run. eat. run. eat.

run. eat. run. eat.

Staten Island Half Marathon Race Recap

Okay. Here we go. Staten Island Half Marathon. 

On April 5th, I shoved half a bagel into my mouth, drank a bunch of coffee, packed up my bag, and got into a zipcar. Chris had left to pick up the car while I was getting ready, which was awesome and saved us a lot of time. I really like to leave way in advance for a race just in case there’s traffic, or we get lost, or whatever. And by “way in advance” I mean giving myself an extra 30 minutes or so. The drive was really nice, I casually hydrated on the way there, and we crossed an attractive bridge. Upon arriving at the race I was amazed at how few people were there. Turns out, it was a pretty small race. About 105 people or something, WHICH I LOVED. I went to a table, picked up my bib and bag of goods, and then we had about 40 minutes or so until the race started. 

It was a lot windier than I had expected, and the race was on the water, so we spent the majority of the time before the race inside the car with the heat on. When it came time to do some sort of warm up I ran for like, maybe 1/2 mile. I went into the race viewing it as a “training run”. I figured it would be ridiculous to set a high goal with my training being 3 weeks short of completion. My outfit was: Oiselle flyte shorts (my new go to racing shorts for sure, I felt like I didn’t even have shorts on), a Reebok compression sports bra, a Nike dri-fit running tank top, and Oiselle arm warmers. 

The course was three out and backs. It was going to be two originally, I believe, but that was supposed to be along the boardwalk. And because the boardwalk hadn’t been repaired since Hurricane Sandy (which the race was a benefit for) we ran on pavement along/underneath it. All of the time I’ve been racing I have always thought I would HATE an out and back repeat course. Or repeat loop course. Basically any repetitive course running. But the last two races I’ve run were just that, and I have put in two long runs solely on a track, so I think I was actually very wrong about that. I like these kinds of courses, a lot. 

This was the first race where I ran with a watch. My reason for this was: In using this as a training run I can closely monitor myself, especially in the beginning when I typically haul ass. It’s a pretty basic watch, it doesn’t do split times or anything so I was doing a lot of math while running. The first few miles went by at about 7:25 pace. I thought about trying to pull back but just went with it. Eventually after things thinned out, I realized I was the fourth woman. The longer we ran the more things thinned out and with the out and backs we kept passing by one another. As the women in front of me went by I yelled encouraging things. I did this to a lot of other people as well, but there was something cool, like some sort of solidarity in being in the top five women. The race was sort of a blur, I was kind of in a zone. Not like, the great zone of the best race ever, but I felt good. I grabbed a few cups of water here and there, battled the wind, and pretty much just tried to keep my pace. 

In the last 3 miles or so I could feel myself dying off a bit. My legs were getting really tired and the wind was just smashing against me. Nobody was directly in front of me so it was full on wind assault. When I was getting close to mile 11 I thought I could somehow pull off a sub 1:40 time. I thought, “WHAT”. The entire race I made sure to not push myself too hard. The last half marathon I ran I pushed so hard at the finish I puked several times. I wasn’t about to let that happen again, especially considering I hadn’t even gotten myself to the point of training where I thought that was a good idea. I don’t know, maybe I was a little too cautious. I’ve never really run a race as a training run before, so this was all new to me. My goals were basically: don’t puke or almost shit pants at finish. I reached these goals. I also reached the goal of a sub 1:45 half, finishing the race in 1:41:05. The :05 slays me. Had I risked the puking I could’ve gone sub 1:40 but it’s cool. I’m actually really, really happy with my time. Insanely happy. And it gives me a lot of hope for the races I’ll be running later this year. Because I ran a way faster time than I had anticipated I sort of panicked and thought I should take a bit of a break. I’ll be starting a hybrid marathon and ultra training plan soon, so the past two weeks have been 17 + 20 mile weeks with me not making myself run when I don’t feel like it. 

In conclusion, this race ruled. I love small races. Everyone was super supportive, the organizers (Trimara Sports) were great, and it was a benefit for Hurricane Sandy. I’m not sure if it will be happening again next year, but if it does, I would highly recommend it. 


