PT Week 5: PT is Like Dieting

I’ve come to the realization that PT is like a diet. You may lose 5 lbs or have the sore muscle stop hurting, but there’s lots of long term adjustments. I don’t say that to knock PT. I love my PT, but one of the changes in PT as an adult is I realize it’s a lifelong thing. A good PT (which Greg absolutely is) teaches that these are long time changes. I am determined to keep the exercises up, and graduate with a better running form and less propensity for frustrating injuries.

Speaking of graduating, I’m actually not going to PT this coming week due to my schedule and that of my PT, but I feel confident that I can do the exercises and am hoping the week “off” will tell us whether I’m close to graduating or not. I’ve packed a set of my bands and have Deborah’s wonderful post as my “to-do” list around sightseeing and running in Bermuda. I have not packed anything but bands and the sunscreen I just bought. Oops. This week was a wonderful kind of crazy, which is also why I got nowhere near done with my race recaps for last weekend. Maybe time to add in the Manhattan 7.

I can safely say I’m not running the NYC Marathon in 2020. It was tempting for half a second. I have guaranteed entry via 9+1 and the idea of running the 50th intrigued me — but I don’t feel it in my heart and marathon training was hard enough when I was excited for my first. This was confirmed when I spent Wednesday at the NYRR Charity Managers Forum. Marathon mania was all around and I love their anniversary campaign, but I’m content to spectate it and help “my” runners with their marathon journey.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

Mickey, sporting MIckey. What, you didn’t sport a grunge Care Bear look at 20?

 

  • never miss a Monday: surprisingly after two days running five+ miles apiece I wasn’t too sore. The knee was tender, but no worse than any other morning. After PT on the other hand? It’s unnerving to watch the quad shake as it works. And it worked. Split Squats. Banded semi circles. Stork. Balance Board. Step ups on a Bosu. OUCH. But definitely hurts so good. Today would have been Dad’s 81st birthday. Like too many, gone way too young. I had fun chasing my step goal home in the form of finding Dots, his favorite candy. Miss you, Dad.
  • Tuesday: ridiculously warm for February so I headed into the Park after work for our “office run group” route. I didn’t have my vest with me as I hadn’t planned to run outside, so used my lighted slap bracelet to be sure I was visible. The run felt good.
  • Wednesday: I spent the day at the Harmonie Club, a fascinating space. I wasn’t there for the architecture though, but to learn the best practices for managing a team of charity runners for the marathon. I have a great job and I love what I do, but I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favorite projects. I expected to be out of place with my legal steno pad, but yay, the giveaway was a new notebook. The day culminated in a “group run”. Yeah, I couldn’t keep up, but I enjoyed getting to know some of the other charity managers and learn about their teams. All great causes, but the “winner” in my book was Guiding Eyes who brought two puppies under training.
  • Thursday: evening PT, which was just weird for my routine. A lot of the same exercises as Monday with Greg giving me leeway to suggest ones I wanted to work on. Side plank clamshells will never be a favorite.
  • Friday: I wanted to run commute home when it cleared, but it was a long day at the office. Great long day, but way too late to run or walk home.
  • Saturday: much needed mental health day off. Just to the gym for PT and some errands and a haircut.
Just a few thousand friends
  • Sunday: a cold, but beautiful day in Central Park and a real test for Bermuda. Between the race’s seven miles and the 1.5+ to the start, I ran nearly nine. The race itself was a run/walk due to the hills and wanting to spend it with a dear running buddy, and I felt strong. I’m not going to drop to the 10K – the cushion is such that I shouldn’t be swept. And if I am? Well that’s a great story to tell.  I’m not sure a race recap for this will happen given vacation and general busy-ness so for now I’ll just say I’d run it again, and February > original August date.

Plan for the week:

I don’t have one. Get in my PT exercises and running. Enjoy Bermuda. Finish smiling. See some caves. Take lots of pics. Life is good.

Tuesday Topics: Women Run, 2019

2017-2019

Oh pink! I was actually planning to wear a different top this year, but it didn’t work with the skirt and for some bizarre reason I cared about matching.

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to recap the 2019 Women’s Mini 10K.

I knew a course PR wasn’t in the cards, but wanted to get a feeling for it.  I briefly looked at last year’s recap on Friday to get a feeling for the race as all I remembered was it sucked. After the re-read, my race plan was as follows:

  • don’t be an idiot and go out too fast
  • drink more than you think you need

This is one of the few races where I don’t run to the start – it would have to be the last mile ish of the course and that’s a part I already know I don’t like. So I just trained to the start and “warmed up” with a walk up to Central Park South where I’d arranged to meet a new/old friend. When I know someone so long online, it’s hard for me to consider them a new friend. It’s similar too to what  I love about Facebook. When you see someone after a long-ish while it lessens the need for the whole “so what have you been up to?” conversation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with Elizabeth but we planned to meet up after.

Part of why I love this race is the quirky route of running up Central Park West and then turning into the Park vs. being all within the Park. It totally makes sense though given how quick the lead runners are and how long it takes to clear the start in a race this size. It took about 15 minutes to cross the start and in that time I eyeballed my path through the starting mosh and was ready to go. Mile one went by quickly and before I knew it, I was turning into the Park at W. 90th. I was pleased with my pace at 11:xx and continued on with that through the northernmost of the Three Sisters and into the Harlem Hills.

Although I haven’t run the Harlem Hills in this direction, training clockwise has overall been good and I felt way less disoriented running in this direction than I have in years’ past. Harlem HIlls went by relatively quickly and like last year, even the hill behind Lasker Rink wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I took time to drink extra as it was more humid than I expected, and I think this was the difference maker.

While there weren’t as many Achilles runners on the course as typical (I personally think the NYC chapter skews male, at least those I see racing), I did chat briefly with Hannah Gavios who always amazes and inspires me. She’s a lovely reminder that for many of us, not going out for a run is a choice we make when others can’t.

I began to tire in mile five which wasn’t surprising given my lack of long runs lately, but I was remarkably consistent.

Mile Splits:

  1. 11:13.4
  2. 11:17.9
  3. 11:15.2
  4. 12:04.9 (two water walks)
  5. 11:13.1
  6. 11:25.1
  7. last .3 at 10:12

Total: 1:11:31.5 for 6.2 or 11:22 per Garmin. 1:11:55/11:35 per NYRR.

It’s slower than last year, but it really feel like a course best because it felt so much better. I didn’t feel trashed and wasn’t dragging to the end. In fact, I was still up for Ham around the 8K mark

caught on the course by Rachel Spurrier

 

I ended up running with my iPod and water in my hand. The iPod because I was, for once, running with my phone to meet up with people and water bottle because I couldn’t find my belt after not running with it since the NYC Half. Not ideal, but it worked. It also let me curate the playlist somewhat when the song wasn’t right for the moment.

cooling off in the sprinkler

After meeting up with Elizabeth at the finish I even did part of the 305 Fitness class while waiting for the raffle drawing. That is unheard of for me for many reasons. I also took a few moments to do the Meet & Greet

at the finish with some of the elites and NYRR/Team for Kids runners
walking home with the Medal and having fun.

