Category Archives: NYRR

Too Hot to Trot, Soccer and a Royal Run

Oh gosh – is it really Monday already? How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was good. We had one last weekend in the city before we spend almost the next full month traveling every weekend.

When I posted last, I had just finished up the American Heart Association Wall Street Run & Heart Walk and here is a group shot of my work team:

On Friday I was busy, but not overwhelmed at work and then Hubby and I  just hung out on Friday night – very low-key. I wanted to get up super early on Saturday for a long run. However, I could not seem to get myself out of bed until about 8:30 and then I didn’t make it out for a run until 9:30 a.m. and that was just way too late given the heat and humidity. I had planned to do a 7-9 mile run, but ended up calling it quits after only 5 miles at a very slow pace. :-(

On Saturday afternoon we headed to a local dive bar to watch The World Cup game and were so saddened when they lost. Hubby really loves soccer and was super bummed. So we got some late-afternoon ice-cream to help cheer us both up.

Then on Sunday, it was time for me to volunteer. I had signed up to volunteer at the Achilles Run for Hope & Possibility a while back. I was assigned to be a Course Marshal on the UES. I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect. I had no reason to worry though, the NYRR organizers were really great and explained exactly what I needed to do. I also have a new respect and understanding for the marshals who try to get people to stay within the coned area. I wasn’t one of the really stringent marshals though. I understood when people were trying to work their way up a bit and needed to go around to the outside to do that.

What was amazing though, was seeing so many disabled runners and walkers competing in this event. They were absolutely inspirational and so many of them thanked me for volunteering, when really I felt like I needed to thank them! I just kept watching as more and more amazing people came by. I guess I was so in awe of these runners and walkers, that I totally overlooked when Prince Harry either ran or walked by! At one point early on, I saw some cameras out in front of someone and another camera man running to catch up, but I really didn’t think too much about it because there were so many amazing runners out there. I just figured a news crew had the smarts to capture this race and one of the exceptional runners on camera. But most likely, that was probably good old Harry going by me.

source

Anyway – it was a great experience and I’m glad I chose that race to volunteer at. I know that most people do the volunteering thing so they can qualify for the NYC Marathon as part of the NYRR 9+1 program, and I might be going that route as well, but I think even if you aren’t trying to run the marathon, you should consider volunteering once or twice a year. It really did give me a new appreciation of all the volunteers and the work that goes into coordinating a race.

So that’s all for today folks – have a great Monday!!

America Heart Association Wall Street 3 Mile Run

It’s Friday!!! Yippee! This week went by pretty fast for me, but I am still thrilled that the weekend is finally here. I am soo far behind on all my favorite blogs – I have some major catching up to do.

So last night after a busy day in the office, filled with about 4 hours of meetings and more fun, I decided it was a good idea to run a race in the near 90 degree weather. Yeah it was really gross out.

About eight of us from the office signed up for the American Heart Association Wall Street 3 mile run/walk, which started at 6:45 p.m. We took a team photo and then the walkers and runners were split up. We lined up at the Start, well actually quite a ways from the start, but we could see it.

When the race started, as usual, it took a while to get to the actual start. Then the weaving and avoiding people began. There were soo many people and so many people who started walking within the first mile of the race. I had to run up on the edges on the sidewalks for a while and try to avoid people walk or stopping abruptly – all within the tight confines of the downtown streets. By mile two things started to get a little clearer, but it was still pretty frustrating.

Between the heat/humidity and the crowd, I can say that it was not a great run. It was different to run downtown instead of Central Park, but not the most conducive for running.

My overall finishing time was 24:23. Blah!

After the race, I walked with two of my co-workers from the downtown finish up to 14th Street and then crossed over to the east side and hopped on the 4/5 at Union Square. I got home around 9 p.m. and was starving! After eating some leftover pasta and showering I headed straight to bed.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I think the NYC heat and humidity is finally supposed to break a bit!

Who’s Staying in a Castle – We Are!!

