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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011: a year in review.

well, i did it folks... i ran 1,000 miles in 2011.

as i was running this past week and i heard my watch buzz for my 5th mile, i smiled. 1000 miles. just to remind you, this is what 1,000 miles looks like:

i did the math (typical) and i ran for roughly one full week in 2011.  51 weeks of being a normal (ehh, normalish) human being and 1 week of being a person who runs.  geezus.

it's been a long and crazy year.  it's been a year full of love, heartache, new friends, old friends, PRs, a new apartment, new fun colored sneakers, travel, and most importantly- lessons in love, life, and friendship.

i'm ready for 2012 but it's hard to deny that 2011 was a pretty big year for me. so here it is- my 2011 year in review: the good, the bad, and the stuff i didn't say the first time around.


  • Ran a half-marathon in 14 degree weather.
    • Looking back, this was the definition of badass.  i'm really proud of myself, lisa, and meghan for knocking this one out last january.  
    • My body was legit frozen when i got home.  my skin was raw, it was scary.  
  • Met my blogging crush
    • I have an obsession with people who run and blog.  seriously.  it's only gotten worse as the year has gone on.  do you run and blog? do you wanna be my friend? i promise i'm not creepy. 
  • Ran on superbowl sunday
    • This race was so much fun and i already signed up for this years race as well.  Perhaps i should practice throwing a football so that i can win the football throwing contest before the race.  really, i can do it.  i know bj raji so i'm practically a professional football player myself.
  • February was my lowest mileage month (a whopping 33 miles).  february 2011 was awful.  

  • apparently, nothing of importance happened in june.  i did, however, post this embarrassingly accurate video of a guys thoughts while running a marathon.
  • is it bad that i cannot remember anything of significance that happened in june?  was my brothers graduation party in june? because that was fun.  lisa, meg, seth and i all ran in the morning along the hudson river and then we rewarded ourselves with lots of backyard fun over on long island.  
  • my favorite week of the entire year
    • the week before the marathon is one of the most amazing weeks to be "someone who runs" in new york city. i get excited just thinking about the feeling i get roughly every 20 seconds during the week before the marathon.  i expect to get nothing accomplished at work and i understand that no one wants to be around me because all i talk about is the marathon.  it's okay, i get it.
    • i could cry just thinking about how i felt when i crossed the finish line this year.  this years marathon meant more to me than it ever has before.  my training went great and i wanted a PR so badly.  i needed that PR more than i let on. 
  • another PR! 5 miles at a 9:06 pace!
    • overheard at mile 4.5- "i don't know that i want to marry you anymore, you told me this was a trot, this is a turkey sprint from hell."

so there ya have it folks, 2011 in a nutshell.  my goal for 2011 was 1,000 miles... what should i aim for in 2012?  any new years resolution ideas for me?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ted corbitt 15k.

i absolutely love this distance.    it is the perfect "long" distance race.

(in no particular order)
reasons why the 15k (9.3) miles is my favorite racing distance:

  • it's long enough that i feel legit when i get home.  at this point in my running "career," there are certain distances that just don't do much for me. when i first started running, i remember being nervous about my first 6 mile run. now? i run 6 miles on weeknights after work during marathon training. there's a kind of feeling that comes with running a "long" distance (whatever that may be for you) and i've found that the 15k is where i get that feeling.  
  • there's no mental "wall." in long distance races, there's typically a mile marker that sticks out as a mental "wall" for me.  in half-marathons, it's mile 8.  i dont know what it is about that 8th mile, but when i get to it, i always think to myself, "damn, i cannot believe i have to do this for 5 more miles." at that point in the race, 5 miles always feels way too long.  in a 15k? when i get to mile 8, i'm like "yay, 1.3 miles to go. gonna knock this sh*t out. byahh."
  • at my pace, it's really only an hour and a half of running. when i put it that way, it doesn't seem so bad.. especially after months of training for a race that takes me more than four and a half hours to complete.
  • "training" is easy.  it's unfortunate that 15ks aren't more common because i think they're an awesome way for new runners to get into long distance racing. running 9.3 miles just seems a lot less intimidating than 13.1 to a new runner. hell, it's a lot less intimidating to me.  hey, racing directors of ny, can we have more 15ks? please? 

