Tag Archive | Fifth Avenue Mile

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…


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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?

Sights from @NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile: the Pros

ooops, that took me a while to upload, sorry! enjoy!

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Jenny Simpson’s abs

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

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I want to look like that, but… you know me. I like food. And I don’t cross train…

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

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


NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – the Wedding Version

Posts related to this one: A Running Engagement / Engagement Pictures / I get married today!!! / A PR Wedding! / Our Central Park Wedding Ceremony 

Oh, I am warning you… this is CHEESY and ridiculous, and you might even think I am making a ridicule of the sport. You might also think it’s cute and fun… but as we were going for wedding PRs, keep these in mind:

8/21 Running Proposal

9/2  Engagement Pictures

9/3  PR Wedding!

9/21 Wedding Ceremony in Central Park

So, a MONTH.

And because the Ceremony was on 9/21 and the mile on 9/22 we figured we could make a wedding weekend out of it… So Juan had the genius (or cheesy!) idea to run the Mile together (he doesn’t run anything that lasts less than 10 hours, ehem, so he would have never raced this…) for fun… In outfits. I said yes. He went online and a few days later we had these:

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How did we get matching numbers, you ask?

Well…. we had been so busy we never signed up for the race… Also, we had visitors in town for the ceremony so we weren’t sure we wanted to drag them to the race or leave them to their own destiny… So we only pulled the trigger on Thursday and by then bib pick up is open and numbers are NOT assigned by pace… So, we signed up online at the same time and we got matching numbers. I guess I clicked Submit a second earlier!

Sunday morning, post Saturday ceremony and other stuff , was rough. We were exhausted… My feet were destroyed from wearing heels for like 8 hours all over the park (we must have walked like 2 miles taking pictures, coming soon!), but once you get moving…

We took this picture in our corner:

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Then, a couple of blocks later, the official photographers caught on. It’s so cool that I live less than a block away from one of the most exciting road races in the world!nyrr 5th avenue mile  (3) nyrr 5th avenue mile  (4) nyrr 5th avenue mile  (5)

We are gonna buy these, no worries, you’ll see the nice versions!

We decided to hit the back of the Women 40-49 heat because we wanted to cheer and watch everybody race! I got to catch a lot of people at the start, including a lot of team mates, and I felt so out of place in the outfit… Like I wasn’t taking the event seriously. Oy. I know it is stoopid to feel that way, because we all have our different reasons for each race, but my racing wiring is hard to reset!!!

The thing is, I am not in PR shape having to cut running for 6 weeks, and my PR is from last year: this race was a week before my Berlin Marathon and I was in good shape. There was no way I’d PR. I was also tired, feet hurt. If I wasn’t going to PR, why bother instead of just having fun? This was our wedding weekend after tall. Perspective.

Soon enough it was 10:10 and we sat in the back of the corral. We spotted Kettia, who had run 20 miles the day before (beast!) in our corral, wished her good luck and waited… in the back. We wanted to run slow to have fun with it and not be in anybody’s way, so we waited until everybody went, and then started trotting easily. A block after it got crowded again, so we now waited for another bit 😉

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Once we got to 65th St, all hell broke loose, the Dashing Whippets had taken over the whole block and it was LOUD. Seriously, this is the funnest and loudest team ever.

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Of course it’s Ben Ko‘s picture, if it’s the amazing!

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Oh, gosh, we did all sorts of weird things… Like forgetting to toss the bouquet and then deciding I’d do it later!

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Then, the funniest thing happened. Juan told me to stop at the white lines, RIGHT BEFORE THE FINISH LINE. UMMM, WHAT?

He picked me up and carried me through the finish.

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When better planning is needed: that skort is not for this type of pictures…

I am not sure where that photographer on the floor’s pictures are but I am sure:

  1. I don’t want to see/share them
  2. they banned them

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We then went back to hang out with my sister, friends and the team. I tossed the bouquet (note to self: carrying flowers on a run, not so easy!). We cheered some more, screamed a lot, said lots of Congrats and Good job (ugh, I still have no idea what time I did because, truly: it doesn’t matter!). And had some more fun and laughs. All day. And NO soreness or post-mile-coughing!!

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And then, just like that, the wedding stuff was over. Such a fun month but what a relief. I like normal life better.

We did stay to watch the elites of course, pics already posted in an earlier post here if you missed it.

