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.

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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

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Nobody tells you marathon training sucks!

IMG_4313 Seriously!!! If you are like me and are a member of multiple running groups on facebook then you see the weekly medal Monday posts celebrating the success of marathon (and other distances) finishes, and sometimes by the same individuals over and over again, and it just becomes contagious.  But no one tells you all the hard work and sacrifice that goes into marathon training, and especially the beating that it puts on your body.  I mean no one in their right mind (well at least not me) would run a half marathon every weekend for 8 or more weeks.  This is basically what marathon training is; and most time running way more than a half marathon weekly.  When you think about it it really is lunacy!

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Hey Deb & Tania!

I had a pretty crappy last 2 long runs.  So crappy to the point that I was contemplating quitting training this week.  I started out Sundays run making a rookie mistake.  I put my heart rate (HR) monitor underneath my sports bra.  Mind you I have never ever put my HR monitor under my sports bra so I have no idea why I decided to do it this morning.  A mile into my run I felt so fatigued and my breathing was labored  and I had no idea why since this has never happened to me.  I kept pressing on, but my 2 it was worse, and when I finally got to mile 3 I just stopped and thought what the heck is going on.  I lower the HR monitor to where I usually wear it and voila instant gratification.  That belabored first 3 miles started my run off on the wrong foot and it just went totally downhill from there.  I somehow made it to mile 7 with a few walk breaks, but the back 7 were awful.  I basically walked the whole thing because my knee started throbbing.  So what started off as a dumb mistake turned into a physical ailment that I did not want to make worse.  On top of that the bottom of my feet were killing me.  This often happens when I’m on my feet for long periods of time.  Once I got back to my car I stretched, then got inside and ate my protein bar and stared off into space wondering why I was putting myself through this!

Even my Garmin knew my run was terrible because it recommend a recovery time of 4 days!! Now that was a first.  Well 2 days later I decided to test out my knee, and I felt great!  No pain at all.  It was a 5k so a longer distance is definitely needed, but I was just happy to run pain free.  Thanks to my buddy Deb IMG_4303who told me 1 week ago that I need my running accoutrements, I finally invested in some leg compression sleeves, and I have to say I think they work; as I’m sitting here typing and still wearing them! So this weekend I’ll live to run another long run, and hopefully it goes better than the last 2 and snaps me out of this funk that I am in.

The moral of this story is marathon training is super hard work.  Yes in the end reaching that goal of finishing 26.2 miles and that bonus medal you receive crossing the finish-line are worth it, but it takes a lot of guts and mental fortitude to get there.

RUNon!

~Kim

 

Race Recap: NYRR Queens 10K June 22, 2015

FullSizeRenderSo yesterday I had the esteemed pleasure (lol) of running the Queens 10k for the 2nd time.  I took the entire week off……I felt I deserved a bit of rest so this was my first run since that disastrous run (walk) at Ironman Eagleman last weekend, and I have to say I was really a bit scared to attempt to run again.  After suffering through that unbearable heat I really didn’t know if I could make my legs move in any form of rapid motion again…but alas I did it! Side note…I didn’t realize how slim I’ve gotten until I saw the pic above….check out those guns though LMAO!!!

Anywho, Deb, Allison, and I carpooled it over to Queens.  There were severe thunderstorms forecast for

Me and Allison

Me and Allison

this day, along with rain all day, so they pushed back the start an hour.  BTW, neither happened but it turned out to be a super humid muggy day, and the sun didn’t show her pretty face until the race was over.   This race was huge…and I mean ginormous!  My number was in the 10,000s, and I believe they went up to like 14,000 so there had to be at least 9k-10k people in this race, and I certainly felt it.  It was a tight squeeze at the start.  The race started in Corona Park and the

Hey Deb!

Hey Deb!

pathways are not that wide, so it made the corrals feel very sardine like.  Of course we had to have a little bit of fun and get some pre-race selfies in!  As I got to the start mat my heart began to race.  I was legitimately very nervous.  It felt like the exact same feeling that I felt before the start of the swim at Eagleman.  I haven’t felt nervous before a running race probably since my first 5k.  I think I just needed to get the jitters out.  Eagleman did leave me a bit traumatized from the run, so once I mentally let it go I was ok.

