Falmouth Race Recap

739372-1027-0003s

Sunday was such an amazing day and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a historic and celebrated event. (If you are unfamiliar with the history of the race, you can read about it here.) Unfortunately, it was not a good day of racing for me. It was a start too fast, crash on the hills, crash a little harder from the heat/humidity and suffer for about 50% of the race. Before I get into the racing specifics, I wanted to share an overview of the day. Race Morning Wakeup was scheduled for 5am but ended up being around 4:30am when my oldest son decided it was a good time to start the day. And the whole room was awake by 5! The good news is that I didn’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to be quiet. The bad news is that I left my husband with a dog and two tired kids while I went and raced. I had some coffee, got dressed and made my way down to the lobby by 5:45am to meet Chris (who was also racing) for our hour+ drive to the Cape. We were parked Continue Reading →

Anthony’s Run 5k Race Recap

IMG_1539

Yesterday was my first 5k. Technically, it wasn’t my first – I ran one with the double stroller last summer and one two weekends ago with my niece. But it was the first I would be racing against myself. I woke up at 630am on Sunday when my oldest woke up – had some coffee, stretched a bit (my legs felt tight from all the “beach” volleyball we had played the day prior at our Father’s Day party) and tried to keep my feet up until it was time to get ready. I was unsure about how to fuel for the race and decided to base it on how I felt race morning. I am never hungry first thing in the AM – and I never eat before my morning runs. But, we were starting at 10am and I would be up for over 3 hours – so I definitely needed some calories. At 9:15am, I had 1/2 banana and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and felt good. I didn’t want to eat too much and have stomach pains or other issues during the race, so I figured lighter options were probably best. read more

National Running Day + Adding Fun into Training

IMG_6662

Happy National Running Day! I’m sure you’ve been inundated with information about events and deals…so here’s just a quick recap if you haven’t heard yet: Westin Hotels: If you are in NYC today, come by Westin Grand Central at 10:30 for a chance to win some free gear, meet NY Yankees pitcher David Roberston and go on a 5k run! Timex: Use hashtag #IMARUNNER on Twitter and Instagram to celebrate the day. For every use of #IMARUNNER on National Running Day, Timex will donate $5, up to $20,000, towards the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Team Boomer program.  Individuals who contribute content via the hashtag #IMARUNNER will also be qualified to win Timex® IRONMAN® watches. Sparkly Soul Giveaway: Enter to win one of three 5-packs of headbands Rock ‘n’ Roll Races/Festival: Register today and save $20 on all US races (today only), learn about the new Running Festival at 5 locations across US Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun Runs: 21 locations across US and Canada are hosting fun runs I Run This Body gear: All shirts are on sale (today only!) NYRR events: Fun runs, giveaways and/or water stations will be set up at various locations across NYC. Women’s Running Magazine: Subscribe today for only $1 an issue! Continue Reading →

1st Birthday + 8 weeks to go

IMG_0098

My youngest son turned one last week. Hard to believe that it’s been that long already, right? I feel like it was just yesterday that he came into this world. It’s been a fun year (sometimes crazy at times!) with a 2nd child and I could not have asked for a sweeter, happier little guy. My boys and I celebrated on Thursday (his actual birthday) with presents and cake. And continued the celebration with a fun birthday party on Saturday with family and friends from the neighborhood. Can we take a moment and discuss this cake? It was beautiful and SO SO yummy (white cake with cannoli cream.) One of my good friends from high school made this beauty!! She has made cakes for my boys’ special events the past few years and they could not be prettier or more delicious. (She’s VERY reasonable and is based on Staten Island. Her website is here!) ——————– For the first time this training cycle, I felt like I had a wonderful week of running from start to finish. I nailed both my stress workouts (3×2 and long run) and felt so strong despite racing a half marathon last Sunday. The Philly Marathon is just Continue Reading →

NJ Marathon Info!

