Tag Archives: marathon

Jingle Jog and Ted Corbitt 15K

Finally, my 9 qualifying races for the NYC Marathon 2014 are complete! It was hard to squeeze those last ones in, but let me tell you, it feels good.

Last weekend I ran the Jingle Jog 4M.jingle jog

I tied bells on my shoes and jingled all the way to Brooklyn.  For some reason, I didn’t give myself very much time to get there and ended up in a corral with only 4 minutes to spare.  I didn’t even bother trying to move my way up to my assigned corral. I was surrounded by elves, reindeer and snowmen–it was clear that this race was meant to be more fun than competitive.

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Long story short, I jogged my way through four nice miles.  Prospect Park is nice and flat other than one gradual hill during the first mile of the race.  The miles kind of sailed by and suddenly the finish line was right in front of me and I didn’t even have enough room to pick it up for the end.

I really enjoyed the Jingle Jog. If I did it again, I would definitely wear a costume. However, I’m not sure I would pay $50 to run it again.  When I registered for my last 3 races, they were literally the only open races left in 2013, so if I wanted to qualify, I had to complete them no matter the cost or distance.

That leads me to Ted Corbitt 15K.  When I registered about a month  ago, I had no business running a 15K.  But the 5 miler I wanted to register for sold out suddenly and I was left with no choice.

I’d like to say that I used those 5 weeks to train and prepare the best I could.  But alas I can not. I really didn’t train at all. My training consisted of 1 Barry’s Bootcamp and two 4 Mile NYRR races.  Between the weather, the fact that it’s dark at 5PM and my absolutely loathing of the treadmills at the gym, I let myself pretend that the elliptical and spinning were just as good as actual running.  FALSE.  While I don’t think you need to run everyday.  I think running a couple times a week should be a core  component of race preparation.  Mind blowing, I know.

Anyways, all week long I was dreading this 15K. I obsessively checked the weather hoping it would be canceled. I checked for updates on the NYRR website hoping that the expected snow would convince them to have the race be unscored. I woke up several times throughout the night and looked out the window hoping for a white out. None of that happened.  So at 7:15AM yesterday morning, I BUNDLED UP  and hopped in a cab to 102nd St and Fifth Ave.  It was pretty cold waiting for the race to start. I had many layers on, so as other runners pranced around in just tights and a long sleeved shirt, I wondered how they weren’t turning into icicles.

The race started and my friend Laura and I jogged along for a little while, before she sprinted on ahead.  My original plan was to run the first 6 miles and then run walk the last 3.3.  I hadn’t run more than 4 miles in months, so I wasn’t sure what my body would allow.  For how cold and snowy it was, the weather was kind of nice.  Central Park looked lovely, and somehow I really wasn’t cold at all. I don’t think I would have run in this much snow had this not been my last possible opportunity to qualify, but I’m so glad I did.

Despite how unprepared I was to run 9 miles, the familiarity of the park really helped me get through the miles. I know pretty much every inch of the lower loops, so I just focused on the next landmark and the next mile marker. I kind of like when a course has multiple looks because when I saw the 1 mile marker and the 5 mile marker next to each other I thought:

Wow I’ll feel great when I’m back here again.

I can’t wait to be back here again.

I just need to get back here again!

Landmark by landmark and mile marker by mile marker, I made my way through the course.  When I hit mile 6, I decided to see if I could run to 7.  When I got to 7, I tried to walk a few steps, that felt terrible, and I knew I had to shuffle my way through the last 2.3 miles.  But it was only 2.3 miles!  I waved hello to the Boathouse, said my second and final hello to Cat, chugged past Cleopatra’s Needle and focused on getting to the reservoir entrance at 90th.  The last mile really went by pretty quickly, I felt great at the end.  I knew I could have actually pushed a little harder, but I was just glad I had been able to make it to the end.

I actually laughed when I saw the water cups at the finish! Look at all the snow on the top!

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9 qualifiers done! I am excited to actually train for the NYC Marathon.  Most of my qualifiers were run at very slow paces and I know I have a lot more in me.  Hopefully, 2014 will be my running year!

If you are still with me, I saved the best for last!

Barry’s Bootcamp is on sale. Today is the last day, so act fast!  Sadly, these deals don’t come around often enough. Here are the details:

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All NYC classes are priced at $27. (Reg. $34) Classes will never expire and there’s no limit on purchasing. However you only have 60 hours to cash in on this amazing deal: Friday, December 13th to Sunday, December 15th. Classes are available for purchase online or in-store at our Chelsea or TriBeCa studios.

 

More Half Marathon 2012

Let’s do it! After a semi-sleepless night, I got out of bed and put on my carefully laid out race outfit:

I stashed my key, money, metrocard, etc. in my skort pocket and stuck my safety pins and fuel in the pocket of my tee.   My bib, sunglasses, phone (in ziplock bag) and water went in my bag to check.

As I rushed out the door, I worried that I was running late.  I considered taking a cab, but chanced it on the subway.  Just as I was in full panic that the next train wouldn’t come for HOURS, it came. In the span of 3 minutes my faith in the MTA completely vanished and then was miraculously restored.

