A race before a race: Newport 10k.

Spring running season is officially upon us! After a winter of many “eh” runs, I’m super excited to get my legs moving and log some glorious miles (in shorts… and a tank top… and obnoxiously bright neon compression socks). While I’ve gotten a few spring runs under my belt this year, my first taste of spring racing will be on May 6th when I cross over the Hudson to run the Newport 10K as an official blog partner.

I’ve never run the Newport 10k but a few years back, I ran the Newport Half as a goal race. If you recall, I managed to eke out a PR even though I technically had bronchitis (in my defense, I didn’t know I had bronchitis and blamed my stuffy chest, head, nose, and overall crappy feeling on allergies).  One thing I do remember fondly from that day is how beautiful the course is as you run along the water – and, lucky for me, the 10k will have those same beautiful views.When introduced to the idea of running the Newport 10k, I quickly looked to my Brooklyn Half-Marathon “training” schedule (I use the word “training” quite lightly here). Justin and I were scheduled to run 8 miles together and I figured running the 10k would be a great opportunity to get in a race as part of our long run that day. He agreed and quickly registered himself as well (it’s easy to get him to do things if you follow the statement with “we can go somewhere to eat afterwards”).

Visiting my friend Brian’s brewery in Jersey City after the Newport Half

Our goal for Brooklyn is to beat Justin’s time from last year so while we’re not planning to go out there and do anything crazy, we do have a time in mind and an approximate pace to hit. This makes the timing of the Newport 10k (two weeks before Brooklyn) perfect for incorporating some racing practice into our long run (hint hint for all you Brooklyn runners!).

Reasons to incorporate a race during training:

  • Practice early wake-up and travel. Especially with the weather being on the cooler side for all of our weekend training runs, Justin and I are never in a rush to get out the door in the morning. Seeing as though we’ll need to be  in a cab to Brooklyn before the sun even rises on May 20th, getting a practice morning is a really good idea so we can figure out the timing of how long it takes us to get ready, what we should eat and when, etc.
  • Practice pacing strategy in a race environment. Our pacing strategy for Brooklyn this year is going to be similar to last year: run the first 10 miles somewhat comfortably and then pick it up for the last 3. The Newport 10k will be a great day to practice aiming for a negative split while surrounded by other runners also trying to run a good race. Since we’ll be running 8 miles that day, I’m thinking we do the 2 miles before the race as a slow warm-up, the first 4 of the race comfortably, and then pick it up for the last 2.2 miles of the course.
  • Practice running through water stations. On all of our training runs, we stop for water at the water stations in the park. I stop my watch, we take a few seconds to sip water, and then we head back out on our way. This is not something that happens during a race. Time does not stop for us to drink water (although, wouldn’t it be great if it did?). We can use the Newport 10k to figure out what works best for us during the water stations (Are we going to walk? For how long? Are we just going to slow down? Is this even possible for Justin without spilling water/Gatorade all over himself?).

I love incorporating races into my long runs (proof: 2011 Staten Island half-marathon as part of a 21-mile, 2014 Bronx 10M as part of a 20M training run) and I’m super excited to run a different route than our usual Central Park or Westside Highway. Now that the Newport 10k is officially on my calendar, I’m really looking forward to it and Justin, well, he’s really looking forward to brunch. Stay tuned here and follow along for race-day updates on Instagram 🙂

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I will receive a free race entry to the Newport 10k in exchange for a pre-race post and a post after the race detailing my experience. As always as usual, all opinions are my own.

Register for the Newport 10K here. You can also save money now by registering for the half in the fall 🙂 Proceeds will be donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, RWJ Barnabas Health, the area’s only not-for-profit hospital, and the regional trauma center. 

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Filed under 10k, Official Blog Partnership, running

Carb-loading Bride.

Before I knew that I’d be getting married in Fall 2017, I already had my eyes on Fall 2017 for another reason, the NYC Marathon. I imagined the months leading up to November as filled with pasta, early mornings, long runs, and foam rolling, not seating arrangements, color palettes, and dance song selections.

But then this happened:

Engagement – 11/18/2016

And then the venue we wanted had only one date that wasn’t in the winter (many reasons a winter wedding wouldn’t have been a wise choice for us).

