Tag Archive | nyc half

Who Will Win a Prize??? Guess my Finish Time at the NYC Half next Sunday!

Just like I did for pretty much every race in the last 18 months, it’s time to place your bets again… I love how there is always someone who nails it right in the head!

Rules: pick a time and write in the comments below. Whoever gets closer, wins, If there’s two identical times, the first poster wins! Make sure if you include seconds in there too, and post before next Sunday, March 16th. 
Prizes… you can pick from:
– a biomechanics session (in NYC)
– a clip-on running metronome
– a  brooks flat vapur water bottle
– a NYC Marathon rain (knee-length, orange and white) poncho
– a pack of travel bodiglide
Ok, the DATA

My Half PR:
– NYC Half, March, 2013: 1:37:35 Pace: 7:27
Last Halfs/Marathons:
– Brooklyn Half Marathon: May, 2013: 1:38:29
– Grete’s Gallop, October 2013: 1:44:33
– New York City Marathon, November 2013: 3:49:33

My guess: I am sure I will NOT PR. Not only I am not in good shape, but since I stopped running for most of July and August last year (because of an ulcer) I really haven’t gotten back on track. The Marathon was super slow and the winter weather laziness slowed me down a lot more. I haven’t done a run over 14 miles since, not more than 50 miles a month, and 10 milers pace is around 9:30. I am guessing around 1:50.

GO ON! Place your bets below!!! (I will probably not look until after!) but I will add more prizes (after I hear back from my sponsors!)

Prizes shipped only within the US, but you can pick it up when you’re in NYC if you are abroad! Or have me send to someone in the US.  / Comments with guesses will only count if they are posted before Saturday 9 pm, EST.  / If there are two guesses with the exact same time, the first one wins.

NYRR Portugal Day – Cheering in a bikini, a year later!

As some of you might remember, I went cheering last year for this race in a bikini. It caused a bit of a commotion, and to this day, I still hear about it. So I hung the bikini, bought 3 more sunny suits because I didn’t think I could take that one outside again, and moved on. Until this past weekend happened.

The girls in my team were cheering for the Portugal Day 5 miler, a men’s point race that the boys in my team have to run. And as they cheered for us during last weekend’s Mini10K, we were to return the favor. In Style of course. Cause we roll hard.
So, there was a bit of prepping, sign-making meet up, I just showed up in the bikini and they had made me a “fake pool”, and a special sign. Amazing amazing team mates!

one 1

that’s my fake pool in my fake water station.

2013-06-16 08.55.37

All ready to cheer. Notice we have Whippets of the human, canine, and real cheerleading type!

We also decided to cheer twice, on the east and west side, around 72nd st, so nobody would miss us. My team is growing a cheering reputation and we didn’t want anyone to miss it!


Hard Hat Kenneth, being mindful of the Hammer Rain

2013-06-16 21.06.07 2013-06-16 21.06.342013-06-16 20.52.02

What is up with the hammer talk  and the hard hats, you ask?

Well, a fabo Whippet, Simon, started this whole “drop the hammer” talk, you know, “drop the hammer”, as in push your guts out, and it stuck. A LOT. It has become a bit of our team’s moto in a way!

The pool and the sign (by Rose, thanks!!) were a huge hit. Lots of people fake dived in my pool, men AND women blew kisses,  hollered, winked, gave thumbs up, and they all smiled or laughed. I think they liked that I had no shame. I know I don’t look like a supermodel, but it’s all about how you feel in your head, and I am delusional like hell. It really helps and I am very happy all up in my fantasy world 😉

2013-06-16 20.51.20

So, they boyfriend wanted nothing to do with dressing up. I told him he couldn’t come with me in runner’s clothes or it would throw off our look (well, not runner, he only has Ironman outfits!). So we started little by little and all the other girls in the team helped woo him. It turned around and he was shirtless and had a R in his abs… He looked amazing. And I heard a few “thanks for bringing him”. Oh my. Eye Candy.

2013-06-16 21.08.23

Hilarious. Which one is trying to compensate with a tough face for the tutu?

2013-06-16 07.57.11

much better

It was all ridiculous and amazing, and super fun. I don’t think I ever saw so many smiling runners.

2013-06-16 20.51.42 2013-06-16 07.55.41

Lesson from the post:

-Running can make you happy even when you are not running yourself
-Being ridiculously fun and delusional is the best cheering
-No shame! Ever.

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

NYC Half 2012: Owning my NYC streets

Ah, what a day… I was really looking forward to this race!

This was my first race ever, in 2006, the first time they ever held the race. It poured, I had no clue what I was doing, my longest run up to then had been ONE 6 miler and I have no pictures from it. 