I was at the park by 7:13AM, but had over a mile walk to bag check.  I kept my eyes out for friends, but sadly didn’t see Theodora, Jess, Jocelyn, Stephaine, Gia or Laura. Finally, I reached bag check, put on my bib, grabbed my water, removed my top layer and tried to find a dry spot for my bag in case of rain. I made the mistake of not going to the porta potties just a few hundred yards away from baggage, which had almost no lines.  Instead, I went to the ones near the corrals, which had huge lines and no place to stand.  At 7:47AM, I was still in line.  Fortunately, my corral was close and I was able to duck in with minute to spare.  Some lady told me I was in the wrong corral and needed to move up, but actually I was in the right corral, it was just that everyone else had moved up and no light blue runners were left in their rightful corral. I wasn’t sweating it, I wasn’t planning on running a 9:13 pace anyways.

After a few words of encouragement from Elisabeth Hasselback and a great rendition of the National Anthem, we were off! The announcer guy was top notch and really got me going! 

Mile 1: Crowds

The first mile started out crazy packed. I did a lot of weaving and sometimes just hung back behind people.  I realized I forgot to start my watch, so I started it a little late.  My first mile I realized what I was in for, two loops of the full park and three times around the bottom.  It was a little daunting.

Mile 2: Catty

Cat Hill was our first challenge.  I gave the cat a good look in the eye as I charged upward.  I glanced at my watch as was shocked that we were running at a 9:17 pace.  Wow!  I felt good, but was worried I was going out too fast!

Mile 3: Doubt

Normally, I spend a lot of time before the race psyching myself up.  I didn’t do that this time.  I spent a lot of time doubting myself in the early miles. Thoughts kept crossing my mind, “will I finish, should I slow down, can my body handle this?” I also got mad for not sticking to a training plan and missing a few runs.   Eventually I shook it off and enjoyed the beautiful blossoming trees and sun peaking through the clouds.

Mile 4: Form

Around mile 4, the real hills started. I just thought about how Coach Ramon had trained us to run hills and straightened my back and hinged every so slightly from the waist.  This was actually very effective, it created a sense of falling forward, so you were basically forced to keep running forward. Even though the only real hill work I did was with Laura and the Athleta Run Club, the hills went way better than expected.  They gave me something to focus on.

Mile 5: Frank

I knew Frank was stationed between miles 5-6, so I stayed on the inside and kept a sharp eye out!  All of the sudden I saw him holding a camera and one hand and a sign in the other.  It.was.awesome. IMG_4200

The sign is a reference to this fabulous jam.

Knowing Frank was waiting kept me going through the first loop when I knew I had so so far left to go!   IMG_4225

Yeah, so there I am, and it sure looks like I am walking.  And for the record, the lady in front of me is definitely walking.  However, I finished the first six miles in 57 minutes, so I was at least jogging!

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Wahoo!

Mile 6: Sticky

Mile six was basically the start, so there were speakers all around and the announcer had a running commentary going.  I really enjoyed listening to him chatter on about the runners passing by.  At miles 6, I whipped out my gu and ripped off the top.  Then I realized that the next water station was nowhere in sight. About a mile later, I finally had water to take my gu.  It would be another mile before I could rinse the sticky gu off my hands! Oh, one other mile six note, it was here that I switched my ipod from passion pit to girl talk at this point.

Mile 7: One more time

At mile seven I got a glimpse of the finish line.  It was actually relieving to know that I only had one more loop.  I had it. I could do it again.  I also wondered if anyone had finished since no one was in the passing lane.  Later when I checked the stats, the first finisher ran the race in 1:13!  Crazy!

Mile 8: Losing Focus Brunch

Some point around here I realized I had really lost myself in silly thoughts, like where I wanted to go for brunch.  Landmarc? Bouchon Bakery? For the record,  we ended up at the Smith, which allowed me to change out of my race clothes.  My pace slowed and I sort of forgot that I was running.  I had to snap out of it and pull myself together and at least as much on running as I was on my next meal.

Mile 9: More Hills

Not much to say here. I was worried about round 2, but it wasn’t so bad.  It wasn’t quite as fast, but Girl Talk got me through.

Mile 10: Athleta

Throughout the course there with signs that denoted the race sponsors.  There was one for Athelta around mile 4 and 10, which always made me smile.  I am so honored that they wanted to sponsor my race entry and my outfit! Mile 10 was my thankful mile!

Mile 11: Frank again

Once again, I had Frank to look forward to. I knew he was waiting for me at the transverse.  In fact, this is exactly where he waited between cheering duties.

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He even had a new sign for me!

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Yet another awesome song reference.

 Mile 12-13.1 Are we there yet?

This was tough. It was my third time around this section of the park and it seemed like it had doubled in length. My legs were tired and it was really everything I could do to keep them turning over. I wasn’t in pain, I was just tired.  The long training runs I didn’t do had come back to bite me, but at the last mile, I couldn’t complain. I never even looked at my watch the second time around, so I didn’t realize that if I pushed, I might PR.  I just kept waiting for the transverse and finally, it came. I managed to pick it up for the last .1 and was thrilled to cross the finish!

Aftermath

After exiting the finish area, I quickly found Frank!

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Boy did I kick some boy butt, not a single boy beat me!

Total Finishers:  Men – 0    Women – 7,092    Total – 7,092

My finish time was 2:12:40 and a 10:08 pace.  So I am not Paula Radcliffe or even Theodora for that matter, I was actually really happy with my time.  It is the fastest half I have run since 2009.  My PRs are both from Grete’s Gallop: 2:10’s in 2008 and 2009. Definitely not too far off!

I feel pretty good post-race.  A bit sore, but I think the short run yesterday followed by a good foam roll and stretch session was the ticket to a good race today.  A massage would be awesome and all, but it’s probably not in the budget!

