Tag Archive | NYC Half Marathon

Keeping Streak Alive

My NYCM Virtual Medal from last year. Without cheering crowds, physical start of finish line or any of the normal things a marathon bring back in October I completed 26.2 miles walking. Yes, walking… walking and more walking. It was long. It was peaceful. It was grueling leaving me with more blisters than I ever got running a marathon. Most of all it was satisfying knowing that I accomplished what I set my mind to. Although I am not sure I will ever intentionally walk a full marathon again, this medal will be a reminder to keep moving forward even when you dont feel like it.

I realized something now too. I have now completed 8 Marathons. 2016 I actually ran 2. NYC and a trail race. So this led me to realize that I have now completed 4 marathons post hypopara and 4 hypopara. So the next one will obviously mean that I will have completed more post hypopara. Yes, that does mean that I am thinking of doing a marathon this year. Hopefully it won’t be virtual, but who knows.

I have seem some events be held, but these do seem to be trails. I have also seen some events open registration for fall events. I honestly am not sure if I would feel comfortable doing a big or even smaller in person event even if I get vaccinated. I say if because even though I am eligible as a child care provider, there seems to be no appointments to be had. I have happily watched friends in the healthcare field post their “I’m vaccinated” photos but now I’ve heard of people jumping the line who have gotten vaccine that annoy me. People without health conditions that do not need to leave their home for work. I’m actually not sure why they were proud of themselves, but they thought nothing of jumping the line. I admit, I will judge them for doing so.

Anywho…… I am happy to see vaccines rolling out. My Mother and some family members eligible have gotten theirs as well. I watch numbers of vaccines administered and I know they are doing amazing numbers and my turn will come soon enough. I’m just anxious as is everyone else in the world. I know once vaccinated, you must still be cautious but I guess it would give a small sigh of relief. I can’t wait to know what that feeling that is and I know it’s just around the corner.

All that being said, I do think it is going to take a long time for things to return to normal. We certainly didn’t even think we would be approaching a year of this. Remember the innocent days of almost LAST YEAR when we entered a strict lockdown. We all thought that we would just be doing it a few weeks and we would flatten the curve. Silly us. Although it and we did make a difference. There was only so much that we could do. I mean much more was asked of previous generations. We were simply asked to wear a mask and stay home.

So as things open up and return to normal, we will all have different levels of comfort. We might even get some anxiety with things that used to be normal and enjoyable. I can’t imagine going to an event with 50,000 runners with 3 waves. It just would make me hyperventilate. Then thinking about random high fives, taking food from strangers, and all the fun things that happen along the way. It just seems like too much………. for now. We will get there again, but I do wonder how big events like this will be done this year. I believe by November, events like this will be able to happen. I just think there will be changes and maybe this first year it is not the huge even we all know and love. I guess we will wait and see.

I do know that I want to complete a marathon. I realize that I think it would be cool to be able to continue to say that I’ve run a marathon every year for 10 years. So that means I’ve got a few years to go. Some people streak a mile a day. That is too much for me and really don’t have that level of dedication. I like the thought for a marathon streak as I think it’s easier. (Ha! – truth).

Anywho, I have not thought for what I will do or where but it does ramble in the back of my mind as so many other thoughts do, Right now though, I am focused on continue with my Half Marathon training which is going well. This is my only goal. I also know that by completing this goal, I will be in the right position to start formulating and planning a fall marathon.

One mile at a time.

One goal at a time.

What are you working towards?

Start Strong to Finish Strong

I am going to run a Half Marathon.

I am going to run the NYC NYRR Half Marathon.

Of course, i will be running it in my town and not the streets of NYC. I am running another virtual race. It is what I do now. It is what we all do now. Ok, not all but I need to train for something. I need motivation. I need something. And while virtual races do not have the pull as in person, this time it is going to be different…… I hope.

I have a novel approach to this half marathon. One that I haven’t done with any of my “recent” events. I haven’t used this approach in years. Here we go………… I want to go into this race the old fashioned way. I want to go into it confidently. I want to go into it ready. Most of all……….