It’s been a long journey. (probably an understatement)

As you can imagine, I loved it in 2006. I did it in 07, 08 and 09. Four years in a row, and then, meh, I wanted to diversify. So many roads to explore, so many other races to run… and for some reason this past year I thought to apply (there’s a lottery!) and got in.You never forget your first love, don’t you?

And I got in. Then, after barely recovering from two stress fractures, doing my slowest marathon ever, and getting re-messed up with a month-long tendonitis… I started to get back to it. Basically, I hadn’t been in shape since last July.

In mid January, I started back up slowly, very slowly, low mileage, quality over quantity and very strict rules I imposed on myself. Still, with just two months of little slow (but hilly) mileage, I had no idea where I was fitness-wise. My hill sprints showed some promise in the last month, but nothing record breaking. But I was running, so I was happy. That’s really all that matters!

I was running, but not enough time to train, and NYC Half was just lurking so I just did the best I could and decided I’d enjoy my race. MY race. That was the plan. To run through my city. Also, I had already paid for it!

My goal for the last week was to sleep and be there rested come race morning. Well, that OBVIOUSLY never happened. SoSaturday, I cozied up at 7 pm, passed out, got woken up at 9 pm by crazy loud St. Patrick’s day partiers (my block is pretty much in Ireland!), got earplugs, passed out again and managed to sleep 9 hours. Ok, NOW I am ready.

Race Morning, all is going great. I am freezing in the corral (one hour to go, 47 degrees, and I am in shorts and a singlet), and a lady offers me her extra mylar. YEY. Go into the portapotty and it doesn’t smell… Am I dreaming this? I’m waiting in the corral, and one of the NYRR’s photogs comes over to take my pic. All too much fun!

Not sure why it looks so dark…

Anyway, I was in the third corral, with around 15K people around me. I find two team-mates in my corral, and I know Michelle and I used to be around the same pace, back in the day when I was running consistently.  I ask her what’s her goal. 7:40s or 7:50s or something. Hmmmm, I say, you go girl!!

Given all the stuff I had gone thru, my tighest estimation, if all went well, was a 1:52. Or so I hoped. I also thought I’d be closer to 1:55. But my secret and wildest dream in my fantasy world was a sub 1:50. But, who knows, right? Pace would be around 8:30, if I could hold it, and it would be A-OK.

They introduce the elites, I set the Motoactv (ha, two seconds to get satellite while everyone else is fumbling!!), I check all my parts, and I get crazy excited. I really have to pee, but oh well, forget all about it. NYC, get ready, I am coming and you better be ready for this tornado!!!!!

We go.

There’s Michelle and I, both in our team’s singlets. I decide I was gonna let her go Do not try to pursue her, Elizabeth. But I like company… NO. NO. She’s gonna go fast, and you can’t afford to go fast in the first miles. And the park is the hardest part. NO, let her go!!!

Yeah. I am crazy. And I talk to myself when I race.

Then, around the Mile 1 marker I hear it, and I say I hear it because the Motoactv reads my splits info into my ear, while it lowers the music a bit. Never had to bother to look down to see my splits… how amazing is that???

So, I hear it…

Hmmm. now I am confused… I am not great at a lot of things, but I KNOW I can pace smartly… Is it possible I startd out too fast? Hmmm, I should let Michelle go, and back off?? but I felt good. And also scared that I had no clue what I was doing and was gonna blow up later… Ok, relax, keep going… 

In case you don’t know, the course does 10k in Central Park, with a big big hill and a bunch of rolling hills. After we leave the park it’s completely flat, so you could really really speed up. Unless… you went out too fast. But I know this. There’s now way I could be pacing myself wrong, but on the other hand, how am I going to sustain this pace?!!?

Anyway, want to see a bit more laps…? I bet you do!

Yeah, I was holding it, in the PARK!


And I was still hanging on to Michelle. And I was spitting out splits, as it was just easier for me to repeat what motoactv said, instead of both of us looking down on such a crowded course. 

This is the other thing that was throwing me off. Get Ready. It’s hard to explain, but I am gonna try to do my best.

One of the main reasons this race was so great is because I had the most support and love on the course ANYONE, and I am sure I can prove this, ANYONE had. Not even the elites. I promise you. It’s impossible.

I had my groupies who were there on the course just to see me.

I had lots of friends on the course, to see me and maybe someone else.

I had ALL my coworkers, plus all the Team in Training volunteers, plus all the Team in Training Coaches. That could probably amount to around… 300 hundred people I waved at in this group only.

Half my running team was running, the rest was either spectating, or taking pictures or volunteering at a water stop. Impossible to miss either.