Warm early summer weather is here, at least temporarily. Today I ran 5.3 miles, in shorts and a tank top, and sweat my face off. I loved every second of it. There’s something so satisfying about sweating through a tank top and coming home with with sopping wet hair. 

I’ll get a race recap up soon for the Staten Island half, I think I’ve been putting it off because I don’t have any pictures from the race other than the ones I’ve already posted. It will be another text heavy recap. After the race, since I did a lot better than I had intended, I decided to ease up on my running schedule. I put in 17 miles the week of the half, and 13 this past week. Why did I do this? Well, last year I ran a lot of races. More than I have ever run in a year, like, 4 or 5 times more. And I trained a lot harder. And I ran two relays instead of one. And then I got burned out. And then my knee got f-ed. And then I ran Wineglass and it was a pretty rough race for me. 

With marathon and 50k training coming up (they’ll be one combined plan, as the marathon is supposed to be more of a 26 mile long run for 50k training) I figured it would be best to avoid overdoing it. I’m probably being a little too cautious, but last September and October were rough. I don’t want a repeat situation. So what I’m going to do is run however long I want, whenever I want for the next few weeks. Giving myself a break from a set training schedule will be great, and it will give my mind a break from constantly tracking times and distances. Having never run the marathon or 50k distance I want to be really smart about this. And on top of that, I want to do really well. I want to push myself physically and mentally more than I ever have before. To do that, I shouldn’t try to drop my half time and crush in another race in the next month or two, which is what I’d originally been planning on doing. 

In conclusion, I’m really excited to start training. I’ve been looking at a bunch of plans and websites, and am going to put something together this week and enter it all into my google calendar. I’m also really excited to do this smart and not try to push myself to run faster than before in a new race every month. I’ll probably run a few races here and there before August, but be smart about what I choose to run. 

Some stuff lately. 

Awesome shirt arrived that I bought for a good cause via my buddy runfargirl. They fit so nicely and rule in a big way. Check them out. 

Some new running books I checked out from the library. Got 5 pages into one while riding the subway. Everything has been insane and I’ve had little to no free time since starting my new job, so I’m looking forward to really getting into these books when I get a chance. 

These sausages, YOLO, going to tear them apart with my face tomorrow. 

I’m not an ultrarunner (yet), but I really like this article. Ashley Walsh seems so legit. I really like the way she writes, and find her incredibly inspiring. 

Due to the stressors of starting a new job and not knowing what the f- is going on or what I’m doing, I’m thinking I might cut back on my coffee consumption. A mere two or three posts ago I mentioned that I’ve been crushing coffee these days, but that needs to stop. Might switch to tea for a bit and see how that goes. If I don’t end up in jail, I’ll consider it a success. 

I ran that half marathon, and that was really awesome. It wasn’t my ‘goal’ time, and I didn’t finish my training plan, but I don’t know that I’ll be able to find another half that fits into my schedule at the end of the month. Which means… SOON I FOCUS ON ULTRA TRAINING. 

I ran the Staten Island half marathon this morning. My plan was to run it as a training run since the plan I’m following for a half is supposed to go another month. I wore a watch during this race, first time I’ve done that. Since I viewed it as a training run I figured this way I’d know if I hauled ass way too early. The race was small, which I love, and everyone seemed really supporitive of one another. I love that so much. I’ll do a full recap of the race later this week, but just wanted to post some pictures and give a brief update. My unofficial time was 1:41:05, with a 7:43 pace. 5th overall female I think, and 2nd in my age group (30-39).

Short List Of Things

I ran 10 miles entirely on a track on Sunday for my last long run. I figured it would be the easiest way to keep track of how fast I was actually going per mile as opposed to stopping at lights and waiting and never knowing how fast I could go and what my splits were. I did a warm up trial lap to check for accuracy on my mapmyrun app, did 10 full miles solely on the track, and ran to and from the track. My total mileage for the day was about 13 miles. It was only supposed to be 10 and I hobbled like a beast afterwards but it was SO WORTH IT. I averaged 8:08 pace which was very insightful and I felt good about it. 

