11 Weeks til NYC26.2

For the next 11 weeks I’m going to recap my week of workouts to give you a peek at the highs and lows of marathon training. It’s not always pretty but appreciating the journey is an essential part of being successful.

Monday: Full Body Strength
Today I have a 5 hour dentist appointment appointment so it was a strength training day! I did 2 rounds of my favorite Tone It Up video which was 30 minutes of strength training with squats, deadlifts, planks, and single leg exercises. I also went for an evening bike ride with Al to unwind.
Tuesday: Easy Run- 5 miles, Upper Body Strength
I actually really enjoy runs before work. It just gets my day started off right. I did get tricked into thinking it was cooler than it was so I wore capris and totally regretted it. I did two rounds of my favorite upper body exercises after work.
Wednesday: Hill Repeats- 6 miles
Probably the workout that I dread the most but always feel like a badass superhero when I finish. It’s 1.5 mile warmup to the base of Cat Hill, six 400m repeats up and down (which is just about red light to red light), and then 1.5 mile cooldown. On Wednesday nights I stay in the city so this workout usually works out perfectly. It’s 1.5 miles from work to Cat Hill and 1.5 from Cat Hill to my friend Nicola’s apartment. It’s meant to be!
Thursday: Ocean Ride Spin
A spin class was today’s workout so I tried out the local LB studio Ocean Ride for a 45 minute ride. Check out my review here.
Friday: Rest
Today was supposed to be an easy run but I worked 7am-5pm and by the time I got home I was exhausted. Like I just want to lay down and sleep exhausted. So that’s what I did! So I just swapped workouts with Saturday.
Saturday: Easy Run- 3 miles
It felt amazing to sleep in since last weekend I didn’t get a chance to! I had 3 easy miles on the boardwalk and then spent the afternoon with my PIC. We went Stand Up Paddle boarding in Island Park. We paddled against the wild wind for about 40 minutes, explored the marshes for about 10 minutes, and then made it back in 10 minutes since the wind was to our backs. And then we brunched our little hearts out at Pancho’s.
Sunday: Long run- 17 miles
I was in dire need of a good long run. Last Saturday was a disaster and two weeks ago the heat and humidity were just too much. I signed up for the Three Bridges Run with the NY Flyers. Their organization and execution was on point and it was such a great event. It was still crazy humid but being in a group made all the difference. They have planned water stops along the way with water, Gatorade, and gels. We also went rogue and stopped at a water park for an extra water stop and to cool off in the sprinklers. I joined the 9:30 pace group and our pacers did an excellent job in making sure we stuck with that pace. It starts in Central Park, over to Riverside Park, down the West Side, across to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the Pulaski Bridge, and then finally over the Queensboro Bridge. If you were further in your training they went back into the park to make it a full 20 but my job was done. Overall I was so proud to have hung in there and finished the 17 miles while tackling those bridges.
Total Mileage: 31 miles
10 weeks to go to the big day. I’m running a little slower than last year but I’m still just trying to hang in there and enjoy the journey.
Are any of you training for a fall race?
Xo, Pam

Race Recap: TD Beach to Beacon 2016

For my annual trip to Maine, I adventured to Cape IMG_3249Elizabeth to run the Beach to Beacon 10K race with my friends. This is my second time doing the race and it is definitely one of my favorites to run! It is really beautiful up there- especially in the summer. And starting my Saturday with 6.2 miles of rolling hills really wakes you up! Let’s rewind to a few months ago where I sat anxiously by my computer at 7am to register for this race (which sold out in less than 4 minutes). After seeing that “Congratulations” notification, I was pumped to be returning to Maine to run again. The race itself is very organized considering there are several thousand runners flocking to this small, coastal town.

Friday evening, my grad school BFF, Kim, and I headed to Cape Elizabeth HS for packet pickup and the race expo. Numbers and t-shirts were easy to grab so we wandered around looking at different vendors at the expo. We received free gift cards, entered raffles, snagged some bananas, and had an opportunity to shop around. What a great experience!

