Tag Archive | race recap

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.

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

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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?

 

 

 

Living in a Virtual World

Sometimes we need a little extra motivator.   We live in a virtual world, so why not let a virtual “race” motivate you to get out the door?   I will admit that I do enjoy the feel of an actual race, but sometimes that is not an option.    I will also admit that in the past I may not have given these events the respect that they deserve.   Really though if these events motivate someone to get out the door, why not?  Besides they are a lot more cost and time effective than other events.  Plus as with anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

I belong to many online running communities where I have and probably never will meet these women who inspire me.   I had an online running coach who I only met for the second time at the NYCM.   We do so much online anymore that virtual reality mixes in with the real world.   So why should a virtual race be any different.

I recently signed up for Pi Day 5K event.   The beauty of these events is that there is an online community to share your “race” with.   Plus you can actually get a medal if you choose.   I will say that I liked the medal, so I went for the whole package.

Who doesn’t love pie?   I mean Pi Day.  Although I am not a math lover, I think it’s kind of a cool play on the word pie.   I might like it more for the word play than the actual math, but don’t tell my friend.   So what is Pi?

Pi

You know what?   That’s all I know about this type of Pi.   I have no idea what it is used for and why math people love it so much.   Now the other pie I know a lot about, but I digress.   Anyway, I thought the medal for this virtual race was really cute and I liked the idea of my own personal race.

PiDay5KIsn’t it cute?

Now I know the official Pi Day isn’t until Tuesday March 14 (3-14), but we are supposed to get a BIG, BIG,BIG snowstorm Tuesday.   So yesterday I decided to do my Pi Day 5K.   You know what?   It motivated me to run and run fast.   Now if this was an actual 5K with other racers around me I might have not walked a time or two, but I still don’t care.   I ended up having a really good run.   Probably the fastest run that I’ve had in a while.   It was a great motivator to me when I was finished.   Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Pk5KResults

It was meant to be.   Kind of cool too that my calories were exact.   Could not have done that if I tried.

So even though I really don’t care about Pi (shhh), virtual events can be motivating.   The bottom line really is that if it is something that will motivate, inspire, or push you; go for it.    Because in the end, all that really matters is what will get you out the door.

DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

EVER DAMN DAY!

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.

NO REGRETS

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!

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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!”

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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?

Run and Run Some More.

You can’t be a runner long without hearing the expression

run-forest

Sometimes it’s funny to hear.   Sometimes it’s annoying to hear.   Sometimes, I even say it.  It really depends on the way it’s said.

But there is truth to this.   Sometimes we overthink, over analyze, and just forget to enjoy the beauty of the actual run.   This weekend was different.

There was a part of me that wanted to run my races as races and not run them the smart way to run them to put myself in best position for NYCM.   Part of me wanted to attack those hills in Bethlehem.   Part of me wanted to see how if I could have run these races better than my first year of racing.  Part of me wanted to test my legs and feel the burn in my lungs.   But I needed to remember that in 20 days, I will be standing at the start line of the NYCM and then it will be go time.

I will say though that there is something to be said about running a good race, a smart race, and a fun race with friends.   We had a blast running together.   You get to chat away the miles.    You get to take in the course a little more.   You get to stop for photos if you want and you may even meet people that you might not meet otherwise.

 

Bethlehem is a really pretty course.   It was still a very tough course and those hills are wicked.

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Wicked!

It’s funny, I the first year I ran this in 2014 I didn’t know what to expect.  I went into it with the race mentality.   I had great finish times.   In looking at my results now, I’m actually shocked.   In my age group, I was 41 for 5K, 29 for 10K, and 50th for the Half.   Although not racing this year, I still was in the the top 100’s for my age group.   I went into this in 2014 not even knowing if I could finish these races and now it’s a stepping stone for a larger race.   All that being said, I had a much better time this year.   In 2014, I ended up not only running the races by myself, but starting them and ending them alone.   I may not have ran as fast this year, but I had a much better race experience.   I had fun.   I laughed  until I cried at one point.

