glad I didn’t go run then, seems like I made the right decision. I did manage to get up there for about 20 seconds, when I went back to sleep:

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down there are the runners. And I am all the way up here! boooo

Then I saw some more Harry Potter. Then I slept some more. I cried a bit when Harry wasn’t allowed to go to Hogsmeade (just like I couldn’t be running…!). Then I got dressed and checked out at 1. NO MORE HARRY POTTER. Then I slept in the lobby. Then I slept in the bus home (even if Juan was sitting in the noisiest seat ever). Then I slept in the cab. Then I was in my bed. I had 3 teas and 10 maria cookies all day. The rest was nauseating. I slept through the whole day. And I am not an easy sleeper…

It was hard to unpack Monday with no sore legs. It was hard to put away my marathon tshirt with no more race battle on it. It is hard to think of Thanksgiving and my upcoming trip without a long recovery on my marathon legs to achieve. Yesterday, I managed to put away a whole box of graham crackers without feeling disgusted so there’s my achievement. Then I didn’t sleep all night because my stomach hurt.

No medal but a hard learned lesson:

JUST DON’T DO WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO DO

If you read anything about this marathon or talked to me the last month you know I didn’t want to race a marathon. I didn’t want to. And  it felt wrong to do a marathon “just for the time“. It did. It can be a great reason for other people but to me, marathons were the BEST thing. They are not my distance now, or “for now”. And I pushed myself to it because I thought I could do well. I thought I could PR. But, really, I had zero interest. And every time I force myself to do something I don’t want to do, it ends this way… it never works out. I boycott it somehow. I don’t know yet what caused my stomach problem but I don’t believe in coincidences.

Running is to be enjoyed and celebrated. We do this FOR FUN. Don’t push yourself to do something you don’t want to do like I did. Nerves and fear are ok, disinterest is not.There’s no glory on the other side. If it needs to happen, it’ll happen. When you’re ready.

What’s ahead? Who knows. Food and vacation, when I get my appetite back. Hopefully that’s soon because I am a weak mess right now.

See you on the other side.

Philadelphia Marathon. It’s RACE WEEK

Just a few more sleeps to go and it’ll be here.

Some numbers:

  • SIXTEEN weeks of training (until Saturday 11/12, it’ll be 17 weeks at race day, I think 17 weeks is perfect, or 19!)
  • SIX long runs (anything over 16 miles counts)
  • FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE miles total
  • THIRTY SIX miles average per week
  • NINETY ONE runs. SIX POINT FOUR miles average per run
  • FIVE races during the training period. No PRs. 3 halfs, 1 5K, 1 Mile

More importantly:

  • MILLION of memories on the roads with Patricia, Courtney, Juan, Blaise, Kettia, Tracey, Khris, Christine, Daphne and Kristin and all my gangs of OSOMness: Tuesday Speedwork Group, Stairs of Hell, NYRR Group Training, November Project, NY Flyers, Dashing Whippets, and Harlem Run. There would have been none of the stuff above without you all. Or it wouldn’t have been ANY fun.

I am very happy about all the training done, the miles above, the plans made and the times shared on the road… to me, the training is the reward. But then, the race has to happen, right?

Now, going into race week, I am struggling. With any sort of motivation. All my training partners didn’t have a good day in the NYC Marathon so I am 50% interested in racing Philly. Still considering not going. I am super not excited. Marathons are just so long, guys. Also, I haven’t raced one in two years. All of a sudden they seem longer. I have done over 10, 15? and I remember the years when I’d race 2 or 3 a year without even training or thinking about it. Now it seems like the craziest idea since I stopped!

Goals? Not sure. I am in better shape than when I did my 3:27 PR so maybe a PR is possible. That’s the only reason why I signed up, to be honest. My Halfs back then were in the 1:42s; my halfs now are in the 1:36 in a good day, 1:41 in a bad day. Other than that, I just hope it’s not super painful and I have fun. But it’s a marathon, so… anything could happen. So, don’t forget to guess my finish time, it’ll be crapshoot!

All I can do is show up and let it happen…

Guess my Finish Time at the Philadelphia Marathon!

10 days to go… and yes, DNF and DNS are allowed guesses!

