Pacing my other half at the Airbnb BK Half.

Somehow, training (and, like, ALL the months) absolutely FLEW and it was already the week of the Brooklyn Half!

BK Half Pre-Party

Thursday after work, Justin and I met in Brooklyn to walk over to the pre-party to get our bibs for the race. This was the first time we’ve been to this area since this happened:

It was the hottest day of the year so far so our intention was to get in and out of there as quickly as possible, grab some pizza, and head back home to shower off the grossness. Even without the heat, we’d have done our best to get in and out of there quickly – the music was so loud! My 30 years may as well been 80 while we were there because I was so unbelievably agitated by the volume. #turnitdown #youregonnaloseyourhearing #iammygrandpa

Once we booked it out of there, we walked over to Juliana’s to meet up with Jenny and enjoy some pre-race pizza and conversation. Looking back, we ate really well the days prior to the race with Juliana’s on Thursday and Carmine’s on Friday night 🙂 #carbloadingbride

BK Half

Pre-Race

I decided to jump back to Wave 2 so Justin and I could run together (and also sleep in just a little bit longer) on Saturday morning.  We were up by 5am and in a car to the start by 5:45. Before we left, I checked the weather one last time – low 60s, cloudy, 0% chance of rain. About halfway into our drive, guess what started? RAIN. I crossed my fingers that it’d be a passing shower because I didn’t bring a running hat with me and running without a hat in the rain is so, so miserable.

Luckily, the rain stopped by the time we got to the start village and we took our time getting through security and dropping Justin’s bag off at his assigned UPS truck. It was so cold and windy and I instantly regretted not bringing throwaway pants in addition to my long sleeve shirt.

To stay warm, we sat on top of a subway grate until the corrals started collapsing. Once in the corrals, I did my best to huddle in the middle of taller runners to block the wind until we started moving. #shortpeopleperk

By 7:45, we were off and Justin’s second half-marathon was underway!

The Race

The first mile was quite congested and was most definitely our slowest running mile (we made a port-a-potty stop in Prospect Park which was definitely our slowest overall mile). I was super careful not to do any weaving and just let that first mile serve as a solid warm up. After that, things cleared out a bit and I made sure to keep us right around last year’s overall pace (10:07). I told Justin that I would assess pace again once we got to the 10k mark and I checked in with how he was feeling. Satisfied with that, he let me lead.

Maybe it was the fact that I spent the first half of Prospect Park looking for open port-a-potties for me and Justin or that running in a circle isn’t my idea of a good time but OMG Prospect Park seemed to never end. I started to get super whiny about the fact that we were still running through the park and not getting out of the park and onto Ocean Avenue quick enough. As promised, I checked in with Justin at the 10k mark, he still felt good and said he’d be okay picking it up a little, I responded “actually, I’m gonna keep us right here for a little while longer and check in around mile 8” and chose to omit the fact that I had already picked up our pace. #ignoranceisbliss

Once we left the park and meandered on over to Ocean Avenue, my mental state got a million times better. I know some people hate the monotony of Ocean Avenue but it doesn’t really bother me until Mile 12 or so. I like just being able to zone out and keep on keeping on down the road. At mile 8, Justin started running ahead and I had to pull him back a bunch of times. He eventually told me he wanted to beat his time from last year and we needed to pick it up (he didn’t have a watch so LOL what do you know, Justin?!?). Anywho, I told him that I had already adjusted, that we were going to beat his time from last year without issue, and he needed to just trust me.

At mile 11, I had a solid idea of what time we’d cross the finish line (I was exactly correct too – math degree FTW!) and asked Justin if he wanted to know how ahead we were and was met with a very stern “no.”

As I’d been doing all race, I picked it up again for mile 11 and a little bit more with mile 12. That last mile was a bit of a struggle bus for Justin so I knew my pacing was on point and that any faster during the race wouldn’t have been smart.

We finished in 2:05:25 (9:34), a 7 minute PR for Justin!

Post-Race

After we grabbed our bag and changed in the parking lot (#imsofancy), we walked over to Coney Island Brewing Company to meet up with Daniel and wait for Jenny (who had a totally badass run after dealing with injuries for months. She’s back, ladies and ‘gents!). It was pretty packed and the weather wasn’t the greatest so we stayed for a beer or two and then decided to head on back to Manhattan.

Once home, it was time for lunch, a serious nap, lots of tv watching, and eggplant rollatini and baked ziti leftovers for dinner. Perfect ending to a great day 🙂

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Congrats to all BK Half finishers!

With this half behind me, I’ve got a few weeks until NYCM training officially starts and less than 4 months until wedding day! Who has tips on balancing it all? Send ’em my way. 

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Filed under half-marathon, new york city, running

Volunteering with NYC Parks & Rec.

When a work opportunity presented itself to volunteer with NYC Department of Parks and Rec, I was ON IT. We were given three options and the first one was only two days away. Luckily, the weather forecast looked beautiful and the location wasn’t far from home so it all couldn’t have worked out any better 🙂

I spend a lot of time in NYC Parks as my apartment is situated between Riverside Park and Central Park and I happen to enjoy an activity that takes me to both multiple times a week (I wonder what that could be…).

