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Brooklyn, yo!

I ran the Brooklyn half today on a whim.  I really haven’t trained and had no idea what today would bring.  My goal: make it to the finish line without bonking.  It was my first race in a couple months?  My training? One long run and a few 25-30 mile weeks.  No true speed training.  It was a true test of seeing where I will be starting my march to Chicago.  It was funny – I was nervous today.  Genuine nervousness I haven’t felt in a long time.  I know I could run the 1/2 but I wanted to run it in a time that was decent.  After speaking with my dad a couple days ago, I said I’d be happy with around 1:50.  All things considered, this wouldn’t be horrendous and wouldn’t trash my legs.

So the race.  I stayed with my friend MS since she’s downtown which cut the commute time in half.  7 1/2 hours of sleep and it was time to head out to Brooklyn.  We had just enough time to throw our stuff on the bus and use the portapotty before heading over to the corral.  Not without incident, though.  I ended up tripping over fencing on the ground and went flying through the air.  I made good air as another teammate saw me and he came over to make sure I was OK. My family is well known for the klutz factor…

So over to the corral, I waited for the gun to go off with some other teammates.  They were looking to run around 1:40 which I knew was not in my plans for today.  I set my watch to beep if I went faster than 8 min/mile and slower than 9:15.  I really had no idea what pace my legs would decide to do today.  I loved that there was a corral system as it alleviated the bottlenecks at the beginning of the race.  I was off and running right away!  As we started on the boardwalk, my legs found a rhythm and the first mile clocked in at 7:53.  Hmm, faster than I expected but I guess I’ll go with it for now.  7:52 for mile 2.  And no wipe-out on the boardwalk! 

Once I hit Ocean Parkway I knew I just needed to hit my zone and ride with it to Prospect Park.  It was a bit windy but not terrible.  As the miles peeled away my legs started to tell me that I was ill prepared for this race.  I fought through and kept my pace between 8:00-8:15 for the most part.  Mile 10 I stopped for water/gatorade to get myself ready to hit the last 3+ miles hard [which included the lovely 1+ mile hill].  Success as I managed to pull it together and run under 8:10 the last couple of miles.  My final time was 1:47:17, good for an 8:11 pace (my garmin said 13.19 miles I had run which is an 8:08 pace:-p).

My watch was awesome!  I knew I was in for a good race when it kept beeping at me for going too fast.  One guy even commented “your watch needs to stop beeping.”  He laughed when I told him it was for going too fast:-p

I’m back in the game and with a race like this on no training it makes me wonder what will happen once the training commences. Hmm..

Splitsville:
[1]7:53
[2] 7:52
[3]7:59
[4]8:13 – water
l5]7:59
[6]8:11
[7]8:02
[8]8:12 – water 
[9] 8:09
[10]8:32 – stopped gatorade/water to regroup
[11]8:24 – hilly mile!
[12]8:08
[13]8:07
[.19]1:32

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Mudders & Grunters

Let me prequel this with: I don’t recommend running a trail race after not running essentially for two weeks.  Add to that mud pits & stream crossings…lol.  I have to say hands down this is one of the most exciting and fun races I’ve ever run (not to mention slowest).  My heart rate won’t indicate that but imagine trying to get your legs out of quick sand that is freezing cold and running after that.  Yeah…

Anyway, after staying out til 3:00am Friday and not getting nearly enough sleep since getting back to Europe, I was up and going at 6:45am this morning.  As I was getting ready to head out, I hear someone trying to open my front door.  That made me nervous.  My roommate was home and I was here.  Finally, I hear the door bell.  I open the door and there is my neighbor getting ready to take his bike out.  It turns out he woke up someone sleeping on my doorstep.  Evidently, she thought she lived in my apartment and when she tried to use her keys, it obviously didn’t work.  My neighbor asked her where she lived and it turns out she lives on a different floor.  I’m thinking I should go find out what she did last night because evidently she had a bit too much fun;-)

So, oh yeah, the race.  My attire: bike shorts (I don’t want dirt in unnecessary places), a long sleeve top, gloves for gripping, and an old pair of running shoes ready to go to the shoe graveyard wrapped in ducktape.  It was 38 degrees at the start which made my legs look just great;-)  And not having sun for 6 months doesn’t help;-)  Anyway, no start gun.  Just a simple go.  And we were off.  I had zero intentions of racing.  My only intention was to come out in one piece!