i was really excited about this 15k this year.  i knew i could PR and i knew it was the perfect race to help push my mileage to over 1000 for 2011.  luckily, it was an absolutely beautiful day in new york city and i didn't have to bundle up too much.  

i warmed up quickly once i started running and i just felt fantastic the whole way.  i was keeping everything just below a 10min/mi pace and i kept glancing down at my watch to make sure i wasn't going too fast.  in shorter races, i'll push sooner.  i didn't want to run out of steam before the second loop.  looks like i did something right because the second loop (the last 5 miles) felt even better than the first 4 and i was able to push my pace.  at the 9 mile mark, i looked down and knew i could break 1:30.  what?! i was so excited!! i FLEW those last .3 miles because damnit if i was going to finish even with a 1:30:00.  

1:29:22 (9:37 min/mi).

nothing like a good 15k to get me ready for lots of holiday eating (and there was lots... and lots... of eating).

hope everyone had an amazing holiday and that you're out there this week workin' off some of the celebrating that you all deserved!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


yes, i know i'm slow on the ted corbitt race update... but this week has been pretty hectic. i will update soon, i promise.  especially since after thursday, i am a FREE LADY until january 3rd.

running > work.

friday cannot come soon enough.  working in education definitely has its perks..

until then, happy running :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

a 15k PR and a great last race of 2011!

1:29:22 (9:37 pace)

time to nap.  will re-cap soon :-)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

do YOU speak running?

so i came across this article yesterday on runner's world about the language of running. to test yourself, the author suggested running (ha!) a little comprehension test by reading these scenarios and seeing whether or not you could explain what they mean:

Person 1: "Are those Glycerins?"
Person 2: "No. Ghost 4's."
Person 1: "Nice. I've actually been thinking of trying Vibrams."
Person 2: "If you're interested in zero-drop, heck, just wear flats."

Person 1: "I'm wiped. I just did three at 6:30
then eight by 400 with 200 recoveries."
Person 2: "I thought you still had that ITB thing?"
Person 1: "I did, but I foam-rollered it and now it seems okay."

Person 1: "How was your marathon?"
Person 2: "It was okay. I wanted to negative-split and run sub-three;
I went through the half in 1:32, but the wheels fell off
around 21 and I wound up doing a 3:12."
Person 1: "Is that a PR?"
Person 2: "Yeah. But not a BQ."

Person 1: "Are you doing Marine Corps this fall?"
Person 2: "No, it's full."
Person 1: "You could bandit."
Person 2: "Nah, I'm gonna do Grandma's in the summer
then maybe do a fall half."

i laughed at their examples and it got me thinking about other running terms that make sense to the running community but not necessarily to the "common folk."

so, take my test and see if you're fluent in the running language...

do you know:

  • the difference between chomps and GUs?
  • what it means to BQ?
  • the meaning of a PR?
  • the difference between DNS and DNF?
  • what a spibelt is?
  • that a garmin is more than a driving directions device?
  • what a negative split is? or splits, in general?
  • the difference between pronation and supination?
  • the difference between chip time and gun time?
  • what it means to taper?
  • the difference between fartleks, pickups, and tempo runs?

If you answered yes to all (or most) of these, congratulations! i have deemed you bilingual (or trilingual or whatever number lingual you were before reading this post +1).

go ahead and slap that on your resume. i mean, if nerds can put computer languages on there, i can put that i'm fluent in running.  right? 

next up: ted corbitt 15k this saturday!