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5:30AM on Saturday, my alarm is buzzing and it’s time to get going! Lucky for us, Kim’s parents literally live next to the finish line so we head over there, snap a few pre-race pictures and hitch a ride to Cape Elizabeth HS where shuttle buses will take you to the
start line. Because this is a point-to-point race, the busing, bag check, and organization are clutch (this race has nailed it). 7:30AM we arrived to the starting line where there are refreshments (water, Gatorade) and long porta-potty lines (classic). Herding into the corral is the most challenging part because there are so many people!

A few minutes after 8AM and we are off! My goal for this race was just to finish strong and preferably under an hour since this is my triumphant return to the running world. The course begins near Crescent Beach State Park and winds its way north. As you cruise along the rolling hills, there is an energy about this race. There is never a moment without a crowd to cheer you on! Around Mile 3, two firetrucks proudly display the American flag which you get to run underneath. Each mile marker has a water station and tons of volunteers helping runners. As you approach Mile 5, the ocean comes into view just before you tackle the biggest hills on the course. Mile 5.5 is where Kim’s family stands at the end of the street, waiting for us to high five as we run by 🙂 The crowd keeps growing as you head towards a finish line which seems like it will never come. The course twists and turns into Fort Williams Park and then BAM! Your finish line is in sight with the beautiful Portland Headlight just behind it.

Something you don’t know until you’ve done this race- the biggest hill is after the finish line. And it sucks. After running 6.2 miles, you head up a hill in the park where water, food, and massages await you. But that hill still sucks. My friends and I set our designated meeting spot at the top of said hill then headed to grab waters, bagels, bananas, and fresh Maine blueberries.

Success all around! Everyone finished strong and I came in with a time of 59:19 🙂 Nothing like that painful PR of 54:06 last year, but an enjoyable race. I highly recommend you guys signing up for this one. I’ll see you next August!

❤ Louise

PS: We also may have found a race photographer on our walk back to Kim’s house…

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Race Recap: Queens 10k 2016

Dear NYRR, you can do better.

I am a huge fan of the NYRR races and I have been a member for several years. I typically highlight how amazing they are from how flawlessly they run bag check to how promptly they start races. You also know from previous race recaps that it really doesn’t take a lot to satisfy me as a runner. This Saturday, however, I left disappointed.

I ran this race last year as a member of Team for Kids and I was looking forward to running it again. I learned a few lessons from last year which included making sure you buy parking it advance, arriving earlier than you usually would for a race, and be ready for the heat.

I headed into the city on Friday to pick up my race bib and a parking pass. The line wasn’t too long; I probably had about a 8 minute wait time. The first stop was to pick up your tank top (I love races that do tank tops instead of t-shirts). However, I was shocked to find that they were already out of small tanks. It didn’t affect me personally because I needed a medium, but this was pretty early on a Friday afternoon. I was surprised that they would be out of a fairly common runner size so early on. The second stop was for our bib numbers and it was smooth and fast. Third stop, parking aka the ultimate nemesis of the Queens 10k. I purchased my pass for a whopping $23 because I knew that meant I would be in Lot G and that it would allow for an easier race morning. Little did I know what would unfold the next day!

Friday night I had a concert with my best friends to see Jason Aldean. I knew that I wasn’t running the 10k for time because right now PRs are not my focus. Looking back, I should have definitely drank a little more water and charged all of my accessories like I always do before a race.

Saturday morning came and I got moving around 6:30am. My friend Amanda who was also running agreed to be at my house around 6:45am. We jetted off towards Citi Field shortly after. We made great time until we got to Citi Field around 7:40am. It was an absolute stand still, no one knew what to do next, and no one knew where to go. I didn’t panic yet because I knew where Lot G was and that we would definitely make it in time. Slowly but surely we get to the side of the stadium and I’m feeling good because Lot G is in my site. Joke is on me, because they were not letting anyone in Lot G. Nor could the attendants blocking Lot G tell me anything except to move along. So now I am upset. Why did I travel to the city to prepay for a parking pass and now I had to wait in line with everyone who didn’t prepay to go to an unknown lot. We continue to creep along as 8:30 ticks by and the race fires off. At this point I also realize my Garmin is dead, I left my Ipod at home, and I have no more water in the car. Finally we park and begin to jog to the start line. The NYRR staff was very helpful on directing us where to head and I wasn’t that upset about the warm-up because my coach wanted me to run 7 miles anyway.