It wasn’t easy as I jumped over tree trunks, slid through mud, sunk in mud.  You get the idea.  All that and it was so much fun!  I wore my garmin as I was curious to see how the ole’ heart would hold up.  Truthfully it shows I did as I stated I’d do: not race.  My heart rate never went above 170 and was right around 160-165 the entire time.  More energy was spent making sure I didn’t do a face plant.  I came awfully close on several occasions.  The first mud pit – about 1/2 mile into the race – my foot got stuck in the mud and bam – my hands go into the mud.  The remainder of the race was spent with a rather muddy glove and very cold feet.

Laughter was a plenty!  I chatted it up with fellow runners as we approached another mud or water crossing. About 1/2 mile from the finish line there is a water crossing which can be up to your chest if there is a lot of rain.  However, this time it came to just above my waist.  It actually was good timing as about 1/4 mile earlier I landed awkwardly on my ankle on a turn and it was starting to hurt.  The stream numbed all feeling so if it hurt, I couldn’t tell:)

As I approached the finish line, my teammates cheered from the sideline and I showed my love back as I ran up the lovely hill to the finish.  No awards to be won today but I haven’t had that much fun in a race since the trail race I did in the fall!

My legs were caked in mud and my shirt looked like it had been through a war.  Never fear as a change of clothes was near.  And ducktape – oh that saved my feet!  If I could count the amount of times there could have been a sneaker lost on the course…

Awards were won in the form of cookies! YAY!  Millercass won first female and Eric won for best entry into the water (and he thought he’d been DQ’d!).  After the ceremony, we headed back to the city and enjoyed liquid refreshment at a local establishment.  It’s now 9:45 and I’m absolutely wiped after another fantastic weekend in NYC which included a bar with a mechanical bull, running off the alcohol still in my system, and a mud run…what could be better?  Pictures to follow!

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  The exchange – I’m the anchor!
Neck and neck with another runner
Not anymore!
It was a sea of red in Brooklyn!

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A full running weekend

Lack of posts? Yeah. I just haven’t had much to write about. This past weekend? Lots to write about!

Heading up the b&stardMarathon weekend. I’ve grown to see it as my favorite weekend in New York City of the year. This year was extra special with the Men’s US Olympic Trials for the marathon the day before in Central Park. However, since I’m just getting back into the fun of running, I opted out of NYC Saturday morning for an XC race in New Jersey. I had no intentions other than to have a good time and scramble up some hills. And holy cow, these were hills that made Central Park look flat. The course was two loops with both hills (one by the name b*stard) within the last ¾ mile of the course! Holy crow, this was one of the hardest races I’ve EVER done. The first lap I ran the flat portion hard which probably was not a good idea but then I went all out on the hills the first time too. Not good. If I had a heart rate monitor, I bet it would have been screaming “what the &*(& your heart rate can’t go that high!”. LOL. The second lap killed me as I felt like huge pieces of concrete were on my legs instead of running shoes. I did pass one girl on the last hill but I’ve never been so happy to cross a finish line! My lungs were burning like after doing the 5th Avenue mile, only it was a 5k! The rest of the day I spent coughing if I started to laugh:-p Seriously though, an absolute blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! You can’t beat the rush of adrenaline you get trying to get up hills that. I’ve heard they have this race in the spring and I am definitely going back to tackle these bad boys again!

