Tag Archive | marathon

My favorite things! June Edition

so, just because Oprah and I are basically the SAME thing, I give you THIS: the new edition of my favorite stuff, where you discover new things you might like  or tell me you’ve been using that old trick for 5 years, and quickly unsubscribe from the blog. 

In no particular order:

DONA JO Leggings

I am always looking for colorful tights (and any sort of apparel, clothes, dishes, towels, etc!!) because, you know, colors are awesome. Also, you want a nice material: something light, flexible, moisture wicking, all the good stuff. Check out the DONA JO leggings. Obviously you can tell they’re colorful enough. But the material is quite giving and super comfortable. These are my go-to tights now. I got a 20% discount code you can use too!!! It’s runningandthecity. Try them and let me know what you think of them!!!

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Cozy Phones

I don’t know that I would wear these for running in the summer or in the rain. They’re not supposed to get wet and I sweat a lot. You can definitely use them for other sports or just for whatever when it’s cold to keep your ears warm! I do LOVE them for travelling. I am super super noise-sensitive so when I have to sleep on a plane I put on ear-plugs but what am I supposed to watch then? I put these over the ear plugs!!!!!!! They’re loud enough that you can hear through the ear plugs and the movie noise will cover ANY 2 year old crying bloody murder! OH YEAH. And you can get comfortable: they won’t fall off!!!!! Perfect!

Sorry for the stock pictures: I AM NOT PUTTING A PICTURE UP OF ME SLEEPING: that’s where I draw the line people!!!!

iRelieve – Dual Channel TENS & EMS

Last year I spent a few hours (weeks!) at the PT. My adductor was a bit sore and needed some T&C. you know when you go to those places, sometimes, after the exercises or massages or whatever they plug you into these machines that accelerate recovery, right? Well, you could buy one. There’s some for $20 and some for $6000. Juan and I decided on this one, it’s small around $60 or $80 (can’t remember) off Amazon and does the work. There’s many frequencies and this one has two, one for recovery and one for strength. It’s small enough that you can put it in your pocket (and go to work with the electrodes on!!! I do!). I haven’t used it on EMS mode, just TENS, but do some shopping around as I found over 7 different types of frequencies you could choose from.



I’d say this is such a cool gift (if you can guesstimate properly the size of recipients behind!!! if you can’t, it can be funny).

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They come in a few different types, and they’re super comfortable. They’re great for when you need coverage, hey  hey summer dresses, and a fun note in case the summer dress flies up! Oiselle also has a pack of 7 with all the different days of they week, ehem: rest/tempo/long run/fartlek/race/easy 6/track. These can be very useful when ordering lunch if you don’t have time to check your running schedule to see what’s on tap! (thanks Caro -pictured- for the gift!)


Questions? Anything you discovered this month that you love and couldn’t live without???? Share!

My favorite things! April Edition


It doesn’t really feel like Spring…

so, just because Oprah and I are basically the SAME thing, I give you THIS: the new edition of my favorite stuff, where you discover new things you might like  or tell me you’ve been using that old trick for 5 years, and quickly unsubscribe from the blog. 

In no particular order:

stink free sports detergent

wow. seriously. there’s some gear I am careful with. Like my 2014 (neon orange) Boston jacket (because I RUINED my 2010 boston jacket, ha). I love this detergent! Try it (also check that site as they have other amazing things!).

What I love more than this detergent? The mini version of this detergent!! I travel super light I usually bring 1 pair of shorts, 1 bra, etc, so I just leave my clothes on the sink with this for a bit, and voila, ready for the next run!!! Won’t travel without it! WHY RISK IT, right?

fitletic double pouch

fitletic double pouch belt review product review running gear running belt this thing is my house. I have SO many belts (I’ve literally haven’t touched the other ones in years!) but this one is my favorite. Because it has TWO pockets! one is always pre-loaded with my keys, a tissue, some cash, sometimes a gel, whatever! The big one is for my iphone (currently a 6).

I usually add honey sticks in there and what not. I like that the phone is separate as I was always worried, when you take your phone quickly, that all the other crap (keys!!) would fall out! That’s not a problem here! You know we take stuff out without stopping the run!!! I’ve had it for over 2 years and it’s still in top shape. I just did a get new one because my dad sorta “claimed” my old one when he saw it…! check it out here.

I am so comfortable with it that I’ve run many races with it, including the Boston Mary.

runinkspired running tattoos

umm. yes. motivation? check. fun on the road? check. badass look? check. Temporary??? YES! easy to put on, what else do you need to know??? They are awesome. They are here. I got a bunch and been using them when it’s hot out. Love them!


