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NYCM Goals [spoiler: Don’t Die.]

5 Nov

I can’t believe I’m running a marathon tomorrow.

I can’t believe I’m running THE New York City Marathon tomorrow.

these are all over the city and i love them

The whole thing is completely mind-boggling. I remember watching the marathon with my family growing up. We’d get hot chocolate and set up along 4th Ave. near BAM and watch for hours. I never in a million years believed that one day I’d be one of the runners. In the last year I’ve run 3 half marathons, lost a boyfriend, graduated from law school, took the bar and gained some amazing friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who’s been there for me these past few months – you’ve listened to me when I freaked out, let me wear slippers to bars when my feet hurt too much after a long run and always reminded me that I CAN do this.

Ok, Sapfest 2011 over. Let’s get down to the fun stuff.

welcome to the ing nyc marathon!

Last night, my sister and I headed over to the expo. Because I’m super shady, I wasn’t picking up my bib but I really wanted to walk around and take in the sights and the feel and the experience! I may or may not have bought some “hell, yes, I ran a marathon” gear [including a possibly premature 26.2 bumper sticker].

After dinner, I picked up a pizza and some wine. My sister and brother in law came over and helped make some sassy signs. My whole family is going to be spread out along the course holding sassy signs. My sister made sure to make signs that were geared towards me and signs that were geared towards all of the runners. I’m so excited to see them along the course!

my doofy brother in law. he did not believe this picture would be on the internest. sucker.

And now, drumroll please, my goals for my very first every marathon!

  • Goal A: Enjoy myself! – This is my first marathon in my home town. I know every inch of this course [ask me about the time I got lost and just kept going over the Willis Ave. Bridge for an hour]. I don’t want my family to see me suffering or in pain or miserable. I don’t want to hate this experience and never want to do it again [especially because I’ve already registered for my second marathon … whoops!]. So I want to enjoy it! I’m going to take my time, soak it all in and just smile! (Thanks for the advice, Melissa!!)
  • Goal B: Finish in under 5 hours – This is a super distant second goal. I think my training has prepared me to finish in under 5 hours but if, for any reason at all, this doesn’t feel attainable, then I’m chucking it out the window. The course limit is something like 9 hours, and if it takes me 9 hours to finish, that’s what I’m going to do.

Good luck to everyone running tomorrow!

And a special good luck to #teamawesome running the Athleta Iron Girl tomorrow! Kick ass and take names, ladies!

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Let the Taper Begin …. Again!

20 Oct

I finished my final “long” long run of the training cycle last weekend. 20 miles miles in a little under 3:40 which should put me nicely on pace for a sub-5 hour (I really just want to finish, let’s not kid ourselves).

Starting my second round of tapering in the same training cycle is a weird feeling. I’ve already experienced the taper tantrums once and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to another couple of anxious weeks where all I do is worry about whether I’m going to be able to finish. I’m still not entirely convinced I can run a marathon – me, the girl who used to make up every excuse in the book to get out of gym class, who was the only girl in my sorority who didn’t love the gym. If the me from 10, even 5 years ago could see me now, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t recognize herself.

The only good thing about doing this a second time is that I know what to expect. I know the little voices in my head and I know what they’re going to say. I just have to stay positive, trust in my training to get me to mile 20 and trust the adrenaline to get me through the last 6.2 miles.

And if I hate it, I never have to do it again, right? … Right?

Long Beach 1/2 Marathon Race Report – Part Deux

13 Oct

In which our heroine almost melts but eeks out a PR

Welcome back! When last we saw our heroine, she was waking up after only about 4 hours of sleep. Yikes!

Long Beach Outfit

Yes, it's blurry. Yes, it was 4:15 am. Deal.

I had laid out all of my gear the night before. When I thought  I was running the full marathon, I was worried I’d still be running when the Giants’ game started. I’m one of those crazy superstitious people who thinks that they can affect the outcome of a professional sporting event by wearing or failing to wear certain clothes. So I knew I had to wear a Giants shirt and I finally found a Giants’ shirt that wasn’t cotton (kids large) – scoured every Target in the tri-state area for that baby. Once I realized how warm it was going to be, I threw a tank top on underneath. I figured if I got too hot, I could always take one shirt off. I also opted for a Giants visor. In general I don’t wear hats when I run. I’ve got a lot of hair and it gets really hot under there. For some random reason I grabbed the visor at the last minute and I’m really glad I did [see what I did there with the foreshadowing?].

oh, hey.

I grabbed 2 mini Lara bars and a Starbucks instant iced coffee and I was off. Yep. Breakfast of champions people. At least I remembered breakfast this time [I’m looking at you, PCRF 1/2 of death]. Getting to the race was relatively smooth. Unlike a lot of other runners I didn’t get stuck on the 710 largely because I got lost and didn’t take the 710. Deplorable sense of direction to the rescue! I did circle my pre-paid parking lot for about 20 minutes before realizing it was where I needed to be. Because I’m great.

