NYC Half Marathon 2015 Recap

Before I get into the race recap, I want to talk a little bit about my training cycle leading up to the half-marathon. I officially kicked off my training in January and it was off to a good start. I had a good base and I was starting to do workouts that were going well. And then out of nowhere I started having pain in the inside of my right foot. I honestly don’t remember doing anything to it, but the pain was there. I thought it might be tendonitis, but I wasn’t sure. I continued to run on it for a week and since it wasn’t getting better I decided to go see my PT Krista at Evolution Physical Therapy. She confirmed that it was tendonitis, posterior tibial tendonitis to be exact. I took a week off from running and began going to PT twice a week.

I got new running shoes because my other shoes were really old and I thought that might have been part of the problem  :-/

I got new running shoes because my other shoes were really old and I thought that might have been part of the problem. Love the New Balance 890s.

I started running again, continued doing PT twice a week, and did my PT exercises every day at home. I was feeling better, but the tendonitis wasn’t gone. My workouts were getting stronger, but I wasn’t in the shape I needed to be in to run my goal time. So as the half got closer I made the decision that I wasn’t going to try for a PR, but instead I would focus on running a strong race. I set a goal to run 1:35 or faster, a goal that was very reasonable based on my workouts.

Before I knew it, race weekend was here. I went to the expo on Thursday and got my bib and some other goodies-a few new Sparkly Soul Headbands and Nuun. Even though I had my bib it still didn’t feel like I would be racing in a few days.

Loving my new Sparkly Soul headbands :)

Loving my new Sparkly Soul headbands 🙂

Saturday night I went to dinner at Parpadella on the Upper West Side with a few of my teammates to carboload.

gluten free fusilli with spinach and mushrooms. Nom nom.

gluten-free fusilli with spinach and mushrooms. Nom nom.

Race Day:

I woke up at 5:15 to make sure I had plenty of time to eat (2 slices of gluten-free toast with cashew butter), get ready, and walk Chloee before jogging over to baggage to meet some friends. I met my friends at 6:30 to run some warm up miles then we headed into the corral to wait for the race to start. The gun went off and it was time to go! I started off with my friend Sari, but fell behind her before we even hit the first mile. I wasn’t worried about it though because I knew she was trying to run faster than I was. I settled into a rhythm and ran the first few miles between 7:15-7:20 pace, which was exactly how I planned to start. My foot was bothering me a little, but I tried to ignore it and focus on my breathing. Once I exited the park my plan was to pick up, but that didn’t really happen. I’m not really sure why I couldn’t go faster, but I think it was a combination of my foot hurting and not being in it mentally since I went in with the attitude that I  “wasn’t racing.” It’s crazy how much your mind can make a difference in your performance.

NYC half 2015

Running through Times Square. At least I look happy in this picture. Photo credit: Haley Rubin.

As I ran along the West Side Highway I focused on my breathing and hoped that would help me go faster. My pace had slowed into the 7:30s and I knew if I didn’t pick it up I wouldn’t run under 1:35. I was tired and just not feeling it, but I continued to put one foot in front of the other and even started to pick up my pace. As I neared mile 13, I realized that running a 1:35 wasn’t going to happen, but I still thought I would run somewhere close to that time. WRONG! I finished in a time of 1:38:07. I was disappointed & upset, but in the words of Taylor Swift I tried to shake it off!

I was glad to find my teammates then we went to shower (thank you NYHRC) and headed to our team party at Becketts. It was great hanging out with friends and celebrating their successes. They had some stellar performances!

Very lucky to have such great friends & teammates.

Very lucky to have such great friends & teammates.

And even though I wasn’t happy about my race I’ve put it behind me. That’s the thing about running, there will always be another race. And for me that next race will be the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May.
Did you run the NYC half marathon? If so, how did it go? What else are you training for? Leave it in the comments below.

 

Goals for 2015

Hi everyone! Remember me?! I know, it’s been a while. I can’t believe it is March already, though I am hoping that means spring is around the corner because I am SO over this winter!!!