Designer fitness apparel hand picked just for you. I stole this text from the website because how I could I say it better? Basically you create your own profile, pick what sort of sports you do, what you like (patterns, colors, etc), what sort of stuff you need more or less of (tops, bottoms, accessories, etc.) and then… you get a lovely package with things they select for you (and a return envelope to return what you don’t want to keep). Just like Stitch Fix for sports!

I like this sort of stuff because, let’s be realistic, we’d all be buying the same exact crap into eternity. It’s like when an ex (years years ago) gave me a light tan max mara cute little bag… ugh, TAN? YUK. Does he not know me at all? Every purse I own is neon!!! Anyway, because it WASN’T just like everything else I had, I ended up using it a LOT. I still have it actually. My point is that, because WE didn’t pick it, it might actually fill some hole in our wardrobe.

So, in my first shipment I got TWO things I NEVER would have bought, or really, even bother to look at a store. And I am obsessed with them!!!!! Worn them SO much already in two weeks! I even wore the tights in my race this past weekend! The top has three things I’d usually HATE: white/kangaroo pocket/mesh fabric!!! And, I LOVE IT. The tights… omg, they’re so soft and comfy… For anyone who’s ever tried to buy a present you know I am IMPOSSIBLE (my bday was two weeks ago, I returned most of it!) so this is a miracle.

under armour anything studio lux shoes

It’s not a secret that I am obsessed with all the UA gear. Want me to tell you again? Their infrared shirts have changed the way I approach winter now! but this is my obsession of the month!!! these shoes are SO COOL, and LIGHT, and COMFY, and BENDY. It’s a go.

I included some vacation pictures so you can see how I wear them with ANYTHING. It’s shocking I haven’t worn them to bed yet.

I also got a bunch more stuff from Under Armour in the last months. These blue tights are amazing (besides cool), super thin and soft. I wore them once and then to the NYC Half (that’s how much I trusted them!). Ps: they have a side pocket that fits my iphone 6, with a little hole for the headset!

The shell storm jacket, OH, obsessed, best top layer ever. And the shoes, those are the new record-equipped Gemini 2 that connect via bluetooth to a phone and track your mileage. Even when you run without your phone. I still have two Geminis (1) that I love and these feel quite similar, but it’s fun to think about going out without a gps watch!!!!

Questions? Anything you discovered this month that you love and couldn’t live without???? Share!

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…


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.


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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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.


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

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!!!

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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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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.

I like to run

I like to run at night, early before work, in the middle of the day and with the sunset.

I love to run in the city, in the countryside, by the beach.

I like to sweat, get soaked in the rain, and get runners’ tan lines.

I like to run for no reason and I like to run to define myself.

I like to tempo, have fun at an easy pace, do mile reps, and run for hours and hours.

I like to come back home ready to keep going with my day and wanting to take a nap and sit out the rest of the day.

I like to run with the bright sun in my face, and with the stars as my running partners.

I like to run with no goals and like to race and get better.

I like to run with friends, with my dad, with my boyfriend, and I like to run alone.

I like to wear as little as possible and I like to wear all my running gear and make it match.

I like to line up at races, pace with people, chase each other, finish races, spectate, and congratulate everyone.

I like to run in cities I don’t know, maybe get lost, get a little worried, and use my running shoes as my escape from anything. I like to enjoy the comfort in the same old familiar route I could run with my eyes closed.

I like to greet friends and new people in my runs, and I like being invisible.

I like to have many running shoes, shorts, singlets and sunglasses. I like that I can run without most of it.

I like running. I love the million different choices and opportunities for challenges and fun.

Free Biomechanics Talk, don’t miss it

I’ve been invited to host another clinic, this time at the Park Slope JackRabbit Sports Store on July 23rd.

I’ll be going over all the data and science and biomechanics you can handle before you get bored. You’ll clearly see how it relates to your own running and learn what you can do to avoid injuries, get fast, and run smooth! Don’t miss it. I don’t do these often (for free!!).

JackRabbit Sports is located at 151 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215. A few blocks off Grand Army Plaza, the 2,3, and the R an F and G are around there too.

Facebook event is here, so RSVP there in case of updates. It’s an open and public event, so share and invite your friends too! Everyone can benefit from a little bit more info on form and efficiency!!

Plus, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free coaching session! See you there!!

Grab a Friend and Go: Happy National Running Day!