I’m rarely feeling this good after a race

I have a Skirt pattern match for next year

Would I run this again?

Yes, absolutely. There are some women who have run it upwards of 30 times. I don’t think I’d go that far, but I could see myself turning Crazylegs.

What would I change for the future/next year:

Honestly, nothing. Maybe cold instead of room temperature water but that’s so weather dependent. I feel like I had the perfect race “plan” and it came together perfectly.

What’s next:

Pride Run, or maybe Achilles.

Tuesday Topics: #NewportFiesta5K

it was a fiesta indeed! Joining Zenaida and Kim for Tuesday Topics to determine whether riding a unicorn leads to PRs

maybe?

Earlier this year, NYRR announced their first race in New Jersey, likely in answer to NYC Runs taking over the Newport Half. I was on the fence about doing this race as it was slated for the same day as the Great Saunter, one of my favorite days. Eventually, common sense about not walking ~20+ miles (I’ve never finished) on a healing Achilles won out and I signed up for this Star Wars meets Cinco de Mayo race.

finally skirt weather and I got to try my new Cascade

Bib pick up was still in NY at the RunCenter, if it wasn’t I probably wouldn’t have done the race. I am all about convenience. With a 5P start, getting to NJ wasn’t going to be too hard. I left plenty of time because I wasn’t exactly sure how the PATH was running, nor how to get from Newport or Hoboken PATHs to the start.

I hate having to check a bag, but you know what I hate more? Transportation without reading materials! So in my gear bag:

  • sneakers (more on that later)
  • socks
  • hat
  • windbreaker
  • two issues of Runner’s World
  • sunscreen
  • my Aftershokz case which also contains: iPod, Garmin and in this case, battery pack and cable for my phone/iPod.
  • Water
  • snack bar

I won’t lie, that was a little heavy and I wish NYRR had the backpack clear bags like 9/11 uses for their race.  I arrived at a little after 3 and made my way to Newport Green Park via a scenic tour of Hoboken by 3:30.  My first takeaway was that it was mighty muggy. Official race temperature per NYRR was 62 degrees, 84% humidity. Luckily there was a bit of a breeze.

is it truly a trip to Hoboken without this?
Foghattan! That’s a vent for the Holland? tunnel to the right

Actually the last time I was in Hoboken the line was way longer because it was peak Cake Boss popularity.

love the detail in the Lackawanna Terminal

While the women’s room doors are nowhere near as pretty, it was so nice to have an option that wasn’t a porta potty, although there were plenty of those.

non-working, still cool

There was, alas, not enough water for as warm as the day ended up being.

unfortunately sometimes Hoboken gets too much water

I wish I’d gotten a photo that showed how high off the ground this was. There’s a little here. Still, the history of the terminal is fascinating as the NYT detailed some years after Sandy.

I followed the signs
and the balloons

The best thing about an afternoon race? You (OK, I) am awake enough to appreciate the pre-race festival. Usually with morning races it’s all I can do to stumble to the start. And heaven help the silly pep rally, turn and high five your neighbor stuff. Illegal before coffee!

have you hugged a unicorn today?

I had arranged to meet a friend and after we checked our bags, we puttered around and he was the photographer for the unicorn antics. Actually, he dared me. That took no selling on his end as I regularly let the inner ham out. It’s actually my Facebook profile at the moment, because we all need a little silly. The original plan was to jog a warmup on the river, but with it being so warm & muggy, I opted not to.

The start line was about 10m walk from Newport Green and we meandered that way with about 30m to start only to realize the corrals weren’t quite open as the course was on a main drag. Oops. When they opened, it was a fairly quick process only to turn into a bit of hurry up and wait as they awaited clearance on the roadway. Downside of running on roads vs. in the parks. I am not the biggest fan of Bruce Springsteen, but something about Born to Run on the speakers in the corrals was awesome. I won’t lie though, I was even more jazzed when it turned into Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA, which is one of my favorite running songs.

Within about ten minutes, we were off. The course (PDF) was an out and back “L” that was so flat my Garmin registered three feet of elevation total. I think that might have been a slight underestimate. The only particularly challenging part was crossing the old streetcar lines, which were covered but still not flat.

the only photo I took on the course. Just about mile two and right before I spotted a colleague cheering me on.

The last half mile was torture and if it hadn’t been a race, I’d have walked. I was overheating and having trouble finding the next gear, although Strava claims (and RunKeeper agrees) that I dropped below 10m for the last 1.2.My watch was having a moment with some of the tall buildings, so I’m not sure whether I believe that. I thought I saw the finish line and realized the clock was mile three (my watch was off by that point due to the turns) and that last tenth felt like a mile.

Did I go out too quick? I don’t think so. I just haven’t raced a 5K ever and well, I think I know what my 5K pace is — and it isn’t the one I run as a matter of course except occasionally with the office run group. Fueling for afternoon races is hard too. I like flat courses!

On the PR question:

  • According to NYRR, 32:49 for 10:34. According to my Garmin, 3.19 and 32:54/10:18. I know I hit it a smidgen early and holy crap, six turns I am the worst with tangents. Bizarrely, Runkeeper doesn’t even see it as a 5K to be in the top, but:
    • It’s a 3+ minute NYRR 5K PR because the other one was a run/walk on a hot, sweaty night.
    • My actual 5K race times (i.e. not ones like 9/11 where it isn’t timed) are: 33:22 for the second frozen penguin and 40+ for the first and both Damon Runyons.
    • My 5K run PR was last July, 32:11/10:18 with a side of wonky GPS.

So it’s a race PR that tied my run PR? Considering my planned speed work went mostly out the window due to the Achilles, I’m calling this a personal BEST

The finish festival was in the same place as the start and they had beer and food trucks. I was too hot for either, but was oh so glad to have these Dr. Scholls’ sandals to change into. It wasn’t quite FitFlop weather, but these were perfect for my sore/overheated feet. Never had that for a short race, but they were a nice treat. I spent just a few minutes at the finish festival before heading back toward the PATH along the riverfront path.

So sweaty, so happy. So un ladylike.

Takeaways:

  • I’d do this race again if it’s afternoon/evening. Hassle of getting to NJ, even though I now know my way to the start, is likely not worth it for an 8a start. This isn’t a NY/NJ rivalry thing, it’s the same reason I’m not doing the Queens 10K again. I’ll travel for a Half, not so much for shorter.
  • Although I wasn’t hungry enough to take part, I loved the finish festival food. PSA to those who normally just use Road ID, you need actual ID to claim your free beer at race’s end.
  • I’d love to run the riverfront pathway sometime. I need to look into it to see the start, end and how far it goes, but I think it would be a fun one to explore. I’d have to put the phone away or I’d be taking all the photos.
  • A fun day, and one I’d recommend to Manhattan/NJ folks. Is it worth coming over from Brooklyn, Queens? I’m not sure. Maybe if you drive.

