Race Recap | Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon

Another sister race in the books!! Marissa and I signed up to run this race when registration first opened back in March. It was the inaugural RnR in Brooklyn, and since we’ve heard such amazing things about the other RnR races, we definitely wanted to give it a try in my “backyard”.  The registration fee was only $50 if you signed up with the early-bird special, so we were sold.

This summer between the Mayflower Brewery Half in June and this race in October, I really didn’t run that much. I was CrossFitting 4-5 times a week, and felt strong from that, but I am SO BAD at running when its at all over 70 degrees. I think I did one run in July that was 6ish miles, and another 5-6 miler in September, and pretty much called that “training for the RnR half”. #FAIL. Good news: I can totally run a half without training at this point which means my body is used to the pain. Bad news: my time was pretty slow. Who cares though, right?! As my dad would say, they don’t ask you HOW, they ask you HOW MANY.  (Though if you are 32 and running for fun, maybe no one actually asks you how many?!) Anyway, count it.

if you can't have fun, don't do it

if you can’t have fun, don’t do it

I didn’t get to the expo for this race since it was in Brooklyn on Thursday and Friday, and I just couldn’t get over there from work. The RnR team allowed you to register to pick up your bib on race day though, which was pretty awesome. Roo and I both opted for that, so headed to race day with no bib! Slightly nerve-wracking!

We woke up at 4:30am, ate peanut butter on Eggo waffles, and drove to Brooklyn. We parked in a lot pretty easily, and walked to Grand Army Plaza to pick up our numbers. I am not going to bore you with the logistics of packet pick-up and security for the race, but if you’ve heard anything about it on social media so far, you’ll know it was absolute crap. We didn’t even get through security to get into our corral until 7:30, and the race was supposed to start at 7:00am. There were also VERY limited number of porta-potties, so instead of waiting in line for one before my corral crossed the start line, I started the race and then waited in line for a couple minutes at the first bathrooms I saw on the course. I would NEVER do that, especially if I was trying to PR, but the struggle was real, and I knew I wasn’t going to run that fast anyway. They had serious bathroom issues on this race course! There were lines everywhere. Anyway. Moving on…

was I having fun?

was I having fun?

I thought the course (other than the bathroom sitch) was really well laid out. After having run a couple races in Prospect Park (here and here), and most recently the airbnb Brooklyn Half, I’ve run many of the streets in that area, but never in this particular order. The hills were rolling, but it also had long flat stretches. I was keeping a decent pace of 9:30/9:45 for the first 6 miles or so, which felt fine considering I hadn’t run in many weeks.

Around mile 8 or so there was an out and back turn around, and that’s where I started to slow my pace a bit.  I walked a few water stations to drink more, and ate more Gu Chomps. It was a beautiful day, but creeping on 65 degrees. Warm!

Mile 10 brought us back into Prospect Park to finish up that rough hill on the northwest side, and then back downhill to the finish. I never felt like I couldn’t run any more, but from miles 10-13 I was reallllllly looking forward to being done with the race. I never had to walk (other than to drink water), so counting this as a win.

rocknroll

Immediately upon crossing the finish line, I took my iPhone out of my SpiBelt and dropped it, shattering the screen into a million pieces. Awesome.

The short of it: I won’t be racing out to do any more RnR races. The bands weren’t even loud, and I think there were about four of them, TOTAL. RnR has a lot of improvements to make before folks would be excited to run that Brooklyn race again. I did like the course though, and I felt pretty good running, so I’ll give it a solid B-. That’s still passing, right?

Official time: 2:17.58 (10:32 pace)

Congrats to our friend Erin Hozack for running her FIRST HALF! You rock.

BFH for EVA

BFH for EVA

And, as always, congrats to my sister and best running partner ever.

we do it for the bubbly

we do it for the bubbly

What’s next?!