Don’t you think today is a great to force inspire someone to start running? As usual on this national holiday, I will be doing double duty: two runs! It’s a like a birthday in a way for me (WHERE are my presents?!?!?!?).

I went to claim my 2013 badge, and pffff, I never know what to write, there are SO many things I run for/because… that I settled on this:

#1 Make a badge and share it.

#2 Then, run. Grab someone you like. And/Or look for an event in your city. If there is none, or you can’t make it, create one, invite a few friends, and celebrate.

#3 And make a list of what your running has done for you in the last year (share that too if you want!).

These are things I am celebrating this year:

– Been injury free for almost two years now.

– Running keeps making me happy, healthy, and bringing and lot of great things!

– I have gotten some PRs in the last year I never thought I could get to.

– I have met amazing people in the last year through running. One of them who makes me very happy every second, and we live together for Pre’s sake! In a studio!!!

– I have learned a lot about myself, how much I can grow and push through when I set my eyes on a goal, and work hard to achieve it.

– Seeing many friends so much happier now that they have started running.

That’s what I am celebrating today. You? Happy National Running Day!

—-Comment happily: you won’t be asked to create an account!

Do you worry about Muscle Tension?

When I read (Steve Magness’ article) about Muscle Tension years ago, I completely dismissed it…
1- I didn’t care that much about performance
2- not running on soft surfaces?? AH, NO!
3- and not willing to do any of this, like speedwor. Anyway…
A few years later… things have changed a bit and I am completely obsessed with it because I’ve seen how the right muscle tension makes a night and day difference.
It explains that pop you have on race day sometimes. It also explains how your legs are so heavy and slow on race days sometimes
It’s all muscle tension. I’ve been calling it many things over the years (I had a post two months ago before Berlin, called “the wiriness“…) but, really, the info is all out there and you just have to figure out how to adjust it for your training and race day. I’ve been obsessing over this for months. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t (like last Sunday!)…
It’s basically a balance between being really rested and really tired! Or, better: it’s about finding that thin line where your legs feels easy and fast and efficient  and they’re super rested and still fired up and like they’re brand new… you know it happens!
In Berlin, I walked all over town for 3 days before the race, by Friday night I was so tired and cranky I was almost crying on the sidewalk cause I couldn’t walk back to the hotel. Sunday morning, I did fantastic. Sometimes rest is not your best friend… I like the “less is more” but rest might not always work for me, and I am still getting used to that. I’ve started doing a lot of active jumping, every day, to keep my muscles a bit more tense, and not really stretching after every run, just half of them. Some people stretch for hours, others never stretch…
In the article you’ll see what to do to increase or decrease muscle tension, if you’re not sure how to adjust it, or how to measure it even. But keep this in mind if you haven’t played with it before because I think it makes a huge difference. And it will you a reason for a lot of those unexplained runs.

Do you worry about Muscle Tension?

TMobile Shoe4Africa 5K RR (Or: Another race time I can’t explain…)

A race that didn’t sell out a week before!??! Well, I looked at the weather, saw that it was going to be in the 50s on Sunday and signed in. I don’t race well when it’s cold…

