#TBT Marianne Volpe 5K & Pumpkin Fun Run 2013 October 26, 2013

This is what I was up to around this time last year.  This was a fun day.  It was right around the time that I was starting to have problems with my left knee so I sat this one out, but was around to take pics of my BGR Long Island Crew.  This race benefits a team raising funds to help find cures, ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients and in memory of Marianne Volpe.  It was held again this past Saturday, but unfortunately I did not attend.  This is a great cause, and if you are interested in donating you can do so here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/li/yourway15/jvolpe

That’s me in the purple throwing up deuces with my stunna shades on…lol

The Black Girls Run! Long Island Crew

The Black Girls Run! Long Island Crew

Now I’m wondering where those tights are….I haven’t seen them in a while 🙂 Happy Thursday!

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Race Recap: Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M) October 26, 2014

My mandatory pre-race coffee

My mandatory pre-race coffee

Well I completed race 6 of 9 to qualify for the 2015 NYC Marathon….3 to go!  I saw this question on facebook recently about drinking coffee before a race, and while a lot of people do, a whole lot more said they didn’t for a slew of reasons.  I drink coffee basically every morning.  I may skip a day here and there, but 9 times out of 10 I start with a cup, so race day is no different.  This is me walking to the start with my obligatory McDonalds $0.99 coffee…yum! It is NYC Marathon week, and this race was the Marathon kick off 5 miler.  True to my word from my last recap after the Staten Island Half I did not run one bit in 2 weeks.  I mean not even a brisk mile walk.  I took a much needed break from running.  Partly because I was pooped, but mainly because I don’t think my body was fully recovered after having the baby….even 2.5 months later. I guess it really does take time.  Now I didn’t take a working out break altogether.  I still swam, and completed my first 40 mile bike ride…now that was a doosey!

I had to leave my house very early that morning to make a stop, and I had to pick up my t-shirt and bib (race number) for the race……it was freezing! So of course I threw on an extra layer and I was baking by mile 3, but I’ll get to that later.  This race was very crowded, and it was sold out

NYRR doing same day registrations.

NYRR doing same day registrations.

online for a while.  Here is a tip a lot of people don’t know: even if a race is sold out online NYRR will still do day of registrations on site.  So if your still trying to get your 9 in to qualify for the marathon and the race is sold out, come out race day and try to register in person.  Don’t try this at the BK Half or any of the 5 boro races though!

People standing on line waiting for pottys.

People standing on line waiting for pottys.

That pre-race coffee usually leads to a pre-race need to use the bathroom.  While I hate to use the port-a-pottys, sometimes it is inevitable, and due to the large amount of people the lines were so friggin long.  Luckily I got there early and had enough time to wait it out.

So any ho, NYRR issues race numbers based on your best average pace per mile, mine was in the 7000s based on my 11:02 min mile average.  Now I think this is great for the leisurely runner, but now that I am doing the Ironman I think it’s time to take my running more seriously; especially after taking that long walk to the 7000’s start corral.

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4000 corral

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5000 corral

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6000 corral

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Pre-Race Pic

There were the 3000s, 2000s, & 1000s that I didn’t get a pic of, but you get the gist of it.  I was too pooped by the time I got to the 7000s to get a pic of the banner.  So my goal for the next race is to best my 11:01 pace so that I get a better start position, and won’t have to take such a long hike to get to my start corral!

Most of my running buddies are pretty much done with their 9 races, so I was basically alone.  I asked a stranger to take a pic of me and she obliged…cheese, 6th race!  I did run into Deb right before the start (no pic of that!) and we chit chatted a bit.  I looked at her and said “why am I doing this?” as I was freezing my buns off.  I think I say that to myself before every race, because its early and I’m cranky and so not a morning person.  Sometimes after a race I say I’m never doing this again (like the Staten Island Half) but often times at the end I feel that gratification of completing a task and think this is why I do this.