Inwood Hill Park

Inwood, Manhattan NY

Inwood is a neighborhood at the upper tip of Manhattan and not one I’m familiar with so I was excited to head uptown to a new-to-me park, Inwood Hill (so appropriately named IMO), to volunteer my time and play in the dirt with my colleagues.

It was a perfect sunny day with temps in the low 60s so jeans, a sweatshirt, and my gardening gloves were perfect for keeping me comfortable and poison-ivy free.

I arrived by 9am and met up with our NYC Parks Dept. “handlers” for the day, Joe and Leslie. While we waited for other colleagues to arrive, Joe and Leslie explained how the morning would work and what we would be doing to prep Inwood Hill Park for the spring/summer season.

The task for the day? Getting rid of the super invasive plant, garlic mustard.

Garlic mustard is not native to NYC (it is European) and can be found throughout the United States invading grassy areas and destroying native plants quickly. Because garlic mustard is self-fertile, it is quite difficult to completely eradicate once it is established in a certain area. Joe and Leslie explained that this seems to be a particularly bad year for garlic mustard plants in NYC for any number of reasons, one possibly being the warm winter we experienced (I don’t recall being warm this winter but I cocoon myself in a fleece blanket when it’s 70 degrees out so…).

We walked through Inwood Hill Park, identifying areas where the garlic mustard growth was particularly bad. At each spot, we spent time pulling out the garlic mustard plants from the root as that is the only way to ensure that the garlic mustard plant will not come back. I was really glad that the garlic mustard plant was so easy to recognize because my biggest fear for the day was that I wouldn’t be able to discern what was an invasive plant and that I’d be pulling out good plants. I have no green thumb to speak of (I couldn’t tell you what my flowers are for my wedding except to say that they’re a mix of different oranges, corals, and pinks and are apparently local and seasonal in upstate NY in September) so needless to say, my fear was warranted.

As we weeded and walked around, Joe and Leslie made sure to point out any poison ivy so we could be extra careful and gave us tips on how to spot poison ivy ourselves. They also stopped to show us other interesting plants and share fun little tidbits of information that I can’t even imagine having enough room in my brain to store. Leslie pointed out one plant, commonly referred to as a “Touch-Me-Not,” that is a natural antidote to poison ivy. I’ll never forget these plants because her follow-up comment was that she didn’t know why they were called “touch-me-nots” because she thinks “touch-me-please” seems more apropos.

By midday I was starving (note to self: next time, bring snacks) and happy to be heading home to make myself a big ol’ lunch. I’m quite thankful to live in this city and even more thankful to be able to help out and spend a day enjoying one of NYC’s parks in a way that isn’t just running through them.

Alright alright, I like running through them too.

For more than just the post-run pizza. Sometimes.

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Next up: Brooklyn Half-Marathon! See you Saturday 🙂

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Newport 10k: When I waited for a train longer than I ran and then only got a gun time.

After a long and busy week (and an impromptu Friday night Soulcycle class), I was ready for me and Justin’s weekly pizza and movie date. Turns out, last week was a little longer and busier than I thought because by 7:30pm, I was already passed out on the couch. Justin woke me up at 9 to get me to transfer myself to the bedroom and all I remember is saying, “how is it only 9 o’clock? It feels like a million o’clock” and then waking up naturally by 5am feeling super well-rested and ready to run (it was Newport10k day!).

With the Newport 10k in Jersey City, we left the apartment with tons of time to spare since we were at the mercy of both the MTA and the PATH trains. We got to 14th Street with more than enough time even if we had to wait a bit for a PATH train to take us across the river.

HA HA HA.

So yea, about that… we waited on the platform for the PATH train for longer than it would take us to run the 10k. The only announcements made in the station were about track maintenance on Sunday (it was Saturday) and to expect delays then. The platform got increasingly crowded with increasingly frustrated New Yorkers.

We didn’t get on a train until about 8:20am (the race started at 8:30 ugh) and ran up the stairs when getting into Newport. As we were exiting the station (which is right by the start line, thankfully), we heard the anthem being sung so if we hurried, we wouldn’t be too late to start.

Above baggage check – Taken post-race (obviously)

We went to go pick up our bibs and were turned away by police saying that we couldn’t go in the area with bags. We then turned to go deliver my bag to baggage check only to be told that we needed my bib in order to check a bag (I think smoke flew out of my ears at this point). The volunteers finally just wrote my name on my bag and put it off to the side. We then turned back around to run over to grab our bibs. I started my watch at this point because I knew my plan of getting in an extra 2 miles was shot so I figured we might as well count all this extra running we were doing just to get to the start line.

Obligatory jazz hands shot

Once we quickly attached our bibs, we hauled it over to the start line where staff were already dismantling the starting line. Were we really that late? There were no runners in sight except for those who had already turned around and were running on the other side of the street. I made a joke that “this must be what it’s like for the elite runners” before full-on panicking that we were going to get lost in Newport because I didn’t know this course and how else were we going to know where to go if we couldn’t just follow all the runners in front of us???

