Tag Archive | dashing whippets

2015 New York City Marathon EXPO pictures

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

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

Oh, and this one from the pavillion!!

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TCS New York City Marathon – Spectator Tracking Guide

hi guys!

One of the NYC running stores, Jack Rabbit, has this most amazing tracking sheet you could make, so your spectators could find you on race day.

Basically, you enter the runner’s (you!) bib number, wave time, and your predicted finish in the yellow cells, and it throws a page ready to print with splits for every mile so your fans can track you. And they can add up to 3 people.

Just fill the 5 yellow cells for each runner and PRINT!, you’ll love it. Sorry if it’s messy, I updated it quickly so we could all use it, so I hope it looks ok, but I know it works!!!

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Once you hit print, you’ll get a sheet like this, you can send to all your fans.

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Like it? download it here: 2015 Jack Rabbit Marathon Tracker (update: this is the 2015 version of the file, but it works exactly the same way as the start times are the same)

Don’t forget to re-read the 

New York City Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Info 

2016 TCS New York City Marathon: free race week events

2015 TCS New York City Marathon: free race week events!

  I will be updating constantly, so recheck often! updated 10/30, 10 am

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

Monday, October 19th

  • Race IQ: Get the Inside Scoop on the NYC Marathon. Join Tailwind Endurance and Finish Line Physical Therapy as they welcome a panel of experts (Jonathan Cane, Kelly Roberts, Mike Cassidy) to discuss the ins, outs and secrets to success at the TCS New York City Marathon. 7 pm at Finish Line Physical Therapy (119 W. 23rd St. #304; punch in 2711 to access the building). More info and registration here. Free.

Tuesday, October 20th and ongoing

  • The New York City Marathon: The Great Race. Check out this new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. Show your NYRR membership card or printout for free entry any day. Join NYRR  President and CEO Michael Capiraso and Peter Ciaccia—President, Events, and Race Director, TCS New York City Marathon for cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28th, as well as a chance to view the exhibit with curator Sean Corcoran. There is a discussion with Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers on October 31st at 3PM. Entry is open to all current NYRR members and one (1) guest on a first-come, first-served basis. My post with pictures here. More info here. Maybe Free.

Wednesday, October 21st

  • A Breakfast with Kathrine Switzer to benefit Girls on the Run. Join GOTR for an inspirational breakfast featuring Kathrine Switzer, the iconic sports and social advocate who was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. 8 am. Info and Registration here. Not Free.

Saturday, October 24th

  • Last 10 Miles of the NYC Marathon.  Empire Tri Club & the New York Running Company are teaming up to host a long training run covering the “Last 10 Miles” of the TCS NYC Marathon course, presented by Nike.  Coaches will guide you through the course from the 59th Street Bridge, uptown through the Bronx and Harlem, and finish in Central Park by the iconic marathon finish line near Tavern on the Green.

Timeline: 7:30am – Meet at the NY Running Company EAST SIDE location at 63rd & 3rd for bag drop / 7:45am – Runners depart (regroup at the 59th Street Bridge:60th St & 1st Ave) / 7:50am – Meet the coaches, pace groups, directions / 8am – Run begins. Route map can be found here.  Run begins at 60th & 1st and ends in Central Park at the Marathon Finish Line. After the run, head on up to the New York Running Company at Columbus Circle for breakfast and 15% off your purchases all day long!  Bags will be transported from the East Side NY Running Co. to Columbus Circle to be picked up after the run.  There will be a water break on the course around mile 5. Pace groups will be formed. All abilities are welcome.  Register here. Free.

Monday, October 26th

  • Group Run with HOKA. Jack Rabbit Upper East Side store. 7:00 pm. Hoka will bring demo shoes to this easy run. Bag watch and changing facilities provided at the store. More info here. Free.
  • A (free) Pre-TCS NYC Marathon Yoga + Art + Drinks + Fun PARTY by Only Atoms. 6:30-10pm. Sky Gallery, 460 Union Street, Brooklyn. More Info and Rsvp here. Free.

Tuesday, October 27th

  • Book Signing and Discussion: Two Hours by Ed Caesar. Discuss the sub-two-hour marathon and meet the author. 4 pm at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Film Screening: Marathon . Q&A with producer Kate McLean and runner Julio Sauce to follow. 6 pm at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Meet and Greet with Dean Karnazes presented by The North Face. 6.30 pm, Columbus Circle. We’ll welcome ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes for an easy shake-out run and Q-and-A session. We bet he knows a few things about running 26.2 miles. More info here.
  • Adidas Sponsored Run. 6.30 pm at Paragon Sports. Bag Check available. More info here.
  • Marathon Course Strategies with Coach John Honerkamp. Learn course and race strategy for first-time marathoners. 7 pm at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.

Wednesday, October 28th

  • Runner’s World Shakeout Run with  ADIDAS. 6 pm at the UWS Jack Rabbit Store. More info here. Free
  • Film Screening: ESPN 30 for 30 Short “Every Day” 6 pm at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • On Clouldflyer Launch Party. 6 pm at the Columbus Circle NYC Running Company.
    We’re clear for take-off: soar to new heights in the On Cloudflyer, the Swiss brand’s newest shoe. We’ll celebrate in mile-high style with snacks, drinks, and other fun surprises. Cheers to running on clouds! More info here. Free.
  • Shake Out Run with Andrew and Deena Kastor. 6:30 pm, Paragon Sports. Join us for a Shake Out Run with Andrew Kastor and Deena Kastor on Wednesday, October 28th at 6:30pm. You will have the opportunity to test out PEAR Sports app, including getting your VO2 max number and theTimex Sports IRONMAN RunX50+ smart watch! More info here and here. Free.
  • Book Signing and Discussion: My Year of Running Dangerously
    Writer Tom Foreman in a discussion with Sirius XM’s Pete Dominick. 7 pm at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Breakfast of Champions: Meet and Greet with Halie Gebrselassie and Wilson Kipsang. The rest is TBD. More info here soon.

Thursday, October 29th

  • Presentation and Panel Discussion – the Museum of the City of New York. 10:00–10:30 a.m. 7 at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Kathrine Switzer Book Signing. Meet the author and purchase Marathon Woman in the book signing area. 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • NYRR Presents: Gary Corbitt. The son of legendary distance runner Ted Corbitt will present a revealing history of New York Road Runners. 2:00–2:30 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • NYRR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Honoring Haile Gebrselassie, Tegla Loroupe, Paula Radcliffe, and Paul Tergat. 3:00 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Shake out Run with Deena and Andrew Kastor sponsored by Pear Sports and Westin Hotel and Resorts. 4 pm. The Westin New York Grand Central, 212 East 42nd Street. RSVP by emailing [email protected] More info here. Free.
  • Film Trailer Screening: City Slickers Can’t Stay with Me: The Coach Bob Larsen Story. Bob Larsen and Meb Keflezighi will discuss the making of the film and answer audience questions. 4:00 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Feature Film Screening: Run for Your Life: The Fred Lebow Story 6:00–9:00 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • New Balance Girls’ Night Out. 6:00pm at the Columbus Circle NYC Running CompanyMore info here. Free.
  • New Balance Halloween Run. 6:30 pm. Join us dawning your best costume and ready to run the streets of NYC with our very own NB pacers. Afterwards at the flagship there will be snacks and beverages provided by David’s Tea. Last but not least winner of the best costume wins a pair of reflective Beacon Vazee Pace running sneakers. 150 5th avenue. More info here. Free
  • Marathon Training Party with Dean Karnazes and Mountain Athletics Crew. 6:30 pm at Paragon Sports. Bag Check available. More info here.

Friday, October 30th

  • Charity Miles Shake Out Run. 7 am. Columbus Circle Entrance to Central Park is our meeting spot for a day of fun and excitement. Come one, come all, bring a guest, and hang loose. More info and RSVP here. Free.
  • Local Run with Kevin Hart. 7:34 am at Pier 26 at N. Moore St. Nike+ Run Club is joining forces with Mr. Kevin Hustle Hart for another spontaneous 5K Local Run in New York City. More info and RSVP here.
  • Yoga for Runners sponsored by Hospital for Special Surgery. Guided by Cara Senicola. 8:00 a.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Kathrine Switzer Book Signing. Meet the author and purchase Marathon Woman in the book signing area. 9:00–11:00 a.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • TCS goIT Mobile App Awards Presentation. Noon at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Movie Trailer Screening: Tracktown. Including a special appearance by filmmaker and famed runner Alexi Pappas. 2:00 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. More info here. Free.
  • Saucony EVERUN Launch with Spring Moves. 6 PM. New York Running Co. The unveiling of Saucony’s innovative cushioning system called EveRUN. Featuring an enhanced energy return, lively underfoot sensation, and increased durability, EveRUN delivers a smooth and fluid ride, which we’ll experience as our friends at Spring Moves serve as our run leaders turned DJs. More info here. Free.

Saturday, October 31st

  • Shake Out Run with Bart Yasso. 8 am at Paragon Sports. Bag Check available. More info here.
  • Halloween bRunch with On. 9 AM. JackRabbit Upper West Side. No tricks, all treats. Take your Halloween costume for a test run and demo the On CloudFlyer. More info here. Free
  • MEBCAN. RITZCAN. UCAN. Join Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Dathan Ritzenhein for a special meet & greet before the New York City Marathon, along with Yale University Researcher Dr. Cathy Yeckel. Hear how Meb and Ritz prepare for a race and get training and nutrition tips from the top two marathoners in the country. Running Panel: 12:30-1:30 PM Meet & Greet: 1:30 – 2:30 PM. New York Marriott Marquis. More info and rsvp here. Free

more 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!

