Tag Archive | nick symmonds

Race Report: Staten Island Half. Oooops.

Hey friends! Wow. this half was a MEGA-MESS and I should have known better. I was a dehydrated overovercaffeinated mess and I paid hard for that…. Let me get to it.

As you know, all year I wanted to PR at the Half but my hopes went down the drain when, in August, I did too much, strained my hamstring and had to take 6 weeks off speedwork. I skipped my goal half in September but decided to still do the Staten Island Half because, you know, I can!

Friday I really overdid it with the food. Like A LOT. A LOT of fried seafood and many other things that my stomach didn’t appreciate. It was so bad, I had to lay down when I got home and couldn’t even stomach any dinner. Zero dinner. Can you imagine ME, skipping a meal?? it was AWFUL.

Saturday, my stomach felt better but I had zero appetite. If I didn’t have a race the next day I probably would have not forced lunch down. Ugh. I tried to eat but it wasn’t happening.

Sunday Morning, race day!!! I am not a coffee-drinker, but always have coffee on race morning to, you know, take care of the business! It worked. Race morning seemed like it was going to be great! We met up Eric and Elke on the ferry… you can always count of finding many friends to travel to any race!

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (8)

Photo Credit: Elke Gasselseder

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (12)

The view from the ferry never disappoints. Photo Credit: Juan Becerra, the hot husband in the picture before

We got on the 7 am ferry so we were in Staten Island super early, just like we like to! We waited in the terminal for a bit, used the bathroom and I had my pre-race fuel. I don’t eat before races but I usually have a gel an hour before. I had a gel with caffeine, because we couldn’t find the non-caffeine gels… (keep track of the caffeine, will get back to this)

We left our clothes at baggage and headed to the corral, there I took out the new thing Juan had gotten me, the Run Gum. Caffeine Gum!! Why not? There were two pieces and I started chewing them both. Bitter bitter aftertaste.

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (11)

In the corral, I looked for Christine to no avail. She told me she was going to do about 1:40 and I knew I’d be around 1:39 something so why not run together. I had so many numbers in my head… my PR was 1:37:35, which is 7:27 pace. I hoped I’d be around 7:30s and that would give me a 1:39… I get rid of the gum, the gun goes off and I find myself, alone, trailing Juan. He was going at 7:20 for the first two miles. WHY am I so close to him?? I SHOULD NOT BE RUNNING SO FAST!!!!!! I just couldn’t stop it. My heart was racing, my body was out of control and I couldn’t pace myself. Plus I was freaking out about all of the above. With a quarter mile in, Christine pulls up “we’re going a bit fast” “I know” would be our over and over conversation for the next miles… Mile 1: 7:20. SHIT. This is PR pace and I am NOT in PR shape. Plus… NO. I tried to adjust but I just couldn’t. I was right behind Juan until he hit mile 2 and took off (that was the plan for him). Mile 2: 7:24. CRAP.

The first 2-3 miles (as well as the last 2-3) are were most of the hills are. It wasn’t pretty at that pace. I was breathing extra hard and wondering what the hell was happening. Mile 3: 7:33. Still really fast for that uphill mile. And I was so so so SO hot… I could barely stand it. I am sure I must have told Christine I am so hot like 50 times a mile. I was throwing water on myself at every water station. I really wanted to drink it too but I didn’t want to slow down and lose Christine. Mile 4: 7:28. Still too effing fast. By Mile 5 I knew I needed to have the gel before it was too late. Because I was still going too fast. Mile 5: 7:17. CRAP!!!!!! So Christine kept going and I told her I’d catch up. I stopped to drink, and I ended up ingesting 3 cups of Gatorade, I was sooo thirsty. I sped up as much as I could to catch her as I could see her about 150 meters away, it took about half a mile!

I really like that long stretch of the course, but I missed the wild turkeys I had always seen, and I REALLY missed coming back on it. I always loved watching the runners ahead and behind me, it’s really entertaining to see all your friends. Plus, I don’t like running on boardwalks… I am always afraid there’s going to be some nail tripping me, or something. And there’s no bounce back! Mile 6: 7:31. That includes probably the 10 seconds I was going crazy on the drinks!

