11-03-2014

Philly Half Marathon Training Week 13 + NYC Marathon!

Can’t believe I’ve been training consistently for 13 weeks now. I’d say that I’ve only missed a handful of runs and have generally been feeling good minus my shin issues recently. It’s weird to write that I’m training for a half and it’s been 13 weeks, but as I’ve said, I’m mainly training to be consistent, nail a 5K PR by December, and hopefully feel strong in this half marathon! :) I plan on taking a week or so off after the race then getting right back into it. My main goal is to get faster over the next few months and have a strong fall marathon in 2015…we’ll see…

Anyway, here’s last week’s training:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Went to a local park with all intentions of running 4 miles but only ended up doing 2. Why? Because my shins were hurting with every step. I knew I had to do 11 miles on Wednesday so I decided to just call it a day at 2 and spend more time stretching. Sigh.

Wednesday: 11 miles! My mom felt fine as always, but I struggled for the first 5 or so miles. My shins hurt a little but it was mainly a mental struggle. Ever have those days where you just feel sluggish and like you won’t be able to finish? That was me. But at mile 5 I told myself to snap out of it because I HAD to finish regardless. Once I hit mile 6 I was feeling good and then felt like we were just cruising along until we hit mile 11. I’d say it was a pretty good run! We finished in 1:54, with average pace of 10:22.

Thursday: Easy 3 mile recovery run. 

Friday: Track workout time! Except this time we decided to go to our local park (and cross country course) to do 5x1K repeats. I wanted to try running it on a different terrain since races are never on a flat, nicely marked course like a track. It was weird to not know my exact pace like I would on a track (I like to glance at my watch every 200 meters to see how I’m doing), but overall it went well. We did a 2 mile warm up, then the goal was 6:33 per 1K (8:45 pace). You’ll be able to tell by my splits which part of the course was a bit easier ;) Splits where: 6:23, 6:27, 6:09, 6:27, 6:13. Felt really good…I think I’m a fan of 1K repeats! Here’s a picture my mom took on our cooldown:
 

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


Saturday: There was a Rutgers football game (though it was a pretty bad loss), and I meant to wake up early but come on…we all know I’m not a morning person AND that meant I’d have to be up at like 5:30 AM. So instead I just sucked it up and ran when I got home around 7. I was soaked and tired from the rain but you gotta do what you gotta do! Ended up just doing an easy 3 miles.

Sunday: OFF DAY TO WATCH THE NYC MARATHON!!!

I can’t tell you how much fun it was to cheer on runners. It was my first time being a spectator as opposed to running and I loved it. Though after walking around Central Park going from different places, I give mad props to all you spectators and what you do for your runners. It’s exhausting!

We were right before the mile 25 marker and I loved seeing people smile at me or give me a thumbs up when I was yelling their names. I got lots of compliments on my sign too (and one lady asked for a picture of it) that my sister made me last year for the marathon:

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We were at the finish to see all the elites finish, then walked over to mile 25 after getting lunch. I was really inspired by all the elite athletes! I feel bad for Kara because she didn’t have the race she wanted, but I’m sure so many of us runners can relate to that. It sucks training for something for months and then not having it go the way you’d like. But I believe she’ll have a great comeback…I mean look at Meb! He finished 23rd last year and then ended up winning the Boston Marathon in 2014…and he’s 38. He is seriously awesome.

It was a great day and I’m excited to go back to NYC (hopefully) in 2016 and run it for the 3rd time. In the meantime I have to figure out what fall marathon to do in 2015. Chicago? Marine Corps? Help!!

Oh and a huge congratulations to all the finishers! You all braved some serious conditions for 26.2 miles…way to crush it!

Did you watch the NYC Marathon yesterday? What were your thoughts?

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10-23-2014

Why Do Runners Pay To Run?

Before writing this, I did a Google search to see what would pop up if you type, “Why do runners…” I thought it was pretty funny :)

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I’ve gotten the question, “Why would you pay to run??” a lot over the years. My BF just doesn’t understand haha. I bet most non-runners don’t get it. I mean why WOULD you pay hundreds of dollars to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles? Or even hundreds of dollars each year in 5K or other race registration fees? You’re literally paying to run a few miles! Crazy right?

