10-27-2014

Philly Half Marathon Training Week 12 + 5K Race Recap

I’d say last week was a good week of training minus the fact that my shins were (and still are) killing me. I don’t get what’s going on but I know the culprit is extremely tight calves. I’m hoping having today off from running will help a little bit…but we’ll see. Okay here is last week’s training:

Monday: 2 easy miles. I wanted to test out the Nike Lunarglides but didn’t end up liking them. Too stiff for me.

Tuesday: Track workout. 2 mile warm up, then 2×1 mile repeats at 8:45 per mile. Was supposed to do 3 repeats but it started downpouring. Well it was downpouring in the beginning which was fine (I felt pretty hardcore!), but then thunder and lightning started so that was my cue to leave.

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Wednesday: Off Thursday: Since I knew I was running a 5K over the weekend, I did my longer run here. I was supposed to run 10 miles this week but opted to do 7 because I wanted to be fresh for the 5K. As I’ve mentioned before, my main goal during this training is to beat my 5K PR…the half marathon is just a bonus! We did a hilly 7 mile run but felt pretty good. I love running in the fall!

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


Friday: Easy 4 miles. Shins were hurting a bit. Slower pace – nothing great about this run, just getting it done.

Saturday: I was supposed to run 3-4 miles but I knew my body and shins needed a break. I was EXHAUSTED and my legs were just in pain. Always listen to your body. If you need a rest day just take it!

Sunday: 5K race. Ran it in 27:47! My last 5K about a month ago was 28:35. Slowly improving and slowly getting back to where I want to be. 

Here’s the full recap:

The 5K was called the Rutgers Against Hunger 5K and was held at the football stadium at Rutgers. I expected a pretty flat course but there were a few inclines thrown in there, but nothing crazy. Both my mom and dad ran it as well!

I didn’t have a lot of time to warm up so I jogged for about 10 minutes then did some dynamic drills. And then we were off!

According to my mom’s RunKeeper, we hit mile 1 in 8:22. After that, I don’t know my splits because I forgot my watch and there were no clocks on the course, and my mom was behind me after mile 1. I was totally running by feel, which was…interesting :)

A little before mile 2 I started struggling a bit. I was feeling tired but told myself I could do it. That the 5K is meant to be challenging. To push myself. So I kept going. I actually ran most of the way with this other man, and then I backed off a bit. But once I gave myself a pep talk I caught back up to him and he was like “There’s my friend!” So we stuck together until about 1/2 mile to go, when he said, “I’m trying to figure out when to empty the tank!” to which I said, “Same!”

With 1/2 mile or so to go I tried to pick it up, and with a 1/4 mile to go I gave it all I had. Once I saw the finish line I sped up as much as possible, and someone yelled out, “Way to go!! Keep that pace!”. It was pretty cool because as I finished, there was no one really around me. So it felt like everyone was cheering for just me. That’s what it must feel like to win a race! lol :-P

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Right after I finished, the man I ran with finished too and came over to high five me and say good job. As I always say, this is why I love the running community!! Oh let’s talk about my dad for a second. He finished in 24:45 or so. His fastest time ever!! I was really proud of him. He hasn’t been running regularly, but he has started lifting most days and doing hill sprints. I think that has really helped him. My mom finished in 28:20ish and got 3rd in her age group! All around a great day for running.

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


I’m really hoping that by the time my last 5K rolls around in December that I will be able to break 25:42!! We’ll see!

Did you run a race this weekend? Leave a comment if you’re running NYC Marathon this weekend? I can’t wait to go watch!!

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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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09-29-2014

Philly Half Marathon Training Week 9 + 5K Race Recap

Another great week of training in the books! And another good 5K race yesterday. Now it’s time to start adding more weekly mileage so I’m ready for this half marathon in November. 

Here’s this week’s training:

Monday: Was supposed to do a lifting session but took an off day.

Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 10×1 minute at 5K pace with 1 min jog in between, 1 mile cooldown. Was running about 8 min. pace and felt really good!

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3 mile run + strength training. It was raining so we had to run indoors. I really hate the treadmill for steady runs, so I decided to add in some strength too. Here’s the workout we (my mom and I) did after a 1 mile warm up:

Friday: 6 mile run. Had to do my longer run on a Friday because I knew I wasn’t doing it Saturday (Rutgers football game) and Sunday we wanted to run a 5K. Felt great! We did a tempo run of sorts. 3 miles at easy pace, then last 3 miles at 9:24, 9:30 and 9:09. 