Life is better with friends!

I am so happy that I ran this again and would love to do it again.  Maybe with some more friends (hint. hint).

Whose in for next year?

I’m Back!

Two years ago I tackled the Runner’s World Hat Trick.   It was my first BIG event.   At that time, I trained specifically for this event with a training plan that I purchased from Runner’s World.   It was a good plan that had me ready to run it.   I was driven to run it and run it fast.   I even went to this race by myself and I did well.    I did so well that I brazenly thought, “Why not run a marathon now.”   Of course, I did have a friend who planted the seed and pushed me along:)

Fast forward two years later and I’m back.   Things are different this time around.  This is not a goal race.   This race is different as I’m not even viewing it as a race.   I’m viewing it as training for New York City Marathon.   I’m also not the same runner that I was two years ago.   I’m stronger and used to these long runs now.    That being said,  it is still difficult when you cross that starting line not to want to give it all you’ve got.

But….

This isn’t my Rodeo.

This isn’t my goal now.

Eye on the Prize.

NYCM is just around the corner and this isn’t the time to run crazy.

rw2016

Yes, I could have attacked the course faster today, but it would not have been a wise or smart move.   Luckily for me, I wasn’t alone today.   I was running with some other Mom’s Run this town who actually were doing four races in three days for 26.2 miles.   I’m only doing three races in two days.    And if more lucky, a few of us wanted to run these miles at an 11 minute pace and we kept each other in check.    Alone, I probably would have not run a smart race.   Together not only did I do what I needed to do, but we got to chat the miles away.

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Win.  Win.

It is amazing to me how when I first started running an 11 minute pace was a goal.   Now it’s literally an easy running day.   Although I was saying today that this course is not really a course that I would want to try to PR as it is such a hilly course.   I also realize that I may be as fast as I’m ever get at this point.    I’ve run my sub 2 half.    I think that be the best it’s going to get for me.   So why not enjoy the ride (or run).

Tomorrow is another day and another race.

We will see what the day brings.   Then it’s taper town for New York which will be my rodeo.

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 Tomorrow brings another 5 AM wake up call.   Another race and another outfit:)

 

 

 

Seize the Day!

It is not an exaggeration to say that I ran one of the best races that I’ve ever run yesterday.  The weather was optimal for running.   I ran a smart race.   I had beautiful pretty splits.   I felt good.   Great running time and a nice finish.   What more could a girl ask for on a Sunday race day?

The funny thing is that this was another race that I went into without an actual plan.   Nope.   Nada.   Clueless.    Like any tutu runner, I was more concerned with coordinating my outfit which I do believe that I did so perfectly.

bronx10m_5  Mission accomplished!

When walking and getting into the corrals with my MRTT Mama’s, I was saying that I was just going to run the Bronx 10 Miler as a training run.   I was just going to run it at a solid 10:30 pace like many of my training runs.

bronx10m_2

Gun goes off and we are off.   I start off with my friend Kim.   I tell her just go ahead as I don’t want to affect her race as I’m going to be going slow.    She goes her way, I go mine.   Then a funny thing happens as I’m trying to maintain my 10:30 pace, I realize that I’m going too fast.    I feel good.   I know from experience though that starting out too fast can be a real problem, so I change my mindset to running a smart race.

Seize the Day mentality.

I still have not thought on overall time, but I figure I will try to just keep my splits good.   I did runt them faster than I was trying, but I was feeling good and felt like I could maintain the pace.    I figured that it was only 10 miles and I could just keep going.

It seemed to work for me.  I did a couple things to distract me from the actual running during the race.   First, I listen to those around me while running.    I listen to the sounds of the feet, conversations, and just pay attention to where I’m actually running.   Kind of taking in the sites.   One of the other things that I did was take the time to say Thank You to every Police Officer that I ran by.    Just a simple, “thanks officer.”    They probably were like who is this crazy lady in red, but I figured they deserved it.