In case you forgot what I look like since it's been so long ;)

In case you forgot what I look like since it’s been so long 😉

Anyway… When I started writing this blog post it was the beginning of January, just after the new year and I honestly don’t know what took me so long to finish writing this post. I wish I had some valid excuse, but the reality is life just got in the way. That being said it is a new year, which means another opportunity to reflect on last year’s goals and set new ones.

Looking back on my running in 2014 I have a lot to be proud of.

Post-Chicago Marathon

Post-Chicago Marathon

Though looking at my goals it might not seem that way since technically I didn’t accomplish many any of them (OOPS). I did however stay injury free (until now, but that’s another story for a different blog post), have a 4 minute marathon pr (I came so damn close to my marathon goal-45 seconds off. Argh!), ran closer to my half marathon PR than I had in 2 years, had some amazing workouts and pushed myself harder than before. So while I didn’t actually hit my goals I made progress and that in itself is something to be celebrated. It’s not just about the goals themselves, but what you accomplish on the way to reaching them.

 For 2015 I have similar running goals:

-break 3:20 in a marathon

-PR in a half marathon

-break 20 minutes in a 5k

-be consistent about logging my runs

-strength train twice a week

Some non-running goals for 2015:

-sleep more

-blog more frequently

-face fears head on

-stop making excuses

-continue to grow my health coaching practice

-be more spontaneous

I am hoping to build on the momentum from 2014 to get after my goals in 2015. I’m expecting big things. Stay tuned!

What are your goals for 2015?

Chicago Marathon Recap

This post is a little a lot overdue and it is VERY long (sorry, not sorry?!). To be honest, I’m not sure why it took me so long to finally sit down and write this. It was a great experience, one I am very excited to share. I think part of my delay has to do with not knowing how I could possibly capture the amazingness I experienced that weekend in words, but here goes…

On Friday, October 10th I flew to Chicago with my mom.

Airplane selfie with mom

Airplane selfie with mom

When we got to Chicago we checked into the Hilton Hotel where we were staying then took a shuttle to the expo so I could pick up my race bib. We met up with my friend/teammate Shawnessy and we also saw Pamela at the Sparkly Soul booth and Jess.

Posing in front of the course map with Shawnessy.

Posing in front of the course map with Shawnessy.

Always great to see Pamela from Sparkly Soul and Jess!

Always great to see Pamela from Sparkly Soul and Jess!

I ended up buying a North Face zip up Chicago Marathon sweatshirt to wear after the race. After the expo my mom and I went to dinner at Sunda, a delicious Asian fusion restaurant recommended by my friend Diana. It did not disappoint!

Saturday morning I met Shawnessy for an easy 3 mile run. We ran to the bean and took some touristy shots.

IMG_6309

smile

After the run I went back to the hotel, stretched then my mom & I met Jess to go to brunch. We went to a vegan restaurant called Karyn’s Cooked and Shawnessy met us there. I had the Rainbow Mexicana- tofu scramble, onion, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper and jalapeño. Served with warm corn tortillas and sides of chipotle sauce and soy cheese. Mmm, mmm, good! When we finished brunch, Jess and I stopped at Trader Joes to get a few essentials then went back to the hotel to rest.

A few hours later I met Jess to get a pre-race manicure. After my mom and I went to dinner with some of my friends/Central Park Track Club teammates at Rosebud Theater District. It took a LONG time to get our food and we were starving, but it was good. I kept it simple with a gluten free spaghetti with tomato sauce and spinach. When I got home from dinner I laid out my race outfit and prepared my bag for the morning. The weather was looking good-it was supposed to be in the 50s and the winds would mostly be behind us.

Race day outfit!

Race day outfit!

I got into bed relatively early and was surprisingly able to sleep for a few hours. When my alarm went off at 5:00am I pressed snooze to rest for a few more minutes then got out of bed, ate breakfast, and got ready to go. I didn’t feel like I was about to run a marathon, but it was happening in a few hours. I met Jess in the lobby of the hotel and we walked over to the start together. Luckily our hotel was close to the start so we got there relatively quickly, but had to wait in a little bit of a line to get into the start village.

We made it to the start village!

Jess and I at the start village. I stole this photo from marathonFoto. Oops!

