Monday, November 30, 2015

Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run (5 Mile) Recap

Like a lot of my running buddies I am a big fan of a Thanksgiving morning race. I have run the 5 miler in Prospect Park a couple times but this year way too much of a trek from Queens (I had to go to NJ after). I started scouring the internets early on and luckily found one pretty close to me in Port Washington. I will not really trek for a 5K but this was also a 5 miler so win!

I didn’t really set myself up too well for it. The night before maybe indulged in more than a couple glasses of wine. And ate the frosting off of 1 ½ cupcakes (love buttercream could care less about the cake part) and then had a later than normal night (basically anything past 9pm is late for me).

Morning of, the struggle was real to wake up and get out of bed. But I did. Very unmotivated but I did it. I had a lot of time pre-race. The train got me to Port Wash a little after 7 with the race at 8:30. I had planned to run the 1.8 miles or so to the start but laziness was set and I did more walking than running.

I picked up my stuff and had the half hour to chill. I wound up hiding my bag behind a tractor and hoping for the best (no bag drop so was just praying my sweats were there after).

My 5 miles PR was 43:07 so my goal was an 8:30 pace to try and PR, but was very meh about the whole effort thing.

I lined up around 8:15 a little behind the 8 marker, because I am honest about my pace. The announcers every minute would state to “line up by pace, walkers in the back and unless you are running a 6 minute mile get away from the front” lol.

Gun goes off right at 8:30 and I knew I was in trouble as we were shuffling to the start. Off the bat people are walking, running VERY slow and just clogging the start up. I decided not to weave too much and attempt to settle in.

Mile 1: 8:48

I will say I was really disheartened to see how slow that first mile clicked off – it was unavoidable as it took at least a half mile to get into pace.

I also quickly note that we are running some rolling hills. I had just assumed that the course was flat but learned otherwise, luckily for the ups there was plenty of downs as well.

Mile 2: 8:16

I was in a groove now I honestly wasn’t looking much at my watch but running more by feel. I was trying to push but stay in control

Mile 3: 8:17

Kind of surprised that I was running this pace and not feeling like I was ready to fade yet but figure “at least I have banked time” (all the lol’s bc that is always a good plan, right?)

Mile 4: 8:07

The beginning of this mile met us with a hill that basically looked like Harlem Hill. I said good bye to all PR efforts as I tried to keep the pace up it. When the mile time clicked off I was kind of amazed.

Mile 5: 8:11

The course FINALLY leveled off and I knew it was flat to the finish I was holding on for dear life now.

Official time: 41:43, 8:20 pace

Splits: 8:48, 8:16, 8:17, 8:07, 8:11

Thoughts – I knew a PR was doable based on recent race times. I really had to work for this on the rolling hills and was very smart about the tangents – my Garmin mileage was 5.01 miles. Effort wise I am learning how to pace myself in shorter races much better if my negative splits say anything. Also happy how I handled the hills considering I rarely run them. Kept effort even on the up and really let my stride open on the down.

I will say I still shock myself with my race times these days. The majority of my miles are run slow but I race frequently these days and have PR’d the 5K, 10K and now 5 Mile in the past month or so.

I know in theory it is probably good that mile 1 was so congested because it lit that competitive fire inside of me being held back. Lately I have gotten to the race start and raced even when I wanted to phone it in.

But a serious PSA: people that line up purposely out of place – you ruin it for people like myself gunning for a PR. If you start at the 7 min mile marker and are running 10 – 12 minute miles or worse, WALKING, you are an asshole. Sorry, not sorry.

And with that I have one last 10K left this coming weekend then might be done racing for 2015. I had planned a half marathon this Sunday but it reached capacity so settled on the 10K another time.

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Some Life Lately Updates

Happy Turkey Week!

I am actually not really a fan of the whole Thanksgiving stuff yourself theme but I am happy that this year my parents are still in NJ so we are having a Thanksgiving at our house here instead of trying to get to Florida.

My sister was married last weekend and so they stuck around a bit longer for the holiday. They jet off a day after. Sadly my one sis is on her honeymoon so will be missed but we have the majority.

My lovely Fam with the newlyweds 
Just some random ramblings since I haven’t posted much lately.

First off haven’t mentioned much lately but on the Crohn’s front things are good. My last Remicade appointment my doctor had received approval for a double dose and within a day or so the lingering symptoms seem to have disappeared. Next week I get my next dose and seems we have made it the full 8 weeks! Folks, I think this is remission.

Also saw my hematologist last week and waiting for final lab results but iron levels seem improved as well (mostly expected since the bleeding has stopped). Still feeling tired but I think that whole shortened days lots of darkness isn’t really helping the anemia.

Second let’s talk running! I ran both 5K and 10K PR’s. Feels pretty good to have some speed back in my legs. I got my half marathon time down to 2:02 and had planned to run one more in a couple weeks to see if I could break 2.

I’m on the fence. I have had some lingering hamstring issues since that HM and also some motivation issues from long runs. I think if the race is still available a couple days out and the weather isn’t frigid I will go for it but am holding back on that registration.

However I am running the NOLA Rock ‘n’ Roll Half at the end of February with the CCFA team and am going to be gunning for a PR. Now if only this hamstring will sort itself out. It isn’t hurt/pain necessarily but it is annoying. I have cut back on my mileage and amount of days running but it seems the longer/harder efforts definitely aggravate it.

And finally, I am getting close to my vacation countdown. I am heading on a week long cruise and then spending the following several days in Florida with my parents. It is my longest holiday and time taken off work EVER (kind of ridiculous at 34) and I am so ready. Any cruise tips that I should know of?