Christine and I in the boardwalk. Photo Credit: Ben Ko

Christine and I in the boardwalk. Photo Credit: Ben Ko

I am not gonna lie, I kept wondering if I could sustain that pace. Parts of me were telling me I was crazy and there’s no way. Another part (with a Kara Goucher voice) kept telling me to believe in myself. Mile 7: 7:13, still TOO EFFFING FAST. Actually, too early to run this fast! I kept doing the whole 7:20s vs 7:30s math in my head and I knew I was going to be this close to a PR. If I could sustain this mess pace, obviously. So I just told myself to keep at it, as it’d be a matter of seconds.

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (5)

Mile 8: 7:27. I think I lost Christine around here. As soon as we got off the boardwalk it got really narrow, she got behind me and I never saw her again, though I turned around a few times. I was a bit disheartened but had to keep pressing. Then… OMG… THAT MOUNTAIN..!!

map 2

What was that? I really wasn’t mentally prepared for that there, and not even trained for it. Everyone around started walking. I was REALLY tempted but told myself about the seconds, the seconds!!… I kept running. Mile 9: 7:39. Not sure how that wasn’t a 15 minute mile, it felt like it. Plus I was so effing hot.

It was horrible.

There was another climb on the next mile too and I was just done. DONE. I was super hot and thirsty and my feet started seizing up, WTF! Like they wanted to claw up. I felt like they were going to break in half and I felt the pain up both my legs during some stretches. I really wanted stop and stretch but I wasn’t sure if it’d even help or if I wasn’t going to be able to keep running after I stopped. It hurt a lot. Mile 10: 7:53.

This is when I went indoors (in my head!). It hurt. My feet were SO stiff, I tried to land on my heels to bend them less, I tried everything, but I just kept checking off the seconds. Mile 11: 7:06 yey for downhills! I remember people cheering, my feet super stiff, a left turn on some overpass, my shins feeling like they were about to snap off, and a right turn where I high-fived Sid Howard and Asteria yelled for me –she’s one of the few people in the US that calls me Ely the Argentinian way 😉 I love them both so much!-. And kept going, head down, checking off seconds.  Mile 12: 7:17. I kept trying to do the math and I KNEW I was going to be super close to my PR… just keep on, no more thinking, crazy woman!

And through this, the heavy heartbeat I had in the beginning got a LOT worst. By mile 5, that was the norm. After mile 9, I was breathing so hard, you’d think I was doing an 800 meter race. It was bad. I am sure anyone running around me must have been SO ANNOYED. It totally sounded like I had signed up for the 5K and got myself in the 13.1 course. UGH. Mile 13: 7:30. I was falling apart but keeping it up. The last bit was rough because you have to make that hair pin left turn into the stadium and there was a bit of sand there, which is quite slippery, so we had to go around it, while looking at my watch about once a second. I fought with all I had for that PR, thinking I might have it. That stretch… was rough

this is what crazy-all-out looks like

this is what crazy-all-out looks like sometimes, not pretty

I run the last point one, at 6.02 pace. Seriously. See my face?

I crossed the finish line FOUR SECONDS TOO LATE. Seriously. FOUR.

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (3)

I am really tired.

Still happy to have gotten so close, after TWO YEARS AND A HALF. I was 38 years old when I set that PR,  I am now 40.5!!! Plus, I thought I’d be around 1:39 so this is beyond amazing. To Me. I know two minutes is nothing for most people but to me, that’s a lifetime of difference sometimes. Some runners might get it. 1:39 was doable: 1:37 is amazing.

Then the worst happened. A few steps after the finish line my legs and feet seized up, it hurt SO much. I couldn’t move them, it felt like they were going to explode and my shins and feet turned really really HARD, and bulked up in my leg. I went on the floor like a rock. I couldn’t move. A fellow Whippet (SAVIOR!) came over, tried to help. I asked for water, as soon as I got it, I felt better. It hurt, but they relaxed a bit and I could move them… UGH!!!!