Well, I obviously don’t think so, since I run race ;) So I wanted to talk about why pay to run, and what it means to me. I actually got the inspiration from I Heart Running, since she wrote up reasons why she pays to run. Here are my reasons:

  1. It holds me accountable. Registering for a big race like a half marathon or marathon gives me a goal to work towards. Without a race goal I really lose motivation. After NYC Marathon last year I had no race goal and just wanted time off. I didn’t end up running much at all. I was going to the gym and lifting regularly, but when it comes to running I need something to work towards.
  2. I can’t run race pace on my own. Might sound silly, but if I go out and say, okay I’m going to run my own 5K and see if I can break my PR…it definitely won’t happen. There’s something about running a race with a bunch of other people pulling you along that helps me run faster than I ever would on my own. Does anyone else feel that way?
  3. The experience. I want the New York City Marathon experience. And maybe next year the Chicago Marathon experience. One day maybe Boston. Sure it’s super expensive but some people choose to spend their money on vacations to other countries, and I choose to spend it on races that I can experience and also remember forever. I love that I can say I run with my mom and that we can have all these race memories together.
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  4. The challenge. I love challenging myself and working towards new goals. Races allow me to test my fitness and see how far I’ve come. In strength training, people log PRs when it comes to how much weight they’re lifting. And in running, we run races to set PRs. Over and over again ;)
  5. The community. This is one of the more important reasons for me. I’ve written about the running community a couple of times, and this is really one of the main aspects that I love. Whether a runner or a spectator, this community supports runners of all levels. Runners are a friendly bunch and you can always make some new friends at a race. Who else can you talk to about bloody toenails, port-a-potty woes, etc? :) And spectators are who really get me through races. Like I’ve said a million times, spectators are what made the NYC Marathon experience magical for me.

So how about you? Why do you pay to run? (or bike, or swim?) Do you ever get asked that question?

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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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10-07-2014

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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07-28-2014

Back To Running!

You may have seen on Instagram that over the weekend I got my training log from running coach Marc Pelerin, owner of Train With Marc. He’s also now in my sidebar, so click over to be taken to his coaching website!

I used to (literally) train with Marc, and he provided me with a running plan for over 2 years. He got me through my first half-marathon and marathon!

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I’m excited to start working with him again, and along with that, he will be posting here 1-2 times a month with special running tips and guides for you all. He is so knowledgeable and experience, so hopefully now I can break my 5K PR ;)

So today I get back to running and lifting. Last week I went to the gym to lift for the first time in about a month and I was SO SORE for 2 days. Needless to say, I felt out of shape…and yeah it’s time to get back into my routine.

I haven’t seriously ran in a few months. In the early spring I was running up to 4-5 miles with my dad because we thought we were doing a July half marathon which ended up getting canceled. Now I am planning on training for the Philly Half Marathon (anyone else running?).

My main goal is to break my 5K PR this fall. I want to train to get faster. I know this will help me be faster overall and hopefully run a faster half marathon and (eventually) full marathon. I know I had mentioned running a fall marathon but my mom and I decided to just wait until next year. It’s a lot of time and sacrifice and I wanted a break from super long runs.

We also were really hoping we would run NYC Marathon again next year but looks like we won’t complete our 9+1. We were away or busy during recent races and we would need to run literally every race left on their schedule. But this gives us a chance to experience a new fall marathon next year!

Schedule for this week:

Monday: Chest & back

Tuesday: Legs

Wednesday: Shoulders

Thursday: HIIT maybe?

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Running will be included throughout the week – just not sure yet…depends on my schedule once I get it!

I really cannot wait to get back into running. I know at first it will be hard after taking so much time off but hopefully I won’t be too sore. Oh yeah, and I’m also going to 3 weeks of physical therapy for my shin issues, so maybe I can fix or alleviate those issues early on before real training starts.

What is your current training schedule?

What’s your next race?

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06-17-2014

The Untold Story: Race Spectators

Whenever we read race recaps, we read about the course, what the runner thought of the race or the organization, the conditions, whether it was a bad day or not…and sometimes we read about the spectators. 

I really got a chance to feel the power of race spectators during the 2013 New York City Marathon, and randomly was thinking about this yesterday, which is why I wanted to write about it. I know I’ve written about how much I love the running community a few times now, but I wanted to focus this post on the spectators.

My Personal Cheering Squad

As runners preparing for a marathon, we sacrifice a lot. We train for 16-20 weeks. We get up early for long runs. We miss out on fun events because we need to sleep. But spectators sacrifice a lot too! The day of the marathon, my brother, sister, dad and boyfriend woke up at 5 am with my mom and me to head to New York. We got there around 7 am, and our race didn’t start until 10:50 am. They had to entertain themselves and wait around for over 3 hours!

