Last week I completed week 2 of London marathon training, logging 4 runs for the week, strength training, hot yoga, and travel to Arizona for the Rock N Roll 5k and Half Marathon.
The week started out pretty good. I did a 45 minute recovery run on the treadmill. Treadmill running is not my fav, but it is freezing in NYC, and running outside right now is just not an option.
Next was an interval run where I ran 5 mins on, and 1:30 off. I tried to increase my pace slightly for every 5 minute interval to test my endurance a bit.
I also did some strength training this day. Just a simple leg routine circuit that I tend to do often. I really need to switch it up. (workout is in the video at the bottom of this post)
Next up was hot yoga on Friday, which was really fantastic. I’m loving that I’ve added this back into my training regimen. I really feel fresh and re-energized afterward, and its a good prelude for my long runs on the weekend.
RnR Arizona Race Recap:
This was State #18 for me in my journey to run a half marathon in all 50 states. I have to say, I really enjoyed AZ. The weather is looney as heck though. You have to wear a winter coast in the am because it’s in the 40s, and then switch to tees and sandals because it’s 75 by noon! ….. The races were just OK for me. RnR always puts on great events so that wasn’t an issue. There was just basically zero crowd support out there. Most of the bands playing were ehhhh except these cool drummers on the mountain. The Gatorade mix was terrible. I don’t know what happened but it had a funky taste to it. ….. Post race amenities were great, chocolate milk…had a couple, Pringles, granola bars, post race massages, and I snagged enough SIS to last me through the next few weeks of training. ….. Would I recommend this race, yes. The Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area is cool, and the people were so nice. We even stumbled on upon an Afrobeats rooftop party which was the first cluster of brown folks that I saw for the entire weekend.
I signed up for this race probably a year ago, and totally forgot about it until maybe a couple months ago. Then totally forgot about it again until maybe 3 weeks ago when my friend said, are we booking flights to Detroit!
First up was the expo. It was at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit. Now, when I go to expos, I go to pick up my bib, and hopefully munch on some free food. Very rarely do I buy anything. Well there was no free food, and I actually did buy something this time. A cute little running pouch. I used it for the race, but will wait to reveal the name until I use it a couple more times to see if I really like it or not.
When I travel for races its usually for the weekend only, so I try to see as much of the city as I can in the small amount of time that I have. So the first thing I always do is google things to do in the city. The Joe Lewis fist was one of the top things to see. It was located about a half mile from the TCF center, so that was my first stop.
The statue is located on the median in the middle of a really busy street. If you’re visiting Detroit definitely get your IG worthy shot.
Next up was the Motown museum. Now, I have mixed reviews about Motown. I was so excited to visit, because if you’re black and living in America, you know the story of Motown. Well as soon as you walk in, there is a wall in the hallway with beautiful black and white photos. I took out my phone to record it, and I was immediately yelled out that no photos or video were allowed. The man with the cock eye working the door literally screamed it out. It was extremely off putting, and totally put me in a sour mood. So the tour starts in the hallway, and then we were taken downstairs to a teeny screening room to watch a 15 minute documentary on Motown. I thought it was a waste of time since I really knew most of what was mentioned. I was there to see the house doggone it! From there we went upstairs to another room that had memorabilia. Not a lot I must add, and I have no images to show because we couldn’t take pictures! Then we walked through a tiny hallway of Berry Gordy’s apartment, and downstairs to the recording studio. This was the only place that you could record and take pics. This was extremely odd to me.
The tour was led by a 17 year old. She was a bit too chipper for my liking, and I just couldn’t take her seriously. I’d give the tour 3 stars. You can probably find a tour of the whole inside on the web. Save your 15 bucks and just go and take pics outside, those are totally free!
Next up was a trip to the Belle Island Aquarium. Now I have to say, I enjoyed this way more than Motown. It was a small aquarium, they only had fish, but it was a good variety, the building was beautiful, and it was free! Here are some of the water creatures that I saw.
Pretty right! Right next door was Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. This place was absolutely stunning! It really is a hidden gem.
Next up was a visit to Eastern Market. Google told me that this was a part of town that had lots of artwork, so I wanted to check it out.
This is just a snippet of some of the artwork, there was a ton.
After Eastern Market it was time for some grub. I opened up my yelp app, and searched for nearby restaurants. I came across LeCulture Cafe because their loaded mac and cheese with lobster looked divine, and it was only 5 minutes away. I didn’t know at first that they were black owned, so this was a huge bonus, and made me want to dine there even more. The wait was an hour, which is long, but I didn’t mind because I had a slice of pizza in Eastern Market and I wasn’t starving. Their service was a little slow, but our server was great, and the food was excellent, so they more than made up for the not so fast service.
