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.
A few weeks ago I traveled to Memphis for the St Jude Marathon weekend. Yes I was there to run, but I also travel to actually experience the locale, explore the culture, and of course, lots of good eating! ….. Check out my recap of Memphis where I saw the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel, site of Dr. Kings Assignation, visited Graceland, Home of Elvis. Had awesome BBQ on Beale Street, and just had an overall great time. This was definitely one of my favorite races that I’ve done to date.
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!
The first half marathon that I ever ran out of state was during Ironman Eagleman 70.3 on June 14, 2015 in Maryland. That was my worse half marathon experience ever! Next came the Cayman Islands Half Marathon on December 6, 2015 which was out of the country, so that doesn’t really count now does it. Next was the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida, on Febuary 20, 2016. This was my first real taste of traveling and running road races, and this is what sparked the idea of possibly running a half-marathon in each of the 50 states.
Back in 2016, I wasn’t really serious about accomplishing this task. I just wanted to run some states and see how I liked it. I added GA, NJ, and IL to the list that year, and in 2017 added LA, DE, & CT. In 2018 I made a bit more progress than the previous years, adding TX, NC, DC (not a state but I’m counting it!) CA, MA, and PA. 2019 has been a bit of a dud with only SC checked off the list. I did a whole lot more local racing in New York this year.
So as of this post I am sitting comfortably at 15 states + DC with 35 states to go. Seems like a whole lot, but I am in no rush and will see and explore the United States at my leasure.
Next up for me is the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon this weekend. This race is super cool because we get to cross the bridge and run 2.5 miles or so in Ontario, Canada, and then back over into Michigan. This will be my first time stepping foot on Canadian soil so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m just hoping it is not too cold at the start. Sundays low temp is 47 degrees, with a high of 66.
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.