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Why do I do this to myself every year? Probably along the lines of why do I purposely sign up for 26.2 miles? OK, maybe not…I actually enjoy 26.2.  This 3.5 mile clusterf**k is not fun.  I actually had a yellow dot on my bib (not sure how I got it?) but turned out to be for nothing.  I arrived uptown with my company around 6:15 but had to wait around so we could get a team picture before the race.  This delay caused me to arrive at the race start a mere 10 minutes before the start.   I think you know where this is heading.  Upon arrival, it was a mass of humanity as far as the eye can see. Oy.

I made it up to where they were blocking people to get to the red corral.  The yellow sticker evidently did jackshit.  Who knew?  I decided whatever, at least I got a quality hill workout in with @SpeedySasquatch Tuesday. However, I did “run” into a client I worked with at the race – it turns out he’s an avid runner too so we chatted about running!  It took over 4 minutes to get to the start line.  The first mile was spent trying to evade walkers – why oh why must you walk five abreast in the competitive start???  I definitely didn’t hit the jets as I was worried about twisting an ankle for a dumb race.  I hit mile 1 at about 8:45 – a good minute and 15 seconds off of where I’d prefer to be. Yuck.  Mile 2 was better but not by much – turning onto the transverse was an effort to avoid trampling more people.  By the time I got to the east side I was excited for hills. Why?  I knew I could cruise by even more ‘runners.’  I clicked mile 2 to be 7:50 – still not on target.  Mile 3 I tried to get going and managed to bang into 3 or 4 people going down Cat Hill.  At this point I crossed mile 3 in 7:40.  At this point, I had so much left in the tank I decided to just gun it and at least get a good 800 in!  Crossing the line in 27:30 by my watch I ran the last 800 in 3:25.  That left me feeling gassed:)  Good stuff.

After finishing I was looking forward to refreshments but unfortunately the only refreshment was coconut water.  I think the taste reminded me of mushy cereal.  Disappointing.  Oh well.

At this point, I should realize this race is always going to be a giant clusterf**k.  I go because of the company and the after party.  Not worth getting excited over a lackluster performance – once again, eye on the prize.

Next up this weekend? Back to back long runs – this will be my routine until August 22.  However, next weekend will have to be a detour as that little triathlon I signed up for in NOVEMBER is upon me.  Eep.

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This was supposed to be the half where the legs had their coming out party. This was supposed to be a stepping stone towards an ultimate goal at the Philly Distance Run in September. Sometimes what’s supposed to happen – doesn’t. That’s running for you. And actually – life.

First off, the day began EARLY. I was up at 3am because the TNT folks had to catch their shuttle. This left me scrambling trying to figure out where the hotel shuttle to the start was – no one at the hotel seemed to know what I was talking about!  Finally after asking about 10 people I found it and made it over to the start area around 5.  I did my usual routine pre-race – tunes, port-a-potty, zone out.  However, port-a-potty etiquette was lacking! People: no picture taking when you’re next in line! Two of my line’s spots were taken because of the picture taking nonsense! The 20 minutes waiting wasn’t enough? Sigh.

Headed to my corral and ran into @erinstrout (yay fellow psu alum!). We chatted and wondered why the national anthem was sung after the wheel chair athletes left? Odd.

Finally we were off. Start was a Charlie Foxtrot with the relay, marathon and half all at the same time! I tried to get into my lock zone right away (like philly). No dice. First 3 miles were consistent but the legs didn’t have that “we’re good feeling.” Mile 4 brought weird highway ramps – where the angle made for difficult running. Again – was not able to “lock in.” Nopt good.

Mile 5 is where the wheels came off. I remember where too – I was on the highway and it felt like everyone was passing me! No matter how hard I tried to reactivate the legs, they wouldn’t respond. Frustrating. I remember starting to feel like “how long is this damn race” and how much I was hating this race. It was about then we passed a row of drummers (Japanese drummers!) and I took a deep breath. It wasn’t my day – get over it. Enjoy what you can and see what you can pull together (in my head). I also was thinking about Sarah hoping her race was the opposite of mine.

