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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

an update: random runner survey.

i last completed this survey in january of 2010.  i thought it was time for an update...

also, stay tuned as i've got some races coming up within the next two months:
  1. May 8 - Japan Run - 4M
  2. May 14 - Healthy Kidney Run - 10K
  3. May 21 - Brooklyn Half-Marathon
  4. June 11 - NYRR Women's Mini - 10K
  5. June 25 - PRIDE - 5M
 1. Number of marathons you have run
two, both NYC ('09 and '10).  i've got guaranteed entry for this years' NYC Marathon so i'll be going for #3!  Also, i PLAN to run the las vegas marathon in december.  key word: plan. 

2. Where was your first marathon?
New York City baaaabyyy

3. Favorite Marathon course:
New York City?  Idk.. i'll answer this again after I run Vegas. Note to self: google Las Vegas marathon route.  I hope it's flat.  please be flat.

4. Most memorable race:
2010 NYC Half-Marathon.  i PRed by approximately 3 minutes! 

5. PRs?
5k- oddly enough, i've never run a 5k.  we spoke about this on easter.  yes, i realize it's one of the most common racing distances.  yes, i realize it's weird that i've never run one.  no, i'm probably not going to sign up for one anytime soon. 
4miler- 38:52 (2010)
5 miler - 52:36 (2010)
10k- 1:00:47 (2009)
15k- 1:36:39 (2011)
10 miler- Haven't timed any 10 mile runs.  Haven't run a 10 mile race either.
1/2 marathon- 2:11:27 (2010)
Marathon- 4:49:40 (2009)
50k- hell to the no
45 miler- hell to the double no
50 mile- wtf.
100k- not happening, ever
100 mile- never in a million years
24 hour- i prefer to sleep, thanks.

6. Ever run in a costume?
Does this count?
2010 Marathon Kickoff Race - 10/31/10

7. The only running shoes for me:
New Balance 700 Series.  I tried a different shoe last training season and i ended up with a black toenail (gross, sorry about that).  so yea, needless to say, i switched back.

8. Ever injured?
Hip flexor strain and now a fun pain in a tendon in my left foot.  awesome. 

9. Hot or cold weather runner?
hot.  i used to make fun of those women who would run in just a sports bra... no more, my friends, no more.  it's a good 5 degrees cooler once you take off the tank top. 

10. Morning or evening runs?
i guess i could say i prefer mornings because it's nice to get them out of the way (especially the really long ones).  however, i do enjoy sleeping in.

11. What is your motivation?
i don't know.. being able to eat the way i do and not gain any weight?  how good it feels to finish a marathon?  a mix of the two? 

12. Ever DNF?
nope but i've wanted to quit more than once.. see posts for 2010 long island half and the 2011 manhattan half marathon. 

13. Race I'd like to forget:
too many... but most recently, the 2011 manhattan half marathon.  my whole body was frozen.  i don't know how my legs were even moving towards the end.  awful, awful day for a run.

14. Favorite post race nosh:
diet soda.  for some reason, i can no longer eat after a run/race anymore.  it's like i come home, shower, and nap immediately, the thought of food making me feel slightly nauseous.  this is bad, i know.  for the longer runs/races, i'll have some pretzels or grapes after.  but diet soda, man, that's the way to go.  i actually begin to crave it on longer runs. 

15. Galloway or Higdon?

still don't know who/what these are.

16. Flat course or hills:
FLAT.  i'd only like a hilly course if its a course that is downhill the entire time.  las vegas, please be flat.

17. Back, Middle, or Front of the pack?
typically somewhere in the middle.

18. Run alone or with a partner:
definitely nicer to run with a friend or two!  i've been lucky this year that meghan and lisa have run pretty much every race with me.  and im even luckier because i've been able to get the boy to do a few runs with me too :-)

19. Ever win your age group?
hahahhahahahhahahahha.  i find this question extremely hilarious.

20. One part of your body that has never seen Body Glide:
every part of my body.  i've never used body glide.  apparently i don't chafe the way i'm supposed to?