On the way back to the city I found out Ryan Hall had won the Olympic trials marathon (btw, I think he has a real shot at making some serious noise in Beijing). Anyway, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and someone mentioned something about a competitor collapsing and dying. Natural reaction, what? No way, no how. These guys are machines. Unfortunately, it was true as we all know and it was Ryan Shay. So sad. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Happier thoughts. Sunday was the big party day: The New York City Marathon! I ran this marathon back in 2004 but have been roaming the sidelines ever since. I love being the spectator. It’s the one day a year I go baking crazy. I made 48 cupcakes and a batch of race cookies! We set up post up in Harlem as usual and the excitement was plenty! One member had a TV so we could see the exciting finish of the women’s race as Paula finally out kicked her rival since her teenage years to win her first marathon back post-pregnancy (damn, can you imagine being able to look like that 9 months after a baby? Correction – ever! LOL). I forgot to Photo taken with my camera phone!change my camera battery so I had to rely on the pom poms to bring support to the runners. Along the way, I saw Crazy Bandana and Moz (aww yeah he stopped for a cookie!). While I was getting ready to get more cookies, all of a sudden I heard someone say there’s Pink Monkey and Liz. Apparently my response was “Oh my G**!” I think out of instinct I immediately placed the cookies down and started chasing after them with all clothing on (jacket, long sleeves, shorts, pants on top of the shorts). I had intended to just say hello but they just said “come with us, we need you.” So off I went in more clothes than I’d wear in 40 degree weather let alone 60+. It also should be mentioned all I had was my phone and house keys – no wallet or any of the other items I had brought with me to the stand. The plan originally was for me to be on hand at the TRD booth to run with someone should I be needed. I had run 4.5 miles in the morning thinking I may not run at all! LOL! Pink Monkey and Liz were super strong and it showed in their time: 3:50! Awesome, simply awesome! Sempre Libera joined us on the Fifth Avenue side as I had called her while literally on the run;-) I also took some photos via camera phone which is a lot tougher than one may think. Both Liz and Monkey were completely alert the entire time and as we got to Columbus Circle SL and I bid them farewell and headed off the course. We saw JK, LD, and KR finish before heading to the meeting spot on t he west side. The smiles coming from Liz were so big that words can’t do it justice. She kept wanting to thank me but for what? She ran the race and I’ve always said you can tell someone how to do something but they need to execute the plan. Execution? Oh yeah, they definitely did that. Congrats, girls as you have earned the right to get some serious R&R.

So congrats to all those that raced and enjoyed the wonders of New York City. I got so pumped up about running again yesterday that it almost felt like I was being rejuvenated once again. I ended up getting up Monday morning for my spin class and it felt great to get that in before work.

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Not this time

3:50:47. Very tough day as the humidity caught up with me around mile 16. Disappointed but happy I listened to my body.
So, they always tell you that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Well, yesterday it was my turn to find that out. For one, the weather definitely was not cooperating.  The average temperature for the Steamtown Marathon HAD been high of 65 and low of 42.  This meant ideal running conditions.  However, mother nature decided to make sure everyone knew she was boss!  The low was around 65! 

So the race.  I met up with runlikeagrrl and her friends at 6am to head up to Forrest City, the start of the marathon.  We took the big, yellow limosine – otherwise known as a school bus.  This is when the nerves started to unleash as it was “oh my gosh, this is it.”  We arrived around 6:45 to an elementary school.  There were cheerleaders in training screaming out “Go Runners” and local volunteers handing out ribbons/water.  It was pretty awesome.  The most awesome thing of the pre-start?  They had separate women’s and men’s port-a-potty’s!  This meant there was no line for me (amongst other things!)!  I ran into a teammate from my running club, whom I didn’t know was running.  She was looking to run sub 3:30.  She ended up with a 3:40.

Anyway, around 7:45 we headed to the start and it was no problem getting into corral. The humidity was extreme as there was fog (aka that means 100% humidity).  After a high schooler wailed off the national anthem, the starting gun went off for the wheelchair athletes.  Then, for the regular start it was a cannon.  I’m telling you, you haven’t experienced a start til a cannon is used:-D  runlikeagrrl mentioned the time she did it two years ago it was late to go off so it scared the %$%$ out of people as they had started their run.

Immediately at the start I could start running.  The start immediately began downhill as I had astutely noticed on the map the night before.  I knew I had to be careful to not go crazy especially since the weather was definitely going to be a factor.  Mile 1 and 2 came to 16:42.  Perfect.  Mile 3 had a hill or 2 and came in at 8:27 but that was OK because I knew mile 4 was where a lot of time gets made up.  It is an extremely steep downhill.  I knew it would be faster and the plan was it should be no faster than 7:45.  I came in at 7:53.  Nice.  I made sure to stop at the water stops if not to just pour a cup of water on my head.  I knew the water factor needed to be attended to early and often. 

