The Weeks in Workouts and Food 5/15-6/11

This is truly one of those ‘no news is good news’ situations.

I had been worried about my relatively low mileage the weeks after Broad Street Run and before the Brooklyn Half. We had a brief heat wave for a few days before the Half, which was very worrisome but kept my easy runs easy.

Mileage and running and food highlights from this month:

5/15-5/21: 21.9 miles, including a half marathon PR. Volunteered at the Brooklyn Half expo and had a great time. Went to Hey Hey Canteen twice and have now tried most of their menu.

   
 

5/22-5/28: 21.8 miles, including leading an 8 mile group run to Red Hook and not getting us lost. Had a strawberry matcha boba from The Boba Guys and it was heavenly. Tried a red velvet cake concrete from Shake Shack and had to put it in the freezer for the next day because it was so intense. Had Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles and the cucumber salads, which are my must-orders. Wow, I really need to take pictures of all my delicious food.

5/29-6/4: 12.4 miles, including 6.2 on my birthday 6/2. I ate a lot of amazing stuff this week, including pastrami from Ben’s Best in Rego Park, a Yelp Elite Event at Atlantic Social and some of Dale Talde’s amazing wings, AYCE hot pot, stuffed croissants from Union Fare, Ample Hills, and some of the many Momofuku Milk Bar and gummi treats my friends got me. Also, I saw Hamilton.

  

6/5-6/11: 17.7 miles, including a new 5K PR then a trip to Miami.

Easy miles during Open Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

New 5K PR time of 25:37 on the 7th aka Global Running Day. I’m now imagining what I could do with more even splits and without that first mile hill. 

I took it easy on the first mile, then decided to loosen up on the second, then see what I had left on the third. My previous 5K PR was 26:10 on the same course and I had a faster first mile there and a third mile at 7:55 which was my fastest mile ever in a race. 

Needless to say, seeing 7:40something was wild, especially since my recent mile PR was 7:19. I’m definitely gunning for my next mile time and 5Ks later this summer.

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In Miami the 8th-11th, we feasted. Had my new obsession, cuatro leches cake at a Cuban spot. Tried Haitian food. Had Cuban tacos from a stand after viewing murals in Wynnwood. Got the fried chicken, watermelon, and waffles at Yardbird. Went to da club. Got Vietnamese and Sri Lankan as my first meals back in NYC. East Coast Appetite, what can I say?

I also went on a humid 6 mile run along the South Beach and mid-beach boardwalk then got an açai bowl afterward.

   
    
 

Brooklyn Half 2017 Recap

Spoiler alert: I got a PR and did it under 2 hours with a time of 1:58:54.

I was hoping for more course photos but there were only a few of me from the finish from GameFace plus a couple more that teammates took along the way.

This was my 7th half marathon and my 3rd in 2017 (I did 3 in 2015 and 1 in 2016). My first was 2:10:08 and some along the way were during injures (Nike San Francisco Women’s Half Race Recap) or lower training periods where the race wasn’t a goal race (Weekly Mileage (and food) recaps 1/16 – 2/19) but I’m glad to finally be in the 1:50:00s.

Getting in the corrals:

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It’s definitely harder to write about this so many weeks later, but the splits tell the story. I held back a little up the hills but tried to keep a steady pace. My splits averaged out to be just about 9:09 or under and I knew I was on pace when I exited the park.

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I was still rolling on Ocean Parkway, even when the cheering crowds thinned out substantially. I was pretty sure I had a PR in the bag and sped up to lower 9 minute miles, then was able to drop below 9 for the final few miles. That last mile got to be painful but I felt like that meant I was doing it right. My struggle up the boardwalk was apparent and my final “0.2” was at an 8:23 pace.

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I collected my medal, got a bag with yellow Gatorade that I traded some dude for because he had blue Gatorade (best flavor). Then I tried to get my stuff. Well, turned out the truck with my stuff had broken down and it wasn’t there yet. They gave us heat sheets and vouchers for a free hot dog but eventually it pulled up so I could put my jacket on. Then the rain started, just as I finally pulled up to our club’s beach picnic.

