Tag Archives: running

Marathon Favorites

In just two weeks I’m going to attempt to run the NYC marathon. I’m super nervous as the ankle sprain seriously interrupted my training. Hopefully, I can get a good long run in on Saturday and then taper and rest for the next two weeks.    While I’m nervous for the marathon, I’m excited too.  There are a few things that I really enjoy in the month leading up to the marathon.  They include:

Compression socks

I love wearing compression socks.  They are just so cozy and comforting.  I bought a pair of Sockwell Chevron compression socks this year. I think they are so cute and they come in 12 colors!



Marathon training is the only time I really indulge in a massage, but I swear they are life changing.  They melt all the soreness away.  This month exhale is doing their massage and facial combo for $199.  You don’t have to do both treatments at once, so you can spread out the pampering.


I have a lot of rituals that keep me excited about the big race, these include rereading Ultramarathon Man and A Race Like No Other.  I also like to Watch HIMYM’s Lucky Penny episode and Spirit of the Marathon.



If I finish the marathon, I’m definitely getting myself an Erica Sarah race necklace. I’ve wanted one forever, so I hope I earn it!


6 Reasons I’m Excited About Running

I’ve noticed some runners passion never wanes.  They are just as excited about their fifth marathon as their first. Personally, my relationship with running has highs and lows.  But I’ve found, running is very much a mental game. If I am dreading my long run, it’s usually pretty painful. I find myself wanting to walk a lot or cutting off a mile or two from my plan.  On the other hand, if I intentionally get excited about training and long runs, they seem to go 10x better.

I’m coming off a good 11 mile run this weekend and I am already looking forward to 12 next weekend.  Here are a few reasons I’m excited about running:

Chardonnay Run 5K in New York


One of my biggest tips to get motivated to run is to sign up for a race. I’m excited to be registered for the Chardonnay Run this Saturday.  I’m so excited for my first race that ends with wine!  I’m planning to get up early to run 9 before hand and this will finish off my long run.  The race entry includes a t-shirt, bib, wine and food pairings!  Is anyone else running?

Run Clubs

Running is so much easier when you have support–and some accountability. I’ve found training with charities to be incredibly helpful, but since I’m not planning to fundraise for NY this year, I’m planning to take advantage of some of the great running groups in NYC.  I definitely want to check out the November Project, but a bit closer to my downtown home Paragon, Jack Rabbit, Nike and North Face all have training groups.

No Slack Speed Work

Speed work is not something I have much success doing on my own outside.  My cheat is to use run workout classes as my speed work.  Barry’s and Fitness Runs are my favs, but I want to try Mile High Run Club and The Run too!

New Shoes


I’m in love with my New Balance Vazee Rush shoes!  I love them every bit as much as my beloved Fresh Foams–and that’s saying something.  They are super light, but they hug the foot providing a lot of support! The Vazee’s have three    different options within the collection. The Pace, which is designed for training and races, including long distances and marathons–and speed!  The Rush, which is designed for speed and training of all kinds, even the gym.  I can totally feel how much faster the heel to toe transition is in these shoes than my other running shoes. Finally, there is the Coast. This is a more recreational shoe, great for the gym or just looking cute in jeans as your run errands.  Honestly, the genius behind this line is how cute the shoes are for so much function! New Balance sent me a pair for free, but opinions are my own and I love them!

NYC Marathon Emails

I find that reading all the emails the the TCS NYC Marathon sends is a great way to stay motivated. It’s so exciting to feel a part of something so special.  Reading those emails helps me keep my head in the game without even running a step.  That said, I’m sad that I waited too long to sign up for transportation and baggage and I missed my change to get a poncho. I guess they really meant July 31st or while supplies last!

Summer Streets


If Summer Streets isn’t one of the best things about NYC in the summer, I don’t know what is.  For 3 beautiful Saturdays, starting August 1st, you can run from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park without getting hit by a car!  In fact, the best part of all may be running through the tunnel area around Grand Central, which is usually cars only. The highlight this year, WATER SLIDE.  What???

Let me know if you have tips to get motivated to stick to your training plan!

Weekly Workout Wrap Up

Wow, it’s been SO LONG since I’ve done a workout wrap up.

