overdue race report #1: dick meighan 5k

Finally gonna get started on these way, way overdue race reports! 🙂

So even though I’ve been a serious runner/racer since 2004, I had only run one turkey trot (aka race on Thanksgiving morning) once, in 2004.  I ran a 5-miler on Long Island with my uncle and 2 cousins.  Sadly there will never be another race I’ll run again with my uncle 😦  Unfortunately, I don’t remember too much about the race that year except it was very hilly.  I wish I could remember more.

me, uncle and cousin after race with our finisher medals

And for whatever reason every year after, I hadn’t raced on Turkey Day…most of the time I preferred to get my own Central Park done in the AM and then train it to wherever I’m going, or sleep in 😛

But this time around, I was sorta itching to race.  And I had heard that the Dick Meighan 5K, which was around 15-20 minutes away from my parents in NJ, was a good-albeit hilly-race.  And oh yeah, based on previous race results there was a good chance I’d place in my AG.  Wasn’t expecting a PR, given I was only 2 1/2 weeks out from NYC and that it would be hilly.

How hilly?

So the nite before I stayed over at the parentals, then awoke to a nice and chilly morning, and drove over to where the race was…taking note of where certain uphills/downhills would be.  Got my bib and a nice tech shirt, and then went to warm up on the first mile of the course…which was good as you can see, I would know not to blow it in the first half-mile so to say 🙂  Finished my warmup, did some strides, took care of business and went over to the start.  Looked like it was gonna be another free-for-all, so I positioned myself a few rows back from the front and just waited for the starting horn.

the start

And knowing that the first half-mile contained a big-ass hill, I let people pass me, ran hard but did hold back just a little bit.  The downhill at the half-mile point was very welcome, but in a way felt like after the big hill at mile 8 of the Staten Island half…like I needed 100-200 meters to recover and of course in a short race like a 5K, you don’t have that 🙂  But was pleased with my first mile-7:24.  I then made the time goal of the day to get under 23 minutes…

…which I could get as long as I avoid my usual mile 2 collapse in 5K’s.  Mile 2 was rolling hills, but nothing really horrible.  And as this was 7:23, I was able to hold on.  This was less of a net uphill mile than the previous, so maybe effort-wise was a little slower, but I don’t think by much.  And I had enough in the tank to pick up the pace for the last 1.1 and pass people in the process.  However, in my drive over, I did note one more big hill that would be in the last mile and sure enough with about .5-.6 miles to go, there it was.  I just killed it best I could, knowing I didn’t have long to go.  One more turn…and more climbing…however thankfully the last .1 was downhill into the school’s parking lot, then flat to the finish.  I was neck and neck with this other woman, but she outkicked me to the finish…arrrgh!!  Last 1.1 in 7:52 (7:09 pace.)

chick in black next to me had just outkicked me to the line. damn.

Wound up with 22:39, 7:18 pace…which given the terrain and still recovering from NYC (and minimal speedwork!), I was definitely happy with.  I mean, I outperformed a flat 5K I did 3 weeks after Chicago last year 🙂

So I didn’t know yet how I did in terms of placing, so I went for a cooldown and then went back to the school’s gym (where the refreshments/awards were), grabbed some hot cider and checked out the results.  FOURTH in my AG.  Arrgh.  Missed by half a second-to the chick who just outkicked me at the finish!  And the kicker is that if I were still 34, I would have placed!  It is what it is, I guess.  And actually, I most likely would not have been able to stay for the awards anyway, they started with the older age groups and it would have taken a while to get down to mine, and I had to leave fairly early as my parents wanted to get an early start on our trek to Long Island for Thanksgiving festivities and beat the traffic.  Before I left, I saw and chatted with Ari briefly-he was there with his daughter for her first 5K, which they both enjoyed a lot.  (And I love how she noticed the Yankee charm on my shoe and said “Daddy, look she’s a Yankee fan too!” 🙂 )