Advertisements

Race Recap | Long Island Festival of Races 10K

I do a fair amount of traveling for races, so its always nice when there is a great one right in my own backyard. This was my third time running in the Long Island Festival of Races, and my second time running the 10K as part of Team WSA. We have a big group of CrossFit516’ers that run, and the weather is always perfect (I might have just jinxed us for next year!).  I ran the half-marathon last year, but it was only 3 weeks after Boston and I was in a lot of pain still. This year, since I am training for the Brooklyn Half on May 16th, the 10K was the perfect distance and fit into my training program really well. My coach, Race Pace Jess, had an 11 mile run on the plan for that day, and its always nice to get a big chunk of the mileage done in a race setting to practice for the “real deal”.

We picked up our bibs Friday night, and its really such an easy process there. The expo is pretty small, so I was in and out in 5 minutes. I always run better when I have pizza the night before, so we headed to Borelli’s for some delicious pie.

I set my alarm for 5:30, and ran 2 easy peasy miles before we even left Manhasset to start cutting into the 11 miles I was supposed to do that day. Ideally I could have run 2 miles straight into the starting line of the race, but due to security in that area, it really wasn’t possible. This was the best I could do! We got a few group pics, and we were off!

Team WSA!

Team WSA!

The start of the 10K race was REALLY crowded. I stuck to the left side of the overpass and just tried to get around as many people. I was already warmed up, and I could feel that the 3 miles I had already put in were helping me out. Typically my first two miles of any run are my worst, so I was able to settle into a faster pace right from the start. Lesson learned; this is why people warm up before races!! It really works!!

The course takes you around the outside of Eisenhower Park, past the beautiful golf course, and a neighborhood with some cheering fans. Its relatively flat, with a few rollers on the 4th and 5th mile. Nothing too crazy though. I felt like I was holding a really strong pace throughout, and actually didn’t stop at a single water station (probably not smart). I just didn’t want to get out of sync. Going into this race, my PR was 53:41, so I wanted to beat that. I also had a stretch STRETCH goal of being a sub 50 minute 10K-er one day, but didn’t think I was actually trained up enough to get that close. When I crossed the finish line in 51:11, I was SHOCKED and really proud. That is a PR for me, and its not even THAT far off from 49:49!

Here are my splits:

8:36
8:11
8:06
8:09
8:21 (hills, dammit!)
8:01
2:01 (last .2)
51:11. PR!

When we got back to Manhasset, I finished off the day with the last 3 miles of my training plan to bring my daily mileage to 11. Like I said before, its not the ideal way to do a long run (by breaking it up) but it was the best I could do to get in all the miles.

 

NYC Half-Marathon 2015 | Race Recap

The NYC half-marathon is one my favorite races of the year. Not only is the half-marathon my favorite distance, but this is my PR course from 2014! It’s relatively flat, draws a really decent crowd, and if you haven’t run straight through the middle of Time’s Square while traffic is completely blocked off, you haven’t lived! It is definitely at the top of my list for best NYC experiences. For both the 2014 and 2015 races, I entered the lottery to gain entrance. The entry fee is pretty steep as far as half-marathons go, but the tee-shirts are among the coolest I’ve received, and there is an insane amount of race-day support (water stops, PowerBar endurance gel, Gatorade, etc). Plus it’s NYC. These streets will make you feel brand new.

ready to race!

ready to race!

I headed up to the expo on the Friday before the race around 5pm. It was a quick in-and-out, and the lines weren’t bad at all. Since United Airlines was the sponsor this year, they had some really cool installations at the expo. If I wasn’t trying to get a train home for the weekend, I might have browsed the booths a bit longer, too. Lots of good stuff!

Sunday morning I headed in on the 5:45am train from Manhasset. I got into the city and found a Starbucks just off of Columbus Circle to hang out in while I hydrated and had a banana. I was checking a bag (which I rarely do, but I wanted to have some dry clothes so I could grab a beer/food after the race) so I had to make sure I got to the trucks by 7am. I met my friend Meghan just at the bottom end of the park, and we walked through security together and into the corrals. The line to get INTO the park was long. Leave plenty of time to get through, because they definitely have hyped up security.