Posts related to this one: A Running Engagement / Engagement Pictures / I get married today!!! / A PR Wedding! / Our Central Park Wedding Ceremony / NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – the Wedding Version

NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – The Pros

Sorry it took me a little bit to blog these pictures, it’s been a crazy year, month week, so please bear with me while I locate my brain. As you know, just like every year, I do/attend the 5th avenue mile, even if I a win still eludes me. Yeah, funny, I know. But,  I got what I think are some nice pictures and I might as well share them with you!

Official NYRR’s Fifth Avenue Mile Results. NYRR’s Photos here.

First, the WOMEN, of course.


Jenny Simpson with a lead like I have NEVER seen. AMAZING!!

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I think I need to print this picture of Jenny Simpson. Make a huge poster. And look at it every time I touch a donut. Or a cupcake. Or just tatoo this in my hand. Or not. I am depressed and inspired at the same time.

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then, THE MEN!!!

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this was the craziest thing EVER> Nick Willis and an amazing lead to, which seriously, I had never seen at the mile, AND PUMPING HIS ARMS FOR PEOPLE TO CHEER. Like I’d do… it made me so happy that he was so happy and relaxed at A MILE RACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Then Garrett Heath in green for 2nd a a crazy three way fight for 3rd place, which was this close into the tape too! But Lagat HAD to place… soooo…

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Nick Symmonds, 17 out of 20 with a 4:00.1 mile. HAWT

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and Pablo Solares who JUST GOT ENGAGED TO SHANNON ROWBURY! closing the race, with a 4:07.

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See that? My hand AND his hand?? there’s a chance I am crazy fast now! I also got one from Jenny so I think I am set!

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In case you live in a a box, that’s Olympian medalist, Leo Manzano!

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Can I hold your bag, Susan Kuijken??

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and my all time favorite, biggest crush ever, Nick… even if I am now a married runner….

NYRR Fifth Avenue Mileah

Well, I run this race and will share soon… a little preview? yes, here:


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NYRR’s Fifth Avenue Mile RR: To Infinity and Beyond!

This was of the oddest of  all races I ever run, mostly because it was this particular race…
As you know, I had an old PR of 6:30. I was pretty sure I could PR again, but I wasn’t sure if I could do 6:20, 6:15 or what. So I made the executive decision to not look at the watch during the race, not even to look at my heart rate (oh gosh, that number can be quite scary in such a short race!).
I positioned myself on the 4th row. There are no corrals so you have to line up where think you’d be ok. The gun goes off and in the first two blocks it was crowded and had to weave around a little, but it was fine, not stressing about it. Two blocks in, I settle on a rhythm. This is where things got really REALLY strange.
Every time I run this race, or do any kind of mile repeats for that matter, I am going all out, struggling, breathing heavily, and scared for my life; soon I start fading, I gulp for air and desperation sinks in throwing my form, my lungs and my legs into a fit. Really, mayhem.
This one was NOTHING like it.
I was moving in such a controlled way that I had no idea what was happening. It was fluid, relaxed, low to the ground, no stress, breathing was completely subdued, no big movements, all was superefficient and working like a perfectly oiled machine. All I thought was Great, I am doing an 8 minute mile. My average pace last week at the 4 miler is gonna be faster than this one mile. I was a bit upset, but I checked and there was nothing else to activate, no extra gear to pull on. Nothing. Frustrating!
With a quarter mile to go, I get upset at myself and will myself to look for a sprint deep down somewhere, there was nothing extra. Nothing. But my pace didn’t seem affected, or my breathing. SO strange.
Then, with two blocks to go, I see the clock at the finish: 5:52, 5:53, 5:54 clicking up. And I get it, I was running way too well, probably for the first time ever, so I didn’t know how to handle it. I then understand why it felt good, why there was nothing extra, why it felt so comfortable… I just had no idea I could do it. 
I crossed the line in 6:05. There was no puking, no coughing, nothing dramatic for once. It was beautiful. Unexpected on all fronts. The time was suprising too, I would have laughed if someone said I could be close to sub5, but the way my body took over the race was the win. There was no tension, like running a mile all out was normal now. This was my second PR of the year (out of 12 races), and there was no tears, no crazy nothings, we just do this.
Who is this person!??!?!
Finish time: 6:05. Average Pace: 6:05
Previous PR: 6:30. From: September 2009
Age Grading: 71.04%
Overall Place: 1,376 of 4,839
Gender Place: 157 of 2,184
Age Place: 18 of 333
Not bad, huh?Another race over my 70% AG goal!! YEY ME!
Had an apple, hang out with friends, added a few more miles with Helen and Keith, cheered, then had more food, then, oh, got to see the best runners in the world!
In the meantime I came around Kara Goucher, who was signing autographs and she said “It’s not a visit to NYC if I don’t see you!!”. She’s so sweet. I let her to her autograph signing… Robert, who run in the media heat and was taking pics for RW, got this pics of Patricia, my other training partner and I. So cool.
We then positioned ourselves to watch the elites go, we were at 100 meters. I have to say, and hope you are not dissapointed, that I didn’t take pictures! I decided to get video, because I love watching and studying their form in slowmo, so this is all I can post here about the finish meters:
The women
The men
and then, SOON, it was over. It was over SO FAST.
Then, I got to congratulate them up-close and personal, right at the finish line!
We waited a bit, then it was time for the awards ceremony…
I then went to the elites tent, where they were mostly seating waiting to do their drug testing. Nothing else to do but peeing now. It was kinda cool being in there, they’re all SO relaxed after the race, and chatted a bit with them all. One pic from the tent with Shannon, who I love! 
This race is always such a fun time. It’s amazing how for one morning in the year ,Fifth Avenue is all ours. That corner, where the finish/awards/tent is, is such a toursity area with the apple store and the Ritz and it is so crowded, but when you see all these Olympians, and World Championships winners and medallists (Leo had his silver with him in there!), it’s such a different place… Like you’re in a virtual universe. And to come across Kara or the other ones who remember who you are, or other people/journalists who remember my blog or interviewed me last year for the Footlocker Five Boro challenge or anything else, it just seems… crazy?!?! It was truly a strange day. This was the most non-dramatic race I’ve ever done. A whole out of body experience day, really. Next up: Berlin Marathon. In 7 freagging days!

