Tag Archive | race day

It’s Nice to Say Hello

Race Recap – Part 2

Now some may say that I have a certain style or flair when I run.   Me, I just say that I like to have fun.    For the most part I do usually wear pink, but sometimes I do like to take it up a notch.   NJ Half was going to be one of those events.  Another Mama and I conspired to bring tutus and skirts for everyone:):)

There may have been some initial grumbling (ahem), but everyone went with the program.   I love it when a plan comes together.

Then off we went….

During the course of the race our group separated slightly.    I was still running with one of my friends, when someone came up from behind and asked, “Are you accidentally Running Mama?”

I have to say that I was surprised to say the least.    But then I recognized her from her online profile too!    We were able to chat a few miles and actually meet the “real” person behind the curtain.  There is something to be said about meeting someone in person that you follow online.   It’s funny because in a small way you feel like you already know them.   I would love to meet her for another run as it does seem like we have run a few of the same races.   She mentioned that she saw me in the Bronx but we didn’t’ get to connect.  I’m glad we did this day.  I will say that for a brief moment when we spit a VERY, VERY, VERY small part of me was sad that I wasn’t running the marathon.   That is right up until I realized how close to the finish line I was.

There are a few people that I know online that I’ve met up with at various events and it is always fun.    It’s funny too because it wasn’t till almost a mile in that I was like, “I think it’s time for real introductions.”   And of course, we both wanted a picture together.


Later she shared this picture on her instagram account and wrote something very nice and made me want to run with her even more.


That is the awesome thing about running and runners.   I’ve actually met people at races and chat the entire race with them.   Some I never see again.   Some become Facebook friends and I still never see again.  Then some become real friends.   There is something about running with someone that takes away the pretenses.   You can’t worry about impressing someone when you are trying to run.   This is why running friends get to know you better than most people ever will.   Running does not take the place of a good therapist, but there is something to be said for knowing that you can open up to your running friends the way that it might be hard to do eye to eye over coffee.

I will say this is another one of the many reasons I don’t usually wear headphones during a race.   I love to listen to the sounds of the race – the spectators, the footsteps, and the opportunity to chat or listen to those around me.   Obviously, this depends on my goal for the race but I’m never coming in first anyway:)

Do you like to chat while your run?




Still NO Regrets

I said no regrets for NYCM and I have no regrets.   I didn’t get the 4:30 I was hoping for and squeaked in at 4:56:04.


It was an amazing day that started off at 5:45 AM  with a van ride with a bunch of amazing women to Staten Island.   Couldn’t ask for a more inspiring group of women to spend my time with.    Once the van dropped us off all we had to do is wait and wait and wait some more.    My wave didn’t start till 10:40, so it does make for a long day.

But an awesome day.

nycm4You’ve got to have fun while your waiting:)

Then off to the corrals and they really are named correctly.   We were herded in like cattle, but no one seemed to mind.  Luckily for me one of these Mama’s was in my same corral and wave!


Then we were off!

As I said before, I was going to run this race with no regrets and I have none.   Did I get my 4:30.   NOPE.   You know what?   It doesn’t matter.   You’ve got to have goals as a fiend told me yesterday.   These were big goals as far as my spotty training goes.   I had a plan.   I had paces and you know what it all went out the window when I was running.

I am the cautionary tale.   A marathon is a whole different beast than any other road race.   Pace is key.  I know this and yet I seemed to not care yesterday once the race started.   That is why it is important to run a marathon different than lets say a half marathon.    Well, I didn’t:)   I went out the first two miles as much faster than expected and then it went out the window.

I let the crowds carry me.   I bought into the feeling you get at the beginning of a race of “I feel amazing”  and “this is awesome!”


This is the face of someone who is feeling good.    But that feeling can only last for so long when you run the first half like you don’t still have 13 miles to go.    I ran the first half in 2:09 and change.    As expected, the second half was much slower.

