Race Recap: Smithpoint Triathlon – August 6, 2016

Not really a full recap, but more of a hey I’m still alive!!

This was my first tri of the season. It was a 500m swim, 9.7 mile bike, & 2.9 mile run. My stats were more along the lines of 768m swim, 9.64 mile bike, & 2.85 mile run. Mostly everyone I chatted with over-swam the swim. I don’t know if the swim was not marked correctly, or if we just all swim badly, but to swim 250m additional was a bit of a mess! I felt pretty good on the bike. It was an out and back course. Going out I averaged 15.8mph…I was really riding miss daisy. On the way back I averaged 18.7mph, but was riding 20mph at least half the time. The bike was nice! The run was your basic run, nothing to write home about. Overall I felt pretty good during this race, and it was nice to get back into the game leading up to Ironman AC 70.3 which is nearly a month away!

Until next time….

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Race Recap: NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10K May 14, 2016

IMG_8312On Saturday I ran the UAE HK 10K in Central Park.  When I was lined up in the corrals I turned to my friend and said I hope this isn’t the Scotland Run route; low and behold it was the Scotland Run route!  This route is what I call the reverse run of Central Park.  It is the absolute worse because you are constantly running up and down (mainly up hill).  So it is very easy to poop yourself out, especially early on during the race.  The race starts off with a steady incline, and as I’m running it I think what the heck is this!  We run through the start, and the finish line is about 400 meters after the start line, so we run through the finish line at the beginning of the race.  When I run this route I always wonder why they just don’t start and finish the race at the same point.  Anywho I was off.

I kept a decent pace the first mile 9:50, and the exact thing that I mentioned above could FullSizeRenderhappen did happen…I pooped myself out!  As you can see from the elevation chart the start of the race was basically a steady increase in elevation.  A quick downhill, then a steady climb during mile 2.  The climb was really torturous because I remember once I got to the top I had a bit of a break on a straight away, then a decent, then here comes a whole other climb.  It was just really nonstop.  Once I reached the 5K mark I never thought I would see the end of that hill. I was so happy to get to the top and get a slight breather.

 

Me and Allison pre-race

On top of the constant climbing, it was unusually hot out for May in NYC.  I was sweating almost immediately once the race started; like sweating so badly I was constantly wiping my forehead.  Because I was so hot I made sure to hit every water station for hydration.  One of the stations had gatorade so I grabbed two cups there, chugged them down, and kept it moving.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful.  I ran up on a guy and he was stomping so loudly, I tapped his shoulder and he looked at me and I said pick up your feet, we only have a mile to go!  He looked at me with the “what the heck did you say face?”  He takes out his headphones and I repeat myself and he picks up his feet and takes off.  I caught back up to him about 200 meters later and just cruised by him.  I think he was a bit tired at the point, but he was no longer dragging his feet.  If you see a runner doing this…help em out!  I finished the race in 1:06.  My slowest time for a 10k in a long time, but I’m ok with that.  I’m getting back into the groove of things, and I am bound to improve in the very near future.

Next weeks race…The Brooklyn Half!!

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Is this lavender or lilac? I don’t know which one it was, but they smelled wonderful!

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With JP post race

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Me and Allison on the streets of NYC.

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UAE Healthy Kidney 10k Medal

 

Race Recap: NJ Half Half Marathon May 1, 2016

IMG_7918So this past Sunday I headed down to the Jersey Shore to run the NJ Half Marathon.  The weeks leading up to the race we were having pretty good weather in NY, so I had my cute little shorts and tank top ready to go for the race.  That plan went right out the window because it was cool and rainy out.  I woke up at the crack of dawn race morning.  Well actually before the crack of dawn since it was 3:30am.  The race started at 7:30am so we wanted to give ourselves enough time to get from NY to NJ and get settled in for the race.  Being that it was so early traffic was non existent so we had a nice ride down to the shore.

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The crew in the corrals before the race

The race start was at Monmouth Park Racetrack; like literally inside the park.  We got there pretty much at the start of the race, so I had to hustle to get to the trucks to check my bag before they pulled off.  I should have packed a full change of clothes, but I just had a shirt, and my umbrella inside the bag which I was so happy that I packed it because I really needed it after the race!