21. Best part of running:
napping and eating afterwards. 

22. If I didn't run I_______________.
would be a size or two larger.

23. I can't run without______________________.
a sports bra. 

23. Ever lose a toenail?
nope!  i'd like to keep these bad boys.

24. Gatorade or Cytomax?
gatorade.  no idea what cytomax is... sounds like a prescription of some sort.

25. Favorite gel flavor?
don't do gels... more a fan of the gu chomps or beans.  i love jelly beans oh yes i dooo.

26. How many days after a marathon do you usually start running again?
about 5 days.

27. I run, therefore I ________________________.
am a person who runs.

28. Pre-race routines? (night before or morning of)
Night Before: pasta and chicken parm (long runs... no need to carb load for short runs), get my race stuff in order
Morning of: wake up as late as possible

29. What is your typical night before the big race meal?
pasta and chicken parm- again, only for the long runs.  i typically do this for anything over 10 miles.

30. Would you run a marathon again?
obviously.  Already in for the NYC Marathon in November and tentatively running the Las Vegas Marathon in December. 

31. If you could run with anyone, who would that person be?

Sethy!  Up for another one?  teehee.

i didn't read the january 2010 post so i have no idea if the answers have changed, but i'm assuming some of them have while some of them have stayed the same (think chicken parm and pasta... why in the world would i ever change that awesomeness?).

stay classy, nyc.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

she said it was my choice, so obviously i didnt have one: scotland 10k.

usually i struggle waking up for a race.. well, every race besides the 15k that began at 11:15.. that was awesome.  anywho, for 99.99% of the races i've run, it's been a pain to get out of bed when my alarm goes off.  i usually end up snoozing until the last possible second i'd have to get out of bed in order to walk out the door fully clothed and get to the start line on time.

it was refreshing that when the alarm went off before the scotland 10k, i actually felt awake.  i didn't feel like i was rushing around trying to get stuff ready (probably because i was a good girl the night before and gathered all my race gear together and put it in a nice neat little pile for myself). so yea, we got out the door and into a cab with the perfect amount of time to get down to 67th street and meet the ladies before the start.

when we got to the park, we ran into dena right at the entrance.  she was cute in her kilt as she practiced running with it on the sidewalk.  so many people were wearing kilts or plaid skirts! it made me wish i had thought to wear my little red plaid skirt over my running pants.  ahh well.  definitely nice to run (ha!) into her.  we ended up running near her and some of her running friends for a little bit of the race.  good looks.

it took us a while to get to the spot where meg and lisa were waiting.  he-who-must-not-be-named (yes, i am poking fun) couldn't believe how many people were actually up at this hour.  i reminded him that for the nyc half, i was already standing on 5th avenue with seth at 6:30am.  seriously, people who run never get to sleep late.  i'm pretty sure the brooklyn half starts at 7:30 in the morning.. which means i will be sleeping at allison's so i don't have to wake up at 4am just to get to prospect park for that absurdly early hour on a saturday.

once the race started, it took wayyyy too long for us to cross the start line.  typically, it'll take me around 5 minutes to get to the start.  sunday?  13 minutes.  that's right, it took 13 minutes from when the first runners began to when we actually got to the start.  absolutely absurd (but not as absurd as the nyc marathon... first runners out at 9:40.. me? 10:45 if i'm lucky.)

it was uber crowded so we did lots of lateral movement in and out of people. so much unnecessary running.  major boo.

i was just not feeling well on sunday at all.  i felt like i couldn't get into a rhythm, which was super disappointing because it was one of the few races in which we run around the park clockwise, which is my preferred direction.   no one ever agrees with me that clockwise is the easier direction and im beginning to think that something is wrong with me. why does everyone else feel that this direction is more difficult than running counter-clockwise? aaanyways, it didn't matter much on sunday because i felt awful even during the flats and downhills.  around mile 2, when we encountered the long uphill on the north west side of the park, i literally wanted to stop.  it took so much to not only keep my pace up, but to just keep myself going in general.  it was like heaven to reach the top and know that i now had the downhill of the harlem hills.