So I went home, got cleaned up, headed to LI with la familia, ate and drank more than enough to counteract the morning’s run, and checked the final results online…and I was bumped up to THIRD in my AG.  Whoa.  Apparently the chick who was originally 1st in the 35-39 AG was now 10 years younger, moving us all up a spot.  Was definitely happy about that!!  Though actually claiming my trophy…well it’s taken more work than the race itself!!  First my trophy was actually in the hands of the 1st place woman.  Then when she returned the trophy it was actually the 2nd place one she had, and the one ahead of me had the 3rd place one had no info for anyone to get in touch with her.  So all in all, I will have to accept the 2nd place trophy (which my dad did on my behalf, and I’ll finally get it in my hands next weekend!) and Sharpie it up to show how the real chips fell.  And if 2nd place chick finally decides she wants it back, well that’ll show her to outkick me next time 😛

And next year?  I’ll just have to come back and win my AG outright 🙂

not gone, just occupied

maybe not this kind of “occupied”…

But the last few weeks have been a busy few all the same.  Crazy at work (still been getting the running in though!) and well, haven’t had much time to put together a quality blog post.  (I don’t know how you peeps who blog every day do it!)  And it’s not that I have nothing to say, actually I do have quite a bit to write about, including but not limited to…

  • 2 belated race reports (one including an AG award!)
  • a Sparkly Soul headband review!
  • other holiday odds and ends

Hope to catch up over the next few days!  In the meantime, hope you all are having a great holiday season!

1-1-11

yes maybe this post is a coupla days late but I really don’t care 😛

So another New Year’s Eve down.  And the first time that I’m actually living near Times Square.  And wanted no part of the madness there.  Funny thing, I remember back in college really wanting to do the Times Square thing for New Year’s…never happened and as far as I am concerned, it never will (unless I’m indoors and protected from the crowds.)  Thankfully, the craziness didn’t make it to my block…and I found as long as I stayed west of 8th avenue (well I did actually have to leave my apartment that day to do stuff!) I was fine.  If anything, you couldn’t even tell that only a coupla avenues east there was a mob scene.  8th ave was a little crowded, but not horrible.  And I only had to deal with it for one block just to get to the subway to head uptown.

So once again, I would be doing the Midnight Run in Central Park.  But of course, it was preceded by some pregaming at a fellow Flyer‘s apartment….some Flyers and FOF’s.  Good chill time.  And yes, I am wearing my obnoxious pink CEP socks.  And a black and pink running skirt.  And a black and hot pink running top.  And just for the hell of it, a tiara too.  And what did I bring to put in my (hot pink) water bottle for “hydration” during the run?  Pink champagne.  OK, maybe I’m taking this whole hot pink thing a little too far 😛

happy new year! can we run yet?

So the crew left for the park with around 20 minutes to midnight…after a few blocks, me and Bridges Runner decided we needed to pick it up if we wanted to get to the park before midnight.  Which we did with a couple of minutes to spare!  Of course it meant we were lined up pretty far back but it was cool since we got a pretty good view of the fireworks.  And no one was moving in front of us so we got to enjoy them for…I guess 10 minutes?  Finally the crowd in front of us started to move-I bet the officials were trying to get everyone out of there as soon as possible, as the winners would be by any minute!!  (We crossed over 12 minutes after midnight, and the winner finished in 18 minutes and change!)

So me and Bridges Runner were just taking it easy, she snapping photos on the run too (a la crazybandanahead)…we figured our only goal would be to finish this run before 1 AM (keeping in mind we didn’t start til 12:12!) 🙂  And it was a really nice night for running-the running skirt was good attire that nite!!  Can’t believe it was like 19 degrees last time I did this one a couple years ago…anyway, we had a good time, high-fiving spectators, sipping champagne out of the water bottle (that one was just me…lol.)  Coming into the finish, we heard “Eye of the Tiger” playing and sang along…and yes indeed we finished before 1 AM!!  And hopefully this will be the slowest 4 miler both of us will do all year 🙂  AND I get my first race credit for 2011-score!!  Fun night-didn’t get to bed til like 3 or 4 AM!  And thankfully, Times Square was quiet by the time I got back to midtown…

love the glamour of a cosmo with a twist under the blue light

…needless to say I slept in the next day.  But was too “warm” to stay inside and had to go do some awards gala dress shopping, so I chose walking over the subway today.  Walked by Bryant Park on the way crosstown and thought I’d see how long the wait would be to go ice skating…2 hours?  No way!!  (I definitely want to go skating before it closes for the season at the end of February…just a matter of finding when there will be no wait!)  But I decided to stop at the bar/lounge there and have a drink with a nice 2nd floor view of the park.  Then more walking and dress shopping which turned out to be a success!  You’ll just have to wait and see what I got 😉  As for Sunday, got to see the Jets win the last game of the regular season!  Bring on the playoffs…