Running achievements

NYRR at a glance

 

I logged into the new NYRR site to check on something and was welcomed with the above. WOW. 25 NYRR races in two and a bit years of running. 170 NYRR race miles. To say I didn’t see this when I first set the treadmill to 4.0 is an understatement. So glad I did, so glad I met all of you.

off pace, but I’ll get there

speaking of achievements, I hit this during Saturday’s run. Three years in and I finally learned how to make a custom bib.

Because I haven’t updated this in ages, thought it worth listing some upcoming races in case anyone is around for them. No, not taking all of July & August off, just haven’t planned enough vacation to plan racing calendar:

May

  • Newport Fiesta 5K – new to me and new to NYRR. It’s on the Jersey City waterfront and Cinco de Mayo-ish. I just decided to do this since realizing that my beloved Great Saunter is not a smart thing to do on a better but not perfect Achilles.

June

  • June 2, Italy Run – I did this last year. I am cutting down in June, but couldn’t skip one with a heritage tie. Since I don’t like cheese I regularly am asked if I am really Italian. LOL
  • June 5, 1 for You, 1 for Youth 5K for Global Running Day – I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago. Glad to do a pre-work race because I did not enjoy last summer’s post-work 5K and always good to run for a good cause.
  • June 8, Women’s Mini 10K. Oops. Clearly did not look at the dates of these three and have three in a week. Cutback? I love/hate this run and the medal doesn’t appeal as much as it first did (I’d prefer a cheaper 10K without a medal or a la carte like Cherry Blossom), but it’s become a bit of a tradition. Prepare for a cranky recap.
  • June 29, Front Runners’ LGBT Pride Run. Ahh yes, there’s the breather that comes from passing on the Queens 10K and Achilles 4M. Loved this last year and can’t not do it during the year-long celebration of Stonewall and our hosting of World Pride.

September

  • September 15, NYC Marathon Training Series 18M. I jumped on this one as soon as I decided to do the marathon because I’m going to need company on this long of a long run.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • Monday: Cross train, some near running on the elliptical. A funny thing about that – always thought I couldn’t do it. And then the LateralX was taken and I had to. It can even be kind of fun.
  • Tuesday: short window, pre- and post-work events due to spring silly season. Got in a 10m row and 10m arc trainer at a different than my normal branch. The Arc Trainer is an interesting machine.
post-work gallery hopping is a great reason to move a run to morning. Also, Jackie O!
  • Wednesday: in keeping with the achievement theme, something I touched on in my Instagram post. I’ve almost always been Team: Sleep in Until Noon. The only time that really changed was when I was doing Saturday morning Weight Watchers’ meetings. And while I still love my lazy weekend mornings with coffee, it’s usually not sleeping in. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoy waking an hour earlier than necessary to run, I don’t mind it and have mostly made good use of that former PT slot. Today’s use was ~2.5 miles along the East River. It was also an absolutely gorgeous spring day so I was able to walk to and home from an evening event.
  • Thursday: what a difference a day makes! I really wanted to run outside despite office run group cancelling due to schedules, but it was monsooning. What happens when you’re chased inside? Complete inability to stay on any machine. I bounced from LateralX to rower to elliptical before giving up and just doing my PT.
  • Friday: what a difference a day makes, redux! Knew I’d be inside due to weather and 30m on the elliptical went by like 5. Followed with some weights and PT work. It was a dream. Oh the mental games.
  • Saturday: what a day, threedux. Didn’t think I’d get to take advantage of a beautiful day due to plans, but I made it back on time for an eight mile Central Park runset. My longest by far since January 1, other than the three Halfs. I didn’t worry about pace or distance, just time. Mile 7 was lights and dead legs, but overall the run felt good. Achilles wasn’t silent, but nothing out of the ordinary. A couple stretches when I stopped at water fountains. Oh spring!
Flat Cari
Sand castle at the finish
  • Sunday: 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk. Cool and rainy. I’d normally have worn the event tee for this since we’re a sponsor and it’s just a 5K fun run, but wet cotton is not fun. In hind sight, only drizzled so would have been fun. On the plus side, since I went long Saturday I could (and did) take the train home via NYRR Run Center for bib pickup and not feel at all guilty.
    There isn’t a ton to say about this. 9/11 is just so powerful a driver and great to see a large turnout. A few photos, but overall just people watched. The turnaround at Point Thank You actually brought tears to my eyes. This wasn’t a race, this was a remembrance.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: cross train, or maybe off depending on legs.
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: cross?
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: Cinco de Mayo 5K. It’s in NJ so I’m not sure about warmup. Will find extra miles somewhere as it’s an evening run.
  • Sunday: TBD based on Saturday

Where were you on 9/11?
Have you visited the Memorial or Museum?
Did you realize Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is gone 25 years this May?

Global Running Day Plans, Shoes Threedux

as I’ve mentioned, I love how much NYRR does to give back. I always try to get to Global Running Day events, but June is always a crap shoot work wise. I was glad this weekend when they announced a 7AM 5K that starts even closer to me than most Central Park runs. And there’s enough time to run home to shower & change. I was originally indifferent to these races with shoes giveaways.. until I graduated out of stability shoes.

Oh, about that.

I noticed when I ran the NYC Half that the outside of my feet were sore, with the right being the worst. These were the new-in-January Vongo2s that got me through two prior Halfs this year. Truly thought it was a blister until the medical tent, but it wasn’t. I didn’t think anything of it really until I happened to look at my feet last Saturday while being aware of potholes — I’m now running on the outside of my feet when in stability shoes thanks to PT success. Um, OK

After an email to PT and conversation with podiatrist office I went to New Balance knowing I wanted the padding of the Fresh Foam (I like the 860s, but not for long runs) and after some conversations and Q&A, I’m the proud owner of a pair of 1080v9s.  I really love the manager of the Run Hub’s New Balance store as he’s also a runner and really listens as well as selling. So we’ll see.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim: spoiler, when there’s time off work there’s more time for running