reason #1 why clockwise is better than counter-clockwise: downhill harlem hills.  DOWNHILL HARLEM HILLS, PEOPLE!

right before mile 4, he-who-must-not-be-named said he wanted to "stretch his legs" and see how fast he could finish this thing.  he went off and i stayed with meghan almost til the end when i got a surge of energy (essentially because i felt so crappy that all i wanted to do was finish).

reason #2 why clockwise is better than counter-clockwise: downhill cat hill.  DOWNHILL CAT HILL, PEOPLE!

rounding the bottom of the park to get to the finish line, i picked it up, excited to finish and excited to see the 'rents.  i saw my mom cheering right at the finish line, assuming my father was somewhere around with mr big.  big loves central park, mainly because it's a giant playground for dogs, so whenever my parents come out to a race, mom ends up cheering, and dad ends up elsewhere with the pup.

i finished in 1:01:52, 3 minutes after he-who-must-not-be-named, with a 9:58 overall pace.  i'm pretty happy with that.  it's not my best, but it also isn't my worst.

so yea, we met up right after the finish, got our scottish water, and headed to meet my parents and mr big. we waited for quite some time in the parking garage as it seems that half of the 10,000 people who ran the race parked in this exact garage.  how lovely.

good looks though when we got back uptown: i showered and mama brocks went to get us all bagels and fruit.

sweet deal.

next up? Japan Run - May 8.


Monday, April 18, 2011

the fact that i've literally said, almost verbatim, everything this guy says, means NOTHING. right?

Friday, April 8, 2011

2011 NYC HALF - w/ guest blogger: sethyyy.

seth and I at the start.
As most know, i convinced (tricked) seth into running the nyc half this year.  and as most know, i was definitely more excited than he was when he first got accepted into the race.. and my excitement exceeded his pretty much all throughout his training.  (obviously, i wasn't the one who had to run in boston in february.)

but then came race weekend.  the awesome part about being his host for the weekend was that i got to watch the excitement build in him.  it's hard not to get a little pumped up at the expo when you pick up your race stuff, it's hard not to get a little anxious the night before when you know that in less than 12 hours, you'll have completed something you've been working towards for months.

so saturday night, we dined.  and we watched basketball.  and we woke up before the sun on sunday.  and we got in a cab to the start.  and seth got to experience a new york that not many people get to experience.. a pre-sunrise central park with 10,000 "people who run."

ladies, gents, and blog stalkers alike, i give you, the nyc half-marathon in seth's own words:

So I’m standing around 96th and 5th freezing my ass off (because who needs pants at 6 AM in the middle of March?) remembering a conversation I had a few months prior. It was mentioned in a previous post in this blog so I won’t get into it, but needless to say the universe found it entertaining to select me for the NYC Half-Marathon.  For the record I am not a person who has put his health at the top of  his priority list for the last few years. I sit at a desk 10 hours a day, I drink more than I should, and I’ve smoked far too much for far too long. While my lifestyle isn’t healthy per se, I’m still healthy (at least according to my doctor) due to years of competitive athletics and consistent activity, but all that fun stuff tends to fall by the wayside when you graduate high school and then college. So needless to say the thought of getting up to run 13.1 miles at a time when even God would say “Fuck it” and hit the snooze button was daunting. But here I was in Central Park excited, in spite of myself, my pale legs reflecting whatever beams of light that leaked through the overlapped buildings like some hairy, warped, Irish disco ball, ready to run.