So yeah…buh-bye 2010, I’m not sorry to see you go.  For quite a few reasons (running-related and non-running related), it was a tough year.  And no resolutions for 2011, as I don’t believe in them.  Or even saying I hope this happens and that happens…um no.  I remember 10 years ago saying all I wanted in 2001 was to “be happy in work, life and love.”  And wouldn’t you know it, 2001 turned out to be a shitstorm times infinity.  Learned my lesson!  We’ll see what this year brings…

Happy New Year!!

all I want for christmas are cep compression socks

Well, maybe not.  But I do know there are fans of CEP compression socks (aka the hot pink socks I wore during Chicago) who read my blog and want to make them aware of this promotion!

So I came across this promotion a coupla months back.  The details?

What do you do if I win? When you race in CEP Compression socks or sleeves, complete the form, send us a photo and tell us your experience in CEP we’ll send you a FREE pair of CEP socks of your choice. . . Yes, it’s that simple! Just complete the form and send us your photo of you racing in CEP at any of the races allowed in the drop down menu and get another pair on us.

How does it work? You must race in CEP compression socks or Sleeves during an approved marathon or triathlon, fill out the entry form below. Then email your photo to us racing in CEP. The socks have to be visible to win.

What do we send you? – Once we get your entry we will send the exact product you request when filling out the form Please allow 4 weeks to process.

So thanks to my fabulous paparazzi around the course, I did have a couple of high-res, non-marathonfoto pics of me in the socks.  I chose one taken with one mile to go, sent it in, and hoped for the best.

And kinda forgot about it til 1 week ago, when I had a UPS slip saying I had a package waiting for me-but I wasn’t expecting anything.  I picked the package, opened it up, and wouldn’t you know…

Nice surprise, indeed!!  A brand-spanking new pair of socks, this pair in the cool “progressive black” design.

And my legs were quite happy too.

So if you’re a fan of these socks and want another pair, can’t hurt to check this out, right?

And Merry XMas to all of you who celebrate it!!  As my holiday has been long over, I will be spending tonite being a glutton for punishment yet again amongst a bunch of Jewish singles.  And Chinese food with the parentals tomorrow.  Maybe a run around 5th Ave and the store displays/tree if I’m ambitious enough…?

the season of excess

oh hi again!!  damn, i’m not even keeping up with my previous “once-a-week” thang.  but the last coupla weeks have been the weeks of the holiday party and other assorted goodies (yet not much running)

To sum up the last coupla weeks:

 So there being lotsa eating, drinking and socializing.  Which also equals hangovers, late nights, not waking up til the afternoon, lazy weekends on the couch.  I’ll actually be glad when January comes around and the party season has died down.  but don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun.  Work party was a good time, though this time around the CFO wasn’t even there, so a certain party tradition did not happen this year 😦  But what did suck?  Party on Wednesday, work on Thursday (couldn’t take off like I usually do since our group had a vendor take us out to lunch.)  Flyers party was a good time as usual, though some peeps were missed.  Throw in others here and there…then last nite I crashed the Flyers speedwork session (as UA is on hiatus this month) and partied at Rathbone’s afterwards (yum 2-for-1 Blue Moons…love their 2-for-tuesdays!)…sorta late night for a “school night” but still fun.  But man, I don’t know what worked harder yesterday, my legs or my lungs.  Short repeats on minimal running are not the best…neither was breathing in that cold, icy air.  Thinking tempo is better for the winter months…?