I have never hit the dreaded wall before in a marathon, but I think that I can say that I hit it yesterday.   And right where they tell you that you will hit it – Mile 20 I ran a 14 minute pace.   My bad.   I must also say that ran might not be the right word.   I walked a decent amount the last few miles.  I really had nothing left to give.   My legs were like lead, my hands and lips had the tingles.   I was honestly afraid I would pass out.   What kept me moving forward was the thought that if I stopped that I wouldn’t start again and if  I passed out I wouldn’t finish.   Finishing was all that mattered!.   So onward I went.   I walked when I needed to and I ran when I could.

It was during this time that I realized even without making my goal, I had no regrets.   None!   I set out to finish and I did.   As I said to my friends, you can’t really say it’s a bad day when you can say you finished the New York City Marathon.  I am not just saying that either.   It was a great day and I am blessed beyond belief to be able to say that I did this amazing race.

Yes there is more to the story, but it is now time to soak in some bath salts:)

How was your weekend?

Puttin on the Brakes When All You Want to Do is Press the Gas!

Yesterday, I ran the NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon.   So there will be lots to talk about:)   With my goal race only two weeks away, I was asked (instructed) by my coach NOT to race this one and to once again keep my eye on the prize.   Now I know that the last time she asked me to do this, I really didn’t listen as carefully as I should have.   That being said, I knew that this time it was more important.   Again with the Marine Corps Marathon just around the corner.   I was given a goal pace of 10:30 to 10:50.    I will honestly admit that ahead of time, I was tempted to race it as I was told that it was a great race to PR on with only two sizable hills at mile 9 and 12.    Then I thought about it some more and realized that it wouldn’t be worth ruining the marathon for this race especially with my Plantar Fasciitis starting to rear it’s ugly head again.  Just not worth it.


So I tow the line with my fellow MRTT Mama’s telling them my plan of being slow and steady.   I will be honest, it is much harder to go slow and steady mentally than you realize especially with what seems like everyone people passing you by.    Luckily for me, Teri, had plans to run and additional 7 that day for her long run of 20.  She knew that she should keep the pace slower and I was more than willing to help her help me.    I will say that the start of the race was a little odd as they were starting corrals every 2 minutes to spread out the participants as there were more than 8000 of us.   So in the beginning it was like being stuck in traffic.   Stop and Go.  Stop and go until finally we got to go.    As with every race the adrenaline at the beginning makes you want to just take off especially when you have been standing around for a waiting.    It is hard pulling back when you know you can go faster and the feeling of everyone passing you left and right just sucks.

Teri and I moved along at what felt like a nice conversational pace which was good because we chatted away.    Again there is nothing that makes the miles go faster than chatting with a friend.    She was even surprised that she didn’t miss her music as she normal listens while running.     I go back and forth on the music during a race.   There really is something about listening to the race – the sounds of the footsteps, the people around you, and all the other sounds you hear during a race.     It was good for me that she was there because of her I payed attention to the pace as I know she is fast.   There were a few times I had to say, “sweetie, were going to fast.   I’m going to slow down, but you can go if you want.”    We decided that around mile 9, she would push herself at the end a little harder.    This worked out good because this was the same point of the first big hill.   Since I wasn’t racing, I stopped for a picture which another runner offered to take for me.  She took the first one and then asked for a power pose!


There is something to be not chasing time at an event, because you do get to see things that you might otherwise miss.

SIHalf5 SIHalf6

I know if I was chasing a PR, I would have missed these.   Not saying that in future races, I won’t be chasing the time but it is nice every now and then just to enjoy the moment.

Once Teri and I split, I continued on my journey of putting on the breaks and keeping a steady pace.   I was very happy that I was able to be consistent.  That being said, once I hit mile 13, I raced to the finish line.   I think every race requires a dash to the finish line which was over home plate.

I will also add that my coach was pleased with me not pushing it this race and holding back for when I will need it in two weeks.   I will also add that even with my steady pace, at the end I was the one passing people and not the other way around.