Rules: pick a time and write in the comments below. Whoever gets closer, wins, If there’s two identical times, the first poster wins! Make sure if you include seconds in there too, and post before Friday, Nov 18, 8 pm et. I can bet money someone will hit in the head, as usual!
Prizes... you can pick from:
  • Koss Fitbuds (purple) KEB32p, limited edition
  • Koss Fitclips (orange) KSC32C, limited edition
  • milestone pod, teal or black
  • clip-on running metronome
  • brooks flat vapur water bottle
  • pack of travel bodyglide
  • TCS NYC Marathon Shopping Bag
  • Clif Bar Branded Gear Package (aluminum water bottle, jumping rope, women’s triathlete tee medium black and silver, towel)
  • FitSok, pack of 3 (white, gray, black), CF-2 Shadow Yarn Athletic Sock, size M (mens 6-8, womens 7-9)
  • B2R Split Toe Performance Running Sock, CoolMax, EcoMode, Size M (mens 5-7, womens 6-8), white
  • Powerbar branded crossbody backpack, black
  • NYC Marathon rain (knee-length, orange and white) poncho
  • North Face arm warmers, black with red NF logo, small/med
  • Lock Laces, one size fits all, white
  • KT Tape Roll, hero pink, roll of pre-cut strips
the DATA
My guessNo idea, range could be between 3:25 and 3:45… so I truly have no clue. I had a great training year, my best ever if I can say so myself, but my halfs this fall weren’t great and I am totally not motivated to do the marathon. I am going. I am trying my best (hopefully) but I haven’t done a marathon in two years so I am not even sure if I can get it up for 
GO ON! Place your bets below!!! (I will probably not look until after, and no need to be nice!)

Prizes shipped only within the US, but you can pick it up when you’re in NYC if you are abroad! Or have me send to someone in the US.  / Guesses will only count if done before Friday, November 18, 8 pm, ET.  on the original post / Other comments anywhere else (Runners World, facebook, twitter, etc.) won’t count / If there are two guesses with the exact same time, the first one wins.

Pictures from the TCS NYC Marathon Expo

Just a few for now… still collecting all the pics that everybody took… such great three full days at the expo!

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2016 TCS New York City Marathon: race week events!

  I will be updating this every day, I’ll add a lot more events later tonight or tomorrow. If you have any to be added, just forward it to me. So, recheck often! updated 10/29 4 pm

And don’t forget to re-read the New York City Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Info! post

Monday, October 24th

  • Summit Series Launch Party with American Alpine Club
    Join The North Face as they launch our Fall 2016 Summit Series line. At 6pm, American Alpine Club will give an overivew of their organization and then detail some of the amazing spots for climbing in the Northeast. Following that, a few of the members of the local chapter will talk of their recent expeditions, with one member telling of her recent attempt at K2.
    Then, Senior Field Representative for The North Face, Stan Kosmider, will go through the Summit Series line and describe the new innovative gear that make up the full range of products At the end of the night, they will have a Q&A and raffle off some North Face gear. Refreshments will be provided by Bronx Brewery and some light snacks. More info here. (free)
  • Race IQ: New York City Marathon
    Join Tailwind Endurance and Finish Line Physical Therapy on Monday, October 24, as they welcome a panel of experts to discuss the ins, outs and secrets to success at the TCS New York City Marathon. More info here. (free)

Saturday, October 29th

  • Yoga for Runners: Pre-Marathon Yoga with Pure Yoga. Central Park Conservancy and renowned sports medicine physician, Dr. Jordan Metzl, have teamed up with Pure Yoga to offer you a special 60-minute pre-marathon yoga class. After the class, Dr. Metzl will conduct a Q&A about healthy running.
    Time: Music starts at 12:00 pm, class will be from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
    Location: East Meadow (East Side from 97th to 100th Street). This program is FREE; pre-registration is recommended. Open to all fitness levels. More info here. (free)

Sunday, October 30th

  • At the Marathon Pavilion: Virtual Trainer/Group Training Special Course Strategy Session
    The NYRR Coaching Staff will be giving you a special course strategy session and shakeout run on October 30 at the marathon pavilion (finish line of the marathon). If you are looking for any last-minute tips on how to run your best race, come on by at 3:00 p.m. Join the NYRR Pace team at 3:00 p.m. for a 3-5 mile easy run around Central Park and get pacing event from the pro’s, Bag check will be available for all runners. At 3:45 p.m. the coaches will break down the marathon course, mile by mile, so you can run your best race! Feel free to attend one of these or both!  Shake Out run with NYRR Pace Team: 3:00 p.m. Course Strategy: 3:45 p.m. More info here. (free)