  • Monday: off in that I didn’t run, but definitely not a rest day. Some 17K steps between commute, dentist and playing tourist with visiting friends. I hadn’t been to the 9/11 Museum in nearly five years, and was glad to see it still struck a nerve.
New shoes, skirt
  • Tuesday: what happens when spring goes away and you don’t want to layer back up? You run inside so you can run in a skirt. Was 90% weather and 10% I wanted to try out the new shoes. 2 miles. 5.5/5.7/5.8/6.0. Speed and shoes felt good. Closed with PT exercises.
reaching new heights!
  • Wednesday: a half day opened the door for a long run but once I ran to the park I decided I was way more interested in a walk in the glorious temperatures. It was actually warm enough to be in a skirt and tee without much chill. It was a gorgeous day.
helping a friend navigate a new world pays off in surprising ways
  • Thursday: selfie lessons from the master > time at the gym.
  • Friday: dear Mother Nature, please pick a season. 40s and rainy = no desire to run outdoors so I went for some speed work for the second time this week. Two miles again: 5.5, 5.7, 5.8 and 6.1. 6.1 was definitely comfortably hard. Shoes and Achilles felt great. I have no delusions of matching my best 4M race on Sunday, but think I’ll have a good showing.
pretty in pink!
  • Saturday: spring came back. I had some errands and also wanted a chill day of sitting & reading, so I had a short run into the Park and around the reservoir. It was definitely easy as I didn’t want to overdo it before Sunday’s race.
note to self, put down the cup next time
  • Sunday: Run to Breathe with Team Boomer. I know better than running three days in a row. This wasn’t pretty, but it was a glorious day to be outside and without layers Could even have gone with a skirt vs. Lotta Breeze capris. More on Tuesday. In the mean time, time to go play outside again.

 

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off. Probably walk home as it’s meant to be 70
  • Tuesday: cross train?
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off/cross train
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run depending on weather.

Review: The Plant Based Runner

On Reading

Yay, I can start a Weekly Run Down post with something other than PT, although I am still in and loving PT. This week I wanted to share my review of Jonathan Cairns’ The Plant Based Runner. Note: I received a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are my own.

Running, reading and relaxing in the lead up to the #NYCHalf Click To Tweet

Two main takeaways I loved from this book:

  • Know your why
  • Change the plan, don’t change the goal

Cairns is an overweight, divorced father turned wannabe vegan ultra runner. This book explores his journey between those points.  Although I don’t subscribe to the full extent of his beliefs and dietary choices, I really appreciate the path he took to them. He read a lot and read the information presented with a critical lens to arrive at the place that worked best for him and his progress as an athlete. He’s 100% correct, there’s information out there to support whichever side you wish to follow, you need to know your body and your why. And realize that nothing will change until you do.

I’m still surprised at how I ended up virtually giving up soda almost accidentally. We got more seltzer in the office and I found so long as I had the fizz, I’d drink. You can still pry the diet root beer from my cold, dead hands. I’ve mentioned a couple of times here that what I eat definitely has an impact on how I feel/run, but I’m not yet compelled to give up sugar, dairy and meat. I did love his advantage of Irish (or at least not American-English) slang for this poetry when it comes to refined sugar: white is shite.

Changing the plan vs. goal has been a huge part of this half marathon training cycle for me. I wanted to run three in three months (well really eight weeks!) and while the achilles injury changed the training plan, the goal is on track. The larger goal of the marathon remains on track.

While I have no desire to or interest in running an ultra, I enjoyed following his journey and the interspersed quotes and race recaps. Read more from the author on his blog or enjoy his amazing Instagram photos.

Physical Therapy

When I spoke with my PT about the hip pain on Monday morning, he decided to work on that first and decided it’s not the hip flexor, but rather the TFL. Per google (and LIz who was quicker than I was, “Tensor fascia latae“. Per my PT, it’s common in compensating for stability issues. This whole Achilles issue is similar to when I had a knee injury back in high school. Back, hip. We really are all connected like that old childhood song: leg bone connected to the foot bone. Not to mention all the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Monday night he gave me the homework of working on breathing, activating my core and pressing my back into the floor. We’re working toward the Dead Bug and since I know I have the coordination of a dead bug, that isn’t going to end well. But we’ll get some laughs in as I try. Monster Walks on my toes are my new favorite.

That said, I still feel like I’m making progress and the Achilles is in a good place for the NYC Half, which is somehow less than two weeks away. It will be a week away by the time this posts. Plan is & remains to have fun and enjoy every step.

NYC Half Goals:

  • Have fun
  • Don’t re injure the Achilles
  • Finish smiling

Yep, that’s literally it. No time goal other than finishing. I may be one and done without some lottery luck, so want to make the most of it.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • Monday: snow day PT and a museum press event. The snow was a complete non event, but I’ll take the work from home day to review some documents that are hard to get to in busy open plan office. Capped it off with a lovely sunset walk with Darlene. When we could see the Verrazano Bridge it was surreal to think that in almost eight months exactly we’d be standing on the far side ready to run the city. Fitbit calls this 9.46 miles, I call it: never miss a Monday complete.
  • Tuesday: Darlene and I decided to meet and test our injuries. While it was too cold for a selfie, we got another gorgeous sunset. The weekend’s snow had done a number on the non-paved parts of the park and neither of our legs were doing well with the cold and hills so we took it easy in a three mile run/walk. Slow and steady better than crash and burn ahead of the NYC Half.
  • Wednesday: PT and talk about graduating out after the Half. More work on core and trying to figure out whether I can do Dead Bug. No formal exercise, dinner with friends.
#nevermatch, and proud of it
  • Thursday: as I dressed for our Office Run Group, a friend/colleague mentioned her admiration for my aggressive non-matching. This wasn’t even intentionally bad-I wanted a shirt with thumbholes and the black one is too hard to find sometimes in the dark of my closet and these tights were on top. What’s not pictured as much is the bright orange buff from Liz and neon yellow base layer. Beheaded to get full effect of colors without skin autocorrect. I’m a fan of comfort over matching, but this was some next level nonsense. Alas my coral shoes aren’t running shoes. On the actual run, it was a nice rebound from Tuesday. What I love about running with this group is that it pushes the pace. I know I give up on pace too early when I’m running solo, so this is a nice way to push it. He doesn’t push me beyond what he knows I can do, especially with the injury. Even slowing up as we crossed the pot-holed reservoir track, we had a good time and although I was sore after, I think that was the bitter cold. Post-run was a quick zip to the last open Payless in Manhattan to acquire a backup pair of the Mary Janes I love so much.
  • Friday: plan was to workout before a meeting, but meeting got moved earlier so this was replaced with a quick row and abbreviated PT exercises after work and before seeing a show. Patricia Kalember as Gloria Steinem is amazing and a behind-the-scenes tour of NYPL was pure magic. It’s rare that I see a piece of theater twice in a short window, but this was magic and resonant.
heaven is a place on earth
“A dream is like a river ever changing as it flows and a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.”
  • Saturday: that thing I said about what I eat impacting how I run? Yeah. It was a planned off day but the weather was remarkably decent and I wanted to go out so decided on a riverside shake out. I could not figure out why I had absolutely nothing in the tank. I’ve fueled many a run on cheerios and coffee. Why not this one? Oh self? You had a brownie for dinner last night. Turned this into a walk and some outdoor PT.
Happy drowned rat in Sidewinder Lotta Breeze capris
NYRR goodie bag
present to myself
  • Sunday: NYRR/New Balance hosting a shakeout run ahead of the NYC Half. Also a shakeout for my new capris which I want to wear for the Half. PURPLE! The weather was horrid and we lost an hour of sleep due to the clock change? What do I do? Play hopscotch to avoid puddles and had a blast for ~4.5 miles. It was windy too and sometimes wasn’t clear whether we were being hit with rain or river spray! We set off in 5M increments and I quickly realized the one I set off with wasn’t happening so ran on my own for most of miles two and three before dropping back to run with a duo of coach and runner who had run DC yesterday! and were moving way more my “speed”. Proud of myself for approaching strangers in the group run and we had a fun chat. Could I have finished faster? Absolutely. Was it more fun not to be alone? Yes. The ponchos I bought ahead of FLL were perfect and other than the neck area where rain got in because I couldn’t keep the hood up in the rain, I was dry. Was so glad for dry socks and shoes back at the Run Center though. Also awaiting us there was a free goodie bag that included the mug, fuel above and a 20% off coupon with which I treated myself to a hat. It’s purple! I never thought about a running hat as I so rarely wear ballcaps but the Yankee one I wore for Lebow and FLL is too hot for summer and gets gross, so curious to give this moisture wicking, performance one a go. Especially if I follow my current whim and wack my hair off in a few weeks.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, dinner with a friend
  • Tuesday: run?
  • Wednesday: PT
  • Thursday: run
  • Friday: volunteer at the Expo, maybe cross train. Finally saw the shirt & medal. I like the medal, and think I like the shirt color. Since I didn’t like the one for Poland Spring and won’t wear it on race day, I likely will not be wearing green for St. Pats.
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: NYC Half Marathon