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Obligatory pre-race group selfie

This race had a stagger start, and I thought it was pretty slow going.  I mostly race in NY and most of our races have a lot of people.  I didn’t think this race was particularly that large and the stagger start was really not needed.  It just left us more time to play around and take pictures!

 

Dawn's First Marathon!

Dawn’s First Marathon!

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Allison Dancing, yeah we had way too much time on our hands!

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Allison, Deb, Janis

I was feeling pretty good the first 5 miles of the race.  A little too good because although it was raining and cool I was hot.  I unzipped my jacket some which was a mistake because as it started to rain more my shirt underneath my jacket became wet, and I started to get cold.  I almost took my jacket off because I was so hot, but I was happy that I didn’t.  So I kept a pretty good pace up until the 50 minute mark when I stopped to take in nutrition.  At this point I walked a little while I ate and drank.

FullSizeRender(3)As you can see, as the race goes on, my splits increase.  I felt fine endurance wise, but from mile 6 on I was cold, and my feet were soggy so my natural reaction was just to slow down.  I started taking it easy and taking in gatorade at every water stop.  I will say although there were people around me the entire race it was very lonely out there, and quiet.  I don’t think I’ve been at a more quieter race before.  The course was pretty basic. Mostly through residential neighborhoods, so other than the occasional view of mini mansion it was a pretty boring course.  It was virtually flat except for 2 overpasses, so if you are looking to PR or try to BQ this marathon is the perfect place to do it.

My official race time was 02:21:52.  Not the time I wanted, but considering my lack of training I’m pretty happy with it.  Post race there was lots to grab.  They gave out towels, water, gatorade, pretzels, and my favorite salt water taffy.  The one thing they were missing was foil.  It was wet and cold out there, and some people were in shorts and tanks, so something to wrap up in would have been nice.  I looked at the images of last years race and it looked sunny and warm, so I’m sure having foil was not on the race directors radar this year.

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Soaked at the finishline with my crooked hat!

Would I recommend this race? Yes and no.  Yes because it is a flat course and if you are looking to set a record this is the place to do it.  The medal is nice, and there are good post race refreshments.  No because it just wasn’t all that fun for me.  The water stations were not predictable but pretty random.  Who reads the athlete guide right?  I’m so use to having the option of liquids every mile that when it isn’t there it annoys me.  The post race shuttle location was horrible.  It was at least half a mile, maybe more from the finishline.  Then once the bus dropped us off back at the start we had to walk another half a mile back to our car.  For those that just ran a marathon that is a lot of walking, and painful at that.  The Race Directors really need to work on those logistics.

Until next time!

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Race Recap: Publix Georgia Half Marathon March 20, 2016

Hiya…it’s been a while!! I know I always say that! Anywho I’ve been up to lots of fun stuff so I haven’t been chronicling my fitness escapades like I should, but I am back to business now.

A couple weeks ago I headed down to Georgia to do the Publix Half Marathon, and I’ll tell you it was certainly a memorable weekend.  Atlanta is practically a second home to me now since my mother moved there, so I’ve made the two and a half hour flight many times and it is a breeze.

We got in early Friday morning, and as much as I love Atlanta, I hate the Atlanta airport.  All the walking and hoping on a train, then waiting for luggage that always takes forever, it really just poops you out.  Then on top of that we rented as car which was a whole other journey.  I don’t think we got out of the airport until 2hrs after our flight landed.    So after making a few stops we headed to my moms house.  After settling in we went to get a mani/pedi because of course we didn’t have sense enough to get one while in NY.  After all the getting up early I was beyond exhausted.  We got back to the house and I wanted to take a nap, but of course I couldn’t sleep; and we had an event to go to that night!  I went to Deb probably around 9 or 10 and told her I didn’t want to go out.  She said but you told X you would be there…I said I surely did and chucked it up and got ready, and I am glad I did because we had a ball.

