10-21-2014

How To Wash Your Workout Clothes

I have way more workout clothes than normal clothes. My laundry days consist of probably 90% workout clothes. I love that I work in an athletic office and as a coach so I can wear fitness apparel to work too. Though now it sucks because when I put on jeans I feel so constricted, blah.

Anyway, it’s important to take care of your workout gear if you want them to last. I used to just throw them all in the wash with my normal clothes and call it a day. Now I’m careful to wash them how they’re supposed to be washed, and hang dry them.

I learned key things once I started working with Raw Athletics, a company that puts out a natural sports detergent and a sports spray (for your funky smelling shoes). I actually also wrote up a post on their products, so if you’re interested in trying it out, read it here!

I mean, did you know you shouldn’t wash your workout clothes with things like jeans and towels? I definitely didn’t. 

How To Wash Your Workout Clothes

So now I’m going to share a few tips I learned from Raw Athletics on how to wash your workout clothes :)

Like I mentioned above, you probably already know to wash your athletic wear in a cold wash and air dry. For some reason I used to wash in hot because I figured a scalding hot wash would kill all the bacteria and odor. Most performance apparel laundry instructions state to use a cold wash.

Don’t wash with abrasive fabrics. This includes jeans, towels, and anything with zippers. I made the mistake of doing this with a lululemon top and something got caught and pulled out a thread. Very annoying when you pay $$$ for lululemon stuff! Besides that, washing with other clothes can cause pilling and fraying.

Use powdered detergent. Raw Athletics does a good job of explaining this so I’m just going to quote them here:

Most brands, especially Nike Dri-Fit, recommend using a powdered detergent because powdered surfactants gently yet very effectively remove soils and debris from the fabric much better than liquid surfactants, without leaving behind any residue.

Don’t use detergents with fragrances. Like Tide Sport or Febreze. The smell clogs up the pores of your clothes, which leads to even smellier clothes as time goes on (from your sweat being stuck on the fabric). You’d think using fragrances would HELP the whole smelly clothes issue, but that’s not the case! Brands like Nike and lululemon even put on their instructions to avoid using fabric softeners.

Turn clothes inside out. According to a few brands’ washing instructions, you should turn your clothes inside out before washing. I actually did not know that until I started writing this post! Good to know. Doing so reduces fading of colors and also reduces pilling. 

Random side note (speaking of pilling) – I just bought a pair of lululemon Wunder Unders last weekend, and the inside groin/crotch area is already starting to pill. WTF?? When something costs upwards of $90, shouldn’t this not happen? Or is this normal? Anyone else have this issue?

Anyway…those are just a few tips to help you out on your next laundry day. I’ve noticed that once I started taking better care of my garments, they lasted longer and stayed in decent condition. Also, once I started using Raw Athletics, it really helped take that awful sweaty smell out. Or you know how sometimes you wash your clothes, but then as soon as you sweat in them they stink? That would always happen to me. 

If you want to read other reviews of their products, you can find one here from MCM Mama Runs, and one from The Active Guy. Feel free to leave any questions below!

Oh also, here are washing guides specific to each popular fitness brand, brought to you by Raw Athletics:

Do you take care of your workout clothes? Do you follow the washing instructions or just throw everything in together?

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10-20-2014

Philly Half Marathon Training Week 12

Another week down. I actually had a decent week of training minus 2 days missed due to some pain which I’ll get into below. Here’s how things went last week:

Monday: Lifting. I hadn’t lifted in like 2 weeks so after this session, I was SORE. My glutes were sore for days. I did this leg workout.

Tuesday: Track workout! I really do look forward to “Track Tuesdays.” I love running on the track and feeling fast (well, fast for me). My mom and I warmed up with 3 miles, then did 6×400 at 2:00 min. per lap. That was the goal, we actually did: 2:01, 2:00, 1:56, 1:54, 1:57, 2:01. I think I could have gotten the last one in sub-2 as well but it got dark out fast so I actually was just following the white lines and also didn’t want to sprain an ankle. It’s the first time I have consistently been able to do several 400s under 2!

