Happy Friday,

I finally went to the doctor. Sinus infection. Starting on antibiotics. I should be feeling better in a couple of days. I am so stubborn but someday I’ll learn to go to the doctor sooner.

And now on to recap #2 of my double half marathon weekend. Sunday I ran the Staten Island Half Marathon for the 9th year running. (2007-2015). You can read last year’s recap here.

I love this race for so many reasons. It’s almost always a beautiful day weather-wise.
It’s so convenient for me to get to.
It’s my hometown and I am extremely familiar with the route.
It’s always got a large group of runners who are preparing for the NYC Marathon so there’s lots of runners running before and after the race creating this energy and excitement that the big marathon is coming.

This year there were a few changes. Because of a large construction project along the waterfront, the staging area and the parking situation have changed. There is no more parking at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal which is where I’ve been parking for the last 8 years. And the staging area has moved mostly to inside the ballpark of the Staten Island Yankees. I’m not a fan of change but this had to be and actually aside from parking becoming more challenging I think the ballpark staging area is kinda fun.

Mr SOTSS was actually supposed to run with me this year but after losing 6 weeks of running to plantar fascia issues he decided it was smarter not to attempt to run. He’s only up to 4 miles in his training. I asked if he would still come with me in the morning and drive so we could be armed to look for street parking. It worked out! We arrived near the stadium at about 7:15 and spent a good 15 minutes driving up and down all these windy one-way streets to find a spot. Then walked to the stadium to grab bibs/shirts and meet up with my running peeps.

He might not have been able to run the race but I’m sure he’ll get use out of his shirt.

12122912_10153115777157409_8752153912200066482_nI’m always a bit anxious on race mornings so it was nice to have my uber calm boyfriend there to ensure I was there with time to spare. Thanks boyfriend! XO

The start line and corrals were moved this year as well but I actually liked it better.

The gang....all of who ran the day before too

The gang in the corrals….all of who ran the day before too

In addition to all the changes at the start, there were a lot of changes along the course this year too, some good and some not so good which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Once we walked to the corrals I kissed Mr SOTSS goodbye and apparently he then went on to a local dog park to let his dog Chester have some play time. I guess if you’re gonna miss out on running the next best thing is watch your dog play and be happy.

Text from Mr. SOTSS

Text from Mr. SOTSS. Actually it looks more like Chester made friends over drinks. LOL!

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Up until this year, during much of the course, there were lots of out and back portions of the route which I always enjoyed. I used to see the leaders of the pack as I was approaching mile 4 and they were probably close to mile 10 by then. but this year’s course changes removed those out and backs. I was kinda bummed about that. Not to mention since most of my friends are faster than me it would always be a good distraction to look for them as they passed in the opposite direction.

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They moved the halfway point a bit so that now you run about 2 miles on the boardwalk. This makes the route more scenic for sure. It’s my stomping ground. It’s where I do so many of my long runs. (Including my 18 mile muscle-cramp run). I bumped into my friend Cindy on the boardwalk (around mile 7) and we stayed together for the remainder of the race.

And so i am back running exactly where I was during my crappy 18 miler

And so i am back running exactly where I was during my crappy 18 miler

The downside to the boardwalk is that it’s not so easy to run on. I usually do my training runs on the bike path that runs parallel to the boardwalk to avoid the wood slats.

There used to be a big hill at mile 9ish. Well, that hill is out but they replaced it with a BIGGER HILL! I knew it was coming since I’ve been along this part of Staten Island many times before. I biked here last year when I was injured.It’s really scenic and takes you directly underneath the Verrazano Bridge and then you can see a view of the NYC skyline but boy is it a killer hill.

Easy to take a pic when you're walking up a hill

Easy to take a pic when you’re walking up a hill

This pic is from the time I tried riding my bike up the hill. But gives you a good idea as to how steep and long it was.

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Dirty Old Sneakers has a great video on his recap that shows the hill a bit better. Mind you he’s fast and reached the hill while most runners were still running up the hill. By the time I got there almost EVERYONE was walking =)

And the views!

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Verrazano

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NYC

Cindy and I had both run the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half the day before. We walked up the big hill and then mostly ran the remainder of the race with a little more walking at the last incline at mile 12. It was really great to have the company. I hardly ever get to share race miles with a friend.

Me and Cindy crossing the finish together!

Me and Cindy crossing the finish together! The guy behind us did Brooklyn the day before too!

We finished in 2:34 just 2 minutes faster than my first ever half marathon back in 2007. Because I’m a numbers person I added up and averaged all my times from the SI half and guess what? I average 2:30. So there ya go.

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i need to get more creative with my watch shots.

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You cross the finish line at home plate of the ballpark. It’s definitely a highlight of the course.

There was plenty of fluid stations this year and Gu was being given out at the halfway point. All in all a great race.

I’m probably going to lay low this weekend and try and get healthy again.

What are you doing this weekend?
Ever been to Staten Island?

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