I am “officially” training for the NYRR Brooklyn Half, so I’ve been trying to track my workouts a bit more consistently.



On a side note, how great is it that there is going to be a Rock N Roll Brooklyn Half this year?


If you register for the RNR Brooklyn Half, it’s only $55!  The NYRR Brooklyn Half is sold out.

Anyways, on to the workout recap:

Monday: 40 minutes on the elliptical

Tuesday: nada

Wednesday: 3 Tone it Up Workouts (Lift and Tone Booty Routine, Slim and Toned Arms and Bikini Abs). My abs were definitely sore on Friday.

Thursday: 4.5 mile run outside, gorgeous

Friday: I wasn’t feeling great, so skipped my workout.

Saturday: Soul Cycle.  I had a great class with Brett!

Sunday: 50 minute run.

Question: Do you prefer point to point races (like the NYRR BK Half) or do you like loops and out and backs (like the RNR BK Half)?

Escape to Miami Sprint Triathlon Recap

It was finally the morning of the race. I double checked all the items in my bag and then Frank and I met Amy and Brooke to drop off our transition bags. Even though our race didn’t start until 8:45, we had to drop off our transition bags and be out of the bike area by 7:00AM.

I took my bike to get some air put in my tires. I secured my helmet and water bottle on my bike. Then I just put my towel on the ground and my bag on my towel under the bike. I was so glad I hadn’t laid everything out on the ground because there was a downpour around 7:30AM and my shoes would have been soaked.


2,500 bikes!

We all went to the water to see if we could see Josh start the Olympic distance (.9 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run), which was actually starting from an island across the bay. Unfortunately, their start was delayed and we decided to head back to the hotel to have breakfast. I had an iced coffee, half a Stonyfield protein shake, a banana and half a granola bar. Plus water.

I then realized that they gave me the cap for the wrong age group. I was able to solve this pretty quickly and was really happy I was going to be able to start the swim with Amy and Brooke.

We cheered Frank on for his start and 3 minutes later it was our turn. While I initially planned to hang back for the swim to avoid getting kicked, we somehow wound up close to the front. Fortunately, I was able to stay in the front of the pack around the first bouy. I then transitioned to breaststroke. I thought I’d be able to do breaststroke and maintain a good pace, but I soon realized that due to the current, the breaststroke was far less effective than freestyle. Even so, I suck at spotting, so I mainly stuck with breast. I finished the last 100 meters freestyle. The climb out of the water was really painful due to tons of sharp rocks, so I had to really take my time there.

Overall, the swim seemed to go by quickly, but it was uncomfortable being kicked and scratched by others. I think I’ll be much better prepared next time and able to really make the swim even stronger.

Swim: 400 meters. Time: 7:21. Pace:1:51/100mtrs.

Age Group Place: 15/51

# of times kicked or scratched: approx. 8


I really wanted to take my time on the transition, so I had time to collect myself and not forget anything. I soon saw Frank. He had survived the swim! Yay. I knew he’d be fine for the bike and run.  I put on my socks, shoes and sunglasses. Took a sip of water and strapped on my fuelbelt. I then strapped on my helmet. The chin strap felt tight and I took probably a full minute trying to adjust it so I could breathe. I figured it was time well spent. As I was exciting I saw Amy just a  bit ahead and called and waved.

T1 Time: 4:19. AG Place: 41/52

The Bike:

I was by far the most nervous for the bike. I really wished I had practiced on a road bike or practiced at all. Other than spinning, I’d only gone on two rides outside all summer. But after I mounted the bike, I realized it wasn’t so bad. The other bikers were careful not to hit you and even though none of the zone rules were followed, I felt fairly safe.

The bike route included four hills—all bridges. I made it to the first bridge and man it was tough, but I was passing lots of people. I wondered if I was pushing too hard? But I kept going. I was passed by 3 people for every person I passed. I was on a very low gear so that I didn’t kill my legs, but I found it frustrating to be passed by people pedaling slower than me. After I conquered the next bridge, I soon found myself close to the turn around. I saw Amy heading back as I was approaching. I almost fell on the turnaround but managed to save myself. From here, I decided to switch to higher gears and I was better able to keep a steady paec with those around me. In a strange way, the bike was kind of relaxing. It was tough, but manageable. The only problem was I still couldn’t drink while biking, so I didn’t take water or fuel on this leg. The hills on the second leg came and went and soon I was dismounting. I was pretty happy with how the bike went as I entered the transition.