[note: nerds are cool.  i love nerds (both the people and the candy). please don't send me hate mail if you put computer languages on your resume]

Friday, December 9, 2011

las vegas half-marathon recap.

so i know i'm a little slow on this one but i just haven't had the time or the energy to sit and write a legit post since returning from vegas this past monday.

seeing as though i slept a total of 11 hours last night, i think i should be capable of producing a pretty decent post now.

so here goes, the yin and the yang of the las vegas half marathon:

The company!
christina, my parents, and I at Minus5 Ice Bar
myself and the girls, at Surrender at Encore on friday night

the expo.
My experience at the expo was fantastic.  I was lucky enough to get into Vegas by noon on Friday so we had plenty of time to get to the expo before it got insanely crowded.  i'm glad we got there when it was pretty empty because i had an agenda: meet meb.  and i did!  and he was awesome!

he even let me hold the winning nyc marathon medal!

he won my first ever marathon (nyc 2009) and i could not control my excitement when i found out that he would be at the vegas expo.  there were only about 8 people on line and he seemed to be spending a lot of time with everyone who was there to meet him. obviously i got even more excited that i'd be able to have an actual conversation with him as opposed to just having him sign something for me.  

when i walked up to him, my mom immediately took the above picture of us together.  i told him how he won my first marathon (and that i was "right behind him, obviously") and he says "oh just wait, i have something to show you then."  after he signed my marathon bib and my book, he took out the winning nyc marathon medal.  it was humongous.  and heavy.  he laughed and joked that i must be so amazed by the size and weight because "the second place medal must be a lot smaller, huh?"  

i am in love.  thanks so much, meb!

also, because the expo wasn't all that crowded, the rents and i were able to walk around, look at what all the booths were selling, take pictures, etc.  with big races, it is DEFINITELY worth it to head to the expo as early as possible.  i learned this the hard way with the nyc marathon.  get your butt their the first day if you want to do anything besides just pick up your bib and free swag.  

this show was fantastic.  it was funny and entertaining and i couldn't stop smiling during the performance.  no pictures were allowed during the actual show but there was a 20 minute pre-show where i was able to snap some photos:

My PR!
the course was flat and i knew i could get a PR.. but i definitely started to have my doubts before the race since i started to feel pretty crappy on saturday.  walking to the race, i started to get nervous that i had built myself up only to be let down if i didn't have a good run.

i had even more doubts during the race because it was so completely crowded and i was behind tons of walkers and slower runners (i'll get into this more later) that i started to get cranky that i wouldnt PR and it'd only be because of crowding and not because i couldn't go faster.  luckily, i finished with a 40 second PR so i couldn't be all that cranky.  when i ran past my parents near the finish line, i knew i'd be under 2:08 so i got all excited and threw my hands around.  they didn't get this on camera.. they did, however, see me coming and snapped this shot:

i apologize now for the crankiness that is the next few paragraphs...

Start line/corrals
The start line and corrals were completely unorganized.  When Lisa, Christina, and I first arrived at Mandalay Bay, we had absolutely no idea where to drop our bags.  there were no signs, nothing. we figured they would be inside mandalay bay so we went in that direction.  we still didn't actually know if we were going towards baggage check so we decide to ask a volunteer.  the volunteer didn't even know which way to direct us.  finally, someone says that we need to get inside mandalay bay (which is what we were trying to do in the first place) and a cop yells at us to get over to the corrals.  uhh hello, we want to go INSIDE mandalay bay because we really don't want to run with an extra 10 pounds of crap on our backs.  we get inside mandalay bay, ask again for directions, and have to walk through a massive mob of people for a good 10 minutes before we check our bags. awesome.

Merging of the half and full marathons
awful awful awful.  the full marathoners were supposed to have the left side of the road and the half marathoners were supposed to run on the right side of the road.  this didn't happen.  everyone was just wherever they wanted to be.  i felt so bad for the full marathoners because they were dodging walkers and slower runners.  these poor people just ran 13+ miles and now they have to dodge half-marathoners who are slower than them?  give them their money back.  next year, the full marathoners should do the half-marathon course FIRST.  this just seems logical and idk what einstein thought up this years course.  idiot.