I want to go into it trained.

Now this is not to say that I didn’t train for previous events. You know back in the day when there were in person events. I did. I did……… Right up until I didn’t.

I stopped trying. I stopped pushing. I did the bare minimum that I needed to do to get me to the finish line. Maybe even less than the bare minimum too.

Now I want to get to the finish line not with a struggle. Not with and excuse. Not with baggage. I want to go back to the days of feeling confident in my training. Feeling confident in my ablilities. Knowing that I am ready to tackle the miles before me. In order to trust the training, there must be actual training.

I want to go back to the mantra….

FINISH STRONG!

Some where along the line I forgot that in order to finish strong, you must also start strong. And so it begins….

8 Weeks and here we go…. Starting strong to finish strong.

In the Eye of the Beholder

I’ve been hard on myself. I’ve been easy on myself. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve been proud. I’ve been embarrassed. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve pushed. I’ve pulled back. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve been fearless. I’ve been full of fear. I’ve been everything in between.

Somewhere along the lines from not knowing anything when I started out to being at the top of my game in 2016 to where I am now; I forgot something. I forgot that it doesn’t matter what I am doing as long as I am doing something. I forgot that I can’t be more than I am at any given time. That trying to swim against the current is a sure fire way to allow the current to pull you under. That it’s ok to use a flotation device to stay afloat as long as you stay afloat. Most of all that in the whole scheme of things it is about enjoying what I’m doing.

Although I’ve never really stopped to some extent I have stopped giving it my all. I’ve stopped pushing. I started thinking that if I couldn’t hit previous expectations that I was somehow failing. That I needed to keep doing more than I could physically do and when my body couldn’t I wondered what was the point. What was the point of it if I couldn’t do everything the way I wanted.

That reality is what we make it. That pretending the world is not the way we want it to be doesn’t change the way it really is even if we don’t ever want to admit it. Acting like a toddler because things don’t go your way doesn’t suddenly make them go your way. So maybe it’s not toddler mentality so much as human nature. Unlike a toddler though, as an adult we are able to recognize the self sabotage and be willing to change.

The truth of the matter is….. I want to recognize that I am not where I used to be. I might (chances are pretty good) never be there again. I recognize that I need to train and run smarter. I need to give my mind and body what it needs which is to live in reality and not the past or a version of reality that is not based in reality but fantasy.

Reality isn’t bad. Reality is challenging and hard and a good place to be. Reality is every changing too. So who knows. We can be our biggest champions or we can be our biggest deterrent. How we view ourselves, our abilities and our future (even our past) determines how we live our lives. Determines the way we look at the world and what we can accomplish. It determines if we make it to the finish line or never even get to the start line.

People look at me at think I am an optimistic person. I am not sure about that. I like the epression….

It is the truth….. A truth for every aspect of our lives from where we live to the job we hold to our athletic abilities. When I go to a race, I know that I will never be the fastest. I am not usually the slowest. I used to be a middle of the pack runner. Now I might be a back of the pack runner, but at this point I wouldn’t know because there are no races.

I also realize that I am at the point where I want to push again. I don’t mean push to run a sub 2 half-marathon. I mean push to see what I can do. I mean pushing to where I am not where I want to be. I’ve realized that the only way that I will be able to do this is actually to do something. So it’s time to actually do something.

So in that spirit I signed up to run the virtual NYC Half Marathon in March. I have currently been working on my running. Learning to find out where I am and what I should be realistically be running for right now. The furthest I have run recently is 3 miles, so this should be interesting. It will be hard. It will be challenging. Most of all it will be educational as you only know what you can do if you try.

So with that….. I am ready to try. I am ready to push myself with no excuses but understanding that I dont need to be anymore than I am on any given day.

What to Wear? What to Wear?

As a runner, we tend to become obsessive as race day approaches.

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Checking the weather

Deciding on race attire

Checking the weather again

Changing what we plan to wear again.

