Tag Archives: races

New Balance Factory Experience

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to run a Reach the Beach Relay on behalf of New Balance.  I was part of their blogger team a few years ago and you can read about that experience here, here, here, here and here.  While I was super excited to run the race again, I was just as excited to visit the New Balance Factory again.  Maybe I’m a nerd, but I just love how inspirational it is to visit where baby new balance sneakers are born.  The factory is also super inspirational, there are motivational quotes everywhere, walls of innovation, and you can tell every single employee is proud to work at New Balance–in fact, they will tell you so themselves.  New Balance is hands down my favorite athletic outfitter and they have a level of integrity that is unparalleled in the industry.

photo 3 photo 2 photo 3

Snoopies in sneakers. I die.

photo 2

We got to see how the New Balance 990 is made. It’s so shocking to see just how much work goes into making 1 sneaker.

To make one sneaker it takes:

  • 35 people
  • 2.5-3 hours
  • 50+ individual steps

Every step is 100% guided by a person.  A person makes sure that the holes to lace your shoes are punched in the exact right place.  It’s truly incredible.  As a side note, New Balance makes 100% more of their shoes in the USA than any other major shoe brand.

Here are just a few of the steps that goes into make the NB990…

photo 2

photo 1 photo 3

photo 4   photo 5

photo 4photo 5

After the factory tour we got to see some of the new things coming out of the innovation lab! New Balance is using 3D printing to test out products in amazing ways.  By 3D printing the soles of shoes, athletes and consumers can test shoes much faster and New Balance can make adjustments overnight.

Check out some of these 3D printed shoes…

photo 5

I took these babies out for a job….just kidding, these were made for an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Pretty cool.

 

 

photo 2

 

Then we went to the smash lab where machines put shoes through the ringer to test stability, flexibility, durability and much more.

 

photo 5 photo 3

Then Carrie got to see her stride in real time using a complex configurations of cameras and sensors on her shoes.

 

 

 

photo 5

Shoes, shoes and more glorious shoes.

 

photo 4

And here’s the all star team:

Team picture at NB factory

 

From left to right: Theodora, Caitlin, Carrie, Jess, Gia, Christine, Melissa, Marissa, Alli, Melissa, Lorriane and me.

After the tour, I went to the factory store to pick up gifts for the hubs, plus a few things for myself.  I bought him a pair of his favorite NB sneakers, and he had them on so fast, I didn’t even get to take a picture.  If you live in Boston, I’d definitely recommend taking a trip out to the factory store in Lawrence, MA for some great deals!

Next up, you’ll hear about my 2nd RTB experience.  It was the New Hampshire course, which was very different from the MA course. It was colder, hillier, longer (yes, really), but also much more scenic, IMO! Stay tuned.

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.

jingle jog2

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!

tedcorbitt

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:

barrys

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.

 

A Super Weekend!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Albion Fit Giveaway!

Drum Roll for the Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

5

Timestamp: 2013-02-05 03:14:52 UTC

And the winner is Meri! Huge Congrats!

I like the racer tops….I feel like the vertical lines would be very slimming for us short-torso-ed peeps!

In other exciting news, I had a really great weekend.  I kicked off the evening by meeting up with Ashley and crew for a drink before spending some quality time watching Say Yes to the Dress, Randy Knows Best.  Love Randy and the occasional low key Friday!

On Saturday, we hit the gym and made one of four runs to the supermarket to stock up for our Super Bowl party.  We also went to Chopt, which is our new obsession.  As pricey as Chopt is, I credit it for getting me back to total salad obsession. My leafy green consumption is way way up!

Salad for lunch was in order because we had a special dinner date with friends at Maialino.  While I may obsessed with salad right now, I am also obsessed with Maialino brunch–oh those ricotta pancakes.

It was our first time having dinner at Maialino and it did not disappoint. We had several bottles of amazing wine, plus delicious plates of pasta. I love that the cacio e pepe really goes all the way and doesn’t hold back anything. However, it was two table shares that really made the meal spectacular.  One was the ravioli de uvo, a ravioli with spinach, ricotta and an entire egg yolk. I was very nervous to try it and almost didn’t, but it turned out to be creamy and delicious.  A couple bites was more than enough.  The other amazing dish was actually a very light, refreshing dessert, olive oil affogato.  This fun take on affogato paired a special olio nuovo with vanilla gelato and satsuma, it was out of this world.

