I was trying to complete this post all morning but was glued to the real-time televised unfolding of the capture of the bomb suspect here in NYC/NJ. I’ve been struggling to focus and feeling awkward about sharing my “silly running” stories. So let me start by saying that I’m impressed by the swift work of law enforcement and that the bomb suspect was caught but I’m not relieved. I’ll never be relieved. The world is a different place now….especially since 9/11. I will continue to live my life but will always be alert and aware that anything can happen right here in my neighborhood. I AM “potentially” in harm’s way every day.


OK, now onto my “silly running” post…

It had been WAY too long since I traveled into Brooklyn (or Manhattan) to run with my running friends. But yesterday I finally had both a free schedule and the same mileage (12 miles) on my training “plan” so it worked out.

I traveled over the Verrazano Bridge and into Brooklyn around 9am.


We started at 10am. Starting late morning already made things easier for me. I hate running before I’ve had the chance to really wake up. So this was great. I brought a handheld water bottle and drank it all and also refilled it about 6 miles in but clearly I wasn’t hydrated enough because somewhere around mile 9 or 10 I stopped sweating and got cold. It was 80 degrees and the humidity was super high. The dew point was at 70 which can be interpreted as “super uncomfortable”. Anyway, the last couple of miles we sort of walked a block, ran a block, crawled, shuffled etc. And as soon as my Runkeeper app said 12 we stopped. I forgot to wear my Garmin GPS watch. But really, with Runkeeper and an iPhone with a decent battery who needs the watch.

Halfway through view of Manhattan from Long Island City (Queens)

Halfway through view of Manhattan from Long Island City (Queens)

halfway through view of Long Island City (Queens)

halfway through view of Long Island City (Queens)

exactly 12 and not a tenth of a mile more. We stopped a lot waiting for street lights...the only drawback to running in a busy city neighborhood vs a path with no cars.

Exactly 12 miles and not a tenth of a mile more. We stopped a lot waiting for street lights…the only drawback to running in a busy city neighborhood vs a path with no cars.

After the run I got a drink and a cherry freeze pop which was heaven….

So refreshing!

So refreshing!

until I tried to pour the melted cherry liquid down by tipping my head all the way back. The liquid came too fast and choked me and I ended up laughing and choking simultaneously for a good minute—losing some of the deliciousness to the sidewalk. And Lisa, once she knew I wasn’t in danger anymore, snapped this pic.

I'm holding two water bottles and a phone leaving me with just 2 fingers to keep hold of the attack freeze pop.

I’m holding two water bottles and a phone leaving me with just 2 fingers to keep hold of the attack freeze pop.

The good news is that the first 6 miles were very comfortable so at least I’m “10K-ready”…and in 3 weeks I’m hoping I’ll be half marathon ready :). I enjoyed chatting away with Lisa and Mike. Our friend Liz joined us in Long Island City and then we ran back toward Brooklyn together. Major blog photo fail because I didn’t take a group running selfie of us.

What is your favorite post run refresher? I love a good 7-eleven slurpee but the freeze pop was a good runner up.

Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi? I always go for Coke Zero. I’m slightly addicted.

Have you ever choked?

How do you handle seeing grave current events on TV or online? Are you calm or do you freak out?

This past Saturday I ran the inaugural Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon.

Shirt and race number: CHECK!

Shirt and race number: CHECK!

I had run their 10k in Brooklyn in 2012 and 2013.

2013 and a shiny new PR

2013 and a shiny new PR



Last year they canceled the 10k and let us know they were planning to make it a half for this year, so as soon as registration opened I signed up!

I enjoyed both 10ks and had fast (for me) finish times. My current 10k PR is from the 2013 one. I definitely recall logistical issues each year and also recall saying I was not really too fond of Rock n Roll much anymore but that all went out the window when the half was announced. =)

Here’s a little recap of the day:

I got up super early and got ready pretty quickly despite the fact I was under the weather. I’m still sick as of today. I haven’t been to a doctor but I’m guessing it’s a sinus infection and I might need to get to a doc soon. I was in Brooklyn by 6:00am and 15 minutes later I joined the rest of my running peeps for the 15 minute walk from where I parked to where the start was. Easy peasy.

But then things got ugly. We spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get to the corrals. It was now 6:40 and instead of filing into the corrals we were herded in the opposite direction to get on this ridiculously long line that would eventually get us through the security check/metal detectors. Unfortunately since the Boston bombings this has become a norm at many large races and I get that. But what I don’t get is that they had 8 metal detectors for 17,000+ runners. I’m no mathematician but that just seems like a poor ratio.

lots of feet waiting to get thru security

These are our feet waiting to get thru security

Needless to say there was a lot of commotion, crowding and waiting. The 7am start time came and went and we had no idea if the race was starting on time. There wasn’t a single race representative to give us any information.