Fast forward to running.  I was doing a lot of bobbing and weaving the first mile because there were just so many people.  On top of that there were sooooo many people walking early on.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with walking, but just like when you drive a car if you are going slower you should stay to the right.  Faster runners will run to the left so walking there can easily turn into an unwarranted accident.  I was feeling pretty good the first 2.5 miles, but by the time I got to mile 3 the humidity got me.  I was soaked with sweat.  It felt like I stopped in the middle of the race and FullSizeRender(1)took a shower.  At one point I looked down at my crotch and asked myself “did you pee on yourself” lmao!! I didn’t but had to ask myself to make sure because it surely looked like it!  I stopped at mile 3 to get some water and boy was that a mistake!  The water literally tasted like a rusty pipe…it was really disgusting!  I believe at mile 4 there was Gatorade so I gladly slurped that down to remove the rusty water taste from my mouth.  Looking at my time now, I can see how I shut down after mile 3.  I now know that I have to make this summer my training playground, because girlfriend does not do well in heat and humidity…another lesson learned, and I am still chasing that official race sub 60 10k…I’ll get there!

I booked it as best as I could to get to the finishline.  All I could remember was running this race 2 yrs ago and seeing people who already finished with no medals around their neck.  I know we shouldn’t run for medals, but it is always nice to get one.  That wasn’t the case this year (or last) NYRR had nice shiny medals waiting for us at the finishline.IMG_2307  A girl asked me to take a pic of her and this was one of the poses she did.  I thought it was cute and copied her….her pic came out waaaay better than mine…LMAO!!!

So now I am on to marathon training.  The NYC Marathon is about 18weeks away I believe, so I will be pounding the pavement regularly until then.  Still triathlon training as well.  I’ve mapped out my next race, haven’t registered yet, but I am just a click away….it’ll be in about 4 months, so I’ll be working on improving my bike and swim as well in the coming months.

If your not already doing so, please follow me on Facebook http://facebook.com/str8kim, and Instagram http://instagram.com/str8kim…. Ciao!

Race Recap: Ironman Eagleman 70.3 June 14, 2015

IMG_2159I finally completed the big kahuna, and it surely was a doosey!  I drove down from NY super early Saturday morning to make sure I arrived at athlete check-in with enough time to get situated.  Check-in was at Sailwinds Park in Cambridge and was a process in and of itself.  First you had to show ID to get the small green card with your number on it.  Then we were directed toward the waiver pick up area where we had to listen to a schpeal about how to sign our life away.IMG_2079  After I read and signed the waiver I then had to go to another area to drop the waiver off.  It almost felt like I was a human ping pong going back and IMG_2075-0forth between tables.  The waiver drop off volunteer reviewed both sides of the waiver, made sure it was signed, then directed me toward the number pick up area….another table.  Here they checked our USAT card (which they should have done at the first table) gave me the athlete envelope and went into another schpeal about what was in the envelope.  I felt bad for these volunteers because it was blazing hot in this hanger type warehouse and they were sweating bullets in cotton volunteer shirts.IMG_2074-0  After getting the athlete envelope and swim cap (mine was lavender) I was then directed to another table to get my timing chip.  This was an interesting process that I’ve never seen IMG_2068before.  They typed my race number into the computer, I verified my name, the volunteer then held the timing chip over a sensor and it was programmed.  It is very easy to make a mIMG_2070istake here as the volunteer did with mine.  He typed my number in incorrectly, and the girl scanning the chip scanned in someone else’s info.  They had to retype my number in and scan a new chip.  Then I was off to the next table to get “swag” and I use this term loosely because I really wouldn’t consider a

Pro Check-In

Pro Check-In

standard race t-shirt swag.  The women were given blue shirts, and the men red…go figure!  Since it was burning hot, and from what I understand it usually is every year I sort of wish they would have given a tank, but any race shirt given is much appreciate.  At this point I was sweating my britches off and was looking for water because It was just excruciatingly hot.  The only liquid offering was warm red bull which didn’t help the cause.  I did see some pro’s checking in.  Looks like all of their items were at one table and they didn’t have to do the cupid shuffle like the regular folks!  Since this was my first half I’m not sure if this is the normal check in process, or if it varies from race to race.  I think it could have been consolidated to 2 tables, 3 at most…this was definitely a bit excessive.