Okay, we’ll take a brief break from food to discuss running.  Bright, early and brisk on Sunday morning, we made our way to Central Park for the Gridiron 4 miler.  I’ve done this race several times, but this year might have been the coldest at under 30 degrees. In hindsight, yesterday was much warmer than today.

It was my first race of 2013, but also one of a half a dozen times I’ve run since June. At least I gave myself plenty of time to heal from my injury, no issues there! No I just need to get back in the routine.

I’d say the worst part was waiting in the corrals. My feet were completely numb before we started running and I was cursing myself for always being so early for everything.  Finally we started running and it wasn’t so bad.  Up cat hill and around all my favorite Central Park sites.  It felt weird to feel my quads, but not my feet.  Around mile 1.5 feeling started coming back to my feet and I realized my socks were soaked. I just kept squishing alone.  I was looking forward mile 2 where you have the chance to “vote” for the team you want to win by running on the appropriate side of the road.

After that I was just trying to focus on my stellar playlist (will post soon) and make it through the rolling hills of mile 3.  I had decided not to ditch the sweatshirt pants that I had over my running tights, so those were also soaked and heavy by this point.  But once there was only 1 downhill mile to go, I was feeling good again.  Crossing the finish line felt great, certainly no records broken, but 1 of 9 races done and done!

The rest of the day we spent cooking and cleaning for the Super Bowl. We wound up with a great spread!

The above was just round 1, I didn’t even get pics of the half time eats!! Between the chicken cutlets, brisket, crab cakes, deviled eggs, meatballs, spicy pizza dip, guac, cruditite, spinach dip, lamb and broccoli rabe orechiette and vegetable ziti, we didn’t go hungry.  I made the pizza dip and the crudite platter, which were both pretty simple to put together!

Wow! This post was a long one!  I guess I better get going, but I’ll leave you with the biggest loser challenge update! I am up to:

150 push ups, 150 squats, 150 sit ups and a 2 minute and 30 second plank!

Running is All Around Me!

I feel like the late spring/early summer running season is in full swing! Running related info is filling my inbox, my mailbox, my twitter feed. I love it!

In case you missed it, NYRR is offering a free workshop for marathoners next week:

GET MARATHON TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

Join NYRR and Hospital for Special Surgery for a FREE Learning Series on June 19 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. EDT. Experts from Hospital for Special Surgery will be sharing their best tips on training, injury prevention, and nutrition for beginner runners and anyone considering a future marathon.

If you can’t be there in person, you  can Register for the Webinar. You will receive an e-mail prior to the event with the webinar link and login information.

In addition, this lovely surprise arrived in my mailbox yesterday:

2012-06-14_19.04.34

I love books about running. I enjoy reading about running as much as actually running. I can’t wait to dive in and see what Runner’s World recommends in their latest book, The Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training.  Run Less, Run Faster is one of my favorites, so it’s exciting to have a new runread.

Despite all my running excitement, I am actually dealing with a minor (I hope) injury.

I ran the Bolder Boulder and was fine…

2012-06-14_19.05.47

Or so I thought.  I flew home that night, got off the plane and bam, there was a pretty significant pain at the top of my right quad.  I was still hobbling the next day.  Over the past two weeks, I have had this pain on and off and have had to limp a bit, especially after sitting for long periods.  I stopped running,but felt fine for UFX, Refine and the elliptical. It’s mainly walking that is the issue.

However, I was signed up to run the JP Morgan Challenge last night, and so I did!  It was fun to see all the different companies in their shirts.  The 3.5 mile race in Central Park was pretty painful, but the real pain happened after I finished.  This morning I had a serious limp. I am going to stretch, ice, tiger balm, rest and hope for the best. From basic googling, it could be a hip flexor sprain or a quad tear.

If it doesn’t feel better in a week, to the doc I go.  Fingers crossed for recover before the Queens 10K.