The course was pretty much like I remember from last year. The weather was steamy, the course was a little tight, and I literally couldn’t wait for each mile to pass. I stopped at every water station to hydrate and tell myself it was only a 10k. I am so grateful for the water gods that sent the people with the hoses to cool us down. I also tried to keep my eyes peeled to the ground for those pesky potholes that come along. The best part of the race occurs once you make it past the highway and the scenic tour begins. You run past the Queens Museum, Citi Field, the Uni-sphere, and some remnants of the World Fair. Once you crossed the finish line it was a dead standstill with a very narrow finish chute and empty tables of water. Not exactly what a hot, tired, and sweaty runner wants to see after running a 10k.

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It was really concerning to see so many runners down. I saw around 5 runners down, some of them getting sick and others just unable to move. Luckily they were all being attended to and I was happy they were getting the help they needed. I did however spend a lot of the race contemplating what contributed to this unusually high number and to thank my body for all it does.

The best part of the race: my shiny medal, the 9+1 credit, and the Italian ice man that was 20 yards past the finish line. Marathon training kicks off in just under two weeks and I can’t wait to settle into a routine again.

**Since the race ended, NYRR has issued an apology for the parking incident and they are going to reimburse us for the parking fee. An apology can fix most relationships and I appreciate them acknowledging their mistake.

 

Have you ran the Queens 10k? What was your experience?

Xo, Pam

Race Recap: 2016 Baltimore 10 Miler

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B&B headed to Baltimore, Maryland for a weekend trip with our friends. And of course, we signed up for the Baltimore 10 Miler since we were in town! Pam: Baltimore has a special place in my heart. I spent some wonderful years in college there and I love going back to visit. However, Baltimore running has left me broken hearted. I ran the Baltimore Marathon there 2 years ago and it was my least favorite marathon to date. I learned just how hilly Baltimore was so I was ready for this race.

Our amazing friend, Kim, headed to the zoo on Friday and picked up the race bibs for everyone. You were also able to pick up bibs at various Dick’s Sporting Goods around the area which makes it convenient for the local runners. There is no race expo so if you are an expo junkie like Pam, do not get excited.

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Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early after a night of sushi (NOT the best pre-race fuel, for the record) and hopped in an Uber to Kim’s house. The traffic getting to the race was pretty aggressive on the exit ramp and that was still a little bit away from the starting line. Thankfully we were heading to Kim’s so we didn’t hit any traffic at all! Having Baltimore friends made race morning a breeze because we were dropped off just beyond the starting line by Druid Hill Park. Our drop off spot was at the bottom of that awful hill (more on that later), so it was a small hike, but we knew what we were up against come Mile 9. The threat of rain had subsided for race morning but 80 degrees and 85% humidity at 7:30AM is not ideal running weather.

The starting line was overflowing with runners, but we filed in quickly and crossed the starting line. The race course is out and back with a few added street turns in either direction. Mile 1 is all downhill… weeeee. Around the 1st mile marker, we found our Cheer Squad who lined up for high fives 🙂 The course is filled with rolling hills and makes its U-turn for Mile 5 around Lake Montebello. Throughout the race, there were some spots filled with spectators and some stretches without anyone cheering. As we approached Mile 8, we found our Cheer Squad again and another round of high fives was just the power boost we needed! This was also the “Munchkin Mile” with a water station and Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. Louise: I was sooo pumped for munchkins, but when I tried to eat one mid-race, chewing was just not happening and I basically coughed it into the trash. Lesson learned- never try to chew anything in a race. Pam agrees with me.

Just before you hit the marker for Mile 9, Druid Hill starts to climb. It seems like the hill that will never end, then once you reach the top you make a loop and the finish line creeps into sight just around the corner! As we rounded the corner, we found Kim and Matt and gave our last power-up high fives before taking off.

Crossing the finish line was sweet relief! We were handed awesome medals with penguins running across… we still haven’t figured out why though. Anyone know why they chose penguins? Water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, apples, granola bars, chips, pretzels, and watermelon! Yum! Snacks in hand, we walked back to find Matt and Kim, while cheering Chelsea across the finish line. Race complete.