Now, on to the race. The race started super early at 7am, so that meant a 4:30am wake up call, so that we could get into downtown early, and find a parking spot. We ended up parking at the MGM hotel which was free…score! The race recommended a bunch of lots through spothero. I’m sure they got some kind of kick back from it, but not from me!
The race starts off relatively flat, weaving rights and lefts downtown through the blocks. The first challenge came at the Ambassador bridge into Canada. It was a serious incline.
Once I got halfway up the incline I started walking and recorded some video for my Vlog. I could already feel my calfs getting tight because it was so steep, so I figured I’d take it easy because we weren’t even at mile 3 yet. The middle of the bridge was extremely shaky. I felt myself getting a bit of vertigo from the bouncing, so I was happy to get off of the bridge.
The Canada portion had great crowd support. There were people on every inch of that course in Canada. Yall did a great job ehhhh! The one thing I noticed and didn’t like, was by the time we got to mile 4 there was only 2 water station. After that the stations were spread out every 1.2-1.4 miles. New York has me spoiled, I like my sports drinks every mile!
After 2-3 miles in Canada, we headed through the tunnel back to Detroit. That tunnel was hot! I was sweating bullets in there.
I don’t remember too much after this point. There was a lot of inclines heading up overpasses, but they weren’t so bad. I pretty much took it easy the whole race, documenting my experience, and enjoying myself. I had to use the bathroom from mile 3 on, but at every bathroom there was a line with a ton of people. I really don’t know how I held it in basically the entire race. Here are my splits.
My final thoughts, Detroit the city was OK, I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. To cross to the other side of a block you had to drive down the block and make a u-turn, there were medians everywhere, that totally annoyed me. The race was good. Plenty of crowd support, they could have used more aid stations, great amenities at the end of the race, and free race pics! Detroit is state #16 for me. My next state will be Tennessee in December. Another state that I have never been before, so I’m looking forward to it. Until next time…
So the last time that I did this race on October 11, 2015 I swore it would be my very last time because I absolutely loathe going to Staten Island. Well, turns out, 2015 wouldn’t be my last time, because here I was again in 2019 running the Staten Island half all over again.
Now, the only reason that I registered for this race was because I had New Balance points that were going to expire, and one of the point redemption options was a free race entry. Now, the only reason I had New Balance points to begin with was because I was going to use them to redeem an entry for the London Marathon 2020….well that was a total dud, and a super long story that I won’t get into right now. BTW, I am fundraising for Team Sense for a London Marathon entry. CLICK HERE to donate!
Anywho, I woke up at the early hour of 4:30am to get ready for the race. I was meeting Janis, and then we would drive to Staten Island. Our original plan was to park downtown, and take the ferry over to Staten Island, but I really couldn’t be bothered with the extra commuting.
We made it to Staten Island about an hour before the race started, and found a great parking spot about a half a mile from the start line. Parking near the start always turns into a traffic nightmare when its time to leave resulting in a 1hr+ standstill to get off of the island.
This race is pretty uneventful, except for the monster hills. There is very little crowd support, so the out and back of this route is very boring. I was taking it pretty easy, and felt good up until mile 7. At that point fatigue, and climbing hills started to kick in. It probably didn’t help that I ran 10 miles the day before either!
I stopped at the aid stations for an extended period of time during miles 9 and 10 because one of my gels spilled in my pouch and everything was sticky included my phone. I had to stop and clean my phone off with water before the stickiness dried. This is the 2nd time this has happened to me. The first time was a couple weeks ago in Atlanta. My buttons were stuck because the gel dried, and I had to chisel them and scrape the crusty gel out to get them moving again, and I didn’t want that to happen again, so stopping it was!
Anywho, the race ends on a hill, and I was completely over it at that point. I mean this was my 2nd race in as many weeks that ended on a hill so I was not a happy camper.
Overall, not my best performance by far, but my best performance that day. This was just another training run for me, so I was just happy to log the miles.
Will I be doing this race again? That is a definite never! Even if I get a free race entry I would pass on this one. I am completely done running in Staten Island!
Next up, I am headed to Detroit for the Free Press International Half marathon, and I am excited!
I am participating in the London Marathon on April 28, 2020 on behalf of Team Sense. Please consider donating to help me reach my fundraising goal of €1700, Thank you!
A couple weeks ago, I participated in The Race for the 2nd consecutive year. 2018 was the inaugural running of The Race, and I was legacy backer #100! The race is run through African American neighborhoods in Atlanta, and features a 5k and half marathon. I ran the half of course, and also volunteered at the expo handing out race bibs.