 

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Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3 mile group run at FitBlogNYC. This event was put on by Fitness Magazine and was awesome! So many goodies given to us bloggers, including sneakers. Will definitely be going back next year. We ran 3 miles along the West Side Highway. It was great meeting a bunch of new fitness bloggers!

Friday: 9 miles. This was a decent run. Didn’t feel amazing but didn’t feel awful. Just felt tired starting mile 5ish. Average pace was 10:33 per mile. I’ll take it.

 

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Oh yeah, so the pain I told you about…that’s the reason I didn’t run Saturday and Sunday? Well, after my 9 mile run, I walked around to cooldown, then sat down to stretch for 10 minutes. When I got up, as soon as I took a step with my left leg, there was this really sharp pain on the side of my foot. I couldn’t put weight on it. I was kind of scared I broke a bone in my foot or something. I took a shower but it wasn’t going away. Took some Tylenol and then after an hour it subsided a bit.

Now it is not hurting me when I walk around but it hurts when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or something, and hurts when I first wake up. I decided to give myself two days off to rest it and hopefully it’s nothing. Has anyone experienced anything like this before?? I wear orthotics in my left shoe (it’s my left foot), and sometimes the outside of my foot hurts a bit, I guess because of the arch support – but it has never hurt that bad. Hmm…

Anyway, tomorrow is another track workout so I hope my foot is fine by then!

How’s your training going? Have you ever felt pain and immediately assumed the worst?

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10-15-2014

Top 5 Running Moments

I was inspired to write this post after Jill posted about her half marathon race being one of her top proudest moments. I wanted to take the time to reflect on my top 5 running moments :)

PS – the races are linked to my race recaps – not sure why it only shows as a link if you hover over it.

#5. NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile (2012)

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This was my first one mile race and one I’ll always remember. First of all, running a one mile race is awesome. Short but still tough…but you can dig deep for just one mile. I ran this race in 7:07 and was definitely feeling that runner’s high after! It was my fastest mile time since high school track. I’m not sure what my mile time would be now…now I kind of want to go out and run a mile as fast as I can! Oh also, I got to meet Jenny Simpson and Kara Goucher that day :)

#4. My First Half Marathon (2011)

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Our first half marathon was part of the New Jersey Marathon – the Long Branch Half Marathon. Never in a million years did I think I would run longer than 5K. I was inspired by the running community I found on Tumblr, and told my mom we should train for a half. She said no way. I convinced her, and now we are about to run our 4th half in November! We figured we would run this race in 2:30 and started with the 2:30 pacers. We left them behind after mile 1, and finished in 2:10. We were so proud of our time and finished strong. It was the beginning of our running journey.

#3. My First 5K With My Mom (2010)

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This is at our local 5K, Miles For Matheny (which is actually where I have my 5K PR). It was our first 5K together, and we had no idea what we were doing running wise. Sure I ran XC in high school, but at that point that was 4 years ago. Funny story about this picture, we got to the start line like 30 minutes before the race because we wanted to be in the front/have room. Then we had to move back anyway because only “6 minute milers should be in the front.” Such noobs :-P We have ran almost every race together since this race!

#2. New York City Marathon (2011)

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Our first marathon. Your first marathon will always be a race you’ll never forget. I was proud of my mom and I for finishing – especially for her because she felt strong the whole way. But I’ll also remember it for feeling like absolute crap starting around mile 18. Then it turned into a walk/run the whole way, and ended up in the medical tent at the finish. Pretty sure I was close to having hyponatremia. It left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I wanted to come back with a vengeance…which leads me to my number 1 moment…

#1. New York City Marathon (2013)

