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?!

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 Marathon Training | Week 5

I am on Week 7 of the 17 week CrossFit Endurance War Horse Marathon Training plan, and here is what my week looked like:

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Monday – Rest because I did the Brooklyn 10 Miler the day before.

Tuesday – Interval workout: 1 minute ladder: 1 min on, 1 off, 50 sec on, 50 off . . . down to 10 sec on 10 sec off, back up to 1 minute. This was pretty rough, especially building back up to the 1 minute on. When I was “on” I tried to stay 7:30/8:00 min mile pace, and then “off” was more like 9:45/10:00 min mile pace and I attempted to recover my breathing.

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – CrossFit516 partner WOD with Kim and Astrid. 1.5 miles of running, a lot of box jumps, and wall balls to cap it off.

Friday – Track workout: 16 Rounds of: 20 sec on, 10 sec off. I used the same pacing from Tuesday, and it felt pretty good. It was about 3 miles of running, with 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.

have I mentioned how much I love these sneakers?

have I mentioned how much I love these sneakers?

Saturday – 7 mile “long” run, even though the training plan called for a 5k time trial. I had just ran (and PR’d) my 5K a few weeks back, so I am going to use that time to set some tempo runs this week. 10:00 min/mile pace.

Port Washington, NY

Port Washington, NY

Sunday – Rest

Mileage: About 15 miles between all the temp and speed work this week.

NYC Marathon Training | Week 4

Can’t believe I have one more week of “real” training under my belt. I’m following the CrossFit WarHorse/CrossFit Endurance Marathon Training Plan pretty much exactly, with the exception of the long run on the weekend. I do tend to make it a little bit longer than CFE calls for in some weeks. Here is how last week shaped up:

MondayCrossFit516 WOD –
For time, 3 Rounds of:
400 m run
15 Deadlifts (185/125)

At the 15 min mark do:

For time:
21 Toes to bar
21 Burpees
50 Double unders
15 Toes to bar
15 Burpees
40 Double unders
9 Toes to bar
9 Burpees
30 Double unders

The 400’s and deadlifts were my kind of workout, and the second half of the workout was just rough. I substituted singles for DUs, but did 3 times the amount of them to make up for it.

Tuesday – CFE Track Workout: 3 Rounds of (200, 400,  600).

CFE: Week 6 Plan

CFE: Week 6 Plan

Wednesday – REST

13 minutes of hell

13 minutes of hell

Thursday – CFE Interval Workout: Death by 10 meters. Do a 10 meter run on minute 1. On minute two, do two 10 meter sprints. Minute three, three sprints. I made it up to 13 minutes before I was DONE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FridayCrossFit516 WOD: “Open workout 14.4″

AMRAP in 14 min of:
60 Calorie row
50 Toes to bar
40 Wall balls (20/15)
30 Cleans (135/95)
20 Muscle-ups

I only made it through 10 cleans! Woof! Reminder of why I don’t sign up to do the Open in the winter.

Saturday – REST (and beach!)

Sunday – My CFE plan called for a 60 minute Tempo run @75%, but instead, I did the Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler + 2 Extra Training Miles (and beach again!) for a total of 12 miles.

Totals: Around 15 or 16 running miles, including two CFE WODS, and two CrossFit516 WODS.

NYC Marathon Training – Week 1

Since my decision to just start training last week was made, here is a re-cap of how I did in Week 1. Lots of room for improvement, like, oh, I don’t know…running!

Monday – Week started off on the right foot with an excruciating CrossFit516 WOD.

ripped. hands.

ripped. hands.

Tuesday – Ran 5K in the morning.

Wednesday – Travel day to Boston.

Thursday – CrossFit Variance WOD

CrossFit Variance

CrossFit Variance

Friday – We traveled to Highlands, NC for a wedding, so I did a hotel WOD.
7 rounds:
7 Burpees
7 Squats

Saturday – A lot of this in Asheville, NC…..

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 2.03.33 PM

Lexington Ave Brewing

Sunday – Travel back to Boston

Total Week 1 Mileage – 3.1!

Oops. I’m just getting going, and so far this week, I already have double that in the books.

I’m just getting this thing started!

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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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…