Monday, October 13, 2008


OK, where to start? LOL As you all know I’m not the greatest blogger, I leave that up to BR411. I keep mine short and to the point about my running. LOL But this one may be a little long… Well, Saturday around 1pm, I bid farewell to hubby and my two girls Allie and Becca. It was hard to say goodbye. I know, only 1 day away, but I had never been away overnight, since the girls were born. I know, time to cut the cord, but…. They were all great. After hugs, kisses and a few tears I was off. I still couldn’t believe it. I was leaving to drive to Staten Island, to run the Staten Island Half Marathon. This was it!! I forgot my town was having their yearly Columbus Day parade, so it took almost 20minutes to go 2 miles to the gas station to fill up. I like this gas station, as they are the cheapest around at $3.46 (ouch!!) Well, Finally at 1:25pm I was on my way.

The plan was to stay at my brother’s house on Staten Island, so I wouldn’t drive or wake so early the day of the race. Thankfully since it was the holiday weekend, there was NO traffic. I fired up the iphone/ipod and listened to Confessions of a Runner episode’s #37 and #38. (I saved fdip #156, and Extra Miles # for race time) Before I knew it I was crossing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (the Bridge I am going to be running across in 383 days, for the 2009 NYC Marathon). I made my way through the tolls, through the streets and found my brothers driveway at about 3:30pm. I unpacked my gear. Though I was hungry, we jumped in his car and drove around the Island. First and foremost he drove me along the Staten Island Half course. Though there was a hill between miles 7-8, the course didn’t seem that bad. And it was great to get a peek at it the day before. It SO helped on race day. We eventually stopped to get food: I got a Veggie wrap as I was starving. Strange, it was a short trip. He lives about 58 miles from me, but my stomach was behaving like I had travelled a long distance. Guess it was nerves. But I had cramps and a belly ache for most of the day/night.

In the evening we went to a nice Italian restaurant and ordered a great whole wheat pasta dinner. Again, ate some, but the stomach felt achy and crampy. But the food was really yummy. Then we came home where I was able to watch my beloved Rangers beat the Flyers 4-3. They are now 4-0, best start of a season since 1983-84. But, I don’t want to jinx anything. I got to sleep soon thereafter, but woke several times during the night. Guess I’m used to the interruptions of little feet waking me in the middle of the night. I really did miss my family! Finally around 3am, I fell asleep for good. My alarm went off at 5:30, but I decided to sleep in and woke at 6:30. Race didn’t start till 9:40, and we weren’t leaving till 7:20, so I figured I could use the sleep. I woke and had my usual oatmeal and banana. I was playing it by ear on how my stomach felt. If it still felt icky, I was just going to eat the banana. It didn’t feel that bad, so I ate the oatmeal and banana. Thankfully, before we left I was able to leave most of what I ate behind! LOL, so I figured I was good to go.

At 7:20, we left the house and walked to the train station. Caught the train at 7:35 from Old Town, and took it to the Ferry, where the Race was to begin. We got there about an hour early, and it was just delightful. The view of Manhattans skyline and downtown was breathtaking. It was a gorgeous day, very few clouds, sunny and blue skies. I thought it would be chilly, but thankfully it wasn’t. According to the website, the temperatures were 70 degrees and 65% humidity. I took some pictures and will upload them at some time. Even had my brother take some photos of me running the race, finally race photos. So, Charlie, finally have some photos to share!!

We lined up around 9:20, and the gun went off around 9:45 or so. I was feeling OK, but my belly was crampy. I was just hoping I wouldn’t s#@t in my shorts. First mile was hard. Legs were tired, felt groggy and sleepy, but I knew if I could just settle down, I’d be OK. My plan was to run each mile as close to a 9min pace as I could. I also planned to stop at each water station and walk/drink for 15 seconds. Slow and steady. I was running with John, who is much faster than me, but since we were running a half, I didn’t think it would hurt me. If he went to fast, I would just let him go on. Water stations were at Miles 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11, I think.