So I did. I passed a water station with big ten alums (yeah!) as well as a Margaritaville station (complete with parrotheads!).  I saw @southbaygirland gave her a high five. There were naval officers working another station. The course itself was a snorefest. No pretty scenery. The weather was overcast and humid but nothing horrendous. It just wasn’t my day.

As we entered the homestretch, I gave it what I had and crossed in 1:45:40. Disappointing? Yep. But I take in the fact that a fall apart race is a 1:45 for me now. I’m a different runner than a year ago knowing I can run a lot faster than that.

My day wasn’t done as I promised Sarah I’d meet her just past mile 21 to run her in. I jogged to a spot and ate a banana to refuel. Around 9:20 I see someone waving and off we go! She was cruising as I expected her closer to 9:30! So, though it wasn’t my day, it certainly was for her. Miles 21-25 were out on a desolate island – not much fan support and no shade! Brutal. I helped by getting water and just staying right there to keep her moving. I knew a huge pr was on the way for her.  Around mile 25.5 I peeled off (20ish miles for the day). She crossed at 3:51 – a new PR by an hour!

Now to get back to the hotel was another clusterf**k.  I had to wait in a snaking line for an hour and a half to take a bus to a trolley back into town.  I finally arrived back at the hotel, famished around 3pm. Whew.  Rock ‘n roll major fail on that end!  I saw 3 people pass out waiting in line!

So what did I get out of this?

I am a straight course runner.  I hate twisty races – the weird angled road running really got annoying

Tapering works. This wasn’t my focus race so I shouldn’t be that surprised by the result. 4 hours of trails and a cross country flight the week of a race probably will not help.

I was in San Diego for vacation, not this race.  It just happened to be part of it. (the vacation rocked btw!)

I’m excited for one thing…I know my fitness level is really good right now – with Pikes in a couple months, I’m feeling better about this. What’s next? I evidently have a tri in a couple weeks but really my focus is pikes – I’ll be pouring in a lot of run time on the weekends to get used to being on my feet.  Looking for a run partner? I’ll probably be out there a lot the next few months!

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As I sit here typing this almost a week removed from the magical experience, it still brings back so many memories. I did see a guy running the entire marathon BAREFOOT.  No minimalist shoes, straight barefoot. Eek.

I found some pictures from marathonfoto that are further proof that wide smile I told you about continued to shine – here’s my favorite from the finish line:) Notice I made sure to take my shades off to have the total finish line experience:)

Below, post race.  It doesn’t even look like I ran 26.2 does it?

Showing off the medal

I think this is right after Heartbreak Hill.  Poor guy on the side isn’t looking too good.  I continued on!

post-hills

So now what?  Where does one go from here?  I’m taking another week to “recover.”  Active recovery really.  I ran once this week (well other than Monday) and I imagine I’ll run no more than 3x next week.  I’ll be riding the 5 boro bike tour with my dad next Sunday (it probably will come out to 50ish miles by the end).  Swim classes begin a week from Monday as does training for the race-that-shall-not-be-named!  No rest for the weary.  2010 is the year of GO GET IT!

If you can’t keep up with me, then try harder:)

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Wicked fun runnah

Objective: To have a blast running one of the, if not most, celebrated marathons in the world.

This past weekend in a word: surreal. I wish the entry I am about to write would do it justice but all I can say is every time I think about the experience I still get goosebumps. It lived up to everything I hoped for and then some.

Getting my bib number!