Queens 10K

Bolder Boulder 10K Race Recap

Here it is the moment we had been waiting for since we flew out of NYC on Friday evening. It was time to run more boldly than we ever had before. 

Wake Up Call

We woke up at 6AM, I had everything ready to go, so we were out the door by 6:30AM. However, the weather was much warmer than forecast, so I immediately regretted having a jacket on.

The start was a 1.5 miles from our hotel, and even though our hotel front desk said that it was a 10 minute walk, we budgeted 30.

Walking to the start was a lot like taking the subway to a race in NYC, everyone around you is a runner because no one in their right mind would be up so early.  A mile from the start we spotted a porta potty with a short line, as we approached it everyone was leaving.  Apparently it was so gross that even runners highly accustomed to less than pristine johns refused to enter. Fortunately, I noticed that we were at a swim club.  If I know a swim club—and after 6 years guarding at the Clifton Park Town Pools I think I do—there’s always a restroom nearby.  Around the other side of the building there was a restroom that was miraculously open at 6:50AM.  Running water, toilet paper, all the comforts of home!  Now we could get on with things.

The Start Area

We arrived at the start area, which was swarmed with people excited to start the race.  We even met a Chik-fil-a cow—with a bib!

IMG_0391

The race had waves starting every minute beginning at 7AM.  The  start was probably the most organized I had ever experienced.  Each start wave was based on the expected finish time down to the minute.

For example:

Wave                      Run Time                 Launch                        

A              Sub 38:00 Qualified         7:00:00 AM


AA            38:00 – 41:00 Qualified     7:01:00 AM


AB            41:01 – 43:00 Qualified     7:02:00 AM

Frank was wave DB leaving at 7:13AM with an expected finish of 52:11-53:11.

I was wave EG —  60:16 – 61:10 Qualified leaving at 7:24:30 AM.

By the time we got there, Frank’s wave was long since gone, and mine was 3 minutes from launch.  We hurried to get to the corral, which were manned with security.  By making people stick to their assigned times, the 60,000 person race never felt crowded or hectic, it was amazing!IMG_0393

Our start wave felt very intimate.  As we waited for our launch the announcer called out people in our corral and got us psyched up.

IMG_0402

And then it was time!

IMG_0401

The Race

This could almost be a tail of two races, Frank was having the time of his life, taking pictures, high fiving the crowd, being the life of the party. I was ever-so-slightly less energetic.  I am not sure if it was the altitude or residual soreness from Reach the Beach last week,but my body wasn’t feeling fleet of feet. I was definitely working for it.  For the first mile or so, it was pretty tough.  Fortunately, there were so many great fans, bands, and sights to be seen, I was able to keep my mind off the effort required to keep my legs turning over. IMG_0408

Top Ten Reason Boulder Bolder Rocks

1.) Each Kilometer and Mile are Clearly Marked

IMG_0409

I found it very helpful to countdown the kms and looked forward to every sign.

2.) The Mountains

If you don’t know what I am talking about, see the photo above.  Having the mountains all around you is amazing.  What’s more amazing is the course isn’t crazy hilly.  There are four big hills, with the steepest at the very end, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as Peachtree.

3.) Bands

IMG_0410

IMG_0416

There were at least 10 bands on the course, which was great since I didn’t have an ipod.  My favorite was a band of 12 year olds signing Forget You by Cee-lo Green!

4.) The Locals

IMG_0413

The local fan support was stellar!  People were just hanging out on their lawns cheering us on!  They never left our side!

5.) Dance Teams

IMG_0414

There were all kinds of dancers, belly dancers, hip hop dancers, it was like watching a performance while we ran!

6.) The Costumes

IMG_0417 IMG_0425 IMG_0423

The costumes in this race were incredible! Bunches of Grapes, Puppets! I even saw a box of crayons, a gorilla chasing a banana, and so many more all out costumes.  I don’t know how people do it, but I am glad they do!

7.) Marshmallows Mile 2.2!

IMG_0418

Lots of food was given out, but the marshmallow throwing was the best.  Frank actually caught one!

IMG_0421

Although the Cotton Candy Corner wasn’t bad either!

IMG_0424

Popsicles won for most practical snack!

IMG_0428

All business with my popsicle.