I was debating back and forth between taking a Gu every 4 miles and every 5. I grabbed 3 before I left the house, figuring I could make the decision based on how I was feeling. I also decided to carry along my handheld filled with Strawberry Lemonade nuun. I don’t know if it was the smartest idea. Yes, I got more electrolytes, but I also ended up cruising through some of the water stops when I should have stopped. It was more of a security blanket than anything else – I had run all of my long runs with it and couldn’t quite imagine not having it.

As I was leaving the parking garage to head over to the start, I saw on Twitter that one of my Ragnar teammates Elisabeth had locked all of her gear in her car. Oh no! I told her I had some extra Gus she was welcome to – decision made, I was doing every 5 miles instead of every 4. I tried to catch up with her before the start but got caught in the obscenely long porta-potty lines. Luckily I was able to catch up with Lis and Heather (another one of the Ragnar ladies) around mile 4 and was able to give Lis my extra Gu.

So how was the actual race?

Meh. I felt really good at the beginning. Much, much too good. The energy of running in such a large crowd was great but it made me start way too fast. I knew I was going to positive split, I knew there’s no such thing as banking time but I just couldn’t help myself. I wasn’t drinking enough water but by the time I realized it, I was already well into mile 8. It was also stupidly hot and sunny on the course. I’m convinced if I hadn’t worn my visor, I would have absolutely melted. Most of the middle of the course is out along the beach path which is beautiful but provides no shade at all. Once again, the New York football Giants save the day. All hail the New York Giants! [and if you know that movie reference, please move to LA and be my best friend.]

you can't tell from this photo, but when I run I ACTUALLY look like Phoebe from Friends.

Around mile 11.5 I got a really bad knot in my right hamstring that just wouldn’t go away. I also realized that I had somehow added almost .5 miles to the course according to my Garmin. Because I’m great. My Garmin beeped 13 mile and I couldn’t even see the finish line – that was a mental killer. I did way more walkin in these last 2 miles than I’d like to admit. Add that to the list of things to work on for next time.

ugh, another 1/2 mile? really?

I eeked out a PR but considering how poorly my first 2 1/2 marathons went, that’s not saying much. Overall, I was pleased with the beginning of the run, disappointed with the end and frustrated with the heat. Still, I would definitely run Long Beach again [hopefully in cooler temperatures]. Everything from the expo to the post race space blankets (which I totally stole to use at NY) went so, so smoothly. The organizers did a tremendous job. For a race that big it was outstanding – definitely better than R’n’R LA last year!

yeah, i'm slow, it's cool.

Stay tuned for our next installment: Mistakes I made in Long Beach that I absolutely cannot make in NY.

Long Beach Half [yes, half] Marathon Goals

8 Oct

I’ve had a super hectic few days – I left NYC on Thursday, spent the day running around LA doing a million errands and started my new job on Friday. All day Friday I kept saying to myself (and my 4 Twitter followers), “I can’t believe I’m running a marathon this weekend, I can’t believe I’m running a marathon this weekend.” Well … that’s because I’m not.

Let’s back up. While in NY, I ran a couple of races with my 11 year old cousin (more on that later). The first race we ran together was a 5 miler and everyone in the family was really excited and proud of him! My family lined up at various points along the course to cheer us on. After the race, while enjoying a delicious post-run Bloody Mary, I commented to my Dad that this was the first race I’d ever run where people came to watch me. Before my first half marathon, I got into a huge fight with my then boyfriend because he wouldn’t come watch me and my second half marathon was so last minute there wasn’t really time to tell anyone. I didn’t (and don’t) anticipate anyone coming to Long Beach and the more I thought about it, the more I was kind of bummed that no one was going to be there to celebrate my very first marathon.

That’s when my Dad mentioned that I should run the NY Marathon. Sure, love to. But NYM certainly isn’t easy to get into & I certainly couldn’t do it this year … Or could I? Long story short, my Dad’s got connections.

Ok, not really.

BUT he knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy and … I’m running the NY Marathon this year. The whole thing has been completely bizarre and confusing. I didn’t find out until this morning (yes, the day before what was supposed to be my first marathon) that I’d be running it. I do feel a little guilty that so many people wanted to run this race and I sort of snuck in, but I promise I didn’t do anything illegal [or did I?].

So what does that mean for Long Beach? Well, it means I’m downgrading to the half. I want to run NY strong and I know that I won’t be able to do that if it’s my second marathon in a month. Also, call me cheesy, but I really want my family to be at my FIRST marathon. I’d been seriously thinking of knocking down to the half anyway – it’s going to be super hot tomorrow and while it’s probably all in my head, I wasn’t feeling ready to run a full.