Hi all – Happy Thursday – how is your week going? The forecast in NYC says it’s going to be around 90-93 degrees today! Craziness. Does anyone remember last June and how totally different it was from this year? Last June it rained almost every day of the month! What a difference a year makes, right?

Today after work I’m running the American Heart Associations Wall Street Run and Walk. It’s only three miles, but I thought it would be kind of cool to run a race down here where I work. Then a few co-workers and I might jog up the West side to about 14th Street. That is if the weather holds out and it doesn’t pour on us.

I started of yesterday with a breakfast of oatmeal with frozen fruit.

Then I got to work and my camera battery died, so no lunch or afternoon snack pictures.

After work I picked up my race packet at the NYRR’s on 89th Street and then headed home to get into the air conditioning. Yesterday was pretty brutal as well.

For dinner last night I made a boat load of pasta – so I have some leftovers for lunch today. I wanted to keep it light, so I just added some veggies and sprinkled with some Italian salad dressing.

Multi-grain pasta with grape tomatoes, corn, peas, walnuts, raisins and cheddar cheese.

However, the highlight of yesterday was definitely when I booked us a room in a castle in Ireland!! Our trip is at the end of August and our last night there will be in a castle. I may not want to leave!! I’m so excited. We’re really starting to get into planning now. I’m a huge planner and want to have our hotels and B&Bs booked in the near future. But other people have told me that we don’t need to book our B&Bs in advance and should really only worry about finding rooms in Dublin. I just don’t think  I can go that route – I’ve got to have it out planned out and set.

BTW – if anyone knows of any great B&Bs in the following cities in Ireland, let me know! Kilkenny, Kinsale, Killarney and Galway.

Have a great Thursday all – hurray for tomorrow being Friday!!

Finish

Father’s Day 5-Mile Prostate Cancer Race Recap

Good afternoon all – happy Sunday and Happy Father’s Day! Love you Daddy!

How is your father’s day going? Mine started bright and early this morning with a race in Central Park – The Father’s Day Prostate Cancer 5-mile Run. The last time I ran a 5-mile race was in early January and the race conditioners were 100% different than today. The race started at 8:30 a.m. and in all honesty, I wish it had started a lot earlier. The heat and humidity were intolerable! Here was my race-day appearance.


It was already 80 degrees by the time I headed out of the house. I jogged to the start, hit the porta-potty and found my corral. As I stood in the corral waiting for the start, I began to think that this wasn’t going to be my best race. And I was right.

The race began and already I felt like I was struggling. We headed north along the West Drive and man did that first mile take forever. I kept checking my Garmin and being amazed by how little I had run. We hit the first mile marker and I managed to pick it up a bit from mile 1 to mile 2, but it hurt.

I struggled up all the hills and my breathing was a lot more labored than usual. Plus, choosing to wear a hat to shield my eyes also ended up making me hotter, I think. As we reached the third mile marker I hit up the fluid station for a much-needed guzzle of water.

From mile three to mile four I struggled again and watched the mileage slowly tick by on my watch. Finally we hit mile four and I knew there was only one to go, but man was I feeling it. The heat, the humidity, the crowd – it was all taking its toll.

Finally I spotted the finish area up ahead, but it was really a struggle to get to the end. I did not kick it in like usual – I basically threw myself over the finish in pure exhaustion. Here are my stats:

Mile 1 – 7:59
Mile 2 – 7:40
Mile 3 – 8:07
Mile 4 – 7:59
Mile 5 – 7:58

Total mileage: 5.06 miles in 40:12

So technically, this was a PR for me at this distance, but I ran the 10k in April much, much faster – so I’m not totally satisfied with these results. However, I have no one to blame by myself. Since the Pocono Marathon in May, I’ve enjoyed quite a running hiatus, so I am not in great shape right now. I’ve got some major work to do before the Boilermaker 15k in July.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

First Post Marathon Run!