Saturday morning I awoke to my dad coming in and saying “everyone that’s running the Boston marathon on Monday wake up!” So what do you think happened? I popped up and off we drove to Boston. After an obnoxious traffic jam in Connecticut (does that state ever not have traffic?!), we arrived at the expo. I walked around wide-eyed. Seeing so many runners. So many amazingly fast runners. Wow. I stopped at the Brooks booth and ran into @jessetchen and @Athleticgirl11. After buying my Boston paraphernalia it was time to head to the north end to meet my TRD teammates for dinner. Yum:)

It was odd to wake up Sunday and realize – I’m not running my marathon today! It’s tomorrow! Thank goodness because after the long, hectic Saturday I was in no condition to run:) We got a guided tour from my mom’s friend since Kindergarten around town. Pretty awesome – it included stops at the finish line, Brookline (my mom’s old ‘hood), and various other famous spots around Boston. Finally, that night I met up with @celluoidcinema and her hubby for dinner in Quincy. She was as awesome as advertised and I can’t wait til she runs her first marathon in NYC. 🙂

Monday – RACE DAY!

Alarm wakes me at 5:15. No issues getting up as my excitement got me right out of bed! Dressed in my usual marathon gear (pink hat, PSU singlet, blue shorts and mizuno inspires), I was set for battle. Oh, don’t forget the peanut butter on a bagel – life is disastrous without that. Since it would be chilly, I dressed in some really hideous throwaway gear (proud member of team dork..hahaha!).

Coolidge Corner. My mom grew up in Brookline watching the race on this corner!

My hotel was over in Quincy but the hotel provided a shuttle to the Boston Commons. Cool. I get on the “shuttle” and it’s a party bus. A literal party bus complete with a stripper pole in the middle, lights, etc. Hysterical. All that was missing was the booze (there was water). Our shuttle ended up with a police escort which was extra cool! I arrived in the Commons area and just again stopped to admire the experience. Holy crap, I AM RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON. That kept circulating through my head til my friend Helen arrived (a 6 time veteran). She kept telling me how she was so excited for me…the Boston rookie.

Funny now that’s it over: Helen started saying she had to pee about 10 minutes into the bus ride. By the time we were about a mile from the Athlete’s Village she was about to burst. We watched some dude in the van ahead of our bus sprint to the far off woods to relieve himself. Helen was a trooper and busted off the bus as soon as we arrived. The woods scraped up her legs but she felt better:-D hehe!

Athlete’s village was HUGE. They had sponsored food tents, music, and runners lying around everywhere waiting for the start. Helen left for the start and I spent the remaining time listening to my Boston tunes to get the jitters out. Finally, it was time for me to take my place at the start line of the BOSTON Marathon. As we waited, I chatted with some other first timers. Everyone had the same emotions – just unbelievable excitement. Unlike anything I’ve experienced except maybe my first marathon.

Here's how far I ran...

With a very soft gun to start the wave, it was time to go. As I crossed the start line, tears of joys came over me. This was it. This was what I had spent so many days and nights sweating through workouts. This is what I ran through freaking downpours for. This was for me, my own personal playground for the day. I was going to make it that. I wasn’t intimidated. I was ready to conquer.

The start was very congested but I’m OK with that. There’s 26.2 miles and you’re not going to lose your time from that. Immediately I set into my pacemaster zone. That zone? 8:30s. I was OK with that – if it meant I would enjoy each and every second SO worth it. I slapped some hands over the first couple miles and soaked in every step.

I remember seeing signs made by Adidas at each town telling runners why they should “Run Boston Better.” For example, in Wellesley it was “Brace yourself for

This picture captures my mindset the whole race

the Screams.” I really enjoyed the signs. Thumbs up Adidas. You guys advertised the race really well – and way to go with your version of the Nike+. It will work with any shoe and any MP3 player. Smart.

Anyway, the race. The support was amazing. People lining the streets cheering. Some drunk as a skunk (including signs saying drunk with an arrow pointing down at said person), some just handing out water/oranges/etc just to be helpful and others blasting music. I remember hearing old school rap music and laughing. Why? Because it was actually a live band! 🙂 Things like this made me smile the entire way from Hopkinton to Boyleston Street.

Wellesley lived up to its reputation. As I approached the sign welcoming me to Wellesley, I started to hear screaming. As I got closer, it was deafening. Funniest part? Signs portraying “kiss me” “Kiss me I’m a first year” etc. Ha. Guess it was a lot more exciting for the guys:)

As I approached the half, I felt great. I didn’t feel like I was going too hard and knew I could make it through the second half. That was a sign of good things to come. As I approached the sign for Newton, I said to myself “alright, let’s do this. Newton Hills, you ready for me?” Pretty sure I said it out loud because a few runners laughed out loud:) Hope it helped them too!