8A.) Slip N Slide!

IMG_0429

Seriously! How cool (no pun intended) is that? I love this race.

8B.) Speedometer!

 IMG_0426

I was actually feeling pretty good at this point so we picked it up for the speedometer!

9.) The Stadium

IMG_0434

Entering Folsom Field was amazing. It felt like such a monumental ending!

IMG_0435

I did my best to pick it up, but I was shot!

IMG_0436

IMG_0439

I finished completely spent.  While it wasn’t my fastest 10K at 103:40, it was one of the most scenic.  We really enjoyed the race, even if it was only effortless for one of us.  I was happy to finish at 17,000 out of about 50,000.  My last two 6 mile races have been tough, but I think I can do better. My goal is to break an hour by November.

IMG_0443

10.) The Finish Area

After we finished we headed through the refuel line, which was fully stocked with snack bags, water, oranges, Silk soy and almond milk, beer and mini bagels!

2012-05-28_08.40.23 2012-05-28_08.40.42

Even better than the snacks was the being able to sit in the stadium and watch everyone come in!

IMG_0445

After we left the stadium we went to the celebration area where there were all kinds of vendors giving out everything imaginable!  Chik-fil-a sandwiches, mini burritos, popsicles!  This race has awesome sponsors!

So that was it! Another one for the books. The Bolder Boulder was as big and bold as they said, but it was more home grown than I anticipated. It was the love from the local crowds that really made it amazing. They cheered us on, they offered us all kinds of crazy food, the set up slip and slides, they performed, they were awesome. Usually races through neighborhoods are boring, but this race wouldn’t be nearly as fun if it it was just through the city. 

Do I recommend the Bolder Boulder?  Heck Yeah!

Dining in Denver!

My trip to Colorado was as much about eating as it was about running.  It turned out to be a most delicious weekend.  After tea, we enjoyed a little down time before hitting up some local breweries.  Denver has 18 breweries including Coors! Our first stop was The Great Divide, where “great minds drink alike.”

While I am not much of a beer drinker (at all), I loved the atmosphere of the brewery, everyone was having a grand ol’ time, including the bartenders :).

IMG_4638

IMG_4635

I noticed they had a great special, 3 samples for $3 and $1 for each additional sample, plus the proceeds went to charity.  Done and done.

We started with the Raspberry Pale Ale, the 18th Anniversary Ale and  one other beer.

IMG_4634

The raspberry was great, not beery at all!

We couldn’t have all our fun in one place, so it was on to Wynkoop.

IMG_4641 

Finally it was time for our late dinner reservation at the Kitchen Lo DoIMG_4643

I had found it using the diner’s choice lists on Opentable, and boy was it a great find.  The Denver location just opened this spring, but it was already hopping!  The decor was slightly industrial, but still warm and reminded me of my beloved ABC Kitchen.  IMG_4645 The menu had a huge range of appetizers and entrees, all which looked amazing.  Eventually we decided to share the king crab legs.

IMG_4646 

Lean and clean and the perfect way to sneak in some protein before my pasta dinner.

IMG_4650

Homemade tagliatelle, lemon, fava beans, red pepper, goat cheese and chives.  OMG, I have never had a pasta dish explode with flavor the way this one did.  The citrus and herb exploded in my mouth!  It was very creamy from the goat cheese, so it was light and rich at the same time. In fact, I could only eat half my dish.

IMG_4652

Frank got the Wisdom Farm Chicken Char Grilled – harissa, cumin yogurt, cucumber, couscous & almond salad.  This dish also exploded with flavor when it hit the palate.  The cous cous was quite amazing.

IMG_4655

Frank was in a totally out of character mood for dessert, so we ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding.  The most amazing thing about this dessert was how low a temp the ice cream was frozen at.  While the cake was literally piping hot, the ice cream didn’t melt into a puddle ever!  It was pretty ingenious in my book because typically your ice cream comes on the side or is melting before it arrives, but super cold ice cream kept the dish and presentation fully intact.

The next morning we hit the gym, enjoyed a people watching brunch at Marlowe’s on 16th Street and bid Denver goodbye.  I was sort of sad to leave, but as the gorgeous snowcapped mountains emerged on our ride to Boulder, I knew where I was heading was exactly where I wanted to be.