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 5K Race – 28:36. Recap below.

5K Race Recap

This race was the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer 5K. I really did not like the organization of this 5K. And I feel really bad saying that because it was for such a good cause but this race could be improved. 

First of all,  the race was set to start at 10:30 AM but didn’t actually start until 11:00. It was already 80 degrees by that time. I feel like if you set a start time, you need to stick to it. People show up expecting that time, and what if you’re warmed up and then have to wait around an extra 30 minutes? Am I alone in this?

They started late because they were giving out awards for top fundraisers, which is great. Definitely good to acknowledge those people. But you need to do that either earlier than the start time or after the race. 

Second, the walkers were supposed to start at 10, and runners at 10:30. But everyone started together. They released the walkers about 5 minutes before the runners and simply told them to stay to the right to let runners pass. Most of the race was on a paved sidewalk. What sense does it make to have walkers go out first and take up sidewalk space? Because many who were with friends didn’t stay to the side – runners had to say excuse me or squeeze through. Walkers should go after runners in my opinion.

Now for the pros – besides that, they had great food and a live band afterwards. They also gave out gold, silver and bronze medals to winners/age group winners. I think they just need to work on organization a bit more.

Okay besides all that, here’s how we did: 

Despite the heat and a huge hill in mile 1 which wiped me out, I still finished only 3ish seconds slower than my last 5K a few weeks ago (which was the faster 5K I’ve ran in probably over a year). I took about 3 walk breaks, so I’m really happy with the time I got. I think that on a cool day and flat course I could run under 28 minutes – but I guess we have to wait and see!

I also won 3rd in my age group! My mom took this candid of me :)

5k Race

My next 5K will probably be sometime in mid-October. I really hope I can break my 5K PR of 25:43 before this season is over! Here’s one last picture of my mom and I post-race:

Have you ran any races recently? What’s your favorite distance/PR?

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09-15-2014

Weekend 5K Race Recap

Is it Monday already? I had an awesome weekend and wish it didn’t end so soon. Mainly also because I didn’t get a chance to sleep in/catch up on sleep ;)

Friday night my mom and I went to see Luke Bryan at Madison Square Garden.

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He was so good!! I’ve been wanting to see him for a while and I’m glad I finally did. We had to leave a bit early because we had the 5K in the morning, so that sucked but it was such a fun time. Even with leaving at 10:45, we didn’t get home until 1:30AM. Yay for 5 hours of sleep before running a race…

So Coach Marc wanted me to negative split the race and really focus on making the last mile the fastest. This is always the hardest part for me in 5Ks. I always end up going out to fast and fade hard towards the end.

My goal was to make my first mile 9:45 and go from there. We got there early to pick up our packets and have time to warm up. My mom’s friend was running too and it was her first race ever – so I was excited for her. It’s always great getting others involved with running!

Anyway, we did our warm up and lined up. My mom likes to run an even pace as opposed to going from easy(ish) pace to faster pace towards the end. She went off right from the start, whereas I stayed back.

My first mile was in 9:20. I felt good and was thinking oh wow, this will be good if I can maintain this! My second mile was 9:25. I slowed down a bit to try to gather my energy for the last mile. I still felt good though and not like I needed to slow down or walk, which is a big change from my first few races this year.

Once I hit the 2 mile marker I sped up. I started passing people which felt really good and also made me feel stronger. I would “pick people off” as we used to be told in high school cross country. I saw my Garmin “lap pace” slowly decreasing and just kept giving it all I had. I ended up running my last mile in 8:49, with my final .1 in 8:00!

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I crossed the finish line feeling strong and proud of myself. A few weeks ago I ran a 5K in 30:44…this is a big difference! Granted, the course was flat and the temperature was perfect, but still!

I had a feeling this would be a good race because I had a tempo run on Wednesday that went really well. I am finally starting to feel more in shape than I have been recently. And I finally was able to follow Marc’s race strategy! :)

My mom and I both ended up winning 3rd in our age group. It was a great morning overall and now I can’t wait for the next race. I’m planning on a 5K and 10K in October. Now just need to stick to Marc’s training plan and keep getting into better shape!

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Did any of you run a race over the weekend?

What is your usual 5K strategy?