Then the after race picture!


Not sure if we would have been smiling as much before we embarked on our more than 2 hour stuck in traffic on the way home trip.   Although, I think we still might have been as we had some great conversation in the car.

More on this race tomorrow.

What do you do when your stuck in traffic?

Monday Morning Race Recap

Another Weekend.

Another Race.

At least that is how it seems of late.

  Even causing my 8 year old son to question me saying , “Another one? How many races are you doing and haven’t you already done enough to get into the NYCM?”

I agree.   It does seem like it’s been a lot, but really I’m only on number 6 with 7 this coming weekend.   Then taking summer off.   Ok not, off; but off from NYRR events.   This will leave me 2 in the fall to do which will get me not only into the NYCM, but also the NYC Half Marathon.   Yeah!

Back to this past weekends event – The Oakley New York Mini 10K.

I thought the mini was odd in the name, because how do you have a “mini” 10K.   Wouldn’t that just be a 5K then?    I thought maybe it was a mini because it was an all women’s race (although if you look at the finish stats for some reason it lists 3 men finishers).   I was wrong though.   It is called a mini because it the first one was ran in 1972 with just 78 runners compared to this last event with 7,784 finishers.   In 70’s fashion, this event was actually called the “Crazylegs Mini Marathon” due to the fashionable miniskirt at the time.   Well ok then.  I guess it’s good that I ended up wearing a cute mini running skirt over my running pants.   If only I knew that I was paying homage to the first event.

So back to the event at hand.   This was fun on so many levels.   First, it’s a race and they are always fun especially when running with friends.   Then there was the fact that it was my one friends, Geniine’s, first time running a 10K and running  in the city.   She likes to say that I talked her into, but I disagree.   I know her well enough to know that she is not going to do something she doesn’t want to do.  (so there:).   That being said, I did make it relatively easy for her (not taking into account the running) by securing her a place in the clown car and making sure that she was in on the bib pick-up.

I think that this may have been the very first race that I have ever done where I actually got a great night sleep the night before.   I was tired and went to bed at 11:00 sleeping soundly till the 5:00 AM alarm.    I think I like getting a good night sleep the night before.   I’m sure it was fluke, but I’ll take it.    Even though Genine wasn’t picking me up till 6:00 and I had all my running gear together the night before, I still like the time in the morning.   It gives me a chance to have my coffee, wake up, and not feel like I’m rushed.

The Clown Car left Teri’s at 6:15 and we were good to go.

Once to the City, we took our pre-race photo and off to our corrals we went.

Oakley2Dawn, Teri, and I were all starting in the same corral.   My plan was to try to do the first 4 miles at a 9:50 pace and then see what I had for the last 2 miles.   Dawn and I planned to stay together as long as possible, but we each knew that we would run what we needed to run.   I will say that it was HOT, HUMID, and really yucky that morning.   Those not running might say that it wasn’t so bad, but those actually running might disagree.    Plus this was a hilly course.   The hills were a slow grade, but they were there.    As far as staying on pace, once again I had technical issues in that I didn’t clear my Garmin previous run.   My bad.   So the calculations were a little off, but I tried to stay on pace.   I really was hoping to finish under an hour, but alas I didn’t.   Still had a good time.  Finishing in 1:01:17.   I honestly don’t think it was the technical  issues.  I think it was the heat.

The race itself was nice.  I took a prerace gel 15 minutes before which I think helped.   I did like the course and I think it is fun to start on the street and not the park.   We started on West 61rst street running till 81rst and then entering the park.   This is the first race in a while that I’ve used music during and I’m conflicted on it.   I think it might be best if I work on my playlist for this coming weekends 10K because my music was not matching what I needed to do.   I might have been better off without it.   Hmmmm.     I also didn’t take any additional fuel during the race which I think was my mistake.   I should have taken my second gel at the 5K mark, but I didn’t.   Lesson learned.    They did have spray stations but unfortunately due to my phone, I really didn’t utilize them to their full advantage.    I smartly brought my own water bottle as I really hate the stop and go of using the water stations as it’s always hard to weave in and out with everyone else.   I also didn’t run with my Fitletic Hyradtion belt but a smaller spibelt which I’m not used to on race day.   That was the reason I couldn’t easily access my second gel.  I was feeling drooping towards the end, but still managed to push it the last 400 meters with a pace of 7.29 according to my Garmin which I REALLY have a hard believing.   Think it might be off.