FullSizeRenderNot having run in 2 weeks I think I did ok.  The first 2 miles were faster than the last 3.  By mile 3 I was burning up and wanted to take off my sweater, but like a fool I wore a pull over and had my watch and armband fastened on top of it, so the only way I was getting it off was by stopping to walk and I didn’t want to do that.  I did walk through each water station and that was the only walking I wanted to do through the race.  Nike thermal gear is no joke.  If it is the least bit warm out you will get hot wearing it, so I can unequivocally say that the thermal gear does its job.  If the forecast is 50 or above do not wear it!  I felt good the entire time.  I didn’t get tired or feel fatigued at all, so I’d say that 2 week break was much needed.

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Finishline

All in all this wasn’t the most eventful or fun race, but it is another qualifier that is in the bag so I loved it.  They did give out the large size Poland Spring water bottles at the end so that was kool…bagels and apples too.  I did see quite a few of the green Poland Spring freebie gloves on the ground.  I didn’t get a pair, but it was nice that they gave them out again.  If your looking for a nice easy qualifier this one is for you….on to the next one!

Well it’s official, I’m registered for Ironman 70.3 Eagleman!

IMI’ve been dragging my feet on registering for a couple months now.  I booked my hotel room back in August, so I knew I definitely wanted to do this event, but I kept putting off registering why I don’t know….well I do know, I’m scared of the biking leg!  Swimming is no problem for me.  I’ve been swimming since I was like 7 years old so this is definitely my easiest leg.  I know I can do those 1.2 miles easily, (if the water cooperates….I’m use to pool swimming!) I just swam a mile last night so this should be no problem right?? well I hope so!  Biking….ehhhh I’m still learning.  Hopefully over the next 8 months I am able to semi-master my bike.  The run, yes I can do 13.1 miles, but after swimming 1.2, and biking 56, I hope I’m up to it.  For those of you that don’t know, Ironman 70.3 is half of the full Ironman 140.6 distance so that is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 (half marathon) run.  This are all done consecutively with a transition between swim-bike and bike-run.  Transition is simply where you switch out your gear for the next leg of the race.

After some encouragement from my Tri buddy Lisa (LL) I decided to finally just register…now I’m all in…..scared but excited at the same time!  Thanks for the push LL!  I have a handy dandy countdown clock on the sidebar leading up to the event…8 months until the big day!!  On June 14, 2015 I am hoping to hear Kimberley you are an Ironman!! Or do they say Half Ironman…who knows….I’ll be happy to hear either! sidebar…I wonder if I can get them to call me Str8Kim….hehe!!

Happy Wednesday!

Race Recap: NYRR Five-Borough Series: Staten Island Half October 12, 2014

IMG_7268Sunday I completed my 5th of 9 races to get guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon, and it surely was a doosey!  I’m probably not the first New Yorker to never have ventured to Staten Island because lets face it, if you don’t know someone who lives there, or like minor league baseball there really is no reason to go there is it?? Staten Islanders please clue me in.  So my first time to Staten Island was definitely a memorable one, and I don’t know that it is exactly a good memory.  Fall in New York, the weather can be hit or miss.  2 weeks ago at the Bronx 10 mile it was hot and we were sweating bullets, and Sunday it was chilly and I barely broke a sweat.  Granted when I got going the weather was perfect, but waiting around for the race to start I was freezing my britches off.

The race started right outside Richmond County Bank Ball Park, home of the Staten Island Yankees.  From my understanding (and I have very little of baseball) this is a minor league team, and little brother to the Yankees that play in the Bronx.  The stadium was beautiful and sits right on the water so the views were great.IMG_7233  If you squint you can see a view of the site of the new World Trade Center behind me.  We got to Staten Island pretty early like 6:30 a.m. because the main road in would be closed for the race, and we wanted to find a good parking spot which we were lucky enough to find a block from the stadium.  There were 9,537 finishers in this race, and 4,472 of them were women, so you can imagine the line for the bathroom.  We got there right on time because about 15 minutes later the line was 30+ people long.  Sometimes arriving early has its advantages!