At the 10k mark, I chuckled to myself and said “ah, just a 20 mile run and you’re done.” As I passed mile 7 I knew my support crew was coming up!  Sure enough, and not a moment too soon, there was Pink Monkey, Liz, and my dad cheering and screaming my name.  It definitely pumped me up and got me excited to keep on the journey.  I also ran into someone along the course that asked “Are you Uptown Girl?”  LOL.  Yep, I guess I’m a running blog celebrity of some sort;-)

The parts I remember are going through the small towns and people out on their porches cheering for us.  There were people along the side handing out oranges, water, gatorade, brownies, and even beer!  It definitely was a different experience from the big marathons that I had done prior: NYCM and MCM.  The trail running was awesome too!  I ran alongside a stream and got to see some spectacular scenery (leaves are midway to peak).

As I reached my support crew around mile 17 I started to get the feeling that it wasn’t my day.  I had spoken with my dad before the race about strategy.  I had chosen Steamtown with the idea of not throwing everything into one race.  I had a safety net if I so chose – Philly.  Well, at that point I realized maintaining this pace was going to be very tough – if not impossible – for another 9 miles.  Rather than totally expense myself and run a 3:42 I chose to slow it down.  When I made the decision, I definitely felt disappointed.  I knew it was for the best but it’s still disappointing to know you did everything right but mother nature decided to do you in!

The rest of the race reminded me more of a funeral procession.  There were a lot of people walking, ambulances, etc.  :-/  I found out later one of the guys Paul (met through runlikeagrrl) had rolled his ankle at mile 10, Helen had to walk the last 10k, and Doug came in at 4 hours (far cry from his 3:30 pace to start out).  I definitely shut it down and ran it out at 9:30ish pace.  I stopped at the water stations and made sure to keep myself well hydrated.

As I passed my crew around mile 21 I shouted out to them “I’ve got this.”  I wanted to make sure they knew I was strong and health was not a concern.

Mile 25.5 brought a lovely hill which was kind of the cherry on top to a tough morning.  I knew I wasn’t going to break 3:50 – and honestly didn’t care since it wasn’t breaking the elusive number I want anyway.  As I headed down the hill to the finish line I mustered what I could and passed a few people along the way.  Finished officially in 3:50:47.  All things considered, I was able to salvage a decent marathon and was only 5 minutes off my PR in extremely horrendous conditions: heat and humidity!  By the time I finished it was 77 degrees in Scranton. Eek!

Found runlikeagrrl and she had finished in 3:37 which again – about 10 minutes off of what she wanted!  She was waiting for her friends so I headed to the food station which was full of goodies: pasta, bagels, bananas, oranges, pizza, cookies!  Small races rock!  Next, I found my support crew and thanked them 10x over for helping me through a grueling day.

I called my mom (she was finishing her 60 mile walk) to tell her everything was OK and that the BQ wasn’t today. The picture to the left is of me talking to my mom and my dad telling Liz and Pink Monkey it was “mom.” However, I told her to make sure the support crew is ready for November 18.  I’m seriously considering another go at it.  If it’s 75 and humid in mid-late November, then the world has bigger worries!

This was part of the email from the race director this morning:

Heat - Sorry about the heat.  Yesterday was by far the hottest Steamtown on record.  
To give you an idea of the impact heat can have, our median finish time yesterday was a full 
10 minutes slower than the average for our first 11 years.  We also treated more runners in 
our medical area than ever before.  We hope that all of you enjoy a complete 
recovery.


Note:  be advised that we have informed our Weather Committee Chairman (we'll call him Bob) 
that his services are no longer required.

Turns out the winner missed qualifying for the Olympic trials.  Guess that makes missing a BQ time small potatoes…LOL!

The damage after the marathon?  A black toenail and a huge blister on the side of my big toe.  Eek!   Food of choice yesterday?  Bison burger and fries with a coke!  Yum!

Yesterday’s experience did teach me a little more about the world of running.  I was able to identify before the carnage to quit while ahead.  While some people may say that I didn’t give “everything” I didn’t want to if I couldn’t achieve my goal.  I know Philly is 6 weeks away and I could take a 26.2 training run away from it.  2 marathons in 6 weeks?  Doable.  Will I do it?  We’ll see.  I’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year when I couldn’t run a step.  There’s big days ahead of me.  Not this time, though.  Next time…

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Hills, anyone?