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06-16-2014

Oakley Mini 10K Recap

First off, you may (or may not) notice that I am not starting off Monday with my usual Monday Motivation posts. I think I’m going to retire those for now. But I do plan on replacing with weekly training recaps now that I will start running more and training for some more races, especially a half marathon! Do you guys like reading others’ training recaps?

Anyway, this weekend I ran the Oakley Mini 10K with my mom. It was our first NYRR race of the year…and it was awesome!

We were not trained for this at all. We haven’t been running much. I mean, we’ve still been exercising daily, but it’s consisted mostly of lifting, and cardio workout videos. It’s been fun to switch things up.

So yeah, I knew going into it that it’d be tough. But I was excited because it was also our first 10K! I think I was a bit too excited though because I only for 4 hours of sleep the night before. I could not fall asleep for the life of me. I even tried following my own sleeping tips. Nothing worked. At least I wasn’t going for a PR or anything or else I’d be even more frustrated.

We got up at 5 am and drove into NYC. The race started in Columbus Circle, made it’s way up Central Park west, then we did pretty much a full loop of the park. I’ve never ran the loop in that direction (clockwise), since most NYRR 4 mile races are counter-clockwise, so it was a nice change. Here’s us in the first mile (not sure what’s up with my arm):

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Our way up the west side was a steady, slight incline the whole way…pretty much a mile. Even though the park is known to be hilly, I was excited to enter the park so get some rolling hills.

I felt fine until about 3.5 miles. Around 3 miles my mom was pulling away from me. She felt good so I let her go…though I wish I had brought headphones, because it was about to be a rough rest of the way!

Right before mile 4 I got a little dizzy. It was weird. So I stopped to walk through the water stop. After that came a pretty significant climb. I walked up that hill, probably for a good 2-3 minutes. I was feeling defeated, but then I told myself to get over it and get moving.

From mile 4-6.2 I decided to do intervals. I knew I couldn’t hold a steady jog at a consistent pace, so I started running as fast as I could for 1 minute, then walking for 1 minute. Hey, I was still doing some miles around 10:45 so I’ll take it!

At mile 5 there was a pretty big cheering crowd so I got pumped up and tried to run as far as I could before walking again. Then I saw a sign for 800 meters to go and started running. I told myself I’d run to the end. I saw my sister right before the finish line and tried to speed up (to no avail). I was beat! I crossed the finish line though! Completed my first 10k!

My mom finished in 1:03 and I’m so proud of her! She had minor surgery in May and was not able to exercise for a month, so she has only been running for a few weeks. I finished in 1:08. 11 minutes per mile. I’ll take it for not being prepared. Plus, it was my first 10K so it’s automatically a PR right??!

We also got medals!

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It was such a great race. The crowd support really helped throughout the tough hills of Central Park. The all-women atmosphere was inspiring. It just felt great running with about 6,000 other women on a Saturday morning. At one point, this woman told me it was her first time ever running 6 miles…good for her!

I definitely plan on running this again next year. And it also lit a fire in me to run a better 10k, and run one soon! I can’t wait to break that PR. I may or may not have found my new favorite race distance ;)

Oh, also one last random question. I saw this woman (who was wearing a birthday girl sash) right at the end with 400 meters to go. She started to walk, and I wanted to tap her and say, “Come on let’s bring this in together!” But I didn’t know if that’d be considered supportive or creepy? What do you think? I know I’d like it and it’d get me to push myself ’till the end. Thoughts?

Okay, sorry for such a long post, but it was just a great day. Can’t wait to complete our other 8 races so we can qualify for the 2015 NYC Marathon!

Did you run the Oakley Mini 10K? What did you think?

What’s your favorite race distance?

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04-01-2014

Race To Wellness 5K – Recap

This was my first race of the spring season, and it was awesome!

I wasn’t expecting much out of this race, because I haven’t ran much since New York City Marathon. I figured I’d finish in 28-29 minutes…I was just hoping to finish in less than 30 minutes.

I signed up last minute because it was at a local park near me that I hadn’t ever ran at, but had heard was scenic. If you live in central Jersey, I highly suggest checking out Duke Farms – it’s beautiful!

It was supposed to rain all day, but thankfully it held off until after the race.

My mom and I got there around 8:15. She wasn’t running because of an injury, but came to take pictures and support me. This is probably like, the 3rd race I’ve ever ran without her. It’s weird because we run every race together usually, but I made a good playlist and was ready to go.

