07-22-2013

Week 3 of NYC Marathon Training

Can’t believe week 3 has come and gone! My mom and I completed 21 miles this week, which is crazy because at the height of our Brooklyn Half training we were at a high of 23-25 miles per week. So we will definitely be doing a lot more running, clearly, for this marathon cycle.

I just really hope my shins cooperate and allow me to run more than I have in the past!

Which is why I have been wearing PRO Compression socks on my runs, and my 110% Compression socks for recovery and during sleep.

I have a little bit of shin pain sometimes, especially after today’s 4 miler, they were really throbbing. But I will try to stretch and be diligent with the exercises I need to do. Here’s what we did this week:

Monday:

Off

Tuesday:

4 miles. We decided to do this on the treadmill because it was feeling like over 100 degrees outside. I hate treadmill running but in order to make it go by faster I like doing hill intervals, like this.

Wednesday:

Off

Thursday:

5 miles. We did this outside but on shaded back roads. My sister was house sitting, so we had a pool we could cool off in. We mapped out 2.5 miles and did an out and back. Jumping in a pool post-run is awesome!

Friday:

4 miles

Saturday:

4 miles (before leaving for South Carolina!)

Sunday:

4 miles on an out and back around where we are staying in Myrtle Beach. I loved running in temperature that is a bit cooler and with less humidity…and a nice ocean breeze! I averaged 1 minute per mile faster than I have been usually in the crazy heat. But my shins were hurting so thank goodness I have an off day today. I found a golf course and ran about a half mile on this…reminded me of the good ol’ cross country days! Will have to go back and run here again.

For the rest of the week, I will be on vacation in Myrtle Beach, so I apologize for the lack of posts or tweets this week, but I have some guest posts coming up hopefully :)

Time to enjoy the beach and relax!

Do you make sure to get your training in on vacation? What’s your favorite way to relax?

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11-06-2012

ING New York City Marathon *1 year anniversary*

I cannot believe today is exactly 1 year since my mom and I ran the New York City marathon. Our very first marathon. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

On Nov. 6, 2011, we woke up at 4:45 am (?!?!?) rushed to get coffee and a bagel, and get on our bus that would take us to the starting village.

We had prepared for months for this moment. We had also worked for months to raise $8,000 for the Christoper Reeve Foundation.

Back of my Team Reeve Shirt

We trained in the cold. We trained in the blistering heat (I’ll never forget our 18 miler which we could ONLY do at noon on a 90 degree day). We canned for hours in front of grocery stores asking people to donate. We sacrificed a lot for this moment. I stayed in on weekends when friends went out because I had to train in the morning. We endured sore legs and muscles…but were rewarded with long, post-run naps :)

I just can’t believe it’s been a year! I never in a million years thought I would run even a half marathon, let alone a marathon. The year before the marathon I started following more health and fitness blogs, and seeing what people were accomplishing. That is what motivated me to set this goal. My mom and I had a ton of support from family and friends, and it was amazing.

Our wave went off at 10:40, and we were beyond excited. I don’t think we could even really process what was happening. Before we knew it we were running over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. As everyone always says about the NYC Marathon, the first 1-2 miles are all uphill on the bridge, but you barely notice it because you just can’t even believe it’s happening.

The first half-marathon basically is through Brooklyn and all flat (thank god). We met up with my dad, brother, sister and boyfriend at Mile 6.

Candid that my brother and sister took

We got to the half-marathon marker at about 2:30. I figured we could finish in 5 hours, maybe less because at that point I still felt strong. At mile 15 we trekked over the Queensboro Bridge which was tough. It was all uphill and never-ending. As people always say, there are also no spectators, so it’s eerily quiet.

But you can see Manhattan in the distance! As you come out of the bridge, it’s mile 16. Only 10 more miles to go! You round the corner and onto 1st Avenue, which is booming with all of the cheering. It really is a “wall of sound.” You’re like, “Ok, I got this! 10 more miles? That’s nothing!”