Finished strong.   Got my medal.   Got my Flower and then got some much needed cold water and tried to catch my breath.

Teri finished first and found the perfect meeting spot high on the hill by a statue.   Plus we got a nice breeze up there.   Then as everyone finished literally within minutes of each other.  We all met up for, of course, more pictures, race recaps and meeting up with the second MRTT Clown Car that came.

Oakley 3 Oakley4

By the way, you can’t tell in this picture but Dawn’s tutu was adorable!Oakley6 It was a great way to spend the morning even if we didn’t get our cupcakes and the ice cream store was closed when we stopped.    This is such an amazing group of women and I know that I would not be able to do the 9 plus 1 without them.

What did you do this weekend?

Race Recap Part 2

So yesterday I told you all about the numbers.

Today lets talk about the fun stuff!

The actual run:)

Ok, not all of it was fun.   I admit it.   The getting up before the sun really, really sucks.   I’m always worried about oversleeping, so I set backup alarms.    Good thing too because I didn’t get moving till 4:00 and everyone was arriving at 4:30.   It was my turn to drive the clown car, so there was no being late.

I have to say if you have to get up before the sun, at least do it with friends.   One by one they arrived – Elaine, Teri, Dawn, and Mary.   Then off to pick-up Karyn who was to be the co-pilot.  I may have been the wheels but I had no clue as to where I was going.   Luckily, Karyn works in Brooklyn and Elaine used to live there.    I literally just went where I was told to go and when I got there I made Karyn park as I’m not that good at parallel parking.  It’s really not required where I grew up.  She thought I was kidding until I jumped out of the car and made her do it.

Since this wasn’t a normal out and back run, we had to decide if we should park at the start or park at the finish line.   There was some back and forth as to which way to go.  We decided to park at the start.   Since parking appears to always be a concern in the city, we allowed for plenty of time to get there.    We actually got through security and in our corrals before 6:30.   Yes, we had to wait but waiting is better than stressing out if you will make it to the start on time.   It wouldn’t have been such a long wait if we were in Corral 1, but Corral 2 didn’t start till 7:45 sot that added some time.  Although both Karyn and Mary were in the first corral.  That being said at least we had the backdrop the the Brooklyn Museum looking very prestigious even with a line of port-a-potties in front of it.   I am by no means knocking them either as I was very happy to have them.


I will say that I was impressed with the security and ease of it at the start too.   We had to go through medal detectors and only runners were allowed in the corral area.   Then there were all of the police that you saw and even those that you didn’t.  There were the ones on top of the Brooklyn Museum with binoculars.   I liked it.   I liked it a lot.   If made me feel warm and fuzzy like we were being watched over especially with the sentencing for the Boston Marathon Bombing just taking place.  I don’t dwell on the what could happens of this world, but it is good to know that those that should were prepared.


Then there was the actual race.   As you know I’m not a city girl.   My sister who used to live in NY and I visited all of once in all the years she lived there (in my defense my boys were much smaller) jokes about how often I visit the city now that she is in California.   Although she does love that I am finally broadening my horizons as I am not as much as a traveler as her.   Anywho, I have seen a lot of the city and I like it.   I think what is nice is that I’m seeing more than the tourist destinations.   There is something to be said about running through a city.    It is kind of cool to be running down a road that on any given day would be hard to even cross.