I had pre-registered, so I was a bit disappointed that 1) they didn’t have a bib for me and gave me a random, unregistered one, so my name isn’t in the results list and 2) they ran out of “goody bags” which was guaranteed for pre-registrants. Oh well.

Duke Farms is a large estate with a lot of history. Here’s a quick tidbit taken from their website:

J.B. Duke transformed more than 2,000 acres of farmland and woodlots into an extraordinary landscape. He excavated nine lakes, constructed some 45 buildings, and built nearly 2 ½ miles of stone walls and more than 18 miles of roadway.

We walked about a quarter of a mile from the registration area to the start line. That would have been good to know ahead of time so I knew how to time my warm-up and going to the bathroom, but it was a good little warm up too. As soon as we got to the start area, I knew it would be a scenic race. Here’s a picture of the start area:

duke farms 5kWe started right at 9:00, and I was off!

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I bought actual HEADphones for this race (as opposed to earphones) because I sweat a ton, so those always fall out of my ear. These were from Five Below and worked perfectly. The music helped me get in the zone and also push through the moments when I felt like walking. Oh yeah, I also bought some bright colored socks ;) 8 bucks at Claire’s!

I felt good during Mile 1. I kept looking at my watch and seeing 8:25-8:30 min. per mile pace. I was surprised, and naively thought I could hold that pace the whole race. HA.

At mile 1.5 I started to slow down to a 9:00 min. per mile pace, and there were some small, rolling hills. I kept reminding myself I was halfway done.

At mile 2 I was like, okay time to get into it. I found people ahead of me and tried to keep up with them or pass them. During the last mile of any race I like to throw in some surges. I timed the surges to the chorus of whatever song was playing, so I’d accelerate for about a 1 minute, and then slow down a bit before doing it again.

I finally saw the finish line and started to run as fast as I could – and passed about 3 people! Always feels good to do that right at the finish :)

Finished in 28:04. I felt like I could have probably sped it up a bit more in the last mile, but overall it was a good effort and I felt strong throughout. There were 1-2 times I really wanted to walk for a minute, but I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and focused on one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I feel like a 5K is tougher than a marathon ;)

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Now I can’t wait for my next 5K! I probably won’t be running another until late April or early May because I’d like to build a base now. I want to work towards breaking my 5K PR of 25:42. We’ll see how it goes!

Have you ran any 5Ks recently or any coming up?

Do you like racing with music? Headphones or earphones?

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11-07-2013

Best Race Ever – 2013 ING New York City Marathon Recap

Ok, this may get long…so bear with me :)

The 2013 ING New York City Marathon was amazing. I don’t know how words can do it justice but I will try to describe my day!

First, I want to thank everyone who wished my mom and me well, commented or tweeted with advice and support, and to those who were at the race as spectators, especially my family and friends. We couldn’t have done it without your support, especially me since I was freaking out about my whole shin problem…

So where to begin…

We woke up at 6 am because luckily we didn’t have to get on a ferry until 8:30 am (though this actually would turn out to not be so lucky).  I was so nervous. I was nervous about not having run over 5 miles in the last 2 weeks, I was nervous about the wind…I was really scared it wouldn’t be my day. But having a bright, fun outfit did make me feel better ;)

marathon outfitWe got ready and drove into the city. We waited for the 8:30 Staten Island Ferry, though in hindsight, we should have just gotten on the 8:15 one that was there right when we walked in. I didn’t know they wouldn’t be checking your bib to see your boarding time.

Anyway, we got on the ferry around 8:40, and I attempted to eat my breakfast. I had a piece of toast and 1 egg before leaving the house, then had oatmeal with PB, honey and a banana/1 more egg on the ferry. I was so nervous it was honestly hard for me to get this down!

Once we got off, it was a long wait to get on the buses to the start village.  It took probably 30 minutes to get on a bus, at which point we had to stand because there were no seats. Now I was worried about my feet/shins from standing so long. The bus ride took an additional 30 minutes. This was probably the most annoying part of the day.

on the bus

on the bus

We finally got to the starting area at 10, and needed to be in our corrals by 10:40. We sat down in the starting area and started putting on socks, numbers, taking our jackets/sweats off etc. and the next thing I know it is 10:30!!! We had 10 minutes to get our bags to the UPS trucks and go to the bathroom, then run to our corral. Now I was really cursing myself for not signing up for the 8 am ferry…why did the man at the expo say we’d have plenty of time?!