Physical Therapy: Week 2 and Half Marathon Recovery

#RunFTL shirt

One thing I forgot to touch on in either the weekly wrap or the race recap is how much I loved the A1A Half Marathon shirt. Last year’s was cute, but the cut was infuriating and I almost never wore it because I’m forever tugging at it. This year I switched it at the expo for a large (over sizing anxiety) and it fits perfectly. Memo to shirt makers: take note from the mermaid, women have boobs.

I runfess I like to treat myself after achievements like a half marathon. Luckily through #GoTheDist I’ve learned to be more conscious of non food rewards. This week’s damage was two new skirtsport skirts. I’ve enjoyed them, but running in the Lotta Breeze for the Half was just perfection. The cut is cute but the pockets are a game changer. Also, I wore a pair of formerly leggings to PT Friday morning and time to purge what doesn’t look good on me.

Key learning in this week’s physical therapy sessions: ankle stability and balance go hand in hand. I know, DUH! But somehow this never clicked for me. My balance is generally poor – I was laughably bad when Wii Fit was a thing – but better on my left side, normally. Not so much with the whimpering Achilles, but I really love these stability/balance exercises. On the dip into heel raise from a step I really felt the calf shaking with fatigue on the third set.

Speaking of Wii Fit, I wish I still had the board for some of the heel dips and raises as standing on the stairs in my apartment building gets old.

NYRR upgrade

As I work in the cultural world I’m fairly familiar with the membership upgrade offers. Buy now, get x months free; upgrade and get Y benefit. I hadn’t really looked at the NYRR ones beyond basic member until I got an upgrade offer. The cost difference is about $60 and includes a free race registration (value ~$20), but I got to thinking of all that NYRR has given me: the free programming at the RunCenter, the wonderful people I’ve met, the growth of myself as a runner. Because I can afford it, it seems the right thing to do to give back more. Added benefit: it opened up a volunteer opportunity for the NYC Half Expo so I can unlock 9+1 in case I want to do the Marathon again in 2020.

Currently reading: Phil Hewitt’s Outrunning the Demons, barely in time for Runners’ Bookshelf’s February choice. I enjoyed Meb for Mortals and seem to be on a bit of a running kick. That’s helped by the fact that they were pretty much the only books I downloaded to my new Kindle last week.

Also this week: I posted my recap of the A1A Fort Lauderdale Half.

Weekly Wrap: with Wendy and Holly. That this is the last weekly wrap makes me sad. I’ve only done it less than a year. I met some of you who were Cherry Blossom 10M ambassadors when you found my recap, and after Wendy and I met in Runners’ Bookshelf she coaxed me into linking up since I posted my own wraps anyway. I finally joined, and I’m so glad I did. I’ll check out #RIOTS, the new linkup Wendy mentioned and will try to be better about posting in rather than just reading the weekday linkups.

  • Monday: I felt pretty good after the Half, thanks to the swim. Mom and I had some errands to do and I wanted to dip my toe in the ocean for it to be an official Florida visit so we walked to the beach. I felt it in my achilles on the bridge over the intracoastal and by the time we got back to the condo I felt I should ice it. One of the best goodies in the expo bag was a hot/ice pack from Cleveland Clinic. It’s perfect. Overall, felt good and didn’t stiffen too much on flight home.
  • Tuesday: I was off work and took advantage of that with a weekday outdoor run. Yay. The shakeout felt really good and I wasn’t sore at all. I could have gone longer but decided it wasn’t smart to push it if I really want to pull off two long runs ahead of the NYC Half. I decided a much needed mani/pedi was more interesting than steps and didn’t even get my step goal. Funny how much I’m commute dependent on that.
  • Wednesday: hi, winter. So glad I ran outside yesterday because it’s a slip and slide now. 5K row after work. PT in the morning and he was impressed at how my Achilles handled the half marathon but found some huge knots in my calf. I can understand why runners often have massages. Besides the existing, he added:
    • side steps on toes
    • Single leg RDLs
    • “sneaky” lunges on toes. This one was a challenge, I don’t have lunge flexibility
  • Thursday: return of the office run group which in my head just sounded like Eminem’s Slim Shady. Why I thought of that song, who knows?! Our usual lap in quite good time even accounting for a slower mile two on account of the reservoir transverse being a dark, muddy, potholed mess. My achilles felt good as was my breathing through this winter cold.
  • Friday: thrilled to wake up and do my morning commute with absolutely no pain from Thursday night’s run. First in a couple of months. I got a good number of steps in, but took a rest day from the gym because I’m fighting a cold and needed some down time. PT again in the morning. Mine had one of the assistants helping and the assistant asked if I ever did a “single leg RDL” I said I had no idea what that was, but to show me. I had the prior Wednesday, but I don’t quite speak PT acronyms. Those are fun, save for my lack of balance. Added today:
    • Side plank clamshells. Oh those are evil but I kind of loved it
    • Single leg heel drops on a leg press machine.
    • This really complicated one where I bent the plant knee, slid the other foot out to the side and then behind me in a kind of curtsy. It took me about two sets to figure this one out. I’m not sure which is worse, my coordination or my balance.
  • Saturday: complete rest day beyond PT exercises and errands, want to kick this cold to the curb. Could I have run or hit the gym? Absolutely, it’s not a bad cold. But don’t want it to linger. and yes, now do you have to let it linger is an earworm. And then I spotted this Sarah Marie shirt in an eblast. That might have to happen one day. Funny of the day: I was frantically trying to find a charger for my vacuum before my cleaning guy came. I told him there might be an issue. Not to worry, he was coming from another job where the client didn’t own a vacuum (how?!) and he had his on him.
  • PT with a view
kinda like I’m channeling Kim. Did someone say heel drops?
  • Sunday: I wanted to be outside. The weather was overcast but better than forecast. The vague plan was a long run, but I knew that wasn’t happening pretty quickly. I don’t like spitting. I don’t mind it at all when others do it courteously, but I hate the feeling in my throat. What’s one of the side effects of a cold? Crap in the back of your throat that you choke on and… you see where this is going. So I decided to go about a mile and then do my PT laps there. Stretches are fine in my apartment, lunges and side steps not so much. I then jogged back to the stairs for some scenic heel drops. Now time for some quality time with a book and a bath.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: PT and cross train after work
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: last? PT or find out whether insurance approves more. Off, after work event
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: crosstrain
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run depending on weather.