Hills? Oh yes, there were plenty of those this morning in Queens.  I decided to run the Queens Half Marathon as my last long training run until the day.  I had no idea what the course was, nor did I really care. I figured it couldn’t be too bad.  Everyone had been raving about the Queens half so why not head over to the other borough to check it out? First, they changed the course this year AND it started at 7am all the way out in College Point.  Oy vey.  The course ended up having way too many turns. And hills?  Holy crap, I had no idea Queens had that many!

The plan for today was to run easy and finish somewhere around 1:55-1:57.  I honestly didn’t care about time with the big race so close.  Well, sometimes things don’t go as planned.  I met SK and EA at the start since they were adding extra to the beginning to get a 20 miler in.  I had asked what their plan was and they seemed cool with my 8:50ish plan.  Perfect.  7am and we’re off.  Mile 1 I start noticing the trend of hills and just hope it’s just a beginning fluke.  Mile 2 I click my watch and it says 8:11.  Uh-oh, that’s not the plan.  I had a feeling the mile was faster than I wanted but figured I’d give another mile or two to figure out if they were going to race or calm it back down.  Mile 3? 8:23. Mile 4? 8:27.  Once I realized they were having a good race I wished them well and set off on my own for the rest of the morning.  It wasn’t tough running but I didn’t want to keep getting faster and faster.  Just not part of the plan.

The rest of the race was spent turning, immediately climbing a hill before turning again.  By mile 8 I got kind of bored and keeping the pace a bit quicker made it be over faster:) My favorite hill?  I think that goes to the one a half mile before the finish line.  Overall, I finished healthy and felt fine other than a little cramping due to lack of water from the fasting that took place on Saturday.  I don’t recommend half marathons after a day of fasting:)

Splitsville:
1) 8:56
2) 8:11
3) 8:23
4) 8:27
5) 8:32
6) 8:41
7) 8:43
8) 8:34
9) 8:37
10) 8:36
11) 8:32
12) 8:22
13) 8:18
.1) :44

1:51:44 (8:31min/mile)

I’m pretty happy that the 8:30s felt pretty darn comfortable as a long run.  Considering I’ll still be running about 15 seconds faster it seems pretty doable.  If I run what I ran the past two weeks together, you know what I get? 😉

After the race, it turned into a regular who’s who blogger meetup.  First, I saw Crazy Bandana and chatted with him for a bit (do I hear #100?).  As I picked up my bag in the baggage area, I ran into Johnny after his 1:41 (new PR I think?).  Finally, saw flygirl.

After I caught up with the TRD gang, we headed into Astoria to a local diner for some grub (mmm Buffalo burger!).  Upon return home, I ended up napping for a couple of hours:) YAY!

So that’s that.  No more training to do.  Taper, taper,taper time!

Happy start of fall (as of 5:51am!)!  And since shoreturtle started this, the current forecast for October 7th in Scranton: High of 55, sun and clouds:-D

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Test run

Today’s Philly Distance Run (1/2 marathon) was literally to be a test run for 3 weeks from now. I wanted to see how it would feel to run slightly below the magic marathon pace (MP) as long as the weather was nice. If today was any indication, I think there will be some good results coming out of Scranton in a few weeks:)

The weather was picture book for a race. At the start, instead of the almost 72 degrees last year, it was maybe 51-52 and a crystal blue sky. My dad’s friend had run the PDR 30 straight years so he was given access to the VIP area (which meant he allowed his friends access as well:-D). My hands were turning that freakish white color which actually made me smile:) I had gotten assigned corral #2 but my dad was #5.

</i My slowest mile was my first one at 8:24. Everything else fell between 8:06-8:20. I saw my mom at mile 1.5 and 3 which provided a happy relief from the crowds.

Once we got back onto the parkway and headed towards the loop of Kelly Drive I could feel that zone start to set in. It’s weird. I just start to get that feeling like I’m not running and everything just goes forward. My dad kept talking which would cause me to fall out of the loop but fortunately I could jump right back into the zone! My dad also has issues with staying in his own running lane. At one point, he ran into this woman, she ran ahead and then we caught up again. At this point I hear her say “oh shoot, not you!” and she sprints ahead! LOL As for me, I keep at least a person and a half distance from my dad to avoid the forearm shiver:-p

I did see one member of the team that shall not be named. However, since I had a specific plan, I let her go this time . As we passed mile 12, I sped up slightly, if not to just be done:-p I finished up with a couple of sub 8 min/miles and a 1:47:03 (8:10 pace).