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This is definitely my proudest moment as a runner. I trained for 18 weeks using the Hansons Marathon Method. I worked my butt off and was running 6 days a week. I had never run so many miles in my life. And it all paid off. My mom and I ran a 33 minute PR, and felt strong the entire way. I didn’t walk at all. I stopped once to stretch out my hip flexor really quick. We crossed the finish line smiling as opposed to me being angry from feeling so awful. I got to take everything in. The crowds were amazing. Everything about that day was just perfect. I can only hope my next marathon goes just as well or is even better. I’m so proud of my mom too for finishing her second marathon. I can’t imagine running races without her! I’m not sure yet what I will do in 2015…but it will include at least 1 half and a marathon. Where? I don’t know! I’m open to suggestions, especially for spring races so please leave a comment below!

What are your top 5 running moments? Tell me below or if you write up your own post, come back and leave a link so I can read!

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10-15-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Happy hump day! I can’t wait for the weekend…mainly Friday, because I have a “girls night out” on tap :)

Here are your links for today!

Featured: 4 Move Total Body Dumbbell Workout (A Lady Goes West)

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Got 20 minutes? Then this workout is for you! I love all of these exercises, so I think I’ll have to try it after a run soon.

  • 3 Tips To Beating Diet Boredom (Journey Of A Dreamer) – Eating healthy can be so blah sometimes. At least that’s how I feel. These are some great tips!
  • Race Etiquette & Pet Peeves (Runner Girl In A Rocking World) – I agree with these…especially the water stops. Nothing worse than almost running into someone because they come to a dead halt.
  • Sausage & Wild Rice Stuffing (The Lean Green Bean) – Um, this just looks delicious.
  • Cinnamon Cookie Overnight Oats (Lean Clean Brie) – I have been making different types of oatmeal recently, and actually only just started putting protein powder in. I want to try this recipe!

What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal? Give me some oatmeal ideas!

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10-14-2014

10 Online Resources To Help You Become A Better Runner

Running is easy right? Just step out the door and go. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to make things complicated, but there are numerous online resources available to you if you want to take your running up a notch and become a better runner.

I’m not saying necessarily a faster runner, just better because you’ll have access to your data, training routines, injury prevention tips and more.

So what are these online resources? These are some of the websites I visit on a daily basis that I know will definitely help you as well. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Become A Better RunnerPhoto Credit: amira_a via Compfight cc

LetsRun.com – You can find running news, race recaps, videos and more on here. The main thing I like is the message board. Sometimes they get a bit ridiculous, but I have found great tips on there, whether it’s about shin splints or what marathon I should run next. Go through the board and you’ll find a topic relating to you. The only thing I don’t like is the automatic video that plays when you’re on the site.

FloTrack – This is my all time favorite website for running inspiration. Here, you can find running news, race videos, interviews with runners ranging from high school to elite, and more. One of my favorite features is their Workout Wednesday videos, where they follow a runner or team for a workout. It always gets me pumped to go for a run! I just showed this one to my XC team before a meet and now they love Mary Cain:

Watch more videos on Flotrack

MapMyRun – I’m sure you’ve all heard of this one. I always use it to map out new routes and check mileage. The one feature I’ve been using more often is seeing what other people have mapped out in my area. It has led me to discover some new running routes!

Runner’s World/Running Times – I think both magazines are under the same umbrella? Not sure but either way both are good resources for running related info. While I feel like Runner’s World (magazine) can get a bit redundant, sometimes I find some great stuff on their website, especially their injury prevention videos. I also like their SmartCoach tool. Even though I haven’t used it, I have used to create a general outline of a training plan – and many people have had good reviews about it as well.

STACK – I love watching the training videos on here. You can find them based on your goals (strength, get faster, etc.) or sport. Each article has a how-to video with it, making it easy to implement into your routine. Feeling some knee pain? Try these tips.