Mile 1: We hit it at 8:56 pace, close enough for my liking and the legs were feeling a little better.

Mile 2: hit it at 8:38 pace, a little faster than I would have liked, but legs were definitely feeling better. Stopped for water and walked/drank for 15 seconds.

Mile 3: hit it at 8:29 pace, and the legs felt great.

Mile 4: came in at 8:45 pace. Stopped for water and walked/drank for 15 seconds.

Mile 5: 9:01 pace (also the point where my brother took the photo of me) Up until now, I felt great. Approaching the 6 mile marker it got hot, and we were running along the water. For some reason this stretch, there and back, was very hot for me. I knew it was a flat stretch and that eventually we would be turning around and running back. My legs were getting tired.

Mile 6: I hit it at 8:49 pace. I eventually made the turn around, and I literally didn’t think I was going to make it to mile 7. When all of a sudden on The Extra Mile podcast, I heard Marathon Chris recite the mantra, “Someday I won’t be able to do this, today is NOT that day!!” OMG, it was just what I needed to hear, before I knew it, I was at Mile 7. Thank you Marathon Chris!!!!!

Mile 7: Hit this one at 8:50 pace, I stopped for water, and walked about 15 seconds, and started running again. Legs were tightening up. This is the point where the course has the hill. Man, it was tough. I really thought I was going to stop, but right when I was at my worst, I heard Charlie’s (a.k.a. CewTwo) shout out on fdip. I was approaching the 8 mile marker, entering Fort Wadsworth. Stopped for water and walked/drank for 15 seconds.

Mile 8: Hit it at 9:53 pace. I made the turn into the Fort listening to Charlie. Charlie, I can not put into words how much YOU helped me. As soon as I heard it, tears welled in my eyes, and I yelled I can do this!!!! I really regret not getting my shoutout in to Fdip. I promise, I will next year!!

Mile 9: Hit it at 8:59 pace. Thankfully the course was flat to downhill for the next 3-4 miles, so I was able to coast. I said to myself, if I keep this pace, I’ll do it. It was so cool running under the Verrazano bridge. Stopped for water and walked/drank for 15 seconds.

Mile 10: Hit it at a 9:00 min pace. At this point I decided to take a jolly rancher. I had never used it before, but I needed something more than water. I opened up the candy and sucked on it for about 2 miles. Not sure if it helped, but it sure didn’t hurt, thankfully!

Mile 11: Hit this one at a 9:11 pace. Approached Mile 11 feeling OK, I knew there was a tiny incline coming up and then downhill, where it turns at the gas station to go a steady incline up to mile 12. I kept repeating "I can do this, I can do this." Stopped for water and walked/drank for 15 seconds.

Mile 12: I hit this one at a 9:26 pace. The steady incline slowed me a bit and tired out my legs, but the cheer from the crowds was deafening and I continued to plug along. Though I was thinking it, I didn’t stop. There was a woman who did, and another women cheered her on and said “You can do this, you’ve come this far, come on, run with me, and we’ll get there”. I thought that was so cool, and it was enough for me to not give up. I stuck with them till mile 13 down the home stretch.

Mile 13: I hit this one at an 8:43 pace. When I hit Mile 13 I just started sprinting. It hurt like a mother efffrrrr (to quote Marcy and BR411), but I had followed/stayed with these woman, and I wasn’t going to lose them now.

.1 :50 seconds

I crossed the finish line, hurting, cramping, completely exhausted, but completely elated, as I realized I finished in 1:57:36 (an average pace of 8:58)!!! I broke the 2 hour barrier and the 9min pace. YEEEEEEE HAWWWWW; Another PR. Knocked off 3:54 off my last half marathon!