Well all, I finally did it! I ran my first post-marathon run last night after work. The weather was perfect – about 70 degrees and sunny. I set out just after I got home  and my overall feeling is: I should not have taken a complete 100% break from exercise for 3 weeks. :-/ Duh, right?

My initial reaction when I first started running was – Wow this feels so great! And in truth, the entire run felt really great overall, but I can tell that I’ve lost some of my cardiovascular strength and endurance and maybe a little speed. I think a break from running was definitely needed for me, but I wish I had been doing some other cardio exercises, such as using the eliptical or biking.

My next race is the 15k Boilermaker in Utica, NY on July11th and I feel like I have some training to do. Anyway – here are my stats from my run:

Mile 1 – 8:14
Mile 2 – 8:14
Mile 3 – 8:34
Mile 4 – 8:28
.5 – 4:12

Total mileage – 4.5 miles in 37:44. Average pace – 8:22 minute mile.

So it wasn’t terrible, but I definitely felt like I was working, whereas before the marathon, those split times might have felt pretty comfortable. And my toe felt completely fine!! YAYA!

I am considering running the Women’s mini 10K this Saturday in Central Park, and possibly the 5 mile NYRR races the next two weekends, but I haven’t completely decided yet. I think racing a bit would help me increase my speed for the Boilermaker – my goal time is under 1:17:00!!

In other good news – I was selected to participate in my work’s Leadership Development Program!! Only 16 people from the entire company (over 1,900 employees) are picked each year to participate in this 5 month program. The America Management Association comes in and hosts 2-day classes once a month for 4 months, we do assessments, and get career coaching and guidance. The official announcement went out yesterday and I’m so excited!

It’s nice to be selected for something like this, especially after I’ve poured so much into some of my recent projects.

I’m skipping my meal recaps for the past two days. They weren’t all that exciting. Except for perhaps the use of this on my English muffin the other morning:

Mmm I love PB&Co.’s peanut butters, but I was reluctant to try this one. Something about the cinnamon with the peanut butter sounded less than appealing to me. But my mom had this PB at her house and I was kind of forced to try it a few months ago and fell in love. So she gave me a jar as a gift the last time I stopped home. Thanks Momma! I also think I need to make a trip to their sandwich shop in NYC – located in Greenwich Village. :-) Which may just be the mecca for PB lovers like myself. Plus I like that this PB is all natural and the company uses “packaging and sales materials are 100% recyclable, and start with recycled materials whenever possible.”

P.S. – I’ve also decided to run The Sun Half Marathon, that is in conjunction with the Bay State Marathon that my friend Lauren is running in October. If you remember – she is trying to qualify for Boston so we can run it together next April. The half marathoners start with the marathoners and run with them for about 3 miles, so I’ll get to help her start and find a good pace to ensure she gets that BQ!! Anyone else running that marathon or half marathon? It’s supposed to be a pretty flat and fast course for anyone out there trying to BQ!

What races do you have lined up for the summer and fall?!

Running in the Rain: Half Marathon and 20-Mile Run

Happy Sunday all! I am going to make this a short and quick post since I’m sort of tired. Last night I attended the More-Fitness Magazine Half Marathon Pasta Party, where I met up with my cousin-in-law and a few of her friends. I’m usually not one to sign up for these parties and I was reminded of why last night. The food was pretty generic and unimpressive, but I didn’t go into it expecting a gourmet meal. Still, they could bring it up a notch next year. Although if I run the race next year, I will most certainly not be attending the pasta party, so it really doesn’t matter to me in the end.

Anyway – sorry for the tangent. It was good to catch up with my cousin a bit and talk about the upcoming race – and the terrible weather predicted. Everyone there seemed pretty optimistic that the rain would hold off, but I did not share their sentiments. My cousin actually brought down my light rain jacket with her – that’s how non-optimistic I was.

I stopped at the store on my way home from the pasta dinner and besides a bunch of healthy stuff, I also bought some Tostitos Hint of Lime chips – they are an addiction. So I snacked on a few of those before bed because the dinner hadn’t really filled me up.