Deb and I with Michael Martinez, founder of RunFam

So the weekend was called Runners All-Star Weekend.  We went to a white party Friday night hosted by Run Fam.  The party was at 595 North Event Center which is a warehouse type building; it was really nice.  The vibe of the party was very cool, and it was nice to meet so many people that I interact with on Facebook on a daily basis.

 

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Me

Deb

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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The whole NYC crew

I took tons more pictures, but we would be here all day if I posted them all.

On Saturday we attended Heather King’s day party, and that was also a blast.  I had the opportunity to chat more and meet lots of new people in a day time setting.  The Meet and Greet Day Party was held at 255 Tapas Lounge in Atlanta.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this place.  The food was delicious, and the drinks were nice and strong!

 

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I finally got a chance to meet Mr. BTA himself!

Me and Tony Brown, founder of Black Triathletes Association.

Me and Tony Brown, founder of Black Triathletes Association.

Me, Michael Martinez-Founder of RunFam, & Deb

Me, Michael Martinez-Founder of RunFam, & Deb

On Saturday we headed over to the expo to pick up our race bibs.  The expo was held at the Georgia World Congress Center which is huge.  I’ve been there before for an event and didn’t realize how massive the place was until this day.  I am not exaggerating, from the time we walked in the place, to get to the location were the expo was we walked at least a mile.  I looked down at my watch and saw I had 2000 more steps and couldn’t believe it.  The expo was extremely underwhelming.  I left my Honey Stinger Energy Chews at home so I was on a mission to buy some at the expo.  There was not one vendor there that sold nutrition.  When we first walked in there was a Mizuno (the race apparel sponsor) shop with race gear and very little nutrition.  After walking around the entire expo and finding no vendors with nutrition I was pissed!  I had to walk back to the Mizuno shop and buy sports beans (which taste disgusting) because the only option was energy gels which I just cannot stomach.

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One good thing about the expo was I saw this cute Georgia Marathon hoody, but I didn’t want to pay $65 for it.  After the race they were marked down to $50….score!

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On to race day:  The race started at 7am, so we had to get up at the crack of dawn to get to downtown Atlanta before the streets closed.  The race start and finish were just outside of Olympic Centennial Park.  There were plenty of port-a-potty’s set up so using them was a breeze.  Now bag check was a friggin mess.  The lines were like 100 people long.  I am really spoiled with our NY races because bag check is a breeze.  I really don’t understand why the lines were so long, and why it was taking the volunteers so long to get bags checked.  There needs to be an overhaul of this system for next years race, because it did not work well.

Pre-race it's still dark out!

Pre-race it’s still dark out!

 

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My obligatory pre-race selfie!

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Waiting in the start corrals

So this was the HARDEST half that I have ever done.  Yes I heard the horror stories about the hills beforehand, but I never expected to get what I did.  This was my first time running rolling hills.  In NY we have hills here and there, but no rolling hills.  The hills were never ending!  As soon as you went up one and down another, here comes another one!  The first 3 miles of the race I felt OK.  There were hills of course, but I didn’t think it was too bad and thought OK I can do this.

At mile 4 of the race, we ran by Dr. Martin Luther’s King Jr.’s church Ebenezer Baptist Church.  I decided to stop and take a few pictures of this historic site.

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The original church

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Newer larger church across the street

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And my blurry while running pics

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As I was running up the block I was looking for Dr. Kings home.  I was on the left side of the street which was the wrong side.  I thought I saw it but wasn’t sure so I just kept running.  I asked someone after the race where it was and I indeed missed it!  Next time I’m in Atlanta I think I will finally go on the tour of his home.

 

IMG_7382Mile 7 is when I really started to feel the burn of the hills, and I just said F it and starting walking up them.  Since I started taking my running seriously I stopped walking during races.  Well not completely, I still walk the water stations.  If I do stop to get liquids it is usually no more than 30 secs…a minute max but that’s pushing it.  At this point I was so over the up and down that I just walked as fast as I could to get to the top.  Sometimes I tried to run, but I felt like I could walk faster than my attempt at running so I just walked them.  Almost everyone around me was walking as well, or trying uneventfully to run them.  It is very discouraging when you get this far into a half and you have to start walking.  I saw my goal time slipping away from me minute by minute, so my new goal was to just get to the finish line.