Not the best quality, but here’s a snippet of me giving @fitwithcj his bib.
I got to see a ton of my run buddy’s.
I also had the opportunity to speak on India and Tommy’s The Run Duo Podcast, make sure you check out their show, it is dope.
You can find the full podcast HERE, my interview is around the 1hr mark.
Now, on to the race! The race started super early at 7am, so my morning started at 4:30. There were 1700+ people registered, and while there was parking at the venue, it wasn’t enough to accommodate that many people, so I had to make sure I was in the parking lot by 6am to get a spot. The race started promptly which I was so happy about because I hate when races start late.
I treated this race as another training run since I am still in training mode for the NYC Marathon, so my plan was to take it pretty easy. Here are my splits:
I kept my mile splits pretty uniform the entire time. I am going to guess that when I peaked in the high 11s there was probably a hill involved. I hate hills, but while running in Atlanta it is inevitable. Check out the elevation chart, there was certainly a lot of up and down going on.
The last 3 miles were really tortuous. It was a steady climb to the finish. The last mile especially was a doozy. Check out the hill behind me.
Once I got up this hill, I booked it to the finish and picked up my medal.
Some post race pics
If you plan to register for The Race, make sure you add VIP to your registration, it is totally worth it. From the free food, massages, real bathrooms and not port-o-potties, you’ll get your monies worth and so much more.
Post race there was a day party at The Beverly. Super cute venue, I had a good time. The theme was t-shirts and denim shorts.
This past Sunday I got to run one of my favorite races. I think its my favorite mainly because its in the Bronx, and I’m from the Bronx! I think this is my 3rd or 4th Bronx 10 mile. I try to do it every year, but it always falls on my anniversary weekend. Luckily this year I didn’t have a trip planned, so the Bronx 10 mile it was!
Looking back on previous years, this years time was really the pits! Granted I am certainly not as fast as I use to be, so my times have really taken a dive, but I hadn’t realized that it had gotten this bad! Another granted, I really wasn’t attempting to run this race fast, but was instead treating it like another marathon training run. I did a 3:1 run walk miles 2-9. Run walking has really helped me to stay healthy, and get through my double digit runs without feeling like death warmed over. So while I was 16 minutes slower than the last time, I’m happy with this time because I did what I needed to do, and finished in under 2 hrs.
This years splits
Oh, another goodie about this race is we run by my Alma mater Dewitt Clinton High School. Every-time I have the opportunity to see my old High School in person, it brings a smile to my face because I had so many good memories there. Fun fact: Stan Lee, the creator of X-Men, Ralph Lauren, and even Tracy Morgan all graduated from Clinton High School, and so did I! lol.
Of course I had to get a selfie in front of the school!
All in all, still one of my favs, and I hope I can do it again next year. This weekend I am off to Atlanta to run The Race, it should be a jam packed weekend. I’ll be documenting the entire weekend on video, and will have my full race report next week.
Saturday was a jam packed day! I pulled double duty with a 10k in the morning, and 5k in the evening. The day started with the NYRR Mini 10k in Central Park. This is one of my favorite races of the year because it is all women. They also use to have the best race shirt when Oakley was the sponsor, but now it is a regular cheapy NB shirt that I’ll probably end up donating to charity.
My Adidas Runners NYC Crew
This race starts out right on Columbus Circle, and treks up 5th Avenue for a mile and a half. This portion of the race is relatively flat, and pretty shaded so its nice. Then we cut into Central Park, and the hill work begins. I ran the first couple of hills, but there is a monster hill that goes on forever that I couldn’t be bothered with, so I gingerly walked up that one. All in all this race still remains one of my favs, especially with the red bagels, and flowers at the finish. I’ll definitely be back for another round next year.
My Long Island crew
Next up was Adidas Run for the Oceans, at Domino Park in Brooklyn. I’ve been running with Adidas for about 8 months now, and they always put on awesome events, and this one was no different. This race was to bring awareness to the plastic polluting our oceans. Adidas is donating $1 per 1km ran to Parley Ocean School for runs logged through the app runtastic through June 16th. CLICK HERE to sign up.
He’s 13 and taller than me!
With @thedrepabon & @adrian2point0
With @jenn.runs.nyc @adrian2point0 and @libra_tia
With Eva & Amanda
This one was special because I got to run it with my son, and this was his very first 5k. He had a ball![wpvideo cmufdRFZ ]
I am raising funds for Team Sense to run the London Marathon in 2020!