Monday, October 31st

  • November Project: CAT HILL. 6:28am.  Well 120+ people will get to run down Cat Hill on Sunday, so we wanted to give people a chance to run UP it as well.  Because we all know that going up is so much more fun than going down. More info here. (free)
  • At the Marathon Pavilion:
    • 8:00 a.m. Exhale Spa Flow Yoga Open Class- Join instructor Rika Henry for a traditional flowing vinyasa yoga session with grooving tunes and creative transitions that lengthen, strengthen, and center. The class will be offered in basic, open, and advanced levels, with exhale’s unique focus on mind and body. Mat required; registration not required.
    • 12:00 p.m. – Pint Glass Giveaway: Stop by starting at noon for a limited-edition pint glass, free for NYRR members.
    • 6:00 p.m. – Happy Hour: NYRR members get a free drink during this two-hour gathering.
    • 6:30 p.m. – Course Strategy Preview: NYRR coaches will provide valuable insight and answer all your race-day questions.

 

 

Tuesday, November 1st

  • November Project at Mountain Athletics:  6:30PM at Columbus Circle.  The North Face have a #FREE weekly workout  Mountain Athletics.  Trainers will take you through a session of either strength, agility, or work capacity and send you on your way to hit the sack, set your alarm and get some sleep before tomorrow morning. More info here. (free)
  • At the Marathon Pavilion:
    • 8:00 a.m. Exhale Spa Power Yoga Class
      Join instructor Rika Henry for an athletically and mentally challenging class set to upbeat music. Exhale’s focus is on strengthening mind and body, and this yoga class is one of their best. Roll out your mat and get ready to sweat; expect a flowing, challenging, and mindful yoga practice. Mat required; registration not required.
    • 5:00 p.m. MELT Class presented by Hospital for Special Surgery. Led by Polly DeMille. The MELT Method uses bodywork techniques and teachings to reduce joint pain and muscle tension. HSS will lead runners through a series of exercises intended to enhance body awareness and restoration and ensure they’re ready for race day.
    • 5:30 p.m. Yoga for Runners presented by Hospital for Special Surgery. Led by Cara Senicola. Help protect your joints with this exclusive class designed to help meet the needs of runners’ bodies during training. The class will guide you through proper yoga poses to use when stretching and exercises to strengthen the core and help prevent injury.

Wednesday, November 2nd

  • November Project #PRDay. 5:28/6:28 a.m. For those running, you can jog a few laps with some of the most amazing people or just cheer the like you want to hear on Sunday from the Cheer Station. More info here. (free)
  • At the Marathon Pavilion:
    • 8:00 a.m. Exhale Core Fusion Yoga Class
      This class combines the small, targeted, toning movements of Core Fusion and a flowing, hard-driving yoga practice. Expect a fast-paced vinyasa flow with an extra “oomph” for thighs, glutes, and abs. It’s an uplifting hour on the mat, geared to stretch and tone body and mind, led by instructor Kevin Murane. Mat required; registration not required.
    • 9:00 a.m. Foam Rolling Session presented by Hospital for Special Surgery
      Led by Jamie Osmak. Runners will learn how to use a foam roller to help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and accelerate the return of muscle strength and power after a hard workout.
    • 5:00 p.m. Strength Training for Runners presented by Hospital for Special Surgery. Led by Pam Geisel and Tiffany Chag. Runners will learn how to effectively strength train and prevent injury during marathon training.
    • 6:00 p.m. Runner’s World Shakeout Run
      Celebrate Runner’s World’s 50th anniversary with an evening shakeout run in Central Park. Led by Bart Yasso and other Runner’s World guests and editors, this run is open to runners of all levels and includes a commemorative giveaway.
    • 8:30 p.m. Tracktown Screening
      THIS EVENT IS CURRENTLY FULL. We hope to have more tickets available closer to the event. Stay tuned for updates!
      This will be a special NYC screening of Tracktown: The Movie, with co-writer, director, and elite runner Alexi Pappas and director/producer Jeremy Teicher on hand for autographs and photo ops.