The post race swag was great.  They gave at out green throw away jackets as soon as you crossed the finish.  There was full bottles of chocolate milk which I drank right down and took 2 for the road.  Bananas, snack boxes, powerade, and I’m sure plenty things I do not remember.  A con for the race for me besides the hills was the Powerade.  I am use to Gatorade Endurance formula.  This is what I train with, and this is what we get at mostly all NY races.  I’ve drank powerade before, but the regular store bought kind.  Not sure what formula they provided along the course, but it tasted disgusting and had a wretched after taste.  I took it at the first station and skipped all the rest.  This led to minor cramping in my quads in the later miles.

Overall I had a fantastic time this  weekend.  Although this was the most difficult half I have done, I will and am going to do it again.  Next year I think I’ll actually put some training in for it because this year my mile count heading into this race was non existent, and I will bring my own liquids!

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Publix Georgia Half Marathon Medal

Publix Georgia Half Marathon Medal

For anyone thinking of doing the Publix Half don’t let the hills scare you.  We get complacent in our running once we reach certain milestones, so it is nice to challenge yourself every once in a while.

Until next time!

 

Race Recap: New York City Marathon November 1, 2015

785899_1039_0039Its been 2 weeks since the big dance, and I have finally come down from cloud nine and am able to write my thoughts down about this unforgettable momentous day.

Marathon Training
Going into the marathon my emotions were all over the place. About 2 weeks b4 the race I was just so done! I missed my last long run because I just didn’t feel like going out, and missed a couple training runs leading up to the race. I was just sick of all the early morning (waking up at 4am) weekend training runs, the forcing myself to wake up at the crack of dawn to run alone in the dark during the week….I was just done. I have never read anyone’s thoughts on the pre-marathon training, and what a major toll it takes on your life both physically, emotionally, and socially! If you had an active social life prior to thinking about training for a marathon be prepared to tell it bye bye! Don’t get me wrong, you can still live and have a great time; but you just have to make the time to fit it all in. With me having two young children at home I just found balancing everything not as easy as people make it out to be. Marathon Training takes sacrifice and dedication and if you don’t have that stick to 10k’s…lol!

McDonalds Selfie

McDonalds Selfie

Marathon Morning
I woke up at 4am race morning to give myself enough time to shower, get cute, and get out the door to make a 5:30 am bus from Runners Stop. Runner’s Stop is a local running store located in Lynbrook, NY. They chartered a bus to Staten Island, and then picked up all runners not too far from the finish line in NYC. It is a very convenient service that I was glad I signed up for! Yes it was a cheese bus, yes it was uncomfortable, and yes it was the best transportation decision I made that day! When we reached Staten Island, all the charter buses that NYRR transports runners to the start in were letting people off right at marathon village. It was super early, I would say around 7am when we reached that area. So everyone who was let off was waiting around for 3-4 hours for the race to begin. My start time was 11am. It wasn’t cold like last year, maybe in the uppers 40’s at that time, so waiting around for that many hours on your feet, or on the cold ground was probably not ideal. I was glad that I did not choose that transportation option. Our bus brought us to a local McDonalds where we hung out for those few hours.

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Left to right: Kim, Terri, Janet, Jennifer, Ashleigh, Sharon, Michele, Wanda, Deb

Your probably wondering why the heck we were there so early if I didn’t start running until 11am. Well the race starts on the Verrazano Bridge. This bridge is the only way to drive from Brooklyn into Staten Island. The bridge closes at a certain time (not sure what time that is) so if you are not over the bridge by that time, then your only other option is to take the Ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island. When you pick your race transportation option through NYRR there are different ferry time slots that you can choose. The ferry is actually public transportation so yes you pick a time slot, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. A lot of people figured that out and I heard the ferry was an absolute mess. It was super crowded and I read a lot of people missed their start time. I was again glad I didn’t choose that option.