Congrats to my fellow runners! (an go yankees!)

25 Ways to Get Psyched for Your Fall Marathon

There comes a point in marathon training where you either can’t think about anything else or you can’t wait until you can focus on something besides running.  I’ve been on both sides of the coin.  I find October to be one of the hardest months because you know you are so close and that every last run counts, but you have also been training for 5 months and are starting to miss your other workouts. 

I am both excited and nervous for the NYC Marathon.  I don’t feel like it’s going to be my best race, but I also know that the mental side of running matters as much as the physical.  I want every run to go perfectly, but I know that’s not a reality.  But my physical training will soon be coming to an end, so I have been trying to amp up my mental game to cross the finish line strong!

Here are some of my favorite ways to get pumped for a race…

1.) Read UltraMarathon Man

2.) Buy a ruffly running skirt

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3.) Join a running club, like:

4.) Get Some Rundies, if these don’t inspire you to run your butt off, nothing will.

5.)  Watch Spirit of the Marathon..bring tissues

6.) Read one of these amazing blogs or one of these—so many to choose from!

7.) Or start your own blog

8.)Run on your very favorite route

9.) Or try out a new treadmill workout

10.) Read Born to Run (okay this is actually on my to read list, but I hear it’s good.)

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

11.) Or Run for Your Life, the Fred Lebow Story

 

12.) Browse Runners World, I love the Newbie Chronicles!

13.) Sign Up for NYRR Running Classes, if you pay, you’ll run!

14.) Pretend You’re Kara Goucher

15.) Rework Your Playlist

16.) Envision Your Post Run Meal

17.) Treat Yourself to a Massage

18.) Ask  your friends to track you or even join you for a few miles of the race

19.) Get inspired by a Star

I'm a Runner: Al Roker

20.) Imagine crossing the finish line…and know that every run and every step gets you closer to that goal!

21.) Plan Your Race Outfit…don’t forget throw away clothes!

22.) Buy your race fuel

23.) Pick out the necklace you can proudly wear once you have achieved glory

24.) Think of how 8 miles once seemed like an impossible distance and now is a welcome short taper run!

25.) Picture the medal be placed around your neck at the finish line!

When Twitter is Clutch

On Monday, I happened to be on twitter at exactly the right time.  I noticed that Dori was attending an Arm and Ab Booster at Physique 57 that evening.  And within minutes, I was invited to join! 

I have never taken a 30 minute class in the studio, but I love the Arm and Ab Booster DVD with all my heart, so I was excited to see what the live class would be like.

If I could describe the class in one word, it would be FAST!

As soon as I entered the class room it was a race to the weight bins to pick up THREE sets of weights!  I selected 8, 4, and 3.  I am positive I have never used anything over 5 in a class, so I was a bit nervous. But I figured I would get all 30 minutes of bang for my buck.  Actually, this class was complimentary, but time is money.

Our incredibly energetic instructor sped us through standing arm work, arm work at the bar with weights (that was a first),  push ups, mat work under the bar floor, and classic c-curve moves under the bar.

This is a class that I will have to take again because the transitions were so quick I felt a bit awkward switching from front to back, standing to mat the first time around—as I do in most classes the first time at bat…er bar. Next time, I will also have a better understanding of the weights I need during each sections next time.   Shockingly, my light weights felt too light after the 8 pounders—which did not feel light, but felt challenging in a good way.

Overall, I loved the instructor.  I was super proud of using bad ass 8 pounders and I couldn’t believe how fast the class went–30 minutes felt like 10.   When the instructor said, okay, this is your final sprint, I was shocked.  The good thing was, I gave it my all the whole time, knowing I could get through 30 minutes of just about anything!  It seemed to go much faster than the video and felt quite different, although I still think the video is one of the best on the market.

While I was skeptical of a 30 minute Physique class, there were some nice advantages:

  • It flew by and because I knew it was only 30 minutes, I pushed myself to the max—doing as many real push ups as my body would let me.
  • I tried heavier weights than I would have otherwise.
  • The cost reflects the decreased time, $18.50 as opposed to $35 for the full 57 minute class, so you are still getting your money’s worth.
  • While it would be hard to fit in 5 full length classes a week, but 3 regular and a few 30 minute classes a week would be manageable, even during marathon training season with a big pinch of commitment.
  • I had enough energy to get my cardio in too, so I ran the 3 miles back to my apartment, well I had enough energy to jog 3 miles back to my apartment. :)
  • I definitely felt it in my arms the next evening, so I must have been doing something—such as ripping muscle closer to the bone as Tanya would say.

I know Dori will be giving her thoughts on the class soon, so stay tuned!

In other news, I wanted to let you all know that the lottery for the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco ends on April 22nd, it’s a very short lottery, so you don’t want to miss it!

NIKE WOMEN'S MARATHON | SAN FRANCISCO 2011 | I RUN TO BE

This was my first marathon, and it was oh so magical.  I can’t imagine a better first marathon for a women that this one.  I won’t lie and say that the Tiffany’s necklace wasn’t a huge part of why I signed up, but if that’s a bad reason, I don’t want a good one!

Since this post started with Twitter, I may as well admit I use twitter to stalk some celebrities, these include:

Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees smiles in the dugout prior to the Major League Baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on August 17, 2009 in Oakland, California.

Who I shamelessly tweeted at this morning.  No reply :(  But I am still very excited to go to my first yankees game of the season tonight.  On a side note, Swisher is the only man I can be openly with obsessed with without my boyfriend caring.  On a secondary side note, I did the Minka Kelly treadmill workout this morning in honor of the game tonight! 