Turns out, I was “cramping” or something. I had never had cramps before, people!!!! Had them for the last 3-4 miles and because I wasn’t going to stop, my muscles kept shuffling the blood there. As soon as I stopped, they went berserk. Had some more water, it helped calm them down. Think about it: I had 1 cup of coffee in the morning, 1 caffeinated gel, and two pieces of run gum. For someone who doesn’t do coffee that’s a lot. Plus, I was hot and sweating a lot. AND, I only drank twice. VERY STUPID of me. VERY. ALL my FAULT. How on earth did I get myself so dehydrated???? Oh, and that amount of caffeine is why I paced like crap too!!!


all my laps. nothing to hide. it was a mess.


the elevation profile. in case you were wondering how much fun it was.

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:37:38

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

Age Grading: 69.68%

Overall Place: 667 of 8586

Gender Place: 68 of 3989

Age Place: 6 of  483

Top 10% of the whole field… good for me! And because I am older, this is the highest AG I ever got in a half, so… WINNING!!!

Here’s the official 5K splits. Not really so bad, I dropped it on the 15K part, but that was also where the stoopid mountain was so my pace would have slowed down there a bit anyway. Could have been worse!!!

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (1)

Soon, I found Juan and he started heading home. My legs were a MESS.

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (1)

at the stadium in the finish line. why am i not wearing the sunglasses here?

I spent the rest of the day re-hydrating… I never thought I’d do something that stooopid!!! Such an amateur move!! But in between being sick Friday, not eating enough on Saturday, all the caffeine and the little hydration I did during the race, it was a mess.

My lungs hurt so bad all day Sunday… I was really breathing hard and pushing through the race. But now I see that a PR is just within reach. And that I should listen to my inner Kara Goucher voice more often.

NYC Half: I am coming for you.

nyrr staten island half marathon pictures results post report (2)

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!!

2013-09-22 12.48.59 2013-09-22 12.49.04 2013-09-22 12.49.06 2013-09-22 12.49.08-1 2013-09-22 12.49.08-2 2013-09-22 12.49.10 2013-09-22 12.50.27 2013-09-22 12.50.28 2013-09-22 12.50.32 2013-09-22 12.50.33 2013-09-22 12.50.35 2013-09-22 12.50.36

2013-09-22 12.50.37

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.

2013-09-22 12.50.39

2013-09-22 12.50.42

2013-09-22 12.52.35 2013-09-22 12.52.36 2013-09-22 12.52.38 2013-09-22 12.52.46 2013-09-22 12.52.50

then, THE MEN!!!

2013-09-22 13.03.28

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2013-09-22 13.03.30

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…

2013-09-22 13.03.31 2013-09-22 13.03.32 2013-09-22 13.03.33 2013-09-22 13.03.35

2013-09-22 13.03.37

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

2013-09-22 13.03.39 2013-09-22 13.03.40

2013-09-22 13.03.41

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

2013-09-22 13.07.50 2013-09-22 13.07.53 2013-09-22 13.08.05 2013-09-22 13.08.07 2013-09-22 13.08.40-1 2013-09-22 13.08.40-2 2013-09-22 13.08.40-3

2013-09-22 13.08.41

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!

2013-09-22 13.10.41 2013-09-22 13.10.50 2013-09-22 13.17.03

2013-09-22 13.17.06-1

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

2013-09-22 13.31.21

Can I hold your bag, Susan Kuijken??

2013-09-22 13.32.03

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:


2013-09-22 10.16.56-1more soon, I promise!

How to piss off EVERY non-Runner!

In this Cult, things can turn ugly very fast if you are faced with the nonbelievers, the same way it happens with religion or politics.

So, if you are having one of those days when you feel like starting a fight, it is quite simple:

-Talk about PRs, pace, missing toenails, races, strategies, v02 max, age grading, what Kara Goucher was wearing, Pre, logging miles vs times, Centro’s splits, your lactic acid, Nick Symmonds, yassos 800s, and how Boston should adjust their qualifying times, for hours and hours and hours.

-Tell them you don’t want to go out because you can’t eat at that place/don’t want to drink/rather sleep early to run in the morning than spend time with them and how nothing is as fun as running. For hours.

