Well, it might have taken me almost 2 weeks, but I’m so excited about this post because I love to reflect back on all the fun stuff! As a matter of fact I just might not even mention a thing about my injuries in this post because we all know they were a far cry from a highlight =)

January 26th, 2014: The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon

We sure had one very cold and very snowy winter and it was great to have a half marathon to run in the new year while everyone else was home in their PJs watching TV and staying warm. It was 17 degrees that day. I always feel like running in inclement or extreme weather gives you honorary rock star status.

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Enjoying some frozen Gatorade

My friend Carey was the only other brave peep with me that day and we ran together from start to finish. She’s such a consistently paced runner and I enjoyed letting her keep us nice and steady.

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Carey and me braving the cold for 13.1 miles in Central Park

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Happy Sunday! This day has flown by!

It started out just like yesterday. It was a bit like Groundhog’s Day…

doodle giving a little attitude for being woken up so early and pre-race coffee requirement being met

doodle giving a little attitude for being woken up so early and pre-race coffee requirement being met

I arrived at the Staten Island Half Marathon race day packet pickup at 6:30am Parked my car and headed over to the start village area. It was DARK and they were still setting up. These banners eventually got hung…

banners waiting to be hung

banners waiting to be hung

Used the flash on my phone to illuminate the “S” box so that the volunteer could locate my bib…

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“S” is for Sweat Out the Small Stuff =)

and then picked up my race tee (I ended up getting 2 on accident….they were stuck together….SCORE!). I made a quick pitstop back to my car to drop the race tees and pin my race number on my pants, grab a bottle of water and then I started out on my pre race miles…

Three miles in I took a path into a park that has a great view of the Verrazano Bridge. (yes I know! I’m obsessed with my overpriced-toll-suspension-bridge. It’s unhealthy.)

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First time I ever used the Kelvin filter with Instagram….

I followed the same route back to my car and managed to get about 6 1/2 pre-race miles. My goal today was to try and keep a pace in the 11 to 11:30 minute mile. I stayed at 11:15 for those pre-race miles. Things were right on target. Met up briefly with my running peeps before we all split up to head to our appropriate corrals.

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love these peeps

I won’t go into boring detail about every mile of the race. It went smooth and I kept my 11:15 pace for the entire half. At one point the leading men were running past us in the opposite direction. I quickly pulled out my camera to snap pics. The 1st place dude was so fast that I didn’t get his pic. But I got a great shot of the 2nd place dude (I looked up his results and he did indeed hold the 2nd place spot…

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As I was entering the final chute to the finish I thought it would be kinda cool to video it. I’ve never done that before. The footage is quite shakey but I was excited that they annouced my name as I finished. And unbeknownst to me my running peeps were on the sidelines and Lisa took a photo of me. When I watched the video I saw that I actually videotaped her! We’re just meant to be.

Here’s the pic she took of me…

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And here’s a still shot from the video where you can see her taking the pic…

videostilland here’s the non-award-winning video…

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20 miles done! And now it’s TAPER TIME!

After I finished I jogged back to the parking lot and did a few laps until I hit the 20 mile mark and then went back to my car (running peeps hopped on the Staten Island Ferry to head back to Manhattan) and stretched for a bit. I knew I’d have a good 40 minutes before the roads would be reopened and all of a sudden I realized I was STARVING! 20 miles and I had probably only eaten about 500 calories…I scraped up a few bucks in my car and went into the ferry terminal to get a nice hot slice of pizza! So good!

YUM!

YUM!

Then kicked back and patiently waited….

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stretching

Finally they let us out and I headed home. My final half time was 2:27 and my final 20 mile time was 3:45 giving me an average pace of 11:15! My A) goal for the NYC Marathon is 5:15 which is a 12 minute pace. I think I’m right on target (which means I probably just jinxed myself).

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I want to give a shout out to Mike who set a shiny new half marathon PR at 1:46! WORD! I was so grateful to him yesterday for pacing me to a 10K PR that this made me happy.