I headed to bed around 10:00 p.m. and was up by 6:00 a.m. this morning (Sunday). I had my normal pre-run breakfast of an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana, as well as a granola bar and a big glass of water. I grabbed my Garmin as I headed out the door at 7:15.

I decided to catch a cab to the start since it was indeed RAINING when I left. And I’m not talking a sprinkle here and there. It was rain. As I tried to hail a cab, a girl in running gear came up right next to me. She asked if I wanted to share one to the start and I said heck yes! Apparently, she lives in the building right next to me – who knew?!

Made it to the start and decided to huddle under a tree until the very last minute in order to avoid the direct rain. I also noticed pretty quickly that my race bib had me placed in THE FIRST CORRAL!! What is that?!! My time on my bib said 7:49 as my expected pace and I did not think that would place me in the first section. Being the chicken that I am, I opted to line-up in the 2,000 corral, a few back from the start. We all huddled in the corrals for what seemed an inordinate amount of time and then finally we started.

And it was WET! This was a whole new kind of wet I’ve never in my life experienced. I was optimistic about the power of my waterproof rain jacket for the first 2 miles or so, but then slowly felt the wetness seeping in.

Oh oops – totally forgot to mention the BIGGEST bummer of the day…and no it wasn’t even the rain. My Garmin froze. Yup – totally froze at 7:04 a.m. apparently. I was pushing buttons like a crazy woman while lining up at the start, but finally just gave up and decided to wing it. After Googling the issue when I got home later, I learned I needed to hold the Start and Reset buttons down at the same time for about 10 seconds. I had tried holding them both down, but for only a few seconds. So this presented a HUGE problem. Yes, I wouldn’t be able to track my speed during the race, but I also needed to run extra after the race to get in my last 20+ run for training. I did a few mental calculations and planned out a route I thought might work.

So, back to the race. It began, it was raining hard, and I was Garmin-less. Sounds like a worst-case scenario right? Well yes, it was, but I also just decided to run whatever pace I felt comfortable with. The first few miles were really rough. My body wasn’t warmed up, but my clothes were getting soaked and it was making for a very uncomfortable run. Finally, by about mile five I was sufficiently warmed up and used to the rain (as used to it as one can get).

I made it around 1 loop and was even feeling pretty happy when the rain cleared a bit and it was only drizzling slightly. That was short-lived when it started raining hard again around mile 9 just as I was approaching the big hill on West side near 110 Street. Fun. Around this time, we also started passing the walkers, which meant I was basically running in the center of the drive the whole time – a.k.a. running more than required. Awesome.

But I’m making this sound horrible. Despite the rain, the cold, the lack of Garmin and the extra mileage, it was actually a good race for me. In fact, I PR-ed. Haha! My official finish time was 1:46:00!! That is about 3 minutes faster than my half marathon in January. Average pace was 8:05 minute mile and I came in 168 place overall. So maybe my bib number wasn’t all that far off?

Yeah – go figure, I ran my best in the worst of conditions. I can’t explain it.

So after I crossed the finish and marveled at the fact that they announced my name even without my racing bib on display (those sly NYRR officiators are so quick), I grabbed a gatorade and water and washed down a Gu I’d had in my pocket throughout the run. I paused for a moment and argued with myself about continuing the rest of my long run or calling it quits and heading home (I sooo wanted to go home). But guilt and fear won out (afraid I wouldn’t be prepared for the marathon) and I trudged on. I headed West out of the 72nd Transverse and then headed South again to do another loop. The funny part was that I was mixed in with runners and walkers still racing. This also served as incentive to keep running since I was being cheered on (I know I’m such a liar) and I figured that these other racers were going to be in the rain for the same amount of time as me, so if they could stand it – so could I.