I started my new job today which is why I’m making a short list of stuff instead of writing a thought provoking update. 

Might run a half marathon this weekend because “fuck it” and also because no other half marathons are lining up with my training and work schedule right now. I could run one in PA on the 27th but that would mean getting to PA around 10:30 the night before the race, waking up at 7am, and wasting money on a hotel room that I spent one hour awake in. Considering I’m on a tight budget these days that doesn’t seem like the best idea. What does seem like a good idea is running a much closer race for one fourth of the money I’d spend on the PA trip. 

I’ve been eating a lot of mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes + seitan eaten together in one bight is like, the only true thing in this world. 

I really want to try a soulcycle class just to see what the hype is all about. But at the same time I don’t think I can justify paying that much money to take spin class. I generally don’t even spend that much on a 5k. The first class is $20 as opposed to $35 or something so maybe I’ll just check out one class and see what it’s all about. 

Also I’m back to pounding excessive amounts of iced coffee on a regular basis. Hard. 

NYCRuns Spring Fling 10k Recap

Here we go. It’s raining. I’ve got a big glass of iced coffee next to me. I’m ready. Recap time. 

NYCRuns hosted both a 5k + 10k race on Roosevelt Island last Saturday. Having volunteered for them I knew I had some race credit in the bank, the weekend free, and a race on my training plan. 10k it was. Cost for the races seemed to be equal. I’ve noticed that with a lot of the NYCRuns races. It appears that if there’s a 5k and a 10k, or a 10k and a half, the pricing is usually the same, which seems sort of odd. Though, their prices are insanely cheap so maybe it all balances out. Anyway, cost for this event was $25 until 2/23, $30 until 3/16, and $40 after that. They were social media-ing about race day sign ups so I don’t think that the race ended up being full. Packet pick up was on the upper east side at New York Running Company, which worked out wonderfully for me since I had to be up around there anyway on Friday night. Got my bib and a travel mug. It’s one of those silver slide top coffee or tea tumblr type mugs. Whenever I use those I spill coffee all over my life so I’ll probably give it to a friend, but I thought it was a cool giveaway. In college I lived up on E. 94th Street so before I went where I needed to I wandered up to 92nd to see if the health food store I used to shop at was still there. IT WAS. But it was closed. Pretty cool. 

I slept like trash per usual. I haven’t raced since November so I knew I’d be too amped to get a good night of sleep. This was expected. The outfit I ended up choosing was Oiselle flyte shorts, Nike breeze running tank top, and the Oiselle flyer jacket I got at Hood to Coast. I had planned on just wearing some arm warmers instead of the jacket, which would’ve been perfect since I warmed up real fast during the race, but I felt panic since I wasn’t used to racing in the cold. LESSON LEARNED. To stay warm before the race I struggled to throw on some black leggings over my shorts (I seriously need to find a good + inexpensive pair of warm up sweatpants) and my XC coaching sweatshirt. Ate half a bagel with nothing on it, crushed some iced coffee, filled up my water bottle and headed out. Roosevelt Island is pretty close, but not close enough for me to not almost pee my pants. The second I got on the train I almost peed all over the place. After 40 minutes of successfully holding my pee and wincing in pain I arrived at Roosevelt Island. I’d never been there before, and didn’t care to look around as I wildly hobbled to the porta potties. 