It’s one of the reasons I like to make my flat runner the night before a race too because then I can see how it all comes together and make any final changes.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that thought too.

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As an added bonus it makes a nice picture

 

For many races, you just never know what the weather will bring and you just never know if you’ve dressed appropriately until race day.   The NY Half was no different.   When I signed up, I imagined a traditional Spring race where the weather might be a little brisk in the early morning, but very comfy when the race was finished.   This year was a little different.

It may be mid March on the calendar, but someone forgot to tell mother Nature as she is holding to winter.   That being said, part of deciding what to wear is knowing your body and how you need to dress.   Every runner is different.   I have 2 friends that I run with when I can.   Between the three of us, we are dressed for three separate seasons.   One is always dressed for the coldest possible temperature.    One is dressed what is probably considered appropriate for the temps.   Then there is me…. Usually dressed in shorts with long socks unless it’s mid winter.   That’s because I know how I run.

I run HOT.

You could say that I’m one hot Mama.

You could say it, but it just doesn’t sound right,

but it is.

Here is the thing though even though I know this about myself, I was doubting what to wear to the race. I kept thinking that I should wear long sleeved shirt instead of arm sleeves and maybe I should wear Capri’s instead of shorts.  The problem is that I run in knee length compression socks, so Capri’s turn into full length pants.   Now the reason I was doubting myself is because I was listening to what everyone else was planning to wear, but they were dressing for their race not mine.

Race night came and I had a final consult with Dawn on my wardrobe.   She reminded me of my vest and I added that into the mix which I’m glad that I did.

I was prepared for the early morning pre race chill.   I had throwaway sweatpants and robe which I wore to the start.   Once I removed them in the corral,  I’ll be honest I was cold, but quickly warmed up once the race started.   Even removing my throw away shirt by mile 2  which I ended up just tying around my waste.

In looking at my race photos, you can see that not many people chose the same way as me.   Not sure why because I was comfy while racing.   I kept moving my arm sleeves up and down.   Gloves off and on.    I honestly believe that if I had added layers or longer pants my run would not have been so good.  I was just right (for me).

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I dressed not to impress but to keep from overheating.   Believe it or not even dressed like this, I was sweating.    I will admit that the back of my upper arms were feeling the chill from the wind burning some with cold.    I think if I were to run another cold day like this, I might choose different arm warmers.

One thing that I would do differently though is check a bag.   I didn’t really think it through and didn’t realize bag check was right there when you came out.   After the race I was meeting up with everyone at a Starbucks.  We did have a car that was parked in the city the previous day to drive home in that I put extra warm clothes in for after the race.    The only problem with that bag is I exited the Park at 61rst street I believe and I needed to go to 81rst street.    Walking that far after a Half isn’t bad.   Walking that far while your dressed for summer with only a heat sheet isn’t good.   Thank God when someone was getting ready to throw away their head sheet, I asked them if I could have it.    I used that as a skirt.   I’m thinking without that second heat sheet, I would have been in trouble as I was shivering some.

All was good though when I entered the warm of Starbucks and got a hot latte to warm me up.   Plus by that point, I knew that my bag was not far away.   The driver of the van was nice enough to bring the bags to Starbucks, so from that point on all was good.

In the past, I have dressed for the weather at the start.   I found it is so much better to be cold at the start and even finish, but be comfy on my run.

Today was that day:)

Do you run hot or cold?

 

 

 

Today Was The Day

Today was the day.

Was it everything I expected?

No.

It was more!!!

As always, I will have a lot to say.   So this might take a few days.   Today we will talk the basics.     As I mentioned we were leaving at the crack of the crack of Dawn at 5:00 AM.   This meant getting up at 4:00 as you must have time for a cup of coffee, to get ready, and lets be honest time for coffee to work it’s magic.  (Yes, that is important to us runners).

I was lucky enough to be part of my running groups Clown Car again.   There were, I believe, 14 of us.   It’s nice when you get a group like this because then it is not expensive at all.   Plus the driver will take a group picture.