This race had it all. Small (Around 500 or so to close registration), close to me, amazing raffle prizes (samsung phones, kinects, you name it!), a tech shirt, funds go to a great cause, and NOT in Central Park… PERFECT, i am IN! Of course I LOVE Central Park… but a girl needs a bit of diversity once in a while, am I riiight? 
And a 5K! I never do 5Ks! So exciting! I did the one in August, in Brooklyn, where I PRed for the first time in 14 months, in 21:09, average pace was 6:49.
And I figured I was in WAAAAAY better shape now so I should deeeeeefinitely go under 21 minutes. Didn’t think about pace per se but I would DEFINITELY SAVE those pesky 10 seconds somewhere, right? you’d think so…
Sunday, weather was around 41, I found a couple of team-mates there, we got ready, it was a really small crowd. I took my clothes off, lined up, and was FREEZING. Shivering and my teeth were jumping. Countdown, we go. There was a couple of loops, a few ups and downs, but it was a pretty easy course. I was close to the start line so for a bit I was leading the women’s race, 5 minutes into it, around 4 or 6 women had passed me. You’d think I would be able to keep count? No. I was so cold, I had gone out waaay too fast and I was now paying the price. Mile 1; 6:51. BAD. Whatever it is, it will end soon, finish your dayum speedwork, maybe we can catch a few of them later. Mile 2; 6:57. Well, that was obvious, but yeah, I can pick it up on the last one, right? NO. Mile 3: 7:07. What. A. Mess. Seriously. Last part was run at a 6:38 effort. But it was too little too late.
Is my cadence (Avg Step Rate) getting out of control or what?!?!
I always wonder how unpredictable racing can be for me. I am not gonna lie, I didn’t go to sleep early or ate the right things or all of those things. But I didn’t in my last two races (Berlin Marathon, Fifth Avenue Mile) either and that worked out. How is it that I just really never know?  The only explanation I have is that it was cold-ish. I don’t race well in the cold BUT I race great when it’s HOT, so maybe it’s that… oh well, WHATEVER. 
I shrugged it off in a minute. I really couldn’t care less. Lots of amazing people were there and I just wanted to say hell to everyone! Added 3 more miles with my team mates to cool down, and then they did the raffle. Seriously, I had never seen such amazing prizes!! Ate a cereal bar, put back all the clothes and run back home for a total 5 miles post race: WIN!
Finish time: 21:34. Average Pace: 6:56
Previous PR: 21.09. From: August 2012
Age Grading: 69.94%
Overall Place: 28 of 336
Gender Place: 4 of 185
Age Place: 2 of … not sure.
I haven’t signed up for anything else yet but there are two more races this month I started looking at. I have already done a total of 14 this year, so I could stop here and be happy with how this year went. I really could sit and tell myself how great I did. This year can probably go in the books as my best running year so far.
And actually, I am close to the time when we stop getting faster… Or soon. And if my 3 PRs from this year are the last ones I get, well, I think I can live happily with that. Happy Monday and here’s to Very Happily Ever After PRs!

TMobile Shoe4Africa 5K RR (Or: Another race time I can’t explain…)

Mission Accomplished: I am a Certified Track and Field Coach! Now what?

Two weekends ago I attended the Track and Field 21.5 hours certification course. Over the past week I was determined to read the material before I started with the online test. The test was 200 questions… One coach on twitter told me he did it in 3 hours… hm… the instructors had warned us that  some questions were tricky.

By Friday, coming back to the city from a ridiculous Thanksgiving OverEatingFest, I decided to tackle it anyway, I had read nothing and if I waited, I’d never get around to it. I wasn’t 100% sure about some of the topics, mostly the jumps and the throws, but jumped (ha) right into it.

They were really tricky, the wording was unstable to say the least. I had to reread a few of them outloud! 200 questions. 80% had to be right. So I’d be fine with getting just 160 right… it took me a while, NOT 3 hours. Basically big chunks of Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. I am sure you’re doubting my brains right now… I might have been a bit overparanoid with the trickiness and English not being my native language…

Then, I was done, press “Grade my Exam”, closed my eyes, and:

Congratulations on successfully completing the USA Track & Field Level 1 Coaching Education program!

You scored a 97.5% on the exam, which is a passing score. Hopefully by having passed the exam, as well as having attended the classroom instruction, you have a better understanding of coaching concepts for track & field.

ehem… that’s just 5 wrong answers in 200! Quite happy with that! These were the topics on the course and exam:

Topic Philosophy, Ethics, and Risk Management Psychology Physiology Biomechanics Training Theory Biomotor Training for the Speed and Power Events The Sprint Events The Hurdle Events The Relay Events The Jumping Events The Throwing Events The Endurance Events The Racewalking Events 

Well, there went two weekends! As for my coaching future, there’ll be some updates soon.  As for my own training, I am now really going to pour over some of the new physiology and training theory I learned (and all the interesting stuff they give us access to online!!!) and create all my workouts for the first half of next year. The decision is made: I am going to focus on the half marathon again, as I did this year. No Spring marathon for me, again. And, what I did this year worked, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work next year. Workouts will be adjusted based on goals, pace, fitness level, etc. As soon as it’s all ready, I’ll share, I promise! Here we go.

Mission Accomplished: I am a Certified Track and Field Coach! Now what?


This is really hard for me to write, acknowledge and also say outloud, but here it goes. I hope it doesn’t sound horrible. But I think I have to say it. Outloud.