Turns out, I learned post urination, there are quite a few things on the island. A Starbucks (pre-race dream of coffee + clean bathrooms), Walgreens (or Rite Aid, but I think it was a Walgreens), and maybe a restaurant or two. Pretty neat. NYCRuns had some good music going via DJ/announcer, people were scattered on a large portion of grass, and it was cold. Some dude walked by me with no shirt on. NO SHIRT. I wanted to be like, bro, you better win this. Spoiler: he did not. I passed him. Though, I can’t really talk since I wore shorts and a tank top during Skunk Cabbage last year when it WAS SNOWING AT THE START. So I don’t know, whatever. Point is, it was pretty cold. Chris showed up to meet me and we half ass warmed up for like, 1/4 of a mile and then stood around watching people. I dropped my bag at the check, stripped down to my running clothes, and almost fell into a bush attempting to get my leggings over my sneakers. The 5k went off at 9:30 and things seemed to thin out a bit. At 10am I lined up, the announcer told us about the course, and we were off. The course was pretty much two loops of the island but at the start we took a turn to the left and did a little out and back around a cone to make the mileage work out. I didn’t really pay much attention to the view or my surroundings which is a bummer since I’m sure it was pretty, but I kept trying to focus on someone in front of me to pick off. I passed quite a few people, and that felt good, and I think in the beginning I was probably averaging 7 minute miles. 

There were three water stops and I want to punch myself for not taking a single bit of water. Having never run a 10k I was sort of thinking of it as a 5k, and was like ‘I NEED NO WATER, I WILL BE FINE’. No, I needed water. I wanted water. Bad. I was licking my lips like a beast in the last few miles. If I could do it over again I would’ve grabbed water at the last water station because it was right before a tiny little downhill and I think that would’ve helped me not slow down. I slowed down a bit in the last mile and felt like I was totally depleted. The last 600 feet or so I got the worst side stitch. Dehydration? Maybe. It was gnarly. I was trying to push my hand up into my rib cage and then realized that wasn’t the way I wanted to cross the finish line. I tried to push but couldn’t even sprint it in. Alas. Finish time of 46:59. Average pace of 7:35. I’m like, 95% sure I blew it in the last mile, but only two guys passed me during that time so that felt good. The course was a lot better than I thought it would be. Normally I don’t like running loops in a race but this I would do again in a heartbeat. The volunteers were very helpful and supportive, there were no collisions that I saw at the end due to the 5k + 10k being close in time, and everyone seemed pretty pleased with the event.

I put things into perspective for myself by comparing this to The Tribute (5 mile race) that I ran last May, where I won my age group. My pace for that was 7:35, too. So I guess I’m back in the same shape if not in a little bit better shape right now compared to then? I’ve been told that the 30-39 age group is more competitive than the 20-29. Not sure if I believe that. I think it honestly depends on where you’re racing and who shows up. TBD, though. I think pretty much every age group is competitive and until I start going under 7 minute miles I won’t be happy with my time. I was pretty mad at myself for not doing 7 minute pace throughout the entire race, but when I compared it to my time from The Tribute I felt a lot better. 

This was my first 10k ever, my fist race as a 30 year old, surprisingly my first race in NYC, and the first time I’d ever gone to Roosevelt Island. Pretty awesome. After the race my stomach went haywire and I passed out for an extended period of time. In conclusion, if I were you, I’d run this race next year. Maybe don’t go shirtless, but don’t wear a jacket either. NYCRuns puts on a lot of races, and the ones I’ve been to are really organized, so check them out if you’re looking for something to run. 

New Running Playlist

I made a new running playlist and decided to share it here until I share my race recap. 

Brief recap for now of NYCRuns Spring Fling 10k!

Time: 46:59
Pace: 7:35
Overall Place: 46th
Gender Place: 11th
Age Group: 5th

Thoughts from the laundromat

I’m writing this post on my phone at the laundromat while I wait for my clothes to dry. Family Fued is on TV here. This show is out of control and oddly more sexual than I remember. Like, the answers. Anyway.

I’m still following a half marathon training plan with hopes of running one in at the end of April/early May. Part of my training plan has me running a 10k. Last week. But I found one this weekend and signed up using volunteer credit through NYCRUNS which rules. This will be my first race of 2014, my first race as a 30 year old, and my first 10k. Because it’s my first 10k I won’t go into the race with any previous time that I want to beat. So that’s nice.

Weather is supposed to be in the 50’s so I’m thinking I’ll test out my new Oiselle flyte shorts. Definitely wearing a tank top and probably a pair of arm warmers to be safe. Planning on a bagel and coffee for breakfast, and my usual pre-race dinner of vegan chicken nuggets, raw kale salad and homemade french fries. Also I will watch some Survivor tonight because that never fails to bring out my competitive side.