And then I had a decision to make.

Do I “defer” my guaranteed NYCM entry by registering, canceling, and then re-registering in 2018, having to pay twice? Do I not accept my guaranteed entry and do 9+1 again? Is that even worth it? Would 9 races equate to the price of the marathon entry fee? Would I even be in a position to run a marathon in fall 2018?

Or… is it possible to train for a marathon, plan a wedding, peak the weeks of my wedding and honeymoon, and then come back from paradise and run a marathon less than three weeks later? Could I do that?

I went for a run (and it happened to be one of those gloriously beautiful days where running feels easy and you’re all “hey, i could run for-ev-er” so that may have played a role here) and I came back with a plan. I sat down down and made a draft based on the last time I trained for the NYCM but also worked around my wedding/honeymoon schedule.

And then this happened almost immediately:

So yea, I’m in. And I’ll be simultaneously wedding planning and marathon training.. and then carb-loading at my wedding because #peakweeks.

First Draft (click to enlarge)

It’s doable. And honestly, when I look at it, my schedule doesn’t even seem so bad to me. Two 10-mile runs in Hawaii? That sounds amazing.

But i’m letting the PR go. I know myself well enough to know that the pressure of having to train for a PR and also plan a wedding, get married, and then go on a honeymoon weeks before the race would not be beneficial for anyone (me, Justin, unsuspecting people on the street who may cross my path, etc.).

So yea, I may be crazy, but it’s happening… and it’s going to be awesome. #carbloadingbride

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Stay tuned for wedding & marathon training adventures 🙂

 

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2017 Glass Slipper Challenge: Princess Half-Marathon.

The last day of the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k recap, 5k recap) is the Princess Half-Marathon. It’s another early day and since I was the only one running the half out of our large group, I got on the bus solo and waited to meet up with Jess and Nicole before heading up to the corrals.

My parents, Justin, and Sue were due to get a bus to Epcot to grab the monorail to Magic Kingdom so I knew they weren’t too far behind me with their wake-up alarm. Unfortunately, there was some misinformation and my family and a few runners missed the last bus and were told the next bus wasn’t until 6am (well after the start of the race). My mom texted me that they weren’t going to be able to make it to Magic Kingdom and I could tell she was upset. I reassured her that it was no big deal and that I’d see them all at the finish line.

About fifteen minutes later I got another text from my mom saying that they’d see me in Magic Kingdom. Wait – what?!

The runners with them decided they were going to walk to the start line and since my family was already up, they decided to tag along. Luckily, Disney magic was on their side because a race bus pulled up alongside them and scooped them up and brought them to Epcot!

Princess Half-Marathon

Our plan for the race was the same as the day before – to run easy and comfortably and stop for photos when there was a character we loved on the course. We also decided that for the latter half of the race, we’d employ an 8-and-2 run/walk plan if we hadn’t stopped for a photo in a while. As I’ve learned before with Disney races, I enjoy the walk “breaks” mostly for their mental benefit.

We didn’t stop for many photos early on but as the race progressed, we stopped more and more. We stopped so much in Magic Kingdom that Mile 6 took us over 30 minutes to complete. #WorthIt

After seeing my family on Main Street and stopping for so many great characters in Magic Kingdom, the lonely roads of the highway seemed to go on and on and onnnn.  Once we got to Mile 10, I began texting my mom from my Apple Watch to let her know where we were and an approximate time we’d be at the finish line.

After our finish, it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for a day in Epcot!

Epcot

When we first started planning our Disney trip, the dads came up with the idea of getting us all ridiculous matching shirts and decided on, well, hot pink Vandalay Industries t-shirts. Now, let me tell you how 20 Italians from New York ended up in hot pink Vandalay Industries shirts…

My dad found a company online and sent an e-mail to each family to order their shirts. Well, everyone ordered their shirts on the same day and the company (which is extremely small and later told us that they barely sell that many of those shirts in a year, let alone in a single day) cancelled all our orders stating that we were “fraudulent.” LOL. #irony

Obviously, we got it all sorted out and everyone had their shirts for Epcot day! We realized very quickly that we should have done something like this the previous two days as it was so much easier to find everyone with us all in the same obnoxiously loud color. #LessonLearned

We were quite the hit in Epcot; people came up to talk to us and took photos of/with us. We overheard a conversation between a mother and a daughter in which the daughter asked why we all matched and the mother answered that we must be here on a company trip because we all worked for Vandalay Industries. #AwHoney

After the fireworks, it was time to go back to the hotel and relax.