Bike: 13 miles. Time: 53:33 Pace: 14.67 min/mile

Age Group Place: 37/52 Falls: 0

T2: I was thrilled to drop off my bike. I put on my hat. I almost forgot my bib, but I remembered at the last second. Between the wrist band, helmet number, two tattoos, bike number and race bib, you really are well marked during tris. I soon saw Amy once again exiting just ahead of me. She looked great!   I then saw Frank again!

T2 Time: 3:09 AG Place: 39/52

The Run: Frank and I started out together. We were both struggling to get our legs back and so we took it very slow and chatted along. It was brutal, but I tried to stay positive. 3.1 miles and we were dunzo. It was about 90 degrees and with no shade or breeze people were really struggling. I’d say the majority of people were walking right from the beginning.

We approached our 3rd and final bridge and man it was a climb. It seemed never ending. We just kept chugging along. Soon we found Amy. We even saw Josh on the last mile of his run! Amy and I alternated power walking and jogging for a bit. We reached the first mile at the top of the bridge and honestly I couldn’t believe we were only at mile 1. We said our goodbyes at the turn around. I grabbed a Gatorade at the water stop.


On the way back over the bridge, people were suffering. The heat was really intense and I was passing people even when I was walking. As soon as I was on the top of the bridge again, I committed to running to the finish. It was only a little over a mile. Never before and likely never again will I pass so many people in a race. Even at snail’s pace, I was doing better than most. It was pretty cool as I’m usually in the opposite position, RTB leg 3 for example. Anyways, I finally saw the park up ahead. We rounded in. I saw Josh taking photos. I really couldn’t sprint but I tried to up my pace a tiny bit.


We rounded a corner, still no finish line. I passed through a street lined with cheering people. Still no finish line. I could see all the festivities in the post-race area and finally I could see the finish line. I realized I was about to finish my first tri and took a moment to take it all in. I was mostly happy to be almost done, but I wanted to also remember the experience.

It felt great to be done. It was now both hot and super humid, so I was looking for some kind of shade. I soon found Amy and she looked awesome.

We watched Brooke finish with such determination. I’m amazed at how strong Brooke and Amy were. Neither have done more than a few running races and they both killed their first tri!


Then I found Frank, who was looking a lot happier than the last time I had seen him. He’d managed to push through the run and finished a few minutes before me.

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RUN: 3.4 miles <–just realized this was more than a 5K!.

Time: 35:38  Pace: 10:29 min/mile

AG Place; 18/52

Temperature: a cool 89 degrees and sunny.

Seeing everyone at the end was great. The best part was we could just drop our bikes at the Mack Cycles tent at the end. Easy peasy.

It was a fun experience. I might do an Olympic, but I’m not sure I really want to do a half or full ironman ever. I just can’t imagine it. I thought the Escape to Miami was very well organized and well run.  They were amazing about closing down so many main roads and highways.  I wish the course had been a bit more scenic as it was all on the highway, but it was an awesome first tri experience.

Looking back, I learned a lot during the Escape. Here are just a few of the things that I learned:

  • Buy $1 throw away sandals. You’ll likely have to be out of the transition area well before your race start, so if you want to wear shoes during that time, you’ll need throwaway sandals. I ended up just sacrificing mine.
  • The day before requires a ton of prep. You need to practice on your bike, check in your bike. Figure out all the rules. Understand your course. Prepare for transition. Tris have tons of logistics around when you can drop off things and when you can be in the transition area. <–though this could have just been my tri.
  • Fueling is tough. I ended up only drinking two small cups of Gatorade throughout the race. Fortunately, I had a decent breakfast. It was pretty difficult to eat or drink on the bike, so I drank far less fluid than I should have, especially given the heat. All my GUs just sat in my race belt because by the time I was running, they seemed silly to take.
  • Numbers, numbers, numbers. There are numbers on all your limbs and your bike, helmet and shirt. The amount of marking is crazy.
  • It’s cool that you get a time and AG place for each leg and the transitions. It makes it really easy to see what you need to work on.
  • Transitions count! My transitions were among the slowest in my age group and the two areas I placed the worst. It’s important to keep things moving in the transition areas if you care about your time.
  • I was happy that I got to see my friends throughout the race, which doesn’t always happen in marathons. That’s fun.
  • Have lots of plastic bags. Having a plastic bag to put over my transition bag would have been really helpful, although it was pretty protective of my belongings.
  • No music. At least in my tri, headphones or ipods of any kind were punshible with a time penalty. If you love to run to music, practice without in advance.
  • Practice. I really didn’t train for this, but that caused quite a bit of anxiety about the transitions, using a road bike, etc. If I had trained and done a few BRICK (bike and run or swim and bike) workouts, I wouldn’t have died so much on the run.