I did another loop and then turned into the 72nd Transverse from the West side and headed North up the East side. I left the park around 85th and made a bee-line for home. Walking indoors out of the rain felt amazing – everything I’d dreamt it would be and more. I later used mapmyrun to determine how far I’d run and it was 21.3 miles! I was hoping to get to 22 this time around, but I will happily take 21.

Here are a few photos of my state after this wretched run:

See Hubby – look at my superlow Bib number!!

And my nasty socks and leg – those socks used to be white.

I literally stripped at the front door and immediately jumped in the shower. My legs were screaming for a good stretch, but I had to get rid of all the mud and muck first. After my quick shower I gave my legs what they were begging for and stretched really well – also including some rolling with my marathon stick.

Since then, I’ve snacked on this:

Chobani with granola

And some carrots, grape tomatoes, hummus, cheese and grilled chicken breast.

I also ate quite a few Hint of Lime Tostitos as well. And Hubby and I just finished watching The Blind Side and I loved it!! So cute.

Anyway, this has turned into a super long post. But I am very happy that my last 20+ run is finally done and I didn’t skimp out on it like I soooo wanted to! Yay for determination and perseverance despite ALL ODDS!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend. What was the best part of yours? Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Scotland 10k and 13 Miles Recap

Happy Easter all! We’re about to head to church right now, but I wanted to do a quick recap of the Scotland 10k Run yesterday and my 13 mile run.

I ate my normal pre-run breakfast – English muffin with peanut butter and banana and a big glass of water. I headed out of the house around 9:15 a.m. to get to the start on the west side around 65th street. Last week’s 15k race was surprisingly calm and uncrowded, so when I got to the start area I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of people there. I found my corral, which was a ways back – I was in the 5,000 corral and it was packed. I was so far from the start that I could barely hear the starting announcements.

The race started and it took me a solid 10 minutes to actually reach the start. From there it became all about trying to get around people and keep up my pace. I had decided that I wanted to try to race for time, so I was getting frustrated by how trapped I felt.

The first mile flew by. I had never run the reverse route of Central Park, so it was kind of hard to gauge where I was. Mile two and three went by quickly, but then came the big hill. While trying to get around other runners I slightly twisted my ankle, but was able to keep going.

At mile 4 I heard my husband calling to me and saw him on the right side of the course waving and cheering. I was so excited that I sped up a bit.

Mile 5 felt okay, but from 5 to 6 I started feeling some pain. The last .2 of this race seemed to take forever! Once we hit the six mile mark we had to go up a slight hill that felt like a mountain. And finally it was all over!

All in all, it was a decent race for me. I felt like I was running pretty hard and was happy with my final time, which was a personal record (but having never run at 10k before, a PR was guaranteed). Here are my stats from the race and then my additional 6 miles afterwards:

Mile 1 – 7:55
Mile 2 – 7:36
Mile 3 – 7:29
Mile 4 – 7:52
Mile 5 – 7:35
Mile 6 – 7:47
Mile 7 – 11:04 (finished the race and stopped for some gatorade)
Mile 8 – 9:51
Mile 9 – 10:15
Mile 10 – 9:25
Mile 11 – 9:10
Mile 12 – 9:28

Total mileage was 12.01 (plus 1 mile jog to the start for 13 miles) in 1:45:38. Average pace was 8:47 minute mile.

I felt okay during the race, but was exhausted afterwards. My last 6 miles after the race were much slower and really tough. My final time for the Scotland 10k was 48:32 and my average pace was 7:49. Yay to a great PR!!

Ok – we’re off to church. We had a great celebratory dinner last night which I’ll post about either later today or tomorrow. For now – everyone have a great Sunday!

A Bad April Fool’s Joke

Good morning all – happy Friday! How are you all today? I’m doing okay – dealing with a little work stress, but trying to figure it out.

So confession time – the Hubby and I played a bad April Fool’s joke yesterday. But for the record, it was totally his idea and plan. I may have posted on Facebook last night that I was “due in October and marathon training was over.” :-) Oh and the comments came flying in. Again – totally Bill’s idea, I just went along for the ride. But he made me post it on my FB page because it would be more “believable.”

