Monday, October 12, 2009


Yesterday, I ran the Staten Island Half Marathon. I traveled the day before to my brother’s apt (like I did last year), as not to have to wake at the crack of dawn to drive the morning of the race. Haha, but still woke at 5:15 the morning of the race. But it was so nice not having to worry about driving, parking and so on. I ate a salt bagel with peanut butter and honey around 5:45am, with my standard coconut water to wash it down. Was planning to bring another salt bagel for the ride to the start, but forgot it. Oh well. We caught the 7:05 train up to the start, and then walked the half mile or so to the start. And it was cold. The sun was coming up, but the walk was in the shade. I didn’t bring pants, as I wanted to acclimate to the cooler temperatures for the race, but in hindsight that was a mistake. I was freezing, and didn’t really warm up until about mile 4-5. Oh well, live and learn. And my zenzah running arm/calf sleeves should be arriving this week. So can't wait!! Thankfully when we got there the porto-potties were basically empty. Did my thing and then joined up with my friends. My friend John, is a member of the Richmond Rockets running club. After listening to him talk about how great they are, I finally had the chance to meet them (though I had met Amy, Nancy and John C., at the Bronx Half Marathon back in February). They were all awesome. We stashed our bags in the ‘van’, and headed to the start.

My goal for today was to beat 1:51:00. I ran this race last year in 1:57:36, and with my training this year I felt the 1:51:00 goal was doable. My friend Josh, felt I could do better than that, and gave me a plan that would have me crossing the finish at 1:47:11. I felt confident from training that I could do this, but I was concerned about a hill on the course at M8, so I ran the course a bit conservative, to make sure all went well at M8. I was able to really run that mile, and then kick it in for the second half, and really sprint to the finish. Knowing I had so much left at the end, makes me believe I could have run the race more solid/faster, but I am thrilled with my finish time. I crossed the finish at 1:49:05, I whole 8 minutes and 35 seconds faster than last year.

I took a gel 10min before the start and again at mile 7. I rotated water and gatorade from mile 4 on, but then no fluids after mile 11.

Here are my splits from last year, what Josh thought I could do, and what I did this year:

2008: Josh’s plan: 2009 results:

1:57:36 1:47:11 1:49:05

M1 - 8:56 M1 - 8:50 M1 - 8:42
M2 - 8:38 M2 - 8:50 M2 - 8:37
M3 - 8:29 M3 - 8:50 M3 - 8:31
M4 - 8:45 M4 - 8:10 M4 - 8:25
M5 - 9:01 M5 - 8:10 M5 - 8:20
M6 - 8:49 M6 - 8:10 M6 - 8:07
M7 - 8:50 M7 - 8:10 M7 - 8:16
M8 - 9:53 M8 - 8:10 M8 - 8:28
M9 - 8:59 M9 - 8:10 M9 - 7:59
M10 - 9:00 M10 - 8:10 M10 - 8:04
M11 - 9:11 M11 - 7:45 M11 - 7:59
M12 - 9:26 M12 - 7:45 M12 - 8:01
M13 - 8:43 M13 - 7:45 M13 - 7:47
.1 - :50(7:38pace) .1 - 7:45 .1-1:45 (6:49 pace).

When I ran the race last year, I went out too fast, so when I hit the hill at M8, I was completely spent and died. I was able to bounce back and maintain 9’s or so to the end, but when I crossed the finish (because a runner next to me told me I’ve come too far to quit now), I had nothing left, and was completely exhausted. I truly believe if this runner didn't help me, I would not have finished.

Ironically, I took the first 3 miles about the same this year as I did last year, I did run the next 4 miles a tad conservatively, compared to what Josh predicted, but that was because I was still concerned about the hill at M8 (I know Josh, I trained hard, and should have known/believed in the system, my bad), but I attacked the hill this year strongly, and was able to get the legs going to be more close to your predictions to the end (or I should say my mind, because my legs felt strong throughout). Guess I was concerned I’d crash and burn (when will that feeling ever not be there? I do believe and trust in the system, or at least I think I do. Because based on todays results, that belief didn't show up til after the hill at M8). But, I had so much left at the end, which makes me feel like I could have pushed harder during, and probably met your predicted paces. I do trust you, but I guess my lack of experience kicked in and took things a tad too conservatively. I’m still super pumped as I crushed my times from last year, and felt soooo strong at the end. I felt like I could have kept running. You have been a huge help and an awesome coach. I could never have prepared myself for NYC without your help/experience & guidance. THANK YOU 100 times over!!

Also, a HUGE shoutout to my hubby, aka BeachRunner411, for allowing me to take this journey and always being SO supportive of my long hours of training, which as time went on got longer and longer. I love you beachy!!!

Wow, NYC is in 2 weeks, 6 days. I started this blog/journey back on January 1st, 2008 (tho running started on Jan 2nd), it has now been 21+ months later, 295 runs, and over 1600 miles later. It has been an amazing journey, and though I’m extremely excited for Marathon day, it will be sad to see this journey end (and hopefully my next journey to Boston, as I aim to qualify for Boston on Nov 1st @ NYC). I am very prepared for this day. I have trained hard and to date have seen amazing results. Stay tuned for the final chapter, Nov 1st : the NYC Marathon!! The day, I will be starting my next blog: my journey to the Boston Marathon.