On to the Ironman village.  I wish I could have taken a pic of the full setup because it was very cool.  There was merch everywhere!  You really could have spent up all of your money in there and had to hitch a ride home! I took it pretty easy though…the damage wasn’t too bad, I think I spent $110.

This is the one item I really wanted.  I can now retire my cute red Kipling backpack from holding my workout gear.

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Eagleman Backpack

I didn’t plan on buying any caps, but it’s in my favorite colors so what the heck.

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Eagleman Cap

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Eagleman Towel

This is a portion of the towel opened up.  It is so cool because if you look really closely you can see my name.

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See it?

Bought this sticker for my car

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And I ended up not needing it because my team founders gifted me with this awesome IM 70.3 emblem.  Thanks Lisa and Meagan!  And yes its on my car already, and yes I love red!

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Right outside of the store is what I guess runners would call an expo.  There wasn’t much there in terms of buying, but the fancy Dimond bikes were there…they sure are pretty in person.  I got to test one there that they had on the trainer.  The shifters were amazing! Wish I had 10G’s (or more) lying around to buy one.

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The infamous carbon wheel rental tent I always read about

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Newton tent

I want to say there were maybe 10 vendors there.  There definitely wasn’t a lot, and 10 maybe even on the high side.

Next it was off to transition at Great Marsh park to drop off my bike.  We were there pretty early so transition was virtually empty.  This was a good thing though because I got to place my bike and scope out my area with not a lot of people around.

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Rack view in transition

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another view

Quite a few people had these tent thingys on their bike.  I’ve never seen them before and thought wow those are interesting.  It certainly is a better looking alternative to plastic bags of which the Ironman officials were taking off of bikes anyway.  Plastic bags covering bikes at this event was a big no no. After a quick google search I discovered the rack jacket is from Endurafit.  They also have quite a few other cover products that could be useful.

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So I racked Ruby for the night and we were off to get some grub.

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We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Easton.  This was about a 15-20 min drive from Cambridge.  The hotel had a ton of Gatorade and water out so I snagged a few of each.  The room was nice and big and roomy.  As soon as I was in my room I got my gear together for the next morning.  There were no transition bags given to us.  When we were checking in they said they were not giving them out this year.  I snagged some extra plastic bags from the Ironman store and used those to separate my gear for each leg.  I also mixed my Gatorade endurance formula and put it in the fridge, and a bottle in the freeze so it would be nice and cold when I needed it the next day.  I was in bed by 7 because I had to be up bright and early at 4am…yes 4am!

Race Day

Once the alarm goes off, I right up, no snoozing since I had plenty of sleep throughout the night.  I felt wonderful and refreshed and ready to start the day.  We were out the door by 4:45 and on our way to the race site to find parking.  Our original plan was to park at the local school and take the shuttle bus over to transition, but we checked with a teammate who got there early and told us there was still space to park.  We found a great spot like 3 blocks from transition.

First stop body marking.  I don’t know why I thought we’d have those fancy tattoo numbers like they have at Kona….not the case.  It was magic marker numbers just like the races at home.

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Right arm marking

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left leg marking

I let the marker dry, but by the time I put sunblock on the writing was gone…..guess those weren’t sharpies!  Next was setting up the transition area.  Now this time around it was packed.  There were athletes everywhere!  I think the race had under 3000 people.  It was the biggest tri I’ve ever participated in, so at this point it was getting a bit overwhelming.

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My transition setup

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Ran into Gerald a fellow Black Triathletes Association member in transition.

I did end up putting my helmet up on my aeros because as I was walking out of transition everyone had there helmets up there so I though while in Rome!  At the few sprint tri’s I’ve done the helmets were always down on the transition mat, but I like this setup better.  My transition mat is a T Mat Pro Transition Mat.  I got it on amazon a couple years ago and it comes in a ton of colors.  I like the fact that it is the perfect size and rolls up nicely.  You can also use a plain ole towel if you don’t want to spend the money.

 

 

Obligatory pre-race usie with Allison.

Obligatory pre-race usie with Allison.

I am in a group on facebook called Black Triathletes Association.  It has grown to 1600+ black triathletes, which seems like a lot but it really isn’t if you look at all the triathletes in the world.  So when we see another member at a race, or a black triathlete period it is really exciting because there is just not a lot of us out there participating in races…so hey Gerald!