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Relieved to finally get our bags

Eric photo

 

The Week in Workouts & Food 4/17 – 4/23

4/17: Rest and recuperation after my half marathon the day before. I slumped home after work then did my taxes. I should have foamed rolled while doing them.

4/18: Cafe Boulud with a friend. We saw Chef Boulud making the rounds to the VIP tables and I had a lovely conversation with the sommelier about young reds and fish pairings. Every dish was amazing. I had gone to Bar Boulud after the NYC Marathon and stuffed myself with oysters, cheese, and terrine. Cafe Boulud was a step above.

4/19: PureBarre in the AM and restorative yoga in the PM. I really wanted to get a few miles done in the evening but my left Achilles tendon was a bit tender. It started drizzling as I left yoga (which got out late), so that was even more impetus to skip. I’ve never done two classes in a day before, but this was the last day in my ClassPass cycle. I took my membership back down to 1 a month because 5 will be too much while I’m trying to increase the volume of my mileage more into the 20’s.

4/20: Speed Training, Week 2. I ran a hair over 2 miles to get to the meeting spot, another 2 mile warmup, then 3 1-mile repeats around tempo pace (8:54, 9:03, 8:39). My splits were super uneven because I took the second one too easy in the first 800, but my third was closer to my 5K pace. Then I jogged up the hill to get to a pizza party.

4/21: Rest day, as my Fridays almost always are.

4/22: I slept in past 8am (a first for many weekends) then had to hustle to bake Funfetti cookies for a baby shower, so I missed my opportunity for a shakeout run.

4/23: NYRR Run As One 4 Miler in Central Park. I DNS this race last year and haven’t raced a 4 Miler since the Japan Day Run almost a year ago (thanks to DNS Al Gordon in February), so I was pretty sure it was time for a 4-mile PR. My friend Jay who is normally in the E corral ahead of me generously offered to pace me. I didn’t have enough time to do a warm-up mile, so my first mile was really slow. I was hoping to get it at 9 but it was pretty congested going up Cat Hill. I let loose on the 2nd mile, then tried to rein it in just a bit on the 3rd mile. Then Jay helped me go all out on the 4th mile. For the last 800, I saw sub-7 on my watch. Very exciting stuff!

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Afterward, I waited for my friend who’s training for the Buffalo Marathon and we ran an extra 4 miles.

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Total: 16.9 miles plus yoga and barre.

Non-Race Workouts & Food 3/20 – 4/9

3/21: After running a PR in the NYC Half two days before, I did a few post-work recovery miles in LIC along the water, then met my friends for happy hour and a Cuban sandwich. General soreness and DOMS, but nothing too bad.

3/23: A couple easy miles to and from my friend’s place for catsitting.

3/24: I hosted my 3rd annual wine, cheese and charcuterie party, with the added bonus desserts of Cronuts, Nerds Jellybeans, and Peeps Oreos.

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Photo credit to Lori

3/25: Gaza 5K and Susan’s Goodbye. I ‘paced’ my roommate for here first ever 5K. It was a beautiful springish day. Turns out it was not a 5K, but a full loop of the park! But that’s ok because we had a great time and raised money for mental health services for Palestinian refugees.

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Photo Credit to Murray who won 1st Place Senior Male

I then added on a few extra miles after the race to say goodbye to a running club member the only way we know how: running and food. We ran to Bensonhurst to eat at Cafe Lily, which specializes in Korean-Uzbek food. We ate a feast and I got to take home some delicious kebab leftovers. I made the mistake of getting a huge taro bubble tea for the road and was so full it hurt. I’m wearing my favorite pair of tights ever, the cosmic dot print from Lululemon. These are more yoga/barre pants for me normally, but I wanted something festive.

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Photo credit to Jay

3/26-3/28: I had a sore throat on Saturday night, then got progressively more sick on Saturday. I’d hoped to do a medium run but skipped it. After a sleepless Sunday night, I had to miss work Monday. I finally obtained some Claritin D and felt much better but wisely took Tuesday off as well.

3/29: I went to Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time ever. The most popular times fill up super quickly on ClassPass, so my friend introduced me to Barry’s Buddies program where you get a free class for referring a friend (and the referee does as well).