But now? Now everything is awesome =)

And without further adieu – My Long Beach Goals

  • Goal A -2:20 – This is super ambitious for me. I’m definitely nervous about the weather and if it’s hot, I’m going to end up throwing this goal out the window.
  • Goal B – 2:30 – I’m pretty sure this goal is doable. Ish. Hopefully.
  • Goal C – 2:45 – I know this is doable. I’ll be disappointed if I let it get this far, but I know this week’s been hectic with travel and if it’s hot, this not be unrealistic.
  • Goal Always – Have fun! During my first half marathon, I was in a tremendous amount of pain. During my second half marathon, I threw up. I want to run a smart, fun race tomorrow. I want to remind myself why I like running and feel great going into the next couple of weeks before NY!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Name Our Team!

27 Sep

All of your amazing suggestions have been compiled and we’ve thrown the Top 10 into a super awesome poll. Head over to Sarah’s blog and vote!

Our lives [ish] are in your hands!

Aren't we fabulous?

Running with Friends

14 Sep

Confession: I’ve never successfully gone running with someone else.

I’ve got a lot of running insecurities. One of them is that I’m freakishly slow. Another of them is that I will collapse after mile 1 and not be able to finish. Because of these things, I’ve always shied away from running with other people – what if they want to run faster or farther and I just can’t keep up?

All of these scary things where swirling through my head last night when I met up with my friend Kim to run 5 miles. Kim just ran the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon and she’s more than a little fast. She promised we could go “as slow as I needed to” but I knew I’d be horribly embarrassed if she started to pull away and I couldn’t keep up. I was also petrified of trying to run & talk at the same time. Isn’t it enough that I run and don’t fall down?!?! I kept trying to temper her expectations – I hadn’t run much last week because of my move, my legs were still oddly tired from the 5k on Sunday, I haven’t been sleeping well et cetera et cetera et cetera (said in the King and I voice [we can be best friends if you get that reference]). She kept telling me it was fine, but I wasn’t buying it.

We decided to meet at one of our favorite restaurants, run 2.5 miles out and back and then have delicious, delicious pasta {seriously, if you’re ever in Santa Monica, check out Fritto Misto on Colorado – cheap and delicious!}. Right away, I had a problem – I had to pee. Could we find somewhere to stop, or would that be a dealbreaker? Kim promised it was fine, we’d swing by her office, there was a Starbucks in the lobby. As we started to run, Kim completely let me set the pace. After a brief pitstop at Starbucks we were off and running. And you know what? It was great! Seriously. I’d never been really convinced that running with someone else made running easier, but it really is true! The miles flew by as we talked about everything under the sun. Before I knew it we were back at the restaurant and enjoying pasta and Blue Moon and even more awesome conversations.

I’m so happy that I have a brand new running friend! The run really made me wish I had more training partners. I really enjoy running by myself, but sometimes running for hours at a time can get kind of lonely. Nobody wants to be alone with my thoughts for 4 hours. I think next training cycle, I’ll look into more group training opportunities.

Any tips for running with other people?

What’s in a name?

14 Sep

Have you checked out my new page “Where I’m Running”? It’s awesome, right?

You may have noticed that I’ve added a bunch of upcoming race – a 5 miler in NYC, another Tunnel to Towers 5k, Long Beach (obvi) and …

Maybe I'm Crazy

I may or may not be out of my mind ...

Yep. Because I’m crazy. This lady convinced a group of us to run for 24 hours and 200+ miles all while riding in a van full of our stinky, sweaty glorious selves. It’s going to be pretty awesome.

We’re going to have 2 teams – the Ultra of 6 (don’t worry, I’m not on it) and the 12 Woman Team of Awesome (aka my team). But here’s where you come in. “Team of Awesome” doesn’t quite cut it. So we need YOU (our faithful readers – hi, Sister!) to come up with some kickass names for our kickass teams!

So leave your suggestions in the comments. We’ll be compiling our list of favorites and posting a top 10 poll on all of our blogs. The top 2 finishers will have the mega-super-stellar honor of naming our relay teams! AND because we’re living in a material world (and I am a material girl), you’ll win a sweet PRIZE full of all sort of running swag! Because everyone loves winning stuff!

So get brainstorming! And check out my awesome new teammates!!

Ultra Team

SkinnyRunner

Chacha

Margot

Sarah 

Pam

HauteRunningMama

12 Woman Team

Heather

Becka

Rose

PrettyFittie

Kate & Ang

Monica

BrokeRunner

Madison

Elisabeth

Danica

And me!!