race pacing

Hey everyone!! I have SO much to share with you regarding my week in Atlanta with Mizuno. We are on our way home after a fun, exciting week but my mind is focused on one thing – the NJ Marathon on Sunday.  After months and months of planning, training, and imagining this race, it is finally here! First, the race details. Date: Sunday, May 5th Start time: 8am Route:  It’s a mix between out and back and a loop.  The race starts by Monmouth Race track, heads north for a bit, over to the coastline by mile 10, then south for 8 miles with the turnaround just after mile 18 and heads back north for the final 8 miles.   Elevation: Virtually pancake flat (after my last few races have been in Central Park, this makes me VERY happy!) The weather forecast looks almost too good to be true.  I’m still not celebrating because I know it can still change.  But right now, race day weather looks to be cool (~45-50 at race start), calm, and sunny.  One of my biggest worries leading up to this race has been the wind.  Before moving last summer, we had lived less than a mile Continue Reading →

Marathon Goal Pace Running

long run4

I’ve been doing my long runs on Fridays for most of this training cycle, but I rearranged the days last week because my husband and I had a black tie work function to attend Thursday evening. It was held at the Waldorf Astoria. First time I’ve actually ever been inside.  The ballroom was GORGEOUS: It was SO nice to get dressed up and spend a few hours together away from the kids.  My wonderful mom babysat our two boys for the evening! I knew that I would want to have a few drinks and would not be able to get up at 4am for a long run after getting home after 11pm.  And, more importantly, I knew my calves would be screaming after wearing these bad boys for 5 hours: I love heels but I feel like the older I get, the more they disagree with my feet. So, long run was Thursday morning. Had to be finished by 745 so that my husband could leave for work on time.  Up at 415am. On the treadmill by 515am.  It’s early but truth be told, I like doing it early so that I’m done for the day before 8. read more

Race Pacing

NYC Half 23

  In case you haven’t heard, Google Reader is going away…if you’d like to continue to subscribe to NYC Running Mama you can do so by email (link on the right hand side of the page) or you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin. —————————- Last weekend’s NYC Half Marathon was the best executed race I’ve ever run.  I know it’s a pretty bold statement to make.  But I’ve never had my pace be so consistent from start to finish, have never felt so strong crossing the finish line, and have never walked away from a race being 100% satisfied with it.  Although I pushed myself and there were definitely some points of being uncomfortable, I realized after the race that I never had those moments of exhaustion, of not wanting to take another step, and of yelling at myself in my head for not following my race plan – all things that I am very much accustomed to having/doing. For years, this is how a race would look:  I would initially start at the pace I was shooting for. But due to a good taper, my legs were fresh.  The average pace I had planned on running felt easy – Continue Reading →

NYC Half Race Recap

post race

I am still smiling from the 2013 NYC Half.  I don’t think I have EVER run such a steady, smart, even-paced race in my life. It was a frigid morning.  Temps were hovering around 30 at race start, but with the windchill, it felt like about 20 degrees.  I wasn’t concerned with anything except my hands.  My body warms up within 5 minutes of running but my hands never seem to warm up.  On long runs, I often opt for mittens but I wanted to have better use of my hands for water and fueling. Like I said yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to do the warm-up I wanted and was worried that the 1/4 mile I jogged from the interview location to the start corral would not be enough of a warm-up for me.  I was also concerned with how long I (we) would have to wait in the corrals not moving (about 30 minutes). This post is pretty long…I tried to cut it down but there was just too much going on in my head during those 13.32 miles. *The splits below are based on my Garmin.  I ran a bit longer than the 13.1 miles so Continue Reading →