We started on the floor for 10 minutes (that day was chest/back/abs), then 10 minutes on the treadmill for flat speed intervals. 10 minutes back on the floor, then 10 on the treadmill for hills. Then back to the floor for a quick 5 (my arms were dying), then a final 5 on the treadmill. I got up to about 8+ mph by the end but was afraid to take it fast because my form suffers. The treadmills were Woodways which were super nice (they also have those at Mile High Run Club).

Chaya is a semi-regular and is being coached by the instructor so we went back in after for a quick pic.

4/1: D.C. I finally got to try Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken but didn’t get to snap a photo of my beautiful Cherry Blossom decorated donut or my less attractive but delicious and juicy fried chicken. Or my gone in 30 seconds maple bacon donut.

After a couple of years of failing, we finally got to see the Kite Festival on a beautiful  spring day. Ro’s friends had bought an octopus kite that we named and flew for over an hour.



I had dinner at Nando’s which is the 3rd time in as many DC trips and now sort of a tradition. Macho peas and cheeky bants.

4/2: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile. Race report to come!

4/6: Spin at SYNC Studio again and Sweetgreen after. I got the Beets Don’t Kale my Vibe (sigh) bowl and it was amazing.

4/7: Finally went back to Rolf’s for drinks with my work team to take in the Christmas lights and belatedly celebrate a holiday birthday.

4/8: Storm King day trip. I had wanted to get a shakeout run in but just wasn’t feeling it. We walked over 6 miles and saw so many great pieces of art.


Prior, we had lunch at Brothers BBQ and I got the pulled pork sandwich when I read that they had North Carolina roots. It did not disappoint. The sauce had the right amount of vinegar, the cole slaw was plentiful, and my side of collard greens was full of ham.

4/9: UAE 10K. Race report to come!

My mileage wasn’t as high as I would have liked, but overall these were some fairly solid weeks of fitness and food.

NYC Half 2017 Recap

I started drafting this post immediately after the race (3pm from my couch, recuperating with bagels), but left the ‘Intro’ portion blank. It’s definitely hard to write about races (and running in general) sometimes when things don’t go exactly your way, but it’s time to push it out there anyway since I’ve officially done two races after the NYC Half anyway. And yes, my Mom noticed its absence. This will be woefully short on photos because my few MarathonFoto shots aren’t great.

Fun fact: This was my FIRST half marathon EVER in 2015. The 2017 iteration was my 6th half.

2015 Post-Race Elation

I went to the expo the day before fairly early and grabbed my shirt (long sleeve this year in a great bright blue) and bib. I had just stocked up on Gus at Jackrabbit during my Ghost 9 shopping spree, so didn’t need to linger too much. I did grab pre-made pace bracelets for 1:55 (ha! just saving for another time), 2:00, and 2:05. My A Goal: Sub 2:00, B Goal: Under 2:02:11 aka a new PR, C Goal: Under 2:05 just to prove that I was in fact in shape enough to get under 2 next time.

After a lot of hemming and hawing the night before on temperature, I chose to wear my Sugoi Subzero tights (rather than the Midzero ones, just in case we did get some flurries after all since they are somewhat more water resistant), my PPTC short-sleeve t-shirt, and my blue Lululemon Go the Distance jacket. I pinned my bib onto my pants since I wasn’t sure if I would end up keeping my jacket on the whole time. I knew not having the red shirt be super visible would make it harder for cheerers to spot me, but there are enough people out on the course that I wasn’t too worried. I also had a neat NYRR National Running Day buff that I was planning to wear around my neck but ended up using as an ear warmer/headband. The finishing touches were some sweet homemade arm warmers made of men’s socks from the pack I bought for the NYC Marathon last year as well as my beloved Lululemon Run With Me gloves, which were a Christmas gift from a Secret Santa friend.

I got to Central Park with more than enough time to spare before dropping my stuff off at bag check by 6:50AM. It was so cold before and at the start and I was very lucky that a teammate had some extra disposable hand warmers to slip into my gloves.