The Swim

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My teammates from left to right – Allison, Lisa, Dionne, and Me.

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Allison and I, last check-in before the start.

The pros started their swim at 6:45am.  My start time was 8:15am so I had a lot of waiting around to do.  The swim waves are grouped by age and my age group 30-34 is basically last to start.  The last wave were the people who opted to wear wetsuits and have no placement in their age group; they went off at 8:20 so I started virtually last.  All we could do to relax and stay calm was to sit on this grass and chill.  Lisa started at 7:15 and Allison and Dionne started together at 7:52 I believe so I was able to give them hugs, and luck and they were off!  I had another 28 minute wait so I just sat back on the grass and waited it out.

When 8:08 rolled around we were called to the start.  There was a little bit of a swim out until we got to the buoys where the actual start was.  The sand/mud/muck what ever it was there was disgusting!  If I could imagine what it would feel like to walk through dog poop that is what it would be.  It was really gross.  So instead of walking I figured I would swim up.  When I started my stroke and turned my head to the side I couldn’t breathe.  I think I had a mini panic attack but I’m not completely sure since I’ve never had one before.  I tried again and the same thing happened.  At this point I got really nervous.  I instead did the breast stroke out to try and calm myself.  I got to the start and thought why the heck is this river water salty?  That coupled with the sting rays….yes sting rays I saw in there the day before I knew it would be an interesting swim.

So the gun goes off and the lavender caps are swimming.  I stayed on the outside and started off slow because I couldn’t breathe 5 minutes ago and didn’t want to get out there and drown myself.  Now the funny thing about this swim, the first 200 meters you could stand up, this was about the first and second buoys.  It was the strangest thing ever.  As I watched the waves before me go, many people simply walked or ran those first 2 buoys which I know probably exhausted them.  I swam some that first buoy, stood up and composed my self by walking for like 10 seconds.  After that I was good.  I was swimming like I normally do, but still taking it easy as I warmed myself up.  There was a bit of a current that was dragging me to the right when I should have been swimming straight and slightly left. So I had to sight a lot to correct myself. Maybe 2-3 minutes after I started the guys 30-34 started.  Now I have no idea why Ironman starts the women first and then the men.  This is such a stupid idea.  The men proceeded to swim right over me, and the majority of the women my age.  They had on red caps and all I remember was seeing a swarm of red coming at me, then flying by me.  I think the women  should really go 2nd to avoid this.

I only had one OWS (open water swim) prior to this and it was in a lake, and there was only a small current so I’ve had virtually no OWS experience, so I was essentially learning on the fly.  I think I counted six yellow buoys and then saw the red one at which time we had to make a right turn.  At this IMG_2126-0point I thought I had a straight swim to the run out of the water, but I was wrong!  Guess I should have been paying attention during the athlete briefing!  I swam maybe 100 more meters and noticed I was alone.  I turn to my right and see another red buoy! There was another turn!  So I made the 2nd turn and then everyone appeared.  There was a ton of people so I just though in my head yes I’m not last.  At this point I was nice and loose and warm and open up and sped up a bit.  I think I made up some time that I lost swimming out.  As I’m swimming I see lime and purple, and think to myself it can’t be.  I swam up to my teammie and made sure she was OK because there was no way I should have caught up to her.  I knew there would definitely be a story about that when we finished and there was!  She swam way off course which I am sure a lot of people did on the way out.  If you were not constantly correcting yourself, it was very easy to swim in the wrong direction.  I saw some people swimming sideways.  So after I got the OK from her I kept swimming.  I swim 200 more meters and notice people are standing up again.  I turn to the guy on my right and say were you standing?  He says for a bit I was but it got deep again.  I just keep swimming.  Another couple meters and everyone is walking in the water!  I stood up and walked a bit and pooped my self out, so I started swimming again to conserve energy.  It came to a point that the water was so shallow my hands were scrapping the sand, so I finally stood up and walked with everyone else.  Once I got to the beach I walked up the little dune, and jogged to transition.  I finished my swim in 56.40.  Definitely my worse 1.2 to date, but it was under an hour and I’ll take it!IMG_2126-0