DailyBurn – So much great information in one place. I found out more about DailyBurn through Theodora, and now regularly read their articles. Whether you’re looking for nutritional information, recipes, running tips, marathon tips, or more, you will find it here. I’ve regularly referred to their best marathons and half marathons posts to decide what race I should do next :)

Athlinks - Athlinks is a great tool to keep track of all your racing times. You can “claim” your races, and have all of your times all in one spot. Mine date back to 2008 or something! You can also track other people, connect with athletes, and find events. I mainly like it because I can look back on my previous times in past years.

RunningInTheUsa.com – Looking for an upcoming half marathon in Nevada in April? Well you can find that on this website. This is my go-to when looking for marathons/half marathons. I’ve been using it a lot to determine what spring race I will do (still undecided). I like that you can find any distance race anywhere!

DailyMile - I don’t use this as much as I should/used to but I still love it. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but it’s a website to track your workouts. Many use it for running, but you can also track other workouts as well like cycling, lifting, etc. I liked it because it’s social media specifically for runners! I can talk about running all day long and no one will get annoyed, like my Facebook friends might ;) If you’re on there, add me! I will try to update more often.

#runchat – I can’t really link to this one but if you’re on Twitter then you need to be following this hashtag. I’ve connected with so many other runners AND had runners give me tips and advice when I used the hashtag. You can find some great info this way and speak to other runners going through the same stuff as you are. Just search it when you have extra time and go through the tweets…I’m sure you will connect with someone :)

So which one of these do you use regularly? Or never knew about? If you have one not on the list, leave a comment please so I can check it out!

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10-13-2014

Philly Half Marathon Training Week 11

Last week I was sick for the first half of the week…so a few runs did not happen. But I do want to talk about what I did do!

Wednesday: Easy 4 mile run with my XC team. Well, easy for them, not for me. I was still pretty stuffy and mucous-y so I felt weak towards the end. But oh well, got it done.

Afterwards, I went to a yoga class with two friends. I bought a Groupon for a local studio in Morristown, NJ called Be Well. Classes are about 6-10 people. I was really excited for this because I have never done yoga in an actual yoga studio. I’ve done yoga videos and lululemon community classes but never in a studio.

The class we were taking was a “strength” class, and yeah it was hard! We practiced a bit of crow pose which I still can’t do. Ugh! Meanwhile my friend easily gets into it and gets up into a headstand…and it was her first yoga class! My two yoga goals are crow pose and to be able to hold a hand stand.

Anyway, the class was great. It was a good combo of stretching and strength work, especially in the lower body. My hamstrings were pretty sore for a few days. I’m excited to continue doing yoga and see where it takes me.

Thursday: No run – worked until 8 pm.

Friday: 7.5 mile run. This run went really well. It was a very hilly run…up and down and up and down. But my mom and I maintained a consistent pace throughout. There was one hill that was definitely at least a half mile long if not longer. But you just gotta keep cruising along and not think about it.

It’s crazy to me how a little over 2 months ago I could barely finish 3 miles, and now 7.5 miles “ain’t no thang.” Well it is challenging but I remember my first 3 mile run I honestly didn’t think I could finish. 

Oh and I won PRO Compression socks through Coco! I wore them on my long run because my shins have been giving me trouble and they fit perfectly. So cozy and snug.

 

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Great 7.5 mile run! (Finished the .17 after I stopped run keeper) pretty hilly run but glad we averaged about 10/mile! Also, love my new @procompression socks!!! Bright pink is what I’m all about

10-09-2014

Quick & Easy Tuna Lunch Idea

Are you looking for something quick to make for lunch? I always am. I usually pack my lunches in the morning as I’m rushing out the door, so I like things that are fast and easy to make.

And that’s where this recipe comes in. I remember seeing a recipe on Pinterest that combined tuna with rice, but I wanted to spin off of that and add some vegetables as well. I mean, how delicious and filling does this look?