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

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

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

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

Check out the lead car. INSANITY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stats Time:

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

Previous PR: 28:00 From: April, 2013

Age Grading: 71.01% 

Overall Place: 615 of 5,101

Gender Place: 39 of 2,249

Age Place: 7 of 692

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

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

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

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

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

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YUM!

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

2015 Boston Marathon – as a very wet spectator

Just click, it’s a crazy slideshow

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I’ve counted, and I’ve been to the Boston Marathon 5 times, 2 to race and 3 to spectate, including this past Monday. I think I’ll be in the spectating side next year too. As I was busy Sunday pacing the NYRR More Fitness Half Marathon, I didn’t decide to go up to Boston to cheer until the last minute… which means, after running 13.1, I slept a few hours and woke up at 5 to make it to Boston at 11 am. By 11:30 Lauren and I were at Mile 25, where we had planned to watch, and we merely caught the elite women by 2 minutes! Talk about perfect timing!!! Soon enough, we caught up with Daphne and we settled a bit before the Citgo sign, by the water station, it was empty there and we had a great visual, lots of space, and music. We saw the elite men go by and then the rest!!! We saw so many Whippets on the course (lots of them with sub3s), Carolina, who waved her arms telling me WTF, and then I’d get the same confused reaction from everyone on the course looking at me like who the hell are you? well, I was wearing 100 layers so I apologize that I confused you all!!! It was cold and rainy… what could I do?

I have to say, all morning I felt awful about the weather and wondered what would I have done if faced with that weather? It seemed AWFUL. It wasn’t just cold or wet.  It was 40s AND pouring rain, AND wind. WTF!!!!! For what I’ve been hearing since then, “it wasn’t as bad”, “it was better than it looked”, “I am sure it was worse for the spectators than us”, which makes me feel really good. And no, I have no idea what I would have done. Why worry with things I don’t have to deal with? Plus, many many friends had insanely huge PRs so maybe I’ll believe them that it wasn’t so bad…

It was a spectacle to see those runners right at Mile 25. Some looked really bad (HEY, Mile 25!!!!) but some people looked strong and happy. The disparity was insane. I also wondered for hours what would I have worn… why am I overthinking a race I didn’t do?!?!? I am weird. I am sure you’re too, so shut up.

We then walked all the way back to South Station, yes, from mile 25, like 3 miles, because the T was major chaos. I got my little backpack checked 72 times, which was amazing. The finish line area wasn’t crowded at all, it actually seemed really peaceful. The one other thing that I thought about that shocked me was this: every time I go cheer at a race I feel like a stooopid idiot that should have signed up and raced. Always. Always. I always feel race-envy when I am a spectator. I didn’t this time, at all. Maybe I am really over the marathon. Or maybe it was the dreadful weather. Nah.

Good job guys, I am SURE it was tough out there… and no matter what, training through this past winter earns you all the virtual PRs and BQs the course might not have brought, I say! GREAT JOB RUNNERS!!!!! ENJOY THE SPOILS!! (donuts?)

 

 

Pacing the #morefitnesshalf. Such an interesting task…

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

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

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

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Ready to go!

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

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

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

 

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

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Mile .5

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

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Mile 1 as you can see…

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

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

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West side, lap 1 still

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How amazing does the park look?

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

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Juan did 9.5 miles, can you tell?

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

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just one more!

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

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Juan was waiting by the finish of course!

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

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And… done!

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

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

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should I have kept my eyes open???

 

Check out this awesome shot from the race page!

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 NYC Half Marathon: ALL the pictures

Just because, sometimes, when you’re having CRAZY FUN, it shows. And, instantly, I see myself shell $70 to pay for all the pics. I didn’t buy anything at the expo (cause I need nothing, maybe an extra room to store running stuff!!!) so let’s say I am even.

Also, who would have thought that running faster makes you look better?!??!?! Anyway, I have no idea what I am doing in some of these, like pointing…? who knows. I have to say, I had more than 70 photos from this event and it was hard to shrink the selection down to 25. Here’s my faves!

(the whole race report, for once really worth reading, is here)

Race Report: NYC Half 2015 – running naked

Well, the NYC Half happened. Again. For the 7th time for me. And I am VERY happy about it. Such a huge learning opportunity!!!I love that every race is something completely different from what I expect… (sometimes!)

Where I Was: I wasn’t sure it was great, but I did a 5K two weeks before in 7:18 pace, and a 4 Miler in early February in 7:35 pace. My last halves were in October, there were 2 (1:43 and 1:44), plus add the winter training, I figured I’d be around 1:45 or 1:43 if ALL went well. 1:45 is 8 pace, and given I had done 7:35 in the 4 miler, that seemed like a stretch…

my  #unitednychalf nails. crazy ready.

nyc half nails. logo and all, crazy ready

The Expo: I almost forgot to tell you all about the expo and skipped all over this: it was in a new location (in a part a of town I usually ignore, yuk) and it was big! I am so so sick of the tight tiny expos, I loved that there was space to walk and breathe, and many exhibitors and activities. The only complain I have is that the lighting was so bad it gave me a headache. So weird.

Juan, me and Flor getting our bibs with a giant medal

Juan, me and Flor getting our bibs with a giant medal. Click if you want to make any of this a LOT bigger

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35 degres is bikini weather after the winter we had here, puh-lease!

Race Morning: Juan and I were in wave one (7:30 am start) so we got there around 6:30 to get to baggage, last minute potty trip, and get to the corral before the 7:10 close time.I was the first person in corral 3. Seriously, so early, but I rather sit there, knowing all is done than stress myself stooopid. I can’t handle rushing right before a race anymore. At my age, I can’t be bothered with rushing or stressing so I woke up EXTRA early.

murtaugh too old for that shit

we actually run into him a couple of weeks ago so he must live in the UES, York Ave. I guess, I have no idea.  Juan almost had a heart attack.

In the Corral: That’s when I decided to turn on the watch, get gps signal and some music. Ummm [email protected]@#@#[email protected]%_)[email protected]_#)@_)[email protected])!_! to say the least. My watch (and also mp3 player, I use the same device for both) was NOT CHARGED. I freaked out a bit like a maniac. How on earth am I going to know if I am going too fast??? I don’t think I’ve ever run a race naked (no watch!!!) or since… EVER!!! Ugh. Crap. Kept freaking out.  First, I won’t have any pace information, second, I’d have to race with no music?!?!?! Third, I don’t want to be carrying this watch around 13.1 miles for no reason. I am not gonna lie, I threw a little fit.

My problem is, unlike everyone else, I tend to start super slow and go crazy later. I need to know if I am going too fast (to slow myself down!) in the first miles!!!! I know, I am not normal.

I put the headphones in my back pocket, decided not to go back to baggage to leave it, and, for some very strange reason, I knew this would be a good thing. I would miss the music, but I knew it’d be a great challenge for me. I know how to pace, now just do it.

A few minutes before the gun, my friend Patricia shows up and Juan goes up to his first corral. I wasn’t running with Patricia, as she’s way faster than me (she’d end up doing 1:35). Bye hon, I’ll be back here by myself, with no pace info or music. Pffff. Great.

Race ON: This post, for the first time ever, will not have any mile splits (can we even handle this??), or any of that. I made sure I looked at the clock when I started and it read 1:40 (I think), so I thought I could subtract from the next mile markers. That did NOT work out. When I got to mile 1 the clock said 19:20 and I had NO IDEA what that mean. I gave up instantly forever and just kept running.

Mile 1, past Cathill, I know was fast. I could tell I was going fast, but hey, who knows??? Sometimes a 10 minute mile seems fast!!!! Mile 2 was uneventful, and on mile 3, one of my favorite things: an out and back!!! Is there anything more fun in a race than seeing the people who are running ahead and behind you??>? The only right answer is NO, people! SO much fun. I saw my husband and yelled at SO many people, I am sure I was ruining a lot of people’s jams around me with my constant yelling! Mile 3 back into the park to the lovely hellish Harlem Hill. That’s when something hit me. Right ahead of me was the 1:40 pace group. I knew the pacer for that group, Anthony, and he had told me he was in wave 1 corral 5, so he had started after me and had already passed me, so I guessed I was about 1:43 or 1:42 here, just a dumb guess. I was SO tempted to sneak behind him and chase him, the pace didn’t seem so scary, but I mentally screamed at myself and virtually slapped myself. NO. LET HIM GO. I made sure I stayed back, bye Anthony, byyyyyyye!

On Mile 4 I looked for a few friends who I figured would be watching here (so I could toss my watch!!!!) but I didn’t see anyone. I was running mostly by myself and without the music so it was hard to settle on a rhythm and relax. I haven’t learned how to do that. I was breathing hard and it’s quite loud and annoying, even to me (sorry everyone!). I really wanted to relax, but I just couldn’t.

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Soon I am leaving the park and I have no idea HOW IT ALL WENT SO FAST! Not pace wise, because I had no idea how fast or slow I was running, but the first 5 miles are usually super hard controlling my speed and my willingness to start going a bit faster. I was out of the park in a jiffy and I couldn’t believe it. This is probably the fastest race I ever had (nooo, it would not be a PR!).

Times Square was amazing. Seriously. I was having way too much fun!!! I saw everyone there. Oh how much I enjoyed it… DON’T BELIEVE ME, JUST WATCH!!!