I bought a new pair of earbuds yesterday at Walgreens and decided to give them a test today so I’ll know if they will work for the NYC Marathon.

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iHome FIT ear buds get a big thumbs up

They get my seal of approval. I didn’t use the extra hook pieces that go behind the year but they never fell out. The only issue is they are so snug that people were asking me questions and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I’m going to make sure not to wear both at NYC Marathon. Keeping one ear free should allow me to hear better.

All in all it was a great running weekend. Unfortunately not much else was accomplished. Well I did take the doodle on a walk with his Dogue friends (and my human friend)

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Duncan and Athena and Zeus A.K.A. the Dogues

and last night I made a quick visit to another friends house where her boxer Chance and the doodle got to have a riveting play date…

boredpupsAnd I also treated myself to a plate of my favorite cookies…

cookieI’ll let you in on a secret. I cried both yesterday and today. Just a brief moment each morning while driving to my race destination where I just got all fuh-klempt. There’s something about the journey of training for marathons that really opens up the emotions. I become overly grateful for everything. So now I’m officially beginning my taper period that will last 3 weeks until marathon day. I’ll try and focus everything that has taken a back seat the last few months. which is basically EVERYTHING!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Question: What is your favorite type of cookie?

 

Happy October folks!

This is my favorite month. I’ll tell you about some of the great things planned.

Local races: I’m running 2 very special events this month that I’ve been doing for many years now.

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Rock ‘N’ Roll New York 10k (in Brooklyn, NY)

I’ve been running the Rock ‘n’ Roll New York 10K since the inaugural event in 2011 where I PR’ed with a 59:55. It was a bit unorganized the first year but last year they figured their sh#t out and it was much more organized—I on the other hand was not as organized. I forgot one key pre-race checklist item–to check my shoelaces. I stopped twice to tie my shoes and finished with a 1:01:55, exactly 2 minutes slower. I don’t think I would have beat my PR but I def could have shaved a minute had those laces been tied. I’m super excited to run it again this year on Saturday 10/12! I know the course really well and I might just try to set a new PR. But there’s only one caveat…

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Staten Island Half Marathon (Staten Island, NY)

…The second special event is actually the day after the RnR 10k this year on Sunday 10/13. It’s the Staten Island Half Marathon in my home town. And it has also become my last (and longest) training run for my fall marathons (NYC in 2011, Philly in 2012 and this year NYC again!). I log 7 miles before the start to end up with a good solid 20 miler for the day. So if I choose to push hard the day before to try for a PR, I might not have enough energy to get through 20 miles. HMMMM. I’m going to continue to mull over my plan for this. While the S.I. half has never been my fastest, it’s one of my favorites. It was my first ever half marathon back in 2007 where I finished in 2:36 and since then my times have ranged between 2:24 and 2:54. I get to drive to the start without hassle because I live so close to the start. I pick my bib and shirt up the morning of, and I’ve even been able to “christen” the porta johns because I’m there so early. AHHHH! Nothing like being the FIRST person to use a porta john.

And a big bonus is that I get to run these events with some of my Center of the Nation running peeps!

Autumn: This time of year here in the North East is so awesome. After suffering through 80 and 90 degree sticky, humid days, it’s a pleasure to finally have cooler and crisper temps in the 60s and 70s. The leaves on the trees turn all sorts of amazing colors and I love to crunch them as I run. Plus, Autumn is apple picking season! I LOVE to go apple picking and then I bake 2 apple crisps and eat them both myself in a weekend. (true story!). And I enjoy decorating my front porch with a cute li’l orange pumpkin (and a doodle).

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My birthday: And this year on October 25th I’ll be turning 40! Woah! Crazy right? I don’t look act a day older than 12. =) Last year I got to celebrate twice and had 2 cakes. The one on the right was homemade by my amazing friend Butter

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Halloween: While I don’t really dress up in costume anymore, I get a kick out of making Duncan suffer through some rather embarrasing looks.

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Sherrif on the left and referee on the right

So there you have it. October is going to be a great month!

Question: What’s your favorite month? What’s your favorite season?