Hope everyone is enjoying a nice shortened week. I am ready to run a nice Thanksgiving Day 5 Miler (SO happy for longer than a 5K) then bust a move to NJ to be with the family.

This year I am so very thankful to have regained my health and to have my family near – that is what the holiday is about! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Team Daniel Running for Recovery from Mental Illness 5K Recap

Another weekend, another race! Fall has been pretty busy! 

I am really a fan of seeking out these local races and this past weekend was no exception. 

I took a ride into Long Island to run this one. Port Washington. Home to North Shore Animal League. I'm lucky I didn't return home with a puppy. 

It seemed perfect logistically - the start was about 2.5 miles from the train station which I figured would serve as a good warm up and cool down and also get my mileage up to double as a long run. 

Things I didn't count on, waking up to a very upset stomach (the sad cause: overeating a ton of broccoli the two days prior) and some sore legs thanks to running around Central Park on Saturday morning with my CCFA team training. 

I got myself out the door though and figured whatever happened happened. 

Other things I did not expect was that the run to the race would be hilly. My body was not happy at the start. But at least it was a GORGEOUS fall morning. 

I got there about 15 minutes before go time which was just enough to hit the bathroom and get to the start line. 

Other things to note - the start did not run over a mat - which means gun time is your actual time. 

With a few remarks they counted down from a minute and we were off. 

This was another 2 loop course. I started running and just tried to get in a decent groove. I actually forgot to turn on my music while I was running I was trying to focus on my breathing (and eventually not dying). 

First mile clicked off in 8:07.

I was not feeling good. As I finished the first loop I felt my stomach start to get really angry and so I dialed it back a little. Also the guy I was following and pacing off of went out too fast and realized he was fading so had to pass him to not get caught up in his slowing down. 

Mile 2 in 8:18.

Now came a woman who looked a little older than me but was trying to pass me. 

Bring on my competitiveness. I was NOT about to let her out race me at the end so I was in beat her mode. 

And basically survival once I hit the 2.5 mile mark. 

Mile 3 in 8:03.

The end seemed interminable - goodness I just wanted to race to end and would not like to see any photographic evidence of me pushing to the end. 

Finished the last bit at 7:24. 

I don't have official times and they are not posted so for now it is going by my Garmin time.

3.12 miles / 25:19 

WHICH is good enough for a PR! (Previous 25:27 so unless I royally fucked up I got it).

And also for a 2nd place AG win. 

Very happy with how this went. I was not feeling good by any means and it was nice to be able to push it for that second half. To PR when I was having stomach issues and also my legs felt like lead is a good feeling. I feel like I am doing something right in my training and really progressing. I have my eyes on another 5K in a couple weeks I would love to get under 25 minutes!

Oh and other things that didn't suck, winning a $100 Steve Madden gift card in the raffle. 

Overall a great day of racing for a great cause. I will definitely be back to do this race again. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K

Ever since I have been feeling better and running faster I have had the urge to race. I suppose I missed all year due to the Crohn's flare (update totally over due) and got the bug to get back out there. 

I have also been branching out from the old and done NYRR loops of Central Park and this weekend found myself on Roosevelt Island to run the NYCRuns Haunted Island 10K (I LOVE their races).

I had to go back and check but I knew my 10K PR was something looking to be taken down. I don't race them too much and also always have trouble pacing them - like 5K just ride the pain train and half get comfortably hard...what the hell do you do for a 10K? 

At 57:04 which is a 9:11 mile I knew I should be able to best that.

I woke up Saturday morning with my stomach feeling crappy. I came very close to staying home but figured I just would not eat or drink anything and pray for the best. 

The commute to Roosevelt Island was SO EASY, and the morning was gorgeous. 

These morning views aren't too shabby.
I had 45 minutes prior to the race and was able to wait around and drop my bag literally 5 minutes before the start. 

I should also note my Garmin was dead. It was on the charger all night but took it off and knew it was pointless to bring it, so decided to use mapmyrun. In the end kind of helpful to not have the watch to look at while running. 

Weekends are for starting lines.
The race was 2 loops. My "plan" was to run a comfortably hard pace for the first 5K and then to drop it the second. 

Now I don't know how I ended up running a quarter mile extra I more suspect as always map my run is not reliable but I will go with those paces. 

Miles 1-3 were a steady 8:28, 8:30, 8:27 

I had a girl that was running in front of me at a good clip and I basically just coasted with her. 

The second we went through the first loop I started to pick it up a bit. Mission pick people off was in effect. I didn't want to burn out but I was feeling pretty good. 

I had one minor moment of panic around mile 4.5 when my stomach all of a sudden was like slow the f down. So I eased off for a second until it passed and luckily all was good. 

Somewhere in the final mile I started to get really hungry and thirsty and ready to be done and was happy that I was side by side with a girl who clearly didn't want me passing her so she kept me pushing until the end. 

Miles 4-6.45 8:14, 8:15, 8:23, 7:43 (again going on tracking splits since that is what I have).

Final official results are 53:52 / 8:41 pace for a 3+ minute PR!

My 6.45 miles gives me an 8:21 pace but again think that the app is very unreliable.  

Hello shiny new PR.
Overall very happy with my race. I am a lot better with pushing myself these days. And as a testament to my Crohn's being better - yes, my stomach was very queasy and I made several port o potty trips prior; but I was able to gut this out. This was just sensitive stomach issues and probably too much wine the couple days before, NOT flare issues. When I was flaring there was NO WAY in hell I could just gut it out when it acted up. 

I can't wait to see what some more racing brings to me. Feels so good to be getting back to where I used to be! Another weekend with another great race. I like this feeling. 

And a PR. I haven't PR'd a race shorter than the marathon in almost 3 years!