The Bike

My T1 (Transition swim-bike) time wasn’t bad at 04:08.  I had all my gear laid out nicely so I was able to dry my feet, get my socks, shoes  helmet, and gloves on.  I also ate a few energy chews, and took a sip of the frozen Gatorade that I had laying on my mat and I was off.  The bike course was nice and flat how I like it!  I averaged 14.3mph on the bike which I am fine with.  Yes I probably could have gone faster, but I didn’t want to poop myself out for the run that I knew would be super hot.  I stuck with the plan and drank every 10 minutes.  I have a torhan front hydration system, so that is what I used the entire bike.  I stopped somewhere around mile 25 for some water from the volunteers.  I think I guzzled down half a bottle of water and took a salt tab.  At this point the temperature was starting to rise so I knew I needed to stay hydrated.  I kept cycling and stopped again somewhere around the 45 miles mark.  At this point I had to pee really badly and there was no way I was peeing on the bike like many people told me to do.  So I took my time and used the port a potty.  Lets face IMG_2128-0facts I wasn’t winning any awards so I may as well take my time and enjoy myself.  I used the bathroom, refilled my empty bottle out front with more Gatorade, drank another half bottle of water and was on my way.  At this time I started counting down the miles.  Every time I ticked of 1 mile I would say in my head 20 to go, 19 to go, 18 to go…….I had to do something to get me to the finish because at this point I was bored out of my mind!  There was basically no spectators out on the bike route so it was quiet the whole time unless you were at an aid station, or had to make a turn and you got to see a cop and say hi to them.

I think when I got to about 4 miles to go I saw runners.  This is so discouraging because I just thought to myself I am so far behind, they are already running and I’m still on my bike, but I kept pressing on.  There were a lot of spectators out during this point, and it was encouraging to hear them cheering.  My overall bike time was 03:54:59 which I am happy with.  I wanted to finish in under 4hrs.  I got back to IMG_2129-0transition as fast as I could, took off my helmet, swapped out my cycle shoes for running shoes, took off my gloves, put my visor on, and I was off.  My T2 (Transition bike to run) was 03:55.  The one thing I forgot to do was put my own sunblock on.  I use SPF 80 because I burn very easily.  I saw a table with sunblock and I grabbed some and put it on my shoulders and face.  Needless to say it didn’t work because I am very burned!

The Run

I grabbed some ice water, and jog out of the transitions area, as soon as I hit the street I could not breathe.  I stopped to walk a bit to catch my breathe and thought to myself you cannot start walking this early.  I tried to run again and after a few steps it was the same thing.  I just thought to myself this is not good.  I was feeling OK and I should be running!  I have to say it was very discouraging and I really wanted to quit.  I could not walk 13.1 miles…that is nuts right??? Well that is exactly what I did! I just could not will my body to run.  Ever time I took a few steps I just had to stop to catch my IMG_2136-0breathe.    Human beings are just not meant to exert that much energy under such conditions.  It felt like it was 95 degrees out there and there was no shade anywhere!  When I got to about the 5 mile marker, everyone on the other side of the road who had already completed 8 miles was walking, and I mean everyone!!  Even the fittest looking guys were walking.  I’ve been in super hot weather before.  I live in New York, we always have heat waves in the summer, but I’ve never run in it.  So I did what I could to survive and I walked the whole 13.1.  It was crazy!  My

This man got me to the finishline

This man got me to the finish line

feet were on fire and I bet you could literally fry an egg on the cement it was that hot.  Once I got to the turn around at like mile 6.5 or 7 I see Allison on the other side of the road.  We hugged and I don’t know what she said to me about running and I told her just walk…everyone is walking.  At this point I she was only about a mile or so behind me.  I really thought she was going to catch up because I was walking so slow.

At about 5 miles to go I found a walking partner and we finished out the race together.  I’m glad he was there because his legs were long and he made me walk faster.  It was nice to have some company and someone to talk to.  It made the time go faster and made my race not end on a miserable note.  I thought I could finish the run in 2.5hrs, but that went way out the window.  My run time was 3:27 and I use the term run very loosely because I walked the whole darn thing!  Coming around the last corner I see Lisa Laws! I couldn’t believe it, I look at my partner and say there’s the captain, lets run, and we took off.  We rounded another corner and the finish line was in my sights.  At this point I was working on pure adrenaline and kept going.  I saw my teammates on my right cheering me on…I threw up my deuces and kept going.  I heard my name being called and new I was home free.  I did it….I completed a half Ironman and the feeling was amazing!  I got my medal that I worked so hard for, and a cute finisher hat, so I now have 2 Eagleman hats in my collection…I will be wearing them everywhere!!