Still feelin’ great

But then you start to the notice the slight incline that doesn’t seem to be ending…and that’s where I started to fade. This was the point where I first started walking. My mom still felt great, and I felt really bad holding her back. This was also the point where I started feeling SO thirsty. I couldn’t stop drinking water. Later, I would find out this is what would do me in. Yikes.

So we trek up 1st Ave and I knew my family would be at mile 18. I wanted to look strong for them!

Then it’s pretty much a blur to me until I get to mile 20. I knew my best friend was there, and that’s what pushed me through to at least get to that point. I found her and she cheered me on and told me to keep going. We shared a picture and a laugh and she sent me on my way.

After this, I was majorly struggling. A lot of walk breaks. My pace fell to the 12-12:30 minutes per mile range. I was not looking too hot. At mile 23, we entered Central Park AND my brother and boyfriend joined in for the last 3 miles. They tried to joke with me and get me going, but I was extremely cranky at that point, and walking for the most part. My brother grabbed my arm at one point and made me run!

Who made me do this again? LOL so embarassing

Doesn’t Dan look like he’s our bodyguard or something with his shades?

The last 3 miles would NEVER END. At mile 26, we stopped to take a picture with the mile 26 sign. I literally didn’t even have energy to smile.

The last 3 miles were honestly a blur. I didn’t get that feeling of excitement that we were almost finishing our first marathon. I was nauseous, dehydrated and angry with my time. I wish I could say we crossed the finish line and cried and hugged each other, but we actually got our medals and then I threw up and landed in the emergency tent. Oops.

But I certainly was glad to be finished. We walked out of the park and 10 blocks to wear Team Reeve was gathering. We got free stretches, and ice bath and miso soup to replenish sodium :)

And of course we were proud to be walking around in our mylar blankets!

This experience is one I will never forget. Of course, upon finishing I said NEVER AGAIN. But 1 week later, my mom and I signed up for New York Road Runners in order to complete 9 of their races to qualify for the 2013 New York City Marathon. We just finished race #8, and have one more to go, along with 1 volunteer session. I cannot wait to come back and conquer the course. I just need to learn how to properly hydrate this time!

New York City 2013, here we come ;)

Watch my video montage/recap here.

11-01-2012

Race Recap: Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff

The race that happened hours before Hurricane Sandy hit.

I don’t think any of us expected it to hit us this hard. I still can’t believe some of the pictures I am seeing. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected in the tri-state area.

Anyways, the race was great. We were up at 5:30 am to get into New York City. NYRR said they would make an announcement at 5 am as to whether it was still on, and it was!

We got to Central Park around 7:45 to register, and basically just had time to pick up bibs, pee and get into the corrals.

People milling around the registration area in Central Park

We did a quick warm-up and then went into our corral with 10 minutes to spare. I found a new warm-up routine I have been doing before runs. Along with butt kicks, high knees, etc, I have started doing step-ups on my stairs. That really warms up the glutes, hips, and hammies! Before the race, I did this on the bleachers that are set up for the marathon.

Right before heading to our corral

I went into this race thinking I’d run at an easy pace. It was just going to be a training run for my mom and me. We started off easy and were just chatting and commenting on people’s awesome costumes. When we got to mile 1 I noticed we were running sub-10. I figured, alright, I feel really good and this is not taxing, so I’ll just keep going at whatever pace I feel is good!

It was a 5 mile race, so I didn’t think we would keep that pace the whole time. But all throughout I felt awesome. Around miles 3 and 3.5 I started getting a little tired and slowed down from 3.5-4. Once I got to 4 miles, I figured I’d speed it up a bit for the final mile and my mom and I split up (though she was only 10 seconds behind). For the first time, I had a strong finish for the entire last mile and didn’t feel like I was going to throw up when I crossed the finish. It was also the same finish line we crossed last year when we finished the New York City Marathon :) I finished in 48:19, with an average 9:40 pace. I’ll take it!

We picked up some apples and bagels post-race, stretched and then headed out. It was a great race in the greatest park in the city, which I really hope hasn’t seen too much damage.