Marathonfoto: just take all my money and shut up!

Anyway, this is when I would start pushing the pace. Thing is, I felt like I had been pushing the pace all along. Had I started too fast and would soon die off, or did I go the tiny bit harder that I could handle if I didn’t know how fast I was going??? So complicated. And who knew, really? A few times I felt like asking people around how fast we were going, but, you know, whatever!

42nd street is always SO MUCH FUN. I saw Ben taking pictures, Annette cheering, people who I didn’t know yelling my name. The whole race was like that.  I know this is isn’t true (maybe, not really) but I felt like all NYC was out there to cheer on me. I did. I took that to heart too. And I pushed the pace.

Soon is the turnaround to hell. That’s what I call it when you have to hit the gas and not look back.  We’re getting close to the West Side Highway and I see Anthony again with the 1:40 stick. Ummmm. How did this happen??? They can’t be falling back? I must be pushing too hard. Maybe? I decided to stay behind them. Then, soon, when I was right on their heels, I decided I’d just sit behind them, and let them figure out the pacing. I was sure now I was ready to hold whatever 1:40 pace was. Theeeeeeeen, I said hello to Anthony, and I just FREAKING KEPT GOING…

what?

I even thought of asking him what pace was 1:40. I didn’t. I went too fast to talk much to him. I just kept going.

WHAT??!?!?!

So that, I kept going. I told him I’d blow up soon and he’d pass me in a mile or two. I hit the gas.

I just focused on getting to Mile 11 where the next Whippets cheering section was (I had already seen Scott and some Whippets on Times Square and more Whippets at the gel station). I knew Michelle, Tessa, Atsede would be there. I just had to get there. Soon enough, there they were, all yelling and cheering!!!!

Mile 11, Mile 12, I felt like I was flying. At least my hair was!

The Finish: then the tunnel. AY: I was done. I had a side stitch, I was dry-heaving and I felt like I was going to either throw up or pass out. I felt nauseous. WHAT?!??! Just relax and keep going. I started telling myself to just hang on. Hang on. Hang on.

I remembered from last year, after the tunnel we had just 3-4 blocks. This year I knew, after the tunnel, we had two blocks left, and two blocks left again. BUT OMG I had no idea there was still half mile to go after we exited the tunnel before we turned. I remember there was a hard  left off the tunnel last year. Not this year. I kept looking forward and I couldn’t see where on earth we were turning left…!!! That was the LONGEST part of the race. That half a mile, to me, was longer than the other 12.6 (or whatever the math is!). I didn’t have much to sprint with but I tried. Someone yelled my name. I smiled. I looked up. I crossed the finish line. I didn’t have a watch to stop but I had a nose to wipe, that thing was a fossett during the whole race!!!! YUCK. And there was Mary Wittenberg and I have to say hello with this sweaty-nose stuff? Ay dios!

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Well, the clock said 1:41 something, but who knows what my time is. I saw Juan right away, then Richie, then Daphne, then Caitlin, then Cara… like 3000 of my friends and team mates!!!!!!

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2015-03-15 14.52.31

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Richie is so special to me!!!! Not only is he an overall amazing and cool guy, he photographed our proposal and wedding!! Like how cool is to have a team mate like that?!?!?!?!??! HUH??????

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there’s Anthony, the 1:40 pacer and major Ironman superstar.

Juan and I grabbed our bags, went to the side to fully change (yes, I took off my sweaty bra and all) into clean/dry clothes and all of a sudden I realized I had no idea what my time was. I had a twinge of an idea I had been around 1:40 or 1:42 or 1:44 but really, I had no idea. Juan got to it first and told me: 1:39:26.

WOW.

That’s quite different from 1:45. Or from the 1:50 I got last year… Or the 1:43 and 1:44 I did in October.

It is still not a PR, which is 1:37 from this same race in 2013, but I was soooooooooooooo happy, I think I cried a little. Quite in disbelief, I got a little teary. We’re coming back. Slowly. It’s happening. Finally!

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:39:26 Average Pace: 7:36

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

Age Grading: 68.03% 

Overall Place: 2063 of 19,455

Gender Place: 447 of 10,150

Age Place: 60 of 1639

This is very good-looking. I like the 68% percent there, given I am changing age groups in ONE week. I’ll be 40 next week, so, being 60th out of 1639, when I am at the bottom of my AG is not so shabby!

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We then went to the Whippets Party, stayed there until around 11 am then headed uptown to Bareburger, Juan’s favorite place that we never go to, home, shower, and OMG I was so tired the rest of the day, Juan had to carry me from the couch to the bed and all that. I was destroyed. But happy.

Then I saw that the results had 5K splits!!! Wohooooooooooooooo!! some data!

My first 5K was an average 7:44 pace. Remember, overall pace was 7:36, so seems like I started a bit slower, so, GREAT. the second 5K, where most of the hills are, was slower: average pace of 7:52. So far, so good. The third 5K was 7:21 and the 4th 5K was 7:20. So, seems like a negative split and run well without a friiiiging clue. Pinch me.

More and more pictures of the race, here

New York City Half Marathon Tips, Course Strategy and Logistics!

You know the “don’t wear anything new on race day” and all the basics… now, let’s do the United NYC Half Marathon as well as we can. I have done this race 7 times so far -from 2:06 in its first year, 2006, to 1:37 in 2013, and the last two, and I keep running into people who haven’t raced it and have lots of questions (post in the comments section below if you have any questions not covered here!).

And in case you want to see photos and read my race reports, go here for all of them, or, here is the 2015 NYC Half report, here is 2014 NYC Half and 2013 NYC Half. Also, download the custom pace bracelet, I created for this race based on the race strategy below.

PRE RACE LOGISTICS

Make a marathon list of what you’ll need a week or two before and sort it all by stages, here is a Marathon Packing List to start with. Whether, you’re travelling or not, get everything in the list ready as soon as possible. Start prepping 2 weeks out.

Plan your nutrition waaaay ahead. You can buy gels at the expo if necessary, but get bagels/oatmeal/bananas and whatever you need for race day the day before as there will not be a lot of delis open at 4, 5, or 6 am. Some may be, but not a lot.

If you need any last minute thing, you can buy most stuff at the expo/bib pickup (don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your reg form –download it from your NYRR profile they will be ready early March, and photo identification) or here is an organized list with all the running stores by area.

new york city marathon 2014 pictures start (2)

we all look like weirdos anyway, wear old stuff you have to discard to the start of the race!

Prep some cheap or throwaway clothes to the start. Find a mylar blanket from your last half or marathon (and don’t throw away the one you’ll get at the finish here!). You will need them until the last minute in the corral (I wear one as pants with tape and one as a cape). I wear my throwaway cardigan or a sweater (cut in the front for easy peeling, kept it in p

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what throwaway knee-high socks as leg warmers look like when you forget to take them off (2015 NYC Half)

lace with a safety pin!) during the first mile too! Go to the dollar store and get knee-high socks, cut the foot and you’ll have throwaway arm warmers! I keep half of it on until I warm up, it can be windy and cold at the start!

Gear/What to wear… the weather can be anything from 50s to 20s so prepare (aka, train in) a few options and decide the day before. Or that morning. Be smart, and make sure you can peel off layers comfortably. If you don’t want to carry your phone, at least carry a $20 bill, a metrocard, and an ID with you, just in case. My rule is if it’s over 40 degrees, I do singlet and shorts (pics from last year). Last year it was 42 degrees, 60% humidity, wind 10-18 mph (2014 was 31 degrees, 2013 was 30 degrees). But depending on the wind/humidity/lack of sleep/whatever, you can add hat, arm sleeves, leg warmers, etc. Always add things you can get rid of easily and won’t miss. If you’re not sure about a layer, keep in mind that once you leave the park and get to the West Side Highway, it can get a little windy there. Check the wind direction in the morning!

Best tool to have at any race: your name on your shirt, do not even question this!! If you don’t want your name, write something funny you’ll want people to scream to you all over the course. This is a big race and there will be a lot of spectators along the course and having them scream your name will make your race 100 times better. If you don’t want to ruin your gear, cut the letters our of duct tape (like I do!) and voila, they’ll peel right off!

Headphones or not? If you are used to racing with headphones, bring them. I sometimes leave them on (with the music off), and turn them on only when necessary. Central Park will be CROWDED, seriously crowded, so it’s smart to keep the music off, or very low so you can hear people around you. Once you are in the West Side Highway, and it gets a little monotonous, go for it. You’ll have a lot of people cheering and you don’t want to miss it, but if you do have the music on later on, still make sure you can still hear what is happening around you!!!!