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Marathon Village

I would say about 10:30 the people in Corral 4 (me!) get on the bus to head over to marathon village. The bus dropped us off at the tip of the village so I still had a ways to walk to my start corral. I think I walked about a mile in total to get there so I considered that my warm up! Walking through the village I started getting that scared excited feeling that comes with doing a big race. I had a goal time in mind (which was completely blown) so I got myself into a zone and just kept saying in my head you can do this. I put in the training (well mostly I did) I knew I had gotten faster, so I just knew I could pull it off. I went in with a plan to have a good half marathon split.

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Pre-Start Marathon Village: Ashleigh, Deb, Me

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Final pic before the race began

The race start was quite eventful.  Picture thousands of people crowded into a small but large space (if that makes sense) on the Verazanno Bridge.  By this point I split with all of my friends because we all had different start corrals.  I knew I would be running the race alone, but I didn’t know it would be this lonely!  Luckily everyone around me was alone as well, so we formed a stranger running little family for the time that we were on that bridge waiting to start.  I read that Soprano for the Metropolitan Opera Susanna Phillips sang the national anthem, and also ran the race, but she didn’t sing it for my wave.  A gentleman sang it which I cannot remember his name (sorry) but he ran the race as well.

Here are some pics while I was walking to the start.

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The toll booths were behind these buses.

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obligatory pre-race selfie

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UPS cheering us on after doing baggage check.

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My view of the start line

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NYRR main stage

The Race Begins
FullSizeRender(3)The first half of the race was pretty much went accordingly to plan….well not exactly!! My goal was to keep my pace sub 10 per mile. So anything under 10min miles I would be happy with. Well that went completely out of the window at the start of the race. There were 50,000+ people racing in total and 4 race waves, so 12,500 people starting at a time is huge! Most races don’t even have half that amount of people. So my first mile was incredibly slow and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. So after a few attempts of trying to get around people I eventually just stayed where I was and ran with the crowd.  Once I was able to some what carve out my own space I figured I better make up some time and book it in mile 2, so that’s what I did!  Miles 3-5 I don’t know what the heck happened!  I think I was just really enjoying the race.  There were people everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  They were cheering, dancing, there were bands playing music, it was just really incredible and unlike anIMG_2339ything I’ve ever seen before.  Mile 5 I stopped to take in some nutrition.  I got my stingers out of my pouch, grabbed a cup of gatorade and popped a salt pill.  I walked for about a minute and took my time eating and making sure everything went down safely.  Mile 6-8 I stopped for gatorade and each station and walked through each stop.  I knew my goal of getting to the half way mark by 2:15 was gone, so I figured I may as well take my time.  Around mile 9 I saw some friendly faces on the sidelines, it was Vernell, Kisha, and Ellen of BGR!  A huge smile spread across my face because I surely did not expect to see them on the streets of Brooklyn.  They snapped this pic of me, and as you can see I have a huge smile on my face.  I stopped and gave them all hugs, and I was on my way.  This gave me a little pep in my step and I picked up the pace slightly going into mile 10.  Around mile 10 (I think?) I ran into the QuickSilver Striders Crew.  I stopped gave them all hugs, Susan passed me an orange, which at the time tasted like the best thing on earth because I was starving.  Chrissy gave me some mustard packs (which I didn’t end up using) and I keep booking it.  Just around the corner I saw my tri coach!!! A huge grin spread across my face because she told me she’d be around Atlantic Terminal (which she was just further down.)  I didn’t see her where I imagined her to be, and thought she either left, or never came out; but she was there and I was so happy!  She gave me a bit of a pep talked, ran with me for a few, and I was on my way….thx Coach Jax!   Mile 11 I stopped to take in more nutrition; stingers, gatorade, and salt tabs.  Now I’ve taken salt tabs before, but usually I’ll take only 1 during an entire workout.  During the marathon I was popping one every 55 minutes, I think this was my fatal mistake.  Your probably thinking she only drinks Gatorade??….yep I only drink Gatorade.  I’ve been training with the Gatorade Endurance formula all year so I’m use to it.  I never take water at races because sometimes it is just down right funky tasting.  My body is use to Gatorade Endurance, so that is what I stick to.