Our next race is the Dash to the Finish Line 5K on Saturday in Central Park, though we aren’t sure if it will be cancelled or not. We plan on going into NYC to watch the New York City Marathon on Sunday, but we are waiting to hear from NYRR on what their decision will be.

Have you participated in any New York Road Runner events?

 

At the same finish line as the New York City Marathon!

09-25-2012

Race Recap: 5th Avenue Mile

The 5th Avenue Mile was amazing!!! Seriously, I still am feeling runner’s high from that race. It was my first time running it and I had a great time.

This was the first race where my mom and I were running separately. Since it’s a large field, they split runners up into age groups. My race was at 8:55 am and hers was at 10:10 am.

As some of you may know, I am NOT a morning person. But my running coach, Marc, sent me a race-day game plan earlier in the week where he urged me to get there with enough time to get my bib, warm-up, etc. Usually I’m running late and get there with just enough time to pick up my bib, run a few strides and line up. Miraculously, I made it there before registration even opened! I had enough time to register, do some pre-race stuff, and then do a 1 mile warm-up in central park. I was so early that, even once I finished my warm-up, the starting area was still empty :)

About five minutes later they called my age group in. I lined up closer to the front because once the gun went off, I just wanted to bolt!

Nervous before starting!

They counted down letting us know we had 5 minutes…2 minutes…1 minute…30 seconds…10 seconds, ah! I had so many butterflies because I had no idea what to expect. I had never run a mile on the roads before and had no idea how fast to go out. Once the gun went off I just ran as fast as I could!

My sister got one picture of me running and I’m in the corner, so I decided to be artsy and highlight myself:

I felt like I was going too fast, but again, I had no clue. At the quarter-mile point there was a slight upgrade apparently, but I didn’t really feel it. Those are the perks of living in a rural town with lots of hills…lots of hill training on daily runs! After the 1/2 mile point it was all downhill but I didn’t know if I should speed up. I looked at the clock and couldn’t believe my time so I figured I was going way too fast for my own good. At 3/4 of a mile I kicked it up until the finish. I finished in 7:07! My fastest mile time since high school! If only I could keep that pace for a 5K race…

Runner’s High

I feel like it may have been possible to run closer to 7 flat, but I am super happy with my time! The good thing about this race starting and ending at different points is that I was forced to do my mile cooldown. I jogged back up to the start to tell my mom about the race and course, and wish her luck. She ended up also running a fast time of 7:20 which she was very happy with.

Post-race with my mom

After her race, we stuck around to wait for Kara Goucher…my running idol! Since we were already in the area she’d be signing we ended up being first in line to see her. She was giving a special gift to the first 25 in line, which ended up being her book (which I already have…and she already signed). I told her about that when I went up and she laughed and said “I love it! This is old news to you then” so she signed my bib. I asked her why Shalane (her training partner) wasn’t there and she said she was supposed to be but her parents came into down. Dang! I would have loved to meet Shalane Flanagan. Anyway, we then chatted about her strength training and she told me she lifts 3 times a week on her easy running days and does a lot of core work. Good to know!

So excited to chat with Kara!

Afterwards, we headed back to 5th Ave. to watch the professional races. I was excited to see Jenny Simpson…especially after she replied to my tweet earlier in the week asking if she was running the race!

Sadly, I didn’t catch her during the women’s race – they’re so fast!

BUT, I did run into her after the race!! This seriously made my day. I met a World Champion!

Me with Jenny Simpson

On our walk back up 5th Avenue to our car, we caught some of the pro men’s action as well.

Overall, it was an awesome day. I had so much fun. The streets were lined with people cheering on runners. The race was short and sweet. I will definitely be running this again next year. Only 8 more races to go until we complete the NYRR 9+1 program and are heading to the ING New York City Marathon in 2013!

I’m going to end this on an inspirational note.

See that man up there? I believe he ran in the 60-69 age group. Just look at his finish time! Talk about inspiration. That makes me believe that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to achieve great things.

Next NYRR race? The Poland Spring Kickoff on Oct. 28.

Are any of you running a race soon? What’s your favorite race distance?