Then I get to the finish line which this year is on a downhill as they changed the course a little.   I’m feeling a stitch in my side, but I push it hard at the end.   Why not?   I can always breathe after I cross the finish line.

So my non race strategy really paid off!    I think that I am more happy with my splits than my actual finish time.

Now hopefully, I will be as happy with this run this morning as I get ready to head out for my 15 miles today.   At least I am running a slow pace!

Let the training continue.

NYCM marathon bound.

 

Take Credit Where Credit is Due

It has to be said….

honesty-is-best-policy-quotes

In the last year, there have been several running news stories about people committing fraud during a race.   Some have gone to extremes to either claim to complete a race they never had any intention of completing, faking a chip time, or just lying about the whole thing.   I have never understood that mentality.

Never.

This is why I am having such a hard time with my chip time from the Iron Girl.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  I also believe it is wrong to take credit for something that isn’t true.  In my heart of heart I know after some thought that maybe not that my chip time is wrong, but that something is wrong.   And the thing is it pisses me off.

I am pissed not because I’m pretty certain that I didn’t run a 19:12 5k.    I am pissed because I intentionally didn’t wear my GPS watch so I could focus on running the way my body felt.  If I had worn my watch, I would know what I actually ran and how fast I actually ran it.

I am pissed because I trusted the race organizers to have not just an accurate chip system, but also have the proper race distance for the course.    This is actually what I think happened.   I’m not sure.   I’ve run this race enough to know the course somewhat, so it does feel the same.   That being said, I know there is something off.   I am really just not that fast and I’m really not sure what happened.

Now, I know that there are some people who will be like shut the blank up already.   I respect that, but as my real life friends will tell you, I am nothing if not honest.   Like all the time.  Brutally honest, but in a nice way.   They know not to ask me a question that they don’t want my truthful  answer to.   I am not a yes Mam kind of gal.   So I just want the truth.

Here’s the thing though, I’m not sure if I will get the truth but I’m certain it is out there.   I’ve been comparing not just my times from 2015 and 2016 but the some times of those that I saw that ran both years that were top finishers.  EVERYONE is much faster.   Obviously, everyone would have different times from year to year.   That being said, everyone is consistently faster by at least 5 minutes.   Now granted I am not crazy enough nor do I have enough time to do a statistical analysis nor would I even be good at doing it.   I just know that I looked at a few people and this is what it appears to me.    So I’m thinking that somehow they messed up the course and shortened it.

I’m pissed.   Not because they shortened it but in looking and thinking about this, I realized that even though I know in my heart that I didn’t run a 19 minute 5K, I might have actually still run under a 25 minute 5K and I will never know.   I feel robbed, cheated, and a little bit of a fraud.

Now I know that there is nothing that I can do.   Although, I did email Iron Girl organization to verify the course.   I know that if I had the time or inclination I could go down to Sandy Hook and do that myself.   Knowing me, the next time I am down there I just might do that:)     That being said, when asked what my 5K PR is I will still go with 26:26 which really is a rocking time.

Has this ever happened to you?

 

 

 

Believe the Unbelievable

It’s been a LONG Day, but it’s been a good day.   I’m guessing any day that starts with a 4:00 AM alarm will be long.    Those are the breaks though on race day.

Today was my what appears to be annual trip to Sandy Hood Gateway National Park for the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.   The race that started it all.   The race that is always full of surprises and always worth doing although I question why on the drive down.

The morning had to start at such an unsightly hour because I needed to allow extra time to pick up my bib.   I will say that I normally like to pick up my bib, rack my bike, and get my bearings the day before.   This is not always possible when you are attending your son’s soccer tournament in the blazing heat.   That being said, it was all good.   Really only made for a slightly earlier morning.

Arrive with time to pick up packet, rack my bike, and set up transition.   I’m good to go.    Have swim cap and goggles and ready to make my way to swim start.   Hold the phones…. Swim is cancelled.    Apparently the current is making it unsafe.   I will say that I was disappointed, but I would much rather they side with caution than someone get hurt (myself included).   My very first Iron Girl Tri the swim was way wicked.   Everyone complained that they didn’t cancel it.   Then today many complained that they did.   Can’t win.