Splitsville:
1]8:24
2]8:12
3]8:20 (water)
4]8:06
5]8:10
6]8:14
7]8:19 (water)
8]8:08
9]8:10
10]8:11
11]8:07
12]7:59
13]7:50
.1]:46
5k = 25:50 (8:18)
10k = 51:15 (8:14)
10 mile = 1:22:20 (8:14)
13.1 = 1:47:03 (8:10)

Where does this leave me? 3 weeks to go until the big day and I feel healthy! I feel pretty darn good after this race. My mom couldn’t believe how good I looked after running 13.1. Now, what’s left? Taper me silly! Race day. Bring it on! I’m ready!

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Club Championships report

Sunday night?!  Already?  Where the heck did the weekend go? I suppose it’s time for a race report.  It’s been a while since I filed one of these;-)

Saturday morning marked the annual NYRR Team Championships race in Central Park.  It’s been an interesting year for me.  After recovering from the injury, I just have not felt that urge to race all that much.  I have raced a grand total of 3 times this year prior to Saturday.  Yeah, I’ve participated in a few other races but I definitely did not put out that race effort.  I kept trying to get myself psyched up for Saturday but with a lot of other factors in life going on, this became a very small faction in the weekend.  However, seeing that it was my birthday, it would be unacceptable to put up a sub-par performance.  My goal?  Run a decent race.  Decent for me?  Somewhere around my race time for last year.

When the gun went off, it was still that feeling of “ok i’m just going to give this a try.”  I started too far back and getting around the corner at the transverse was awful.  Mile 1 definitely was much slower than I wanted it to be (7:20).  However, I knew mile 2 I could make up time with the nice downhill section (I remembered our speed workout a while ago!).

Up to Engineer’s Gate, I just didn’t really feel anything.  I just ran.  At Engineer’s Gate, a teammate pulled up next to me and said “Let’s go!”  She thought 8k was 5 miles but it’s not!  So we started to pick up the pace heavily from Engineer’s Gate!  I maintained because I knew if I didn’t I would be in trouble to finish strong.  I started passing people and left and right.  As we entered the tunnel of cheers from the guys, I was definitely kicking it into overdrive.  I passed three members of one of my favorite teams before crossing the finish line in a time of 36:10 (just 13 seconds shy of my PR last year).  Best of all? My last mile clocked in at a sizzling 6:54.  Not too shabby on marathon training and minimal Wednesday speed sessions.

Splitsville:
1] 7:20 2]7:03 3]7:16 4] 7:35 5] 6:54
Definitely can see from the numbers that I never found my groove.  My times were all over the map and I think it’s fairly indicative of how I felt all week:)

Up next?  20 miler next weekend and the Philly Distance Run in mid September as a tune up for the big one in less than 7 weeks!

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Keep rolling

Around 20 miles in the past 2 days before the race last night.  I started to wonder if this was the smartest idea but I figured eh, put in a good effort and Monday is a well earned day off.  Sempre Libera graciously offered to rent the zip car and drive us out to the race on Long Island (5 of us in all).  I provided the famous race day cookies..

So the race.  You may recall I ran this race last year with intentions of sub 7 before the 92 degree heat and 100 degree heat index made that a figment of my imagination.  This year was perfect conditions but given I’m getting into mileage and marathon training, I wanted to be careful about how much I push in races.  Ultimately I wanted to feel like I gave my legs a good workout but nothing to feel absolutely whooped afterwards.  Somewhere in between really.

Anyway, AI, EV, and E asked me what my pace would be for the race.  I honestly was hoping for right around 7 minute miles but if it was closer to 7:15-7:30 I wouldn’t be upset either.  It truly was a matter of what my legs decided to do today.  I was running my race.

As we’re getting ready to start, SL seems to get into her zone and I tend to get chatty to get the nerves out.  As we’re getting ready, all of a sudden everyone just starts going!  The race had started and we were completely off guard!  With that I was off.  EV sprinted ahead as usual and I started off at a decent pace.  I figured I’d try to run right around 7 minutes for mile 1 and go from there.  I felt decent and raked in a 6:55 mile 1.  Mile 2 was definitely slower with the turns and little dirt portion.  I felt a lot more comfortable though and knew I was starting to find a comfort zone.  Mile 2 came in at 7:12.  I had passed EV and Flyer E. was running with me.  At this point, I didn’t run any harder and maintained the effort.  I felt OK and went with the good effort.  Mile 3? 7:12 of course.  Final time came to 22:06.  Not great, not bad but a good effort.