While I love this race so much, I can totally understand why people don’t love big-city races. The starting corrals are insane, even though they are well-organized. There is a lot of standing around before you start shuffling towards the starting line, so definitely wear some throw-away clothes (and gloves, if you’re me).

Mile 1-6 are through Central Park, running counter-clockwise. Unlike last year when I went out way too fast, I kept my pace controlled for the first 6, including those hills on the UWS, so that I could come out of the bottom of the park and through Time’s Square and really pick it up. There is this adreneline rush that just happens when you get to 6th Avenue, and it is one of the main reasons I love this race. I took the right onto 42nd St, and headed to the West Side Highway still feeling pretty good. The wind definitely picks up on the WSH, and I think my paced slowed a little between 9-12 miles. At mile 12, we head under the tunnel, which spits you back out on the FDR. I remembered from last year that the tunnel slopes up at the end, so definitely don’t go all-out until you crest that hill. From there, its a few quick turns before you hit the finish line, and the crowd was really loud!

I was pleasanlty surprised to cross the finish line in 2:04.18, without training very much. The snow and the cold really held me back, so knowing I could knock out an almost-2-hour half makes me feel confident in my base so I can turn things up training-wise for the AirBNB Brooklyn Half on May 16.

second 13.1 or 2015

second 13.1 or 2015

Meghan and I celebrated our 13.1 finishes over some beers and pretzels!

yay for us

yay for us

Disney Half-Marathon Race Recap – 2015

Better late than never 🙂 I registered for the Disney Half waaaay back in April when I was at the expo picking up my bib for Boston. I had run this race back in 2007 before I had Ellie and Emmy, so it seemed like the perfect excuse to get our Disney-fix for 2015.

Ellie, Emily and I flew down to Florida on the Friday before the race to pick up my number. The expo was really easy to navigate, and we had the number and snapped some pics all within 20 minutes.

ready for 13.1 magical miles!

ready for 13.1 magical miles!

Saturday morning, my alarm went off early. Like 3:45am. OOF. One of the only downsides to Disney races is that they are all so early (unless they are super late…) because they need to get the race done before the park opens (or close to it). The official start of the race was 5:30, and I was driving myself into the park this year (we were staying just outside the park). There was a little bit of traffic getting into the Epcot parking lot, but I still had plenty of time. I didn’t want to check a bag, so I stayed in the car where it was warm until the last second I could, and then started the walk through the village and towards the start line. Here is what I wore…

yes I made a custom Elsa shirt with my name on it

yes I made a custom Elsa shirt with my name on it

I was in one of the first corrals because I put a really fast estimated finish time, which ended up being great. If you are in a later corral, you could be standing around for a LONG time. So tip from me, lie about your time 🙂 There was an awesome fireworks display to send us on our way, and then we were off! Pretty much every mile had a character picture opportunity, and I stopped at almost every one to get my photo taken. When I was running, I was moving at a pretty decent pace and definitely felt the Disney magic the whole entire way. I don’t think I stopped smiling once!

I cruised into the finish line with a time of 2:18, which wasn’t horrible considering how much I stood in line waiting for pictures with characters. From start to finish, there wasn’t a single moment of pain, or unhappiness. It was truly 13.1 magical miles, and if you are even THINKING about signing up for this race, do it. You will not regret it one bit. And I’ll probably go with you 🙂

Random highlights: Running through Cinderella’s Castle, meeting Mickey on the golf course at the Grand Floridian (yes, I am 32 years old and just typed that), fireworks at the start, and high-fiving Minnie Mouse at mile 13.1 

NYC Marathon 2014 | Race Recap

The whole week leading up to Sunday November 2nd felt like it crawled by so slowly. I had a million things on my to-do list between marathon prep, getting the girls ready for Halloween, and of course WORK. The expo opened on Thursday at the Javits Center, but I didn’t have time to get over there on the first day. I waited until Friday around 2pm, and there were absolutely no lines to get bibs. It sounded like earlier in the day on Friday the lines were pretty insane, but mid-afternoon on Friday was easy-breezy. If you go on Friday, you’ll avoid a lot of crowds as out-of-towners mostly arrive to NYC on Saturday. Grabbed my bib, snapped a pic, and headed out for trick or treating with my kids!

ready to run!

ready to run!