Once the race started it was GO time. While we were trekking our way through the boroughs, they were navigating the subways. Squeezing onto packed subways in order to make it to where they said they would be. They were running around making sure we would see them. And all that for what? 30 seconds or less as we ran past them and said hi? But regardless, they smiled, they cheered, they made signs for us.

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We did miss them at a stop once, but instead of complaining they just got right back on the subway and went to the next stop. Since they missed us, that meant waiting extra at the next stop around mile 22. Once again, we saw them, said hi, and kept going on. Since they were at mile 22, that meant they had to book it to the finish if they were going to see us in Columbus Circle. We saw them right before the finish, and then finally finished those 26.2 miles. But the day wasn’t over yet. They still had to wait for us to get our medals, get our bags, and somehow get back to West 63rd street from West 81st street (almost 1 mile away). But they waited patiently.

Once we got to our meeting location, we were able to take family photos and recap our day. 

They were troopers, and what the spirit of the marathon also entails. It’s not just about us runners, but also about those who support us. Who get up early right there with us. Who run around all over the place to get pictures of us, see us for 30 seconds, hand us our GU or extra water. But then there are also the strangers…

The Other Spectators

I want to thank ALL race spectators here. You cheer on random strangers. You scream your heart out and pump up the runners. This is what got me through those 26.2 miles in New York. Every step of the way my mom and I heard our names being yelled. At one point a chant was started by a group, “PATTY…AND TINA! PATTY…AND TINA!” It was awesome. When we got into Central Park, I stopped to walk. A group started cheering my name and as I slowly started to run again they got louder and louder. This lady ran alongside me and said, “Here take some frozen grapes!” 

In the 2011 New York City Marathon, around mile 21 I was done. I was walking and miserable. This random stranger stepped on the course when he saw me and said come on you can do this! I said, no I am dying right now my legs are shot. He was like, “I wanted to run NYC, but I didn’t get in. So I’m running Philly next week. But you’re here and got the opportunity to be here so we are going to run!” He then grabbed my arm and started jogging with me. He was like “Come on, we’re going to the next corner.” So we jogged. He wished me luck and sent me on my way. I will never forget that moment. That is what the spirit of the running community is.

All of this is why my mom and I went up to Boston to watch the Boston Marathon this past April. Many asked us why we were going and if we knew anyone. Our response? “Nope, we just want to watch the race and cheer people on.” We wanted to pay it forward and cheer our hearts out. It was such an amazing day. 

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After reading Heather’s (from Relentless Forward Commotion) post about her experience running in the back of the pack, it made me kind of sad. The running community is a great one, so why are we not supporting ALL runners, regardless of pace?

Race spectators help get runners through the race, and it was sad to read her and other’s accounts of how there aren’t many for those who are in the back of the pack. Every runner deserves people cheering them on, yelling out their name, high fiving them.

Which is why my mom and I told each other that from now on, after races, we will stay and keep cheering on our fellow runners. We had always planned to be at this year’s NYC Marathon as spectators as well, so we can’t wait to scream for all of you who are running! 

Moral of this post? Thank your fellow spectators. Whether it’s your family or a total stranger, they have made some sacrifices to get to that race as well. They don’t have to be there, but they are…for you. I’ll leave you with my New York City Marathon recap video I made, which shows our story, but also that of our spectators. Let me know what you think!

Do you enjoy watching races when you’re not running them?

Tell me one race spectator experience you’ve had in the comments!

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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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02-03-2014

I Love Runners

Last year, I wrote this post about why I love the running community after the terrible attacks at the Boston Marathon. So many amazing stories were told in the months after, and it reaffirmed that runners are a strong community.

Yesterday, my mom and I went to cheer on a few friends at a local 4 mile race. We wanted to run 3ish miles before the race, but we ended up getting there late. We also somehow inadvertently matched and both wore our marathon shirts :) But we actually saw lots of runners in NYC Marathon shirts at the race, and I wanted to shout out to them all!

Since we got there late, we ran 1 mile out on the race course with runners, and then turned back to go watch the finishers. I found my friend as we were getting ready to go up a hill and ran up it with her before turning around. I also saw this man who sped by me…seriously how inspiring is this??

We turned back and I was really tired. I had to stop and walk a few times, not gonna lie…and this was only a 2 mile run!! So sad. But it’s to be expected when I haven’t ran since November. I’m not too worried about getting back into running shape.