Quick Lunch Recipe
It took me less than 5 minutes to put together. Here’s how you do it:

Quick & Easy Tuna Lunch
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. Rice
  2. Can of tuna
  3. Pinto beans (or beans of your choice)
  4. Plum tomatoes
  5. Scallions (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut tomatoes in half if you wish & cut scallions as well.
  2. Layer tuna over rice, top with veggies.
  3. Done!
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I did also add a bit of mayo to the rice just to make it less bland. You can feel free to add in any sort of dressing you’d like. This really was filling, and is a great way to get in your protein and some veggies!

Do you have recipes that use tuna (other than salad)? Please leave a comment below because I am always looking for new lunch ideas!

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10-08-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I am loving this weather. The perfect temperatures outside and the leaves changing are just beautiful. Fall is my absolute favorite season!

Here’s some great content for you to ready today:

Featured: 15 Freezer Meals & Snacks (The Lean Green Bean)

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I always say I want to start making freezer meals but never actually do. There are some great ideas here! I always love looking through Lindsay’s food prep posts for inspiration.

Have you tried zucchini noodles? What’s your favorite “spiralized” dish?

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10-08-2014

Build Your Readership By Building Relationships

I’ve written a few posts about how to build your blog, brand, etc. with social media, and today I want to continue talking about tips on building your readership.

Increase your blog readership

When I started my blog, I figured no one would ever read. I was excited when I got 100 views in a month! I’m not saying I am the biggest blogger out there by any means, but I did build it up over time and have connected with some great people.

While social media was helpful, reading other health & fitness bloggers’ content and finding those similar to me played a huge role. I wasn’t just reading these blogs for my own benefit though. I love finding new fitness enthusiasts who share the same trials and tribulations as I do when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve connected with many who have wanted advice and offered advice.

So what’s my point? My point is to go out there and be genuine. Find bloggers in your niche and leave thoughtful comments on their content IF it relates to you and you actually find it interesting. Don’t just leave a comment for the sake of commenting. There’s nothing more annoying than “Great post! Check out my blog!” or “Cool!” When I get those comments I just get the sense that you’re trying to get more people onto your page.

How you can start connecting with other bloggers

There are some great ways to find new bloggers, and tools to help you keep track. Here’s what I do:

  • Use Facebook blog groups. I’m a Fitfluential and SweatPink Ambassador, so I’m in their Facebook groups where we have daily threads of everyone’s new blog posts. But there are other groups out there as well. I’m part of one called Fitness Media In Motion (request to join and say I sent you!) where we read, share and comment on each other’s content. Find groups relating to you and be an active member. Don’t simply dump your link and leave. Take the time to get to know others as well. That’s how you build loyal readers.
  • Use Bloglovin’. I also love Bloglovin’ to both find new blogs and keep track of who I read. Follow me here! I have different categories for fitness bloggers, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, etc. There is also a discover tool. You are also able to see how many posts you haven’t read yet so you can catch up. It essentially is like an RSS feed (but I like it better than the old Google Reader).
  • Use Twitter. Now I’ve talked about using Twitter before and how to gain more followers. But the same rules apply to your blog! I love searching through relevant hashtags to find new people to follow, both on Twitter and through their blog. One I’m following now because it relates to me is #halfmarathontraining. Join in on Twitter chats and start meeting new people. I’ve built lots of relationships through Twitter and even though we may have never met (or ever meet) I consider these people my friends!
  • Leave thoughtful comments. As I mentioned above, it’s important to be genuine. I honestly think this is the best way to connect with other bloggers and get them on your page as well. No, it won’t lead to hundreds of new page views, but you know what it will lead to? Loyal readers. Be a loyal reader to someone and they will come over to your page as well. I try to keep up with those who read my blog through Bloglovin’ so I can regularly read their content as well. I like getting comment notifications and seeing it’s from those who regularly comment. Thank you for continuing to read and supporting me! :) Oh one last point about leaving comments, when you leave a comment on a blog that uses CommentLuv, you’re more recent post will show up as a link. Other readers and commenters will see that and may click through, which means a possible new reader for you!