Fast forward to the race start at 8:30am.  I’d say the first couple miles were pretty flat and I was very comfortable.  But after that came the hills.  And I mean hills and hills!  This was an out and back course, so if you went down a hill on the way out, you had to climb that hill on the way back.Hills  You can get an idea of the hill action in this pic.  These hills were really non-stop.  Some small, some very large.  Somewhere between mile 9-11 there was a monster hill, and as I am slowly trekking up it my left ankle starts to get a twinge, and I’m thinking hmmmm this is a pain I’ve never felt before, so I walked up the remainder of that hill to see if I would feel better which I did thank goodness.Splits  The first half of the race I felt pretty good.  I’d even say up to mile 9 I was feeling awesome, and then I hit the wall.  Runners know what that wall is.  Having run a maximum of 10 miles to date, and clocking very little mileage for the past two weeks, I expected that wall to come sooner or later.  Thank goodness it came later because I definitely would not have made it through if it came any sooner.  At mile 8 you can see my time increased, that was because at this water station there was powerade gels.  I don’t eat these, but I grabbed a few to try later.  I was trying to squeeze those suckers into my belt, and it took longer than planned so that mile was slow.  Mile 9 I picked it back up, but by mile 10 there was the wall.  My body was just telling me to stop.  My thighs were burning, the bottom of my feet were aching, I still felt that twinge in my ankle, but surprising my knee that I had ITB Syndrome on was ok.  At this point I started walking.  I am so happy that my buddy TarniaIMG_7235 was with me the entire race, and I screwed up her time (sorry Tarnia), but she really pulled me through those last 3 miles.  She calls me her rabbit because she use to follow me around the track, but now she is my rabbit.  So thankful to her.  BGR LI is truly a sisterhood, and we take that no women left behind moto seriously!  Those last 3 miles were super hard, and slow, but I made it through thankfully!  The race ended inside the stadium which was nice.  As soon as I crossed the finishline I made a beeline to the medical tent to get some ice for my knee and ankle.  I was a little sore the next 36hrs, but I am feeling much better today.  I think the ice and an Epsom salt bath afterwards really helped.

Some pics from the day:

Stole this from Dawn, her pre-race selfie’s rockIMG_7259The whole BGR LI crewIMG_7260Me post race with my medal on the fieldIMG_7251A close up of the medal…I think it rocksIMG_7273

I think the Staten Island Half will probably be a one and done for me.  The traffic to get out was horrendous and it took us 2.5hrs to get home.  Coupled with the hills it is going to be really hard to get me back to that boro!

I have a much needed race break this weekend, so I’ll probably spend the next week and a half in the pool and rest my feet.  This double race weekend really wore me out.  I have learned my lesson to not only check my calendar the day of a race to see if I am free, but to check the day before and after as well.  No more jam packed race weekends for me!!! Happy Tuesday!

Race Recap: The Brands Cycle & Fitness Cedar Creek Duathlon October 11, 2014

IMG_7229Today I had the pleasure and pain of completing the Brands Cycle Duathlon.  Pleasure because it was an awesome race, pain because it was chilly and pouring rain the entire time.  Going in I knew it would be raining, but when I woke up I crossed my fingers and hoped the sky would be clear, but that didn’t happen!! I’ve never biked in the rain….I’m still a beginner so biking in the elements is totally off my radar and I have only run in the rain if I got caught in it, so this was definitely a new experience for me.  Luckily yesterday I had the smarts to go and buy a rain coat because I didn’t have one in my closet, and you know I love a good deal, and I was able to pick one up on sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods yesterday….and so happy that I did!  That rain coat saved my britches this morning.

Freezing and wet but smiling b4 the startIMG_7186

The race started promptly at 8:30.  Now going in you know when you see the fancy schmancy bikes there are going to be some heavy hitters in the race and there were.  During the bike there was a lot of “on your left” being yelled so they could fly right by you.  Now this was a smaller event.  I think there were like 200 people registered, and I heard about 50 didn’t show up…..probably because of the rain.  The first leg was the run which was 1.2 miles.  So at the start I don’t know how I managed to be up front but I was and started off way too fast.  I’m running like hey all the guys are up here, then I’m like hey I’m going really fast, then I look down at my watch and my pace is 7:30 and I’m like hey pump your brakes there shorty.  So I slowed down tremendously to a 10-11 minute pace which is my comfort zone.  The first leg was pretty easy, and then comes transition.  Transition is the point where you switch from one element to another, so this transition was run to bike.