So we got back a minute later than the winner, but still got to see the first few people crossing the finish. It was fun to actually be a spectator for once and cheer on other runners.

I really wish to be fast one day!

But the point of this post is why I love runners. As I stood there cheering on fellow runners, I noticed a lot of people doing the same. Not only cheering for their friends or family, but also cheering on everyone else. Runners cheering on complete strangers. Runners who finished their race and could go eat or go home if they wanted to, walking back and cheering on strangers.

We cheered and encouraged people to finish strong, or told them “looking good!” Runners of all ages, and all of them inspired me.

It just moved me to think of how this community stands by each other and supports each other, even if we have never met. And not just runners, but also non-runners who understand the passion behind it, and wake up early just to go cheer.

Whether it’s a small race like this one, or a huge race like NYC Marathon, spectators are awesome. Spectators are what kept me going in the marathon. Every step of they way they were yelling my name, and towards the end cheering even louder when they saw I was struggling. If you haven’t seen my NYC Marathon video recap, check it out below. At around 2:30 you can hear spectators chanting “PATTY AND TINA! PATTY AND TINA” for my mom and I, and it was just a moment I won’t forget.

This is why moments like what happened at the Boston Marathon won’t bring us down. It’ll make the community that much stronger.

Thank you to everyone, runners or not, who have ever cheered for me during a race. You have no idea how much it helps!

Thank you to spectators who support their runners, and wake up early just to go cheer on everyone else.

I can’t wait to be a spectator at this year’s NYC Marathon and pay it forward to everyone who will be running!

Do you cheer on fellow runners after a race? Or go to races to cheer?

Are you a non-runner spectator? Why do you like cheering on runners?

Lastly, who’s running Boston this year? It’ll be an unforgettable experience I’m sure!

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12-13-2013

2013 – My Year Of Running

I found this great link-up on Miss Zippy’s blog and wanted to take part. 2013 was a great year for me in terms of running. I conquered some fears and mental roadblocks, and worked hard for a marathon PR. Hopefully there is more to come in 2014! Here are my answers to her running survey. If you fill it out, head over to her blog to participate in the link up!

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  • Best race experience? I mean…I think you know what I’m going to say. NYC MARATHON!! I didn’t run many races in 2013, not even a half marathon in my build up to NYC, because Hanson’s Marathon Method didn’t really recommend it. My training was 100% for NYC. I wanted that PR. And I got it! It was also a great experience to run 26.2 miles with my mom, and cross the finish line together.

  • Best run? Hm…I’d have to say running on a trail that my mom and I just discovered this summer. We did short runs and long runs there. It’s paved and scenic…can’t wait to run there again this spring!
  • Best new piece of gear?  My Garmin! Finally invested in one. I used to use a Nike GPS watch but the screen went black. Then we used RunKeeper for the longest time but I wanted an actual watch for the marathon. It’s pretty on point in terms of distance, and is certainly handy!
  • Best piece of running advice you received?

*In reference to my worrying that missing days due to injury would affect my marathon. Everyone should remember this when they freak out about missing a few days!

  • Most inspirational runner? Gosh there are so many awesome running bloggers I follow…I’m going to pick 2. Lindsey from Out For A Run, and Theodora from Losing Weight In The City. Lindsey is just a beast at running. She crushes it in training and I wish I had her work ethic when it comes to running! I hope to be as fast as her one day…but that is long ways away ;) Theodora was one of the first bloggers I followed when I first started blogging. She has an amazing story as well, and has really gotten faster since she began her journey. I also hope to be as fast as her one day! Both of these ladies inspire me to get out the door and work my butt off for my goals.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Hard work pays off. I went into marathon training with the goal of not only a PR, but finishing the race feeling good. I had the best race I could that day. I attest that to doing the most training I have ever done since starting to run. I ran the most monthly miles and the most miles in a year since 2010!!

2013 was truly a great year for running. I pushed myself and conquered my fear of running 6 days a week, and accomplished my goals. I can’t wait to try the Hansons Marathon Method again!

How was 2013 for you in terms of running and fitness?

What goals do you have for 2014?

Let me know if you fill this out for yourself! I’ll be doing a fitness related one in the next week or so.

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Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

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11-04-2013

We did it!!!

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I’ll write up a recap soon but today = relaxing on the couch and being lazy since I can barely walk =)

It was a truly amazing day!!!!