After the triathlon we enjoyed a well deserved day on South Beach.  This was followed by a victory dinner at Prime 112, which was excellent!




Reach The Beach: Legs 2 and 3

Hello! I greet you from Miami! Tomorrow I am going to attempt to do my first sprint triathlon–so help me god.  But I’m not here to talk about that today, I wanted to recap the rest of my RTB experience a few weeks ago.

While the first leg is all fun and games, things get tough in legs 2 and 3.  We had to run in the dark in the middle of the night and then we had to run again on tired legs with little sleep or food.  But the running is manageable, we are “runners” after all. The hard part is being in the van, I kind of think society breaks down a little bit after 30 hours in a van.  This is why the race is actually intended to be finished in 24 hours but how anyone is fast enough to accomplish this is beyond me!

On a side note, Reach the Beach reminded me a little bit of one of my favorite MTV shows from back in the day–Road Rules!  Does anyone else remember that show?  Honestly mad respect for all the time they spent in the winnie.

road rules logo

In any event, we had a fair bit of time before our night legs which was spent organizing the van, napping and just hanging out.

Then it was time to send Jess off once again!

The night legs started off with a beautiful sunset. Temperatures had really dropped, so we were all bundled up in the van.  While I really had fun driving during the day, I was not able to drive at night because I am just not a good enough driver to feel comfortable driving in the dark on small side roads.  But we managed.  My night leg started at 11:30PM.  The first half was great, it was through a cute little town well lit by street lights.  The second half was basically a 2 mile climb uphill.  The uphills were tough, but the night leg might have been my favorite after all. I knew my team wanted to sleep, so I tried to run hard when it wasn’t straight uphill and not completely die when it was.

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After my leg, we all attempted to sleep at the next transition area.  Unfortunately, I was freezing and still damp from my run, so I wasn’t able to sleep.  Instead, I quietly willed my stomach issues to settle down.  We were all thrilled when it was morning because it meant we’d be able to start our third leg soon.

It was the first time we were able to meet up with van 2 for any significant length of time.  Marissa and Allie seemed pumped and ready to go.  It was actually really inspiring since I think Van 2 has harder times of day to run.

The 5th and 6th van legs were shorter than the first four for most, totally around 50 miles total.  Jess was off and had a brutally hilly last leg, but being the unwaveringly strong runner she is, she finished strongly and even wanted to go further due to a strange wild card transitions.

Side note: a wildcard in Reach the Beach is when you can decide where you want to transition between two legs.  So if leg 1 is 8 miles and leg 2 is 3 miles, you can transition any point after mile 4.5 of the first leg, to more evenly distribute the miles if needed.

Everyone powered through the last of the never-ending hills until it was my turn once again. I felt super lucky I only had 3.1 easy miles for my last leg.

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My legs were sore and I felt like I was really hobbling along and being passed by every runner on the course.  But when I saw the finish line ahead I was able to really power it out. I almost ran smack into Allie!

Thanks to Theodora for taking pictures of my finish!

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After finishing we drove to a cute little town called Exeter. Theodora, Christine and I grabbed lunch at a little diner. I was famished by this point and greasy diner food was kind of appealing. I ordered an omelette platter and 1 chocolate chip pancake. I wish I had taken a picture of the feast. I hadn’t had much more than a clif bar and a handful of animal crackers since lunch the day before, so I enjoyed the omelette and a few bites of the pancake sans guilt.