The UPS truck literally started pulling away and saw my mom running after him so he took our bags. We ran to the porta-potty, then started running to our corral. We looked behind us and we were actually the last runners going in lol. Oops!

Whatever, once we got there it was fine. We relaxed and made the walk to the base of the Verrazano Bridge. We actually got there when they were singing the national anthem, and were quickly trying to set our watches, put phones away, make our fuel belts comfortable etc, last minute. Then the cannon went off! I had to pull to the side before crossing the starting mat because I was having issues with my Garmin…but after a few seconds we were finally off!!!

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Miles 1-2: Like they always say, you really don’t feel the incline of the Verrazano Bridge. It’s a mile uphill but you’re too busy feeling excited! Mile 2 is all downhill so you have to make sure to rein yourself in. Once you get to the other side, you start hearing the crowds and bands and know that your journey is about to begin.

Miles 3-6: Last time I ran, I wasn’t a big fan of the Brooklyn portion of the race, because it seems never ending (you run about 13 miles in Brooklyn), but this year I loved it! As soon as we got off the bridge, there was a marching band playing and people screaming your name. Mile 3-6 few by and we were averaging about a 10:30 pace. I got my first comment about the back of my shirt :) A girl came up to me and said, “We’re following the leader!”

Miles 7-10: Seriously, the crowd support in Brooklyn was phenomenal. It felt like everyone was screaming out “PATTY!! TINA!!” to us and we loved it. I high-fived people, waved and fist pumped…it was great. Our pace had dropped to 10:35 but I was okay with it. I wanted to say in the easy zone until after mile 15. We met up with my family and Dan around mile 7.5. Dan surprised me with a sign that said, “Run Like This Wind.” :) We took a quick pic and then continued on our way.

Waiting for us to arrive

Waiting for us to arrive

Miles 11-13: There was a good thing and bad thing about being around mile 10. The good thing was, we ran this portion of the course twice in practice (mile 10-finish), so we were finally in familiar territory on Bedford Ave. The bad thing was it was pretty narrow and we were so crowded at one point I was forced to stop and walk to try to get around runners! I know there were 50K runners this year but this was not fun. I was glad once we got closer to the Pulaski Bridge because it opened up. The Pulaski Bridge is at mile 13, and I remember this being challenging in 2011, but this year we cruised right on over it. I was so happy to be in Queens!

Miles 14-15: I don’t remember much of running through Queens because I was mentally preparing myself for the Queensboro Bridge. Around mile 14.5, we saw my family and Dan again, yay! Though this threw me off here…my dad was supposed to hand off some GUs to me, but I forgot! So I waved, kept running, then remembered and sprinted back to grab them. Thankfully my mom remembered, but I think this is where my pace got all wacky, because once we got onto the bridge, my breathing and rhythm were off. The bridge wasn’t bad at all, and once again I was happy we had practiced it in training. We were still feeling strong!

Miles 16-20: People talk about the crowds on First Ave. but I definitely prefer Brooklyn. The road here is really wide so it doesn’t feel as if you’re running through a tunnel of people like on Fourth Ave. But don’t get me wrong, there are still a ton of people. We were feeling good though our pace had dropped to around 10:45 after the bridge. Around mile 18 I told my mom we could probably pick it up a bit. I was just looking at the street signs, counting them down (or up?) until we could get to 126th and cross into the Bronx. I got another comment here about the back of my shirt -this woman came up to me and said, we are following you because you’re such a nice girl! Then wished me luck…put a smile on my face.

Mile 20-22: We crossed into the Bronx and finally got to mile 20! I vividly remembered in 2011 how much I was struggling here. It felt so good to be feeling strong and going steady. I asked my mom how she felt, and she was fine too, so we tried to speed up a tiny bit, and even though it felt like we did, according to splits, we actually stayed the same haha. After mile 22 we saw my family and Dan again! I told my mom I couldn’t stop for a pic or anything because if I did it would be too hard to start again. We just waved and gave them a thumbs up.

nyc marathon mile 22

Mile 23: Uh oh…the pain has set in. Here, my hip flexors started feeling really weak. It was such a weird feeling. It was weak, or tight, I don’t know but I felt like if I ran faster, my legs would give out. I slowed down to what felt like a crawl, but according to the splits, it was only a 10:59 pace at this point. I felt guilty for holding my mom back yet again, because she was totally fine, just like in 2011, but she stuck with me.