Bethenny Frankel

Why am I so obsessed with her? I just finished her new book, i’ll have to share my thoughts soon. BTWs Bethenny I could be a million time the PA Max is!

Sarma Melngailis

Love to stay up to date on my pure food and wine news.

Do you follow any of your celeb crushes on twitter?

TGIF!

Marathon Photo Recap

One whole week has passed since the marathon!  I promise that I will stop talking about it soon, I do have some more substantive posts planned, promise.  Anyways, today I had my first real workout.  I am excited to start ramping it up for November and December, the beauty of the freedom to do whatever type of workout I please is quite loverly! Sorry, got sidetracked once the My Fair Lady soundtrack started running through my mind. All I want is a spinning class.

So today I did my first actual “run.”  I fought for every step of the first 2 miles.  I actually thought I might be able to walk faster.  Once I got to the Socrates Sculpture Park (mile 2), I decided to take a walk around.  The exhibition was rocking my world.  So I plopped down in the gorgeous sun and stretched a little while I took it all in.  Fortunately, the 2 mile run home was much easier.  I was breathing like a maniac, but at least I felt like I was moving.  Wow, this Turkey Trot is going to be interesting.

After the four mile run, I did a nice 25 minutes on the elliptical and felt completely exhilarated.  I am going to bust out one segment of the 30 day shred and call it a day.

So I caved to the brightroom photos of the marathon, and while I feel like kind of a jerk for posting so many sweaty pictures of myself, I figured I would at least try get my $107 worth.  There were actually about 40 shots that I was tagged in, although many of them I don’t think I was actually in.  I was shocked that I was in as many as I was since I didn’t have my bib displayed until mile 25. There were so many people running, finding myself was like a big game of where is waldo.  Maybe I should have worn a robe.  :)  However, they also included some great photos of the start…. so here we go

The Verrazano pre start, check out all the buses

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The race begins

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Another shot of the start, this is just the runners on the upper level of 1 of the 3 waves!

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This may be my favorite sot, I love the two level view

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There I am somewhere around 6 miles in Brooklyn I believe

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This is a shot of runners coming down 4th Ave in Brooklyn

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This is another shot of the bridge, I couldn’t seem to move it up where it belonged

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My favorite pic, taken by Miss Elizabeth as I ran down Vernon

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This is around mile 22-23, talking with Sue and Derek

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Sue was either psyching me up or distracting me, either way, I was grateful. Smile Derek!

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I am not actually in this shot, it must be just after I left Sue and Derek at miles 25–it’s a cute pic of them though.

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So close (wow, my lag time to the start was 41 minutes behind the official clock start.)

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Even closer

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Can  you taste it?47685-8020-026f (2)47685-8020-027f (2)

I ran through mat 1, but I wasn’t done…

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I finished by jumping on the second timing mat with both feet just to make sure!

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The end…until 2011

The Race

I woke up at 4AM wide awake.  The first thing I did was check to see if the Yankees won.  I didn’t even have to move to do this since I sleep with my blackberry.  They had!  I debated going back to sleep at catching a later bus, since 4:30 or Bust left a great comment that they don’t check bus times. But after 15 minutes of lying in bed, I knew I wouldn’t fall back asleep. Once I am up, I am up, so I decided to start getting ready.  I put on my tank, thermal and sweatshirt, my capris and fleece pants.  I put my stuff in a whole foods bag to make it easier to carry.  I gargled with salt water. 

And I headed out to the subway.  The bus stop is only two stops away from me, so really that is like 5 minutes in transit once you are on the train.  Unfortunately, the manhattan bound train was not running on the correct track, so I had to cross the street and enter the other terminal.  We just missed the train.  Another train came about 10-15 minutes later (pre-5am on Sunday is not peak hours).  They were definitely not checking reservation times at all at the bus stop, which is  annoying, since I could have definitely got on a 6:30 bus no problem.  Oh, I also had 3 times more stuff with me than any other runner! Or even a ferry, since they don’t check there either, even though 5 different official people at the expo swore to me up and down that there was no way to board a ferry without a reservation.  No ferries for the public! Apparently, they mistook a whole bunch of drunk people in costumes for marathoners then because lots of runners reported riding over to SI with hard core halloweeners returning home.

Anyways, I was on Staten Island by 6AM latest with 4 and a half hours to kill.  For a little while people were sitting on concrete in a parking lot until someone pointed out the tents.  I was really glad I brought my beach towel, so I layed down and rested half asleep until about 7.  Then it was getting pretty noisy.  I had a tiny cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and mixed my emergency in an 8 ounce poland spring water (thank you sponsors) and started to talk to those around me.  I will say the time passed faster than I though it would.  4 hours is a long time to be in a cold, muddy, rainy place, but I took it for part of the NYC experience and met two really nice guys.  They made fun of my pants and my huge bag of supplies.  Around 8:00 I ate as much of the bagel and PB as I could with my stomach feeling okay.  I also took 3 ibuprofen (with dr.’s approval) and a cough drop.  I was feeling pretty good, the best I had since Thursday.  Then I downed the red bull.  I hate red bull and have like 4 a year, but I consume a ton of caffeine in my daily life and I was afraid not to have any on race day.  Red bull is a good concentrated form of caffeine as gross as it is.

After more waiting and talking, I check my bag, pinned on my bib, threw out all the stuff I didn’t need anymore—towel, whole foods bag, etc.  At this point it was so muddy everyone had garbage bags tied around their shoes.  It was pretty fashionable with my hot pink pants. 