Volunteering at a Road Race

So you want to volunteer for a road race. If you’re wondering what to expect, or how to prepare, maybe my experience can help. I’m sure the volunteering experience varies a fair amount depending on the organization that is putting the race on, but I’m sure there are a lot of similar aspects, too. 

I had never volunteered for a race before, but always wanted to. When I moved to Brooklyn, I had no job. I knew that volunteering at a race would be one thing I would be interested in doing with all that free time. NYCRUNS has a really cool program where you get race credit for volunteering. I had already signed up for one of their races so I figured I’d go with them. The race I decided to volunteer for was the Central Park Half Marathon + Marathon. Below I will outline facts and tips based on my experience volunteering for this event. 

1. When organizers say “dress in layers, wear gloves and a hat”, they mean it. I saw the weather forecast and thought “hoorah! warm weather! no extra layers for me!”. What I wore: jeans, tank top, hoodie, rain jacket, one pair of thin socks, and my Asics. Huge mistake. I got to the park around 7AM, when it was still pretty cold out, and then I was tasked with working underneath a tent. Under a tent = no sunlight. My second task was working in the bag check. Bag check = on the snowy ground. Snowy ground = cold feet. When volunteering for a race you are not running the race. You’re not running anywhere. You will get cold if the weather is on the cooler side. Which leads me to number 2…

2. You will stand around. A lot. Sometimes you’ll have nothing to do for hours. I was at the park from 7AM-2:30PM. Wear comfortable shoes. Wear more than one pair of socks if it’s cold out. Don’t stand there on your phone, because you’ll look like a dick. Use this time to talk to people. Ask if there’s anything else you could be doing to help. I met some really great people while volunteering. If I hadn’t talked to anyone in the down time I would’ve lost my mind. 

3. If you drink coffee, BRING COFFEE. In my mind I imagined there would be a large spread for all of the volunteers when we showed up. Coffee, bagels, fruit. I imagined we’d all sip our coffee huddled together as we got the run down on the day. No. Definitely not what happened. I had even gone into a Starbucks to pee before heading to the park and considered buying a coffee but thought, “If I buy a coffee, they’ll have coffee, and that will be a waste of money.” DERP. My mistake. Again, this could vary based on the organizers for the race, but there was no coffee. I woke up at 5AM to make sure to get to the park in time, so that means I was operating on one small cup of coffee that I crushed before leaving my apartment, for 8+ hours. Bad news. 

4. If you like to eat, which I imagine is the case with most human beings, BRING SNACKS/FOOD. This was suggested in the email sent out by the coordinators but I was like, OMG BUT WE’LL BE ABLE TO EAT BAGELS AND STUFF I’LL BE FINE. No. Not fine. Hungry. We got to eat bagels and fruit, which was awesome, but not sufficient. Next time, I will pay attention to the instructions and bring a sandwich and some soy jerky or something. 

5. Read as much as you can before arriving to get information about the race. Like I said, I thought we’d get some rundown and then be tasked with things from there. In reality I showed up, checked in with somebody, and was tasked with setting up shirts. I didn’t even know if we were selling the shirts. I had no bank. Runners started showing up and asking me where the marathon start was. Several people tried buying shirts. I felt panic. There’s nothing worse than not having information to give to people. Saying “I don’t know” to a runner who might be super nervous, or there for their first race, or just saying it in general SUCKS. If there’s an info page on the race website I’d suggest printing it out and taking it with you. The more information you have the better. 

6. BE POSITIVE. Smile. Holler. Congratulate every runner you see after they’ve finished. Help runners out if they look like they’re struggling. Someone can’t hold a bagel and put on their jacket. Offer to hold something for them. Be kind. That’s the best part of volunteering. 

That’s my rundown on volunteering at a road race. It’s such a rewarding feeling, and a really cool way to give back to the community. I’m real curious about trying out volunteering at a water stop. It seems intense and I fear I might leave for the day soaked in water and Gatorade. Only one way to find out.
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