Jess and I wished each other good luck then she headed to the corrals and I went to go meet Meredith, Kristen, and Shawnessy by the bag check. I waited for a few minutes then Meredith and Kristen arrived, but we couldn’t find Shawnessy unfortunately. We had to use the bathroom so we headed that way and hoped we would find her in the corral. The bathroom lines were out of control long so we found a hidden area where other people were squatting and joined the pee party then headed to the corral with less than 10 minutes to spare. Apparently I didn’t pee enough because the second we got to the corral I had to pee again, but I chalked it up to pre-race jitters and hoped it would go away. Spoiler alert: I had to pee the whole race and even tried to pee on myself at one point, but I couldn’t manage to do it.

I still didn’t really feel like I was about to run a marathon, but the gun went off and it was time to run! Meredith and I started out together. We both wanted to break 3:20 and our plan was to run a few seconds slower for the first 10 miles then try to pick up the pace. I tried to get into a rhythm, focus on my breathing and not get caught up in the fast pace that other people around me were going. I had heard the satellite would be messed up for the first few miles because of the buildings and it was so I tried to go by feel and not look at my watch. We saw my mom around mile 3 and I was so excited to see her! Meredith and I worked together and were able to stay just around the pace we wanted, 7:35-7:40. At around mile 8 I slowed down just a little because we were going a little faster than I wanted to, but I could still see Meredith in front of me. By mile 10 I had caught back up to her and we continued to work together as we ticked off the miles. We saw my mom again around mile 13 then shortly after we saw Meredith’s family. We also saw Ben (Kristen’s husband & our teammate) cheering. Chicago is a great course for spectators!

Here we are just around the half way point!  Photo credit: Mama Dukes :)

Here we are just around mile 13! Photo credit: Mama Dukes 🙂

The miles were flying by! Meredith and I were still running together as we approached the 18 mile marker and we were still on pace to run under 3:20. I was feeling strong mentally and physically and I was surprised with how, dare I say “easy” it felt, well all things considering. I really worked on the mental component this training cycle so it was nice to see all the pieces falling into place. I also read an article about “embracing the suck” so my mantra all race was embrace the suck. I was actually waiting for the pain to start instead of fearing away from it and of course it did. Meredith and I managed to run 23 miles together, which was amazing, but she started to pick up the pace and I couldn’t stay with her unfortunately. So I focused on picking up my feet, my breathing, and getting to my mom who would be cheering somewhere near the finish.

I saw Ben cheering again around mile 25 and that gave me a little boost, but I was pretty tired and my pace had slowed down a little bit. I heard Ben cheer for Shawnessy and shortly after she came up next to me. We ran for a minute or two together, but she was going faster than I could manage at that point so I tried to keep her in my sight as I continued to run towards the finish line. I heard my mom screaming my name a little before mile 26 and was so glad to see her because that meant I was almost finished. I made a right onto Roosevelt Road and ran up what felt like a monster hill as I passed the 26 mile marker, which is just mean at that point in a marathon. I managed to pick up the pace a little as I was still hoping to get under 3:20, but it would be close. I made a left onto Columbus Dr. and I could see the finish line getting closer and closer. Why is it that the .2 always feels forever long? At that point it was clear that I wasn’t going to make it under 3:20, but I would be damned if I didn’t get under 3:21 so I ran as fast as I possibly could and crossed the finish line in a time of 3:20:45. I was disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal, especially since I was on pace almost the entire race, but I had a 4 minute PR and I hadn’t PRed in a marathon since 2009 so I really couldn’t be too upset. I must give a special shoutout to my good friend Katie Casto-Hynes for making my Chicago training plan and being such a great support and believer in me throughout this training cycle. Thanks again Katie!

Post Chicago Marathon

Pure happiness

I found Shawnessy and Meredith and we made our way to the baggage check then went to the family reunion area to meet up with Kristen, Ben, and my mom.

Shawnessy, Kristen, and me

Shawnessy, Kristen, and me

IMG_6322

So beyond grateful for this woman. She is my #1 fan and I love her so much!

We went back to the hotel and I attempted to stretch-ouch! After I took a long shower then my mom and I grabbed a quick bite before meeting up with my teammates and some other friends at Public House to celebrate.