2012-05-27_13.52.50

Not bad for a photo taken through a car window on a cell phone!

Our Boulder hotel was not quite the Brown Palace…it was in fact, the Rodeway Inn/Broker Inn.  All the hotels within walking distance to the start of the race had sold out by the time we booked, so Rodeway it was.

Check out our room:

IMG_4690

IMG_4691

Toiletries provided:

IMG_4693

  While it may not have been a turn down service kind of establishment, the service was friendly, it seemed pretty clean and they offered breakfast at 6AM for runners. Plus, POOL VIEW!

IMG_4692 

After we dropped off our stuff we headed to the expo.  It was outdoors and the exact location “Pearl St Mall” wasn’t immediately apparent so it took us a while to find it.

This looked like an expo, but was a random fair going on

IMG_4681

Not it eitherIMG_4682

Eventually we found the expo area…

IMG_4685 

But it took us quite a while to actually find out where to get our bibs.  There were no signs or people directing anything.  Finally we found it hidden behind a registration tent.  While registration had about 100 people waiting and waiting, the bib pick up tent for those preregistered had no line at all!

 IMG_4688

Victory!  We were ready to go! While the expo wasn’t the most organized I had ever been to, the Bolder Boulder itself was wonderfully executed, and I’ll tell you more soon! 

I am off to meet Ashley for a Go Recess Cardio and Cocktail workout! Cheers!

Spring/Summer Races to Put on Your Calendar

My whole running “career” has been based on races. Races give purpose to my running.  I don’t know how often I would run just for fun (or even for exercise) if I didn’t have a date and distance goal attached to that running.  I am not one to really worry about time, finishing is generally my objective ;). 

Race envy…I was pretty bummed when I didn’t get into the NYC Half, but things work out and I am beyond excited that I am running the More Half Marathon on behalf of Athleta and the Reach the Beach Relay with a fantastic team, Off Balance.

However, these are just a few of the many amazing races this spring and summer.  The right race is always motivation for me to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, and these are a few of the races that excite me this spring.   I can’t run all of them do to schedule conflicts, but I do recommend them for anyone looking for an interesting and exciting running challenge.

Spring Concern Run 5k  April 14th

This run is in Central Park and it’s cool because it’s a 5K!  I’ve never run a 5K in the park!  It’s also benefits impoverished children in Haiti, helping to bring them education.  Running for a cause is always win win.

Lake George Half Marathon April 29th

LG2

As an upstater, I have always wanted to run the Lake George Half!  Lake George is so beautiful and the course hugs the water, so it has to be fairly flat.

image

Every year I tend to be away, and this year is no exception, but someday I will finally run it!

Brooklyn Half  May 19th

I will be at RTB, but the Brooklyn Half is a classic!  I ran it a few years ago, and I think every NYCer should do it at least once.  Of the Five Borough Halfs, I think people tend to rank this one #2, right behind the NYC Half (Manhattan).  The course begins with two laps of Prospect Park before you take off down a highway for many miles before finishing with a sprint down the Coney Island Boardwalk.  It’s pretty flat once you get out of the park, so it’s a good half to race for time.   You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

image

Boulder Boulder (10K)  May 28th

10Ks are actually one of my favorite distances.  They are long enough for a challenge and long enough to consider a workout, but don’t take ages to train for! This Colorado race is one of the largest 10Ks in the country with around 60,000 runners.  Not unlike the race I ran last year, it’s got the spirit of a marathon in a much shorter distance.

NYRR Women’s Mini 10K  June 9th

This is one of the few women’s only races hosted by the NYRR, so it has a little extra girlyness!  It also takes you out of the park and along the Central Park West for a bit before you enter the park, which is a nice change of scenery.  The feminist inside me is annoyed that this was started as the women’s alternative to a full marathon.  But apparently, back in the day, people were actually concerned that if a woman ran a full marathon, her uterus would fall out.  I’m proud to say, I haven’t lost a uterus yet! Anyways, I hope to join the Women’s Mini party again this year!