Some people believed it and others called our April Fool’s bluff. So then Hubby downloads a picture of a positive pregnancy test from Google images and posts it on my page! And then I think more people were on the believing end. Our phones were ringing, we were getting text messages – things were getting crazy.

Finally, at about 10 p.m. I couldn’t take it anymore and I let everyone know the jig was up. The thought of going to bed with that big fat lie circling around was stressing me out and I was terrified I would wake up to my mother calling and screaming at me for not telling her first.

So phew – that joke is done and I don’t know if I’ll ever play another April Fool’s prank again. The things my crazy husband gets me in to. He is pretty darn proud of that joke though.

Did you play any April Fool’s jokes yesterday?

My co-worker also almost got me with the one about the Boston Marathon qualifying times being bumped up by 10 minutes. A momentary wave of panic swept my body and I’m pretty sure I started sweating, but then I screamed out “it’s an April Fool’s right?!!” And yes it is, but she was fooled by it!

Breakfast yesterday was some creamy and delicious oatmeal with banana and peanut butter.

Lunch for Thursday was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on an Arnold Sandwich Thin.

Afternoon snacks were unpictured, but they were Chobani with Kashi Go Lean and a small bag of walnuts and raisins.

After work, but before the Facebook fiasco, I went for a 6 mile run on the East River Promenade. It was much windier than I anticipated. Here are my stats from the run:

Mile 1 – 7:35
Mile 2 – 7:56
Mile 3 – 8:23
Mile 4 – 8:03
Mile 5 – 8:21
Mile 6 – 8:36

Total mileage – 6.04 miles in 49:18. Average pace was 8:09 minute mile.

I was running most of that at a good clip, but not too far off from what pace I’d need to run the entire May marathon. That idea scares me a bit. Can I sustain for that long at that pace?

For any Boston Marathon qualifiers out there – how the heck did you do it?!!

After my run, the Hubby concocted our April Fool’s prank and I made myself a yummy dinner of a fried egg with cheese on an Arnold’s Thin with a side salad.

Then for dessert I had an apple with peanut butter.

I certainly had quite the peanut butter-filled day. It played a role in my breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m sorry, but I just love me some peanut butter!

And that’s all folks! Tomorrow is the Scotland Run 10k race and it’s supposed to be gorgeous out. Yipee!! And I’m going to try to post a few reviews this weekend as well. Have a great Friday and weekend!

Breaking in My New Sneaks

Good morning all – happy Thursday! This week is almost over – hurray. My week is flying by – how about yours?

Wednesday morning’s breakfast was a big bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal with almond milk and a side of cranberry juice.

On Wednesday morning I decided to move my medium 8-mile run up from Thursday night to Wednesday night, so I planned my lunch accordingly – a.k.a. – no salad (after last week’s miserable run).

So lunch yesterday was some leftover pasta with meat sauce. I needed some carbs to fuel my after-work run.

Then my afternoon snacks included a Chobani yogurt with Kashi Go Lean cereal and an apple pie Larabar.

After work I headed home to change for my run. When I trained for my marathon in October 2009, I went through two pairs of sneakers. About halfway through my training I switched to a new pair, but by the time I actually ran the marathon, I felt like they were pretty worn out.

So for this marathon I bought two pairs again (I wear Asics Gel Cumulus 11 – which is an older model and I’m not sure they are making it anymore – sadness) and decided to wait a little bit longer into my training to switch to the new pair. I started wearing them for the first time on Monday.

For all you marathoners out there – do you “run through” your sneakers quickly? I know it might be all in my head that I need to switch, but for some reason it makes me feel like it helps. Like there’s more spring in my step.