Tuesday Topics: Do Frozen Penguins Play Football?

if they do, I bet they’re better than I am. I love the pre-race football throw at the NYRR Super Bowl Sunday race but I am laughably bad at it. Tiny hands (not politics, a pure fact when you’re 5’2) and footballs don’t mix.

I want to play football with penguins. In the mean time, I'll just recap @NYCRuns and @NYRR races Click To Tweet
Tuesday Topics

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to recap this weekend’s runs.

NYC Runs Frozen Penguin 10K

My beloved first race, which I did again in 2018. I noticed only after I’d signed up for Sunday’s NYRR race that NYC Runs had moved this race from March back to February. I wondered what that would mean for weather, but remembered last year’s Super Bowl run as quite temperate. I figured I’d have survived a January Half by then, so why not. I also appreciated it not falling the day the clocks changed.

As we’ve all blogged over the last couple of weeks, winter got the memo it didn’t in November-December and while we didn’t get as cold as the midwest, NYC was unpleasant last week. Luckily it showed some signs of warming for the weekend.

2018 was warmer than 2017
that was sort of true for 2019 v. 2017

That 8:42 on Saturday morning’s screen shot? Yes, I was a last minute Sally arriving. Running in 20 degree weather? Doable. Standing around waiting in it? Nope. Not going to happen. Alarm went off at 7 and I hit snooze until 7:30 when I finally got moving and got an Uber around 8:20. Like the Half, there’s no easy way to 108th & Riverside Drive. Maybe in warmer weather I run it. Maybe.

No flat Cari as bib pickup is day of, but layers were:

  • Bottom: Cuddl Dudds Climate Smart leggings under full-length tights
  • Top: Hanes base layer under Tek Gear with thumbholes under last year’s shirt topped off by a windbreaker. I knew I’d get too hot with all of that, but wanted the windbreaker for the lap that is on the water.

Speaking of shirts, while I didn’t (and still don’t) love last year’s shirt

animatronic penguin

it made way more sense than this year’s

which hemisphere is this race in?

I miss the t-shirt from the first year and there’s a reason I still wear it a lot, it’s just perfect.

When I got to bib pickup, I was looking around and spotted the 2019 shirt. Hah! I had plans to ditch last year’s shirt in favor of this year’s so I didn’t have to carry it while running, but this years is getting donated as I chafe just looking at that. I waited until the end to pick it up, not caring if they’d still have my size.

Despite arriving just 20m ahead, I still had time to kill as they let us know there would be a few minutes’ delay to deal with some ice issues at mile one. That’s the one thing about this course that always gets me — the ice and frequently leaves on the hills. They solved the issue with a small semi circle onto the adjacent hill. Yep, walked both of those so I didn’t turn an ankle.

The course is two giant loops and miles 2/5 are pretty cold right on the water, but they’re also absolutely gorgeous. No pics as phone died of frostbite pretty much on arrival. I won’t lie, I had a moment of wanting to bail after the first loop, but I didn’t. For the sake of preserving my ankle for Sunday’s run, I did walk the hills on the second lap

Speaking of last year’s shirt… I was way happier the first time

Done. This 10K managed to feel harder than the half marathon. I wasn’t miserable despite how wonderfully awful this photo is. More like “oh shit, there’s a camera. Will my bib read. Where’s the hot chocolate?” This race will never be a body then & now photo with all the layers. I would have liked to keep the windbreaker on, but it was easier to take off and hold then the top shirt would have been. Crazy that you can indeed get “too warm” when it’s 19. Legs though were perfect.

Last year, I ran to the bus. This year I sipped my hot chocolate and walked to the subway. I stretched and iced when I got home and my ankle wasn’t too bad when I went out to drop off a library book and got my favorite post-race meal.

sushi rungry

I actually hadn’t tried sushi the night before a run in a long time and was curious. It was more late lunch/early dinner, but it worked.

NYRR Gridiron 4M

long sleeved, and way more practical than last year’s white

I know that Super Bowl is a protected term, but I wish they’d call this race something less silly. Game Day 4M? Gridiron is just so dated to the point of being silly. It was another last minute arrival as I hit every light between my apartment and the park. Amazing how tropical 34 can feel after the Vortex and I was caught indecisive in what to wear, hence another race with no flat Cari. Opted for:

  • same tights as Saturday since I had a layer between them in the first wearing
  • tee shirt, last year’s race shirt and an Eli Manning tee
  • light gloves, Lebow hat both of which were off by about mile two.
one eyed, one horned, flying purple people-eater!

Last sighting of last year’s shirt, post-Holi. It never really did get clean. Less purple, yes. White? Not really

I found myself wishing for my windbreaker. Not for weather, but for the pockets. Phone, keys, metro card are a little too much for one hand and I didn’t want to, but ultimately did wear my belt. I really need to find a smaller one soon.

Corral K crossed the start line about 7m after the start. 102nd might be my favorite starting spot because you have time to get your legs under you before the west side rollers and at only four miles, you’re not trashed before you hit Cat Hill. I was pleasantly surprised the ankle didn’t voice an opinion on Cat Hill. All in all it was a good if uneventful race. I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere close to last year’s time and decided to just enjoy a gorgeous day in Central Park.

Goofball alert! (c) CheerEverywhere.JPG

Did I have fun? Not one bit. LOL I Ham, therefore I am. Life is way too short to take yourself too seriously  I really love the Cheer Everywhere team and was so glad to get this via DM.