Finally it was time to get to the corral.  To the Marathon’s credit, navigating SI and the corral, start villages was really easy.  The wave starting was also great, there was less congestion at the start than most road runner’s races.

I took the first mile easy, after mile 1, the bandaid on my toe was driving me crazy, so I decided to stop, right next to a bunch of men peeing over one side and take off the bandaid and change to a thinner sock.  After that I had to make two quick stops to get my shoes to feel comfortable and kept going.  It was really just fun, I passed someone giving “free hugs” and every once in a while there was a great band which always pumped me up.  I was being really conservative because I knew I had to make it to 10 fresh as a daisy if I wanted to have a good race.  At mile 6 I put on my ipod and listed to three songs, all from a mix that Gena made for me before I left for South Africa.

  • Catastrophe-Rainer Maria
  • Off the Record—My Morning Jacket
  • Sleepyhead-Passion Pit

Not high energy songs, but very special to me since they are from my dear friend.

At around mile 7, Greg jumped in with me.  I was so thrilled. I knew it probably sucked to run so slow with me, but he kept me company and we chatted through Brooklyn.  Greg is an amazing runner.  He trained for Philly in 2005, but had to withdraw just a week before due to injury.  But I saw him run Marine Corps in 2006.  I made him talk about it, since he really struggled in a way.  He said at mile 13 he blew by the 3:20 pace group and thought to himself, “if I am running significantly faster than 3:20, my body probably can’t handle this, but I don’t care.”  So around mile 17, he said he “collapsed inside.”  He could just not do it.  He kept going until he just stopped.  Then his friend came up to him, put his arm around him and said, “you have to walk greg.” Greg said he couldn’t.  And Paul was like, “just move your right foot, now your left.”  Despite being in pain, Greg finished the marathon in 3:28! He is now a serious biker, but he said he if he was more cautious, he could have finished in that time in way less pain.  Believe he was toasted after.  But I was so so so proud! 

Anyways, I was really holding back, probably too much.  Around mile 10 or 11 we passed a great church choir in Brooklyn.  It was fun to run through williamsburg and greenpoint.  And I was so so excited to hit the Polanski Bridge into Queens!  I was literally dying with anticipation to hit Vernon around mile 13.5, the street I walk down many times a day!  My heart pretty much burst with Long Island City pride and I was dying to see my roomates and cheer squad.  As I hit the corner of my street and Vernon there they were!  In costume with many many signs!  I screamed when I saw them.  In case you couldn’t tell from my idiotic grin in the photos!

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I handed them my hat and gloves.  And then my heart rate monitor!

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You guys rock my life!

Then I kept going.  My friend Debbie joined Greg and I as we head toward the Queensborough Bridge.  People say this is the hardest part of the marathon, but it really isn’t that bad.  Of course, I was going pretty slow.  The bad thing about being slow is that at every mile you have to run over piles of water cups and get your sneakers totally sticky from spilled gatorade.  It was pretty treacherous and gross at points. I mean 40,000 runners is a lot of cups!

We entered Manhattan just after mile 16.  I was freaking out because so many people start suffering at 17.  But I was excited to meet Sue.  I couldn’t believe Greg was still with me!  I only asked him to run a mile!  He said to me at one point, “ I think I could finish this thing!”  He ran until I met Sue at mile 18.  Sue was carrying a fuelbelt of supplies for me like the goddess she is.    My stomach was really bothering me at this point, I had two chomps at mile 6, a gu at mile 13 and grabbed half a banana from someone on the street at mile 17.  The banana seemed to help, but every time I drank water I got that queasy feeling. But I decided to worry about that later. 

Sue really pumped me up.  We chatted steadily into the Bronx.  I had to stop and readjust my shoe for a minute or so, but then the weird pain went away and all was good.  I would say mile 18-20 were probably were I felt it the most, but really nothing bad.  I was being really conservative and just enjoying running with my friends and the street party all around me.  Sue was amazing sharing her water and offering me pretty much everything.  I took 3 more ibuprofens around 20.

We chatted through the Bronx, I knew I was slowing a little, worried about the hills of Central Park.  Derek met us at 22 or so and I made them entertain me, so I could take a break from talking.  Sue really pumped me up, counting down the blocks to the park, describing the finish etc.  The park was not nearly as bad hill-wise as I expected.  The hill at 23 kind of sucked, but I finally realized, I was almost done and totally fine.     I couldn’t believe it!  Had I held back too much?  How did I get to 23 in no pain and with no walking?  I finally trusted myself to push the last couple miles, I took of my thermal to display my bib at 25 and said goodbye to Sue and Derek.  Then I pushed on to the finish. I passed pretty much everyone around me.  Lots of people were cheering my name.  It was amazing.  I finished strong and felt like I could have kept going, which is probably not a great thing.  The only silly thing was that I got really nervous about my chip tag, since my friends said it wasn’t reading my intervals.  So after i had walked 50 or so feet past the finish, i went back to stomp on the mat a few more times.  I got yelled at by an official.  I am not sure if that screwed with my time, since my watch said I finished in 4:46:48, and my official time was 4:48:50, but I really don’t care. 

After the race, I got my medal and had to stand in what was a silent death march to the baggage.  Everyone seemed so down and beaten.  I couldn’t believe it. I felt like a caged animal and I just wanted to run my UPS baggage truck.  I did start weaving through the crowd since I couldn’t take it anymore. Be happy, we’re done people.