I think this is where the hill on 5th Ave starts? It’s almost a mile uphill, and in practice I remember thinking, OMG this hill will be killer on race day! Actually, I was so thankful for the hill. I wanted a hill at this point because I figured it would take pressure off my hip flexors and allow me to use different muscles. It kinda did…

Mile 24: We’re in Central Park! This is the one and only place we stopped the whole race! I stopped to stretch my hips for 30 seconds then we continued…albeit slow. I started to play a game where I’d speed up from light pole to light pole and slow down in between. Right before miles 25, I pulled over to stretch real quick again and spectators started chanting PATTY! PATTY! PATTY! Once I got up to run, they cheered so loud and a woman put some grapes in my hand. I smiled and went on my way. PS-why is it taking so long to get to mile 25 at this point?!

Mile 25: Ok, the last mile. I CAN DO THIS. I told my mom, Let’s go, and we sped up. I kept repeating to myself, “Ignore the pain. Pain is temporary. You want to finish by 4:50.” I knew 4:45 was out of reach but I really wanted 4:50. I looked at my Garmin and it said we were going around 10:45/mile (as opposed to the almost 11:30 I was doing at mile 24).

We ran up Central Park South which seemed neverending, but I knew my family and Dan were waiting at Columbus Circle to see us one last time. We were actually passing a bunch of people here which felt great! In 2011, I was walking this part, I was dead. This time I still had all the energy in the world and was waving to people who were screaming my name. We saw my family and I gave them the thumbs up and a big smile, and kept running.

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Mile 26 (!!!!!!): We saw the sign and it felt surreal. My mom was like we finally made it! I said ok let’s pretend this is a track workout and speed it up! We went as fast as we could (after 26 miles), and were all smiles. Someone yelled, only 400 yards to go, you got this!!! We threw our hands up in the air and crossed the finish line: 4:50:49. A 33 minute PR!!!

nyc marathon finishWe hugged and were so happy. I was cherishing this moment, because the last time I crossed this finish line, I immediately ran to a bush and threw up, and then ended up in the medical tent. Seriously, this race was a far cry from 2011…look at this picture that says it all…

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Now, I honestly felt like we had just done a long training run. My energy levels never waned. Our fueling was spot on…and I’m glad I discovered S!Caps which helped regulate my electrolytes and salt…especially since my face was covered in dry salt at the end!

We picked up our medals and heat sheets, and started walking to the UPS trucks. I had to sit on the curb for a little to stretch because my legs got so stiff, I couldn’t bend my right knee. I also stopped and sat in the truck for a bit, though it was hard to get back up…

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We got out on West 88th, and my family was on West 63rd, so there was NO WAY I was walking that far. We hopped on the subway (well, slowly walked down the stairs with a bunch of other runners lol) and finally met up with them around 2 hours after finishing. This part of the race sucks too but it is what is is. I’ve read people say that they will never run NYC again because of the long march after the finish but come on people, there are 50K runners, NYRR does what they can!

We finally met up with my family, Dan and my best friend Nicole :)

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I couldn’t walk Sunday night (actually almost cried trying to go up the stairs, not gonna lie), or Monday…but I am finally back to normal now! My dad said, “Hey you did this to yourself,” and I would do it all over again!

Here are our splits, in case you’re curious. I’d say we stayed pretty steady the whole race until around mile 23-24 when my hips got all weird. I’m really proud of our pacing!

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My Garmin was pretty spot on too…so glad I invested in one finally:

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Although our A goal was 4:30, we are so happy with our performance. I knew going in that 4:30 may not be feasible due to the time off I had to take because of my shin. Our B goal was 4:45, and our C goal was anything under 5…so we’re pretty happy!

It was truly an amazing day. We had a perfect race…PRed, and the spectators made us feel so special. I have been thinking about the whole day since Sunday, and replaying it in my head. I can’t believe it is over! I definitely have the post-marathon blues, but I’m already thinking about what spring races to do :) I wish I could complete 9+1 for 2014 NYCM, but it’s too late. Oh well, we’ll be coming back in 2015, New York!

Did you run NYCM? Is it on your bucket list? What’s the best race that you have ever had?

Read my 2011 NYC Marathon Recap here.

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09-25-2013

5th Avenue Mile Race Recap

This is one of my favorite races.  While some people may think it’s crazy to pay to run 1 mile…actually people think it’s crazy to pay in general…this race is so fun!

