I Should Probably Get Back In Running Shape.

This past week I applied to run as part of Team MR8 in the New York City Marathon. The team was created in remembrance of Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon Bombings. The charity honors Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community. When I didn’t gain entrance to the New York City Marathon by the lottery system, there were (and still are) a few other charities I could have joined to get a number. Nothing felt personal to me though, and I didn’t want to raise money solely because I want to run 26.2 miles. It didn’t seem genuine. When I heard the news that Team MR8 (who had a HUGE prescence at Boston this year) was still looking for 8 runners to represent, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. It would be an honor to be part of a Boston-based team, and wear the MR8 jersey on November 2nd, and carry on Martin’s name. I find out in two weeks if I am one of the eight, which doesn’t give me much time to seriously get into training!

Since I MIGHT be running 26.2 in November, I should probably start my next training cycle. May, June and July — you guys were good to me. It’s time to get to work again though. Today I hit 4.5 miles and felt pretty good, despite the heat. It definitely felt cooler at the onset of the run, and when I finished I think it was almost 80 degrees. I don’t do well in the heat. Straight into the kiddie pool! PS – those Lululemon shorts are my FAVORITE running shorts.

 

Johnston Country Club

Johnston Country Club

Today I also finished a little project that I’ve had on the backburner since Boston. I framed our bibs, and the background is made from the heat cape that is handed out at the finish line. I have one that I made from the Chicago Marathon in 2006, too.

FInishers!

FInishers!

Week 1 of Marathon Training, let’s go!

Race Re-cap: 5-Borough Series: Queens 10K

The races in the NYRR 5-Borough Series are quickly becoming my favorite races of the year. Starting with the NYC Half-Marathon in March, NYRR organizes one race in each of the boroughs for the year. If you complete 4 out of the 5 races, you gain automatic entry in the NYC Half-Marathon the following year (in this case, 2015). Since that race in particular is so hard to get into, I decided to take on the 4 out of 5 challenge this year and complete the 5-Borough Series.

When I woke up on Sunday (after a horrible night of sleep because I was worried about sleeping through my alarm) at 5:45, the sun was shining and it looked like near perfect weather for running. I even threw on a light long sleeved layer to stay warm. There is nothing worse than being too hot before the race even starts! The plan was to meet two of my great friends from CrossFit516 in Bayside so that we could carpool to the CitiField parking lot. There was a fee of $10 to park, so we saved a little money by driving in together. Needless to say, it is also so much more fun to do these races with friends. The parking situation was really easy, and we fueled up (LaraBars and KIND Bars for all) and headed to race day central.

Stopping for a quick photo opp

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Before we knew it, it was time to head to the corrals to start! NYRR volunteers were being a little strict on the color-coordination for the corrals, but Astrid and I managed to just stick close to our two corrals so we could at least run the first mile together. This is my first race since the Long Island Half-Marathon in early May. That race really kicked my butt (probably too close coming in off the Boston Marathon), but seeing as this race was shorter (6.2 miles), I figured I could probably do it at a decent enough pace. Mainly, I just wanted to have fun, and get my credit towards next year’s half. My secret goal was to run it under an hour.

The race gun went off, and it took us 5 mins to cross the starting line. It was CROWDED. The course was relatively flat, but it didn’t really thin out at all the entire time. Usually that would frustrate me, as I would do more bobbing and weaving than I would like, but I actually didn’t mind it on this course at all. It was great people watching, and helped pass the time. I started to really feel the heat around mile 3. It was HOT. And I forgot sunscreen. Whoops. After mile 4, I was stopping at every water station and alternating water and Gatorade. Huge props to NYRR for setting up the sprinklers, too. Those were clutch.

My favorite part of the race (HA, of course it was the END) was when we approached and then wrapped around the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

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The crowds were fantastic for the last 0.2 miles, and I was definitely smiling crossing the finish line at 59:08. Eeked that one out! Goal=accomplished!

I’m looking forward to the next installment of the 5-Borough Series in the BRONX!

Special shout out to Astrid & Emilio for crushing this race!

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FlyWheel Back Bay – Add Two!

As a former indoor cycling instructor, I have high standards when it comes to classes. Indoor cycling classes are really only as good as the effort that you are willing to put into it as the rider on the bike, but a good instructor sets the tone, has an insane playlist, and makes me WANT to pedal faster. Its hard to pinpoint the exact things that make a good spin class, but you know when you are in one. Last night, the 6:30pm class at FlyWheel Back Bay was one of the best I’ve ever done.

Led by Ann Unger, the class was fast, sweaty, and loud. My only criticsm is that I am not THAT into the whole weights-while-you-ride thing. I love CrossFit, and full-body workouts, but doing two things at the same time (cycling and tricep curls) was actually really distracting. I would have liked doing a strength workout separate from rowing, but to each their own. The class still rocked. And I have at least two new songs to add to my running playlist.

Can’t wait to go back!

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My View From The Sidelines.

Its been one month since the Boston Marathon, and to say that I took a break from running is putting it lightly. Aside from the Long Island Half (which might not have been the best idea, in retrospect), I’ve just done a few short runs with CrossFit mixed in for the past four weeks. I definitely feel that I’ve lost a little on the endurance end, so starting next week, I’m going to get my mileage back up and focus on a more rigid summer training schedule. It would be nice to start 2015 Boston Marathon training (yep, I’m going BACK) in December with some decent mileage under my belt.