Thursday, November 3rd

  • KT Tape Champion’s Run with Meb Keflezighi and Special Guests by JackRabbit Free.
    7:00 AM – 10:00 AM EDT JackRabbit: 42 W 14th St. More info here. (free)
  • At the Marathon Pavilion:
    • 8:00 a.m. Exhale Core Fusion Barre Class
      Join instructor Lauren Chiarello for a tough, inspired workout that moves you from barre to mat as it takes you through five intense muscle-targeted sequences that sculpt the arms, lean out the legs, shape the butt, and chisel the waistline. The workout ends with an inspirational cool-down geared to leave you with a well-deserved sense of accomplishment, energy, and peace. Socks required; registration not required.
    • 9:00 a.m. Ryan and Sara Hall Q&A Session
      Join pro runners and Fitbit Ambassadors Ryan and Sara Hall for breakfast, a meet and greet, photo ops, and a special Q&A session where they will discuss their tips and tricks for surviving a marathon, and Sara will share insights on how she’s used the Fitbit Surge to get ready for race day.
    • 4:00 p.m. New York Road Runners Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
      New York City Marathon icons Rod Dixon, Dick Traum, Margaret Okayo, and Steve Jones will make up the NYRR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Former NYRR President and CEO Mary Wittenberg will receive the Abebe Bikila Award and New York Times writer Jeré Longman will receive the George Hirsch Journalism Award.
    • 6:00 p.m. Run Fast. Eat Slow. Meet-and-Greet with Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Join Olympian Shalane Flanagan and her co-author, Elyse Kopecky, for an inspirational nutrition talk. Learn the story behind Run Fast. Eat Slow. and how “indulgent nourishment” can help you run stronger and happier. A Q&A and book signing will follow the talk.
    • 6:45 p.m. Lauren Fleshman: Complete Training Journal Book Launch
      Join American former track and field athlete Lauren Fleshman as she launches her new book and shares insights on competing, improving your mental game, and how to ensure that race day brings out your best. Books will be available for purchase and signing, and there will be a meet-and-greet and photo ops with Lauren.

  • Shake It Out with Fitbit at NYRR Open Run with Dean Karnazes
    7:00 p.m. in Brooklyn Bridge Park
    Whether you’re here for the TCS New York City Marathon or just looking for a fun, active event, come get your steps in at a free shakeout run, hosted by NYRR Open Run, in partnership with Fitbit—the Official Fitness Tracker of the TCS New York City Marathon. Run alongside ultramarathon man and Fitbit Ambassador, Dean Karnazes. Hear how he’s been training with Fitbit Surge to help him conquer the city on race day, and enter to win a tracker of your own! More info here. (free)
  • November Project at Mountain Athletics: PART II.  Our friends are bringing you another hard hitting workout, same time, different location. 6:30 p.m. More info here. (free)