-Eat. Just Eat. They hate it. They hate that we can eat all that. Or, it might convert them, this could also be your most powerful tool when dealing with those people. Food. It’s always the food.

Two things could happen, they’ll eventually get it (or feel jealous of your amazing body, stamina, and good looks!) or they’ll block/delete/unfriend/stop listending to you forever. 

Oh well, worth a shot, right?

Keep pushing, eventually we will win. Mua Hua hua hua huaaaaaaaa


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

Nick Symmonds Might Star in “The Bachelor”

Straight out of RunnersWorld: Thanks Peter for messing up my day.

I have no words but YUM. Or PLEASE.

I have nothing else to say, probably for the rest of the day. Dare me.

Nick Symmonds Might Star in “The Bachelor”

The 800-meter champ considers network dating show.


May 10, 2013
Media: Nick Symmonds Profile Image

Nick Symmonds, known for his five straight U.S. 800-meter championships and his date with Paris Hilton, is under consideration to become the next star of “The Bachelor,” the ABC reality show in which one gentleman dates approximately 25 eligible women and sometimes ends the season by becoming engaged to the winner.

Symmonds’ publicist informed him that producers of “The Bachelor” might be interested in him, and his feelings about being on the show are mixed, as he told Joe Battaglia of Race Results Weekly… more

And these are better

you know when you do a race, look for the pictures maniacally for a day or two, theeeen you find them even though now your post is already old and who cares, and then you go back, like a week later, and you go it’s too late!!!  So tragic how it all works out right? Only that the pictures I just found are EVER MORE ridiculous than the last ones, so it is really not tragic at all.

I dare you to top these. Go ahead.


photo 3photo 2photo 4

I train for this. I do.  I jump and smile and practice in front of the mirror. Sometimes I take the mirror to the park because you need to practice while you run,  you know? I am very dedicated. Who cares about finish times?!?!

I am going broke at marathonphoto this month, I can see it happening…!

And this one is for no reason whatsoever:


Happy Friday and Happy Weekend everyone!  I am bursting at the seems, and more than usual!!!

Millrose Games 2013: rain of records!

Howdy everybody!!!

I’ve been a bit busy lately but I didn’t want a long time to go by without sharing my experience at Millrose this past weekend.

Sidebar: in case you’re not familiar with Millrose Games:

The Millrose Games is an annual indoor athletics meet (track and field) held on the first Friday in February in New York City. They started taking place at the Armory inWashington Heights in 2012, after having taken place in Madison Square Garden from 1914 to 2011.[1] The games were started when employees of the New York City branch of Wanamaker’s department store formed the Millrose Track Club to hold a meet. The featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. (more here)

I’ve been going to Millrose, since I remember liking track and living in NYC. Here is my post from last year, when EVERYBODY was there. Having had the whirlwind-iest last two weeks that I had, I didn’t even check who’d be running. So lame of me… surprise me Millrose. I knew Centro and Lagat would be there and that was enough for me!

Did a great run that day to get inspired, and even watched Saint Ralph, one of my favorite running movies. You gotta get in the mood, right? I then got this breakfast of champions:

2013-02-16 14.11.50

It was Valentine’s Week after all!

We barely made it there for the Opening Ceremonies, and as usual, I never made it to my seat… I like hanging out by the track and located my friend Sid and his wife who are such amazing runners and friends and hang out, just like last year. Sid remembers every single runner and world record, ever, so that makes my work a lot easier.

2013-02-16 18.53.30 2013-02-16 18.51.35

(Shoe-Box) Opening Ceremonies. Bright tops really do make a difference, see?

A hot second after they were sprinting and we were screaming. It was just so intense the whole night went by in a minute, even if it was 3.5 hours and we were standing. I just never let down. I did walk off to the media section for a bit and got to chat with Peter Gambaccini. If you read anything running related, you know him. He writes all the amazing RW.com’s news and knows EVERYTHING. I met him last year and when someone introduced him to me I screamed like I had just met Justin Bieber. Yes, he’s that amazing! I’d say, bookmark him.