Case in Point

What I love about going in with the women I go in with is that once the actual race starts, we all know we have to do the race we want to do.   We all follow the motto, “your race, your pace.”   Not to say that we haven’t run together, but this was not to be the case this day.   We all had our own ideas of what we wanted to do.   If you were here yesterday, you know what my plan was already.  Then at the end even with 26,000 people we come back together.


I would do this race again.  It was a fun race with a really nice course even if it did start raining at mile 4.   At least it was a humid day so it did feel good even when it started really raining by mile 6.   Although, I was worried about my phone as I thought we dodged the rain and didn’t properly protect my phone in a baggie.  Luckily it then cleared up.   I was happy that even in the rain I was able to maintain my pace too. .

I was also happy that I saved some energy at the end, because in a cruel twist you had to run up the ramp to get to the boardwalk which was very cool to finish on.   The music was pumping and that helped too.   When I was approaching the finish they started playing Salt N Pepper’s Push It.   This song takes me back to my Ahem party days and I will admit that I was singing it as I was running at the end.   How could you not?

Then off to collect my medal, rest some and then make our way back to the other side of Brooklyn to collect my car.   As happy as I was to be at the start in the morning, I will say it did suck having to take the subway back.  It did add at least an extra hour of travel time, but what are you going to do.   Traveling in NY is supposed to be rough, so it lived up to it’s reputation.


Finally we made it to the car.   After a Dunkin Donuts stop and another food stop.

I was sore at the end.   Not the I can’t move sore, but the sore that does indicate you just ran a good race and pushed yourself.   My quads were sore and my feet were somewhat sore.   Atlhough, I did not have any pain while running.   Yeah!!!     I’m wondering if it was the pace or the shoes.   I didn’t wear my inserts and I’m happy about that.   Running a half is not the way to break them in!    That being said my foot problems are not gone, but I got through the race!

Did you race this weekend?

Friday Five – 5 Things About Race Day

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Things about Race Day’s

I’ve done a few races now.   I have a bit of a ritual as I think most of us do when it comes to our race prep.   Race prep is just as much as a mental prep as it is a physical one.   Neither one can or should be ignored.  If you are physically prepared but your head isn’t in the game, you may still have a bad day.   Obviously, you can be as mentally prepared as you want but without being physically ready, you might as well stay home.

Here is my all important check list

1.   Besides the standard carb loading, I also like to increase my water consumption leading up to a race.   Just a day or two ahead of time.  Now I’m not talking chugging extra gallons of water, because that won’t do anything except make me bloated.   I’m just talking about adding a glass or two throughout the days leading up to the event.  The reason that I do this is because as anyone who knows me can tell you,  I am a massive coffee drinker.   Massive.   I just feel like some added water evens it all out.  I should probably do this everyday, but I do feel it more important near race day.

2.   Not only plan out my race attire, but lay it all out including Bib number.   I am a visual person and I need to see it all together down to my Garmin.  This way in my sleep deprived state all I need to do is go to my preplanned pile.   It’s all thought out ahead of time and there is less chance of forgetting anything.   I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t do this unless, of course, you don’t pre-prep.


3.   Plan my morning “breakfast.”   Usually races require an early start.   This means no time for a big breakfast and who wants that when you will then need to search porta-potties because you ate too much.   My normal go to breakfast is a breakfast bar with a banana.   This way I can eat it while I’m getting ready or in the car.

4.  Have coffee.   I’ve said it before, I drink massive coffee.   Hey, it’s good for me.  Right?   Anyway, race morning is no the day to go through caffeine withdraw.   Even though I am not a morning person, I will wake up at least an hour early to allow time for my morning coffee.

5.  Post Bakery Snack – We have been doing a lot of racing in NYC.   Most of them are near Central Park.   We park in the same vicinity every time.   This way at the end of every event; we come out to Magnolia’s Bakery.  Somehow, you don’t feel as guilty eating a million calories after a run:)   There have been times we have said we wouldn’t stop, but like on Auto Pilot our feet bring us right to the street and we stop anyway.   It’s almost like every road leads to the bakery:)


What do you do Race Day?