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As my friend asked is this a group of homeless people or just people trying to stay warm in the cold before a race?

The van dropped us off close to the start where we were able to make a pit stop at a fast food restaurant.   Once we got to the start everyone went their own separate ways as we were starting in different corrals and waves.   Luckily, Mary, was in my corral again.   We were lucky enough to start the NYC Marathon in 2016 and it was nice to have her to chat with pre-race.    Once the race started though, I was on my own.   I kind of like that (usually) in a race.

Going in I had decided on a very conservative pace to start with.   I was bouncing between 11 and 11:15.   I think I picked that because I knew that I would go out too fast and if I picked a slower pace than even out to fast wouldn’t be too fast.    My paces reflect up and down which is fine for the way I intended to run the race.   I walked when I needed to but I still would not say that I took it easy.   I also pushed.   I ran a hard race.   I worked hard and I finished with my realistic A time goal.

Official time was 2:31:29

It was a good day.   My Garmin showed more than the 13.1 but that might be do to too much bobbing and weaving.   My paces were up and down with the course and my plan.

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This worked for me.   It might not be what a coach would recommenced, but for this day this was perfect.   In looking at the faster paces at mile 8 & 9 that might explain my feet starting to hurt at that point.

My mantra was “This is your race.   You need to run it your way.”

And I did.

The best part was I enjoyed myself.   I helped someone bob and weave to cross the street.   I took pictures along the way.   I just enjoyed the experience and before I knew it, I was pulling into Central Park.   I will admit the hills of the Park were not that enjoyable, but crossing the finish line in the Park was awesome!

More tomorrow, because to be honest I’m really tired.

What did you do today?

7 Days

This time next week I will more than likely be in the middle of or finishing up a nap with any luck.     In 7 days I am off to run the NY Half Marathon.   Last time I ran this event not only was I chasing but captured the elusive sub 2 Half Marathon.   I ran an average pace of 9:05 finishing just under the wire at 1:58:59.   I literally had a minute to spare.

It was a great day.   I say this not just because of the sub 2, but overall it was amazing.  No lie…https://accidentallyrunningmama.com/2016/03/22/the-good-the-bad-and-the-awesome/

This time many things will be the same and many will be different.

The early than crack of dawn early time is still true.   Unfortunately many that I ran this race with last time will not be there this time, but I’m still going in with friends.    We have decided to take a van into the city that will drop us off at the start line.   After the race, some are meeting their families, some are finding their own way home, and some of us will meet up to travel home together.  There is something special after a race sharing it with friends.   I’ve gone to many races by myself and afterwards it is not the same alone.   Your family only wants to hear so much about your running and I mean so much.

Now this year the course has changed, but it will still run through Times Square.   I’ll be honest I am not familiar enough with the city to know where this course will take me.   Good thing I’ll be in the middle of the pack, so I don’t need to know the way.  Ha!   I do know that this course might be a little hillier than previous one, but it is what it is.

 

Last time I went into this race trained for speed and ready to face the day.    I knew it would be tough hitting the sub 2, but I knew that I had it in me.   This time around, I know that I will make it to the finish line but I need to be smart about it.   This time, I am trained to finish when I finish.   There is no goal time.   I am going into enjoy the ride, see the city, and cross the finish line.

One thing that I am trying to figure out is what pace I will be running.   I plan on being conservative and I have really not trained for a specific time.   I know New York crowds can carry you away and that is what I am most afraid of.   Starting a race, any race, it is so easy to run out too fast.   Starting a race in New York City with NYC crowds it is almost impossible not to be swept up in the excitement.   This is why I must come up with a plan.   I need to have paces to follow.   Paces that my training shows that I can maintain.   Paces that will get me to the finish line with a smile.

That will be my goal this week.   To come up with a plan and follow it!

Do you follow a race plan?

plan

 

I’m Ready

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately. I’ve been stuck. Afraid to move forward.  Afraid of not being enough.  Afraid of things out of my control.  Afraid of failure, but who defines success and failure?