Miles 1 – 3: It took a full 2 miles for me to feel my toes. Cat Hill was over and done with pretty much immediately in the first mile, then you get to enjoy the rolling hills on the East side of the park. It was around here that I saw my first Golden Retriever of the morning and started counting dogs. According to NYRR, my time at the 5K was 29:00 exactly, but my watch was around 27:30 or so.

Miles 4 – 6: They had to change the course a little bit this year because of construction near the finish, so they added an up-and-down to 113th street during the out-and-back along 110th St. I hit the 10K in pretty good shape and realized that I had hit a new 10K PR of 57:42. Yay! I pulled my tube sock arm warmers out from under my jacket and tossed them into Central Park. My dog count ended unofficially at 50 dogs because I was losing my mental focus a bit around #40.

Miles 6-10: This section includes the exit from Central Park, the very surreal experience of running through down Broadway and through Times Square, then the move along 42nd St and down the West Side Highway. I got to see my teammate Brittany cheering at 50th St. which was such a nice boost.

I ate 2 salted margarita Shot Blocks around mile 8 and chased them with water. I saw the PPTC cheer squad around mile 9.5 and went in for much-needed high fives. Thanks, guys!

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Miles 10-12: These were the worst miles of the whole race but still faster than the frozen first mile. It’s not that the wheels fell off entirely, but my pace slowed, my feet were tired and my form suffered. I caught myself awkwardly straddling the main buckle in the road as I ran and couldn’t really seem to stay in a straight line on the crown of the road. My breathing never got raggedy, but I was worried that it would if I tried to push the pace. I had started just in front of the 2:00 pace group, then they passed me, then I passed them, but this is where they passed me for good and I knew I couldn’t keep up. My race plan had been to negative split to make up for the slower hills in the first half, but I couldn’t drop the hammer as much as I had wanted. I knew I was 40ish second off from 2:00 but it was just not happening.

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This face says it all

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Finally seeing the finish

Miles 12-13.1: Sweet relief! The tunnel felt great, if a little longer than before, but the uphill finish shredded me. My legs would just not move faster.  Final time of 2:00:49.

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Mile 7 through Times Square is way, way off

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In summary, I missed my A Goal got a sweet new PR. My 9:13 minutes per mile pace means that my best Half pace is now faster than my recorded NYRR paces for the 10 Mile, 10K, 5 Mile, and 4 Mile. Ok, so I haven’t raced as many of those, but this is still an exciting start to Spring 2017 racing season. I’m trying to race all of those at or below a 9 minute mile. But I did get a new PR and nabbed some unofficial 10 mile and 10K PRs during this race, so felt like it was a strong foundation.

New York City Marathon 2016 Recap

Well, I’m a marathoner now! As for the days leading up to the race, I had no doubts about my abilities to finish this. But I also knew anything could happen and that I should respect the distance. Between all the love and support and reading stories like this, I am very emotional. Disclaimer: I am even more emotional after the events of this week and delayed publishing this by a few days in an effort to start coming to terms with the election results.

As of writing this Tuesday, I am also very sore. I got a massage Monday which apparently might have been too soon and maybe I just made more micro-tears in my muscles. Whoops! It felt good, that’s for sure. Anyway, back to race day:

If you’re unfamiliar with the course, this is an excellent primer.

Getting to the start at Fort Wadsworth was an experience. I boarded the 8:15am ferry, which should have left me plenty of time after the shuttle buses dropped us off for my Wave 3 10:40am start. But there was bus traffic the whole way and what should have been a 10 minute ride (according to others who have done it before) took 40 minutes. Apparently an earlier ferry broke down. I made new friends on the ferry and while waiting for the bus who came from all over. It was so nice to talk the time away and not worry about the ticking clock. I scarfed down my strawberry Uncrustable (saw others were having PB&J and it had been 2 hours since my freezer waffles). By the time I hopped off the bus and used the bathroom, the corrals for my whole wave were about to close. I quickly shed my throwaway layers, then ran into a PPTC member who had run this before and calmed me down a lot. I didn’t feel ready, but I knew it was go time. I ate my honey stinger waffle slowly and got a picture.