Pre-NYC Half

race outfit

The NYC Half Race Recap will be up tomorrow but I’ll save the suspense…I PR’d by over 2 min!!! I didn’t get my sub-1:32 but I was darn close (1:32:23) and could NOT be happier with how the whole race went.  I don’t think the smile has left my face since I crossed the finish line. And want to know one of the best parts about the weekend?  I am not the only one who PR’d…SO many friends set massive PRs this weekend: Kristin ran the LA Marathon in 3:20 Ashley ran a 1:43 at the NYC Half -> PR by over 2 min Jess took 10 min off her half and ran the Rock N Roll Half in 1:33 Gia got her BQ at the LA Marathon after missing it by 10 sec in the fall – she ran a 3:32 Theodora ran a 5 min PR in 1:50 at the Rock N Roll DC Half Erica got her sub-2 half at the NYC Half Lindsey crushed her previous marathon PR with a 3:13 at the Shamrock Marathon Ashley ran a 2:05 to crush her PR that she’s had for 5 years at the NYC Half On the Run Interview I Continue Reading →

Am I Holding Myself Back?

16 miler

Erin O had a question from the previous post (Cold Weather Running).  Does anyone have an answer for her? =) —————————————————- I have a goal pace (GP) that I try to stick to for all of my long runs.  These  GPs change week to week based on how I felt the week prior as well as what McMillan’s calculator says I should be running. I aim for my first 2-3 miles to be a bit slower than that pace, the last 1-2 to be faster…and all the others to be in that range.   My first few long runs after my son was born was in the 8:20-8:30 range.  Since then, I’ve been trying to stay around 8:10-8:15.  I’m back up to distances that I haven’t hit since before I was pregnant (Jan 2012) so I’ve tried really hard to be cautious about not expecting too much and running a smart long run (for me that means not starting too fast).   I ran 16 miles this past Saturday.  My goal was to average somewhere between 8:10.  First four miles were right where I wanted them to be: read more

How to Become a Better Runner

taking-chances-quotes

It’s a known fact that you can often become a better runner by increasing your mileage and incorporating speed, tempo, and long runs into your training. But, perhaps the best way to become a better runner is simply by learning.  Learning from your own experiences in races and training as well as from friends and acquaintances who run.  And I always find that I learn MORE from the mistakes I have made.  Yes, it sucks to make mistakes (especially during races). Often they result in poor times, a painful end to the race, and the sadness of not performing well. After running for over 10 years, I still consider myself a student of the sport.  I’m constantly learning.  I learn from mistakes I’ve made, success I have had, published articles, and successful runners’ blogs. Yesterday’s run is a great example of learning from a past mistake. My plan was to run 10 miles at Marathon Pace (MP).  (Note: My goal is to start incorporating 6-10 miles at MP during my long runs.  I wanted to practice running at this pace for an extended period of time before I include it in my long runs.) read more

Pushing the pace on long runs?

When I was training for the NYC Marathon and my first ultra this summer/fall, I completed all my long runs at an easy pace.  NYC would be my first marathon after giving birth and since I hadn’t completed long runs consistently in over a year, my goal was to get the miles in without worrying about what my Garmin 610 was telling me.  I got very comfortable with doing my long runs at an 8:30 pace.  I was happy with that pace.  I didn’t feel the need to push myself any harder on my long runs – as long as I ran 20, 25, 30 miles, I was satisfied. I competed in the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge [FL5BC] as part of the NYC Marathon in November.  After separating from the other 4 runners at the halfway point (we had to run the first 13.1 miles together), I immediately tried to speed up to hit my target pace of 7:45.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get my pace any faster than 7:50-8:00.  And it wasn’t that my legs were tired – they actually felt surprisingly good.  I just couldn’t pick up the pace without getting out of breath. Continue Reading →

Goals for Knickerbocker 60k

Tomorrow is my first ultra.  I am competing in the Knickerbocker 60k in Central Park.  The course includes a short out and back (totaling 1.5 miles) and then 9x 4-mile loops of the park’s inner loop (thankfully, it does NOT include the arduous upper or lower portions of the park). Here is a link of the course. I had a long debate with myself about whether or not this course was the best for my first ultra.  There are definitely some disadvantages. First, Central park is notoriously hilly.  And although the upper section is eliminated, there are still sections that can kill your legs after repeated visits. Second, 9x loops will be a HUGE mental obstacle, especially since we will be passing the start/finish line each time. I’m fully anticipating to experience the temptation of wanting to stop each time I pass it, especially in the later miles. Third, it’s only 2 weeks after the NYC Marathon, so I was worried I would not be fully rested for the long distance. read more