So today I did my first Duathlon.

Run, Bike, Run

It took a bit for them to reconfigure, but once they did it went without a hitch.   The beauty of being in the older groups is that I didn’t have to wait so long to start my run.   I think I was off by 7:45.     We started off with an out and back of 3 miles.   Why they didn’t do the full 5K, I have no clue.

So off I went watchless.   It was strange not starting my Garmin, but this was supposed to be just do what the body says you can do day.   It was supposed to be an easy recovery day especially after yesterdays 11 miles in the disgustingly hot weather.

First run feels good.  Get back to transition and really nothing to do except put on a bike helmet and suck down a Honey Stinger.  Bike sucks and only because I literally did not train or ride my bike ALL summer long.  Also might have been helpful to bring another gel with me.   Oops.   Get back to transition and I feel like I’ve been sitting on a horse all day not a bike for a little more than an hour.

I will interject to add that on the bike portion I knew they made the right decision about the swim as the wind was wicked and the white caps were plenty.   I will also like to add that I was starting to think that my name had changed to “on your left” which is what people say when flying by you (or me).   I admit, that I should have ridden my bike more or at least a little bit.

Go out for the second run.   This one being the full 5K.   I feel like my bottom is still in the saddle and I REALLY want to walk.   At this point, I decide though that I am going to run the whole thing.   I am just going to keep moving.   I dig deep as the saying goes and remind myself that this is nothing compared to a 50K (Ok it is, but you say what you say to keep yourself moving).   I also remind myself that this is how I’m going to feel come mile 22 of NYCM, so I just need to keep moving.   I know that I’m running brisk because not only can I feel a little stitch in my side but I’m breathing pretty heavy.   I’ve got no watch.   I’ve got no clue and I know if I slow down that I might just stop.  I also don’t feel like I’m dying, just like I’m at the end of a race

Just keep moving.    Going to make it to the end without walking.   This is it.

Cross the finish line.

Yeah!!!

Get my time.

Holy Crap.   This can’t be right????

iron-girl2016

Now my question is why would I question it?    I know the course.   I know that my bike time is right about where it was last year.    If my times were in slower, I would never question.   Why is it so hard to believe the good stuff?

One of my friends suggested that I never run with a watch again::)   Ha!

I will say that I am in shock.   Last year my run was 31:53.    My fastest 5K was over the summer at a local 5K where I ran 26:26.   This is unbelievable and I keep expecting them to tell me that they made a mistake.    The won’t because official times were released and apparently I do run much faster without a watch to tell me to slow down.

Now all I need to do is see what m coach says about m easy recovery run that I was supposed to do.  So much for easy recovery run:)   Really shocked

It was a great day and even though I went into it by myself you can never feel alone when your surrounded by a group of Tri Women!

Now it is time to put this to bed and myself included.

Don’t Think, Just Run

My town was hosting an inaugural 5K yesterday.   I had signed up for it a month ago as a way to support the event, but really was not sure if I was going to even run it.    The race was to start at 7:30 and a friend texted me in the late afternoon and I still didn’t know if I was going to run or not.   I got dressed in my running gear and figured I needed to run anyway, so I headed over to pick up my bib.

Met up with some of my MRTT and chilled out a bit.

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(This was post race, but we didn’t take a picture before the race.   Also, I forgot to tell you Happy Birthday!   My bad.)

Still didn’t know what I wanted to do, but knew I didn’t want to start in the back.   Would much rather start up front and fad to the back.   Besides it was elbow to elbow.    So I started near the front with another amazing MRTT Mama.   Then saw another one who was running with her two boys.   She was going to run with her 6 year old, but her 10 year old told her he was going to sprint ahead.