I donned my new sneaks and headed out to Central Park. Here are my stats from the run:

Mile 1 – 8:51
Mile 2 – 8:05
Mile 3 – 7:58
mile 4 – 8:18
Mile 5 – 7:58
mile 6 – 8:08
Mile 7 – 8:12
Mile 8 – 8:47

Total mileage – 8.02 miles in 1:06:30. Average pace – 8:17 minute mile

Not too bad, but I definitely felt a little heavy. Part of me wanted to blame it on my new heavy sneaks that haven’t been worn away at all yet, but more likely it’s probably just me. :-)

After my run I made Hubby and I some BBQ chicken with a side salad for dinner.

And then for dessert I finished off the strawberries. I’m always so afraid that some fruits will go bad before I have a chance to eat them. And I love strawberries so much that I was not about to let that happen.

They look pretty fabulous right? :-) I have to be honest and tell you that I’m totally a “berry girl.” The berries are my favorite fruits – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. Seriously – I doubt there is a berry out there that I wouldn’t love.

And then there’s the Hubby that is totally anti-berry! How funny right? What about you – are you a berry lover? I might have a slight obsession.

Tonight will be a 6-mile run and then tomorrow is a rest day because I’m running another race this weekend – The Scotland Run 10k on Saturday in Central Park. The good thing  is that I’ve never run a 10k before, so no matter what I’m going to get a PR! I’m trying to decide how fast I want to run this. I have to run a total of 13 miles on Saturday, which means another 7 miles after finishing the race. I may just go all out! I think I’ll decide the day of, based on how I’m feeling. Anyone else in the city running this race?

Alright all – have a great Thursday – tomorrow’s Friday!!

Excellent 18 Miles & Race Recap

Good morning all. Sorry for my brief hiatus, but this weekend was pretty busy and tiring. But good at the same time! How was your weekend? I have minimal photos to share from the weekend – apparently snapping pics was not my priority.

Friday night was low-key – the Hubby and I ordered pizza and watched Inglourious Basterds. Gotta say – not a fan of this movie. Has anyone else seen it – did you like it? Maybe I just didn’t get it, but I wasn’t impressed.

Saturday was busy with laundry and cleaning and then visiting with my old boss, who just had a baby. The baby, Julia, was the cutest thing ever. She is a little peanut.

Saturday night I made a nice pre-race dinner of chicken with rice.

I ate a big mound of rice. One of my fastest runs lately was fueled by rice, rather than pasta – so I figured I’d give it another shot. What carb do you prefer to fuel with?

Sunday morning I was up early – about 8:00 a.m., but the Colon Cancer 15k Challenge wasn’t scheduled to start until 11:15 – holy late! I am used to my long runs always starting at 8 a.m., so it was hard for me to sit around and wait. I tried to make sure I didn’t eat too early. I had my usual English muffin with peanut butter and banana, two big glasses of water and a granola bar. Finally around 10:30 a.m., I headed out to meet Liz and Katherine for a slow jog over to the start.  

We worked our way over to main area, hit up the bathrooms quickly (no lines!) and then headed to our corrals. Katherine was placed into a faster corral, one ahead of Liz and me, so she came back into ours. We talked times and tried to figure out how fast we wanted to run, but that all went out the window once the race started.

Our first mile was at a very manageable and reasonable pace, but after that things started to really pick up. Liz and I managed to stick together throughout the whole race, which is always a difficult thing. Around mile 5-6, I realized that we were still running pretty fast, with no signs of slowing. So I decided to just go with it – even though I knew my long run afterwards might be a bit painful.

We ran two of the 5-mile loops in Central Park, cutting off the very top north portion of the outerloop – a.k.a – the section with the ginormous unbearable hill. I was happy to avoid that area, but we still had to run the East Side hill (from about 72-79) twice. Not fun.

Once we entered the finish area and I saw on my Garmin that I was somewhat close to beating my PR, I pushed it full speed ahead and flew through the finish. Alas, I was a few seconds off. My PR (from the 2009 Boilermaker) was 1:17:03. My final time for this race was 1:17:15. Oh so very close! Still – I had no intention of running that fast, so I’m very happy with that time. 