Walkers and Slower Runners
races assign corrals for a reason.  you are put into a corral because that's the pace you have proven you can run.  it is not fair to decide to put yourself in a lower corral.  i was running and swerving through runners with corral numbers wayyyy higher than mine.  how are you in front of me if you were supposed to be in corral 37?!? huh?! answer me that!  it was really frustrating and in the world of running, i'm not all that fast.  it made me appreciate the nyc marathon and how they have volunteers that literally check your bib before letting you into a corral.  thank you, nyrr, i love you.

The water and cytomax
first of all, the water was gross.  apparently they just took it straight from a fire hydrant.  and i've never had cytomax before and it definitely did not taste good so i just stuck to water (which didn't taste all that good either but i took what i could get).  i heard that for runners in the back, they ran out of water.  what?! how do you run out of water?! you have 44,000 people running and they're gonna be thirsty! prepare for this.  geeze.

The Finish Line
the finish line was absurdly crowded.  i was lucky enough that i was able to run over the finish line, even if just barely.  couldn't have been more than a few paces back that this was no longer possible for runners.  runners literally had to WAIT to cross the finish line!  unbelievable.

Post-Finish line
oh man.  i don't even know where to begin.  once i crossed the finish, it was so unbelievably packed that people were barely moving.  i was able to swerve and get myself to a volunteer who was handing out medals.  i later found out that they RAN OUT OF MEDALS.  how do you run out of medals?!  you knowww exactly how many people are running, shouldn't you just make that amount of medals? maybe you should even make more just incase some are broken or lost or whatever.  i just simply cannot fathom how you can be so unorganized that you run out of medals.  every runner gets ONE MEDAL.  they don't get a second one to bring home to their dad or grandma.  c'mon people.

the foil blankets - ughhh.  instead of having people handing out the foil blankets like they do after the nyc marathon, they had people bunching them up and throwing them over the crowd.  not once, but twice, i had another runner grab a foil blanket out of my hand.  eventually, i was able to grab one from the ground.  i was even able to grab one for the little older woman behind me who also had her wrap stolen from her.  unbelievable.

the food/fruit.  usually i grab whatever they have to eat after the race.  banana, apple, pretzels, whatever.  the bananas were green.  pure green.  awesome.

there were absolutely no signs to anything.  once i got my bag, i figured someone would direct me to the "family meetup" area where i told my parents to wait at the letter Q.  no one was around to let me know where this was and when i called my parents, they said it was back outside.  ummm someone tell me why i would want to go back through a mob to go back outside in the freezing cold?  instead, i had them come meet me in the lobby.

we asked the concierge where the shuttle buses were since there were obviously no signs of volunteers to ask and he said it was all the way back where i picked up my baggage.  so (again) we herded through a mob of about 30,000 people going the opposite direction.  my mom was flipping out that we were going the wrong way.  i had to remind her that these people probably had no idea where they were going either and were all just "following the crowd."  after a good 20-30 minutes of navigating through a mob and looking all over mandalay bay for a sign for the buses or a volunteer to ask (there were none of either), we found the shuttle buses.  it was then about a 5 minute ride back to the hotel.  umm how about a sign next year?  just a suggestion.

i later found out that the mob in mandalay bay all went to the tram (because why would anyone let them know that there are way easier and more convenient shuttle buses back to hotels?) - and that it took some people roughly 2.5 hours to get to their hotel! sickening.

to sum it all up, the vacation was fun and the race was just poorly organized.  i am so appreciative of new york road runners and all that they do to ensure that all of their race participants are well-cared for and safe.

again, i apologize for the crankiness that was the last half of this post.  i just had to vent.

next up? ted corbitt 15k in central park.  back to the comfort of nyc and nyrr!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a PR in Vegas!

2:07:50 (9:45 pace)

GINORMOUS Vegas post to come...
filled with all the good (and ALL the bad) of this race.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

this time tomorrow...

i will be in las vegas. be jealous.

my plans for this weekend are:

kick 13.1 miles of las vegas butt on sunday night

meet my favorite runner (and winner of my first ever marathon!)

meet a lovely lady on which i have a huge blogger crush

see the jabbawockeez

behave like a reckless 25 year old

stay tuned for some vegas fun!