Luckily, the course turns were easily marked and there were volunteers at each arrow directing those of us in the back. By mile 1.5, we had already caught up with those who had started on time and joined the mix of runners.

Since I knew we weren’t going to be able to stick to my “run an 8 mile progression” plan and had already pushed the pace a bit to catch up with other runners, I figured we could just keep up that pace and make it more of a 6+ mile tempo run. My goal then became to keep us between a 9:20 and a 9:30 min/mile for the rest of the race since our longer runs lately have been in the 10-10:15 min range.

#NailedIt

I felt good with this pace and probably would have pushed closer to a 9 min if Justin had been having a better day but his legs just weren’t feeling it.

My positives and negatives of the Newport 10k are exactly those that I had when I ran the Newport half two years ago (well, minus the bronchitis). The roads aren’t even in many places and you really need to be paying attention to where you step. The wind can be brutal along the water. The boardwalk can be super slippery. That being said, the race is extremely well run (ha ha!), the course isn’t all that crowded (even if you start on time), the roads are pretty flat, and those views… omg those views.

Hey there, beautiful 😉

When we got home (OF COURSE the PATH came almost immediately for us after the race), I looked up our race results on CompuScore. My watch had us running for a total of 1:01:10 for a distance of 6.5 miles (PERFECT since my watch recorded us at .3 when we crossed the start line – yay for accurate GPS!) but I was curious to see our time and pace for the 10k.

Ummm what?!?

Now, I’m not one to say that my watch is always right and I definitely question the distance and paces it displays sometimes but I definitely don’t question the timer on my watch – and a difference of almost 5 full minutes is pretty glaring. Also, there is no way we were running a 10:35 pace. Even at our slowest, we don’t run 10:35 minute miles. Plus, Justin wouldn’t have gotten annoyed at me pushing us at the end if we were trotting along at a leisurely 10:35.

It took more time than I’d care to admit for me to realize what must have happened and check the results again.

Mystery solved

Aaaand there you have it. Gun time = chip time. It took us 1 hour 5 minutes+ to cross the finish line from when the first person crossed the start. Ah well. Luckily, this wasn’t a goal race for either of us and it’s not worth making a stink that our chips didn’t register at the start line. If it happened to Justin and me, this definitely happened to the handful of other late runners who “crossed” the start line with us. I hope this wasn’t a goal race for them either.

We celebrated our finish with a solid nap and a nice dinner before hanging out with Sally Field at the Belasco Theater 🙂 

The Glass Menagerie on Broadway

It really is a shame that the PATH issues put such a damper on this race because I truly enjoyed running it. Next time, we’re going to have to couch crash at someone’s place the night before. Now it’s time to focus on our 11-mile run this weekend followed by the Brooklyn Half in just two weeks! Where does the time go?!?

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Thank you to the Riker Danzig Newport 10k for including me as an official blog partner this year!

I received a free race entry for detailing my experience during the Newport 10k. As always as usual, all opinions are my own. General disdain for weekend PATH service is a shared opinion among New Yorkers and New Jerseyans alike. 

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Filed under 10k, Blog sponsor, running

Running comfortably…

About a mile into our 10-mile run last weekend, I turned to Justin and said, “I need to buy another pair of these shorts ASAP, I love how they fit.” What I meant  was, “I need another pair of these shorts ASAP because I don’t like wearing underwear to run and these keep the lady parts happy.” Note: that’s not an affiliate link, I just really love these shorts. Edit: I bought two new pairs of these shorts while typing this post. #SorryCreditCard

True story: your base layer matters a lot when you run. It matters even more in the summer when you’re out there creating a swampfest on your skin.

Tips for choosing a base layer:

  • If possible, go commando. One of the biggest reasons the Oiselle Roga Shorts are my faaavorite and get washed more times in my sink than they do in the laundry is because they come equipped with a built-in base layer. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find any kind of crop/pant that comes equipped with built-in undies and, let me tell you, going commando here should be done cautiously. #LiveAndLearn
  • Avoid cotton at all costs. Cotton traps heat and moisture and one of two things will happen – you’ll chafe during the run, feel it happening, and be uncomfortable for miles or you’ll chafe during the run, feel fine, and then cry out when you get into the shower. Quick drying material is always best here.
  • Be sure the fit is snug, but not tight. When it comes to sweatpants, the looser, the better. Running attire (especially those undies)? Not so much. You want the material to fit snug but not too tight. You want a snug fit so that as you move the fabric doesn’t move and rub against your skin. You might be lucky and feel fine while you’re running but there won’t be any mistaking those chafe burns once you step into the shower. Tight can be uncomfortable and can also affect breathing (think: a too tight sports bra. #WontMakeThatMistakeAgain).
  • Watch those seams! Some underwear is fine for everyday life or even a short run but once your mileage creeps up and you’re running for hours and not minutes, the tiniest thing can cause irritation.

After all that, my only other piece of advice would be- when in doubt, use Vaseline.

Seriously, is there anything Vaseline can’t fix? Don’t answer that.

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This Saturday is the Newport 10k! Stay tuned for all the fun 🙂

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