I had LOTs of friends running, who I run into or run past. I even caught one at mile 11 and finished 1 second apart!

Lots of friends on other teams, with their team mates, ex coworkers, NYRR people, Footlocker challenge people, neighbors.

Some of them. I even saw twice or more on the course. Like my friend Patricia, who only slept 3 hours and saw her twice on the course! 

I waived, I screamed, I kissed.

People around me even asked me about it. Who are you? Why are you getting all these cheers?

I promise you, not even the elites got this many shout outs. Impossible.

So… that was throwing me off a bit too. Because I wasn’t sure if I was in a fake high from all the love (there was hill there?!!?!) or if I was really in this ok shape… I let it be, rode the love wave, and decided I would figure it out once I left the park and things calmed down. AS IF. 

In that pic above, I am on the right, waving at the guy in blue, who works at Super Runners shop and best NY runner in his age group (per the Runner of the Year commitee!). See? In EVERY picture I am waving at someone. Pretty ridiculously amazing if you ask me!

Then I get to leave the park…

And into the most amazing part of a course you could run… Times Square! 

Times Squares SUCKS. It does.

If you live here, you hate it. Really, every newyorker hates Times Square 365 days ayear.

BUT, if you are New York Runner, you hate Times Squares, just 362 days. Because the high of running through it, just this one day, lasts a bit. There’s no feeling like it. I can’t describe it. You will have to try it for yourself.

Oh yeah, that’s my I hate Times Square face.

GPSs were going wild and people were freaking out. I had proper pace/speed, you guys don’t?? We’re flying, people, just ride it!

Then we turn into 7th avenue, then onto the West Side Highway… a long, flat, and straight stretch that was quite boring the last time I run it. Not this time. Saw LOTS of Team in Training friends and coworkers (including the boss and the Executive Director!) cheering and in purple wigs. I love my job!

Hmmmm, when I would get a few quiet seconds I did my check ups. Lungs? Heart? Hammies? Feet? All systems seemed to yell GO, so I kept trucking along.

Pace…? you want to know huh? I was still doing low 8s, yeah, unbelievable. Though, really, I was starting to believe. I felt well. I felt like I was floating. Am I really running this pace, this comfortably?


No time like right now to keep running and keep enjoying! Keep trucking! Let’s own these streets!!!!!

Around mile 11, it hits me. And it hits me hard. I remembered when 6 years ago I did this race, my first ever and I saw that Mile 11 sign. I had started crying, and I didn’t stop until I finished the race. I now have a bit more control over my emotions while running, but not that much. I was running. I was still running. Six years later. And I was running fine. With no pain, no slowing down… it was pure joy. I didn’t want the half to end. I wanted to double it up. Or triple it up. Or bottle it up. But I sucked it up, swallowed my feelings and got back to the race. Pfffff.

Mile 12 and change, after a water stop with more TNT friends, we go into a tunnel. This was the only weird part for me. I had never run in a tunnel, I had no clue what to expect. I thought it’d be a short tunnel, but I couldn’t see the light at the end, pun intended. Then there was a turn, still no light. Another turn. How long is this thing??? How long have I been under here? I miss my watch’s voice! 

Then I see the light. And more.

At around Mile 5 I had lost Michelle. I thought she was gonna fly and I decided it might be easier for me to gauge my pace on my own instead of just trying to go with her. But as soon asI come out of the tunnel, into the light, I see Michelle again. And I see a800 meters to go sign. Those signs. Gotta love them. Because then I think it’s two laps. But, when do I ever ever do laps?? HA. Never. So I just go crazy-all-out.

That’s my grinning stooopid. It’s happiness coming thru my pores. Just like I did at the end of the NYC Marathon. I closed my eyes for a few seconds. I might have airplaned a bit. I couldn’t hear anyone. I didn’t care about anyone. This was mine. And I was still running fine!

I look down, the watch says 1:42 something. I am in SHOCK. My PR is 1:42 something. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING???

I had no pain, I wasn’t even running. I couldn’t sprint because I couldn’t even hold it in anymore. 

I crossed the finish line. I owned the streets. I won. Whatever I wanted, I had it.

And two seconds later, I completely LOST IT.


I was bawling. A few people came over to check. Michelle had to hold me for a bit.

Really. I really have no clue about how things in my life work. I have zero control. Stuff just happens. But I can’t complain. This was way too emotional. Just like the NYC Marathon finish:

What a frigging cry baby!!! Or drama queen!!! Go ahead and make fun. It’s been a crazy year and I’ll cry of joy if I want to!!

Ok, eventually I wiped my face and showed my happiness!