The post-race festival was SO MUCH FUN! We were able to hang out with our friends and enjoy Harpoon Brewery beers and live music from Naked Nation. It definitely made running up those hills worth it! After several hours in the sun with beers in hand, race day was a success! Then it was off to the ballgame!

Have you ran the Baltimore 10 miler? What were your experiences?

Xo, Pam & Louise

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Race Recap: 2016 Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon

I crossed the finish line!

I knew I could do it- but that’s not what I had been training to do. I wanted to cross the finish line in less than 2 hours, but that didn’t happen. I finished with a second best time of 2:05:05, and after calling my mom (duh!) and talking with Coach Jared, I’ve stopped beating myself up over it (more on that later).

Let’s rewind for a minute and talk about the race experience! Thursday afternoon, I headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the Pre-Party. At Pier 2, you picked up your race bib, had an opportunity to shop for Brooklyn merchandise, and get your last minute race questions answered. Brooklyn Running Co. set up shop with some cool Brooklyn gear and any last minute essentials (like headbands and Gu) that you may need. There was also a spot to get your race shirt customized! Outside there were swings, giant Jenga, a band stage, and fantastic views of the NYC skyline- the perfect photo op! There were just a few food trucks with some snacks and drinks; honestly, I was hoping for more food options.

Fast forward to race day… traveling from Nassau County to Brooklyn can be aggressive. We decided to hire a car which picked us up on time from my house and dropped us off right at the starting line. Our early wake up call ensured that we arrived in plenty of time to check our bags and get through security. My friend, Javi, was running in Wave 1 and bag check closed at 6:10am… Zzzz… I ate my breakfast while waiting in the corral since Wave 2 started didn’t start until 7:45am. This gave us time to warm up and use the porta potty (which I recommend doing ASAP because the lines became outrageous).

Race time! 7:45 am and the gun went off… funneling to the starting line I was SO READY to go. All that waiting had made me a little bit antsy to get started. The Brooklyn Half course starts with 3 miles outside of Prospect Park with minor ups and downs in the elevation. When you head into the park, it starts off flat and just before Mile 5 comes the biggest hill on the course which is not as steep as some of those Central Park hills, but seems like it will never end (it does, I promise). As you loop around the park, you discover what goes up must come down and get to enjoy a nice downhill as you come through Mile 7 just outside the park. You head to Ocean Parkway with a quick dip down and a steady bump in elevation on the entrance ramp. Think of this as your final stretch to the finish line- I just thought Ocean Parkway would never end. Until this point in the race, I was really feeling strong. The crowd was alive and had some really funny signs! My pace for the first few miles was a little faster than I wanted so I tried to slow myself down a little. I missed the ‘beep’ of my Garmin at Miles 6&7 and was unsure of how fast I was going. Unfortunately, I slowed myself down too much and had trouble picking up the pace again. When I saw my PR slipping away, I mentally checked out of the race, too.

As you’re running South, the Avenues go in order from A to Z then you make a right hand turn onto Surf Avenue and can see the roller coasters up ahead. The end is near! I had been wearing a bracelet with pace times for my 2 hour goal; when I saw the sign that said “800 meters to go,” I ripped it off and just made a strong finish. Crossing that finish line felt so good, but I was sooo disappointed in myself. I knew some of the mistakes I made early on in the race, but I was really mad that I had mentally given up. My jello legs made their way down the boardwalk where I was given my finisher’s medal, took a sweaty photo with it, then finally found some water (it kept everyone moving, but the water was a little bit down from the finish line).

After the satisfaction of crossing the finish line finally set in, now I had to find my friends and party! My legs were mush and I was tired, but I walked down the boardwalk where finishers also received a bag with water, Gatorade, an apple, pretzels, and a PowerBar. (One of the nice volunteers let me trade my bag so that crazy me could have a blue Gatorade- thank you!) Picking up my gear from bag check was a breeze and was also the designated meeting spot for my friends. *Side note: I had read recaps from last year about limited cell phone service. While I didn’t have a problem with my phone, some people had spotty service so make sure you designate a meeting point ahead of time.*

The Post-Race party was so much fun! You head into MCU Park, Home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, to find thousands of other runners celebrating with their friends and family. Beers were flowing, hot dogs were cooking, and the band was playing everything from the new JT song to some old school Spice Girls.