After stopping into the local shops it was time to meet Van 2 for a glorious finish!. We soon met up with the rest of our team at the finish area and our amazing NB liaison Mary.  We found  a prime spot on the beach to watch the teams come into the finish. Lorraine came in with all kinds of swagger. My hat’s off to her for finishing a large portion of the run on sand—so tough on tired legs.

We all finished and were super excited to proudly hold up our medals for the cameras.

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Unfortunately, the celebration was cut short by a huge rain shower. We all piled in our vans and took off for Boston. I had originally had a really late train that would get me in to NYC at 2:30AM, but we were able to change it to 6:30PM. We made it to South Station with just minutes to spare thanks to Mary’s amazing van driving skills.

I slept most of the way home. I was pretty sleepy when I was exiting Penn station will tons of bags hoping to find a cab quickly, but suddenly I heard my name being called. It was Frank.   Sometimes he is just the best. I couldn’t have been happier to see him waiting for me—and I quickly gave him my bags to carry.

Overall, it was RTB #2 was a really great experience. The  New Hampshire course is longer (207.8 miles!) and more challenging, but also more scenic. Check out a great quick video recap here:

I’m proud that I finished my 17.5 miles, I was not really sure I was ready and I have to thank my team for the amazing support and New Balance for being so amazing in sponsoring my travel, registration, gear and food. I can’t thank you enough.

I’ll be sharing my favorite pieces of apparel and footwear, as well as soon tips for packing and organization soon.

Happy Monday folks, I hope the week is off to a great start.

Reach the Beach: Leg 1

After the New Balance Factory tour, I was pretty pumped for the race.  Definitely nervous about my legs (8.6-very hard, 5.8 hard, 3.1 easy), but excited for the weekend ahead.

We arrived at an adorable townhouse set in the most magnificent mountainside.


It was rustic and charming….


And as all good cabins in the woods should, it had a wind up gondola in the stairwell.


After setting down our bags, we met up with about a dozen other new balance teams for a delicious team dinner.  As I had worked until midnight the night before then had to be up at 5am for my flight in the morning, getting sleep was high on my priority list, I crashed like a baby at 10PM. I actually felt refreshed when I woke up and put on my pre-packed outfit for leg 1:

Leg 1 included a New Balance Racerback Tank Top and long running pants that had these great zippers on the ankles.  Remember when jeans had zippers at the ankle? Plus a long sleeve pull over that matched the tank top.  I am obsessed with grey and baby blue color palette!


Probably the most clutch items of clothing of all was the lounge wear.  Never underestimate the importance of your down time clothing when doing a reach the beach relay.  You’ll immediately want your wet clothes off and warm, soft clothing on.  Not that I ever need a reason to don sweats and leggings.  My pumped up kicks were the New Balance 1260s, which are stability shoe that are great for overpronaters like me!

These went on over my race clothes since it was chilly at 5am.


The morning was hectic to say the least.  We were all rushing to get out and on our way but that was easier said the done.  Things went further downhill at registration.  It’s a 5 step process of which the team completed about 3.5, but somehow after several laughable fails at the security table, we were passed on to orientation. Carrie and I sat for while the rest of the team made sure Jess got to the starting line.  It was already past our original start time, which meant we skipped the team photo. But we did get to see Jess off and into a trail in the mountains.


Once Jess was off, leg 1 was a lot of fun, all smiles and positivity.


Here is Carrie ready to take the snap bracelet from Jess (who FLEW through leg one). Carrie destroyed her hilly 9 mile beast of a leg.

Gia was flawless on her run.

Then Theodora killed her tough leg and finished with gusto


This part of the race was so stunning. I can’t even describe other than to say it was breathtaking.

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Christine also had a tough leg and made it through like a champ.

I was next and last in my van. I had an 8.9 leg that was deemed very hard by RTB–mostly due to the length.Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 10.17.29 AM

It had a few hills at the beginning but the real tough part was that the shoulder narrowed to just an uneven dirt path.  The first 4.5 miles went okay. I was just more bored than anything on the last 4.4, which I struggled through. The beautiful mountain landscape was gone  I was running through a tiny town with only railroad tracks for scenery. I met quite a few people along the way, everyone was super friendly and encouraging.  I really just felt like the leg would never end. But end it did and all was well again.  Not going to lie, I was elated to see Allie waiting for me at the transition area. We were also outfit twins, which was a nice little bonus.