My bike on the rack.  Coack Jax told us about the bag on the saddle trick, my saddle was still drenched!IMG_7185

The bike leg was 11 miles.  Now ordinarily 11 miles would be a nice ride for me, but throw in the freezing rain pelting you everywhere and it turns into a challenge.  Some how some way I am going to improve my biking.  I know it is going to take some time, but I have the will and I’ll get it done.  The bike was flat for the most part.  There were 2 hilly areas.  One leading up to a turn, and then on the reverse trip we had to climb the hill in the opposite direction.  I have very little concept of gear switching, so hills are hard for me.  I kind of felt I would go faster if I got off the bike and pushed it up the hill!!! Hopefully I’ll improve and I’ll be singing a different song next year.  At the bike turn around standing there waving a caution flag was none other than Coach Jackie!! I was like hey Jackie, she is like your doing great nice and easy on the turn, and I’m like I think I may fall, and she says no you won’t!  She is so encouraging, and it was nice to see a friendly face.  We had to do 4 loops on the bike to make the 11 miles.  By the 4th loop I was totally over it.  I was wet everywhere.  My shoes were shooshing, my glasses were all wet, I was just a mess.  BrandsFast forward to T2 (2nd transition) bike to run.  I went through this pretty quickly 1:16.  Now when I started the last run which was another 1.2 miles I now completely understand the term brick workout.  My feet literally felt like I was running on bricks.  Talk about super heavy!  I think it was a feeling I’ve never felt before.  I don’t think I truly got comfortable until the very end of the run, so I guess in a longer race it would be better because I’ll have more time to get into my stride.

Overall despite the horrible weather Race Awesome really put on an awesome race.  It was well organized, the staff and volunteers were great, and the overall atmosphere was great.  If you compete in races you know sometimes there is very little or no support regarding nutrition, but here that was not the case.  Fairway was one of the sponsors.  They had watermelon, bananas, apples, oranges, and bagels with peanut butter and chocolate spread.  IMG_7205There was also an abundance of coconut water from Purity.  IMG_7208Now I’ve come to the realization that coconut water is an acquired taste because I haven’t met one that I like.  This one however is tolerable.  I put it in my smoothie when I got home instead of using water and I have to say it was pretty tasty.

Thank you for the haul Purity! They were super generous.IMG_7226

There was also plenty of coffee and tea which was a godsend in this type of weather.

End of race obligatory bling shot!IMG_7212Some views of the finishlineIMG_7202IMG_7206Me & Simone before the rain kicked our butts!IMG_7211Simone finishing strong! & she one a Giant road bike in the raffleIMG_7197And a special thanks to Super D…Dionne for volunteering.  Every time I did a lap there she was cheering me on, and she recorded this awesome video…thx DD!

Next stop Staten Island Half Marathon tomorrow….yes I’m crazy!!

Well that pacing thing didn’t go as planned!

FullSizeRenderSo I am on a mission to maintain a 12:30 pace for my upcoming half marathon.  I am thinking this is a comfortable pace for me to keep throughout the whole 13.1 so that I can finish it standing up, and out of the medical tent!  Well I attempted to do such this morning on my 3 mile run and it didn’t pan out as planned.  This is much harder than I thought it would be.  Mile 1 I spent fiddling with my phone in the beginning and then running to the track.  Thanks to apple everything moves over from icloud EXCEPT your music which I didn’t know, and I rarely hook my phone up to my computer to sync it…..this is a major PITA.  So I was w/o my running playlist and had to listen to the radio instead…bummer.  Note to self, sync your phone today! Mile 0.5-2.5 I spent going around and around on the track…how fun, and my pace was totally off.  Mile 2.5 and on I spent running home and watching all the High Schoolers walk to school with their funky outfits……why are these kids going to school at 7am….geesh!  So my first attempt at pacing was a bust.  I think I may have to lower my pace a bit, because I just feel like I am going too slow, which I know I am, but the point here is to maintain throughout the entire long run.  This is a learning process, and I’ll try again tomorrow at a different venue and see how I pan out.