But back to the action… we were right on the track. I love putting my hands on the track (ok, just the tips of my fingers or the guy with the flag would come my way) when the runners go by. Such… force! You really feel it there… it’s quite breathtaking. Mostly when you know that you’ll never ever get to do the speeds they do!

Look how close:

2013-02-16 20.22.31 2013-02-16 19.06.41

Going back to the crazy week I had and not being ready for the event… I then hear Nick Symmonds is racing next.. WHAT?!?!?!??! Seriously. WHAT? I had never seen Nick racing. I am gonna admit the unadmittable: I’ve always had a *bit* of a crush on Nick Symmonds. Well, you all saw my previous post where I screamed about him. Well, Nick RUN.

2013-02-16 20.52.44


Nick’s race is the 800 usually but here he run the 600m. He came in fourth, in 1:16:89, a bit over a second from Sowinski’s american record (for 9/100s of a second) of 1:15:61. Exciting race!

Then it was time for a very exciting 2 mile race. I like the longer races as it’s funner to watch the positioning and strategy 😉

Lagat threw down (and then fell on the floor after too!) to get the american record down to 8:09.72. Such a great race.

2013-02-16 21.09.07 2013-02-16 21.03.19 2013-02-16 21.05.52 2013-02-16 21.09.06

Hello Kip, remember me?

Then, soon enough, waaay too soon actually, the national anthem and the main event, the Wanamaker Mile. The women’s was fantastic, but I was really dying to see Centro and Lagat go head to head again, since the last time I saw them at the Fifth Ave Mile.

It was surreal. There is just something about this event, and how upclose you see them lap after lap, you can possibly even know what they’re thinking…

The thing is… they went out too fast (1:53) and that threw the option of a record out of contention… they all just went with the rabbit!!!

2013-02-16 21.58.12 2013-02-16 21.57.44

Too close to even get a picture… They are TOO fast (and I should have brough my camera instead of just my phone!!!)

Eventually Lomong and Centro sprint for the finish, while I held my heart in my hand, and Lomong beat him 3:51:21 to Centro’s 3:51:34. Did I mention in this post how much I enjoy watching Centro run? Just had to say it.

It was intense though. I was shaking for over an hour and I needed help getting out of the building. I am NOT kidding. I thought I was going to pass out.

Lomong, enjoying the victories!

2013-02-16 22.04.47

Lagat again, and his cute kid

2013-02-16 22.06.03 2013-02-16 22.06.12

And while I was bring transported out… you know what happened… I saw Nick Symmonds, I almost fainted while talked to me about stuff. And then I left, in shock or something. Post is here in case you missed my ridiculousness. Sharing again, just because I can’t stop.

2013-02-16 22.12.01

Millrose Games 2013: rain of records!

Nick. Symmonds.

hi ladies… you know what I am talking about, right? Right?

Saturday I was at Millrose and I will tell you all about it later, it was super fun, but the oh moment, for came, came after the best of the best of the night, which is always the Wanamaker Mile. I get so tense I was in threads, shaking and spent after the mile, as if I had run it myself, There is this big thing between Centro and Lagat and it’s always amazing to see them compete. But like I said, there was a lot to see that night and after the mile I was a tense mess.

We decide I need to get out and get food. We say goodbye to all our friends and start heading out, when… I spot Nick Symmonds!! You know how I feel about Nick Symmonds right? If not, hello:

Nick and Nutella

And, of course, he’s a tremendous runner.

Anyway, I spot Nick. Juan suggests we go and say hi, there’s a door we walk through, though we shouldn’t have and two seconds later I am talking to Nick. Symmonds.

I have no idea what he was saying. Pretty pathetic of me to get stoooopid like that. I really had no clue. He was super sweet and telling me tons of things. Some things about races and the Armory and NYC… no clue. I wanted to die, I don’t get flustered like that a lot. Or ever. Seriously, this is NYC and there’s celebrities and runners all over the place; it’s an every day thing… But this was Nick Symmonds. I felt like and idiot so I headed out soon. Got a picture first of course, but please don’t laugh at how stoopid I look, though it totally represents me on that moment:

Nick and Me

I am quite happy that, after all this time, some things (runners!) still throw me off as violently as that.

__More on Millrose soon! I promise!