Friday, November 4th

  • November Project at Bethesda Fountain, 6:25 a.m. Moving up the start time, so be there ON TIME. What does that mean? 6:25 a.m. Six twenty-five a.m. Marathon swag will be sold at this workout as well. More info here. (free)
  • At the Marathon Pavilion:
    • 8:00 a.m. Exhale Core Fusion Barre Class
      Join instructor Lauren Chiarello for a tough, inspired workout that moves you from barre to mat as it takes you through five intense muscle-targeted sequences that sculpt the arms, lean out the legs, shape the butt, and chisel the waistline. The workout ends with an inspirational cool-down geared to leave you with a well-deserved sense of accomplishment, energy, and peace. Socks required; registration not required.
    • 11:00 a.m. Dean Karnazes Q&A and Book Signing
      Join Fitbit Ambassador and ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes for a special Q&A. Learn how he trains and prepares for races with Fitbit Surge. Sneak a peek and purchase The Road to Sparta and enjoy a meet-and-greet and photo ops with Dean.
    • 12:00 p.m. New York Times Discussion: Mindfulness and Running
      Led by the New York Times, this interactive panel discussion will focus on mindfulness and meditation practices and how to apply them to running. Panelists will even help runners create a unique mantra to use during the TCS New York City Marathon. Panelists include Jen Kluczkowski, founder of Mindfresh; David Gelles, meditation expert, New York Times business reporter, and author of Mindful Work; and Jen Miller, award-winning writer and New York Times contributor.
    • 1:00 p.m. Forever at the Finish Line Book Event
      Author Daniel Mitrovich will be on site for book sales, signing, and a meet-and-greet. Stop by to learn about the book that documents the monumental effort to install the life-size statue of New York City Marathon cofounder and former NYRR President Fred Lebow.
    • 2:00 p.m. TCS goIT Presentation
      goIT is TCS’s signature community STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education program, teaching coding, robotics, and design to more than 10,000 middle and high schoolers in more than 32 cities. Students from the program will present their concepts as a part of the TCS goIT Mobile App Challenge.
    • 3:00 p.m. Runner’s World December Cover Search Contest Reveal
      Runner’s World’s third annual cover search recognizes two exemplary runners–one male and one female–in America. The two winners are selected by a panel of Runner’s World judges, including Editor-in-Chief David Willey, Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso, and Executive Editor Tish Hamilton, based on their inspirational, personal breakthrough moments and stories of how running changed their lives.

  • GO THE EXTRA MILE, NYC.
    On Friday, Nov. 4, ASICS will be taking over New York City’s Columbus Circle and you’re invited to run (or walk) a mile to donate shoes to Girls on the Run. Each mile ran on the ASICS Extra Mile treadmills stationed in Columbus Circle will equal a pair of shoes donated to the non-profit. Stay tuned for hours of activation closer to the event. More info here.  (donation)
  • Never Stop Exploring Speakers Series: November Project
    Run followed with a FREE party and presentation from November Project as we celebrate New York, the running community, and the launch of “Showing Up,” a film by Dooster, powered by The North Face about 8 people who’s lives have been changed by joining November Project. More info here. (free)

Saturday, November 5th

  • The NYC Run, Selfie, Repeat NYC Marathon Shakeout Fun Run!
    NYC Marathon fun shakeout run led by Run, Selfie, Repeat’s Kelly Roberts and co-hosted by Finish Line Physical Therapy! It doesn’t matter if you’re getting ready to run 26.2 in NYC or if you’re cheering, everyone and all athletic levels are welcome! More info here. (free)
  • NYC Marathon Shakeout Art Run
    Whether you’re in town for the New York City Marathon, a New Yorker running the NYC Marathon or just want to get in a beautiful tour of the world’s best street art, Join the Wolf Pack for a 5K art run through downtown NYC:  lots of incredible street art and new murals in the Lower East Side and SoHo during this relaxed pace NYC Marathon shakeout run. More info here. (not free)
  • Pre NYC Marathon Yoga for Runners!
    “Find out how I used yoga to finish my first half marathon in an 1 hour and 37 minutes!” Join “The Runners Gym at Custom Performance” for a PRE MARATHON YOGA SHAKE OUT!  Enjoy some fall “shakes” & specialized swag bag giveaways! More info here. (not free)

updated daily so bookmark this post and keep checking here every day!

Don’t forget to re-read the New York City Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Info! post

I’ve compiled this listing off official emails I’ve received or brand/athletes/stores’s facebooks or twitter. Please review the event before making any plans: don’t blame me if any of these get cancelled, or switched, or anything. Have fun!

Verrazano Half: a tale of two halves

or more like 4 halfs! Once you see the splits, you’ll get it. It was hilarious.

This race is in Bay Ridge, organized by NYC Runs. Basically we run on the promenade, it’s all flat, and around the area where the Verrazano Bridge connects to Brooklyn, hence the name. I picked it because it was flat and it’s right by water, so if it was a hot day, there was to be a nice breeze from the ocean. I never thought about the possibility of rain, October is usually great for racing… Then, the Staten Island Half, two weekends, ago was a mess of rain and wind (check the #StatenIslandHalf on insta, it was crazy), and I was shocked. I had done that race a bunch of times and it was always great weather. And I told everybody “I totally would have been in bed if I had signed up“, and destiny decided to teach me a lesson and shut me up!