Place your spectators in spots where you’ll need encouragement (quite probably on the long stretch along the West Side Highway).  If they are not the adventurous kind, they could see you anywhere in the park, always on your right, and then head over to the finish. Otherwise, there is an insane amount of combination of spots they can see you at. Study the map with them and calculate how much time they’ll have to get from one spot to the other based on your speed. For example, the 1st location would usually be in Central Park, east side, around 85 st, on your left (they need to be on the inside part of the park), that would be your mile 1. After they see you, they walk across the park (it won’t be more than a 10 minute walk) around the Great Lawn to West 86th, where they can see you again at mile 4.5! They have to be on the runner’s right (the outside of the park lane). Elite runners will be there in 20 minutes, and you can tell them how long it’d take you to do 4.5 miles! So, they have to hurry and cross over the quarter mile in less than 20 minutes or they’ll be trapped  inside the park. Once they see you go, they exit the park and the B and C trains are right there at 86 and CPW. They could also do this in the 102 transverse (instead of 86) and the trains are at 103 when they exit the park on the west side, but the time to cross over from east to west is a lot less, but totally doable if they zippityzip. C trains go downtown, so they can head over to 14th st, though there is a bit of a walk from 8th ave to 11th avenue, so if the C train shows up fast, I’d say yes, otherwise, just keep going to Chambers and head over to the West Side Highway to cheer. A cab would be messy as traffic will not be open in many streets so the trains are better! Once they see you in Chambers, the can head over to meet you at the Finish (find a corner to meet up ahead of time, it’ll be CROWDED!) or at some brunch spot! Call ahead to see if they are open at 9 or 10 am so they can wait there and be warm! // When they’re cheering, it’s important to know exactly on what side of the street they’ll be so YOU can spot them (they won’t be able to spot you!). Send them with something big: a flag, a sign, balloons, huge funny hat, etc. Tell them to get comfy shoes, really warm clothes and bring food. It will be an early and long morning for them too!  //  If you need an extra push, ask for help!! FORCE all your friends to come watch you. Ask them “where are you going to be?”. Then tell them a time you’ll go through there, give or take 10 minutes, and decide if they’ll be runner’s Left or Right. Then make a little-tiny list you can carry in your pocket (Example: 102nd st, John, left / 86st st, Mike, right, etc.) in order or appearance, put clear tape all over it so it won’t get sweaty and basically go from John, to Mike, to etc… Let them pull you along the course and that’ll break the course in parts, instead of think “AH, I gotta go all the way to the end of the island, ugh” you’ll think: “I am just going to 102nd st, to see John, then we’ll see!

Oh, and have them download the 2016 NYC Half mobile app (will probably be ready to download a week or two before the race) where they can track you and a few more runners at a time.

Get yourself the custom pace bracelet, I created for this race based on the race strategy below.

If you need a short run before the race, go to Central Park. You’ll see many of your race-buddies and get to enjoy the best place in the world as a runner.

Find a mantra, or two, you might really need them. I write them in my hand where I am sure I will see it.

RACE LOGISTICS

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

Getting to the start/Baggage Check. The easiest way to get there is always a cab or running there of course, but if you have to take the train, take anything to 57th or 59th streets or any of the trains that leave you close to Central Park South/59th st. You will have to enter the park through Sixth or Fifth Avenue. Before entering, check your (nyrr provided plastic) bag outside of the park (on 59th Street, between Fifth and Seventh Avenues). Give yourself ample time (as this is weekend schedule) and check  MTA for weekend alerts, or try hopstop: make sure your train is running! Also, if you are not sure, I am 100% confident that if you just head over to the closest train stop, you’ll see someone you could follow to the Start 😉 // Kiss your loved ones buh-bye, they won’t be allowed anywhere close to the Start!

The race WILL be crowded, so PLEASE, if you need to stop for a walk or move sideways for water, please please please signal with your arms, and look around behind you before you make any moves, DO NOT just stop or go sideways. Be considerate of your fellow runners who could trip! The good side of this is that you’ll always have someone to run with, pace of, or follow when you’re tired. Pick them up when you feel strong, encourage them when they need it, and keep your eyes peeled for anyone who might need help!!

There will be Water/Gatorade around every mile or so, so if you miss one, don’t stress. Don’t go for the first table as everyone will do that. There’s many tables: go to the last one. You’ll find the portapottties where the water is, so keep an eye out and don’t dart sideways! There will be Gels at mile 7.5, on 42nd street between 10th and 11th avenues, on your right.

RACE STRATEGY

Here is the official course map: NYRR New York City Half Marathon course map

Custom pace bracelet, if you can’t remember any of the info below

nyc half course elevation

Elevation profile from my 2014 race, same as all the last ones of course. elevation is the red line.

This is an easy race to figure out. Basically, you have two parts: the undulating Central Park (first half) and the straight and flat run to the finish (the second half). Which makes it a perfect course to NEGATIVE PR!!!!

Break the race in parts, device a plan, and stick to it no matter what. Plan for negative splits: keep it strong and conservative throughout the park and ram it home once you leave the park. It’s super simple. I am an average runner and have negative split in this race every time. Basically: you have to believe in yourself and wait for the time of your life.

This is how I like to break this race down. In 4 parts.

Part 1 – Mile 1: HOLD YOUR FREAKING HORSES!!!!

There are 2.5 hills in this race: Cat Hill as soon as you start, Harlem Hill at 3.5, and going up the Battery Park Underpass at the end (this one counts as just half a hill). Cat Hill and the Tunnel are short and tiny but annoying because of their locations right at the start and right at the end…! People get excited at the start, and take off like maniacs; if this is going to work, we have to hold it in, climb the hill carefully and let everyone (and their grandmother) pass. You’ll see. Tell yourself: Yes, go ahead and go. I’ll catch you later when your quads are screaming, buh-bye

nyc half marathon course strategy part (1)

Cat Hill is 0.25 long (in miles), or 800 meters long; but it has a 49′ rise (average grade of 3.7%)

Part 2 – Mile 2 to 6: EASY, LIGHT, SMOOTH

The park is a string of undulating hills, but after Cat Hill you have the longest flat stretch, almost a half mile (heaven…!) so, use that to get on a rhythm, find your legs and a pacer. It’ll be crowded so I doubt you’ll be able to utilize the tangents well but at least avoid tripping, did I mention it’s gonna be a bit CROWDED?

Your goal for the first half of the race is to exit the park in one piece, feeling strong, to let it all unfold in the second part of the race. Exercise all your patience here and keep yourself in good checks to not let yourself go. If you are running “hard-comfortable”, you are doing it right.

nyc half marathon course strategy part (2)

Blip 1 in the course profile is 0.36 of a mile and a rise of ’33. You exit the park for two blocks, go around the Frederick Douglass Circle and come right back downhill. Then you enter the park, make a left, and start the climb for Blip 2: Harlem Hill!!! HH is 0.32 long but it has a 84′ rise (average grade of 4.4%). Fun times. As soon as you finish the downhill on the back end of HH, there’s another climb, Blip 3 is 0.60 of a mile and has a rise of ’58. Blip 1 is short and mild, blip 3 is longer but mild as it’s stretched out, but watch up for Harlem Hill, short and UPWARDS!

Part 3 – Mile 7 to 10: IT’S ON!

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This is where I like to stretch out my legs: the race starts HERE. From now on it’s flat and steady. When you exit the park you’ll have a lot of space, cheering and excitement to carry you on, and as soon as you turn right on 42nd, you’ll be rolling down. Hit the gas.

Note: Something about Times Square can make you or your gps go crazy. Ooops. No, you’re not running a 3:20 mile. I set my gps watch to manual and I lap it myself when I see the mile markers. Way better!

Part 4 –  Mile 11 or 12 to 13.1: YOLO

ALL. HELL. BREAKS. LOOSE.

That is all. Go Crazy. Bring it in. Drop the Hammer.

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As you can see in the map, I obv didn’t have gps on the tunnel, and you won’t either. But it won’t matter, when you get to mile 10, or 11 or 12 and you know you’re ready to start your KICK, you go. Keep in mind there’s a little climb out of the tunnel, short but steep, and then there’s about 0.66 of a mile to go. You’ll see the 800 meters sign if you’re focused but who is at that point? It’ll seem like forever but eventually you make a left, then another left and the finish line is RIGHT THERE. So don’t wait to see it to sprint and wait a few seconds!

… then… 

Walk, get your medal, take pictures, get your stuff, find your friends/family, go get brunch (there are many good places downtown), enjoy, stretch, ice bath, rest, eat more, sleeeeeep! Tell everyone about your race, plan your next race, have a congratulatory donut. Or at least that’s what I am planning to do, even if this might be my slowest half!!

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

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

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

NYRR United NYC Half Marathon course map

The official United New York City Half Marathon website.

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2014 – Looking back and forward

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

January

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

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February

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

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March

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

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April

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

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May

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

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June

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

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July

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

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August

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

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September

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

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October

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

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November

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

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December

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

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

2014 New York City Marathon EXPO Insanity (Mutai, KSwitzer, MiniMe, etc.) and the Under Armour Party with Nick Arciniaga and Chris McCormack

Juan and I went to the expo yesterday, Thursday, to avoid the masses. this is post is mostly pictures to give you a break from all the reading!

Who shrinked my expo? What happened? It is SMALL. In a way, I left happier, because it could be a bit overwhelming and exhausting, but I was done in 30 minutes… what? So strange. Am I the only one?

Anyway the fun pictures.

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Juan told me to meet by the Javits statue. The what? I had been there a million times and I had never seen the Jacob Javits statue. that’s crazy right?

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This is the first time that they had bib entry open to the public. It was so strange and AMAZING! didn’t have to separate from my hubs who just wanted to shop around, which you had to do before (and then meet somewhere outside on the OTHER side) Loved that!

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Just because he reminded me of my husband, ok??

 

 

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OMG!!!! Geoffrey Mutai, we chatted for a bit, about Berlin mostly, sweeeeet sweeeeet man! AND SO FAST. IS THAT CONTAGIOUS PLEASE?

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Marathon woman! I love seeing Kathryn! I guess we’re going to Mallorca to do the 261!