I wonder how many of you reading read regularly but never leave a comment. Maybe you can de-lurk for this post and leave a comment just telling my a little about yourself and what your blog URL is if you have one :)

What do you think has helped you build your readership base? Any tips you’d add?

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10-07-2014

New York City Marathon Tips

The TCS New York City Marathon is less than a month away! I’m so jealous of everyone who will be running it this year. If it’s your first time running the NYC Marathon you will not be disappointed. It was my first marathon and one I’ll never forget. I also ran it last year (2013) and it was even more amazing the second time.

I wanted to share my perspective on NYC Marathon course tips and strategy. The course runs through all five boroughs, and there are different things to expect within each one. Let’s go through the course, starting with the wait at Fort Wadsworth.

nyc-marathon-tips

BEFORE THE RACE

Give yourself plenty of time. Last year my mom and I literally had to run to our corrals and were probably the last ones to get in. Why? Because we should have gotten on an earlier ferry. The ferry was on time but once we got into the terminal we waited probably 30-45 minutes for a bus to take us to Fort Wadsworth. That’s a lot of standing around before running 26.2 miles! Plan out the logistics and try to get there 2 hours or so before your wave. That gives you plenty of time to get there, get settled, put your gear on, go to the bathroom, eat, do bag check etc.

Pack warm clothes. By now you already know to wear layers and throwaway clothes at the beginning. But make sure to pack something warm for the finish. I know that you have the option to exit the park early if you don’t do bag check, but I’d rather just pack my bag and put in a jacket and comfy shoes. Last year I fit my puffy winter coat in the bag they gave me. Just stuff it all in there!

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Pack a warm jacket, I’m telling you!

Write your name on your shirt. This is obviously something to be done before the race (though people hand out markers at the start village in case you want to write on your shirt). Some people think this is cheesy but I’d say the spectators are what really got me through the race. It feels awesome to have hundreds of people screaming out your name and cheering you on. Total strangers who are out there yelling your name. This is why I love running and spectators (which I wrote about more here). I also like to add in something corny on the back of my shirt too :) Here are my shirts from 2011 and last year:

384918_10101040005677169_1662753243_n picmonkey-collageGet to your corrals on time. You don’t want to be locked out and have to wait more time to start. Or if you’re like my mom and I, you don’t want to have to run and be the last ones in and all rushed getting yourself settled that you miss all the start line festivities. From what I remember, there are port-a-potties on the walk to the starting line.

THE COURSE

Okay let’s get right into the race itself!

Miles 1-2: You’re running over the Verrazano Bridge and it’s awesome. Yes, everything you’ve heard about not feeling the one mile uphill is true. You are too amped up to notice it. Look over the sides and you’ll see the New York Fire Department and their water display. Look at the NYC skyline and know you’re about to conquer that city ;)

Miles 2-13: These are all in Brooklyn. Honestly, I’d say cheering wise this was my favorite part of the race (besides the finish of course). There are so many spectators out in full force screaming your name as you run by. I like this better than the famous First Avenue because the road isn’t as wide, which means it feels like you’re running through a tunnel of people all cheering for you.

My family met my mom and me at mile 8, which I believe is right by a subway station…I think they got off at the Prospect Ave. station. There are several subway stops on Fourth Avenue, so your spectators can get off the subway, see you, then get back on to go to their next location, which for my family was the Queensboro Plaza stop to see us before we went over the Queensboro Bridge.

Miles 13.1-15: At the halfway point, you cross over the Pulaski Bridge. We practiced this a few times in our long run training so I knew what to expect. It’s a hill but not too long, you’re up and over in no time. Just maintain even effort and try to save what you can for the Queensboro Bridge.