At that point, a major decline started and I knew that I would be going back up said incline. Fun. It’s one thing when it’s the beginning of the race but mile 17? Mentally ready. At that point Josh started yelling in my head “Pick up your knees/legs and swing your arms.” Faster. As this replayed in my head over and over, I was at the top! Whew. I noticed a lot of people walking around me. Not me!

heartbreak hill

Big smiles at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill

Round 2 of the Newton hills? Same result. As I declined once again I hear someone screaming my name on the side of the road. It was my parents yelling to me! Since time wasn’t an issue, I pulled over and gave them a GIANT hug. I got a couple of pictures with my dad before taking on the beast known as Heartbreak Hill. I knew once I got to the top, it was smooth sailing home. Between the crowds and downhills, my legs still felt as fresh as can be expected.

Running through BC, I got a second wind and started slapping hands on the side of the road. You could smell the beer everywhere. I’m pretty certain my smile was HUGE at this point and laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. This was it. As I approached mile 24, I knew I was getting close to Coolidge Corner. This was where my mom used to stand when she was growing up to cheer on runners. I passed a couple of teammates and they cheered me on to keep running – they saw I felt great. splits

The crowds starting picking up and I remember seeing Fenway where the Red Sox were in the middle of losing another game:-p As we approached Mile 25, I thought about my coworker MM and her mom battling cancer. I promised her mile 26 would be for her and her mom. As everything started to go through and process, tears started flowing. Not just for them but everything. Everything I had endured to be running the streets of Boston today – from the minute I first met Susan in the park to train for the NYCM to training through the harsh 2010 winter. Rounding the turn onto Boyleston Street I saw the finish line. Not just any finish line. THE BOSTON MARATHON finish line. Holy crap. This is it. I really started to let the tears fly now and had an even wider smile!! I was beaming and pointing to the crowd. I have no idea what I was doing but it didn’t matter. I was living the moment and it was great. Crossing the finish line I realized not only did I have a fantastic time running it, I ran a pretty decent race. 3:46:02 (3rd best marathon time). Not a BQ but I achieved the numero uno goal: WICKED FUN.

Post-race with a sign - no stopping!

That smile I crossed the finish line with has not evaporated and I’m pretty sure this feeling won’t go away anytime soon. If anything, this helped burn the fire a little hotter to go after NYCM in the fall so I can be back in Boston again (are you ready Runnin’ Around Uptown?).

Thank you everyone for your support. During my run, every time I crossed a mat I thought of the people tracking me and knew there was a sigh of relief each time (I know that’s how I feel while tracking someone). I also had nyflygirl in my head saying “don’t go out too fast or I’ll be yelling at you”. I laughed when I started realizing every split was within seconds each time. It was pretty crazy – sure I slowed a bit on the hills but even those splits were all right within seconds of each other as well (the only over 9 min mile was when I stopped to say hello to my parents)! Take a look!  This is why I call myself “pacemaster.”  My legs find a pace, settle and I lock it in.  Just so happens 8:30s felt great today – for how I wanted to run this race.  Could I have run faster? Probably but I would not have experienced the same race.

With that, marathon #7 is in the books and goal obtained.  After a couple of weeks of recovery, it will be time to shift focus towards that race in August… For now, I’ll keep up my post-marathon glow:-D

Dad and I sporting Boston jackets - a decade apart.

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Today marked the last pre-Boston tune-up.  I awoke to amazing conditions: 50 degrees and no wind.  What?  A non-brutal NYC half? Unheard of.  I awoke at the ungodly hour of 4:30am to have enough time

Canal Street - mile 12

to get to the race minus stress.  I met ironing.it.out at the Brooklyn Bridge stop at 5:45am after an interesting trip to the subway (there are some weird characters at that hour).  I’m pretty certain from the time we met til the finish we didn’t stop talking?