I have never ever ever been FITTER. In my life. I am the fastest, lightest, smoothest, efficient I’ve ever been.
Why is that so hard to say? Yes, well, it sounds horrendous to everybody else, but it’s probably because maybe I don’t feel like I deserve it, or that I did enough to get here, or at least enough in everybody else’s eyes… Or something. It’s hard to say. And having had sooo many injuries in the past year, and not PRing for 16 months, this is a huge mental game change.
I just feel it. It’s like the wiriness I felt before the marathon, it’s palpable. And sometimes we feel feit, but there is nothing tangible. There is proof in this case. 
It is not just that I PRed like nothing in Berlin, and felt amazing, great, and in control and no pain.
I also PRed a week before, doing the Fifth Avenue Mile, and it felt effortless, like I was gliding.
My runs since, have been phenomenal. And faster than ever. Even on dirt.
And I really feel it, like I am in some kind of virtual world, where my weight is ok, my endurance is there, where my pace is effortless and efficient…
I never thought I could be in control of what shape I was on. I just run. Some days slow, some days ok. I feel like now have a handle on it what is happening with my body. And I don’t think I’ve done much to create the change, but the change is really palpable. Or that I just can’t believe it and adjust to it.
It’s amazing. I want to write a poem but it would make no sense. I am just going to keep running.


Just one wall in Berlin

So, it’s on. Berlin, that is. Officially. Finally.
There are 24 days to the Berlin Marathon, which I signed up for last year (I think), forgot all about it, and I was never quite sure that I’d make it there.
But, with less that 30 days to go, hotel and flights have been booked. Yes, I like right on the edge, ha, everything is last minute! Somehow, I found an amazing hotel, the perfect roomie tagging along, and a great flight that leaves me there for a whole week to explore and enjoy the city, its food and the sights, and practice the german I am going to learn in the next two weeks!! Luckily, both my training partners will be there, so I am already guessing it’ll be a blast.
Training has been okay, but I have no real way of knowing where I stand right now. I haven’t done a marathon in 19 months! Well, NYCM, but that doesn’t count. I would have loved to run a half in the last month but there was not one around I could make… 
The thing is, I have no clue what will happen pace-wise. With no half since the disastrous 1:43 Brooklyn Half, and not much since, I have no idea how I’ll pace, I’ll have no plan. A waste of a flat course, to have no strategy if you ask me. So, I will go blindly following my heart rate and leave it to that. This will be my biggest pacing challenge ever. Even with 9 fulls under my belt.
The other question mark (a challenge?) will be the flat course. I’ve never run a flat marathon. I don’t even train on flat, not even for mile reps. I did my last long run (21 miles) in a very flat stretch and it was quite different. It can get tiring. We shall see. The plan is to go smart and adjust to smarter. 
Right? Am I missing anything? Bring it on!

Just one wall in Berlin

This is the road

The road doesn’t care
if I trimmed my ends, 
if I got a promotion,
if I cleaned my apartment
if I bought a plant
if I did my nails 
if have the latest outfit and gear
if I finally emptied my Inbox or the trash
The doesn’t even care 
if I just had a horrible meal
if I don’t have the gear for rain or wind ready
if I didn’t sleep enough in the last 3 days
if I am jetlagged from a trip
if I just got bad news and can’t handle any more pain
It will still always do whatever it wants with me. 
The only predictable thing about the road is its unpredictability. And I love it. I crave it.
In exchange for my attention and dedication, some days it will get me a fabulously fun, endorphin-fueled, fast and easy as if I was flying adventure laced with runners high. Those are the lucky times; and I never know they are around the corner.
Other days, it will throw a slow, heavy-legs, can’t breathe, painful want-to-cut-this-one-short run my way; also for no reason and with no heads-up.
And as much as I like to plan everything about my life, I love that I never know what is going to happen on any of my runs. I have no control.

This is the road

NCYM2011 – How I get ready for race week (VERY silly post!)

Some people taper, some people carboload, some start to go to sleep early, some diet… I only do one thing: my nails.

As I am doing a bunch of interviews, photo-shoots, and press conferences in the next days, this is VERY important. (Right?)

Deciding which way to go was not easy

I am being interviewed tomorrow by Carrie Tollefson (YES, Carrie Tollefson) for the Daily Cooldown. You can see her NYRR episodes on NYRR TV. I am not gonna lie, I like to have NYRR TV on in the background when I am home…  (Dork!). Then there’s a few more events this week, the expo, the press conference, stuff and more stuff. Oh,and a 5 Mile Race tomorrow, with photo shoots before and after too.

What? Have you not seen me in the cabs?? Pfffff.

Anyway, like I always say, “When there is a NEON option, you always pick NEON”. (MsRitz trademarked!)

Yeah, that’s some ridiculous SNOW!!

PS: I guess I’ll leave the blues out for Philly!

NCYM2011 – How I get ready for race week (VERY silly post!)