Eventually we got to the corrals and had to climb through the fence to get to our designated corrals. We then waited and waited until finally 45 minutes after the original start the race had begun. The start was a wave start and we were about the 8th group to go.

Running peeps

Running peeps…mostly the usual suspects but Lisa’s sister Valerie flew in from Texas to join us.

Things did get better. The weather was perfect for starters—a crisp cool autumn morning. And the course was fairly fast (well except for miles 10 and 11 which I’ll get to in a bit).

My plan for this race was to enjoy my updated playlist and new earbuds—and find a nice easy pace and treat this like a long training run. I started out a little too fast. It was hard not to. My first few splits were in the low 10s. But eventually I got closer to 11s. I noticed my hamstring getting tight around mile 5 but it didn’t really become an issue until the later miles. My breathing was perfect. I was so shocked that I never felt winded….especially being sick and all. I had taken a decongestant and some advil before the race. I am not a fan of being medicated during long runs but luckily this all worked out. I’m realizing that while my training is nowhere near as much as I’ve had for other marathons, it’s finally starting to pay off and my lungs are definitely endurance runner lungs again. YAY!

just keep swimming

just keep swimming

Another hiccup….the water stops. I guess I’m spoiled with New York Road Runner events. Gatorade is given in Gatorade cups and water in plain white cups. And Gatorade always comes first followed by water second. You always know where to “fall in” to grab your fluid of choice. This wasn’t the case on Saturday. All fluids were in the same cup and each aid stop was set up differently. You had to make sure to hear what the volunteers were saying. Luckily they were all wonderful. I drank much more Gatorade than I normally do. I was trying to prevent my 18-mile muscle cramp situation again.

Overall the course was crowded but it wasn’t impossible. I never had it prevent me from keeping to my pace. I don’t know if the faster runners had the same experience or not though.

By mile 9 my hamstring was REALLY tight but still manageble. Then came the hills… one at mile 10 and another at mile 11. I slowed/walked a little lot here and also started to become a bit more tentative with my stride so as not to aggravate the hammy any more.

I picked up the pace a little for the last mile and finished in 2:25 with an average pace just over 11 minutes per mile. Perfect! Actually about 20 seconds per mile faster than I had anticipated.


Brooklyn’s course has plenty of spectators and fun signs and there are times where you felt the same energy as the NYC Marathon. That was a huge plus!

I met up with my peeps afterward and we walked the 15 minutes back to where my car was parked. We all parted ways and then it was home to prepare for Sunday’s race. I think the walking post race and the heated seats in my car helped keep my hammy happy. By the time I was home, showered, stretched/foam rolled I was feeling great.


bottle opener race medals seem to be all the rage.


the heat sheet brigade

the heat sheet brigade

So pros of this race:

•Fast course with two out and back stretches and some scenic miles in Prospect Park
•Great time of year for optimal weather.
•Lots of spectators
•Easy to get to by public transport
•Plenty of fluids and fuel at the finish

•Not enough security equipment for 17k runners
•Poor communication with runners to let them know race was starting late
•Inconsistent water/Gatorade placement at fluid stations.

The logistical hiccups are really all easily fixable will hopefully be addressed for next year.

Have you ever run a large race with logistical issues? Ever run a race where they ran out of water?

Yup. I’m at an all time low. And it’s ok. I just have to get it out so I’ve invited myself to a pity party for 1 tonight. Well Duncan has already crashed the party  =)

Rest in Peace Lambchop!

Rest in Peace Lambchop!

So this morning I headed out to Brooklyn to meet up with my running peeps for a 5K and some additional pre-race miles as well.

it was super foggy on the Verrazano Bridge this morning

it was super foggy on the Verrazano Bridge this morning

A tree grows in Brooklyn (and a Mike hides behind it). Thanks Elvia for the pic.

Lisa’s new apartment….A tree grows in Brooklyn (and a Mike hides behind it). Thanks Elvia for the pic.


Lisa, me and Mike (thanks Elvia for the pic). This was before we started running and my ankle felt good (hence the smile).