I somehow made it beyond the crowds.  On my way to Derek’s, I stopped at Ann Taylor and the Gap since I realized I need to go to a bar and to work and I really only had sweats.  I couldn’t find anything so I showered at Derek’s and ran down to Banana Republic and bought a few things.  At this point, I realized that while my stomach wasn’t feeling great water and a hunk of baguette was in order.  Then we headed down to Pete’s Tavern for Heather’s post-marathon party. I had a glass of champagne and a few piece from the appetizer trays. But I had to be at work at 7, so I could stay long.  Work was just judging a preliminary hall talent competition and everyone was so supportive of me, lots of hugs and more congrats than I was comfortable with.  I had some dinner there, eggplant parm and ziti. 

After that I took a cab home , I assumed the cabbie would take the midtown tunnel, but almost symbolically he took the 59th Street Bridge that I had run over hours before. 

I got home to the greatest surprise of all.  My windows had been postered.  Tell me I don’t have the greatest roomstars and friends ever!  Amazing!marathon! 022 marathon! 023 marathon! 024 marathon! 025 marathon! 026 marathon! 027 marathon! 028 marathon! 029

I am so glad they celebrated the day with me.  When they said the were having a mimosa party, I baked a cake for them.  From Emeril’s recipe.  I don’t know how it turned out, I might not use the glaze next time!   marathon! 019 marathon! 013 

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And my friend Jessica sent me these gorgeous flowers.

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I couldn’t sleep much last night.  Still energized I guess.  I ran out to get the NYTimes just in case they decided to extend the 4:30 cut off for finishers.  But sadly, I just missed it, 4:44 was the last time published.marathon 002

Oh well, it was a fun day and a great race.  Afterthought to come another day. I am looking out my window at the 59th Street Bridge and I can’t believe it’s all over!

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I am off for a massage and to meet Heather for coffee before she heads back to London.

HUGE THANKS TO YOUR UNBELIEVABLE SUPPORT THROUGH ALL THIS!  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Not always as planned+half marathon recap

Before I start, a couple event worth mentioning, I have wanted to share so many things and I feel awful when events and deals pass unmentioned!

Jack Rabbit Sports/Runner’s World 8 Week Faster Five Miler Speed Workshop.  $125 for twice a week training on how to improve your speed for distance running.  Comes with a shirt and a one-year subscription to the mag.

New York Road Runner’s Eat, Drink, Energize Workshop: FREE!
May 6, 200, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Robert Wagner Middle School–220 East 76th Street

This lecture event has an amazing panel of nutrition, running and health experts!  I wish I could go but I have a work event that night and a HUGE presentation the next day

 

New Downtown Exhale  membership options: exhales monthly membership at $170.00 per month, or our annual membership for $150 a month! First time guests can also take advantage of our DT $30 for 7 days of unlimited classes + 10% off retail. Includes all Core Fusion, Core Fusion Energy Flow and Core Fusion Sport Classes.

 

Be warned: this post is LONG!

Not much has gone as planned this week.  Although, as you know, I am type z, so I don’t really plan anyway.  Overall it was a good, very productive, and relatively social week. I planned to do a bit more posting, but group project meetings, dinner plans, South Africa orientation (can’t wait to share more soon), lots of time at the internship office, work and school got in the way.  But 10 day countdown until I am back in blog action.  Woo-to the Hoo!

As you know I had the More/Fitness half marathon this weekend, and while I hadn’t planned to taper—since I was just treating it as a long run, all the plans I didn’t realize I had made, kind of got in the way, so my normal workout schedule ended up being halved.  I did either core fusion or 40 minutes cardio every day. That was fine, usually when I am busy I use my lunch hour for workouts, but this week I opted for gossip therapy and scheduled several lunch dates with fabulous people, such as Gena

Friday morning I had a truly amazing core fusion class—I find morning strength workouts make me feel blissful all day long, whereas when I do cardio in the morning I often fear I will fly off the treadmill.  However, I pushed myself so hard in class, that I woke up Saturday sore from head to toe.  Pretty much every inch.  I had planned to do an easy 4 miler and hit another core fusion class, so I strapped on my sneakers.  Oh wait, I forgot my sneakers at the office!!!!  Not as planned. So I put on a really old pair of shoes that I bought way before I realized that you need to have your running shoes tailored to your foot, gait and stride.  I made it about 2/3 of a mile and gave up, they were dead as doornails.

So I decided to head into the city, pick up my sneakers and head to core fusion before heading to my internship.  On the way in, I realized my body felt like lead.  I was struggling to get up the subway stairs.   So I decided to stop at my favorite store, Jack Rabbit Sports.  I treadmill tested  and had my gait analyzed for 5 different pairs of shoes before I decided on an updated version of my current Asics gt 2130’s.  Meet my fourth pair of GTs, the GT 2140! 100_2760 100_2761

While I tried on some nice saucony progrid glides and mizunos wave inspires.  I decided to go with the Asics mainly because I am still using my pair from Christmas and it didn’t seem like a good idea to run in two different styles of shoes.  Plus, as soon as, I put them on they felt familiar, like home.  Maybe after the marathon I will try something new.

After that I picked up my 2130’s and went to the rooftop track (the 7 flights of stairs to the top is always the hardest part of the workout) for some light running and stretching.  I decided against core fusion since my body was definitely not having it. 

After that I walked downtown to my internship.

You would think my treats to myself for the day would have stopped there, but this was waiting for me when I got home.