Saw this on Jess’s Facebook Page (blog: racepacewellness.com)

I was also excited because my dad would be running this one too, along with me and my mom. The race is broken up into age groups, so we all got to see/cheer each other on.

We got there around 8 and I registered and quickly did a 1 mile warm up. I was hoping to beat last year’s time of 7:07, but I knew it might be hard. I had run the past 12 days prior (didn’t actually realize this until now) and the day before we had a big tailgate for the Rutgers football game, aka I was standing for hours. It’d be hard but I was going to try to get that PR!

I had butterflies waiting in the corral and once I started running. I had to calm down in order to breath right. Does anyone else get butterflies when they first start a race?

I love this race because it really does fly by. They have signs at 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, and 100 meters to go. At the half mile mark there is a slight downhill so you can really turn it on for the rest of the race.

I was feeling more tired during the race than I did last year so I figured I wouldn’t PR. I tried not to look at the clock, plus I’m bad at mental math anyway so it would do me no good. I suppose I could have looked at the street signs (the race is 20 blocks) but I didn’t think of that lol. I started my phone stop watch at the line and planned to stop it once I crossed.

Before I knew it, it was over! I sprinted the last 100 meters because 3 girls around me sped up and I did not want to be passed! I finished in 7:23. I’m okay with that!

Afterwards, my mom and dad went for their warm up run, as their races were back to back. I couldn’t get a picture of my mom because I lost her in the crowd, but here’s my dad:

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He had been running the past few weeks again to prepare for this race and I knew he was excited for it. He didn’t think he could break 8:30, but he ran 7:22! We stayed and watched a few more races, then my mom and I went to run an extra 3 miles. When we got back, the 80+ category was up. Seriously so inspirational! Check out this man:

I hope I am still running when I am older, I don’t care how slow I go.

Afterwards, we went to get some breakfast before the professionals race. I wanted to watch Jenny Simpson race, especially because I got a pic with her at this very race last year!

She won the race in around 4:18? Seriously, can I be that fast??

I didn’t get to take a picture with her, however I did get one with Olympian Leo Manzano:

As I was writing this post, I looked up 1 mile races in NJ…and found one on Nov. 30! I will definitely try to run that, and hope I can PR since it will be after the marathon!

Overall, it was a great day for a race. Can’t wait to run it again next year!

Have you raced 1 mile before? What’s your favorite race distance?

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05-23-2013

Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap

Ok, I have finally gotten around to writing this recap! Let’s just jump right into it.

So we woke up at 4 am on Saturday morning, which was the earliest I have ever been up for a race. I went to sleep at 9:30 the night before, but was tossing and turning a lot thinking about this race. Do you get actual sleep before race day?

My dad drove us in and we got there around 6:15. Here’s the pretty sunrise we saw on our way in:

We used the restrooms and then basically just hung out in our corral. I really liked that each corral had their own set of bathrooms. It didn’t get too packed or have crazy lines which I was expecting if they just had a long row of them outside of the corrals for everyone.

Our corral was set to start at 7:30 am. As the time got closer, I got more and more nervous. Not necessarily because I wanted to PR (which I did) but because I just wanted to finish and not have to stop because of shin pain.

At 7:30 we were off, and the first 3 miles were great. We felt good. and from what I remember our splits were:

Mile 1: 10:15

Mile 2: 9:18

Mile 3: 9:25

My plan was to do the first 5 in 9:30 pace then pick it up to 9:20 pace. Well, I thought I could do this during the first 4-5 miles. Then Prospect Park happened.

I was expecting hills, and I train on hills but for some reason these hills just really slowed me down. One in particular was super long, like probably half a mile (maybe a little less). Once we got out of Prospect Park we were at Mile 7 and it was pretty much flat but the damage was done. I was beat, it was hot and humid, and I was sweating A LOT aka losing a lot of water and salt.

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Running in the park

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Finally leaving the park onto Ocean Parkway

Isn’t my shirt drenched with sweat so attractive? :-p The humidity definitely started slowing me down. I was glad we were on the parkway heading straight to Coney Island, but personally, I thought it was pretty boring. It seemed as if it lasted forever. But, at the same time, the miles did tick by quickly. I don’t know how to explain it haha. I was glad that we were at Mile 7 after the hilly park, because if it was Mile 4 or something I would definitely feel defeated.