Peace Tree Road Race (10K) July 4th

While I know this requires logistics aligning, little things like being in Atlanta for the Fourth of July, it’s such an awesome race! It’s another one that I think everyone should run once! I ran it last year and it was SO.MUCH.FUN.  Great crowds, awesome sponsors along the way, bands, djs, a huge post race festival in the park. The course runs straight through the city, so it’s almost like a running tour of ATL! It wasn’t an easy 10K–lots of hills–but the energy all around gave me a huge boost!  Hurry, registration closes on March 22nd!!!

IMG_1573

That’s all I’ve got for now! 

 What races do you recommend or dream of running this year?

Frank Runs this Town: NYC Half Recap 2012

IMG_3957 

This morning I realized how few races I have spectated, probably only 4!  I need to do it more!  It’s the totally race experience without all the running!  In fact, the NYC Half was my easiest half so far! hehe

This morning Frank woke up around 6 and tried to consume some of my sodium free sprouted grain bread with peanut butter to fuel up; needless to say, sodium free bread is not very tasty—and that’s why it’s been in the freezer for months. He gave up and grabbed an apple instead.  Suited up in shorts, a tech tee , a northface running jacket and his hamptons half hat, he headed out into the dark to conquer the city. I rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour and a half.

After I got up, I packed a few things for him post race, grabbed the point +shoot and a big sign, and ran out the door. I was hoping I could make it in time to see him at times square!

IMG_3961

I met his parents at Times Square around 8:20AM.  I got a text that he had passed the 10K mark a minute or so earlier, so I knew he was close!  The most stressful thing about spectating is worrying that you missed your runner!

Fortunately, I saw him down road  out of the corner of my eye!

IMG_3951

He’s right there behind the clapper!

IMG_3952

I know you!

IMG_3953

Right about here Frank gave me a big kiss.  Judging from his splits, his pace dropped over a minute per mile immediately following the smooch. I can make myself available for midrace kisses if anyone needs a boost, just fyi!

I then waited to see if Bo, Meri, Sara or anyone else I knew was coming by, I didn’t see them, but I cheered just in case they could hear me! Then I hopped on the train (still with sign)  to head downtown to see everyone near the finish. After a very very long train ride, I made it to South Ferry. At first I saw nothing.  No runners, no fans, no guardrails.  I decided to just walk down south street to the finish area and see if I could catch Frank crossing the finish.  On my way there I was runners literally emerging from the fog coming out of the tunnel that connects the BK battery tunnel to the west highway.  I waited there and was able to see Frank again, just minutes later!  He said he almost passed out in the tunnel due to little air flow!

Finally I jogged down to the finish area to wait at the Gap meeting spot.  Frank finished within 40 seconds of his PR at 1:50:49, not bad for the first race of the year! 

IMG_3965

As this picture was being taken, someone yelled, YEAH FRANK, YOU RAN THIS TOWN!

The finishers village was packed, but pretty cool with bands, booths and massages!  Unlike the NYC Marathon you actually have the time and energy to enjoy it a bit!

We then went home to change for brunch with the folks at Maialino. Our obsession with Maialino is getting a little out of control!

Later in the afternoon, I decided that I couldn’t keep pretending that Frank running counted as my workout, so I went to the gym for an easy 45 minute workout. I can always count on NYHRC for SITC reruns.

The gorgeous weather called for a spring worthy dinner, so I picked up some produce, fresh pasta and homemade cheese for an easy, yet delicious dinner.

Pasta primavera: garlic and herb roasted red and yellow peppers, onion and grape tomatoes, tossed with pasta chopped sundried tomatoes, basil and parmesan.  I finished it with fresh mozzarella.

IMG_3968

Broccolini: steamed for a minute than toasted with a tiny bit of olive oil, garlic and red pepper flake.  This was so good, it almost didn’t need anything.  It had a very strong lemon flavor that I couldn’t get enough of!!

IMG_3971

The weekend has one again gone too soon! I really enjoyed following all the NYC and DC runners, it always gets me excited to get out there and run myself! 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, I am off to watch the amazing race.

NYC Marathon 2011 Recap

Wow. There is nothing like the NYC marathon. Nothing.