Mile 15-16: This is where the bridge starts. Both years I’ve had a tough time here. It’s not that steep it’s just an incline that never ends! I believe I measured it to be almost a mile. There are no spectators so it’s just you and your fellow runners. Stay strong and pump your arms to keep propelling yourself forward. At the end of the bridge there are signs that say something along the lines of “Only 10 miles to go” but in a way more motivational sense. I can’t remember it now! Just think to yourself, 10 miles is nothing! You did 10 miles how often in your training? I like to pretend the previous miles of the race were just a warm-up ;)

Mile 16-20: These miles seemed never ending to me not gonna lie. You’re running up First Ave. which is a slight incline that lasts forever it seems. It’s cool to be able to see all the runners in front of you, but I also just felt like mile 20 was so far off. Towards miles 18-19, the crowds get thinner. We were supposed to meet my family there but they didn’t make it on time. I’d rather have them closer to the finish anyway.

Mile 20-21: You’re in the Bronx for a little bit before you will cross another bridge into Manhattan. There are lots of fans in the Bronx as well who will be cheering you on!

Mile 21-24: Thankfully that bridge you cross onto Fifth Ave. isn’t an incline. I remember getting to this point and telling my mom okay let’s speed up! Well, we tried anyway. Around mile 23 you are running along side Central Park, but the incline starts. It’s a long, steady climb before you get into the park. Be strong and use whatever mantra you need. I actually didn’t mind this section because my hip flexors were tight and running on an incline helped a bit.

Mile 24-26: You run through the park!! You are so close! You will go through some undulating hills here but the spectators are amazing. You will definitely feel that runner’s high. Try to pass as many people as you can! At mile 26 you come out of the park and then you’ll be going towards Columbus Circle. SO MUCH CHEERING! I was smiling the whole way to the finish line. You go back into the park and see the Mile 26 mile marker…only .2 to go!!!

Mile .2: Run strong because you’re there. There is a slight incline to the finish but there are signs counting down the distance (400 yards, 200 yards, etc.) Cross the finish and get your medal!

WATER STOPS

Someone left a comment about this and I wanted to add this section in. Water stops can get crowded but it’s never crazy enough that you’d have to stop all together to get water and wade through people. Just keep running until the last tables in order to have more space.

My suggestion would be to wear a fuel belt with 1 or 2 bottles. That’s what I did, and I was able to skip 2-3 water stops, and when I needed to refill my bottle, the volunteers were great about it. They would see me running up with my open bottle, and they’d grab a jug of water and come running up to me and top me off. Took less than 15 seconds I bet you. If you don’t want to carry anything, you’ll be fine. Like I said, just run to the later tables as opposed to the very first ones where everyone goes.

POST-RACE

Before you start walking to bag check, grab two mylar blankets (one for your shoulders and one to tie around your waist). They really do keep you warm!

I found that post-race was the hardest for me. Not only do you walk one mile to get your bag from bag check, then you have to walk to wherever your family is meeting you. Certain areas are restricted to the public which makes it hard. I suggest meeting at the West Side YMCA on West 63rd Street. We are YMCA members so we are allowed to use their locker rooms and showers (we didn’t though because I just wanted to get home). But even if you’re not members you can use their restrooms or lobby as a meeting place. We got out of Central Park around 83rd or something? I was not about to walk 20 blocks so we took the subway to meet my family.

Have a concrete meeting location because you either a) won’t have much cell battery left after running (mine died) or b) won’t get good service because everyone will be using their cell phones too.

Most Important Tips

If you didn’t want to read that whole thing, here are my most important tips:

  • Have a set plan on where to have your spectators. Map out the exact time they should be there/when you think you will run by there, along with their subway plan. Make sure to tell them if you will be running on the left or right side of the road.
  • Pack warm clothes for the finish!
  • Have a meeting location for after the race.
  • Start slow!! Queensboro Bridge is tough and you want to get there feeling fresh(ish). Try to even split or negative split.
  • NUMBER ONE: HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE SPECTATORS!!!

I’ll be there this year cheering on all the runners and I can’t wait! Writing all this and reading my own race recaps makes me wish I could be running this year. Best of luck to everyone!!!

Here’s my recap video from last year where you can really see how there are spectators every step of the way :)

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