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
Now I’m wondering where those tights are….I haven’t seen them in a while 🙂 Happy Thursday!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not 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.
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!
I’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!!
Sunday 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. 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. 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. 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 Tarnia 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 rockThe whole BGR LI crewMe post race with my medal on the fieldA close up of the medal…I think it rocks
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!
Today 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 start
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!
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. Fast 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. There was also an abundance of coconut water from Purity. Now 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.
There was also plenty of coffee and tea which was a godsend in this type of weather.
End of race obligatory bling shot!Some views of the finishlineMe & Simone before the rain kicked our butts!Simone finishing strong! & she one a Giant road bike in the raffleAnd 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![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLyE4q7Yltk&w=560&h=315]
Next stop Staten Island Half Marathon tomorrow….yes I’m crazy!!