On the topic of running, no races on the horizon right now.  After that crappy job at the 10K, I figured a 15K PR would not be happening and decided to pass on that race.  (Turned out to be a good thing-as I didn’t leave a party the night before til after 3 AM!)  I had tossed my name in the ring for the NYC Half, but I got rejected…as did 90% of the tri-state area

Needless to say, NYRR’s facebook page blew up, and rightfully so.  Did I know there would be a chance of being rejected?  Oh yeah.  Did I know I wouldn’t have a shot in hell of getting in?  Hells no.  i definitely think that NYRR did not handle this well.  Between pushing off the lottery to mid-December (and leaving many in danger of getting closed out of other spring halfs) to disclosing all this information after the fact…I do appreciate that they sort of “came clean” but it’s also “too little too late.”  (And yeah, the truth does hurt.  Meaning about how they’ve strayed so far from their “base,” local runners (no I don’t mean local elite.)  As a friend of mine said (very well, I may say): “NYRR needs to remember their Charter and that the club was formed First & Foremost to benefit runners in New York City; The club was NOT formed to host triathlons, pay rabbits for professional track meets in CA, or to donate money to professional clubs in Mammouth Lakes or Minnesota.”  (There’s a good post on Joe’s blog too.)

So next year will be interesting I guess.  Especially since now NYRR is offering a guaranteed entry to the 2012 NYC Half for those who complete 4 out of 5 borough halfs in 2011.  I feel they are just going to cause another problem to try and solve another.  (Oh and don’t even get me started about the $70 registration fee for the More Half-marathon-which is 2 loops of Central Park!)  First off, given that 2 of the 5 halfs are on Saturdays, if someone can’t race on Saturdays for work or religious reasons, or other reasons, they’re automatically out of it (same thing for Sundays too.)  Secondly, those who want to run the borough halfs just to run them (and not caring about NYC Half entry) may get screwed.  Brooklyn is already tough to get into, I see it selling out in record time this year. (you can bet i’m going to jump on registration once it opens!)  Not to mention how they are always changing around the dates of the borough halfs…

As for me, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get in, but it’s not the end of the world (there’s always the Brooklyn Half I guess.)  I’ve only done the NYC Half once and it was a bad race for me, so I thought that like Brooklyn, this could be a good race to “get revenge” on.  Guess only way I will ever get to run it again will be to have a qualifying time under my belt-and please don’t tell me that it’s so easy and everyone should be able to do it.  Those qualifying standards are no joke, even having my best half-marathon ever I still came up 36 seconds short…

Anyways, back to work…man, they’re still expecting us to work?  Doesn’t everyone go away for the holidays? 🙂

testing, testing…is this thing still on?

Oh hi there!!  Yep, I have been MIA in blogland for the past 2 weeks…even better than my recent slackerdom of one post a week 😛  Between the holiday craziness at work (2-day workweek before Thanksgiving?  Still have to do 5 days worth of work since the show must go on, even on Thanksgiving when almost every office is closed!) and running blahs, just hadn’t had much to report.

Oh yeah, that thing…running.  I feel like I really haven’t had consistent mileage since Chicago.  It’s getting tougher with the colder weather, more darkness and people choosing to stay indoors.  (I actually made it to a Flyers group run in Central Park last nite-first one since moving to Midtown…and only 2 other people were there!)  Plus apparently speedwork is on hiatus in December.  I guess I understand the need for a break but part of me is like “well I already had my break in October…I want to keep going, build back up!”  And speaking of speedwork, the hill workouts I’ve had the last coupla weeks showed me that I have committed a serious training error the last few months-too many West Side Highway runs, not enough Central Park runs…hence I am not hill trained.  So even though the West Side Highway is closer to my place now (and has less crowded streets to run through to get there, unlike Central Park where I have to run up 8th or 9th ave…which can be a zoo at times) I’m gonna have to limit those runs and run more in Central Park.