Going into the race I had a couple of numbers in mind but would just go with whatever the legs told me to do.  As the race started, they settled into a groove.  That groove?  7:54-7:56 pace.  The pace didn’t hurt as I was able to continue being my chatty self the entire way around the park.  Before I knew it, we were at mile 7 heading to 7th avenue!  I had  an issue with the sport beans and water with the water up my nose and issues opening the sport beans.  I’m just smooth like that:-)

My favorite part of the course: running through Times Square.  The crowd support. Music.  Just puts a pep in your step.  Between E and I we had a ton of cheers and the miles peeled away.  This year instead of turning at 42nd we headed up a couple blocks for a turnaround near the Intrepid.  We both commented we’d never been there.  I remember “Danger Zone” was playing at this point. Made me laugh and think of a young Tom Cruise (pre-weird Scientology).

The West Side Highway made the miles melt away as both E and I run home from work this way.  I commented it’s the run home minus the bridge for me!  I crossed the finish line at 1:43:23. Not a PR but a successfully run race.  A) It was a PR for a half marathon in NYC. B) 3rd best half time and it didn’t feel horrendous like in 2006 or last year– I definitely could have run faster. C) I had a blast running with E!  The morning finished out with coffee and more chatting – who knew there could be more to say;)

Now for the numbers part.  Remember, I am known as the pacemaster.  Just take a look at my splits.

Just a rock solid race.  I’m feeling pretty good and if I’m running like this already, I may need to revisit a few goals later on this year. It feels great to have that running vibe back. 4 weeks from tomorrow til the next bout with 26.2!

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Pre-game

This weekend brought a lot of excitement. For one, I became an Auntie! I got to visit my nephew Saturday which meant no time to run. As I’ve so often stated, life will always take priority over running. In this case, pretty obvious why:)

I came back Saturday night and prepared for a Sunday 20. The first one of a season. Hard to believe I’m here already. My training hasn’t been as great as last season but mother nature hasn’t made it easy! The plan: run 14-15 miles before the race then run the race at about 8min/miles to finish up. Fortunately, I had a little help from my friends to make it fly by. The start of the run was just me for about 4.5 miles. It was more like being a part of the figure skating team. Black ice was everywhere! The Brooklyn Bridge provided the most excitement – the crystalizing ice glaring back at me at each ginger step I took. Runners (the two others I saw on the bridge) would yell that the Manhattan side was very icy. I had to get there so ice skating it was. Unfortunately, my skating skills have diminished with age (I used to figure skate in grade school). On one piece of ice I managed to lose all traction. Feet came out from under me with the force knocking me backwards. Fortunately I was able to keep from full impact but it hurt – my head managed to fall back too (not hard!). Before I could let the fact I had bit it hard set in, I got up and kept on running! I had to meet up with Boston or die trying and ironing.it.up. I fell one more time but that one wasn’t as exciting as the first one:) The run to Prospect Park contained lots of great conversation and before I knew it – 15+ done. I met up with AC at the start line – she didn’t want to race and I obviously was not. Our pace was all over the place with an 8:09 average. I’m satisfied. Good test run of hills around that point as it will be in 7 weeks:)

It’s funny. It still doesn’t seem real. I’m sure after monster miles march it will:)

Up next: NYC 1/2 in 3 weeks. Let’s go!

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xoxo, Gossip Girls

Sunday marked my annual return to Prospect Park. This race is now my steady return to the race circuit. It’s fun. The gear is nice (tech shirts/hats). Good food and free massages post race. See, Brooklyn knows how to do it;)

This time, since I needed to get some mileage in, AU met me at my apartment to run to the start. The run was nice as we ran through the lazy, sleepy streets of Brooklyn. The brownstones made for nice scenery as we weaved our way to Prospect Park to meet flygirl (third member of our team). Our team name: xoxo, Gossip Girls. Unfortunately, due to the long run, AU and I didn’t dress up. Flygirl made up for us with the running skirt, high socks and headband.