Sorry folks, tried to put the table above together, but it squished when i posted. Don't know how to fix it, hope it's not too confusing. Just wanted to compare last year to this year, and my final results this year to what Josh thought I could achieve. Next year I will achieve that time and better it, cause I won't be afraid of that hill at mile 8. Still not sure why I was this year, but have to leave some room for improvement for next year!!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted to my blog (sorry!!!). The good news is training is going well, and I am right on schedule for finishing NYC with a pretty good competitive time. The downside is I missed a few workouts a couple of weeks ago, but all is fine, I’m HEALTHY and that is all that matters!!!! Back on 9/10, at my yearly mammogram, they discovered another lump on my right breast. I went back on 9/16, for a needle biopsy which eventually revealed the lump was benign, thankfully!! My mom is a 1x survivor, so for years I have been getting checked yearly, and now every six months, so, though it was alarming, I took comfort in the fact that if it was something, they caught it early, and it would be dealt with. Though, at times, to convince my brain of this was hard. Hence, not having the strength sometimes to get out the door and complete a run. (It’s amazing the mind games your head plays at times) I never missed a long run, but getting out the door during that week, wasn’t always easy. So, I could have done without this drama before my favorite race of all time, the Cow Harbor 10K. Up until all of this happened, I hadn’t missed a run, and was feeling really strong. With the missed runs, not having my head in the game, and the needle biopsy, though I had built a huge base/strength in my training, I felt I wasn’t quite prepared for the 10K when the date approached.

The good news is I did run the Cow Harbor 10K race on September 26th, and raced to a new PR. Last years PR for this course was 52:41 (prior was 1:01:30), and with my marathon training, I believed I could break 50:00 this year. I crossed the finish line at 47:44 (7:41 overall pace), crushing last years time, shaving off 4minutes and 57seconds. To say the least I was thrilled with my time!! Woo Hoo!! And the best part is my head is definitely back in the game!!!!!

What else has been happening? I’ve run one 16 miler, one 17 miler, two 18 milers, a 19 miler and this past weekend I ran 21.4 miles over the George Washington Bridge, and up the hilly Palisades and back. This run was fantastic. Though I was a little disappointed, as it was supposed to be a 23 mile run, and I wanted that distance under my belt. But the group I was running with decided, due to the weather (it never did rain, but the skies were threatening rain storms), and in order to add the extra 2 miles to the Palisades course, I was told you have to run on the busy 9W highway that doesn’t have a guardrail separating the cars from the runners. I conceded to the group’s decision and plugged away at the 21.4 course at hand. I took the 1st half (10.7miles) very conservatively, and ran it in 1:44:32 (overall pace of 9:46), and then really pushed the 2nd half and finished in 1:32:33 (overall pace of 8:38). The best part is I ran the last 3 miles at a consistent 8:30 pace and felt when I finished that I could have kept going for more miles. I still would have liked to have run 23, but I learned that I could have done it if it was the mission of the day.

I took a gel 5 minutes before the run, and then again at M7, M12, M17 and M20. I drank Gatorade Endurance every other mile after mile 4. I also took 2 Endurolyte capsules before my run, and then every hour during my run. I still have not trained with water. Not sure why, maybe cause I don’t have the room to carry it, but during this run, I was thinking I should have run the first half with water, and then the 2nd half rotating water and Gatorade Endurance. Which is the plan I have for the NYC marathon, as the fluids will be on the course, and I don’t have to carry it. Not sure why I felt I should have run with water, except when the run was over, all I wanted was water. Could I have had too much salt/endurolytes in me?? Wondering if anyone out there has thoughts to share on this????

But, I am very pleased with my solid run. No pain, no cramps, stuck to the schedule and finished. I was told that if you run this hilly Palisades course in a decent time, that the NYC marathon will seem easy. Well, time will tell about that, but the Palisades run was a huge success in my book.

Oh and my legs yesterday and today are fine!! Hubby/BR411, gave me a deep massage on the legs the nite of the run and again on Sunday morning. No stiffness, and stairs were my friend. That was a huge boost in motivation for me. I'm still amazed my legs didn't hurt. Lets see how they feel after todays run. LOL

Next up for me is the Staten Island half this Sunday, October 11th. I ran it last year in 1:57:30 (which at the time was a PR). My goal for Sunday is to break 1:51:00. I believe I can do this, as I have accomplished this in my training runs. This will be my last race before the NYC marathon.

Again, sorry I haven’t blogged for so long. Back when I last blogged I was getting achy knee ITB pains in my knees (NOT when I ran, but when I was driving or sitting at my computer blogging). I found that when I stopped blogging, and sitting upright at my computer, that the discomfort in my knees went away, so blogging stopped, but I wanted to update everyone where I am at, and that all is still going strong for NYC Marathon. I can’t promise to blog consistently again, but I will do my best to keep my blog current.

Plan for today is a 9mile run: 2 mile w/u, followed by 5 miles @ a 7:50 pace, then a 2 mile c/d.