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Go mini me!!! well, it was cool but first there was some attempts to get it, where you sign up on an Ipad with your facebook account, and UGH, I don’t know my password!!!! So it blocked me off of facebook. much hilarity ensued and eventually I got it. So, as soon as I took it out, ugh, I got creeped out, it looked like me! CREEPY. then, I liked it. I want to bit it a bit, but I don’t think it’s in my marathon week diet.

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don’t you think it looks like a blond Kara Goucher????

I saw many friends, chatted a bit and I knew there was a second floor. DON’T FORGET TO GO TO THE SECOND FLOOR!!! When you exit the main hall you take the stairs on your left. You’ll see it. I hope.

They had these big Start and Finish and a medal for each boro, which were cool. I’d love to have those in my apartment. I do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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sorry I sat in Staten Island, but I guess that’s what I do most of the time I spend on Staten Island for the mary!

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I loved this photo!!!! I have never broken the tape and this is quite SURELY the closest I am every going to get!

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the second floor was EMPTY

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Then, we headed out, got some dosas for dinner at the Hampton Chutney, YUM and headed to the Under Armour Party as Nick Arciniaga and Chris McCormack would be there (and Macca is my husbands hero, and had never met him!). It was quite amazing! We were at the Under Armour Brand House on Broadway and Houston, Soho. Which, so lame of me, didn’t even know it existed!!! Well, it’s not like I go and walk around Broadway in Soho ever. Really, 2nd worst after Times Square for a local. the store was impressive!!! We pretty much wanted everything! (and did liiiiiiitle shopping)

They were releasing the speedform gemini. And I got a sample pair, we shall see soon!

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Juan had an ENLIGHTENING 2-minute convo with his IDOL. We talked about it for hours. Wow.

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wow the kid was EXCITED. note the osom sweatshirt? oh yes? yes, i got it for him! And Macca is TALL!

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so funny that the two athletes looks this way and the brand people looked THAT way?

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Nick and I had a cool convo. He is after Meb! eh, so easy, just stick to his back, Meb knows what his doing… Top American maybe? At least 2nd? Go Nick!

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these shoes feel SO different, quite bounce and like they slide forward somehow. I got all the info and specs and havent read ANYTHING yet obvs, but I am quite curious. I dont do well or believe even in cushiony or bouncy shoes, but these felt different. Ill definitely put some miles in them after the marathon!

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

2014 TCS New York City Marathon: free race-week events!

  I will be updating constantly, recheck often or every morning! Plus, send me your tips!!

Monday, October 20th

  • INSPIRE YOU: MIZUNO TAKES OVER SEXY PACE: October 20, 2014 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. New York Running Company-Columbus Circle. Get marathon ready with Mizuno! Riley and Co. will be in for a demo run with the all-new Mizuno Inspires at Monday night’s legendary Sexy Pace run. Shoes will be available for demo from 6:00pm on. The run will be an easy 3-4 miles at a conversational pace. More information

Sunday, October 26th

  • NYC Marathon Strategy Panel: 10:30am – Panel discussion at Jack Rabbit Sports on West 72nd Street. This session is a must-do for anyone running the big race on November 2, previewing the TCS NYC Marathon experience, and providing strategy tips from a some great panelists. You’ll leave with all your logistical questions answered and a well prepared plan that leaves you with just the simple task of executing the 26.2 of running. This event is presented by the Dashing Whippets Running Team and is open to Whippets members and non-members free of charge. RSVP at Eventbrite.com – ‘Marathon Strategy
  • LAST 10 MILES RUN – 8am at the Upper West Side store Scout the last 10 miles of the marathon course with JackRabbit’s group run. They’ll have pacers for runners ranging between 8 and 11 min/mi. JackRabbit will provide free gels, sports drink, and post-run bagel buffet.

Monday, October 27th

  • Post-marathon Recovery Workshop – 7pm. – The NY Flyers and NYRC host Finish Line Physical Therapy owner Michael Conlon and nutritionist Nicci Schook with a Post-marathon Recovery Workshop.  Get expert tips from Michael and Nicci on the best approach, physically and nutritionally to getting your body and mind back in gear after running a marathon. This is timed to get you thinking about this important part of the race as you finish your taper heading into race day…total preparedness is a health and wellness key! The Running Company, 2nd Floor Time Warner Building, Columbus Circle. Refreshments and snacks to be provided by the store.
  • Want to Run like Meb Keflezighi? Come check out the special NYC Edition of Meb’s TCS New York City Marathon shoe, the Speed 3, and enter to win Skechers Performance gear and prizes. Join us Monday, October 27, for a fun run from JackRabbit Upper West Side at 6 PM, followed by food, beer from Sixpoint Brewery, and raffles. RSVP by emailing [email protected].

Wednesday, October 29th

  • Hoka One one and Runner’s World NYC Shakeout Run – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, New York Running Company-Columbus Circle. Join Hoka One One and Runner’s World for a marathon shakeout run with the legendary Bart Yasso! We will head out for 3.5 mile run in Central Park at 6:10. When we return runners will be treated to a Q and A with Bart and some terrific giveaways from NYRC and Hoka One One. WE will also be hosting a drawing where 3 lucky runners will even score a brand new pair of Hokas. Put this event on your calendar and get the marathon weekend started right. More information
  • New York City Marathon Shake Out Run. Join us at City Sports for a 5k Warm Up Run and Carb Dinner at 6 pm with Asics before Marathon Weekend! There’ll be a 5k Warm Up Run lead by CS run club pacer, and after run pasta and pizza carbo-load dinner for all. Custom race tee screen printing in store and Asics tee giveaway or purchase of any CS by City Sports tees or Asics NY Marathon tee. More information and RSVP

Thursday, October 30th

  • Timex One Relay Celebration–  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Join New York Running Company as they welcome the athletes of the Timex One Relay on Thursday, October 30. The relay takes runners on an epic adventure from the start of the Chicago marathon to the finish line of the TCS New York City marathon, 800 miles later. They’ll host a 3 mile group run at 6:00pm, for the last leg of the relay. Plus, our friends from Back On My Feet NYC will be on-hand for the festivities. Post-run we have refreshments and some special surprises on tap. More Information

Friday, October 31st

  • Meet The RunnersTop American Finisher of the 2013 NYC Marathon Ryan Vail and American Marathoner Desi Davila at Paragon Sports at 1 pm. More information
  • New Balance/City Sports Halloween Zante Party –  7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Join us on Halloween for a New Balance Zante NYC Marathon Event at City Sports. Halloween Costume Contest! 1st Prize: FREE NYC Fresh Foam Zantes. 2nd Prize: City Sports Gift Card. 3rd Prize: Halloween Prize Pack. Limited release of the New Balance NYC Fresh Foam Zante.  Smoothies and Food supplied by Cosi and the Rolling Bean. RSVP here.

Saturday, November 1st

  • Meet The Runners: American Long Distance Marathoner Ryan Hall and the 2007 Iron Man World Champion Andy Potts at Paragon Sports at 2 pm. More information
  • Pre-Marathon Party: 10am-6pm. Come get pumped for the marathon at Jack Rabbit’s Union Square‘s pre-party presented by Saucony & Zico! They’ll have a live DJ all day, a photo booth, graffiti artist, and giveaways every 26.2 minutes.

Sunday, November 2nd

  • Bag Drop/Post-Race Meet-Up: JackRabbit is hosting a FREE bag drop and post-race reunion area at  the Upper West Side location, just a short walk from the finish line. Runners can drop their bags at either the Upper West or Brooklyn stores from Thursday 10/30 through Saturday 11/1. After the race, stop by to get your bag, meet up with friends and family, and celebrate your accomplishment. They’ll have refreshments and bathrooms available. Register for bag drop @ jackrabbitsports.com – no RSVP necessary to join the party.

Monday, November 3rd

  • Marathon Monday! 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m at the Marathon Pavilion at Central Park and West 67th Street. Limited-edition finisher gear. Finisher medal engraving by Fond Memories. Post-race recovery. Purchase your own issue of the New York Times featuring award-winning coverage of the TCS New York City Marathon and a special finisher results section. Finisher Photo by Oakley: Snap the perfect memory with your family, friends, and fellow racers. The free photo booth will print your photo to take home, as well as let you share instantly to your social media accounts. Official Photo, Video, and DVD Products. More information
  • Post-Marathon Meet & Greet With Meb Keflezighi! How better to celebrate the day after the New York City Marathon than with one of America’s greatest distance runners: Meb Keflezighi! Fresh off running the marathon, Meb will be at JackRabbit Upper West Side on Monday, 1–3 PM taking photos with fans (that’s you!), and signing posters and copies of his book, Run to Overcome. RSVP here so we know you’ll be stopping by.
  • Marathon Monday Finisher Celebration Presented by Asics – 9:00 am – 4:15 pm – New York Running Company-Columbus Circle. While Marathon Sunday is arguably the best day in NYC all year, we’d like to make a case for Marathon Monday: a day to celebrate your 26.2 mile journey. Join us on Monday, November 3, for an epic party that includes FREE finisher medal engraving from Crown Trophy, massage therapy from the good folks at Body and Soul Restorations, and limited edition marathon giveaways from Asics. More information

Tuesday, November 4th

  • UCAN BE MEBNIFICENT-  Meet & Greet: 6:00 PM  – Q&A with Meb: 7-7:45 PM  – Autograph Signing: 7:45-8:30 PM. Join UCAN and New York City and Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi at New York Running Company (10 Columbus Circle) and hear his inspiring running story. Learn nutrition and training tips from Meb during an intimate Q & A session. *All attendees will receive an autographed photo of Meb and a free UCAN sample pack. RSVP here

Make sure you also check the Run The City dealsinfo here. For example:

  • Urban Athletics – Offer: 30% off all full priced merchandise
  • IceBreaker- Offer: 20% off regular-priced merchandise and a FREE pair of running socks with a purchase of more than $100
  • Paragon Sports – Offer: 20% off one full-priced item in store from 10/26 to 11/03, excluding GPS watches and Go-Pro cameras
  • Super Runners Shop – 25% off Surefoot Custom Insoles, 15% off all apparel, running shoes, and accessories
  • many many more (including also restaurant offers too!)