Reach the Beach exchange 6 RTB Jess Carrie Melissa Gia

Most of van 1 happy for a break.

We all celebrated the end of our legs with a delicious lunch at Flatbread Company.  The flatbread seemed the same as pizza and that was fine with me. This post is getting long, so I’ll stop here, but stayed tuned for more RTB recaps!


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.

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Snoopies in sneakers. I die.

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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…

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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…

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



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


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




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Shoes, shoes and more glorious shoes.


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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.

UAE 10k and Brooklyn Half Recap!


For the last 5 years, a fair number of of my spring, summer and fall weekends have included an NYRR race–the last two weekends were true to form.

Last weekend, we ran the UAE 10K.   This race is always fun and festive. When your race has a rich sponsor, you know you are in store for sway–like tech shirts and medals!

It also happened to not start until 9AM, which is always a win!  It was a gorgeous morning for a race.uae

This 6 miler was supposed to be my taper run for the Brooklyn Half, but my training fell off somewhere along the way and it turned into more of a build run to supplement my two longest training runs, which topped off at 8 miles each.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I felt that I had certainly trained enough to successfully complete a 10K without much effort. Or not.   The gun went off and my legs felt like lead. I’m sure most people know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you start a run and have great fresh legs and sometimes  you feel like you are wearing invisible ankle weights.  I plodded along, around mile 3 things got better for a while.  By mile 5, things were bleak–I was feeling a bit nauseous and the lead feeling had returned.  Somehow I rounded the bottom of Central Park South and the end was in sight–sort of. The 800 meters to go, 400 meters to go, 200 meters to go signs seemed just plain mean.   But finally I finished.

Clearly, I made a rookie mistake–no hill training.  The Great Hill seemed somehow greater and the rolling hills on the west side seemed to never end.

I have to be honest, I left the UAE 10K feeling pretty defeated. I wasn’t sure how I would even finish the Brooklyn Half, as it the distance is more than twice as long.

I like to be over prepared in any given situation.  I cook enough for 20 when 10 people are coming over. I make 14 copies for a meeting with 12 people. I triple check work documents before sending them out. I don’t like to leave room for error.  It causes me a lot of anxiety.  But somehow, come half marathon week, I was struggling to complete a 10K.  While I hate to be unprepared, I also hate giving up.  So after much agonizing (which is always helpful), I decided to try and make it through the BK Half, even if I had to walk most of it.

On Wednesday, I went to pick up my race packet at the Half Pre-party.  It was actually a good way to get in a more positive mindset!

Brooklyn Bridge Park is so cute!

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The pre-party was sponsored by New Balance, and they had lots of great promotions going on. There were also other vendors, lots of food trucks, live music and plenty of general merriment to enjoy, which I did. I may not finish the race, but I am going to pre-party with the best of them. Damnit.

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Before I knew it, it was the night before the race. I went out to dinner with friends and then went to bed early, as we had a 5:00AM alarm set.

Race day morning was a flurry of activity, but we were out the door in 20 minutes to catch the subway. While it seemed to go by pretty quickly, it took about an hour to get to Prospect Park.  We went through security and got in the corrals.  Each corral had a ton of port-potties, which was a nice bonus.  I was pretty nervous in the corral, but three things helped cheer me up:

1.) A bunch of girls that were wearing shirts that said, “If found, please drag to the finish.”

2.) When the announcer said, “Brooklyn, are you ready?” and several people yelled no.

3.) When the announcer said, “Are you ready to run?” And a guy said, well, we are here, so I guess we have to.

It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only nervous one there! After what seemed like forever, off we went.  My legs didn’t feel great, but they didn’t feel bad.  The first part of the race is an out and back around a round-a-bout. I saw Frank coming back on my way out.  I knew the out and back was almost 2.5 miles of the course, so I was happy when it seemed to go by fairly quickly.  I saw fast runners zooming out of the park as I entered, and soon after I put on my headphones and just decided to enjoy the nice lushness of Prospect Park.  There was a big meadow with tons of dogs frolicking during off leash hours.  My goal was to at least make it through the park before I decided whether I would need to walk.  Fortunately, Prospect Park is pretty flat, and I was still feeling good when we left at mile 7.   While my favorite part of the race is the park, it’s nice to be on Ocean Parkway, so you can finally stop running in circles start to get where you are going–Coney Island.