We started out from Lisa’s house and headed to JD’s house via a loop of the park making it 4 miles. From the first step my ankle felt “uncomfortable” but it wasn’t pain, just achy. We arrived at JDs and had a little breakfast and chit chat before walking to the starting line for the family-friendly PTA 5k in Prospect Park.


walking to the start


Elvia and Lisa =)

JD's daughter brought her scooter and her adorable disney helmet adorned with a dandelion =)

JD’s daughter brought her scooter and her adorable disney helmet adorned with a dandelion =)

As soon as we started walking to the starting line I noticed I was limping. I figured maybe the ankle just stiffened up but when the race began and I tried to run I was pretty much shut down as I felt pain at this point. So I just walked/limped and texted Lisa to let her and the gang know. She said if I wanted they’d wait for me at the Grand Army Plaza entrance which is actually only 2.5 miles from where we began and we could just head back to her house and not finish the 5K. What a great group of friends! They gave up finishing their race for me. (it was a fun run so no timing chips or medals or anything but still I was very happy they did that). It took me an hour to walk those couple of miles. We headed out of the park and straight to the farmer’s market where everyone got some goodies. I got a gluten-free apple pie.

pretty much killed the entire pie (it was smaller than a regular size but bigger than those single serve minis)

pretty much killed the entire pie (it was smaller than a regular size but bigger than those single serve minis)

Body & Soul Gluten-Free and Vegan goodies

Body & Soul Gluten-Free and Vegan goodies


Then we walked a few blocks down for coffee and eventually back to Lisa’s before I headed home and immediately started icing!

photo 4

So what does all this mean? It means I’m trying to make a dr. appointment ASAP. I’m still thinking it’s tendonitis but with such intense pain when I tried running again after breakfast I really got worried and started to think about other things like, eeek…. fractures. (I’ve since calmed myself down from the ledge). I know this could mean weeks of PT and rest and that means my half marathon next weekend is in jeopardy but I refuse to go beyond that. I’m also trying to devise a plan for cross-training that won’t aggravate the ankle because I feel like a slug right now. And hey, maybe this will be the catalyst to get me to focus on upper body and core strength training that i’ve been neglecting since forever.

Well, I’m late for my pity party! Catch ya later.

Question: Injuries…how do you cope? any miracle therapies to suggest? Have you ever had to bail on a race you paid for because of an injury?

Today was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 10K in Prospect Park. The day started early. Alarm went off before 5am and I was out the door at 6am. Duncan isn’t so fond of my weekend races that require alarm clocks to go off at 5am when we should be sleeping in. I strum violins for him. Such a tough life he has.


pre race coffee requirement met…

I traveled over my beloved Verrazano Bridge but since the sun hadn’t risen I got this picture:

pre-dawn Verrazano Bridge

pre-dawn Verrazano Bridge

Pretty still but nothing compared to this one from August:

sunrise porn

sunrise porn

I scooped up my co-mustache-packet pickup-pal Lisa and then we headed to the start corrals where we met up with most of our group


the packet pickup mustache girls

starting group

starting group plus one mustache boy and minus two mustache girls =)

I was on the fence about whether to push for a PR or just relax and enjoy knowing tomorrow is a 20 miler for me but my mind was made up before the first mile. I found myself running next to Mike and I felt really strong. We didn’t speak much at first. I didn’t want to chat with him if he felt like then he’d be “stuck” talking and slowing down. I mentioned that our pace was about 9:15 and if I could keep that pace I’d definitely PR. He reminded me we were on an incline. I really didn’t notice so when I realized that I could even push it faster on the downhills I started to solidify my decision. I would give it all I had. Next thing you know Mike became my pacer and coach. He really kept me going. I don’t think I’d have come close to that time without him. And I’m SO glad it happened sort of accidentally and wasn’t planned..

Me and Mike....Big thank you to Gary for taking this pic

Me and Mike….Big thank you to Gary for taking this pic

The downhills were 8:30s and the flat parts were mainly 9:15s and the one hill at mile 5 I slowed down to 10:14. But I am proud to say that I ran the entire time. Usually (when we train in Prospect Park where the race took place) I walk up most of that hill or I strategically need to refill my water bottle at a water fountain. Not today. Maybe my pace slowed and I dramatized how crappy I was feeling, but I kept running.

We finished in 57:26, a 2 1/2 minute PR over the 2011 RnR Brooklyn 10k. I even pulled up my garmin data from that race to compare my splits side by side:


Interestingly I gave it a bigger push in the last mile in 2011.

The rest of the crew followed right behind. It was a great day to run.


the larger group of finishers


colorful shirt and medal!


happy girl!

We celebrated at JD and Karen’s house with pancakes! (I didn’t take a picture but they were delicious!). Once I got home I took the dog out into the woods for a little nature trail time. It’s the perfect complement to my weekend races. I can keep the legs warm and make it up to the doodlebug at the same time.

learned my lesson. state land NOT federal!

learned my lesson. state land NOT federal!

Surprisingly, I feel pretty good! I’m going to get to bed early tonight and plan to take it slow tomorrow for my 7 pre-race miles, plus the Staten Island half marathon.

Question: What did you do today? This is a BIG marathon weekend….know anyone running in Chicago, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California or Baltimore?