Miles 1 & 2:

I knew I should take the Verrazano Bridge very slowly, and I did. You definitely don’t feel the incline because of the adrenaline, so I focused on taking in the views and not tripping over throwaway clothing. The fire boats were shooting out water and there was a rainbow! I was Orange, so we were on the left side of the bridge and did a neat little turnaround before entering 4th Avenue. Blue was on the right side of the bridge and had their own route, then Green was on the lower level and seemed to come up then over to their special route, as seen below from the NYT. 11:12 for mile 1 and 10:26 mile 2, enjoying that downhill a bit.

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Miles 3 – 6:

Bay Ridge was fun! I come down here sometimes for work or food, so I knew different stretches of the route. The crowds really started to come out and had some excellent signs. I saw a few PPTC people who ran past me and my pace was remaining steady with the same effort much closer to 11 minute miles than 10. I had hoped for more easy, breezy even 10:30’s like during my longest training run, but it seemed it wasn’t happening. I was afraid to push harder in case my body fell apart on the back half, so I reined it in. I untaped my pace bracelet for my A Goal time of 04:29 and threw it onto the median around mile 6. So long, A Goal! I had my first Gu of the day, Salted Watermelon around the 1 hour mark. Writing these down seems very important for any future marathon training I may do. This was a little later than usual but I figured the extra Honey Stinger waffle on top of the two-part breakfast had given me plenty.

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I THINK this photo is from Bay Ridge or going up 4th Avenue but I could be wrong

Mile 7 – 9:

The best running miles of my life! This stretch included seeing the first of my coworkers, then one of my besties, then the PPTC cheer zone, then finally my parents and roommate. I have no words left to describe how exciting this part of 4th was. Then we did the Flatbush to Lafayette turn around mile 8 and I was equally impressed by Fort Greene. The party had really started. I saw great costumes, another coworker, and enjoyed the music. I took these miles a little fast and then my GPS messed up and told me I had run a sub-8 mile through Lafayette. I was fast, but not that fast! My watch had been beeping a little ahead of the mile markers but this is where it started being behind and I didn’t even realize. NYRR says I did the 10K in 1:07:28. Gu #2 (the other Salted Watermelon).

 

Coming in for family hugs on 4th

Hi, Dad! Bye, Dad!


Mile 9 – 12:

I saw a few more people along Bedford (another coworker, old roommate who ran the marathon last year, and a team captain) then enjoyed the more quiet miles of Orthodox/Hasidic Williamsburg. I had a work assignment in this area the last few months that just ended on Halloween, so I’ve become more familiar with the area and the culture. There was still a fair amount of crowd support and the course was just chock full of Northern Europeans. I felt like I was surrounded by Swedes, Danes, and Germans. Then Williamsburg re-brought the party. I could actually smell the booze! I saw 2 lovely coworkers in Greenpoint before the Pulaski Bridge and was riding that high.

Miles 13 – 16:

The Pulaski Bridge was short and sweet, then we were met with a large crowd throughout Long Island City, where my main office is. It was so weird to see my work building then just keep running right by! Some friends were having their usual marathon party and I almost missed them because I couldn’t remember which side of the street they were on. I ended up making a beeline for them and coming in for a quick high five before zipping off again. Then the Queensboro Bridge happened. It was rough, to say the least. I still had dreams hitting my B Goal (4:30-4:45) and I hit the half in 2:23:01, which would make the tail end of that goal doable with a slight negative split. But the bridge ended that, as I chugged along at a 12 minute mile. Gu #3 (Strawberry Banana) was chased with water still.

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Maybe this was actually Marcus Garvey? Who knows!

Mile 17 – 19:

The Wall of Sound on 1st Avenue was no joke and I loved seeing the throngs of people five deep cheering for us. I, however, got totally confused about which mile I was on because of my GPS mishap and missed a couple of friends here. I sped up just a little bit but couldn’t get back under 11. I also chose to address my underboob chafing with some Vaseline. Unfortunately, they had run out of sticks so the medical volunteer just had to hand me a glob of it. No shame at this point and I smeared it where I needed. Gu #4 at the 3:20 mark, plus 2 shot blocks and some Gatorade at this point.

