Race Recap: 2016 Willow 4 miler + Winning my First Race!

IMG_3915
IMG_3865

Years and years ago when I lived in Texas, I won a couple of trail races. My husband and I did a 10 mile in Waco and half marathon trail race around Dallas and I was the overall female winner of both. But since moving back east, I haven’t really won any races – even some of the small, local ones, despite my being fitter and faster than I was back then.

I’ve also never flat out won a race before (overall male and female). Until this past 4th of July.

But let me be completely honest here. It was a small race. Super duper small. Like <50 runners, small. I knew I had a good chance of being the overall female winner but winning the race, outright, was a nice surprise.

We learned about this race from my sister-in-law. She mentioned the kids 1k race and I then saw that there was also a 4 mile race.

Initially, I planned on doing a long run on Friday or Saturday and then racing/running as hard as I could on tired legs on Monday. But, running in the days leading up to the race was a bust – Friday was a very late afternoon run so I didn’t start Saturday’s run until later in the day. I felt like garbage from the moment I woke up and then long run only lasted 1.5 miles (I called my husband to come get me b/c I didn’t even feel like I wanted to run back to the house). I decided to make Sunday a forced rest day. I felt a bit under the weather and didn’t see the need or have the desire to push myself. A. I’m on vacation. B. I’m not training for anything at the moment. So sleep, family time and wine won out over a long run.

read more

    First Speedwork in 7 Weeks + Some Exciting News!

    Strava event
    FullSizeRender

    Happy Friday!! I am pumped to be working from home today. We had a big release yesterday evening and unfortunately, I had to do some testing from 11pm-2am. But I was able to sleep in a bit and not worry about commuting into the city!

    I have a few exciting updates to share:

    First, I am taking over Women’s Running Instagram account on Monday. Memorial Day means a lot to my husband and I – we’ve lost a lot of friends due to the war on terror and so Monday is always a tough day for us. I’m racing a 4 miler with “racing” being a loose term since I’m just getting my legs back after weeks of little to no running and zero speed. BUT, I’m going to give it my best shot – and at the very least, it will give me a starting point for the rest of the summer.

    Anyway, make sure you follow Women’s Running (and me while you are at it!) on Instagram so you can follow along on Memorial Day.

    PS. I mentioned this last year, but wanted to share again: If you are planning on running this weekend, consider participating in the Wear Blue: Run to Remember.

    read more

      Learning to Trust the Process

      IMG_6477
      IMG_0555

      If you receive Women’s Running (and you should!), check out page 8 of the magazine! I’m beyond excited to share the ads that I got to be a part of in February! There will be another ad or two in the coming months and the two 3-minute videos from the photo shoot should be released soon!

      ——-

      #Trusttheprocess has been one of my favorite hashtags to use on Instagram and twitter the last few months.

      I honestly don’t remember where I first heard or saw this phrase, but it struck a chord and has become one of the mantras I repeat to myself when things are tough or I’m questioning why I’m going to do a workout.

      Trusting the process.

      But what is the process?

      The process is the training. The recovery. The racing. The (seemingly) little things. The doing.

      It’s a process to get where you want to go. It won’t happen overnight so sometimes the best thing you can do is just chip away a little bit at a time. Sub-3:10 has been a big goal of mine for years. I stopped trying to do it all at once (because it wasn’t working) and started focusing on just training hard and letting paces, times and everything else fall into place when they are ready. I’ve chipped away the last two marathons and am hopeful that I’ve set myself up to achieve this goal in two weeks.

      read more

        2016 NYC Half Marathon Race Recap: 1:28:10

        443745_223258558_Medium
        443745_223714623_Medium

        Sunday’s race was truly one of the best racing experiences of my life. Of course a part of that is obviously because I PR’d (and set unofficial PRs in the 10k, 15k and 10 miles enroute). But a large part of it is because I followed the race plan and was able to negative split – for the first time ever! I was patient in the beginning of the race and then still had energy to fight hard the last few miles.

        THESE are the races you dream of having. Not the ones where it feels like a death march the last few miles. But instead, where you are tired but still have that little bit of fight left. That last gear that you’ve been saving to shift to when it’s the right moment.

        For me, that is the definition of a successful race. Paces won’t always be there. You can’t control weather. But having the strength (mentally) to keep fighting and pushing when you are getting tired is the way I dream about racing.

        Race Morning
        Sunday started off at 4am for my husband and I. He and the boys were dropping me off at the start and then after breakfast would be at the finish! The NYC Half is a point to point race – starting in Central Park and then after a loop, heading south through Times Square then over to the West Side Highway all the way to downtown NYC.

        read more

          Mentally Training for Boston

          photo (40)
          philly marathon

          (Some of the below was part of a post I wrote for Women’s Running)

          If you have been following me on social media or reading here for a bit, you probably know that I am not the strongest racer. It’s been a frustrating couple of years for me. I have these strong, successful training cycles (and yes, they ARE successful cycles even if I didn’t reach my goal on race day). I work my butt off during the cycle, but there was always something missing as each race began— and as a result, I came up well short of my goal.