Only oddity of this race? I had a larger dinner Saturday night than Friday and ate a breakfast bar before the 4m. Which race was I ravenous after? The 4M of course. Bodies are weird — even accounting for the hot chocolate at the end of Saturday to take the edge off.

Best news of all came Monday and will lead to fewer fun runs and more training runs, I have a referral for PT for the Achilles. Podiatrist who specializes in running also gave me some stretches to do and I did them at the gym after work.

Fingers, toes crossed.

Do you enjoy moments of silliness when you run?

Does podiatrist just sound like a doctor for old people based on its name?

from Fred Lebow to Penguins and Football

oh my!

I runfess that I have not figured out how to blog from my phone, so this is a two-week Wrap since I spent the interim weekend driving with mom down to Florida. I had the best laid plans of crashing a post quickly on Monday, but I got home late and yeah, not going to happen

I don’t have email on my phone, so trying hard to play catch up on what I missed in Runfessions, Tuesday Topics, Coffee Date and Weekly Wrap. But disconnecting can be wonderful. I didn’t post too much while we drove, but it was great to finally see Richmond even though the museum we wanted to visit was closed.

Not having email on my personal phone was a decision I made when I got the new phone in March and I don’t regret it at all. Really what personal email isn’t spam these days? Does anyone still use email as a primary means of communication outside of work? That’s crazy to think of, but we’ve swung back from give me your number to give me your email to give me your number to text. I just finished Isabel Gillies’ A Year and Six Seconds (loved it!) and one point she made when a friend offered to set her up on a date post-divorce was that there was no email when she dated her first husband. Crazy!

Back on topic…

NYRR Five Boroughs Patch

I had no idea there was a Five Boroughs series patch. So cool. Used to love collecting these when I was backpacking. Want to think of somewhere more exciting to put this than my corkboard. It’s tempting me to do 4/6 again, but I really don’t think it’s on tap for this year since I’m out of town for Brooklyn and not sure I want to do Queens again. We’ll see.

I actually eased way off on running after the Half as I said I would to try and get Achilles/calf resolved. I really don’t want it to linger. Luckily this seems to be helping although I was worried about my back to back races which I scheduled before this flared. All the cross training this last month reminded me that I miss rowing, and do like the Lateral, which were both pleasant surprises.

what was that old Doublemint ad? Double the fun? Weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly Amy:

Week of January 21

  • Monday: stairs were OK and Achilles wasn’t terrible, although swollen, so I went to the gym for a good stretch,roll and short cross train. Never miss a Monday is hard post-Half! Epsom salt bath when home.
  • Tuesday: feeling better. 5K row, long stretch, roll, epsom salt bath and ice.
  • Wednesday: off. Late night at the office and legs needed a day off.
  • Thursday: no office run group due to schedules and I wanted a short test of my leg so I did the lower loop of Central Park. Slightly annoying, but not so I’d call it pain. Iced well after.
  • Friday: leg one of the aforementioned drive to Florida. Overnight in Florence, SC and we didn’t get in until nearly 11PM so although I scoped out the fitness center, I did not do anything but fall into bed.
  • Saturday: leg two. Hotel treadmill was weird so after a half mile, I switched to the elliptical for 20m before the drive from Florence to Delray. I would be AOK never seeing I-95 again.
  • Sunday: I wanted to run to the beach. Mother Nature brought the beach to land with heavy rains so managed just a short run between thunder storms

Week of January 28

  • Monday: ran to the beach and back. Just a shakeout and longest test of my leg. It definitely stiffened up on the flight home, and iced it well that evening. This never miss a Monday was beautiful!
  • Tuesday: was feeling three days in a row on the achilles so went for long stretch and roll and some kettlebell work.
  • Wednesday: ankle was feeling good, and we closed early for the snow squalls/Polar Vortex so I made time for a 5K LateralX. That is hard. And long. It’s almost 20m longer than a 5K run. As I said, the last thing I wanted to do was ice my ankle when I got home, but knew it was the smart thing. I’d also argue I was continually icing it by walking around in this weather.
  • Thursday: ankle felt pretty good after the long LateralX. I wanted an off day Friday ahead of two days running so I biked 45m. Also, I wanted to finish a book. #Priorities
  • Friday: off, sneaker shopping. While I’m pretty confident the issue was my prior pair of Vongo 2s running out of miles early, I still needed an actual solution as New Balance no longer makes the Vongo 2s and the 3s are just too wide. I went to JackRabbit and let them play. We had some trial and error, and amusingly I came home with the 860s which I’m pretty sure ETA: (YEP!) are the ones the clerk had me try too when I first landed on the Vongo 2s. Apparently the new model of these retained the good of the V2. Going to try them next week when I hopefully get back to some treadmill runs.
which hemisphere is this race in?
  • Saturday: Frozen Penguin 10K. My beloved first race moved to February and offered a 10K this year.  It was frozen, as was my phone so no photos of the iced path and icebergs in the Hudson. I treated it as a fun run to see how my ankle was two weeks post Half, and I had a blast. I’ll recap this Tuesday.  My only goal was not finishing last, and I didn’t. Small races are nice, but harder to get lost in a huge pack.
all smiles (and no hat!) after 4M
  • Sunday: speaking of a huge pack, 5,107 of my closest personal friends and I ran Central Park this morning. What a gorgeous day. Finishing without achilles crying was the goal. Done, and I even ran Cat HIll. More on Tuesday.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: I might miss this one. Depends, I have 8p theater tix so might get to gym before for a stretch.
  • Tuesday: run or cross
  • Wednesday: cross or short run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off or cross
  • Saturday/Sunday: running one of the two, not sure which yet.

GoTheDist January:

  • 423,595 steps
  • 189.47 miles run/walked
  • 51.09 miles run

Behind, but smartly letting ankle heal vs. pushing. I’m OK with this

Gym visits: 14 in January (so much stretching, cross training), 52 for September-February cycle. Wow, I don’t miss having to sweat out 50. Time to file for reimbursement.

Tuesday Topics: Lebow 2.0 #MedalMonday

I have so many feelings about Sunday’s Fred Lebow Half Marathon.

Tuesday Topics

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to share the good, the bad and the amusing about the race.

thoughts on my second time through @nyrr's #FredLebowHalf Click To Tweet

Because I picked up my hat so early, it was a disjointed “race day experience” and then I just repeated same picking up my shirt & bib for Gridiron while getting my medal engraved.  I was excited to be running Lebow again, but I was nervous especially as my calf/achilles hadn’t fully resolved. My official race plan was to listen to my body and go as long as it felt safe. If I thought I was exacerbating whatever is going on, or if I was too cold/wet, I’d drop out.