IMG-20111107-01142

First I want to send a HUGE congrats to all the wonderful ladies I ran with yesterday.  You all are beyond amazing and inspiring!  Ashley, Tina, Dori, Theodora, Melissa Z, Ellen, Amelia, Emily, Katie S., and Rebecca.

Pre-race Jitters

I really had a hard time mentally and physically preparing for this race. I did everything I could to get caught up in the excitement—I read (the amazing) “A Race Like No Other,” I watched “Lucky Penny,” the HIMYM marathon episode, and finally, I watched “Spirit of the Marathon,” which gets me every time.  And still, I was filled with doubts and nerves. 

Week of and Day Before:

The week leading up to training, I definitely stepped up my carb consumption.  There was no way low glycogen stores were going to be responsible for anything going wrong on the run! 

I attended an awesome 5 Borough Bash, The ACS Send Off Dinner and the Runner’s World VIP Party! Amid all the fun, I noticed that I seemed to be the only one who was nervous!

The night before we ironed our names onto our shirts and had the prerequisite pasta dinner.

IMG-20111105-01113 photo (34)

I don’t know why I felt so uncertain, but maybe it was because my training wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be,  or because I had a nagging pain in my foot that wouldn’t go away, or because I was just plain tired after months and months of running.  My anxiety lasted and grew right up to the moment I started running.  And then ceased completely.

Morning of:

We had a 6:40 wake up call and then we spent about an hour or so getting ready before heading to Fort Wadsworth. IMG-20111106-01119IMG-20111106-01115

We got there a bit earlier than we needed to, but that was fine because it was sunny and not too cold. We rocked our multiple layers of mismatched throw away clothes and ate our pb bagels.  If you’re wondering, the “sheddable shells” that you can buy at expos are not really that warm, I wouldn’t by one again.  An old sweatshirt would have done the trick just as well.IMG-20111106-01121 IMG-20111106-01120  

After Frank left for his corral, I ran into Tina, Dori, Melissa and Ashley!  We headed to the corrals together.  I actually found Ashley at the start and we decided to begin the race together as we were both aiming for a 11 minute pace.

The Race:

IMG-20111106-01126

Off we went. It was amazing. The bridge revealed gorgeous views of Manhattan through the crystal clear blue skies. Once we were off the bridge the course was flat and fast.  I was trying to hold back, but I was feeling great. I felt so comfortable at the 10:30 pace, it seemed silly to go to 11.  Yet, I knew that it was essential to remain feeling fresh as a daisy until the 10 mile point, so I tried to hold back. Brooklyn was better than I remembered.  It was packed with people, signs, and people screaming my name! I declined high 5’s but gave many thumbs up!  My coach’s words echoed in my head,"the more high fives at the beginning, the more low fives at the end.” I loved every adoring fan, they kept me  pumped and the miles literally flew by!  I couldn’t believe that we hit mile 7 in what seemed like no time at all!  I stopped briefly to adjust my too tight shoe, which made all the difference in the world!  I also stopped to take a picture of this amazing church with every door open and an entire choir of signers filling the front steps.  My jaw was on the ground as I ran by this amazing group of people!

IMG-20111106-01127 

Around mile 8, Ashley and I parted ways. I felt great all through Brooklyn, but sadly didn’t see anyone that I had hoped to.  I knew the Polanski Bridge through Queens would be tough–that’s where the hills would start and continue through the remainder of the course, so I slowed my pace to conserve energy.

After the bridge I was feeling pretty dead, I needed my advil to kick in and stop the pain in my foot. However,  the crowds in first ave didn’t disappoint and quickly got me going again. Soon I started seeing my friends and all was well in the world. 

marathon 2011

My friend Sue found me around 18 and is the reason I kept the pace I did!  She motivated me to keep going with constant encouragement, fun stories and by getting so excited about everything around us.  Even though I was feeling some pain, I was not at all out of breath and kept easy conversation right to the end.  Right was we were leaving the Bronx, a huge surprise awaited me:  FRANK on the jumbotron. We had recorded 5 second video messages to each other at the expo and they were set to go off after we passed a certain checkpoint.  It was perfect!  He shouted my name and good luck and I could barely believe it all happened right there in front of so many other people!