I was so glad to hang out with Kelly & Betsy! They both had PRs also :)

I was so happy to hang out with Kelly & Betsy! They both had PRs also 🙂

Loved catching up with Lori. She's a friend from NYC, but lives in Chicago now. Hadn't seen her in years, but it was like no time had passed at all.

Loved catching up with Lori. She’s a friend from NYC, but lives in Chicago now. Hadn’t seen her in years, but it was like no time had passed at all.

We hung out at the bar for a while then my mom and I went back to the hotel. We relaxed for a little while then went to dinner at a delicious Mediterranean restaurant called Kurah. The night ended with some vegan chocolate sorbet in bed.

IMG_6334

Perfect end to a fabulous day-vegan chocolate sorbet in bed! Nom nom

Sorry that was so extremely long. The Chicago Marathon is the closet I’ve ever come to running the “perfect” race if there is such a thing. I will break 3:20 in 2015 though so stay tuned…

Have you ever run a “perfect” race? What’s your best marathon experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I fell off the blogging band wagon…again. Blogger friends, please help! How do you stay on top of blogging in the midst of this crazy life we live?! Show me your ways!

So, what’s been going on with me you ask? Well, after the Boston Marathon I took some much needed down time. I took 2 full weeks off from running, but after a week of no running I began doing some cross training, such as soul cycle and Baptiste style hot power yoga at Lyons Den.

The Den celebrated having its doors open for 6 months! This is the fabulous Bethany and she inspires me so much.

Then I started slowly building back my running base. I wasn’t wearing my Garmin or doing any team workouts. I was running just for fun for the first time in a while and I loved it. I would still meet teammates to run, but I wasn’t worrying about weekly mileage or pace or anything. It was actually quite freeing.

I can't tell you what the exact distance I ran or what my pace was, but I can tell you that the weather was gorgeous and I enjoyed every second of it!

This was one of my first runs after the Boston Marathon. I can’t tell you the exact distance I ran or what my pace was, but I can tell you that the weather was gorgeous and I enjoyed every second of it!

However, time flies and suddenly June hit. My training for the Chicago Marathon, which takes place in October, began on June 22nd (16 weeks out). This will be my first time running Chicago and I’m super excited! I won’t go through the play-by-play of the last eight weeks since I’m so behind in writing, but I have been gradually increasing my weekly mileage, the distance of my long runs, and have been incorporating both team workouts (as much as possible). More on this to come!

In other news, I am absolutely loving being an aunt! Finley is almost 5 months old. I can’t believe how fast the months are going by and how big he’s getting!

I am so grateful for every opportunity I get to hang with Finn. He's so amazing and I love him to the moon and back!

I am so grateful for every opportunity I get to hang with Finn. He is so amazing and I love him to the moon and back!

Also, I recently started working as a staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. I was sad to leave the school where I worked for such a long time and the friends I made there, but this is an amazing opportunity and I am really enjoying it!

What are you training for? Let me know in the comments!

Boston Marathon Recap

I have been trying to write this post for over 2 weeks almost a month, but I have been having some trouble. It’s hard to put into words how amazing it was to be a part of the Boston Marathon this year and all of the emotions I felt, but I will do my best to share every part of my experience with you.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Grace and I left NYC late Saturday afternoon and arrived at Irving House, the bed & breakfast we were staying at, around 6:30pm. We settled into the room, said a quick hello to Alex who was also staying there then headed to dinner at Black Sheep in Kendall Square.

The day before…

Sunday morning Grace, Alex, and I went for a shakeout run. We did 3 miles with a few strides thrown in there. My legs were feeling fresh and my confidence was getting stronger. We went back to the room, got ready and took the T to the expo.

Spotted this awesome New Balance ad in the T station. #LoveBoylston

Spotted this awesome New Balance ad in the T station. #LoveBoylston

From the second we walked into the convention center until the time we left the expo we were completely overwhelmed. There were SO many people and it was SO crowded. I also found the expo to be set up weirdly (there were 2 rooms), making it difficult to find my way around. We raced to get to the NUUN booth to meet Kara Goucher, but we missed her by 11 minutes-bummer. However, we DID meet up with Megan for a few minutes-yay!

CPTC in Boston!

Thanks for taking the photo Brian!