NYRR’s Fifth Avenue Mile RR: To Infinity and Beyond!

How to multitask at the Fifth Avenue Mile (catch up with a friend, stop at a red light, text, do pictures, etc.)

How do I even start telling you all about this weekend??? SOOOO much to write about: Divide and Conquer, right?

Let’s start with the Fifth Avenue Mile!!

Last week was insanely busy and Friday I got very little sleep. I lef work early and and spent the day out, hanging out with one of the other coaches who was in town for the weekend running barefoot festival thing; by the time I got to sleep, it was reaaaally late! Still, I had to wake up early for an interview with the Daily News (more on this later) so I was a total mess. I was tired, cranky, dehydrated and my legs were mush.

I got to the Fifth Avenue Mile start around 9:50, which was perfect because my heat wasn’t on until 10:30. I texted Greg as I had read in facebook that he was cheering, come run the mile with me!! Then at 10:00, when the next group of women is set to go, I realize THAT is MY heat! HOLY FUDGE! I get on the start, everyone goes, I call Greg, wait a bit, I start, I am telling him I am already running and… police opens up the crosstown traffic!!!!!

… I had waited too long to two and I was stuck now, clock ticking and all! I felt SO stupid. I wasn’t gonna PR but this was gonna be a joke… Oh well, only in world!

So we run, all the way in the back, and I kinda loved it!!! First of all, the person ahead of me wasn’t going to be the last one… Then, it was so chill… we got to catch up and I got to see all my friends on the course, take pictures, even text!! I was due at the running clinics downtown at 10:30 so I could update them in my progress, DURING the mile! A team mate even screamed “pick it up Elizabeth’, ha, if only she knew what a mess I was making there!

The whole thing was sooo ridiculous! I had aviators on, my phone in my hand and I looked like a fool who had no clue this was supposed to be a fast and hard race: I run it slower than marathon pace!

Why show up when I knew I was going to be so tired and slow? Well… it’s Fifth Avenue people! When do I get to run on Fifth Avenue???Just once a year! 97% of my friends were there, I get a t-shirt.. enough, right? Now I’ll have a 9 minute mile (or something!) in my record forever, oooooh yeah!

I tried not to go crazy as I was going to spend the rest of the day out (at the clinics, then lunch, then expo/panels and what not) in the same clothes… and it was damp out. I didn’t get to stay and catch up with the elites and watch them race, but I’ve done that enough times… So, a way-below-effort but worth for a fun mile. And it’s all about the fun, right!

PS: I’ve started to feel like a headless chicken!

How to multitask at the Fifth Avenue Mile (catch up with a friend, stop at a red light, text, do pictures, etc.)