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Chugging along

Miles 20  & 21:

The Bronx was really short and sweet and people were out in droves, contrary to what I had heard. The guy running next to me (who I saw again toward the finish) was a local and kept welcoming all of us to the BX. Also, it is just wild to me that we take such a detour around the Western Beef supermarket. I’m glad the afore-linked NYT article mentioned it because it was so confusing. Then right before the bridge, a lady had a great sign that said LAST DAMN BRIDGE. And yes, it was.

Miles 22-24:

All aboard the pain train! Actually, it wasn’t so bad at first. I got another Vaseline stick and swabbed myself on 5th Avenue, then we went around Marcus Garvey Park, which looked autumnal and lovely. I was apparently shuffling along in the 11:40’s here and had a great butt slapping hello with my friend Allison in the upper 120’s. Then I ate half a banana since I had taken my final Gu (Salted Caramel, which has a little more caffeine, though not as much as the Caramel Macchiato I meant to take) at the 4 hour mark. Then somewhere around mile 23 marker (my watch was still behind), I got a nasty side stitch on my right side. I tried to keep jogging through it, but it brought me down. The worst grimacey photos are from this point, but my friend Brittany hopped in and gave me water and talked me through it. She reminded me how to stretch and breathe then sent me into Central Park with a smile on my face, ready to run down Cat Hill and make the finish in under 5 hours (C Goal!).

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Brittany walked and talked me through my side cramp

Miles 25 + 26 + 0.2:

The last two miles were a magical blur, full of spectators and my last wind. I chugged a final shot of Gatorade just to get me through the finish and managed to pick up my pace on 59th St. I passed a couple teammates but couldn’t really form sentences any more. I remember seeing the ‘800 meters to go’ sign and being excited, then feeling crestfallen when I realized just how far that was. Bronx guy was with me here and yelled out the sign, but it wasn’t enough. I pushed so hard just to get under a 10 minute mile then sprint in the finish, arms raised and feeling triumphant.

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Then the epic shuffle to retrieve our medal, apple (yum), heat sheet, goodie bags with snacks, and finally the exit poncho. I pulled my phone out of the Ziploc bag and turned off airplane mode since I hadn’t turned it on to listen to music even once because I never needed it. The energy of the race was more than enough to get me through the tough parts). I tried to answer the many texts and WhatsApp messages I got and let my family know I was alive and heading to the reunion point. My walk speed was actually pretty quick and I tried to get out of the park as fast as I could while thanking all the volunteers. I entered the reunion school and got applause and cheers like a rockstar. Instead of chocolate milk, I was handed some delicious hot chocolate by a volunteer  and grabbed some Milk Duds thanks to my Dad. After wiping down and changing and a mini photo shoot, we went to Bar Boulud for an amazing post-race meal. After a long cab ride back to Brooklyn, I tried to facebook and instagram a quick post before bed at 8:38PM.



Overall reflections:

The crowds make this race. I mainly mean the million + people cheering us on, but I do also mean the runners themselves. Everyone I talked to, smiled at, or otherwise wasn’t elbowed by (there were a few of those but most were apologetic) was so thrilled to be running this race. It was really something special to run through all 5 boroughs of this city I love and have called home for over 6 years. NYC is the place I’ve lived longest in my adult life and that is for many reasons, but the people are overwhelmingly the biggest one.

I brought too much nutrition with me. Fortunately my pockets were huge (thank you, Lululemon Speed Track Shorts), so my leftover Shot Blocks and extra Gus will be used in the future.

I feel very sure about my decision to not run another marathon until 2018 at the earliest. I’m looking forward to a leisurely summer and fall next year, where I can sleep in past 8am on weekends and not plan my vacations around my long runs. I also hope to get faster with the help of more speed work, and plan to try my hand at more shorter distance races that I didn’t want to risk this training cycle. I would hope that I could try a higher mileage plan for an future marathons and honestly, the thought of it right now is a bit much. I’ll probably end up doing the 9+1 in 2017 just so I have the NYC option open to me in 2018, but would of course consider other full marathons. My only definite 2017 races (barring injury) are the Philadelphia Broad Street Run (deferred entry from last year) and the Richmond Half Marathon.