Final Race Thoughts

I have to say I really enjoyed this race.  Although the run (walk) was brutal it is still an amazing race.  I barely made the cutoff at 08:27:19 but barely is still making it!!  I would have never thought after having a baby 10 months ago I would be here right now.  It was amazing and I will never forget this day for the rest of my life!  Would I do it again?  The answer to that is yes, but not this course.  Eagleman you will always be my first, but you are one fiery hot bird!  I am already plotting my next race, but it will have to be in the early fall, hopefully I can find one that won’t cost me my first born!  My tri-life continues!

I made it!

I made it!

All Womens/Brands Tri Team...we did it!

All Womens/Brands Tri Team…we did it!

With my partner in crime Allison

With my partner in crime Allison

My awful sun burn

My awful sun burn

How cool is this, so I don’t need that fancy bike cover now because when I got back to my bike this was on it…thank you race directors!

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See you at the next race!

 

 

 

Race Recap: Long Island Half Marathon May 3, 2015

This past Sunday I ran the half marathon (13.1 miles) at the Long Island Marathon.  When I woke up I checked the weather and it was a bit on the cooler side, but would warm up later, so I grabbed a sweater just in case I was a little cold in the morning.  I ended up not using the sweater at all since it warmed up pretty quickly.

This race is close to home so getting there is a breeze, but the parking situation is a mess!  The race starts in one place and ends in another which is a logistical nightmare for a runner.  I parked my car in Eisenhower park because that was where the finish line was, but this meant that I had to trek like a mile and a half to the start.  Additionally I had to get to the park super early (6:45am) just to make sure I was able to get in since there were road closures starting at 7am.  The race didn’t start until 8am so it was a bit of a waiting game.  I’m happy that I at least got to wait in my car so that I wasn’t freezing my buns off!  Oftentimes we have to stand around in the cold waiting for a race to start and trust me it is not fun at all!

After making it to the start with my coffee in hand I was able to snap a few pics.  Of course my obligatory deuces up photo….can’t leave home without it!  You can see the mob of people behind me, and trust me that is a very small snap shot of the number of people out there…it was really a huge race!IMG_0509

 

With my buddy Deb.  No she is not frowning, but we were facing directly into the sun.  Not sure how I kept a straight face with this one.  How do you like our RUNtheSol tanks?? Cute huh!  Check out http://RUNtheSol.com for more details.

Me and Deb

 

 

 

Wanda, Me, & Deb

So once the race started I was feeling really good.  I know I wanted to keep my pace in the 9’s so that I could maintain it throughout the whole race.  My goal was sub 2:30 which is probably more like a 10 minute pace, but I wanted the extra wiggle room just in case I conked out in the end (which I did), so in the 9’s I went.  I was chugging along and even had a running buddy the first 10k.  I didn’t stop at any of the water stops because I don’t usually need any until mile 6 so I stuck with that plan.  Once I got to mile 6 I was a little under 60 mins…I believe 58 minutes, so I knew it was time to take in some fuel.  This was my mistake.  I stopped at the mile 6 for water and to take my honey stinger energy chews.  I sipped, popped 6 stingers all while walking.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with walking the water stops.  Sometimes it can give you that bit of rest you need to keep going, but in my instance it really slowed me down tremendously.  I felt like I lost all of my momentum after that first small walk…and by small I mean like 20-30 seconds.  After that I could not get my pace below 10.  I was constantly hovering around 10:30, sometimes lower.  No matter how much I tried to move faster my legs just would not cooperate.  Sometimes when I though I was moving faster I would look down at my watch and be at an 11 pace!  I really though I was in the twilight zone because it just made absolutely no sense! I just could not fully control my body.

LIHalfMarathonThere was one part of the race where we were running on the Wantagh Parkway, and it was like zombies running on the highway.  It was eerily quiet except for the patter of runners feet.  At that point I wish I had some music to listen too!! This was also the never ending hill climb.  Somewhere between mile 9 and 10 I was just thinking to myself will this hill ever end.  It was the longest gradual incline I think I’ve ever ran!  As you can see after mile 6 my per minute mile really increased.  I’ll have to work on that for my next half in 10 days.