The starting line at a race is an interesting place. You have people
wearing all kinds of gear, doing all kinds of things; some of them normal, some of them not. Normal: getting advice from experienced
runners like “run your own race” or “stick to water later on, the Gatorade can start to feel thick.” Not Normal: just when you think you can’t possibly see any more of person’s ass through his neon green spandex, he bends over into the “downward dog” in front of you. If he was facing the other way I have told you whether or not he was Jewish. Of course these things are unavoidable when so many people are crammed into such a space like a waddle (had to look that up) of penguins. It would have been a perfect situation for a Morgan Freeman narration: “There they stand, huddled together, warming themselves in anticipation. I must admit I didn’t think much of those runners the first time I laid eyes on them; looked like a stiff breeze would blow them over.” Also, lots of peeing. People were storming the Porto’s like they were the Bastille. A result of last minute hydration I suppose? Anyway, shortly after the mad dash to the lieu the race started and I was suddenly running my first half marathon. Delightful.

My legs were a little tight for the first few miles, probably because
the cold and the density of people didn’t allow me to really get into my stride, but it turned out to be a good thing because I tend to
start out way too fast. It forced me to slow down and lock in to a pace. I was two miles in when I saw an obnoxious yellow sign with my name on it (insert sign with motivational Charlie Sheen quotes here). I laughed at it and the person carrying it as she ran with me for about 50 feet or so excitedly shouting what I assumed to be English words of encouragement the noise more or less represented what I imagine a mouse singing opera would sound like. I was waiting for her to run into a pole. She didn’t. Probably a good thing. Then I really would have lost it (Ang, you know I love ya). 

 A mile later I came across my Boston contingent, both cheering and taunting me with signs depicting pint glasses, beer cans, and “Karate Kid” dialogue which I thought was quite impressive for the early hour (I would find out after the race they had immediately departed for a diner after I ran by because they had gone to bed four hours prior and were insanely hung over). It hit me on the backside of the park that I still had 10 miles to go so I took some advice I’d received early and broke it down into sections whether it was a set of miles, a group of hills, etc. The coolest part of the park was looking from the northwest corner of the park back across the lake as the sun came up. It was beautiful. It made me forget for a moment that much like cars on the highway there are people who find the need to bob in and out of running lanes even if they don’t exist. I literally saw a guy try to leap frog someone rather than just pass on the far right and, like on the highway, I wish this person crashed into a guard rail (or in this case a strategically placed sign or traffic cone).

Taking the turn out of the park was huge knowing that more than half the race was over and I didn’t have to see another hill for the next five miles. The fact that the course opened up drastically helped with spacing and definitely put me in a more comfortable place both physically and mentally. I was able to shift into a sort of cruise control as I pulled into Times Square. It was kind of surreal running
through such an iconic place that’s usually humming with life, whether it is tourists, angry cabbies, or naked cowboys. There was a section between there and the park where it was eerily quiet like one of those post-apocalyptic zombie movies where they show a recognizable place and the dude realizes everyone is dead, only the zombies aren’t chasing you in Puma’s with their nipples taped down. It was so cool but I could have done without all the music. The place and sounds of the people were enough to get me psyched. I felt like Tom Cruise in“Vanilla Sky” minus the fear and paranoia. And again, who is stopping in Times Square to take a piss? How much Gatorade could you possibly be putting down that you can’t hold it for another 40 minutes? You should be ashamed of your tiny bladders.

As I hang a right towards the West Side Highway I think I hear what
sounds like my name if it were to be both belched and shrieked simultaneously, regardless of how impossible it might be physiologically. I turn. It’s my cousin. Totally possible.

Fact: The West Side Highway is long. Like, ridiculously long. When I
say long I mean I could have watched the entire extended directors cut of “Schindler’s List” with all the bonus DVD features during the time it took me to run this stretch of road. Ok, maybe that’s a lie, but it sure felt like it. I blame Angela for putting the “OMG it took foreeeeeeeever for mile 12 to come I wanted to die” thought in my head the day before.  In all likelihood it probably was because it was the only part of the race that was not askew (a word that in my opinion is totally underused). As I got closer and closer to the finish line I had to turn my iPod off because A) there were way too many DJ’s blasting over played Journey songs (thanks a lot “Glee”) and B) there were so many awesome people cheering and shouting hilarious things at the runners that I had to listen (Side Note: was anyone else weirded
out at the turn by those dancing, flipping, singing, capoeira-ing, Brazilians on that float/stage? I may be exaggerating but it was like some “Wizard of Oz” flying monkey acid trip gone terribly wrong.
Obviously I still have some childhood issues to work out).