Around mile 9, I was starting to feel fatigue in my legs.  I decided to walk for 20-60 seconds at every mile marker to give my muscles a chance to lose some tension.  While there were some moments where I thought I would never make it to mile 12, overall I felt way better than I did at the UAE.  Everything was going much better than expected even though I was probably running 12 minute miles.

As we rounded Surf Ave, I could smell the popcorn and hotdogs.  Soon we were on the boardwalk running the last 200 meters on the sandy planks.

For being a large race, the exit area moved really quickly and I soon found Frank in the finisher’s area.

bk half

We enjoyed Coney Island for a bit before taking the long train ride back home.  We went to a great Yankees game in the afternoon and by the time we got home, I was totally spent.

While my only goal for the half was to finish, I was shocked that I actually finished around my usual half time, 2:14. It certainly wasn’t a PR, but I  guessed I had ran it in closer to 2:35, so I was pretty happy to find out I finished 20 minutes faster than my estimate. I was worried about the 3 hour cut off time for nothing!

I’ll definitely run Brooklyn again. I love that it’s flat!

I hope all the other BK half runners had a great race!


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!


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:


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.


Running Playlist Winter 2013

What a sunny, snowy Saturday we have in NYC!  It’s always so bright when in snows, it makes me forget how short the winter days are!

This morning we had a date with Barry!  We got there about 15 minutes early, but true devotees apparently arrive much earlier.  I told Frank that it was probably best to do the treadmills first to get the running over with, apparently that is a popular strategy because the treadmills were gone instantly.  Hello, strength.

I grabbed 8 pound weights, in hindsight 10s would have been better.  Frank took 25s, which is just insane. This was only my second time (first time recap here), so I was expecting 15 minutes strength, 15 minutes running, 15 minutes strength, 15 minutes running.

However, after several sets of lunges with the booty bands, lots of arm work and some ab work, I started thinking, those people have been on the treadmill a LONG time.  Is this a 90 minute class?  A few minutes later, Joey announced it was a 30 on 30 off day!

Initially I wasn’t thrilled about this news, I think it’s easier mentally to get through 15 minutes on the treadmill, even if you know you have to do it twice.  However, it really wasn’t too bad.  Don’t get me wrong, there were several occasions where the last 15 seconds took everything I had and maybe a little more, but we didn’t have to go up to crazy insane speeds, topping out at 9MPH for no longer than 90 seconds. The structure was something like this…

DIY Treadmill Bootcamp (similar not identical BB):

  • 2 minute warm up at  6MPH
  • 5 minute climb (start at 7MPH and increase by .5 every minute until 9.0)
  • 1 minute recover
  • 5 minute ladder (start at 7MPH and increase by 1 MPH to 9.0 and then back down)
  • 1 minute recover
  • 5 minute climb (start at 7MPH and increase by .5 every minute until 9.0)
  • 3 minute sprint with incline (run at your top speed and increase incline to 3.0 at minute 2 and 6.0 for minute 3) x2
  • 1 minute recover
  • 90 second spring at incline of 8.0
  • 30 second recover
  • 30 second sprint

I’m definitely getting why people love Barry’s, you feel so accomplished at the end!

So back to the playlist, here is my latest. I’m definitely in love with it.

Warm Up:

Take a Walk-Passion Pit (who I saw at the Garden last night!)


Sweet Nothing–Calvin Harris

Locked out of Heaven--Bruno Mars

Don’t Stop the Party–Pitbull (really love this for a good push)


Thrift Shop–Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Scream & Shout–Will.i.am (can I just say, thank god for Britney Bitch?)

Don’t You Worry Child–Swedish House Mafia

I Knew You Were Trouble–Taylor Swift <–Favorite T Swizzle song of all time

Beauty and a Beat–Justin Bieber feat Nicki Minaj

Ho Hey–Lumineer

Cool Down:

Suit and Tie–JT