I didn’t PR. I didn’t even know I could sub 1:50, but later that day I (looked up my PR and) did the math: I was 20 seconds away from a PR… I guess it could have happened if I thought  I had a chance… but who knows!! And, who cares when you have such a good race??!?!?!?!

Please, get ready (you should have seen how FAST I reached for my camera for this!). Runners…

Post finish, at the Motoactv booth, for their website:

At the Team in Training booth, with super osom (from left) Sam, Meghan, and Danielle! Poor Danielle shares an office with me. I think her life is gonna be more amazing every day, just karma for putting up with me! GO Team!

I eat a few bars, drink some G, chat with everyone around, stop at the Team in Training party for a bit (we had the whole Heartland Brewery right by the finish for us) and as we’re heading into the train… my heart skips a beat… I had seen a Dunkin Donuts. I need a Boston Creme. In and out, off to the train back to the Upper East Side… 

You know those days that seem like you dreamed them? That was Sunday.

NYC Half 2012: Owning my NYC streets

NYC Half: Dinner with Champions (Kara, Kim, Ritz, Meb, Desi, Adam&Colt Goucher, and…!)

I had attended this event last year too, when one of my best friends (ket’smeow!) invited me:

so of course I said yes again. It’d also be our friendship anniversary…! We had lots of elite running fun last year, and took lots of pictures (all here A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!).

We got there a bit later this time as we had to catch up… As soon as we got upstairs, it was fun time. I spotted Ritz right away of course! We talked for a bit as people hadn’t recognized him yet… what he had coming up, about the last time he run the half and how the course was different this time. He then talked about how hard Central Park is, and told me about this race he had run once that he won. And I totally remembered that race as it was the first race I had ever run in Central Park after the half, I remember him winning and donating all his winnings to the Kidney Foundation (that sponsored the race) as his grandfather had been affected by it… I was so impressed with him that day, that I remembered it all 5 years later…

Wished him luck and really hoped he could win, but the field is sooo ridiculous. He needs to move to NY and do all our races!!

Two seconds later I spot Adam, and Colt and Kara walk in. Gosh, Kara’s arms are IMPRESSIVE, “it’s because of carrying this little guy around!”, everything is crosstraining, isn’t it?? And her hair is darker!! If I want to beKara for Halloween again, I’ll need to go darker! She said she likes to try new stuff. Intereeeeeesting…! Adam and I chatted for a bit, about his book Running the Edge, which I love, and working on other stuff. He said they might go over to Kara’s posters (the ones I blogged about) and take pictures, and luckily grandma was around to take over Colt who was getting bored with all these runners!

Happy-looking and fast family! And this girl in the middle, hummm.

Turned around and there was Kim Smith. Whenever I see or hear her name I always remember how fiercely she pushed in Boston and took a very early lead and crazy pace last year. That was crazy to watch. Crazy inspiring. “It didn’t work out though”, she said.Oh, but she’s such a Pre. We talked for a long time, then I started telling her about the course, she kept asking and I pulled my course map from my Kate Spade, because you always have to have a course map wherever you go!! I’ll be thinking about you going up that hill, she said, about Harlem hill. Of course you will. But then you can hit the gas as soon as you’re clear of that and push. She seemed happy to know this stuff and really really ready to go run this race right that second. The Girl is FIERCE.

We get some more drinks (ginger ale for me please!!!) and then turned around and Meb was there. Clearly, Meb and Kara were the most popular there, they come to NYC often, then take over the city and have big sponsors that make sure we all know about them. Getting to Meb wasn’t as easy, but we managed. My friend said did Meb know you? he seemed to recognize you! Ha, I’ve met him one million times before, but I don’t think so. We talked about the course again, I had to be fair to everyone really… then about UCan, cause I get it at work, and he reccomended chocolate and vanilla (as I said it can be quite chalky), and you know, the stuff, NYC Half, the marathon, the Olympic trials, all packed in 2 minutes with a second for a picture too!

They then group everyone together, and do some speeches… From left, Kim Smith, Desi Davila, Meb, Caroline Rotich.

Kara was on the other side of the room.

Below: check Ritz right on Kara’s shoulder.

Then Mary Wittenberg, in pink, talked. We all listened of course.

And laughed too, apparently.

Up: check out Kara’s osom grey suede boots. HAWTNESS!

Then we break out again, so I get to Desi. I had never met her before (other than having dinner right before the Boston marathon 1 yard away from her!) and I felt HUGE. Also, I felt crazy… she’s so quiet and maybe shy… and I am so not! We even got in a bit of an argument over a boy and I was ready to fight Desi off, all joking of course…!!!!! 

