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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

concrete jungle where dreams are made of..

2:11:27. that's right, people, a new PR for this girl right here :-)  I was so worried about this half because, like i said in my last post, i barely ran at all in preparation for this half.  actually, i hadn't run more than 6 miles since the Manhattan Half on January 24th.  i was keeping track of my split times throughout the race and knew i was pulling an approximate 10:10 mile for most miles.. which, would have already put me ahead of my best half-marathon pace of 10:28.  in the end, i ended up with a 10:03 overall pace. good looks, ang, good looks.

anywho, the race itself was pretty awesome.  the first seven or so miles were rough as they were all in the park.  i felt my calves tighten up and felt a slight cramp in my abdomen at about mile 2.  i focused on my breathing and tried to massage the cramp away.. luckily i was able to ease the pain.  i think i was a little dehydrated because i felt a lot better after the water stop after mile 2 where i slowed down to drink a cup of gatorade and 2 cups of water (not typical at all) haha.

so one of my favorite things about bigger races are the larger crowds they draw.  it's always great to have people cheering on the side but i absolutely love reading signs people have made for their friends or family and even more so, i love when i'm able to see a runner find their fans on the side of the race.

right before mile 3, i saw an older man and woman on the side start going absolutely crazy.  it was easy to see who they were cheering for as their daughter ran to them, flung her long sleeve shirt at dad, threw her hands in the air, and kept on running.  her mother went nuts cheering and ended with "you make me so proud, baby, go get it!"  yup, needless to say, this brought on the waterworks.  parents are so cute.  ill never forget what it was like to see my parents running and screaming down the marathon finish line bleachers.  it was one of the best parts about crossing the finish line, knowing how happy they were to see me do it.

so yea, after i dried my eyes (gag), i was able to coast until about mid mile 4 when it's basically uphill for 2 miles. yuck.  my hip flexor started to bother me and i actually kept thinking about how even when i strained it back in august, i still ran the 10 miles i set out to run.. and this thought helped me fight through it.  luckily, once the hills subsided, so did the pain.

now comes the good part.. out of the park and onto 7th avenue.  this was, by far, one of the coolest miles i have ever run in all of new york.  having times square completely shut down, the whole street full of people running and people cheering.. it was absolutely incredible.  when making my marathon mix, i was sure to place specific songs at key points in the run.. and with perfect timing, "empire state of mind" came on right as i set foot onto 7th avenue.

if i do run with earphones (nyc marathon, i did not), i only wear one earphone so i can still hear what's going on on the sides of the race.  whenever i could hear band music, i shut off the music, really taking in what i was doing.  running down 7th avenue, one band was playing "dancing in the streets" and i just remember having this feeling like how lucky i was to be a part of this whole thing.  next year, if i make the lottery again, itd be really nice to have someone jump in and run that mile with me.  any takers?

by mile 10, on the westside highway, it really hit me that i was a few minutes ahead of my record time.  i'm pretty sure a camera guy saw me do a little celebration.  if this is the case, i'll be sure to post that picture here:
looks like the camera man snapped right after my little fist pump action.. and perhaps that's a good thing.

mile 11-12 was the HARDEST mile oh dear.  seriously, that mile felt like it lasted 20 minutes.  i kept looking for the 12 mile marker and i'm pretty sure at one point i groaned aloud "omg where is itttttt?"

i picked it up for the last mile, i was so pumped that i was gonna get a PR, i was pumped that my parents were gonna be near the finish line, and quite honestly, i was pumped that this damn half was almost over.  once i passed my parents, and the lovely Mr. Big, i went all out straight to the finish.  2:11:27 babayyy.

Mr. Big, one of my fans :-)


next up: Run As One 4M 4/11, LI Half 5/2, Brooklyn Half 5/22.
operation keep ang occupied: in full effect.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

corro.. but i'm not a runner.

So as most of you already know, I spent the past week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  This is a picture I took of the water the first day we were there.. kinda incredible, huh?

The resort was beautiful and the weather was incredible.  I could most definitely get used to living in that climate and living that lifestyle.  I realized this on Wednesday when my biggest worry was "I hope I get to water aerobics on time after my run."  Absolutely amazing haha.

So in preparation for the NYC Half-Marathon tomorrow, I made sure that I got two short runs in this past week while I was away.  The other days I went to the gym and got a light lift in.  I felt like I needed to do something as I was eating and drinking a lot differently than I usually do while I'm in training.. although, I haven't actually trained for this.. actually, I'm half-assing this half-marathon even more than I half-assed the Manhattan Half.  ugh.  What are the odds that I don't half-ass the LI Half in May? hah.

My parents and Joe are gonna be at the finish line tomorrow so I'll have something pushing me.  Plus, I'm actually really excited for the course.. one loop of Central Park, out through Times Square, and ending up in Battery Park City.  The crappy thing though is that the start time is 7:35 am!  Seriously, WTF?!?  The NYC-Half is usually in August, so an early start time makes sense as it's so hot out.. but not in March!  I guess they want to be able to have the streets open again pretty early but that early of a rise is definitely gonna make for a very sleepy Ang come tomorrow afternoon.  

Okay, time to eat my pre-long run meal.. chicken parm and pasta!  mmm num yummy.

aaand i wanna go back now.  anyone wanna go to the dominican republic with me? dooooooooo it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

run for haiti.

i am so glad that i ran last weeks' 4m Run for Haiti.  the start wasn't until 9 so i felt that i was able to sleep in a little longer than the last few races. oh yea, and the weather was BEAUTIFUL.  it was finally 40+ degrees so it was great running weather.. and the scenery was gorgeous as it had snowed a few days before so there was snow on the trees and on the grass.  mmm i love central park :-)

there were SO many people out running that day.  i don't think nyrr put a cap on the number of runners because they wanted to raise as much money as possible for the NYC Haiti Fund.  together, nyc runners raised over $400,000 for Haiti that morning.  that thought alone makes me so proud to live in this city.  although as i was running, i found myself getting aggravated by the congestion.  even at the finish line, there was a slight "wait" to cross.  i mean, come on, you run OVER the finish line, you don't get close to it and then walk at a snails pace until you cross.  either way, i ended up with a 9:54 pace, finishing in 39:39.  not too bad at all, especially with all the congestion.

the start line was extremely emotional.  there were haitian singers, dancers, adults, children, etc. all there either running or showing their gratitude, waving at runners as they crossed the start.  at about mile 2, i ran past a trio of young adults with the words "haiti 'quake survivor - celebrating life with a 4 mile jog" written on the back of their t-shirts.   me being me, i had to talk myself down with a "suck it up, ang, do not cry."  this was very similar to the feeling i had in brooklyn during the marathon when the first few fans screamed my name.  i got teary every time someone cheered for me that i literally had to talk to myself, "man up, ang, you cannot cry every time someone says your name for 26.2 miles."

all in all, great run.  i really cannot wait for the weather to be warmer.. we've had ridiculous snow storms the past few weeks and the one this past friday completely screwed up my longer run this weekend.  with only a few weeks left until the nyc half, i really wanna get a few good long runs in before i head down to the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

twooooo more weeks. adios and vaya con dios. byahhh.