Saturday afternoon: Team MR8 had a team dinner at Carmine’s in Times Square. There is a whole separate post on that. I ate pasta with vegetables, chicken, lots of garlic bread and a canolli. We ate on the earlier side, so by 7:00pm, I was hungry again and had Gino’s Pizza. If there was any night to have two dinners, it would probably be the night before 26.2! I laid out my “flat runner” to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and tried to get to bed at a decent time.

do I have everything?

do I have everything?

Sunday Morning: Astrid met me at my house at 5:15am. We got on the 5:45am train from Manhasset, which got us into Penn Station a little past 6:30am. The 2 train was packed with marathoners, all more looking like hobos than runners at this point. If you are reading this (and there are probably like 5 of you) and you’ve never run a marathon before, let me fill you in on what happens before you run. If you are running in the fall or winter, its pretty cold outside, and there is a lot of standing around and waiting. Runners wear a “throw-away outfit” that they’ll be comfortable standing around in, but one that they don’t mind completely discarding before the race. For me on the morning of November 2nd, that included sweatpants bought from a dollar store, high knee socks that were at least three years old, a sweatshirt I got for free, a Zara winter coat that I was going to donate to GoodWill, a winter hat that had seen better days, and (perhaps the best part) was my Snuggy. People loved the Snuggy. I loved the Snuggy. It has a zippered bottom so I didn’t have to fuss with it too much every time I used the bathroom that day. Brilliant. I had a hard time parting with it, but alas, it was destined to hit the ground in Staten Island.

this is what 6am on the Staten Island Ferry looks like

this is what 6am on the Staten Island Ferry looks like

When we got to Staten Island, we were herded through the ferry terminal, and out on the sidewalk to get in line for the buses that were going to take us to Fort Wadsworth where the starting village was awaiting. I was in the green starting village and in corral D, but finding this wasn’t that easy. In fact, I really only had about 10 minutes of actual downtime before they were calling my wave. In a matter of minutes, I transformed into an actual runner, rather than a completely crazy looking person in a Snuggy. I was down to my long sleeve shirt layer, headband, sunglasses but I kept my hooded sweatshirt on just to combat some of the wind on the Verzanno Bridge. They moved my wave through the corrals, and up onto the starting line at the base of the bridge. I was actually pretty surprised at how easy that part was, but I wouldn’t say the Fort Wadsworth was super organized; that was stressful. And once I parted ways with Astrid, I really didn’t like being alone. It was pretty quiet in my head.

hello, I'm cold

hello, I’m cold

The music started, the famous NEW YORK, NEW YORK was blaring over the speakers, we were off! I crossed the starting line and I was running the NYC Marathon.

The bridge was windy. Really windy. It sounded like people’s bibs were going to rip off from their shirts entirely, and hats were flying all around. I actually saw two people running back the way we had come (don’t run backwards in a marathon. Ever. Like, ever) to chase down various articles of clothing that were blowing around. I was running fast, too. Too fast. Like super-excited-everything-feels-too-easy kind of fast. The view from the bridge was pretty incredible. I teared up a little as I looked over at downtown Manhattan, thinking that in just a few hours (or five…spoiler alert!) I would be a finisher of the NYC Marathon. Emotions, people! They are real. There were barges in the water, and choppers hovering on each side of the bridge. I was on the lower level but I swear I could hear the footprints and whoops and hollers of the folks on the top level as well. People were pumped up.

When you come off the bridge into Brooklyn, you go down and around a highway exit, and then you’re in a pretty residential neighborhood. This must have been around the three-mile mark, because I saw someone holding a sign that said “only 23 miles to go”. Don’t ever make signs like these.