In May, I traveled to Florida, New Orleans, and Raleigh, and have one more week up in Boston before we head to San Francisco/Napa for a long weekend. While I’m on the road, one of my favorite ways to check out a new city (NoLa and Raleigh for me) is to go for a run. If you ask the concierge at most major hotels, they can usually point you in the right direction.

In taking a little mileage break for May, I realized how important it is to rest, give yourself a break, and really enjoy the miles that you can squeeze in. Ellie, Emily and I cheered KJ on while he rocked the Don Scott 5k in Manhasset last weekend. Normally we would have both run it together, he pushing the girls in the stroller, me trying to out-compete everyone else in my age group, but it was actually REALLY exciting to be the cheering section for once! We yelled so loudly as he ran by us at the start, and it was fun to sit with my girls and talk to them about why people were running, the importance of staying healthy and fit, and seeing their smiles and yelps as he came back into view during the final stretch. It was more rewarding than being 3rd place in my age group. It was the best.

Go Dada!

Go Dada!

Race Recap: Long Island Half-Marathon

I was already thinking about what I was going to write in this blog post while I was running. I think I went from “I feel great, let’s do this!” to “ok, I am never running again” in a matter of the first two miles. It was one of those days. Somewhere along my athletic career, someone told me that it’s important to find a way to win, even when your team isn’t playing great. I always really responded to that – everyone is going to have a bad day. Can you still win/have fun/smile/be your best on a day when you might be playing your worst?

13.1

13.1

Here’s how the day went down. 5:45am wake up, and I scarfed down an english muffin, peanut butter and a cup of coffee while I watched the news and Google mapped how I was going to get to Eisenhower Park and get into the parking lot before they shut the streets down at 7am. I was out the door by 6:15, and I was SUPER early. I always like giving myself more than enough time, so I was happy to sit in the car, check some emails and just zone out for a little while. When Astrid arrived, we met up, and started the walk over to the starting line so we could wait in line to use the bathrooms, and get to our pacing zone with plenty of time. I don’t like feeling rushed!

One of my favorite parts of this race are the fireworks that they shoot off right over the starting line! Last year I ran the 10K, so those runners line up on one side of the highway and start heading towards the park, while the half and full marathoners head towards Nassau Coliseum before looping around and passing through the 10K starting line. This was the first race that I was wearing my Garmin Forerunner, and I had some splits in mind that I wanted to hit in order to achieve my goal (and PR) of sub-1:50. In March, I ran the NYC Half in 1:54, and I really do feel that sub 1:50 is attainable for me in the near future. I thought today was the day! My plan was to run the first 5 miles around 9:00/9:15, the next 3-4 miles around 8:30, and then finish it out with 8:00/8:15. That plan was totally shot to hell.

I decided to run miles 1-3 at 8:24/8:35/8:45. Bad idea. My legs started yelling at me, and I slowed it down as we took the left and split from the 10K group. I’ve never really been the type of person to ever want to cut a challenge short, but there was definitely a part of me today that cried inside when the 10K runners started heading towards home, and we were running AWAY. Ugh.

I am not even going to bore you with what happened to me from 5 miles until 13.1 miles. It was literally just a painful experience. Every step hurt, and I wanted to walk more than ever. I’ve never actually walked in a half-marathon, so I just found a 10 min/mile pace and hung on for dear life. Hopefully the cameras still caught some pictures of me with a happy face on. See! I’m happy! Yay!

I’ve never been so relieved to see a finish line. No idea how, but I eeked out a 9:33 pace and finished 2:03, definitely not even my worst half-marathon. My 10K split wasn’t even so far off my 10K finishing time from last year’s race, so it was just the second half of this half-marathon where I was in the 9:45/9:55 pace. Now that it’s all over, I’m happy that I found a way to finish (and avoid walking) on a day that just wasn’t a good day for me.

I’m taking a little REST from racing the rest of this month. Next up, NYRR 5 Borough Series: Queens 10K on June 22.

Congrats to my great friend Astrid for having another speedy half marathon, and all the folks on Team WSA from CrossFit516! I loved seeing all the blue shirts out there on the course today for such a great cause!

Weekly Workouts – First Week Post-Marathon

This time last week we were still hobbling around a little bit, still wearing our shiny FINISHER medals, and reeling in the runner’s high of 26.2 in Boston. This week, its back to work, or rather…normal life!

Monday: CrossFit516

Tuesday: Rest.

Wednesday: CrossFit516

Thursday: CrossFit Endurance

Friday: CrossFit516

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: Long Island 1/2 Marathon

I would love to PR this race, and certainly feel like sub 1:50 is attainable at some point this year, just not so sure 2 weeks post-Boston Marathon is the best timing. This is a really fun, local race and I’m looking forward to stepping up the distance a bit since I PR’d my 10k time last spring (53:14, 8:42 pace). Big high-fives to all my CrossFit516′ers who are running on Team WSA, and Astrid G. who will also be rocking the half! The weather report looks perrrrrfect for 13.1.

Don't mind if I do...

Don’t mind if I do…