P.S. this finicky NY weather is not conducive to a natural hairnista! Happy Tuesday!

Race Recap: NYRR Five-Borough Series: Bronx 10-Mile September 28, 2014

FullSizeRenderLast Sunday I completed my 4th of 9 races to get guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon, and it was in my hometown of the Bronx so I was super excited!  NYRR shut down the Grand Concourse which is a major street that runs through the Bronx and part of Mosholu Parkway , and we had free reign of both which was very cool.  The weather was perfect for running, but the 10 miles I was certainly not prepared for.  Having only been running for a few weeks full-time and my maximum mileage to date being 4 miles, I knew it would be challenging.  I always say yes running is physical and you should be in some kind of good shape to do it, but a lot of it is mental.  I knew if I could run 4 miles straight, I could probably run 6 miles, and what the heck I can do 10 miles.  Trust me if I had other options I would have chosen a shorter race, but being that I registered so late in the game it was slim pickings.  I started off at a pretty good pace.  I don’t recommend you try this at home!  FullSizeRender

I wanted to take it easy and maintain a 12:00-12:30 pace per mile but it never works out that way.  When all the adrenaline starts pumping, and you see everyone around you flying by, it is hard not to try and keep up.  As you can see my pace was way too fast in the beginning and I paid for it in the end.  Even walking the water stations my pace was still too fast for the fitness level that I am at at this point in time.  Somehow someway I’ll learn how to pace my self better in races.  I had to use the restroom at the beginning of the race, but with a race of this magnitude the lines to use the port-a-pottys (ewwwwww) are super long, so I decided to hold it and go along the way.  As the miles started adding on every stop had lines so I kept trekking along.  It wasn’t until I was on my way back that I spotted a port-a-potty with no line….this had to be somewhere between mile 6-8 I can’t remember which.  IMG_7023You can see even with stopping for a bathroom break I was still going way too fast!!! I did though run into my buddy Deb who was getting her +1 (volunteering) in, and she took this pic of me.  I always throw up my peace signs.  If I don’t then I’m probably not having a good time! As you can see I’m sweating like a beast….wish I would have worn a tank top that day.  You see a good view of the Grand Concourse here, and this is only half the street so you can get an idea of how massive it is.  FullSizeRenderThis was on the way back, but before that around mile 5 or 6 I ran by my old alma mater Dewitt Clinton High School.  I haven’t been back there since I graduated in 1999, so it was a bit nostalgic seeing the school I spent 4 years of my life at….it brought back many great memories, and had me thinking, wow time does really fly.

I would say mile 8-10 were the toughest for me, and that is where that mental comes in.  I just had to tell myself to keep going.  You can see the times on my miles really started to increase at this point.  By now the bottom of my feet are hurting, I’m sweating profusely, and just want the race over with, but I’m still trucking along because I know I have an end goal and I have to accomplFullSizeRenderish it.  Going in I wanted to finish in under 2hrs.  I think I could have attained that goal if I didn’t stop for a bathroom break, and my constant picture taking, but what can I say, I love to take pics!  Time never really matters to me, but it is sometimes nice to set a time goal and make or break it, and obtain a PR…oh well next time.

Overall I think I can say that this was the best race I ever participated in.  I don’t know if it was because it was in the Bronx, the camaraderie with my BGR gals, or just the overall event put on by NYRR, but it was awesome, and definitely one I plan to do next year.  Here are some pics with the gals pre race:

Stephanie, Me, & JanetIMG_7014IMG_7016

Super D…isn’t she cute!

IMG_7007Me & Super D

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Me, Tarnia, & Vernell

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Me Pre-Race

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Throwing my 4 up!

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And the post race pic with bling! like my tights?

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I have a busy weekend coming up….hopefully I don’t kill myself and have a good time.  Those post race re-caps coming soon…happy Monday! The saga continues!