The good:

  • I finished happy. That was my primary goal and challenge with Achilles pain getting an assist from the weather forecast. I really didn’t expect the race to go on, and NYRR was fairly sure it would have been a fun run at best. They made the decision to go on Saturday morning and I was unsure. In the end weather wise, it wasn’t much worse than Brooklyn. I was glad for the 8a start because by noon when I was headed to NYRR Run Center to have my medal engraved, the wind had kicked up big time. As of writing this Sunday evening, it’s 11 with a wind chill of -1. That would have been a much harder race.
  • I finished strong this was fun. While yes, I wanted to be done in that I was soggy, I didn’t feel trashed and wasn’t really counting down the miles. There were moments, like between miles two and three when I was dreading Harlem HIll and ca. mile 7 when I wondered whether it would really be bad to sneak onto the Transverse to finish vs. heading into the passing lane for my 3rd and final lap. But overall I wasn’t counting down to the end. There were moments I wasn’t sure what mile it was. This was also surprising as I wasn’t sure what my cardio was given this weird cycle. This had to do with pacing, no doubt, and more on that below, but it made me think I really will survive marathon training.
I flamingo, therefore I am
  • I didn’t feel trashed at the end. Yes my calves are sore and I’m grateful to bengay, the foam roller and epsom salts, but I feel much better than I did after Lebow last year. I was so excited to be able to flamingo when I went to get my medal. (I am a dork, yes. ) Granted, it was my good leg and I won’t be doing Tree with my left anytime soon, but I am wowed at this. As of Monday evening, my quads and knee are fine.
  • I ran all of the hills. I actually ran 99% of the race. Walks were for fiddling with wardrobe and opening gel/chews and pouring a cup into my water bottle to top that up. This really surprised me since I didn’t think I was in hills shape. Looking at some of the splits, I’m not sure whether walk/run would have been better or not. I’m happy with my pacing.
  • Speaking of, I let the pacers go before mile 2. 2:30 was the last set and I knew I wasn’t in 2:30 shape. I’d have blown up if I tried. I decided to treat this as a rainy, long, supported training run and just go at my pace. If I finished last, so be it. My watch was under my sleeves so I didn’t look at it very often. I was lapped by the winner between miles two and three and eventually lapped by 1:30/1:45 and   pacers. “Last hill” when I was at mile ~7 and they were between miles 11 and 12 made me want to throw things. Although I thought I was losing time, I stayed with the same people most of the race. There was a lot of team work in helping open gels, get gloves on and off, etc. One guy paused to help me on Harlem Hill as I was trying to get gel out, put glasses back on and shove soaking wet gloves in my pocket.
Engraved, so it must be official
  • Official time: 2:42:26. That’s about a minute and a half behind last year‘s 2:41:09. I’m supposed to be disappointed, but I’m really not. I knew I wasn’t in PR shape between the calf/achilles and November’s impact on the training. I made the decision long ago that I was training for Fort Lauderdale and not this. When my watch beeped 12 miles I knew I had about 1.3 to go and ~15M. Knew it would be close, and decided to push it. The result? My best mile since mile four. I don’t regret this at all, I don’t think I could have gone faster earlier and finished
  • The new coat is probably what kept me from hating the race more. After a wet fun run a few weeks ago, I knew my jacket needed to be retired.  It just didn’t zip all the way up. So Saturday once I knew the forecast was going to be WET, I went to Modells and got this after striking out at New Balance and Jack Rabbit. Nothing new on race day and all that, but folks had recommended it, it said it was breathable and it was perfect. On top I had a base layer, a tee shirt and a long sleeve top that I didn’t mind tossing if it got too hot/wet. When I went to change I realized other than base layer sweat, and the back collar, I was dry! I am similarly floored I had no blisters either from wet feet or new shoes, but when I went to throw out socks, the volunteer commented that he’d had a lot tossed in his bag, but mine were the first socks. Also, fresh socks in a ziplock in an inner pocket stayed perfectly dry. Best thing about four pockets, no need to wear belt although I hung on to my water bottle way longer than necessary and it would have been nice to have somewhere to put it.
  • My fueling: more on the gels below, but in general it was good. NutriGrain bar in the Uber to the start/corral, Gatorade Apple Pear gel at about 10K and two vile Blueberry Gu chews toward the end. The gel was unplanned but went down fine since I wasn’t overheated.I thought I took a second one on the second lap, but apparently dropped it as it wasn’t in a pocket when I went to take it, hence two chews. The consistency of the Gatorade one was nice and the citrus was less glu-ey than vanilla, which is the only Gu my stomach likes. Fueling is going to be a fun challenge this spring summer. I have no idea what I’m doing for Ft. Lauderdale where heat & gel didn’t mix last time.
9+1 scratchoff
  • There were rumors they’d be changing 9+1 just as they have been changing 4/6, but all is the same for 2020. Picked this up at RunCenter while waiting on medal engraving. An interesting addition to 4/6 for 2020 for those of you who aren’t local who want to run the NYC Half is this $80/$100 Virtual Half in partnership with Strava  It comes with guaranteed, non-complimentary entry and the virtual trainer ($30 value). Is it worth $50/$70 to bypass the lottery? It’s certainly cheaper than going the charity route.

The bad:

  • the weather? But really, I can’t complain about a chilly rain in January. It could have been icy or freezing rain. I really have no complaints about this race. I wish I had photos, but that was a choice I made not risking my phone in the rain. ETA: one photo below

The amusing:

this is why we wear pink pants! (c) Cheer Everywhere
  • YES! I didn’t get caught by the official photographer for the Brooklyn Half and was sure I’d find myself courtesy of my hot pink jacket. No such luck, but when I perused Cheer Everywhere’s gallery today, I spotted my pants. This is why we wear pink 😀 I just wish I’d spotted the photog to ham it up. Then again, this was Harlem Hill. I think take one, because I’m pretty sure I hung the soaking wet buff on an earlier branch in lap 2. I thought I took my glasses off later though, so unclear when this was
I really love this medal. Fred still incorporated, but it’s more medal like
  • The medal. Well more precisely, the writeup on how it came to be. I’m not one who is driven by a race’s medal, but I love Fred Lebow, this race and the medal.
  • My attire. I wish I had a photo, but I didn’t bring my phone because it was so rainy. Top layer for my upper body was a trash bag. Lower body? A heat shield from one of last year’s races. I actually ran in the heat shield for about half a mile and the trash bag until just before Cat Hill between miles one and two when I just got too warm. I was jealous of those who planned ahead and had ponchos.
  • Flat Cari failed me. I learned from Brooklyn and laid out, among other things, two plastic bags and two NYRR gear bags to keep my feet dry until the start. I then left them in my apartment. Oops. I bought new chews on Saturday night, and promptly forgot to put them in my pocket. So I have them for Fort Lauderdale or a long run before then, and gummed stale blueberry ones.

Overall, I was really happy with this race. Lebow was just as fun the second time through and I continued to learn a lot about myself. While at the moment I’m saying no more January Halfs! I think I know I’ll be back next year.

What’s your favorite race that you return to?

What’s your favorite I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on moment?