AU was up first. As she arrived after 24-25 minutes, I took the slap bracelet and it was off to the races. I managed to forget to charge my watch so I’m clueless on time. It felt like 7:15-7:25 pace. Whatever. Good hard run and off flygirl went. AU and I decided to add a couple miles before flygirl finished. However, since they didn’t have the 1 mile marker out anymore we ran closer to 1.5 which forced us to miss flygirl finish:( I knew we ran further than a mile but AU insisted there was a mile marker. Never doubt the pacemaster – I know pace and I know mileage:)

Finishing up my leg and flygirl is off to the races!

After the race, instead of joining the team for beers at a local pub AU and I ran back to my neighborhood for brunch. Oh memories. You see a year ago we ate at the same place. This was the same weekend I decided this was where I’d want to live neighborhood (ironically enough the first place I saw ended up being the one I bought).

This race for so many reasons holds a lot of value to me. As I reflect, I always had a little Brooklyn in me. It just took me a little while to finally end up here:-D That’s a story for another day;)

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Just like King Kong scaled the skyscraper, today I scaled the stairwells of the Empire State Building.  86 flights,

1,576 stairs for those of you counting at home.  What an amazing experience, even if it was on the painful side at the time:)

I woke up at 6:30am full of nervous energy.  It felt eerily similar to what it feels like to run your first marathon.  The unexpected.  Excitement. Fear.  All wrapped together.  I headed off around 8:15 to meet @worldrunner by the Empire State Building.  I commented to her that it seemed like the building grew taller.  She said “yeah, it took some steroids and grew a few stories overnight.” ha, easy for someone that’s taking the elevator:-p We shot a few pictures – tourist style – with my new SLR and headed in.  It was a bit surreal as honestly I cannot remember the last time I was in the ESB.  I think it was pre-New Yorker days!

We headed into a huge open area on the second floor which was filled with other crazy people like me.  It made me smile knowing that they were there doing the same thing;)  I got my shirt and shoe tag – the shirt making sure to acknowledge it was 1,576 stairs to the top!

I ran into Crazy Bandana and a couple of my teammates to pass the time until my heat at 10:30am.  The nervous energy was building.

At 10:15 I headed over to the women’s staging area where they walked us down to the lobby.  There the cameras were taking pictures and the TV video cameras were shooting.  Hopefully my shortness didn’t keep me from being seen!

The start was a giant clusterf***.  The stairwell was a mere 10 feet from the starting line which made for a lot of chaos.  Since I didn’t really care about my time, I didn’t bumrush and started the climb up.  Right away I got sucked into the excitement and totally disregarded my rule before the race: PACE yourself.  I started way too fast and by the 25th floor I was a hurting chick.  Lesson learned.  I slowed a bit and got into a rhythm.  From there, I would alternate staircases where I’d go one by one or skip a stair.  This provided a bit of change in routine.  At the 20th and 65th floors we crisscrossed stairwells which my legs were eternally thankful for.  At about the 60-62nd floor I got passed by the first male.  He was FLYING.  Holy crap (found out he finished in 10mins or so).  It also felt like it was about 90 degrees in the stairwell.  Eek! As I reached the 80th floor, I got a giant smile on  my face – I knew the end was near.  I could feel the wind from 6 floors above!  As I reached 85, I kicked a notch and ran up the last set of stairs for the day and out the door.  I rounded the corner to the finish line with the NY skyline in the background.  Doesn’t get much more awesome than that!  I’m pretty sure I raised my hands and had the biggest smile on my face:-)  Simply awesome.

Once finished, I immediately felt my lungs burning.  They were simply on fire!  Thankfully water was immediately available but holy smokes – FIRE IN THE HOLE.  The feeling is very similar to those of you that have done track indoors or the mile run.  OUCH.  I think there was a valid reason though – take a look at my heart rate.  Immediately it jumped to my max.  Whew.  It looks like I ran a 5k – guess it’s a great workout for training for one?