So when the race started, I sprinted behind a 10 year old the first mile.    He was faster than I wanted to run and he had no idea that I was following, but I figured I would stick with him and see where it took me.   We ran an 8:12 mile!   Oh my.  Did I mention that it was HOT too!    It was too much for both of us.   I saw him holding his side and I wanted to say something to him about how awesome he was doing, but I thought better since he didn’t know who I was and he might have thought I was a stalker:).   I was so proud of both of us, because although we both slowed for the second mile neither of us gave up.   At this point, I ran ahead as it was time to pace myself.

I will say that I didn’t really look at my watch except to see the distance.   I didn’t want to think about pace, I just wanted to run.    I pushed myself.   I was breathing hard.  I probably wasn’t smiling, but I was running.   This was a run that I needed.   This was the run I didn’t even know I wanted.   I can honestly say that I gave it my all the entire race and really don’t think that I could have pushed any harder than I did.     That really is all I can ask of myself.   At the end of the race I could barely breathe, but I did it.   I  finished in 26:26 which is a PR!

By the way, the 10 year old finished in 28:16!

So I believe the moral of this story is sometimes it is best not to think and just run.  I thought way to much in my 6K and not at all in this one.   The races could not have been any more different.   It might also have helped that this run was in my backyard, so I also knew many people.   Who knows.   All I know is that maybe overall I should just stop thinking so much, stop looking at my watch so much, and just run.

just-run

 

 PS – the only reason I looked at my watch for distance was to know how far before I could stop

 

If I could just Shut the Little Man Up!

This morning started off just right.   Actually woke up right before my alarm.   Had a good night sleep, although maybe not enough.    Got up and was ready for the Queens 10K Crew to pick me up.    Moving right as scheduled, then the brakes get put on.

Literally.

We could arrived to Citifield right before 7:30 giving us plenty of time to get to the start line at 8:30.   At least it should have been more than enough time!   We literally did not park the car till 8:30.

The frustrating part is that there was more than enough parking, but they just didn’t have the lots open.   It was annoying.   It was frustrating.   It was not the volunteers fault who were directing traffic.   Someone made a mistake or underestimated or something, because it was ridiculous!

Queens10k_16Why oh why when there is this much space did we have to wait an hour to get into the lot.   Crazy!

Then we had to do a 3/4 mile jog to the start line and literally jump into a corral and start the race.

Not the best way to start.

The corrals were crazy croweded probably due to people such as ourselves getting to the start line late.    Elbow to Elbow.   Bob and weave.   Stop and go.  Crazy start.

Then I settled into it or as much as I could settle in.   I was on pace.   I was on the money.   Then The little man in my head would not shut up as much as I told him to.   Physically, I think I may have had it in me today even with the heat.   Mentally, my mind just was not there.

Queens10k-16_2Look at these beautiful negative splits……. Backwards!

Mentally, my head wasn’t in the game.   As much as I wanted to pretend it was, it was not there.   It did not help that I did not plan my music accordingly causing thoughts to pop into my head that I had no business thinking about while trying to run a race.

Physically, there is no reason that I needed to walk during this race.   Mentally, I admit that I took a few walk breaks.   There was a point that I almost gave up and walked.  At the end, I did push it but it was too little too late.   It was just not my day.   You need these bad running days to appreciate the good ones.

In the whole scheme of things, it is just a race.   It is not a make or break thing that I didn’t PR today.   It would have been nice, but at the end of the day (to me) I know it really doesn’t matter.   There will be other days, other races, and other PR’s.

And you know what?   As much as I’m going on that the race wasn’t my race, I ran it faster than last year. I still ran it pretty decently even if I walked a time or two.   I still finished with a good place and overall my pace was good.     Was it the race I wanted?   No, but those are the breaks.

try

I finished in 59:14.

So I was under an hour this year and still not a bad race.

Overall 5093 out of 9,982

Women 1594 out of 4,814

Age Place 110 out of 432

So I really think I need to shut up that it wasn’t a good race.   I know that I could have pushed myself and run better but I mentally didn’t care.

Every have one of those days and realize in the end it wasn’t so bad?

me too:)