Mile marker 13.1

Mile marker 13.1

I got to the halfway mark at 2:24:53.  Definitely not the 2:15 I was looking for, but I was having a great time, so worrying about the time was the last thing on my mind.  The 13.1 mile marker was on the Pulaski Bridge.  I knew from my 20 mile training run that this bridge was a steady incline so I decided to take a breather and walk up this hill.785736_1269_0046  As you can see everyone around me was walking as well.  At this point I’m just thinking 13.1 your halfway there!  Miles 13-14.5 I was feeling ok, but my 15 is when the cramping set in.  Never in my life have I cramped during a run.  I’m attributing it to taking in more salt than I usually do.  Yes I know it’s normally the opposite, but this is the only thing I changed about my normally racing routine.  I know I know the saying never try anything new on race day, but stupid me did!  Once I got on the 59th street bridge it was so bad that I just started walking, and not even a brisk walk, I was walking in slow motion.  The pain was from my quads all the way down to my toes.  At this point I see the 4:45 pacer and my heart drops.  My goal time was 4:40, so I know if I am seeing this pacer I am in trouble.  I’m still walking and 5 minutes later (no I’m not exaggerating) I see the 5:00 pacer and I literally wanted to cry.  I couldn’t believe both pacers caughttext up to me and passed me!  This is the one point in the race that I wanted to quit.  I was just thinking all of this hard work for nothing!  I was pissed and in pain so I whipped out my phone and texted my friend Allison.  As you can see I was probably delirious because I was on the 59th street bridge so this had to be somewhere between mile 15 and 16.  After I text her I put my phone away and kept going.  Once I got to the end of the bridge I started running.  At this point I decided to drink only water until the end of the race.  I wanted to get some of the salt out of my system.  When I got to mile 16 I knew this was the BGR water station, and there was no way I was walking through it.  I mustered up as much strength as I could and ran down the hill from the 59th street bridge and the crowd was roaring.  This gave me the extra boost I needed.  Now I volunteered at mile 16 for the last 2 yrs so I was very familiar with the setup.  When I got to the

thx DawnMarie

thx DawnMarie

point where the water station usually begins I was confused….there was no water…huh! Just when I resigned myself to drink water there was none.  Turns out they moved the station down one block because there was a new citi bike station set up where the mile 16 water station use to begin.  So I keep trekking and I see DawnMarie!  I stop to give her a hug, she asks how I’m doing I tell her I’ve been cramping, and I drink some water.  At this point I’m completely stopped and it feels good!  Dawn snaps my pic.  Then I look across and Dawn L. is over there!!! So you know I had to run across KDthe street and say hey to my girl.  Dawn had her daughter out volunteering with her, as well as some of their Jack & Jill crew….I luv when the kids give back.

About 3 weeks prior I ran these exact last 10 miles of the marathon route as practice.  At that time I didn’t think it was easy, so I knew it would be extremely difficult now.  As soon as I cleared the water station I started cramping again so I started walking as fast as I could which was not very fast at all, but I did the best that I could.  Mile 17-19 I continually flushed my system with water.  I was taking 2 cups at a time at this point.  The run down 2nd Avenue was pretty flat, but I knew when I got to the Willis Avenue bridge it would not be easy.  This bridge was a steady incline.  I ran as much of it as I could but decided to save my legs and walk some more.  Once I got to the end of the bridge I started running again.  I remember coming off of the bridge, rounding the corner, and passing a community center I worked at one summer as a teenager.  There was also a group giving massages on the side of the road, it was really amazing.  The run through the Bronx was so short that if you blinked you missed it.  I was really saddened by that since this is my home Boro, but I K.I.M. (kept it moving!)

Willis Ave Bridge...what am I doing?

Willis Ave Bridge…what are my hands doing?