The next day, we all hung out at the pool to enjoy one more day of sunshine before coming back to cold NYC.

It wasn’t easy to leave… especially since this is the first Disney trip in a while that I’ve ended without having my next one already planned 🙁

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Next up: I’ll be carb-loading at my wedding. True story. Stay tuned. 

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2017 Glass Slipper Challenge: Enchanted 10k.

Since the Enchanted 10k starts 30 minutes earlier than the 5k, it was an even earlier start to Saturday morning than Friday. I think it’s crazy how I’m able to get myself out of bed at this ungodly hour to run in Disney but can’t seem to get myself up almost 4 hours later when waking up for work in NYC. #DisneyMagic

Enchanted 10k

Anywho, Justin and I met up with my cousin Liz by 3:45 am to walk to the bus. We were meeting up with Jess and Nicole (who moved to Austin a few weeks ago and NYC misses so much!) in the corral and I was excited to get lots of running and chatting time with some of my favorite people.

The 10k was Justin’s first Disney race in which he stopped for photos (he’s only run the 5k with my dad who, if you’ve read here before, will not stop for photos lest it get in the way of his PRing) so I was excited to show him how much fun one can have when truly embracing the Disney race experience.

We kept the pace super easy when we were running and stopped for photos with most of the characters. I was most excited to see that Princess Minnie was out on the course! When we were waiting on Princess Minnie’s line, she went running inside and a castmember assured us that she was “just checking up on Mickey and will be right back” and let me tell you, girl can run. And in those heels? Very impressive.

Throughout the race, I was updating our photos onto my family’s photostream so all our crazies back at the hotel (and at the finish line) could see how much fun they were missing.

My cousin thought of the idea of having a photostream for everyone on the trip and it made sharing photos so easy and fun. We now have hundreds of photos of our time together all in one place and there was no “can you send me that picture?” or “I’ll put these all together in an album when we get home.” It was great and I’ll definitely be doing this for certain things in the future (I’m thinking honeymoon – my parents and brother want photos of us hiking through a volcano popping up on their phones while they sit at their desks, right?)

My aunt and uncle were waiting for us at the finish line and we quickly got on the bus back to the hotel to get ready for a day at Magic Kingdom 🙂

Magic Kingdom

Saturday’s weather made it feel like it was two completely different days; the morning was cloudy and chilly and by noon, it was in the mid-80’s without a cloud in the sky (just how I like it).

We made sure to take lots of photos (all included with my pass!) and stopped for our first of the day in front of the castle. While standing for these photos, we saw a proposal (!!!) and also got super distracted by fireworks going off behind us..

Fireworks!

Around lunchtime, our large group split up into two smaller groups – those who wanted something from Columbia Harbour House and those who wanted turkey legs. I wasn’t all that hungry after a pretty big breakfast so I decided I wanted a slushy lemonade and would grab another snack before dinner. As I spoke with the castmember to order my frozen lemonade, she asked if I just got married (because of the bride ears). I explained that we are getting married this September and that this was my only Disney trip before the wedding that I got to wear the ears. She got all giggly and adorable and gifted me with two chocolate chip cookies. I got all excited because hey – free cookies!

My intention was to eat one cookie and then save the other for Justin. I even wrapped the second cookie up and put it in my backpack..

Yea. That didn’t work.

I ended up going back in my bag and eating the second cookie roughly two minutes after putting it away so I wouldn’t eat it.

Sorry, Justin. Just know that it was delicious and it made me happy. That’s all that matters, right?

After dinner, we watched the fireworks from behind the castle (I’ve actually never done this before) and then I went back to the hotel to get some sleep while the others stayed behind to get some more rides in.

I was so exhausted, I didn’t hear a single person come back into the room and didn’t stir at all until the 3:21 am alarm the next morning.

Next up: Princess Half-Marathon and Epcot 🙂

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