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

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!

Race Report: 2014 Staten Island Half

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

– I had to start a bit slower and save it

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

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

GETTING THERE

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

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

THE COURSE

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

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THE ACTION

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

MY RACE

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

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

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And look at mile 10, see:

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

THE FINISH LINE

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

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

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

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because 4 cups of Gatorade are not enough

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heavy heavy staten island half medal

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THE FINISH IS A PARTY

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

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

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Stats Time!

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

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

Age Grading: 65.26%

Overall Place: 1614 of 9518

Gender Place: 271 of 4466

Age Place: 39 of 742

Official NYRR Staten Island Half race results and pictures

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

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

Race Report: Grete’s Great Gallop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stats Time!

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

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

Age Grading: 64.49%

Overall Place: 1205 of 5973

Gender Place: 281 of 2950

Age Place: 48 of 445

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

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

GGG-TOGETHER15

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

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

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

And… we’re BACK!

I guess I hadn’t told many of you so when people see me running and they haven’t seen me in weeks or months, they are perplexed: “you’re running now?“.

I am. It all started back again, out of nowhere, with July, and I’ve been doing around 25 miles a week consistently, even some enthusiastic speedwork. Slow, and frustrating, yes, but back on the horse. Mid-July I made myself a NYC Marathon training, program, the exact same one I’ve been using for all my NYC Marathons, since my first in 2008, I know it works for me, and so far so good.

2014-07-28 17.16.55

Mind you, that plan, where I am mostly hitting all the workouts, says I can do a marathon in 3:32, which would not be a PR but a bit better that the miserable Boston race I did (untrained!!) at 3:49! A 3:32 marathon translates into a 3:37 in NYCM.

I am so excited about the speedwork though, that I somehow convinced Daphne and Kettia to move this week’s tempo to today. And instead of the prescribed 8:03 pace we did: 8:03 (nailed it), 8:09 (still yeah!), 7:44, and 7:32. Plus, these were on hills and dirt, so you can safely take at least 10 seconds off of each.

workoutFinishing Speedwork Feels good.

Feels really good to be able to feel the come back.

It’s not easy. I don’t always still have the motivation. But having good friends with me just make it A LOT easier. Daphne should start getting paid to pace, she’s a natural rabbit. No matter what sort of run it is, she’s ALWAYS keeping it honest. It’s exactly what I needed. Kettia tends to push my buttons pace too, but as neither of us are 100% committed I sometimes convince her to back off, boo me.

It’s going well. I did 12 last weekend, my longest in a long time, and it felt like I was doing 20, during and the whole day after. I was so exhausted. Not sore or in pain but overall tired. 14 this weekend… and on and on hopefully. Good thing is, it’s Summer Streets already, which has me so excited!!! Everyone I know is doing Team Champs so I’ll have to find someone to run with (anyone? 14 miles at 9:30 pace? I promise I’ll chat so much you won’t even notice the miles!) but things are moving. And I am already over 100 miles this month, that is the first time this year!!!!! Yeah, I’ve been quite lame with the running for a WHOLE YEAR. That included two marathons (plus a million medical things!) but that just proves you that anyone can finish a marathon!

My big lesson is that it’s all in your head. In the good times, and in the bad times.

Race Report: 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

We have been bibbed!

We have been bibbed!

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

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

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

tutu

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

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

Look AWAKE!!

Look AWAKE!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

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

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

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

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

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

Boys will be boys??

Boys will be boys??

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

He's not normal.

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

Dashing Whippets Brooklyn Half Marathon

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

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

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page, with loads of pictures

– Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

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Race Report: NYC Half 2014 – training starts here!

Well, the NYC Half happened. Again. For the 6th time for me. And I am VERY happy about it. I hadn’t trained, I was 13 minutes slower than last year, but this was such a different story from the NYC Marathon a few months ago…!

The truth is, since July my training has been a disaster for one reason or another (and there were many!!), and I knew I wasn’t going to PR, so I just wanted to use it as a training run, maybe to see if I can muster Boston in a month, maybe to see if I had lost all my running mojo. But it was horrible going into it, I had done so well last year in this race so coming back with no expectations was hard. And the NYC Marathon 5 months ago was just so painful on my untrained legs that I was really dreading this. I had assumed I was going to suffer for 13.1 and there was no way around it, turns out, there was one.

Race Morning: It was really cold, and I was getting to the start 1 hour early. Brrrr. Walked into a brand new clean portapotty with no line and I just wanted to stay warm in there… I had extra clothes on, two mylar blankets, hand warmers, you name it, I could barely move with that many layers on, but my feet were not having it: they froze! They had security checking our checked-bags and then we all went through metal detectors going into the park (yey!), and then a walk to the corral where I met up with a few friends (Rose, Ilana, Julie, Marie, Jason!). We huddled and waited. Rose and I determined we’d take it easy and to try to go together. We talked about how we both had so gotten off the wagon, I said training starts here. This would be a long run, and I would take if from there. Soon enough we were moving…

Race ON: The first miles felt ok. My feet were still frozen but we were determined to take it easy, have fun, run it as a longish run and that’s what we did. We held our horses.

Miles 1, 2, and 3 were quite conservative.

2014 nyc half marathon course

On my post where everyone guessed my finish time, I had assumed I’d do around 1:50, which is 8:30 pace, so I started thinking that maybe I am more in shape for a 2 hour marathon, which I haven’t done in a looong time. Oh well, it is what it is. I felt GOOD, and that is all that mattered, I was not going to push it.

At Mile 2 I saw Juan and his phone froze so he got no pictures. I am sure he was as frozen as the phone… I always feel so bad for the spectators! Then I just started seeing everyone pass me, everyone. People I know did slower than me in the NYC Marathon. I knew I hadn’t trained since so I know I was in way worse shape but it made me feel good that I could hold my pace back as much as I wanted. You can all go!!! I felt so relaxed and in control. Being in control in the early miles of a race is  tots HARD people!

Soon we were up in the Harlem out and back and hello Harlem Hill x2. I love out and backs! You get to see everyone! It was wild to be out of the park and everyone sped up a little. Rose and I held it in place.

Miles 4 and 5: a bit faster and settling up in a rhythm.

2014 nyc half marathon course

After we crested the hill and went to the 90s, I saw Juan again. I stopped for a roadside kiss. I was feeling good now that I was feeling my feet again (it really took 4 miles!!) and was warming up. Then I started losing Rose, she told me to go, I told her I’d get Gatorade and wait for her there but never saw her (I’d end up losing her and she’d come in a few minutes behind me). But, I just wanted to hit the gas. I wanted to get to Times Square, make that turn and see what I had. I turns out, I didn’t wait until Times Square…

Miles 6 and 7: need for speed already!!!

2014 nyc half marathon course

Going through Times Square is ALWAYS exhilarating, even the 6th time you do this race. And it widens up SO much, you feel like you can fly… I spotted a Team Up runner and we introduced! It was pretty cool!!

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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww: F U N!!!! Then we turn onto 42nd st, the street narrows a bit and the wind….!!!!!! well, we pushed through and kept rolling down. Luckily, my Dashing Whippets team was there to cheer us all up, handing out gels and water. I got so excited, I grabbed a 2X caffeine gel which would probably kill me if I tried it, so I put it right back. And forgot the water. Cheering stations can really make you lose it.

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Seems like I was having a fun time, right? I was. I have a slow time to prove it 😉 (don’t scream, slow compared to last year’s!!!)  But… with fun comes responsibility and since mile 5 I was feeling good: I was on a roll and kept tearing at it little by little.

As soon as I hit the westside highway and found NO WIND (WTF?!???! It was colder in the park!!! I was dreading the wind and cold here for no reason!?!), I opened my lungs, I let the Hudson nasty air sip in, and sped up. UP UP. From there on, I was picking up runners 10 at a time. You know, if you were there, this is quite probably where 9 out of ten people started to slow down: I WAS FLYING!

Miles 8 and on: Time to Fly!

2014 nyc half marathon course

I lapped the tunnel part up there (“mile 12”) as there’d be no GPS there, and the last bit (“mile 13”) I am sure is wrong because in the seconds it took to locate satellite it made it look quite slow. I know I was sprinting for my donuts…!!!

Did you see  how I sped up after mile 6, as I had recommended to do in my post? If you didn’t notice, here it all goes again:

2014 nyc half marathon course

Yes, I probably did start too slow, but whatever. What matters is that I was strong at the end and had a lot too push. Quite a difference from last year‘s pace, but still another great pacing example.

The last mile includes over a half a mile in the tunnel, which I didn’t hate as much as last year (because I knew there was an exit somewhere!!) but then you get out, you make a left and OMG, I was SOOOOO EXCITED to be there. I had to hold the tears back (yes, I cry all the time when I race) and all the flags and the finish and it felt SO GOOD to be back, and to be on the road again and to feel strong and to be able to finish with a kick and to know that even if unprepared it doesn’t have to be as bad as the NYC Marathon was if you can pace yourself… It was amazing.