Apparently the last few days was my turn to see the NY crime files. 
#1) I was walking along one of the avenues to head home and notice a bunch of cop cars with a gang of people hanging out.  Then I see an ambulance going the WRONG way down the street.  I head home to check out the gothamist map and sure enough there was a shooting! eek! 

#2) Today on the subway ride home from Brooklyn (yay work project meetings:-p), I was sitting with my boss discussing the meeting when all of a sudden a crazy guy walks in and starts yelling “F You! F You all!  I lost my job today and I’m going to rob each and every one of you! If you get in my way, I’ll hurt you!”  Thankfully we were pulling into Union Square so someone got the conductor and they were looking for him.  Finally, the cops arrived and not to be mean or anything but I think it was the two smallest police officers in NY trying to tackle this guy!  Oy. However, about a minute later, the entire police force from that area descended upon this guy and let’s just say he has a lot more to worry about than getting fired!  As we headed uptown further, the conductor announces “Ladies and Gentlemen, make sure not to leave packages outside the train!”  Apparently, this guy had left his stuff outside the train, retrieved it and then got smashed by the subway doors.  Oh the excitement of getting home from work. Or not.

Happy Fourth of July!  I took that photo yesterday with my favorite building in NYC in the background:-)

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And then the rains came

This week can be chalked up as one of those that you hope not to have again anytime soon.  Monday was a 14 hour work day, Tuesday was closer to 16 hours and Wednesday I was able to break off for a bit for the Corporate Challenge.  Today it felt weird to leave work at 6:20pm (only 20 mins past the whistle.  Only kidding!  Actually, I know of a company that actually has a whistle blow when it’s quitting time:-p). 

Anyway, I knew the Corporate Challenge would be a bear with the week I was already treading through.  .Around 5:45 my super speedy coworker and I headed to the start to get the special “elite” sticker so we could start at the
front.  I figured I’d start up front just to be able to get an actual run in, not a walk!  I caught up with EV at the start and they made us stand there for a good 15 minutes crammed in like sardines.  Once the horn went off my stomach started to tell me thaat it wasn’t going to allow me to have a good run.  I felt really icky and watched as EV took off.  I just decided to stick to below race pace and let the pacemaster set the controls.  Mile 1 clocked in at 7:33.  Stomach still felt like a rock was in it but I was all the way down by the 102nd transverse, no reason to stop now;-)  I saw Mugno, a fellow TRD member, running the race around this point.  Finally, approaching mile 2, I felt like my stomach was starting to calm down and I started to hit that pace zone.  From here, I knew the end wasn’t a problem and I could just cruise in.  Mile 2 clocked in at 7:30.  As I was turning up the east side, I caught up with EV and she was having a difficult race.  I tried to have her come with me but she was really struggling:-(  At the bridge where I’d normally meet up for Wednesday night speedwork, I saw JS.  Thanks for the cheers:-)  Mile 3 came in at 7:32.  Just beyond here, I ran into fellow speedy beagle, SL.  Maintaining my  pace I headed to the finishline.  Slight pickup for the last .5 but still within that zone (3:38).  Final time: 26:15 (7:30 min/mile pace).

 Meanwhile my coworker finished third overall! WOW!

 Last night, for the first time all week, I got home from work before the sun had set. Now, if it were winter, that’d be nothing to write about but we’re talking the longest days of the year! Since this was the case, I made it home to change and head out for the group run. Since the Corporate Challenge was going through round 2 we stuck to the bridle path which was a relief to my tired legs and body. The first 2.5 mile loop of the bridle path went as planned. However, the sky definitely started to look ominous and about a quarter of the way into the 2nd loop the skies opened up. It brought back memories of about a year ago.

However, it was fantastic. I simply loved every single second out there running in the storm. Something about it can be so soothing.

This weekend I have a 10 spot on tap and hopefully some zzzzzzz’s. My body needs it!

How’s this for scary? Tomorrow marks my 4 year anniversary in the working world. Where the heck does the time go? 4 down, don’t tell me how many to go…

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