785753_1339_0033We crossed back over the 138th street bridge and into Harlem, my second home as a teenager….if those streets could talk!  The cramping begin to die down a bit, but I was still feeling it here and there.  Once I got to Marcus Garvey I saw Coach Sid Young (Team for Kids – you can see him and my previous post about the marathon expo.) He put his arm around me and walked with me and gave me a much needed pep talk.  He told me I was almost home, which runners hate to hear, but he was right, I only had 5 miles to go, that was a cake walk right?IMG_2342  Coach Sid sent me on my way and I kept booking.  Here comes mile 22.  By this time my contacts are completely dried out, which has never happened on a run! I am seeing clouds and trying not to blink to keep my vision as clear as possible.  All of a sudden I hear someone calling my name.  This is not uncommon since I have my name on my leg.  Then this person starts waving at me, but I’m thinking I don’t know anyone out here, then I blink and it’s Allison!!! I run over to her and Zaire and give them hugs!  She asks how I’m doing…still cramping but much better.  She gives me a big bag of pretzels and those pretzels looked like a steak to me at that point because I was starving.  We snap a pic and I yell what are you guys doing here!  I was so shocked to see them because I text her like an hour ago and although I didn’t see her reply until later when I got home I was thinking why didn’t she tell me she would be out there!  I literally almost cried because I was so happy to see them.  This was probably the highlight of my race.  I knew my time goal was gone, physically I was having the worse race of my life, but to see a familiar face so late in the race was a real confidence booster….thank you Allison and Zaire!

Mile 22-24 I’m just trucking along and eating my pretzels.  Those were the best damn pretzels ever!  At that point the cramping was gone and I was just trying to make it to the finishline before dark.  I was determined to have my finisher pics with daylight as my backdrop.  Somewhere around mile 23-24(I think) we enter Central Park.  This is the home stretch.  I look at my watch and I am at 5hrs.  I said to myself you better cross before 5:30, so now that was my new goal.  By this point it was all a mental game so I just did my best to move as fast as I could.  I get to mile 25 and couldn’t resist taking a pic.

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Mile 26

It took me a couple tries.  The sun was setting and was directly in my face.  People were all around me walking/running/wogging, you name it, but I got the shot!

IMG_23301.2 miles to go, I was home free.  I buckled down and ran my fastest mile since mile 14.  Mile 26 was 12:38.  My miles 15-25 were all in the 13-14 min range.  I was happy that I had something left in the tank to make it to the end in 5:27:50.  Yes it wasn’t the time I had in mind by far, but I had the time of my life.  The NYC Marathon is the biggest marathon in the world for a reason, and I am so happy it was my first.  Finishing this marathon is right next to finishing my 70.3, and it is a day that I will never forget.  So much so that even though I said I would not be doing it next year……I AM!!! Yes I will be running the 2016 NYC Marathon, and yes I am certifiable!  Next year I will hopefully get my redemption.

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I’m a marathoner!

 

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str8Kim’s Adventure Series: 2015 NYC Marathon Expo Experience #tcsnycmarathon

On November 1, 2015 I ran my very first marathon, the NYC marathon and it was epic!  Before the marathon though all runners are required to visit the marathon expo to pick up their race materials.  I chronicled my experience from start to finish and wanted to share my adventure with you…..Enjoy!

*my full race recap coming soon

Race Recap: NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon October 11, 2015

IMG_4790Hellooooo!!! I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but hey sometimes life gets in the way!  Couple that with the non-stop marathon training I’ve been doing this summer and it has surely been a doosey!  I haven’t been racing that much other than completing NYRR’s 9+1 program which will guarantee me entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon, which I doubt I’ll be doing, but never say never!  I’m in taper mode right now, so no more super weekend long runs, and basically I’m just maintaining until the big dance on November 1st.

This past Sunday I ran for the 2nd time in Staten Island.  I remember last year after leaving I said I was never going back there again, and low and behold I was back there again!  I remember last year as soon as I got out of the car I said out loud “what the heck is that smell!” I mean Staten Island (SI) was funky!  This year however, I didn’t smell anything weird so SI redeemed itself in my book, and the race was already off to a good start.  This year NYRR changed the course route.  Last year it was an out and back, so the exact route we ran out, we turned around and ran the same way back.  This year however that all changed.