The last 500 meters I turned on the jets (relatively speaking) because
I just wanted the thing to be over. I guess something about seeing the finish line brings that out in a person. About 50 meters out I ran by my final support group consisting of my parents, my brother, and my
adopted Italian family. I would have missed them entirely if it weren’t for the mother’s screaming me down. It was highly entertaining as the men just sat back doing the finger point behind them. It was a
very cool moment. Crossing the finish line was a bit anti climatic as it turned from a “wow I just did that” to a “wow it’s kind of cold now that I stopped running. Where do I get one of those tin foil alien
blankets?” I guess it’s one of those things you don’t really think a lot about when you’re doing it in the moment, but rather something that becomes increasingly badass and self-satisfying when you think
about it in following days, weeks, months, etc. Even though I basically went into the whole thing not thinking it’d be a big deal and griping every so often, I’m glad I got “tricked” into doing because it’s something that I’ll always know I did. And that’s the whole point.

Thanks to everyone that helped out over the months leading up to the
race. I couldn't have done it without out you.
there you have it, folks.  thanks seth for the guest blogging.  and a very big pat on the back to yours truly, improving lives one irishman at a time.


Friday, April 1, 2011

don't be a chump, check your rump: Colon Cancer Challenge 15K.

not to brag or anything, but i knocked 20 seconds from each mile from my last 15k (that's 9.3 miles for the americans out there), resulting in a whopping 3 MINUTE PR!  yayness :)

so yea, this past saturday, meghan, her buddy, and i, all ran the new york colon cancer challenge 15k in central park.  there was a 4 mile race that occurred that same morning so our 15k start time wasn't until 11:15.  11:15!!!

it was so amazing to wake up naturally, have a relaxing breakfast, lay in bed with my laptop, get dressed casually.  usually with races, i'm up getting ready before some new yorkers have gone to sleep and before the sun creeps itself over the east river.  usually, i'm running around like a chicken without its head, grabbing a granola bar to eat in the cab, and putting my bib and running chip on as i'm walking to the start line.  as you can probably guess, i'm not one of those people who gets up with enough time before a race to properly prepare.

but this saturday i was able to do all the things i should do before a race.. and it was glorious. 

meghan was feeling a lil weak and tight from running the nyc half-marathon last sunday.  but seriously, who wouldn't be?  she completely kicked ass last week, finishing with a time of 2:13:54.  during marathon training season, our bodies are accustomed to running that and more each weekend.. but once that season is over, we go back to being normal people, with bodies that need more than a week to fully recover from running 13.1 miles.

we kept the pace at a comfortable 10:45ish for the first 7 or so miles.  at around mile 8, i had such a surge of energy that i pushed forward and broke away for the remainder of the race.  once i reached mile 9, i knew i was going to PR and i knew that i had seriously picked up my pace.  I finished with a pace of 10:24.. meaning that my last 2 miles were pretty damn fast if i knocked my average pace down 20 seconds/mile in only 2 miles. 

close to mile 9, i developed a side stitch on my right side.. but i was so determined to finish strong that i pushed through it.  i made sure to breathe in my nose and out my mouth.. and i massaged it with my right hand for the remainder of the race, which helped to alleviate most of the discomfort.

crossing the finish line, knowing very well that i PR'd, felt soooo good.  meghan crossed not too long after me and we were able to make our way to the subway together.  another good run with one of my favorite tfk alums :)

next up: scotland 10K with the boy.

also, i asked sethy to write a post about his experience running the nyc half.  get on it, sethy.  we're waiting.