Week 11 of NYC Marathon Training

Monday 9/26: I got back from Cancun on Sunday the 25th and had smartly taken the day off on Monday. Since I didn’t do a run Sunday (or Thursday), my legs were a little eager to go. I slept in (until 8am) but lazed around all morning and didn’t get going until after noon. 4.3 total, slightly faster than I needed to go and slightly warmer than I expected.

Tuesday 9/27: 6 miles even (1 mile to the park, 3.5 miles tempo, .3 miles to friend’s place to get throwaway clothes, then 1.2 miles home) but my watch died at 4.8.

Wednesday 9/28: Taco Run with PPTC. Ran to the park and meeting place for 2 miles, then most of a loop and down to the Tacos El Bronco truck. Got lengua, al pastor, and chorizo tacos ($1.75 each) plus a pineapple Jarritos. I was so hungry I didn’t even take a picture. 6.7 miles at a conversational pace.

I came home and finally tried to sign up for the Bay Ridge Half, a race I had been thinking about doing for weeks (months?). I knew I’d have either an 18 mile long run or a half to race this weekend and figured the flat course here would be nicer than Grete’s Gallop the next day if I was going for a PR. So of course the link was no longer active! Fortunately they corrected it within the hour so I was able to sign up.

Thursday 9/29: Off day. Packet pickup for the Bay Ridge Half after I inhaled some goat curry roti from the Bronx, then beer and nachos at a friend’s birthday.

Friday: Personal Day off work and off day from activity unless you count traipsing around the Met Breuer and (regular) Met. It was raining outside all day, so I’m glad I skipped what would have been a nasty shakeout run. This was an amazing food day, with Pastrami Queen for lunch and Korean fried chicken and cheese ddukkbokki for dinner. I also had a single pumpkin beer at a friend’s birthday before dinner. I walked several miles this day in my Frye boots and tights and they began to rub against a tender spot near my left ankle.

Saturday: Race day.

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Pre-race teammate post

My plan was to aim for straight 9:30s and see how I felt at mile 10. I hadn’t actually raced a half since Brooklyn 2015 (since I was super injured for Nike Women SF) and I went back to look at those splits (pre-Garmin 220). I had trouble with the rain and maintaining my pace back then, so I wanted to do better here. Ideally, my A+ goal would be to go sub-2 but I knew that 9:10 even splits were just not possible at this point in the game.

I did a nice, easy warm-up mile since NYRR Virtual Trainer said I should hit 14 miles total for the day.

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I stayed pretty consistent, though definitely got too excited at mile 4, then too slow for some reason at mile 7. I took a caffeinated PowerGel slowly from miles 6-8, then a couple Honey Stinger chews at mile 10. They had blue Gatorade but I just sipped my own water then took some of theirs when I was running low.

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I knew I was going to hit my sub-2:04 goal, so I felt amazing coming in. I was flagging a bit the last 2 miles but got my kicks the last 0.5 miles by passing a ton of people and hitting that sub-9 mile.

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Final time of 2:02:11 and a smile on my face. I input my time into Virtual Trainer, knowing it was faster than the predicted range and my expected marathon time range shot up by 10 minutes. Easy there slugger, you might say to me. I’m trying to keep my full NYCM expectations in check. With just 5 weeks to go, I am still just delighted my training has gone so well, but I still want to make sure to respect the distance.

I made it to the Grub Street Food Festival and chowed down on fried mac & cheese bites, a chicken and bacon cheddar waffle sandwich, and Taiwanese/Japanese wheel cakes.



Sunday 10/2: Recovery run shuffle. The plan was 1 mile each to JackRabbit and back because I needed compression socks and a new non-handheld water bottle. I was halfway to JackRabbit when I realized they might not be open yet. Stopped to check Yelp and sure enough, they wouldn’t open for another 30 minutes. Rather than scrap the run, I added on extra mileage to and just into the park, then when it was 10:54, I scrambled around the surrounding blocks. I then watched football (HTTR, phew) and drank 3 different pumpkin beers. 3.7 miles total.

Total: 34.8 miles out of a recommended 34. It felt weird not doing 18 miles as my log run, so I’m glad I did the recovery the day after.