After the race, I grabbed a quick drink, celebrated a bit with Liz  and then headed out to finish up the last 9 miles of my long run. And surprisingly, I felt okay. I had planned to head south from the 72nd Transverse on the East side, but decided to go north instead. Just after I made it up the huge hill at the very top of the loop it started raining. But nothing was going to deter me from finishing my 18 mile run. If I could run a fast race and keep running, then I could certainly deal with the rain.

One of the nicest things about running the rest of the 9 miles after the race was that they were just starting to clear off the water stations on the West side when I came around again, so I was able to grab a drink as I reached about mile 13-14. Very helpful.

And I did it! I managed to finish my 18 mile run after running a 15k and almost PR-ing, contending with the rain, and pushing through exhaustion.  Here are my stats from my Garmin for the whole shebang:

Mile 1 – 8:53
Mile 2 – 8:01
Mile 3 – 8:23
Mile 4 – 8:18
Mile 5 – 8:06
Mile 6 – 8:22
Mile 7 – 8:06
Mile 8 – 8:29
Mile 9 – 8:02
Mile 10 – 11:20 (finished the race, stopped for water)
Mile 11 – 8:52
Mile 12 – 9:00
Mile 13 – 9:19
Mile 14 – 9:01
Mile 15 – 8:41
Mile 16 – 9:05
Mile 17 – 8:29
Mile 18 – 9:34

Total mileage – 18 miles in 2:38:13. Average pace – 8:47

I got home just as the rain started coming down harder. I did a LOT of stretching right after and used my marathon stick. Okay – I have yet to mention my marathon stick, but I bought it awhile ago. I have a foam roller, but I bought the wrong size (too fat), so then as I was searching the web for a smaller foam roller, I stumbled upon the marathon stick.

The Stick has a website with a bunch of different stick options, but I went with the marathon stick because it’s smaller, easier to handle and I’m very petite.

According to the website, the stick provides the following benefits:

Prevent & Predict Muscle Injuries
Dramatically improve strength, flexibility and endurance
Rapidly prepare muscles for physical activity
Disperse the effects of lactic acid following activity
Accelerate muscle recovery

I use it primarily after running for “Enhanced Lactic Acid Removal.” From the site: During exercise, lactic acid can build to critical levels where optimal performance is sacrificed, Intracell Technology expedites the discharge of lactic acid from your muscles and encourages its conversion into glucose by the liver. Intracell Technology appears to be very promising in the arena of enhanced sport performance. Look for more research along these lines in the future.

Has anyone else heard of or use any of “the sticks”?

I also like it because I can roll my legs while sitting or standing. I don’t need to have space to lie on the floor, like I need with the foam roller.

After I stretched, used my marathon stick a bit and showered, I took a mini nap. When I woke up, Hubby started dinner. As my marathon training has gotten more intense, with longer runs during the week and weekend, I have been lucky that Hubby has been cooking dinner more often. Thanks Hubs!! He made a pasta dish with a meat sauce (using venison meat).

It was yummy and filled me right up. After dinner I immediately grabbed The Help to read. I had been reading it on and off all weekend and finished it last night right before I went to bed. I totally agree with everyone who has commented on this book – it was really great. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. But now I’m way behind on my reviews. Now I have to post reviews for both Angela’s Ashes and The Help! However, you know whenever I read a book that fast it’s a good one.

So – all in all – a great weekend! I wasn’t able to pace myself like I wanted for the race. Like others, it seems that if I’m running a race, my inclination is to race it rather than maintain a reasonable pace for training. But thankfully, I’m not hurting too bad today (knock on wood).

How was your weekend?!!

P.S. – I can’t believe that I’ve already run my 18 mile run! I have a bit of a decline in mileage this weekend (13 miles) and then next weekend is my first 20-miler! How did it come up so fast?!!

You can check out my training so far here. Have a great day all!