Before I left the house at 4am, my mom told me to “just have fun!” I definitely did that 🙂 The Brooklyn Half was a great race with excited runners, spectators cheering the whole way, and a killer finish line party. I will definitely be running this one again! Although I didn’t PR like I had hoped, I know there are more races to come. Coach Jared and I have discussed the idea of an October race… hmm… until then, I’m excited for the Baltimore 10 Miler in 2 weeks where I will be running for fun with my best friends!

Happy Sunday Funday, my loves!
Louise

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A huge congratulations to my friends; Javi, who crushed his goal with a time of 1:29:54 and to Virginia, who finished her first half marathon! 🙂

Race Recap: UAE Healthy Kidney 10k

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I finished.

That is about how I will summarize yesterday’s run. One of my favorite quotes when it comes to social media is “never compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel”. We often only post the good- the PRs, the weight loss, the muscle definition- and we exclude the bad – legs that feel like lead, the emergency bathroom visits, the muscle aches and more.

Two weeks ago, I had a perfect race. I felt strong, fast, and unstoppable. I hit all of my splits and I ran my goal time. Yesterday, I just wanted to make it to the end. This past week I’ve been fighting a bit of a cold, I’ve been running on less sleep than usual, and my stress level has been a little elevated. Not only that, but I had a killer week of workouts and my body was sore and tired literally from my toes up to my the top of my head. When my alarm went off I almost hit snooze. But then I thought “why am I doing this? why did I start?”. I am trying to push my limits to become the best runner I can be and to enter marathon training season ready to do work! I also really like shiny medals and collecting dry fit shirts. So I rolled out of bed, gathered my items, and headed out to catch the 7:06am train from Lynbrook.

It was smooth sailing to get to the race start. I hopped the E train from Penn to 72nd, walked over to the bandshell to grab my bib number, checked my bag, used the porta potty, and headed to the start line. Waiting in the corral I knew I just wasn’t feeling it. My body felt heavy and tired but I told myself it was only 6 miles and to take one at a time. The gun sounded and we were off for just over one clockwise loop of the park (which is the opposite direction that I am typically used to). My body felt so tight and heavy but I tried to settle in.

IMG_1767I knew that I was going to have some hills to climb and they wasted no time starting. It wasn’t until we descended Harlem Hill and we had the climb for what felt like the entire mile 3 that my body was like “I’m over this”. I wanted to walk to be quite honest but then I found these two runners in front of me. One was an older gentleman and one was a female around my age.  They both had tanks with a slogan that I can’t quite remember but it was a program for addicts to become athletes. I’ll never know if they were running for themselves, a loved one, or just to support the cause in general, but the energy they gave off was contagious.  The gentleman was being so motivating and encouraging and every time he dropped a one liner, I pretended he was talking to me. I ran behind them for at least another mile before I realized that I was officially “the creepy girl in the purple tank running behind them that looked like she was dying”. So on a downhill I ran up beside the gentleman and was like “hey, I just wanted to thank you both for being so motivating and inspiring today. I really wanted to walk back there but instead I hung onto your energy and I really appreciate it”. Then I decided to run in their vicinity for the last mile instead of right behind them to reduce the awkward level.

The last 800m is identical to the NYC marathon finish and it really brought up a lot of emotions. It allowed me to remember the big picture and that all of these tears, sweat, and calluses are going to be worth it come November. The duo ran up beside me for the last 400m and we kicked it up a notch. Suddenly, the girl stopped running and said go ahead without me. WHAT?!?! My new gentleman friend and I turned around and we were like no way- the finish line is literally 200 yards away. This moment is really engrained in my memory.  Sometimes we fear success. What if actually achieve the things that we thought were impossible? What do we do once we have stepped into the unknown? What happens next in this unfamiliar territory? Watching her shake off her doubts and to cross that finish line together was the highlight of my day. I say it all the time but running is so much more than a physical activity. The memories and experiences I have shared on the concrete have been life changing. I’ll never know what their stories are but I know that they became a part of mine. My garmin says I finished the race with a 55:43 for 6.26 miles  and a 8:54 average pace. Post race I grabbed my bag (which NYRR does flawlessly), a frozen orangeade, and I hopped the subway back to Penn with my shiny medal in hand.