Then it was over. I was so happy. I wanted to hug all those sweaty runners. Then I wanted to punch a few of them who stopped right at the finish for a selfie (seriously people!!! there’s 15K runners behind you!!!! WTF!). I was back to happy in two seconds. I am moody like that 😉

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Got a few pics and with two steps I found friends and team mates… I was just back to frozen in a few seconds!!!

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I love this race.

Now I know that, not only I can set the tone for a race and pace as I please (without pushing myself into pain for no reason!) but that I can also enjoy a race and finish it without ANY training… in a decent time too, plus have fun, AND not FALL!! I felt very happy about the results…  

see how happy I was???

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Juan knew I wanted donuts. Juan got me donuts. Juan is a keeper. I ate almost all of that.

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Right after the race ended we got on the 1 train uptown to Finish Line, we had some food, chatted, celebrated, all that. The platform and the train was crowded… and a bit smelly ;-P

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2014-03-16 09.50.06

Finish Line was fun, but soon I couldn’t wait any longer for the 3 hour shower  I was looking to do at home… plus the nap. Then burgers… ah, I love how doing a 13.1 makes me think I can go on some sort of food bender. I do have 5 weeks until the Boston Marathon and I know I am not in shape to run 26.2 comfortably, but I can’t seem to be able to make a decision about going or skipping it… I just counted the weeks back. If I manage a long run the next two weekends, I’ll let myself participate in the marathon. If not, then I am not going to Boston.

One week until my birthday, the next craziness. One thing at a time here.

Yes, I am still here… (plus the Knickerbocker 60K)

Just don’t call me from a blocked number… Well, I know I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks… lots happened and not a lot happened.

In the Running sense, I seem to be at a standpoint. I am always slow past the marathon, I am tired, it was freezing a few days, so it all amounted to a big whole of not running much. I didn’t run for 10 days after the marathon, then I went on a 5 mile run with my friend Kettia last week, then I did around 8 miles during the Knickerbocker 60K in the park and then I run last night, a crazy almost 6 miles at 10:40 pace. See? nothing exciting at all.

What’s exciting is all the other stuff. So much stuff that I barely thought about running. I had my Naturalization Oath two weeks ago, and became a US Citizen

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With that, they took my green card and I went on a frazzle as I am going overseas in two weeks! Emmm, I need to get a US passport ASAP to be able to come back in! Expedite and Run around I did, passports get done in one day!!!

Now, get ready for my trip, start packing, get a new iphone, get all set up at work, get excited about Thanksgiving sign up for races for when I am back, and oh, cheer for my hubby doing his first ultra, the Knickerbocker 60K.

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Juan ready to run his first ultra!

knickerbocker 60K nyrr new york road runners central park results photos (2) ken tom

And they are off, Ken, in yellow and blue, also doing his first! And Lisa, a super ultra veteran!! wohoooo!!

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Guess who! ok, 1 lap done, 8 more to go!

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more fun, well, it was like 6 or 7 hours of fun actually…

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Juan on the west side

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Tommy was flying!!!

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And flew to an Overal Third Place. AMAZING. 60K is like over 37 miles people!!!!

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That’s a LOT of salt/sweat… oh oh

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Sky, on the left, got Second Woman, amazing job!! and Tommy. Both in my running team!! Congrats guys!

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Top three Women: 1. Gordon Bakoulis (in the middle) a BEAST, seriously. Serious. 2. Sky Canaves, on the right, love her! and 3. Julie Kheyfets, didn’t know her but CONGRATS ALL!

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AND, HE’S DONE!!! Congrats Ironman/UltraRunner!!!

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we all love our BLING

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I never thought I’d see this: he smiled through the whole race, and he looked so strong. NOT normal for a first ultra… I think!

knickerbocker 60K nyrr new york road runners central park results photos (14) tommy pyon sung

I love these people!

knickerbocker 60K nyrr new york road runners central park results photos (15)

I had to let him hug me as sweaty as he was… I had no choice 😉 Congrats Juan!!!!!!

It’s a been a fun and busy two weeks and I promise I will get my act together. After the delish and long-awaited Thanksgiving. And after my trip. And maybe after the Holidays. So, someday. You’ll be there, right???

2013 the NYCM aftermath (plus Sarah Reinersten)

Before this one:
New York City Marathon Media and Elite Runners, and the Winners!
New York City Marathon Expo — lots of pictures!
My 2013 New York City Marathon Race, PART 1!
My 2013 New York City Marathon Race, part 2

Well, so I woke up Monday morning early, sore, and tired. I am sure by now you know that your body needs SO much more sleep the week after the marathon… but somehow, you can’t sleep for a few nights. You’re sore, you can’t get comfortable, you’re hyper, the sheets hurt, turning hurts, your toes are swollen…

Monday, early, I ALWAYS go to the NYRR Charity Breakfast.  I seem to always be there with a different charity but I am always there. After all, I can’t sleep, the clocks have changed I and I wake up early, there’s food, friends, a walk in Central Park to clear some lactic acid, and always some celebrity.

Juan came with me, and the walk to the park was slow but comforting. As well as the cold weather. I met a lot friends, colleagues, ex-coworkers, and more friends. A friend told me to sit at his table, right there, and we ended up sitting by Ethan Zhon, american soccer player, Survivor winner and he also has his own charity! We are chit-chatting with everyone and two seconds later, I look up and Ed Norton was sitting on my table. Crazy world.

I figured he’d be the guest speaker, as he had done it once before, but no… it was someone I didn’t know, Sarah Reinertsen, and all of a sudden Juan is flapping and flipping “she’s the reason I got into Triathlon!!!“, “Sorry honey, I love you but I have huge crush on HER!!“… unstoppable stuff like that… so funny. And I was like… who??? I admit I don’t know much about triathletes… he set me straight right away. Wikipedia: She’s an American triathlete and former Paralympic track athlete. Reinertsen was the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Reinertsen has broken the women’s above-knee amputee marathon record several times.

Plus these:

Sarah Reintersen new york city marathon Sarah Reintersen new york city marathon

Sarah Reintersen new york city marathon

I doubt you’ll forget now…

Anyway, I had no idea. And OMG she has a story… it was so amazing to hear her talk. You might have to get her book but this girl is INCREDIBLE. I was so moved, in seconds, I suddenly had a crush on her too! Instantly! Once it was all said and done, Juan and I went to say hello. emmmm, she also speaks Spanish. She’s amazing, period!!!

sarah reinertsen new york city marathon

Well, he was giddy for a bit. An hour. Or two. I loved hearing her story and meeting. Inspiration Maximus Activated!

We took a little nice stroll to the park…

juan elizabeth central park

and we went to the Monday Marathon store… and soon to the elites conference, which I’ve blogged about -I met both winners!!!: New York City Marathon Media and Elite Runners, and the Winners!

And by 12 I had met some other friends (all marathon finishers) for some pizza and what would make me forget the mess I made of my marathon

My first drink in years. I earned this.

My first drink in years. I earned this. Sorry everyone around me!

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My 2013 New York City Marathon Race, part 2

Before this one:

 

New York City Marathon Media and Elite Runners, and the Winners!
New York City Marathon Expo — lots of pictures!
My 2013 New York City Marathon Race, PART 1!

Blue text is from Part 1, so you know where we left off…. My friend Helen was in the subelite corral, which was right on top. She took the picture below… What a bunch of weirdos we all are…

new york city marathon elizabeth maiuolo athlete's village (17)

I was starting to get a bit nervous. I kept telling myself “I am a runner, I know how to do this with my eyes closed” but being around all these fast people was a little intimidating. I KNEW (I would have bet money right there) Tessa was going to go onto have a fantastic race. I saw it in her face. She was quiet but relaxed, like a ticking bomb ready to explode, about to unleash the beast she had been nurturing for a while. In a few seconds, we’d hear the national anthem, Mary Wittenberg, Bloomberg, the gun, Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, the excited footsteps on the lower deck and I knew I would helplessly lose her. But I knew she wouldn’t let her (and mine) dream go. I shouted a few Go Tessa, You Got this as she run away from me. She’d go onto a 3:16, a 7 minute PR, insanely-precise run race, and I knew, as soon as the race started, within 10 steps, before she even left me, that I had nothing in me. Nothing. That I had no business being there. That I wasn’t prepared for what was ahead and I was going to be taught a lesson. I tried to relax and do my best to salvage the carnage but I couldn’t relax. Everyone was passing me at 5, 6, and 7 pace and it was crowded and we were going uphill and the bibs were being shaken by the wind and I could feel the footsteps above and thought about the many hours I still had until the finish and I was so scared of tripping and falling and my legs were so dead, and I was cold but I was hot and it was so crowded and fast… I couldn’t relax. I did my best to settle and find my rhythm… but I couldn’t. The race was stronger than me and I wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t trained mentally or physically to control it, or to control myself. I just did my best to not despair...

A lot of friends passed me. Lots and lots of people. And still, I was going way too fast. I couldn’t control my speed, my heart rate, my head was spinning with fear and panic… I felt like someone who is trying not to drown so they patter around frantically wasting all their energy helplessly. I knew I was making things worse. I just couldn’t stop it.