NYC Marathon – Experience of a Lifetime (Part 3) The Race within a Race

Before I go into a detailed race report for the NYC Marathon last Sunday, there are are a couple of things to say: 1. I am a very competitive person when it comes to running.  But NOT with other people.  I never show up to a race and look around and say, “I want to beat her and her and him” or “I want to finish in the top 10.”  I look at myself in the mirror before a race and say “I am going to beat YOU”. I am competitive with myself.  I think it’s fair to say that any serious runner has to be – you train for a race, sometimes for weeks or months, with one primary goal in your head…you want to PR (*for those not familiar with the jargon: a PR is a personal record).  You want to beat yourself.  You want to beat the effects of age, pregnancy, childbirth, sickness, stress, or whatever challenge you have faced or are overcoming.  You are stepping up to the start line telling yourself, “I am going to run faster than I ever have before.” 2. I had waivered months ago about whether or not I should even Continue Reading →

NYC Marathon – the Experience of a Lifetime (part 2)

Once we started running on the Verrazano Bridge, the nervousness and doubt I had been struggling with the last few days quickly gave way to excitement for what we were getting ready to experience.   Running across the bridge with just 4 other people was one of the most surreal moments in my life.  As a native Staten Islander, I’ve driven across the Verrazano Bridge hundreds of times before, run up to and under her countless times on my morning runs, and even had the joy of running across her once before in the 2007 NYC Marathon.  But those occurrences could never have prepared me emotionally for what I felt on Sunday.  It was eerily quiet and peaceful.  There wasn’t the expected sound of thousands of  feet hitting the pavement.  There wasn’t heavy breathing from the first mile incline.  There wasn’t the usual jockeying to pass other runners in the early miles. IT WAS JUST US.  At one point, I turned around to look behind me – I had a clear view all the way back to the start line – it was truly amazing.  When we exited the bridge in Brooklyn, I was happily greeted by my King family Continue Reading →

Pacing lessons

As I’ve stated in earlier posts, I’ve always had a problem with not pacing myself correctly on long runs or races.  I start too fast and then pay for it heavily at the end.  I had always believed that I could start fast and gain some “extra time” so that when I slow down towards the end, I’ll finish at the pace I want.  I am thankful to say that I have finally realized my theory is completely wrong.  After the SI Half a couple of weeks ago, it clicked that I REALLY need to slow down and pace myself (discussed in Rookie Mistake).  =&0=& to complete (not including 5x that I had to stop – once to fix my socks which had slipped beneath the back of my heel (I need to find socks that do not do this!), twice to pull out power gels that were in my camelbak, once to call Paul to tell him I needed more water, and once to drink the water/powerade that Paul had for me – the total time of “stopped time” was about 7 min) – Overall pace was 8:34 – I ran negative splits - the first 15 miwere covered in 129:13 (8:36 Continue Reading →

Rookie Mistake!

The SI Half Marathon couldn’t have been on a more beautiful day…temps in the low 60s, sunny skies, and a light wind.  Combine that with the 2 days off I decided to take before the race as well as this being my first race in about 18 months.What do you get?Me starting entirely WAY too fast.Being patient in a race has never been my strong point.  I usually get frustrated with the huge crowds at the startline and consequently spend the first mile or so weaving in and out of the smallest gaps  between other runners I could find.  My fear during a race is that I start too slow the first few miles and then have to play catch up the rest of the race to get my pace down to what I want it to be.  So the result is that I usually overcompensate and go out faster than I should.Yesterday was no exception.  I ran the first 3 miles in 7:07, 6:57, and 7:08, and the average for the first 6 miles was 7:13 – about 15-20 seconds faster per mile than my goal.  Also take into account that while the course is fairly flat, there are a few Continue Reading →