This Wednesday I jet off to Miami for my fitness retreat with the Tone It Up girls so be ready for a 305 explosion.

Xo, Pam

Race Recap: Broad Street 10 Miler 2016

I love Philly. I have been there a couple times as an adult and it is one of my favorite cities. The food is fantastic, the people are friendly (except I’ve gotten yelled at in the same liquor store on two separate visits. Oops.), and I run some killer times there. Six months ago I had the pleasure of running my marathon PR on the streets of Philly three weeks after cramping up and falling apart during the NYC marathon. The Broad Street 10 miler was on my bucket list of races. My best friend from college Kim and her sister Vic have always coined this one of their favorite races so I knew I wanted in. It is a lottery system so you have to make sure you put your name in before the deadline. PS BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CLICK. The cost of the race is $45 but I some how ended up spending $70. It’s been fun trying to figure out what I bought extra. Apparently I upgraded to a tech tee for $15 but we are still unsure of what my extra $10 went to. I will update you if I find out.

I left for Pennsylvania Friday afternoon. First up, I had a date night with my friend Caitlin in King of Prussia that consisted of dinner and shopping. I arrived to Philly Friday evening and spent the night catching up with friends. Saturday was a full day  of fun doing touristy things like running the stairs of the Art Museum, visiting the Franklin Institute, exploring the race expo, and of course a pre race dinner. We only had about an hour at the Franklin and we spent it in the Sport Zone. This was SO MUCH FUN. You must visit this exhibit on your next trip to Philly. The expo was pretty average and it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The highlight was a Turkey Hill ice cream sample and seeing some of my #tiuphilly girls.

The night before race day consists of checking the weather, laying out my race flat (also known as laying your race clothes in a pretty formation and snapping a picture), charging all of my devices, and lining up my beauty products for the morning including deodorant, body glide, sunscreen, chapstick, and foundation. Speaking of weather,  I watched the weather religiously the days leading up to the race hoping it would change. I complained to Al about it on a nightly basis and this is how our conversation went.

Me: “I can’t believe it is going to rain the entire race.”

Al: “It’s only ten miles.”

Me: “When was the last time you ran ten miles, let alone in the rain.”

Al: “Never.”

*End of conversation”

I used the “it’s only ten miles” for humor purposes the next few days when talking about rain, chafing, porta potty lines, etc.

Race Day. Ahhhh waking up to the sound of rain drops on your window at 6:15am. Sunday was very rainy and cold. Luckily after hours of deliberation and one last minute outfit change, I was ready to tackle Broad Street, rain and 49 degree temps included. I went with my Athleta Relay capris, my Athleta Striped Chi tank, and Asics NYC Marathon jacket. Vic’s boyfriend dropped us off at Subway and we climbed our way North on one of the most packed subways I have ever experienced. I have also never witnessed such a collection of trash bags and ponchos in my entire life. The subway ride was pretty long but I was just thankful to be warm and dry at this point. We arrive to the starting area about 7:45am, we checked our bag with our sweatshirts and rain jackets for post race (more on this later), and we headed towards our corral. We considered the porta potty at this point but you couldn’t even get into that area. So. Many. Bodies. I figured “hey it’s only ten miles” so I can hold it. We also didn’t realize we were in the pink corral so we had to hop the fence to get out of it and continue on our way to the green corral. We never actually made it to green corral because they did a weird configuration where the green corral jutted out to the side instead of staying in line with the rest of them. So we stood and waited and sort of just filed in at the end of the green corral. The positive was right before the start line there were some porta potties and a break in the fence so we darted out for a quick pit stop. No toilet paper of course but it was raining soooooo in the end it didn’t really matter. O the adventures pre race.