I had brought a 3:40 pace bracelet for kicks (far from my last marathon at 3:27 but still a good point reference for me). I figured that, if I was doing anything slower than that, I would not need a pace bracelet. Average pace for 3:40 is 8:25. So the first mile with the uphill and all was a bit INSANE at 8:35. Seriously. I KNEW I had already ruined the race because I was going bonkers. I had already also started crying a bit early. I missed running. I hadn’t run in two weeks. I hadn’t done this marathon in two years, and 2011 was so different doing the Footlocker Five Boro Challenge. I was nervous and crying hysterically this early, no good.

Still going so fast… but, in EVERY SINGLE OTHER RACE I ever did, I ALWAYS thought I started too fast and got scared. And I always thought there was no way I could sustain that speed and I always did maintain it. I always know how to pace. It’s my thing. I pace well. I start easy and finish super strong. What if this time it would be the same thing as every single other race? I really wanted to believe it but my legs felt dead, my heart rate was insanely high at 184 average for the first mile… I knew I had to slow down, but my brain wasn’t trained to have any control over my untrained legs. I was like a drunk person or a child that had too much candy and there was nothing I could do from the control room.

We could hear and feel the wind. It was on our side so it wasn’t that much trouble in the lower deck, but I wondered how long should I keep my layers on… and what would happen when we left the Verrazano… Mile 2 was 6:46, ridiculously fast, but I was on the same uncontrollable panic mode. And my legs were dead going downhill… that’s never a good sign. My legs usually LOVE downhills!

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo

Pretending to know what I am doing. good, right?

We left the bridge, I started getting really warm and finished shedding my layers. We run through the back streets of Bay Ridge and I noticed how many people were out there. SO MANY. I have done every NYC Marathon since 2008 and I had never seen soooo many spectators. It was exciting and I could barely enjoy it. Soon enough, we turned onto Fourth Avenue, and, still crowded I clock Mile 3 at 8, so my first 5K was at 8:01 average. I knew it was unsustainable, but there was nothing I could do at this point. It was a mess already.

I knew though, that I’d see Juan in a couple of minutes, and that was my first out. I decided I would keep going, my leg wasn’t hurting and, though slow, I could keep going. Soon, I spotted him in our prearranged corner, exchanged kisses, told him how I felt and kept at it. Trying to reign it in. To no avail of course.

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo brooklyn New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo brooklyn (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo brooklyn (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo brooklyn (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo brooklyn (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo brooklyn (1)

Brooklyn turned into a blur. I realized I was tired and I couldn’t keep myself interested in the crowds, the fun, the city, the course. Pretty much, I was not enjoying it. I mostly put the music up, went to the middle of the road, looked down, and tried to focus on just one more step. One. More. Step.

Mile 4: 7:45, Mile 5: 7:43, Mile 6: 8:00, Mile 7: 7:53, Mile 8: 8:02, Mile 9: 8:06, Mile 10: 8:11. My 15K was average 8:06. Somehow I was keeping a REALLY fast PACE. According to my pace bracelet I was 2 minutes and a half sub 3:40. Emm, am I capable of a 3:37? NO WAY. But my legs were doing whatever they wanted. I’d later realize they didn’t know we were doing a marathon, they though it was a half marathon….

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo (2)

I kept at it, one step at a time. I cried a lot. I was just feeling slow, tired… and things started to get worse. The thought of Michelle waiting in her PJs on Bedford kept me going for a while. I was just  SO thankful she was there, just like she does every year! Mile 11: 8:30, Mile 12: 8:09, Mile 13: 8:25, Mile 14: 8:44. Going up the Queensboro I didn’t stop to walk like so many people but I FELT like I was walking… Mile 15: 9:52, Mile 16: 10:23, getting off the Queensboro was not the high I always experienced. I had to make a decision. If I was to end the race, I was seeing Juan at Mile 18, I could just stay with him. I was getting slower and slower… I decided that I was NOT GOING TO WALK. AT ALL. And that as soon as I started walking, I was going to walk straight home. NO WALKING. HANG IN THERE and finish this thing. My 5K splits were dropping like crazy. Pace at 20K was 8:22, at 30K I was at 8:28 and it just kept getting worse and worse. I was past my 3:40 pace bracelet pace now.

Around 80th Street I saw my friends Katy and Mikhail who made me feel so good and around 117th I knew I’d see Juan and my team mates! That kept me going for a while. But I kept going: Mile 17: 9:49, Mile 18: 8:49, Mile 19: 8:56. BAD going towards Fifth Avenue WORSE and Central Park Worst.

I knew Juan was coming ready in tights to run if needed, and I debated whether I wanted company for the 3 miles into the Bronx. I decided to go at it alone. If he was with me, I’d start complaining, he’d tell me how great I was doing and I’d start hating him. I’d rather shut it all down and just haul to the finish as dissociated from what was happening as possible.

I spotted the Dashing Whippets, did the continuous high-five as best as I could (see how low/tired my arm is?) but I was really happy to see them all!

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo Harlem Dashing whippets

One thing I had started doing was to stop crying when I knew I would see Juan. I didn’t want him to worry or try to come with me. Then, before getting into the Bronx, I spotted Ben, who always makes me smile!!!

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo harlem

Thanks Ben!!! Photo Credit: Ben Ko

The Willis bridge into the Bronx felt like I was climbing the Empire State Building. I am not exaggerating. I have climbed the ESB!

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo willis bridge (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo willis bridge (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo willis bridge (1)

See how miserable I look? If you have seen ONE of my race reports, you know I know how to look good in race photos, marathons or whatever they are. These are just my worst pictures ever. But… the BRONX was bopping!!!  It was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it!!!! It was so much fun. There were funny signs and somehow I noticed! Plus I saw two team-mates and shouted around a lot.

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo bronx (2)

Through the Bronx!! Photo Credit: Luciano Rezende

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo bronx (2)

Photo Credit: Luciano Rezende. Can you figure out what’s on my shirt?

And when you don’t think it can get worse, it does: Mile 20: 9:14, Mile 21: 9:47, Mile 22: 8:58... I saw Mary Arnold there, just because she was shouting my name like I was drowning. Everything was a blur. I just focused on getting to Fifth and 109 where I’d see Juan again, and then Patricia at 98… I just kept looking at the street numbers but they took SO long to get to me. I really felt like I was walking and if I had looked at my watch I would have noticed why… Mile 23: 9:07, Mile 24: 9:26.

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo fifth avenue (1)

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo fifth avenue (1)

Couldn’t even stop crying at this point

Somehow I managed to get to the park. And I just didn’t want to keep going. I would have given anything to convince myself to turn left at 90th and go home. The park wasn’t as crowded as other years, so I managed to see a few friends there (Marvin, you almost made me stop with that sign!). Counting my steps to the finish line. Those were the longest three miles of my life. I was completely demoralized, depressed, upset. I felt like an idiot. How could I ruin this day?? I knew I would finish but I didn’t want my marathon to be this type of experience… I was really upset with myself. I knew I should NOT have run it. I had done 10 marathons and ultra and I never felt this bad. I’d run injured before, I had run slower times, but this was just a horrible idea. I started heaving and crying again. So much that runners around me tried to calm me down and tell me I was so close and I was doing great. I wasn’t. I just wanted it to be over.

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo central park

Faking happiness for the camera!!!

When I turned on Central Park West, I thought I was almost done. Wow, those blocks felt like 10 miles. I felt like I was walking and I couldn’t finish soon enough. I was still crying all my way up to the finish line. Mile 25: 9: 07, Mile 26: 8:56.

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo 12 (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo 12 (1)

I finished. There was no happiness. There was no glory. I was still/already crying when I crossed the line.

1

It took about 3:49:34. The time was fine, not my slowest (still within my 4 hour forever limit), far from my fastest. The time wasn’t the issue. My problem was that I was so way over my head about what I could do that I ruined the day. I ruined the most precious day of the year. I don’t blame myself for not training, I didn’t have a choice there. But I should have skipped the race. And I should have started 2 corrals back with someone shooting for 4 hours to help me pace right. I let my untrained brain trick me, and I don’t like acting stooopid.

New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo finish line (1) New York City Marathon elizabeth maiuolo finish line (1)

And now I know what happens when I DON’T TRAIN FOR A MARATHON. I am just a miserable person, who wants to go home, has no fun whatsoever in the best race ever, can’t control the pace, and positive splitted like a maniac. I don’t want to be that person ever again. Please smack me in the head if I ever attempt to do something this stooopid again.

My pace represents exactly what I did and how I felt:

nyc marathon pace

Worst possible race splits in the history of racing.

I ended #10908 of 50,304. Overall Gender Place: 2,076 of 19,579.

new york city marathon splits

These are the worst ever too. Can someone be this dumb???

Once I stopped running I started crying more. I cried the 500 blocks to my UPS truck, all the way from 67th street to 85th, that’s a LONG walk. Then I cried some more. As soon as I put one foot outside the park, Juan caught me and we both cried for like 10 minutes. 10 minutes later I was at Shake Shack, this man is a keeper.

New York City Marathon Shake Shack

What else other than Shake Shack could anyone possible want?

I kept crying. I was upset. I skipped all the parties and reunions because I couldn’t ruin everybody else’s day… I kept telling Juan I needed to get off my sweaty bra because I was sure I was as chafed as raw meat. Went in the shower with no issues. Turns out, my diaphragm was hurting from so much crying, or heaving, or breathing hard. My ribs hurt for two days.

I want to pretend I learned the lesson. But I am way too stubborn. And I love running too much. I just hope I am smarter next time.

From Monday’s New York Times:

2013-11-04 17.31.09

And just like that, it was over.

2013-11-03 19.54.00 11

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