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Yes, I bought the Garmin!  See companies? blog advertising really does work!  Please feel free to send my any health/fitness related product you need tested or reviewed! Okay seriously, I am actually afraid to try it because while all of you love your ‘Mins, a few of my friends say the GPS isn’t NYC friendly.  But it was $50 less than the polar, which had so few reviews that I decided to go for the G!  I also want to note that my friends also warned me it was HUGE, and clearly I didn’t take them seriously enough.  It is a monster.  That guy on the box must have a hulk hogan arm!

Anyways, I won’t be buying myself anything for a long long time, but if I could I must say I am loving these super cute running items: 

Brooks Viva Jacket

New Balance Tempo Tanks—OMG these are so cute!!!!!!

Livestrong Graphic Tee  I don’t know why, but people always look HOT in these!

 

So enough shopping.

Back to RACE PREP.

Last night I went to bed around 11:30, very reasonable for me.  At 12:30AM, my phone rang.  It was a good friend, so I picked it up, and was happy to learn he was sober.  But sad to learn he was sad and needed to talk.  So while pre-race sleep was less than planned, around 5 hours when I got up around 6:15 this morning, I was happy I could be there for someone.

Race Day

Anyways I got up decided on race ready shorts—because I really like to be packed in the back—and headed out the door.  I felt NAKED without a jacket or wallet or phone.  Just a couple mini clif bars, metrocard, some cash, my bib, chip and safety pins, my key and my spandex covered ass. Yes, I find 80 degree NYC mornings quite freeing!

I got off the subway at 68th and Lex and was completely a buzz from my prerace iced coffee and Girl Talk on the ipod.  I was in a great mood, which was only made better by finding  Park Ave in immaculate and picturesque glory.  The tulips were standing gorgeously at attention, the cherry blossoms lined the center of the street all the way down to the Met Life Building which was shimmering in the sun.  Even the Central Park East brownstones seemed statelier than usual.  I wanted to remember the scene forever! While I couldn’t take a picture, it was something like this:

So as planned I met Ashley and her friend Sarah at 7:20 on 72nd and 5th.  We took care of last minute race business and go into the corrals.  Just minutes before the race, they announced that the marathon was canceled due to the heat!  I felt so bad for all the women who must have trained for months!  Then they said the half would be an untimed “fun run.” Umm, yeah, not so fun!  Especially since I didn’t have a watch or anything.  I was annoyed, but like I said it was just another long run to me.  All pressure GONE! But definitely not as planned!

I totally respect that they want to protect our safety, but don’t people in the south run in much hotter weather?

Ashley and I did the first 6 miles together.  It was great chatting and getting to know each other better.  It was a rough first loop.  I was extra glad that I had trained running clockwise, which is actually noticeably harder hill-wise than counter-clockwise, which is how all races are run. We didn’t feel the need to be competitive since very few people were taking it seriously and everyone was going pretty slow. 

After six miles, Ashley and I decided to strap on our ipods and run solo.  I definitely felt like the last 7 miles were faster and easier.  Girl Talk was my Gatorade!  I actually burst into song a few times, but quickly realized that was NOT appreciated by my fellow ‘thoners. I never really pushed myself, I just kept my insanely steady and consistent pace and the miles slid by.  It was a very crowded race and the walkers definitely slowed me down as they really didn’t care about staying to the right.  Also, in races, I really don’t walk unless I need to stretch, so I was constantly finding it hard to run through the water stations with everyone at a dead stop. 

The park couldn’t have been lovelier with the blossom in full and radiant bloom all around us.  I tried to concentrate on that and forget that I was tripping over people left and right and zigzagging all over to avoid nipping ankles.  Usually races start like this, but I have never had the congestion last for the entire race before.

I love that I know the park like the back of my hand.  It helps know exactly what is coming and get excited to see the reservoir, Cat hill, the boat house, the 72nd street transverse.  However, the last mile of the race is always hard in the park. The turns just keep coming and you think you are at Columbus Circle making the final turn for the Tavern on the Green finish, when actually you are just hitting the Plaza. By the time I was at this point it was quite hot.  I was also really hungry since I had only consumed a mini clif, the milk in my coffee and a cup of Gatorade.  I realized about 30 minutes from the finish I needed some calories, but it didn’t seem worth it since they would digest that fast anyways.  Eating on the run is all about planning to fuel ahead of time.  Normally I like gus because they digest so quickly that they are like an instant jolt. However, I checked the date on the one I had in my running bin this morning and  it expired in May 2008, so I chucked it. I also recommend gus for adding needed calories without getting used to eating more, you will never crave or miss gus!

Since I was seriously expecting it to be the longest mile ever, I was shocked when I saw the finish and had a lot of fuel in my tank.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t sprint the last few tenth because I couldn’t get around the runners ahead of me no matter how I tried to maneuver and it didn’t seem worth it to trample anyone for an untimed race.

So I just crossed the line.  It was weird to cross without the timing mats.  I just got the race pictures from bright room, it shows me crossing the at 2:19, which means that my time was 2:12 adjusted for the lag.

I realized I could have pushed harder because I never even broke a sweat despite the heat. ooops.  I wanted to play it safe and it was probably the right decision, but I think I will sign up for a short race, so I can try actually pushing myself in a distance I know I can cover without dying.