Time to get to work. My game plan was to run the first 5-6 miles and a pretty comfortable pace and then pick it up mile by mile. About 1/2 mile into the race, I found out Kim was running with me!!!! This was big news! Kim has always been my running inspiration and the reason I started running marathons to begin with. The fact that we were going to share our first race together (minus a hungover mud run in college) was so special to me. We talked, joked, and pointed out spectators along the way. I was so surprised how strong I felt and the times we were clocking off. I hydrated about every other water station and I took a Huma gel around mile 5.5. Things got a little congested around City Hall but once my Garmin clicked mile 6 I knew it was time to pick it up. My bestie Chelsea was standing around mile 8 so I used that to distract me over the next couple miles. I couldn’t believe how fast the time was passing and that we were over half way finished. Once we gave Chelsea high fives we began to kick it into high gear. Just before mile 9 I told Kim I wanted to go for it. Let’s see exactly what I was made of. There was one point where I was like “ooo dear goodness I don’t think I can do this” but then I told myself “YES YOU CAN”. Our last mile was a 7:36 and our official time was 1:24:11. My Garmin clocked our mileage at 10.05 which means we ran a pretty true course and had an average pace of 8:23. Crossing the finish line holding Kim’s hand will always be one of the most special moments in my running career and I am grateful we got to share my first Broad Street together.

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While it rained the entire race, I was pretty comfortable in the rain and the colder temperatures. Post race was a whole other story. Once you grab your medal and meal bag, the reality of how cold and wet we were really started to settle in. Once we figured out where they were located, we headed to the bus to grab our dry clothes. We found our bus #29 pretty easily but there didn’t appear to be any organization of the bags on the bus. After several minutes (which felt like hours) we got our bag and immediately changed our clothes. Once we met up with Vic and her boyfriend (who we didn’t know was running) we began the journey back home. Then it was time for burgers and champs before heading to the Phillies game to watch them WIN! After the game, it was time to head back to NY. I reflected on my amazing weekend and lucky I am to be living the life I am. ❤

Overall synopsis, Broad Street is an absolute must run and I will be entering the lottery again. Pros: straight shot, mostly flat, and great energy. Cons: 40,000 runners mean crazy porta potty lines and a pretty congested course. We did end up bobbing and weaving throughout the entire course. Especially the last few miles where people were slowing down and we were trying to pick it up.

Did you have any races this weekend? Have you ran Broad Street in previous years? Let me know!

Xo, Pam

 

 

Race Recap: MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon

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Louise: Let me start by saying that as of Saturday, I was only planning on going to brunch after Pam ran this race. I was going to cheer her on and have a mimosa that I totally would not have earned. I spoke with Pam right before going for my long run on Saturday (scheduled to be a 105 minute progression run) and she casually questioned “why not just run the half tomorrow”. With that, Pam somehow convinced me to sign up for Sunday’s race. On Saturday. I think there was a lesson about peer pressure that I missed…

After signing up, I continued with my Saturday plans to venture into the city. First, I picked up our race bibs and t-shirts. The NYRR running annex made this process such a breeze. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes- got in line, grabbed our shirts, scanned both QR codes from my phone, and had the bibs in hand. Next up: WeBleedBlue.com was having a viewing party for the New York Rangers’ playoff game! If you know me, you know I love hockey. Knowing I was using this half as a training race, I continued about my Saturday and maybe didn’t hydrate as I should have. Open bar, need I say more? 

Race Day!!

Bright and early on Sunday morning, we took the train to Manhattan and scooted up to Central Park. The sun had come up and it was going to be a gorgeous day in New York City- the warmest day of spring without a cloud in the sky! We found the bag check and porta-potties with ease and prepped ourselves for our race. Shoes tied, bibs attached, Gu in pockets, music ready. 

Pam: Okay wait let’s talk about the porta potties. Literally I felt like I hit the jackpot. Not only was there not a line but for the first time in my running career I was the first person to use the porta. As in I had to lift the lid up and open the toilet paper (which was unusually tricky and took probably more than a minute to accomplish). This may not seem like an event to celebrate but ask any runner and I am POSITIVE they have some nightmarish stories to tell you. I knew this was a sign that it was going to be a big day.