Anyway, so yeah the parkway stretch was boring. At mile 9 we had to stop and walk to fuel and just take a break. My mom’s knee was bothering her as well. Once we started running I made a pact with myself that I would run until the next mile, then walk a short break, then run to the next mile again. I kept telling myself it was just a treadmill working. Just hold on for a few more minutes then you get a break.

At mile 11 I knew we had only 2 more miles. I WANTED to run the whole way but I just couldn’t catch my breath with the humidity. What is so frustrating about this race was that my legs and shins felt great. But I just couldn’t get my breathing right. Also, at Mile 8ish we knew we wouldn’t hit our time goal of around 2:05. I would be happy with anything around our original half marathon time. At Mile 11, I really thought we’d finish 2:15.

RANDOM NOTE: There were NYPD officers around Mile 10 who were cheering on runners and yelling out, “DO NOT WALK. YOU WILL GET A SUMMONS.” That gave me a little pick me up. I love spectators.

So then we finally made it to Mile 12. There were a ton of spectators on the road entering Coney Island which really helped me speed up a little bit and not walk at all in the last mile. I saw the sign that said, “800 Meters To Go” and was pumped. I thought, ok just 2 laps on the track. I can do this. I always break things down into laps on a track when my mind needs a little help.

Then, I saw the ramp up to the boardwalk. SO CLOSE! This is another complaint, however. The ramp was not big enough for how many runners there were, so we had to all slow down A LOT. Like, almost walking. I got to the top and my mom and I sprinted as hard as we could to the finish. We also FINALLY remembered to raise our arms up for a posed finish picture. In the 3 halfs and 1 full we have done, we always have forgotten to do this.

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And then, we finished! My mom’s stopwatch said 2:11 and I was honestly shocked. I thought we finished around 2:15 because of how our pace slowed. Our official finishing time was 2:10:56 which was basically our 1st half marathon time from 2011, which was also way flatter (2:10:58). I’ll take it!

So happy to be done!

We got our medals then kept walking. My dad and brother were at the finish and took a lot of photo and video of us. I love when our family comes to support us!

photo 1The good thing about the day was that it was cloudy the whole time. The bad thing was the 70% humidity. But what can you do, race day is always a toss up of whether you will get perfect conditions or not.

We had to leave right after the race so we didn’t get to experience any of Coney Island. Sad. I put on my new compression socks by 110% and iced in the car. I will be writing a review on this product very soon!

I had a few stomach cramps for a few hours after the race, but made sure to get in some protein in the car and ate some eggs. Other than that I couldn’t really eat until dinner that night.

But good news, very little shin pain after! In fact, my legs were just stiff and tight. I took a 4 hour nap while having my legs raised that helped too :)

The next day, I was a little bit sore but not much, and the third day I was perfectly fine! Best I have felt after a half marathon. So, at least my body has gotten used to the long distances!

So that’s pretty much it! I would rate this race a B. The route wasn’t anything to write home about, but the finish on Coney Island was pretty cool. I was disappointed with my time, but then realized, hey, my body just ran 13.1 miles and feels mostly fine after. I need to give myself credit. Plus, I didn’t even get my worst time ever which was what I was expecting.

Overall, it was a good day, and I’m happy I felt so good afterwards, as opposed to how horrible I felt after NYC Marathon.

Who else ran Brooklyn? What were your thoughts on the course? In general, are you disappointed when you don’t hit a time goal?

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04-29-2013

Run as One 4M Race Recap

On Sunday, I ran the NYRR Run as One 4 Miler in Central Park. The goal was to do it in half marathon goal pace, so around 9:00 minutes per mile. I ended up averaging 8:50-ish per mile!! It was challenging BUT more like “comfortably hard,” instead of really hard.

Pre-race

NYRR has my average pace at 9:05 per mile, but my Runkeeper app (and my mom’s) said we ran 4.2 miles and at a faster pace. I figured it was the tangents, etc. but a fellow runner tweeted at me that he had the same issue with his Nike app and his Garmin, and that others were commenting on this issue as well. They had new B-tags for this race so maybe that was the issue? Either way, I’m going with my Runkeeper time!

My mom and I finished together and felt really strong overall. We probably could have kept running! We ended up doing a 1 mile cooldown in the park before heading out. My brother and dad came to support us and take pictures as well =)

Overall, it was a great day to run! Beautiful weather and I felt awesome. The hills didn’t really phase me either, I really felt like I was powering through them. Hopefully my successful long run, and this great race bodes well for May 18!

Did you race this weekend?

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