Brooklyn was amazing. I can’t even really put into words (and trust me, this race recap is 3 weeks late; I’ve been TRYING) how much I loved running the first 13.1 miles of this race through Brooklyn. It was everything. The crowds are literally standing on top of one another, almost at times in the way of runners in the street. There was a band on every corner. Every church had a choir on the steps, and the sound was upbeat. My steps were quick too, I was pacing way too fast for me in this type of race. At one point I turned my phone off of Airplane Mode and opened the NYC Marathon app, and I was pacing to finish in 4:15. I was averaging around 9:15/9:30 miles at this point, but I felt GOOD. I knew I should slow down, but my legs just wouldn’t listen. I was all sorts of pumped up when I saw my AdRoll friends at mile 11.

MarathonRoll!

MarathonRoll!

I hit the halfway point in Brooklyn still feeling really strong, and pacing for about a 4:30 finish. Not bad for half-way! As I made my way to the Queensboro Bridge, I started thinking about where I would find KJ and my brother-in-law on First Avenue. I texted him to get his exact location, and waiting for the text to come back occupied my mind on the slow climb of the bridge. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, after I had built up the quietness of it all in my head for so many weeks. One of my favorite memories is actually looking to my right and seeing the Roosevelt Island Tram gliding past the bridge. The passengers inside were waving at us and holding signs. It was one small moment in the day that I haven’t forgotten about.

I no longer have this pony tail

I no longer have this pony tail

Coming off the bridge and onto First Avenue lived up to expectations completely; it was LOUD! The sun was in my eyes (even with my sunglasses on), so I had to stay completely to the left of the street even though the crowds were on the right side. I checked my phone to get KJ’s whereabouts, and from 59th Street all the way to 80th, I just stayed to the left and tried to get to him as fast as I could. I spotted him and Matty in front of Bar Coastal, and made a pit stop with my fam. KJ had carried some GuChomps with him, and opened them for me and I ate one. Bad idea. All of a sudden, I couldn’t really swallow any of my food and I felt nauseous. It was only mile 18, and it was a little “early” to be feeling like this. I left them with promises of “I’ll go as fast as I can!” and pressed on up First Avenue. The crowds thinned a little as I crossed into the Bronx at Mile 20, and I still felt like something wasn’t quite right. Then again, it was mile 20 of a marathon, so nothing was quite right. I walked a little around mile 21, and tried to drink two cups of water before I let myself “run” again. I turned off my Garmin watch so I wouldn’t get discouraged by the paces that were flashing. I told myself to just have fun and enjoy it, and to forget about the clock. I picked it up through Harlem to Mile 23. Confession: I had to walk a lot of Mile 23. Like more than I would have liked. It had started to get chilly, and I grabbed a pair of gloves off the ground (I had chucked mine in the warmth of Brooklyn about 13 miles ago), and I even accepted a warmth cape from a medical tent around mile 24. My teeth wouldn’t stop chattering!

At mile 24.5ish I gave myself one last pep talk. I thought about Martin, and Team MR8, and all the money that I had raised. As we entered Central Park, I was running. I made it up the backside of Cat Hill and down the wonderful-oh-so-wonderful downhill by the bottom of the park. I smiled, and gave high-fives, and tried to make the most of (what I knew was) my last mile of my last marathon. There was a moment in Central Park where a girl in a red shirt darted out in front of me, almost cutting me off (if I was running at any sort of speed). I almost said, hey watch out, but then I saw her shirt. On the back, she had taped her name: Lulu. My Lulu was at home waiting for me to finish this damn marathon, and I laughed thinking that this was SUCH an appropriate sign to see at that moment. I knew I was close.  The finish line was in my sights, and I could see the clock; I was SO CLOSE to breaking 5 hours!

thank you very much

thank you very much

Official Time: 5:02, a new marathon PR for me. I wanted to (finally) break 5 hours, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Pretty close though!