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Walking to our coral

The walk to the start was incredibly long.  Race Central is in Richmond County Bank Ballpark which was home to the Staten Island Yankees.  We exit the stadium underground and proceed up the stairs, and out to the corals.  Now this race is massive, so there are people everywhere.  I felt as though we walked at least a half a mile just to get to our coral.

SIHalfI was feeling really good at the start of the race.  My plan going in was to keep my pace in the 9’s.  I didn’t have a set pace of high 9’s or low 9’s but to just stay under 10 the entire race.  I accomplished that goal for the first 5 miles of the race.  At mile 6 I stopped to get some gatorade, and take in some nutrition so my pace that mile was 10:09.  When I look back and think on this I do the same thing every single race.  Instead of picking up my pace  in mile 5 so I do not loose precious time on my mile 6 nutrition, I always maintain the same pace.  Some day soon I will master this and get my pacing right; practice makes perfect.  Anywho, I took in my stingers and gatorade, and the course turned onto some type of weird brick walk way.  As I’m running I think this is strange.  It was not a comfortable run and all, and I hoped it would be over soon.  It was, but it only got worse.  We ended up running on the boardwalk.  This was not a smooth boardwalk at IMG_4821all.  It was rickety and almost unstable.  I almost felt like at any moment it was going to collapse with the number of people that were running on it.  I’ve never run on a boardwalk so this was something new to me.  Miles 8-9 was absolute torture for me, and as much as I tried I just could not go any faster.  I really began to get discouraged at that point, because I was making such good time and it just all almost came to a screeching halt.  When we finally exited the boardwalk after 2 miles I was overjoyed!  I didn’t care what else was on the horizon.  As I round a mini hill, and come around a bend I encounter the biggest hill I’ve ever seen!  I mean the thing was massive and this picture just does not do it justice.  It was a great scenic route though running under the Verazzano Bridge.  As I’m attempting to run up the hill I realize that I was losing the battle so I started to walk it.  Everyone around me was walking so I thought what the heck!  There was a guy running next to me and he was running so slow I patted him on the shoulder and said just walk it out man, you’ll get up this thing much faster.  He laughed and said you’re right!

IMG_4814Once we made it up that hill we ran into Fort Wadsworth Park.  I have to say it was a really beautiful route, and it made me forget about the massive hill I just climbed.  By mile 10 I stopped for some gatorade and just tried to regroup so that I could finish strong.  Once I was there I said you have 5k to go, finish strong.  Mile 11 went well, mile 12 I stopped for more gatorade, and I don’t know what the heck happened during mile 13.  All I know is that I ran the most difficult half marathon course I have ever ran, and I did it in the fastest time that I’ve ever ran 13.1.  I was shocked and extremely pleased with the end result.  I always say that yes running is physical, but it is an extreme mental game as well.  I can tell myself to keep going and push through, and somehow I get it done.  My ultimate goal now is to do a sub 2hr half marathon.  I don’t care if it is 1:59:59, as long as I finish in under 2hrs.  I know it won’t happen this year since I don’t have any more half’s planned (well just 1), but this is my 1 running goal that I am shooting for in 2016.

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Why do we kiss and bite medals again?

Overall I really enjoyed this race.  I read many comments about people complaining about the hills, and all I can say is suck it up.  You knew you were running Staten Island, and you knew it was hilly, so just be happy that you were able to complete 13.1 on such a hard course.  New Yorkers run in Central Park so we are use to running hills.  Complaining about this course was unnecessary.  I liked the race, but an hour plus to get there, and 3hrs to get off SI and home is enough for me to say this is the last time I’ll be doing it.

My next big race is the NYC Marathon on November 1st.  Be sure to follow me on my social media platforms as I’ll be vlogging, and periscoping from the expo, and other events I’ll be attending marathon weekend.

http://facebook.com/str8kim

http://twitter.com/str8kim

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https://www.periscope.tv/str8kim

#RUNon

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I’m taking Nike’s time over my official race time of 2:11 since I ran the course long!

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Last Year Vs. This Year