Saturday had rain all morning in the forecast, but they’re always wrong, right? Well, it was crappy at 5 am when I woke up. I asked Juan what would he do. Stooopid question, he loves crazy weather, the harder the race the better… I figured a PR would be out of the question but why not try… well, it’s an hour and a half trip from the Upper East Side to Bay Ridge, so I had to make a decision. I decided I wanted to go, NOT SURE WHY.

hard-decisions-everywhere-meme

Juan and I got there by 7:15 am. He wasn’t racing, but we met up with Andrea right by the start and Stephen. Race Starts was at 8. It was raining. It was 44 degrees. And it was SUPER CRAZY WINDY. INSANE. We lined up. There were about 300 people though the race was sold out… Hmmm, WHERE IS EVERYBODY?? HUH?

nycruns-verrazano-half-marathon-bay-ridge-brooklyn-ny-1

Start and Finish. 10 minutes before 8 am…

Well, we get moving. I see people take off. It always seems like I have a million people ahead of me. Then it happened.

I WAS FLYING. Half a mile in and I am running sub 7… WHAT???

If you have read just one of my posts, you KNOW I start slow. SLOW- SLOW. Then I pick it up at the end like I am running a 5K or there’s sushi at the finish line. But I don’t really ever start fast. To run a PR, which I had no clue if I could do in that weather, pace would have to be 7:19 (1:35:39 finish time); which means, in normal conditions, I would have started around 7:40, or 7:35 as the fastest..

But I was feeling AMAZING. I was literally flying. I tried really hard to slow down. Mile 1: 7:11MMMM. Am I really this fast??? if so, this is going a be crazy PR. But how…?

well, before I go on, let me tell you about the course, because I forgot, and it’ll help!

Basically, it was 2 out and backs in the same course. The first out was about 2.4 so back at the start by 4.8, then head back out again, for like 4 miles out, turnaround at mile 9, and 4 more miles back. Got it? Don’t forget, this will be important later when you are laughing at me!

verrazano-half-marathon-course

Anyway, there I am, thinking how fast I am, and how great I feel, Mile 2: 7:17, then I get to the turnaround and I see that Andrea is leading the women (by a lot) and that I am 4th… What? WHERE did all the people that passed me went? There weren’t that many apparently. Or they were all men!?!?!?!

Then the TURNAROUND DISILLUSION happened. As soon as I am coming back, it hits me. HARD. The WIND. THE $%&@!@!&@@!!! WIND. What???? IT WAS INSANE. Now I understood why I felt so fast and like I was flying… it was the wind in the back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mile 3: 7:42 (half of this mile was out, half was back)

Now I had in the front. FULL FRONTAL. I also hurt a bit. UGH. I pumped up the music a bit to distract myself of my slowing down into the tornado, but it was so loud I couldn’t even hear the music!!!!! I was flapping everywhere. I wished I had all the aero stuff my triathlete husband talks about. I even felt my hat flapping. Mile 4: 8:20, all going back to the start. I am shocked it wasn’t slower. I felt like I couldn’t even walk. You know those videos of dogs you see with the faces out the car windows, with the mouth disfigured by the wind and drool everywhere: that was me. 100%. I chuckled when I thought of that, but it was only funny for a second.

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Then I saw Juan again, he was by the start, I had a gel (HUMA gels have saved my life!!!!!!! I didn’t have any pain!!!! I am SO SO SO HAPPY about that!!!!!) and turned back around to get the wind in my back again. Mile 5: 7:55 (another half out half back mile!). And BACK TO FLYING AGAIN!!!!!

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I made the executive decision to hit the gas. Why save it for the last miles against the wind where I could barely push forward??? I’ll just push now, and struggle all the way back again, and I had no choice about that. Unless the wind died down when I was coming back, then I’d be in serious problems. Mile 6: 7:05. I passed a LOT of people. It wasn’t even funny. Mile 7: 13. I knew, from all the turnarounds, exactly where #4 and #5 women where; they had passed me, BOTH, at mile 4/5 when I stopped to grab water and eat my gel. But I passed them right back, by the second turnaround I had put some space between us, but #3 seemed too far away, like 400 meters, or maybe a minute away. Mile 8: 7:27. This part seemed a bit long because I wasn’t sure exactly where we were turning (there were no big signage anywhere, which hey, they would have flown away and killed me!!!) and I was dreading coming back. Those last 4 miles with the wind at the front were going to HURT. I had only done 2.5 before, it was a longer stretch now… Mile 9: 7:39. On the other hand, I couldn’t feel the wind anymore… maybe the wind thing is over? It’s great how when you have the wind in the back you don’t even notice it!!!!