I blew my sub 2:30 time out of the water with a time of 2:15 which I was really happy about.  I was looking at my watch often those last few miles because I knew I was slowing down, but I knew I was still making pretty good time.  Once I crossed the finish line I just thought to my self wow, you did much better than expected!

There were a few freebies at this race.  You can see my gratis #LoveSnapple shades below.  They had a booth at the finishline and were giving away canvas goody bags with t-shirts, glasses, and stickers.

There was also a beer pit.  There was tons of free beer.  Why someone would want to drink beer at 10:30 in the morning I have no idea, but more power to you!  I think the registration fee was worth it in the free beer alone!

Yes I love my headbands….my collection is getting OOC!

My 13.1 headband

 

After race selfie #RUNtheSol

 

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RUNtheSol crew

Next stop #BrooklynHalf

Race Recap: Brands Cycle & Fitness Duathlon April 10, 2015

kimawesomeA couple weeks ago I kicked off my multisport season with the Brands Duathlon.  You may recall I did the exact same race last October and it was not pretty!!  Cold and rainy, it was an experience that I will never forget.  You can read more about it HERE.  So this race is also very close to home, so I got to get up maybe a couple hours b4 the race started, showered, grabbed a bite, and was out the door.

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Pre-race

The weather was actually perfect.  I can’t remember the exact temperature , but the cycling jacket I was prepared to wear I didn’t need to because it was just that nice outside.  Yes I do love me some red!  You can catch a glimpse of Ruby (my bike) behind me with the red helmet hanging off the bars.

I have to say Race Awesome did an amazing job with the set up and organization of this race.  If you look very closely you can see a white sticker on the bike rack.  That sticker had my full name and bib number on it.  I haven’t done that many multisport races, but this is the first time that I’ve seen this and it made for a very non-complicated transition area, so kudos to you Race Awesome for making it easier on your athletes.

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Preparing to mount b4 the bike leg

This Duathlon was Run 1.2 miles, Bike 11 miles, Run 1.2 miles, so fairly short distance wise, but for a newbie a challenge nonetheless.  I felt really good on the run and managed to squeak out a 8:55 mile pace which is pretty good considering I’m running in the mid 9’s right now.

On to the bike.  The bike is my least favorite of the three disciplines.  I would have never thought that biking would be so difficult, but I am still learning and progressing with every ride.  Now I’ve been riding a trainer indoors since February and have been clipping in so I’ve gotten pretty comfy on the bike, but a couple weeks before this race (maybe a week) was the first time I took my tri bike out on the road, and it was not pretty at all!  In fact it was so ugly that I bust my a$$ trying to clip my left foot in.  The fall was so bad a woman came running up to me asking if I was ok.  I was laughing at myself because I fell but I let her know I was fine and got back up and started my ride.  When I got home and took off my tights I realized my knee was busted up a bit and bleeding.  I’m told I have 2 more falls to go until I am a real cyclists!

I go into this story because this fall happened at the exact same park that this Duathlon took place so I was being very cautious as to not wipe out in front of a crowd full of people while mounting my bike!  The mount went well with no falls.  This bike course is fairly easy except for the fact that about a minute or 2 into it you have to climb a small hill.  This means you have to climb this hill on the way back because it is a looped course.  The only thing that I did not like about the bike course was the u turn that has to be made.  The turn is fairly tight, and turns into a one lane turn which can get a bit tricky if the person in front of you basically comes to a complete stop to make the turn.  On my 2nd loop this happened and I had to steer into the dirt which apparently is a big no no on my bike.  I felt like I was about to fall and had to quickly clip out my left foot just in case.  I actually ended up steering into the oncoming bikes which turned out to not be so bad because there were only a few people coming.  I got back in the right lane and shouted out “sorry guys” and someone yelled “well at least you didn’t fall” and I said “thank goodness” laughed and kept going.  That was my only mishap on the bike other than not going into aero (ugh).  I managed to finish the bike in about 44.77.