This is where things get bad: the finish line SUCKS at the NYC Marathon. I can totally see why some people who love to run marathons, don’t love to run big city marathons. We had to walk easily another half a mile to get to the fuel stations and get our warm ponchos, and I was FREEZING. I started crying (super emo day!) and a nice man next to me asked me if I was crying because it was my first marathon. I said, “no, it’s my last and I just want to find my husband.” What a mess!

We wound out of the park, and I walked a few blocks to 72nd Street, where KJ and Matt were waiting for me. They claim that I looked better than half the people hobbling and limping around them, but I think they were just being nice. But either way, I appreciated the compliment.

Finished! Now beer me

Finished! Now beer me

I finished! We headed down to Brother Jimmys for some beers and fries (my biggest craving!) and I was already proud of myself for being able to drink a beer. After Boston, I couldn’t drink anything until the next day. So this was a win.

Corona + marathon bling

Corona + marathon bling

So yes, I am retired from the 26.2 distance! I have now run Chicago, Boston and NYC, and raised a pretty decent amount of money for three incredible charities. When they decide to change the distance to a more manageable 20 miles, let me know. I’ll sign up for that.

Race Recap | BAA Half Marathon

Ever since I finished the Boston Marathon this year, I was excited to run another BAA.org race. This year, the BAA Half boasted a crowd of 8,000 runners, and covered 13.1 miles of the Emerald Necklace park starting in Franklin Park. Since Roo just moved into the sickest apartment ever in Dorchester, we had a sleepover there the night before, complete with the best. dinner. ever.

all ready for 13.1!

all ready for 13.1!

We woke up at 6am, and munched on bagels, pb and bananas. We opted to drive to Bayside Expo Center and take the shuttle buses from there, which was only about 5 minutes away. There was absolutely no parking available at Franklin Park, but they did offer two different shuttle options. We got on our shuttle at about 7:30, and made it up to Franklin Park just before 8:00am. It was chilly, and I totally wished I had more than just one layer of throw-away shirt, but the weather report said it was supposed to get to 60 degrees, so I didn’t want to overdress. Ah, #runnerprobz.

waiting in line

waiting in line

We got in line around the 10:00 min mile marker, and tried to take our minds off the chill. Training for Boston in the SNOW was colder than this, so we sucked it up. At 8:30, the starting gun went off, and off we went. Not! The starting line corrals had a really tight turn, and it was almost like tip-toeing up to the start line. It took us about 22 minutes to get to the start, and it was slow goings for the first half a mile for sure. I stuck to the sides and tried to stay with a nice even pace of about 9:50/10:00 while my body warmed up. Roo and I fist bumped and picked a spot to meet after the race.

starting line crowd!

starting line crowd!

I absolutely loved the first uphill which was across the William Casey overpass. There were amazing views of Boston, and we were up higher than the trees. It was a climb for sure, but it didn’t bother me too much and I even got the courage to take off my long sleeve and drop it on the side. The weather was warming up!

Around mile 4, I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was my work friend/client, Jess! We have done Flywheel together a couple times and I should have known she would be running today. It was about the time that I saw her that we took a turn back towards the start line. I’ve never been in a race that had such tight 180 degree turns. You really had to watch your step so you wouldn’t get trampled from behind or from the front. I picked it up for miles 5-9 and felt really good, really strong. I was probably hitting just under a 9 minute mile. At mile 6, I decided to go for my Gu Chomps. I always (always, always) open the bag up before I start running, but for some reason I totally forgot. I tried to rip into the bag while running, and I couldn’t get it open. My hands were sweaty, and this thing WAS NOT opening. I was expending too much energy and getting frustrated, so I just pocketed the Gu Chomps and welcomed the PowerGels that they were handing out at mile 7. I got vanilla and it was actually really delicious. Thanks for handing those out! I totally needed something, and I’ll never not open my GuChomps in advance again. Jeesh.