Then the photo op! I positioned myself to get a good one. Like??

We let them be after. Then need rest and sleep and I did too. That was the only thing I was going to do for this race and it hadn’t worked out so far… We still did go outside for a bit of the view from the Time Warner Center, but it had been foggy all day…

Foggy or not, I love this city. And I love my friends. And I love that I get to hang out with all this people like it’s normal. It feels totally normal to me, but I know it’s not. I still try to wrap around my head sometimes about the things that have become normal to me and not take them for granted. One thing that I do all the time and I still always get excited about is running the park, mostly in the reservoir, at night, with the whole skylike lit up.I really hope that the excitment that is this city never grows old to me. And just around the corner, I had the NYC Half, that runs thru my park, and Times Square, and all the way to the other end of the city. How could anyone not be super super excited about that. I know I was. More about that SOON.

NYC Half: Dinner with Champions (Kara, Kim, Ritz, Meb, Desi, Adam&Colt Goucher, and…!)

Kara (and the NYC Half) taking over the city

Can you imagine what it’d be to see this on your corner?

Well, this is all over NYC this week!! The NYC Half has taking over and it’s almost as big as the marathon… Fun week indeed. From now on, I’ll be running into the biggest stars of our sports in my slow and regular run, and wave. Newyorkers never ever acknowledge celebrities, but if they are runners we DO (I do) waive and shout. They deserve it. Expo starts on Thursday (through Saturday); I’ll have to stop by at the Motorola booth to pick up race day gear, and visit my Team in Training coworkers.

This Friday, just like last year (A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!), Kettia and I will dine with the elites and hopefully get their speed secrets! I promise I’ll make a list and share. Anyway, half fever is up to 103 and I am ready to set my secret plan to victory on high gear… Want to know…? I am going to… Sleep!!!!


I know it’s super obvious but that’s ALL I can do at this point. At least starting tomorrow (I already know it won’t happen tonight!). Hopefully tomorrow!

I am SO sleep deprived that Sunday I slept in the middle of my run. Literally.

I walked up to the park so slowly and tired (and I hadn’t even run since Thursday…!) and did more hill reps. Then, after 6 miles I was so tired, I put my shirt on the grass, slept for like an hour, and got back to a few more miles. Ridiculous.

Also, it was pretty stooopid of me to try to rest in a place where everbody knows me! Got woken up every 20 minutes.

Kara (and the NYC Half) taking over the city

NYC Half – 8 days to go – Shoot!!


The past weeks at work have been very busy. For everybody. Just like always… But one of my coworkers has been particularly stressed and when she looked up, sighed, and said “Nine days to NYC Half”.

Ah, yeah, we’re all busy…

Wait A second… I am RUNNING that half. Oh shoot.

Really, shoot.


I signed up for the NYC Half as I hadn’t done it in a few years and it’s so hard to get in… Then I got in… I haven’t been in any sort of shape since July last year so I’ve just been trying to catch up and avoid messing up. That does not training make!

There’s been really no training per se for the last 2 months. But I’ve been running. And I’ve been running constantly. Not particularly much (25 to 30 miles a week), not particularly fast (NOT one speed session!) but I’ve had FUN. The past two months the running was all mine, for my fun alone.

And that’s how I am going into this half, 8 days away, with a I am going to have fun attitude. It’s the first race I ever ever did, and I am looking forward to doing it again. Even though I just noticed this week that the course has changed completely, it goes in the other direction in the park, doesn’t start by my bed, it finishes on the other side of town, and it goes through a tunnel. It’s like a completely different race. This race sneaked up on me, even if I haven’t raced since the marathon.

And because I haven’t raced in so long, I have no idea where I’ll be pace wise. I am assuming I can sub2 (as I did the marathon in November in just about sub 4, in worse shape, well, my slowest ever), and I’ve been doing better since. Maybe 1:55? Maybe a wild 1:50? Whatever, it’ll be a super fun weekend, seeing all my favorite runners in town (will share pics and stories of course) and chasing them down my city. What else could a girl want? Wish me luck!!!

PS: had a wonderful run last night. Just sports bra and shorts in March!!! I was bopping along the trails like a happy firefly in the darkness against the city lights! Even though I had gotten so busy at work that I forgot to have lunch (filled it in with one humongous cupcake and two powerbars!) I ended up with 8 miles (I just didn’t want to stop!) and a bunch of hill sprints: HAPPINESS.

Happy Running Weekend!!!!

A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!

And K and me! You know K… ket’s meow! We met a bit before the event and, really, she’s the nicest!!!! I love her! It’s amazing to think about how many amazing people I met…

A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!