After Louise signed up on Saturday with promises of free water, a shiny new medal, and tough hills perfect for training, I offered to run the race together. That’s one of the things I love about running, sometimes it’s not about the time on the clock but the experiences you share. I was already treating this as a long training run so the opportunity to run the race with a bestie was too good to pass up. With time no longer a focus, I set other goals for the race. I wanted to 1) pace the hills so that the last one felt as strong as the first (which is why when Louise took off up the first hill I was like “what are you doingggg? we have 10 more of these bad boys today!) 2) fuel appropriately with my water/gu schedule and 3) encourage Louise and have fun. Throughout the race, we high fived after we conquered big hills, she sang me lines from her playlist, and I threw out motivational one liners. Around mile 10, I was feeling the energy of being only a 5k away from the finish line and I knew it was time to pick up the pace a little. At this point, I couldn’t tell if Louise was blocking me out, wanting to kill me for convincing her to do this, or enjoying my motivation. I’m still not sure what she actually was thinking. LOL. With .05 left to go we grabbed each others hands and crossed the finish line together exactly how we had started. I couldn’t be more proud of her and a 2:05 for 2 laps in Central Park  with a best friend is a successful day in my book.

More Half_Map_2016 copy

Louise: Ready for my thoughts! Remember, I signed up for this on Saturday. Luckily, my PIC decided we should run together and I am sooo glad we did! She paced me through the hills of Central Park and encouraged me the whole time. Running it alone would have been pretty tough mentally, but I conquered those hills and can’t wait to take on Brooklyn!

13.1 Thoughts for 13.1 Miles:

  1. Aaaaand we are off! Okay let’s find a rhythm, bob and weave through some people, and I could use some water…
  2. First hill- let’s crush it! Uh-oh, Pam’s yelling at me for picking up the pace there. Don’t wanna die yet!
  3. Pam! Guess what song I’m listening to! *Singing Britney Spears* Cause now I’m stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my wayyyy
  4. Harlem Hill… Okay. You’ve got this. You did it before. Like 2 years ago. It’s going to be fine. So fine. It’s really fine. It’s fine…
  5. Alright, I can roll with these roOoOolling hills.
  6. BOOM. One lap done. And would you look at all these cute guys! I bet none of them have girlfriends. They’re here to cheer me on. I mean, who doesn’t love a marathon on a Sunday morning?!
  7. Pam! Guess what just came on my playlist! …No guesses? *Singing/gasping for air* Stacy’s mom has got it going on, she’s all I want and I’ve waited for so longgg
  8. “Hello Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite”
  9. This hill again… Can we not?! OH. MY. QUAD.
  10. I think I blacked out here… but I was definitely anticipating another lap passed all the cute guys in the park
  11. Oh hi Gianna! Where did you come from? Why are you guys running so fast?!
  12. STACY’S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ONNN
  13. Halleluia! This is the most beautiful mile marker I have ever seen! I’m gonna touch it… Oops I missed.

13.1  Hold my hand! Yessss the finish line.

Until next time,

Xo Pam & Louise

P: bRUNching is One of my Favorite Hobbies!

bRUNch (noun) – an exciting day dedicated to getting your sweat on in the morning via a race of a designated distance and then celebrating with margaritas and tortilla chips.

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Honestly, every race should be followed up with a group of your best girlfriends, unlimited drinks, and a kick ass menu. This past Saturday was my first bRUNch of the season with my Tone It Up sisters. The weather was beautiful and the day was a success.

The morning was flawless. I woke up at 8, I was picked up at 8:45, the race started at 9:30, and brunch kicked off at 12. It was like clockwork. In the middle of the all of that I also ran a pretty kick ass 4 mile run. Due to an unforeseen illness that knocked me out for a week and resulted in my having to jog my half marathon the weekend prior, I wanted to test the waters. I still had a nagging cough but I had a game plan and a lot of determination.

Game Plan: I wanted to run the first 3 miles at a 7:45 pace and then just kick it in and see what happens. My first 3 miles were 7:44, 7:45, and 7:45. At that point I knew it was time to get to work. The last mile I wanted to chase down as many people as possible (one person in particular who I knew was ahead of me) so I got to work. It was uncomfortable and I was definitely at an effort level 10 when I got to the finish line but it felt good. I finished with a time of 30:42 for a pace of 7:38 miles. Not a PR by any means, but the best outcome I could have wanted. I was also able to snag 3rd place for my age group so I took home a shiny bronze medal. I love adding some hardware to my wall.

splits

medal

Then it was off for a quick change and brunch. I partook in a few too many margaritas but I balanced it off with a delicious chicken sandwich at one of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach, the Cabana.

 

Where are your favorite places to brunch?

Xo, Pam

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