The next part was tough. As excited as I was to enter the park, my foot was really shot and I was trying to put weight only on the outside, which made for an unnatural gait.  The hill from 110th to 90th seemed to go on forever, but the crowds around us kept me excited. We finally entered the park and rolled down hill past all the sights I know so well.  Sue said goodbye, and I was on my own for the last 1.2 miles.  I quickly adjusted my shoe to stop the pinching and did what I could to push out the last little bit of the glorious race.  I knew I no longer had chances of PRing, but I thought I could make it under 5 hours, so I tried to enjoy the last stretch down 59th street, even though so many people were walking.  And finally we were climbing toward the finish, the 800, 600, 400, 200, and 100 meters to go signs breezed by and I crossed the finish in jubilation!

I patiently waited for my medal and my picture and did my best to distract myself from the long, cold wait to the UPS baggage trucks. Running into Emily helped pass the time!

IMG-20111106-01129

Finally I was out of the park and I made my way slowly to meet Frank and friends at the Tangled Vine.

When I arrived there was a nice spread as well as a glass of prosecco waiting, don’t mind if I do! 

   IMG-20111106-01133 IMG-20111106-01132

After that we made a long journey back home and icing and salt baths ensued.

I ended the night with Crazy, Stupid, Love and take out:

A couple slices of heavenly Mortorino pizza

IMG-20111106-01136

and some papaya salad and thai green vegetables.  Green includes carrot apparently :)

IMG-20111106-01135

It was an odd combo, but it hit the spot. Now that the marathon season is officially over, I have committed to getting back on the healthy track eating wise, and but more to come about that tomorrow!

Here are my splits:

image

image

4:56:10 finish time.

After all my worries, it was another wonderful marathon! It wasn’t easy, but I am glad I took the time to take in all the sights and see all the people and color that makes the ING NYC Marathon so special. I really thought this was the last marathon, but I might have to take the sage advice of Justin Beiber and never say never. :)

Hampton’s Part Duex

First of all, I have to commend Ali on her first Marathon!  I thought of her several times while I was running the half—honestly I was kind of happy not to be running the full which I briefly considered at the beginning of the season.  Lauren also has a great recap.

Here are a few outtakes that I didn’t include in my first post:

Our fuel.  Yes, I brought 10 gus.  I used 1 on the run.

IMG-20110923-00998

My DeterminNation singlet- I pinned on a “in honor of mom and dad” ribbon during the run.

IMG-20110923-00999

After the race, we considered going to the party at Talkhouse, but decided we wanted to chill at the beach and avoid an very expensive cab trip. Confession, I really just wanted to go to Talkhouse because they mention it so many times in the embarrassingly chick lit book now movie Something Borrowed.

The ocean ended up treating me well.

IMG_2320

For a celebration dinner, we went to Dave’s Grill.  This place was highly recommended. In fact, it’s so popular that it only takes day of reservations starting at 4:15PM. We called non-stop until we got through and the earliest reservation was 10PM!

It didn’t disappoint however!

IMG_2346

Wine!

IMG_2347

Arancini Risotto Balls with Chipotle Aioli

IMG_2349

For my mains, I got the chopped salad: celery, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato and feta!

IMG_2352

And mussels with basil and tomato

IMG_2351

Frank got the stuffed half lobster–a feast of clam, mussel, shrimp, scallop and sweet lobster.

IMG_2353

And for dessert, the mini barbara–just enough and not too much as the waitress said.

IMG_2359

It was a delicious meal and we crashed hard when we got home.

I was sad that work obligations for both of us meant we had to cut our vacation short and leave early the next day when the sun was shining!

At least the Jitney ride back gave me a chance to see more of the Hamptons.  Amaganesett was particularly lovely. It has  beautifully landscaped homes and amazing shopping. I  kept my eye out for Physique, Exhale and such on the way home and I did see Flywheel!

As short as the weekend was, it was very nice.  I should thank Running Away, the company I booked my hotel and shuttle through!

Running Away is a company that helps runners coordinate almost every aspect of race travel for out of town events! Working with Matt was fabulous and saved me some money too. Check them out for sure.