WNM11 (Nike Women’s Marathon) – Race Day Fun

Sunday we got up really early (WHY, oh WHY, is always everything so early???? I am from south america people!!) and we basically had to meet up with the LA chapter to cheer at mile 9.5 and then, as soon as the last TNT runner went by, we’d drive over to mile 25, to cheer there by the beach, and then off to the Finish line to make sure every single one of our NYC TNT runners were accounted for. 
We set up to cheer at 7 am [email protected] mile 9.5 with coffee, some snacks, a couple of policemen, and lots of energy. I have to say, I had never worried to train my voice (and I do have lots of practice screaming at nyc drivers!) but after a couple of hours I would have loved some lemon green tea with honey (selfnote!!). 

The fun stuff…

I saw Kara Goucher run by, very very closely followed by Joanie Benoit Samuelson, and I screamed at both (but got no pictures!). And then, guess who spotted me (how on earth did she? I had like 60 pounds of outfit on me), yeah, Jenn, who was doing wonderfully with her friend!

Police officers were letting cars go when it thinned out, but this guy had to sit there for over an hour, hilarious (to me at least!).
Poor woman had her bra snap off and we were trying to assist, which was not easy given the sweat, layers and stuff, but we were on a mission and got it done!
Crazy maniac… yeah me!

We then drove over to mile 25.3, right on the beach by the Dutch Windmill, though we got a bit lost on our way there??? (ooops). All that matters is that we made it, right?

After we checked in at the finish line, got everyone accounted for (every single one of them finished!!!), we headed back to the city. Traffic was insane though and we hadn’t eaten much yet. It was 3 pm and all I had was coffee, a banana, and some crackers, eeeek! After a fast lunch and a shower we scooted over to the victory party, just a few blocks down the street (Thank God it was close!!).
We cleaned up super fast-

I was beat after so I never made it to the post-party party (yes, lots of celebration has to be done) and I passed out as soon as I saw my bed, as we had to be up early Monday to catch the flight back.
The Good:

  • San Francisco, as a city, rocks. A close second to NYC.
  • On the other hand, SF hills trump hills in any other big city. I shall NOT forget this ever again.
  • All of our participants finished. Some had a bit of pain, some were really tired, but they all finished.
  • Coffee Bean cawfee tops Starbucks any day. Cako cupcakes rock.
  • I learned a lot. I have a few mental notes. But mostly, the weekend went perfectly.
  • I enjoyed some serious girl power this weekend, even from all the men everywhere, who were equally involved and/or supportive.
  • Running to cure cancer is really moving. I cried a lot of the weekend, got chills, and was really inspired to make a difference.­­­
  • Running and travelling with a team to a race seems like a lot of fun. There’s a lot to be said about the power in numbers!

I might want to have a fireman give me one of these Tiffany necklaces next year. I might even run for it. The course looks pretty amazing (pfff the hills!!).

WNM11 (Nike Women’s Marathon) – Race Day Fun

I am a Finalist!

Heard of the Foot Locker Five Boro Challenge?!?! 

Every year the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge brings together five ING New York City Marathon runners, each one representing a New York City borough.

Their goal: be the fastest finisher out of the five and become champion of the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge! 

Guess who could be representing Manhattan…? Yeap, me!!!!

The requirements:

Be an accepted entrant in the ING New York City Marathon 2011

Currently reside in one of the five New York City boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island

Be able to complete the Marathon in 3:30 to 4:00

Done, doing, and I better hope so.

The fun key details:
This is your chance to take your 2011 Marathon experience to a higher level and show your pride for your borough. The Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge team will be treated as VIPs and will be featured on the NBC4 New York live television broadcast on race day.  The runner who finishes with the fastest time will become the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge Champion, and will win a Tiffany & Co. trophy and citywide bragging rights.Must commit to running the first 13.1 miles of the marathon with the Challenge Team (after that, you’re free to run alone or stay with the group).Must be available at select times during marathon week to participate in a pre-marathon media event.

And they get their own start!!! I can’t even imagine what it is like to run the empty Verrazano with just 4 more people (and a media truck of course), through 4th avenue… and then being passed by Ryan, Meb, Gebre and pretty much everybody else, hahaha!

After I submitted my entry, we emailed back and forth, then we did a conference call interview, and then I went to the Foot Locker Headquarters for another interview. And I just got an email confirming that I am a Finalist and they’ll decide soon.  AAAAHHHH. Super exiciting!

I am a Finalist!