          The mental strength was missing. I had spent months strengthening my body— nailing workouts, completing long runs. But I paid zero attention to the mental side of running. As a result, I was not prepared to quiet the negative thoughts when they started creeping in during the later miles of the marathons. My mind would quit long before my body was ready to. Once the mind gives up, the body doesn’t stand a chance.

          Learn to use your mind or your mind will use you. Actions follow our thoughts and images. Don’t look where you don’t want to go. – Gary Mack

          read more

            4th of July Racing + Sparkly Soul Giveaway WINNER!

            fourth of july

            Hi friends!

            There is a 5 mile race tomorrow morning and I’m on the fence if I should sign up!  It’s a local race in Staten Island and one that I’ve said for YEARS that I wanted to do.  My long bike ride is Friday, so Thursday is a semi-free day (supposed to do a short brick)…but my in-laws are in town and it’s a holiday…and I always feel a bit guilty about being gone for a few hours.  And although my legs feel really good after the half ironman this weekend, I know they aren’t as fresh as I would want them to be.  Decisions, decisions. What are your thoughts? Would you do the race?

            Are you racing tomorrow?!  

            ———————————————

            The winner for the Sparkly Soul Giveaway is: DEANA!  Please email me at nycrunningmama@gmail.com so we can get you your headbands ASAP.

            (Note: If winner does not contact me within one week, a follow-up winner will be selected)

            Hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!  

            read more

              Race Report: Rev3 Quassy Olympic (My 1st Triathlon)

              run6

              Saturday morning was the Rev3 Quassy Olympic Triathlon – the first of 2 tris put on by Rev3 this weekend in Middlebury, CT (the 70.3 was held Sunday AM).  As most of you know, this was my first triathlon – and I’m happy that I can finally call myself a triathlete =)

              Below is the (lengthy) race recap from the race.  Instead of hearing me go on about one sport, you now get to hear me go over three (plus transitions) – Lucky you! HA. I am going to do another post this week on things I learned / tips to help any other first time triathletes out there!

              This certainly wasn’t a speedy race for me nor was it executed exactly how I wanted…but the most important thing is that I got some experience under my belt – transitioning, swimming in open water, and practicing a ride and run on a very hilly course. (Quassy is touted as one of the toughest triathlon courses in the country.)  Based on how things played out, there are about 10 things I would have done differently on race day that likely would have helped take at least 10 minutes off my time.

              read more

                PR Spotlight: Pamela

                pamela

                I’m excited to begin the new series on NYC Running Mama – the PR spotlight.  The PR spotlight will feature runners who have recently PR’d.  It could be on the treadmill, track, or on the roads.  The purpose of the feature will be to discuss what was done differently – whether it was pacing, fueling, hydration, training, mental preparation, etc.

                One of the things I love most about running is that I’m constantly learning – I learn just as much from the 4:30 marathoner as I do from the 2:45 marathoner. Hopefully this feature become a tool in which we all learn from each other.

                ———————————————-

                Meet Pamela:  Not only is she my best friend (we’ve known each other since we were 13!), but she is the social media expert behind Sparkly Soul headbands.  Although she has run a good number of marathons, Pamela was stuck at the 5-hour mark for most of them.  This past spring, she revamped her training and began seeing immediate results.  The first time I really became aware of how much faster she had become was at the NYC Half Marathon in March.  I was used to Pamela being a 10+ min per mile runner so when I saw her run me at (I was cheering at mile 7) only an hour into her run, I was astounded!!  She continued her improvement through the summer and fall…and just PR’d the marathon by 53 minutes at the Philadelphia Marathon!!!  Here is how she managed to go from a 4:43 marathoner…to a 3:50!!! 

                read more

                  The Long Road Ahead

                  Approaching finish line of Boston Marathon

                  This past weekend was my first post-baby race.  As I already stated, it wasn’t an all-out race for me – but truth be told, I did push myself.  My lungs were burning and legs were hurting at various points during the 6.2 miles.

                  My pace for those short miles was slower than the pace I’ve run marathons in.

                  I’m certainly not complaining about where I am at physically right now.  At 5 weeks postpartum  I know that I am blessed to have had a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy (with the exception of gestational diabetes and posterior pelvic pain) and an easy labor and delivery.  Both of those allowed me to return to running very soon after my son was born and I know a lot of females are not as lucky.

                  But it’s been extremely humbling so far.  My body seems to have forgotten what certain paces feel like.  I’m a big fan of not running with a Garmin all the time and have gotten pretty good with judging my pace based on perceived effort.  But right now, I have no clue what pace my body is moving at. I think (and feel like) I’m running a certain pace and then I look down at my Garmin (or treadmill screen) and see a totally different number – typically about a minute slower than I think I’m running.

                  read more