So they weren’t joking when they said this course has rolling hills. Its all either up hill or down hill all the time. Like the whole time. And the last 3 miles especially, weren’t even on concrete the whole time. It was like a 10 mile road race with a 3 mile trail race to finish up. I felt good the whole time, and I knew coming into the final 800 meters that was I close to the two hour mark. I knew I wasn’t going to be close to my half marathon PR from NYC, but this wasn’t a course to PR on at all. Not even close. I was PSYCHED to be close to 2:00, and finished with an official time of 2:03. I got my awesome BAA medal, and meandered through the bagels, bananas and PowerBar line. I was hungry, but I didn’t want to eat too quickly so I just had a quarter of a bagel and waited to get a text from Roo. She finished at 2:25 and we met up at the family meeting area.

yeeeeeehaw, all done!

yeeeeeehaw, all done!

sisters + 13.1

sisters + 13.1

I will definitely keep this on my race calendar for 2015, as it was well-run, and the shirts were AWESOME. It was a lot of ppl and course was tight and hilly, but I absolutely love the half marathon distance so much. See ya next year, Franklin Park!

Race Recap | NYRR Bronx 10 Miler

Let it be known that its never a wise idea to sign up for a race the day after arriving home from a week long beach vacation. However, if you HAVE to do it, this was one great race to tackle on a beautiful, warm day in September. Since I was away the week prior to the race, I didn’t have time to get my bib or shirt ahead of time. Astrid (my CrossFit bestie turned NYC Marathon training partner) was kind enough to do the driving, and I took the LIRR to Douglaston where she picked me up (6:30am, woof!). We got to the Bronx by 7:00, and within 15 minutes we had picked up our bibs and shirts, checked our bags, and used the bathrooms. NYRR, I gotta hand it to you, this was THE most organized race (apart from a marathon distance). Huge props for making 10,000 runners really happy with a smooth check-in system.

As I was pinning on my bib to my brand new, bright yellow Team MR8 shirt, a man approached me and gave me a huge high-five. “TeamMR8! I love you guys!” Turns out he is in charge of the charity programs that get bibs for the New York City Marathon, and he had personally been involved in the decision to get TeamMR8 representation this year. I felt so grateful, and it made me even more proud to be part of such an amazing organization. We CAN make TeamMR8 bigger than ever this year!

Astrid and me, ready to run!

Astrid and me, ready to run!

Astrid and I  had been discussing our game plan all morning. We wanted to pretend like these are the first 10 miles of the marathon. Don’t go out fast. Don’t even try to PR. Go annoyingly slow for the first few miles, and then just go into cruise control for the remainder. Our plan was to feel like we had some gas in the tank at the end, and run a controlled race. The problem is, its actually HARD to go annoyingly slow, especially if other runners are passing you (we are so competitive)! We managed to make it work though, and our first four miles were 9:41/9:29/9:21/9:12. Ehhh. Not even CLOSE to annoyingly slow. Try, “well under my marathon goal pace.” Still, we felt good, and I felt like I could maintain that pace for the rest of the run.

At mile 5, we got to the top of the out-and-back route and had some quick turns through a little green park. We clearly picked it up there, and mile 5 was 8:58. At mile 6, I lost Astrid in the crowd. One of these days I’ll actually stick with her the entire race! I had a tri-berry Gu (which tastes exactly like my favorite ice cream flavor) and chugged some water to wash it down.

My last few miles were 9:05/9:28/9:14/9:07/9:18. I was surprised that I stayed in the same range even in miles 8-10, as they were a slight (but long) incline. When I was tired, especially in the final mile, I thought a lot about Martin Richard, and why I was running. I pretended he was running right alongside me, and I picked up my pace. I am sure that on November 2nd (and every run in-between), I will be channeling Martin’s positive outlook, boundless energy, and happiness. Martin was truly Boston Strong.

My official time was 1:33, which was a 2+ minute PR since my last 10 miler, only a month ago. Not bad for a little 10 miler after a vacation, after all!

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.52.36 PM