I see the turnaround, it feels great, there’s no wind… at the turnaround, I see #5th woman is about the same distance as #3 so I think I am safe. Which also, doesn’t motivate me to go faster… I now head back to the start, for the 2nd and last time. OH NO. THE WIND WAS WORSE. how? no clue, just got worse. ^%#@!@#!

It was insane. I actually thought about giving up. MORE music please, it was pointless, all I could hear was the wild flapping of EVERYTHING. Mile 10: 8:09. I fluctuated between leaning into the wind, and feeling defiant and straight, plus trying to be thinking I was being aero, and then just telling myself it was just 3 more miles. Of course I can do 3 more miles. But it was rough, there was nothing to look at, not one person cheering, just a highway to the right, and the FREAKING MOST AMAZING VIEW OF THE VERRAZANO AND THE CITY AND THE STATUE OF LIBERTY on the left. But I could barely see anything… ugh the wind, so I just imagined seeing it. And how amazing it’d be if I could see. And how cool that in two weeks all these thousands of people would be on that bridge for the first time to make memories for a lifetime. I just hoped they’d get nicer weather. Mile 11: 8:23. I looked down a few times and my pace looked worst than that. Then I saw a guy walking backwards… ?

Just two miles. I wished I knew the course better. I had no clue what to look for to know where I was. I was also running all alone, I had a Queens Distance runner ahead of me, like a minute out, and no one close behind. I am not used to pacing by myself!!! Mile 12: 8:26. A mess. I was so sick of the wind. I decided to take out whatever I had left, which was pointless.  I looked back once to see if there was someone close enough that would scare me into racing harder, nothing. Mile 13: 7:52. HA, slowest closing mile ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last bit: 7:30 pace.

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Gosh, so happy to finally stop the wind madness!

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Andrea had finished like 9 minutes earlier, emmmmm, FIRST WOMAN!

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YEY US! We survived!

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Heres my CRAZY splits. Check how I was working hard, by the Avg Heart Rate, on the fast AND the slow miles….

Juan was right behind the fence taking pictures, and FROZEN. Almost blue. Like everyone else.  That’s when I realized, well, I was told, that it had been raining the whole time. WHAT? I thought he was joking. I NEVER for a second felt the rain. The wind was just so ridiculous… I didn’t feel one drop. I might be crazier than I thought.

Well, my math was right, if I was 4th woman, I was bound to be 1st in my AG! HA!

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Stephen and I got AG awards and Andrea got 1st woman, which was a win-win. They were both freezing, can you tell? The both had done Staten Island two weeks before and said the wind made this race a lot harder. So there, I AM CRAZIER THAN I THOUGHT!

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as you can tell, I over prepare and packed a whole set of dry clothes for after, even another pair of shoes… we had brunch plans!!

I made these little videos on instagram. Not sure you can appreciate much of the wind there, but it’s something:

So, here’s the official results! This is the Top Women:

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And of course… there has to be a giveaway winner!!! No one guessed 1:4X:xx which means you guys were WAY OFF. My last half was 1:4o or 1:41 something… you guys NEED TO STOP BEING NICE! Think about it, I almost had a DNS! Jeffrey, email me and pick a gift from that post!!!

CONCLUSION. Glad I showed up, because it was a great effort, mentally and physically. It WAS NOT the race I wished for at all. All the goal races I had before the marathon did not go as planned… Which makes me rethink my marathon intentions… I know I am fit, and I know that given the right situation I could have a great time, but, how good? And, when all these halfs end up being so painful, I wonder, do I want to suffer this much for 26.2? I don’t know. I don’t know yet. I have no idea. I have a month to decide. I did all the training (plus one last long 20 miler next weekend) and I know I am fit, but do I have any proof? Anything to bring to the start with me on race day? no.

All I have is my love for running and knowing that whatever happens, I am ready to tackle it. Hopefully.

Thanks for being there friends!