Anyways the best part of the morning was getting handed a medal!  runner gear 004

I have never gotten one before, in fact, I forgot they give them out at marathons at all.  So that was kind of exciting.  After that eating a third of a chocolate chip bagel on my way home way exciting!  I think I may have been a bit dehydrated because my stomach was seriously angry for a few hours after the race.  When it semi-calmed down, I made a delicious banana oatmeal pancake for lunch, served with almond butter! 

 

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Super yum.

 

HMC: Day 31 Staying Inspired in the New Year

superstock_1166r-4752_blow-angle-view-of-a-young-female-runner-crossing-the-finish-line-postersWow, the month came and went so quickly.  Tomorrow we get to start a new year fresh with no mistakes in it, as Anne Shirley/Miss Stacey would say.

Since I realize most people will be really busy today and tomorrow, you have until January 2nd at 9AM to log  your miles and comment on this post to be entered in the prize drawing.  The top two mileage for marathon and ultramarathon challengers will automatically receive a prize, and 3 challengers that comment will be selected at random to receive a prize. 

The questions, responding to one or both is fine!

-running goal for 2009? or

-your favorite running song of 2008?

So on with the post.  I have done a bunch of posts on inspirationand motivation, but here is one last wrap up with help from runners world to supplement my own thoughts!

Getting Started:

-Sign up for a race: this was the definitive starting point of my running/jogging journey.  Find local 5k and sign up with a friend to keep you motivated, committed and excited.

-Buy some good shoes-which will make all the difference in the world and give you the all important monetary commitment.  There is actually a great article on this in the Jan. 2009 issue of RW page 54,  Get Serious from the newbie chronicles.  My tips for finding shoes.

-Join a running group or find a committed friend: Talking while running makes it about 4000 times more enjoyable!  Road Runners, Team in Training, Team Fox, Nike Town, YMCA clubs, the group options are endless.

Once you are a “runner” keep it going:

Set goals: Time, distance, or speed, pick one, identify your goal and give yourself a time line.  Of course, joining a marathon training group makes it easier because the training plan and workout times are set up for you.

Picking and signing up for a race (5K, 10K, half or full marathon) that you are really excited about or in a place you want to visit is a really great motivator! See Runner’s World Marathon 2009 guide for ideas.

Find ways to make it fun: If you are a gadget person, maybe a heart rate monitor or even a garmin will keep you excited.  Maybe mapping each run onmapmyrun or logging it on a spread sheet is enough.  If you are a music person, new tunes always get me motivated to don the ipod and block the world out for a few miles.  Or set up a standing running date with a friend.

Mix it up: if you aren’t lucky enough to be head over heels in love with running; in fact, if it is more a labor  than a love, don’t stop doing your favorite type of exercise. Make running a once or twice a week habit, or maybe you are a triathlete at heart.

Make it a group endeavor: a relay race is something I really hope to have the chance to do in 2009. I loved reading about Chandra’s Ragnar Relay, and I would love to do the New Hampshire Reach the Beach Relay in Sept.! If the more the merrier is your MO, than this could be the event for you!

Refocus each day: I don’t plan out my week or month exactly, but an hour or so before my workout or a few days before a long run, I give myself a pep talk, think about how great the run or workout is going to be, and plan my speed, distance or intensity goals for the workout.  This has helped me tremendously, a little visualization goes a really long, strong way!

Find some workouts you love: just having a few fun workouts in your arsenal can get you to the gym or the road when you feel like skipping it all together.  Find a few challenging speed or interval workouts you enjoy and put them in your backpocket on reservation for desperate times. Or download a few itunes nike + sport workouts, so you have someone to talk you through a run and keep you motivated! It’s great to have the motivation part done for you, so you are only responsible for moving your legs.

Happy New Year!

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Inspired again!

I'm happy for Paula, but I secretly wish Kara had won.

I

I love watching marathons!  They don’t seem like they are really a spectator sport because you can only watch one part, and it’s pretty much the same thing for a long time!  But nevertheless, the humanity and resilience is captivating and inspiring. 

I could actually see the marathon from my bedroom, my apartment building overlooks Vernon Blvd which is the main Queens section of the marathon, so I watched from about 9-10 (which was really just the wheel chair athletes) before I had to meet my group for project meeting, which lasted until 5PM.  So I dvred it and watched the highlights when I got home. 

I was so excited the Kara Goucher got third!  Her first marathon ever!  And she was the first American woman to place in 14 years! 

I have mentioned that I have her itunes endurance boost workout several times, which I love, and is why I am a fan! Random fact: she sleeps in a bedroom that pumps less oxygenated air into the room to simulate being at really high elevations!

Anyways, I can’t wait to run next year.  I did an hour on the treadmill after dinner just imagining I was running over the bridges and looping up CP toward Tavern on the Green.  I am a huge loser, but it made the hour fly by!

If you didn’t see the marathon, but are sort of on the fence about signing up for a marathon, I offer these ideas for inspiration:

  • sign up for a race in a location you would like to visit (I wanted to go to Cali, and now Paris and Rome are tempting me!)
  • research marathon for one that seems fun to you (At first I thought Disney, but when I found out that the San Fran guaranteed all finishers (half and full) a Tiffany’s necklace, I was sold! If you are really into music maybe a rock and roll marathon with bands ever half mile would be cool for you.)
  • have a greater purpose than yourself (running with Team and Training constantly kept me focused on helping others and meeting people who were truly inspirational)
  • buddy up (whether you go into it with an organization or with a friend, it really helps to have people to chat with and people that will become similarly obsessed!)
  • read Ultramarathon Man, Once a Runner, or a similar book!

All right I have lots to study before I sleep, night everyone! xo