After Megan left, Grace and I split up to do some browsing/shopping on our own. I stopped by the Vega booth and was happy to see Lisa there! If you haven’t tried Vega products yet you’re missing out and should definitely get on it! I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the selection of clothing at the expo. I wanted a sweatshirt, but they were sold out of my size so my friend Kristen ended up grabbing the last one in my size at City Sports (thanks again!). Besides the sweatshirt I bought a pint glass because you can never have too many pint glasses!

Expo fun w/ Grace!

Expo fun w/ Grace!

After the expo we took a walk down Boylston towards the finish line, making a quick stop along the way.

Such an awesome mural!

Such an awesome mural!

Obligatory jumping picture. I was pleasantly surprised with how well this picture came out :)

Obligatory jumping picture 🙂

We finally reached the famous finish line. It was hard to believe that in less than 24 hours we would be running across it and finished with the race. It gave me chills thinking about it.

The finish line!

The finish line!

Also, Jessie met up with us for a little bit! She lives in San Diego so I don’t get to see her that often and it was so great to see her!

All smiles

All smiles

After we went back to the hotel and hung out with Alex & Lindsay then ordered dinner.  We went back up to the room, laid out our clothes, packed our bags and attempted to relax. Before I knew it, it was time to attempt to get some sleep.

race outfit!

race outfit!

I tossed and turned a lot that night, but was able to get some sleep. As soon as the alarm went off I hoped out of bed and got ready. Grace and I took the T to Boston Commons, dropped off our baggage, and got on the bus to Hopkinton. It took about an hour or so to get there. We met up with our other friends & CPTC teammates who were already there. Before I knew it the first wave was called to the starting line and shortly after, I was headed to the starting line myself with Meredith, Marisa, Megan & Megan’s friend Ana. Feelings of excitement and nerves filled my body. I was pumped! I had endured months of tough winter training to prepare for this moment. I was ready to do this! I needed to make one last port-o-potty stop as we walked to the corral so I lost everyone except for Meredith. We heard them announcing that our wave would start in 2 minutes so Meredith and I ran to our corral.

The race started out great! I was thrilled to be running with Meredith and we were right on pace to break 3:20, which was my original goal. If you aren’t familiar with the course, the first 10 miles are downhill so if you’re not careful you can easily go out too fast and regret it later on, but we got into a groove and kept on pace. Around mile 7ish, my feet started to hurt a little, but I tried to ignore the burn, as it was WAY too early for my feet to be hurting already. By mile 10 it got worse, but I kept on pushing through and was still able to maintain my pace. Meredith and I were still running together as we approached the half way point. I went through the half in 1:39:51. If I could maintain this for the second half I would reach my goal, but I knew the second half was going to be tougher. My feet started to hurt more and more and I started to fall behind Meredith. I didn’t freak out though, I wasn’t too far off pace (yet) and I was grateful to have run together for as long as we did.

And then the hills started and they kept going and going and going. I started to feel worse and worse and my pace slowed down to over 8:00 minutes, but as much as I wanted to quit, I knew I couldn’t. I needed to finish this race for everyone who couldn’t in 2013, for everyone who couldn’t run this year, and for myself. So even though every step was extremely painful, I forced myself to keep picking up one foot at a time. When I finally made it over Heartbreak hill I was so relieved, but I still had 5 miles to go. I was able to pick up my pace a little, but not much. I dug deep and focused on the people who matter most to get me through those last miles. I was happy to see Emily & Sean and my CPTC teammates and once I saw the famous Citgo sign I knew I was almost there. After what seemed like an eternity, I made a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston.  The finish line felt so close, yet so far. I managed to bring my pace back down to under 8:00 minutes for the final stretch and I crossed the finish line in a time of 3:28:53. Even though I didn’t reach my goal or run a pr, I could not have been happier, prouder, or more honored to cross that finish line.

My feet were throbbing, my legs ached and all I wanted to do was sit down, but I had to get my baggage back in Boston Commons. After what felt like an eternity, I got my bag and met up with my friends.

I seriously was afraid I wouldn't be able to get up once I sat down...

I seriously was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get up once I sat down…

We went back to the inn, got cleaned up, then went to John Harvard’s to meet more of our teammates to celebrate.