After walking around a bit to cool down, I found the elevators to head down to meet @worldrunner.  Upon entering, the first words out of the recording were “We hope you enjoyed your experience.”  The entire elevator went from deadly silent to an eruption of laughter.  I met up with my awesome spectator and gathered our stuff to head to Clinton Street Baking Company for a celebratory brunch. YUMMY.  Pancakes are delicious but if there’s a half hour wait on the weekday I can’t imagine what it’s like on the weekend!!

Final thoughts: I would definitely do this again.  I missed beating 20 minutes by 3 seconds – unfinished business.  Plus I know if I actually trained I’d probably have a half decent time.  I also wouldn’t run like a bat out of hell up the first few flights of stairs.  That ultimately will be the death of you as I’m sure that helped my heart rate sky rocket IMMEDIATELY.

Special shout-out to ALL that supported me today and in the days leading up to this activity.  It really helped me mentally prepare for this event.  So thank you VERY much.

Check out: http://www.nyrr.org/resources/video/misc/2010/esbru.asp for my cameo.  At the women’s start and about 3:48 into the video:)

Up next? I must get in the pool.  Triathlon in June. Eek.

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Last minute thoughts

Well, here we are.  The night before another race.  I’ve got my outfit picked out: TRD tank top, red shorts, and my new Mizuno Inspires.  Wait?  Tank top? Shorts? But it’s February in NYC…. Oh yeah, that race!  86 flights of stairs to the top of the Empire State Building!  And so begins 2010…the year of “what the hell, go do it.”

I’m sitting here thinking about it.  I’m a 6 marathon veteran, 20+ half marathons and who knows how many other races but this race has definitely given me pre-race jitters.  I have absolutely no idea what to expect.  But I think that’s what makes it so exciting.  It’s a first.  There’s something special about those first time experiences.

Thanks to all that have put up with my anxiety the past few days.  It’s time to rumble.  Me, you ESB…game on!  See you in the morning!

ESB

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manhattan 1/2

Today marked the beginning of the 2010 racing season. To begin, if today is any indication there will be a lot to show. I looked to today to put in some quality miles and help get Runanskyrun his sub 1:50.

Anyway, after yesterdays food toxicity at serendipity, I have to be honest and say I was quite nervous. I hadn’t run a race in 3 months and to eat like crap the day before, uh oh! I woke up at 6ish with my clothes out and got ready to carpe diem…

Fast forward. I met A and AC at baggage check. We had run the speed workout together so I had a feeling we’d work well together. The idea? Sub 1:50. I had publicly posted sub 1:50. No pressure.

We got to the starting line and my plan? Run 8:20ish pace the first lap and go from there. The first lap passed in no time as we chatted about anything and everything. My TRD teammates lined the course cheering which provided an extra support staff. It was fun as AC commented she didn’t realize she was running with such a popular socialite. Ha. The first lap went as planned.

As we hit the roads for lap 2, I was feeling really good. Sub 1:50 was ours but after stopping for gu and water it was going to be close. It was if we knew what to do and collectively picked up the pace to bring the horses home. The last two miles? Solid sub 8 pace including the last mile including the workout from Tuesday night (thanks again, @SpeedySasquatch). Those were the only miles that were unbelievably taxing but so much fun at the same time. Final time: 1:48:46 8:18 pace. Solid.  It also appears this was a PR for me for a Central Park half marathon.  Neat.

I had a great time today running with A and A. I hope we continue to train together and watch the times continue to drop. Thanks guys!

Up next? Empire State Building Run-up on Feb 2!

Tale of the splits:
01:48:47 13.23
1 00:08:28
2 00:08:17
3 00:08:12
4 00:08:24
5 00:08:28
6 00:08:11
7 00:08:18
8 00:09:08 (gu stop)
9 00:08:10
10 00:08:48 (water stop)
11 00:08:09 (time to get cooking!)
12 00:07:45 (let’s do this!)
13 00:07:38 (time to put down the hammer!)
14 00:00:45 (fly for the last .11)

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