I immediately went over to that woman and thanked her. I told her she was such a big help in getting me to the finish line. I dropped my chip in the bucket, tried to find my brother and friends, and just walked around in a giddy, blissful daze. More pictures were taken, and we hopped on the 12:35 train at the ferry, and took it back home. Got back to my brother’s around 1:20pm, took a very cold bath, and then hung out till the NY Jets won, and headed home. I must say, it was an amazing feeling driving over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to go home. In 353 days, I will be running across that sucker in the Marathon. The legs felt good until the car ride. That 1:45:00 minute ride home, legs started tightening and cramping. I was never so happy to be home with my BR411 and my girls. Long tubby and a good nights sleep in MY bed (and major message from BR411, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!). I woke this morning a little stiffness, but was able to get myself to the computer to comment on my buddies' blogs, and to post my results to World Wide Festival of Races, and finally post my results to this blog.

Thank you everyone for all your support and help over the past 9 months or so, as I endured this running journey. I know it is still the beginning for me, as I still have to maintain and train for next year's Marathon. I know it will not be easy task, but nothing worth anything is. I look forward to the next chapter of my running journey.

Now my legs are complaining again. Sitting upright is NOT good for legs that just ran 13.1 miles in a race yesterday. LOL Off to ice and take a cold tubby again.


NYRR Grand Prix: Staten Island Half
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Date/Time: October 12, 2008, 9:45 am
Location: Staten Island, NYC
Weather: 70 deg., 65% hum, fair
Bib # 3128
Gender/age: F43
Distance (miles): 13.1
Finish Time: 1:57:36
Pace Time: 8:58
Overall Place: 1,699 (out of 3,624 people)
Gender Place: 388 (out of 1,424)
Age Place: 29th (out of 120 women ages 40-44)
AG Time: 1:49:48
AG Gender place: 270
Age-Graded%: 59.9%


newLIrunner9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BeachRunner said...

Great job. :) Woo hoo!

BTW, the above deleted comment was my mistake. LOL. Oops.

*aron* said...

AWESOME job!!! way to break 2 hours - thats a great time!

Marcy said...

OMG what an awesome race ;D ;D You did absolutely fantastic! You keep knocking off these PR's left and right. Before you know it you'll be looking for a sub 1:50 ;-)

Lily on the Road said...

WAY.TO.GO!!! Congratulations on your P.B....awesome job!


FLYERS26 said...

Great job & time!
My goal for the Philly distance run, was to be under 2hrs, and I did it, at 1:53:13.
Isn't the crowd at these events awesome! I felt like the last mile, my feet didn't even touch the ground!


Cindy said...

Hi! i came over from your husband's blog. great great GREAT job!!!

Marci said...

Congratulations on another PR. You are on a role! Well done!

N.D. said...

You did AWESOME! super fast!!! way to go!

teacherwoman said...

You rocked it! Way to go! :)

430orbust said...

Way to go. It was a fun race for sure! Congrats on the great time.

Girl on Top said...

Wow, wonderful! I love love love the recap!

And that is my goal time too! You are inspirational!

D10 said...

Great job. Way to PR and cut off over 3 minutes. You are really going to be ready for NY next fall. All your hard work has paid off.

robison52 said...

Congrats on your half-marathon personal record!! You just keep getting better and better! I think you could do a pace of 9:10 minutes for a sub-4:00 in the New York Marathon!

ncrunner12 said...

Your husband told me to check out your post...

Awesome job, I ran the Crystal Coast half in Moorehead City, NC earlier this year and broke 2 hrs, I really thought that was the best feeling ever... just seeing that "1" in the hour spot.

Great job!!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Congratulations! Well done!

The Happy Runner said...

Congratulations! That's a great time and pace!

tfh said...

Great race! That is a huge chunk off your PR for a HM...incredible!

Allen said...

What a great race and a great report! You kept a pretty consistent pace!

The Laminator said...

Nice job maintaining a fast and steady pace. It really was such a great course to run. Congrats on your big PR!

Brendon said...

Stumbled upon the blog by mistake. Keep trainning keep focused. Hope to see you at the start of the 2009 NYC marathon.
Brendon Moody

Laurel said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by!

Congratulations on your second half-marathon! Awesome race and report. And look at that time! Way to go.