CPTC

Post Boston 2012, post Boston 2014!

Post Boston 2012, post Boston 2014!

So happy I got to see Jessie multiple times in Boston!

So happy I got to see Jessie multiple times in Boston!

And what night would be complete without some ice-cream?!

They even had vegan ice cream for me!

They even had vegan ice cream for me!

I went back to NYC the next day with aching legs and a full heart. Sure, I didn’t have the race I trained for, but I finished the Boston Marathon for the 3rd time, ran a course pr, and completed my 10th marathon!

Sorry that was so long, but I wanted you to share the full experience with me! How do you keep running when your legs are aching and you feel like stopping?

What’s for Dinner?!

Not sure what to have for dinner? Well, let me help make your decision a little easier. This spring pasta recipe from purely elizabeth is light, full of vitamins & nutrients, tastes delicious, and is simple to make. So what are you waiting for?! It’s time to get cooking!

heaven on a plate

heaven on a plate

Recipe for Fettuccine with Artichoke, Asparagus + Peas

Ingredients:

1/2 lb gluten-free fettuccine
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup asparagus
1/2 cup artichokes
1/2 cup peas
juice of 1 lemon 
himalayan sea salt 
parmesan cheese ( I substituted this for vegan cheese) 

Directions: Cook pasta according to packaging. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add asparagus, artichokes, peas and kale. Cook for 5 minutes.  Add pasta, 2 tbsp olive oil and juice of 1 lemon. Serve with a sprinkle of himalayan sea salt and top with vegan cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer). 

And here’s the magazine page link to it: http://issuu.com/purelyelizabeth/docs/purely_spring_magazine_2e4d51e4be19ca/58

The Purely Spring Magazine has over 25 incredibly delicious, seasonal recipes in it to help shed that heavy winter feeling . If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you definitely should!

Catch up & Mustard…

It’s been a little while, a long while since I last posted. I give so much credit to the people who post once a week and for the people that post more than once a week I give you mad props! What are your secrets?! I am constantly “writing” posts in my mind, but when it comes time to actually sit down and type my thoughts, I am having trouble finding the time. I have decided to make it a goal to post at least once a week from now on. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this goal stick I am all ears!

Since I’m behind in writing about my training I’m just going to give some highs and lows instead of backtracking my training week by week.

Highs:

-I’ve had some really good workouts and long runs that left me feeling strong and confident!

-Ran the NYC half in 1:33:56. It wasn’t the time I was hoping for (wanted to run under 1:32:41 and pr), but I felt good during the race and when I finished I felt like I had more to give, which made me realize I could have pushed harder! This is also the fastest half marathon I’ve run in 2 years and I ran over 3 minutes faster than I did in the Philly half this fall. PROGRESS! The best part of the race was running with Megan from mile 9 to the finish! Always so much fun to run a race with a friend!

Of course I had to ruin this picture by closing my eyes, but look at how in sync Megan & I were :)

Of course I had to ruin this picture by closing my eyes, but look at how in sync Megan & I were 🙂

-We’ve had some great running weather! Yes, it’s been sporadic, but it’s been lovely running in shorts & a t-shirt on those days! And the water fountains have been turned back on in Central Park!

Lows:

-I had some workouts that didn’t go so well and of course I was devastated at first, but then I was reminded of how important the tough workouts are because they make you work that much harder and make you appreciate the good workouts.

-I have been having some weird ankle/calf pain on my right leg for the past few weeks. It has gotten much better and I’m hoping it will be 100% better by race day!

-The weather is still pretty chilly for the most part and it randomly snowed the other day. I’m so sick of the cold, come on spring temps!

In other exciting news, I became an aunt! My sister Ashley and brother-in-law Price had their baby 3 weeks ago. Finley Jules was born on March 25th, just over 2 1/2 weeks early and he’s absolutely perfect. I am so in love!

Me and Finn are already best buds!

Me and Finn are already best buds!

I absolutely love this picture that my sister sent me. Finn looks like he's floating on a cloud. He's seriously the cutest baby ever!

I absolutely love this picture that my sister sent me. Finn looks like he’s floating on a cloud. He’s seriously the cutest baby ever!

What’s new with you? Tell me in the comments 🙂