IMG_7510My feet felt like bricks of course as I prepared to start the last leg.  It takes me a long time, like the first full mile to get my legs back which was not good because that was all I had!  Coming off the bike I was in 3rd place in my division, but finished in 5th so I have much work to do on my run leg.  This run leg was at a 09:51 pace, so almost a full minute slower than the opening mile.  Now when I think about the mini tri where they wrote our ages on our calfs I am wishing we had that in the Du so I could have seen those 30-34 yr olds running by me!  I’ll catch them next time!IMG_7511

Overall another good race in the books.  I wasn’t lying in bed afterwards so my conditioning was pretty good, and all those early morning training sessions feel like they are paying off.  The countdown to Ironman Eagleman continues!

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Ruby and I

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All Womens Tri and Brands Tri Teams

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Medal Pic

 

 

 

Race Recap: Mini Mighty Man Triathlon April 19, 2015

IMG_0232Yes I know I haven’t posted for a long while, and for very good reason….life and tri training has certainly gotten in the way!  I have lots of race recaps to post, but I’ll start out with yesterdays mini tri.  It was a 400m pool swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run.  It’s described as a mini tri for obvious reasons, and it was the kick off for my tri season.

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We are lined up according to our self predicted swim time

When my alarm went off at 5:30 I woke up feeling sluggish.  My teammie text me good luck and I replied “Thx! I’m tired don’t feel like it” I have to laugh at that now because its so true and is exactly how I felt!  I didn’t eat before the race which is a big no no, and is probably part of the reason I wasn’t feeling 100%, but I had to press on!  Luckily this race is very close to home, so I was out the door and at the race within 20 minutes.  A short commute to the race is always nice.  I reached the site around 7:15 so I had plenty of time to set up my bike in transition(which I didn’t get a picture of), get body marked, and get in to the pool for a warm up swim.

I was able to get in a 200m warm up which was desperately needed, and still was not enough.  I’m usually pretty tight on my swim for the first 350 meters or so, so warming up 30mins b4 the race, and standing around freezing for 25 didn’t help my cause at all!  This pool was the home to the 1998 Goodwill games, so it is Olympic sized.   The race is very controlled, but can get hectic very quickly.  We are lined up along the back wall of the pool according toIMG_0281 what time we think we’ll finish the swim portion.  This is done strictly on the honor system which I think they should change; primarily because people start in a faster time slot than they should and end up hanging on the rope,  or swimming mIMG_0282uch slower and holding faster swimmers behind them up.  I had an ok swim with a time of 10:15.  I’ve been swimming pretty consistently in the high 8’s to mid 9’s so I know I could have went faster.  Having to go around people hanging on the wall, slower swimmers in front of me, and men trampling over me I think led to the slower time, but this is preparing me for Eagleman so in the end I was happy for the distractions.

IMG_0237So I’m out of the pool and running out the door to get to the bike transition.  There was faux grass carpet down and I was thankful for that, but the rocks underneath…ouch!  My left foot is still a bit sore from running on it, but off I went.

My IMG_0243transition1 time was pretty slow at 2:51, but after running on the nasty dirt there was no way I was putting my filthy feet in my socks and shoes…enter girly girl mode.  So I had to clean off my feet properly, get my helmet and shoes on, un-rack my bike, and off I went!IMG_0245  I think the bike went pretty good with a time of 19:11.  I’m still getting to know Ruby (my bike) and am feeling wobbly in aero, so that time could be faster, but it’s a good starting point.

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Here’s some video of me dismounting after the bike portion…yes I need some work, but I’m learning!

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Run to the finish line

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Giving some high fives along the way

Bike to Run Transition was 1:35, much faster than T1, and off to the run I go!  The run felt pretty good.  My feet didn’t feel like total bricks since the ride was only 6 miles, but it did take most of the first mile to get my legs back.  By the time I got to the start of the 2nd mile I was feeling pretty good and ready to bring it home.  After a cup of water I high tailed it to the finish.  My run leg was 19:09.

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ahhh finished!

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Finishline hug from Double L

All in all I thought it was a good race.  I almost want to register for the same race next month but the all woman version to better my time.  I placed 5th in my division.  Just 2:30 minutes or so out of 3rd place, so I think if I speed up a smidge on each leg I can podium next time….we’ll see!

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Teammies b4 the swim start

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Me and Ruby post race

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Me and Double L with out mini medals…lol

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All Womens Tri Team