I’ve been stuck wandering in the fog for so long that I thought I would never see clearly again and even though I knew my vision was impaired I clung to it.   It is only after you come out of the fog that you can look at things with open eyes.   I’m ready now.   After one false start after another, I am truly ready now.   I can feel the difference.

I am looking at things clearer than I have in a while.   I do not have 20/20 yet, but really does anyone?    We all carry so much baggage that colors our world.   The trick is knowing what to hold onto and what to let go.   What really sucks is when you pack for summer only to find out that you are stuck in winter.    It is a work in progress, but I feel like I’m getting there in many aspects of my life.

As for my running….. I can finally say that I am coming to terms that things will be different.    Things will be harder.   My body will need more recovery time and be more sore than it had in the past.  I will wake up and my my body will ache.  Things will not feel the same.

BUT…..

Many things will remain the same.

I will still get peace of mind and clarity when running.

I will still feel the accomplishment of finishing a run.

I still will bond with friends while running.

I will still cross finish lines and most of all I will still run for me.

With this acceptance, I am finally able to let go of the ego that I spoke of.   I thought I was holding onto something, but really I was keeping myself from moving forward.   I am tired of standing still and am ready to move on from the past.    One of the reasons that I couldn’t commit to training was because somehow I felt less because I would pick a plan that the pre-hypopara me could have easily kept to, but the me of today can not.   Maybe there will be a day, but that day is not today.

I’ve been thinking of the NYC Half a lot.   NYRR always puts on great events, but these big events are spectacular.   The crowds.   The running on closed NYC streets.   It is an amazing feeling to run through Times Square like this race does.   As I said before, I want to enjoy it.   I want to be ready for it.    I want to embrace where I am today.   Not yesterday.   Not tomorrow.   Not next year.  Today.

So with this thought process, I picked a training plans for Training Peaks for a half marathon with a 2:30 finish time.   Now, I will be honest…. I am not sure that I can do a 2:30 finish.   It might be just a hair out of where I am, but it might not.   It is also much more realistic that 2:15.   Besides you will never know what you can do if you don’t push a little more than you think that you can do.  So I will push, but I will push wisely.

It is time to face this with open eyes, laced up shoes, and the knowledge that as long as I am doing the best that I can that there is no failure.   Failure is not trying.

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It’s Time to Get Serious

Without goals it is hard to know which direction to take.   You wonder aimlessly without a purpose.    It is time that I stop wondering and start seriously thinking about where I want to go in 2018.   It is time to set some realistic goals.   It is time to start pushing myself again.   It is time to  get serious.

Yes, I’ve had a lot going on and I’m still working some things out.  Yes, things are different but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have hopes, dreams, and goals.  It is time to get out of my own way, step out of my comfort zone and start pushing myself again.   I won’t know how far I can go by sitting on the sidelines.

It’s time to get real…..

NYC Half Marathon March 18

Last time I ran it, I squeaked in just under 2 hours.   It was my goal and I pushed myself to do it.  Hard training.   Fast paces.  Lots of sweat. I even took a few selfies while doing it.

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  This time around with the way things are this will not be my goal.   That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a goal.     I’m once again throwing down the gauntlet….. Ready…..

I want to go into this race fully trained.   Run it to the best of my current ability.   Not compare it to where I was in the past.   Push myself.  Finish it.  And most of all enjoy the experience.

This seems like a fantastic goal which means that I have to start training and actually train.   This is not a race not to enjoy.

I am not even going to entertain a timed goal right now.   What I am going to do is train.   Train. And Train some more.   I’ve recently been running but nothing more than I think 6 miles in the last month.    I’m going to figure out a training schedule and stick to it.

Simple enough, Right?

My head is finally clearing.   I know it wont’ be easy.   I know there will be days that I don’t want to do it.   I know there will be frustration, sore muscles, and everything in between but I want this.   I really, really want this.

So for today, I’m throwing it all out there.

I am a runner.   I can do hard things.   Life is not easy and anything worthwhile requires you to work for it.

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