And I hope this doesn’t hurt me too much in the Joe Kleinerman 10K on Sunday.  At the very least, we get Harlem Hill out of the way in mile 1, but Cat Hill in mile 5 may give me trouble.  We’ll see what happens, I’m really not expecting to PR, I’ll be happy to get under 50 minutes.  But I actually have a bottle of Blue Point Blueberry Ale in the fridge…maybe I should drink that Saturday nite.  As I did have that the nite before the Kleinerman 10K 2 years ago…and I didn’t have a bad race at all.  Still deciding on the attire as it looks to be chilly Sunday morning.  Shoes-it’s a toss-up between my Saucony Fastwitches or the Lunar Racers.  Yeah…don’t think I’ll be utilizing the Kinvaras on Sunday-sorry, Kinvara Mafia 😛  Even though they felt good on a regular easy run, I haven’t really loved them in speed workouts, therefore sorta iffy about using them in a race.  Maybe I should just use the Kinvaras on short, easier runs…?

That’s it for now…want to save material for other posts!!  But before I go, I just had to post this:

My dog brother’s first visit to my apartment!!  And he was incredibly well-behaved.  Amazing how much he has grown since you all saw him last about 6 months ago…but he’s still the cutest dog I’ve ever seen! 🙂

joy and pain

Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Yeah, couldn’t resist digging up some old-school lyrics (if u call the 80’s old-school…hehe.) But I just had the song in my head, as “joy and pain” seemed to sum up this past holiday weekend…thankfully much, much more joy than pain! 🙂  Oh yeah-I love long holiday weekends!!

Holiday weekend doesn’t mean I get out of doing a long run tho, and I had 15 on tap this weekend.  Thankfully, I had some great company, as me, Bridges Runner and Maria took on the GWB, the Palisades and the West Side Highway.  Fun?  Yes!!  Easy?  No 👿

view of NYC from the GWB

Now I think the last time I trekked over the GWB on foot was 3 years ago with the Flyers…but this Palisades Run had a bit of a twist.  Yep, instead of heading out and back on River Road, we hit some semi-hidden trails instead.  Well I guess they aren’t really secret, but I never would have known about them otherwise…I almost felt like we were entering a secret passageway or something when I saw the entrance to the trails by one of the stairs on the NJ side of the bridge.  The trails were nice and shady, which was very welcome, even with it being relatively early and not that warm yet.  But we definitely had to watch our footing…remember that.  The trails were mostly flattish with the exception of two places…one being a steep decline on uneven terrain…was almost slowing to a walk there.  Surprisingly enough I stayed vertical there…which I couldn’t say the same for a few minutes after-yep I lost my footing and went down.  (yet somehow a certain reflex in me stopped my Garmin right away.  Guess I’ve done this before.)  Thankfully nothing was broken-just had a pretty scraped right elbow which really looked worse than it actually felt.  And thankfully Maria was prepared with a little package full of baby wipe-type things for me to clean up a little with, until I got to some water fountains and could do a better job.

So once I sort of got my bearings, we continued on, to the toughest part of our run-the “cliff stairs” heading up to where the approach to the bridge was.  Let me say, my quads are still feeling those things today….that shit was tough!!  I thought I was in decent shape before, but I’m not too sure now.  (Oh, and the height of those steps does not cater to those with short stubby legs like mine.)  Never thought I’d be so glad to run across the the GWB again…and boy I welcomed the flat road of the West Side Highway!!  The rest of the run flew by, and next thing we knew we were in the 50s and 15 miles were done.  We definitely earned those burgers and beers at Chelsea Brewery!!  Nice day to sit outside and eat, drink, chill out and gab about stuff like if Lady Gaga’s song “Alejandro” really does sound like Ace of Base, the new iPhone, and various other things 🙂

But that wasn’t it for the day…after a well-deserved nap, and watching the Prefontaine Classic on TV (did anyone else think the NBC coverage SUCKED?  No mention of Chris Solinsky’s time in the 5000 or Andrew Wheating’s time in the mile?), headed to the Boat Basin…wanted to take advantage of the fact that people were out of town and that it wasn’t too crowded to sit out back (where there is a good view of the river and sunset) and sip some margaritas 🙂

Sunday was the 4th and would be yet another fun day!!  Started it off with a short run on the bridle path, then headed up to Da Bronx for my first Yankee game this year 😀  Saw some awesome plays like Brett Gardner’s inside the park home run, but some heartbreaking ones like 3 Yanks (including Nick Swisher twice!) getting thrown out at home.  (I swear the home plate umpire must have gotten dismissed from the World Cup or something…)  Just one of them coulda prevented the extra innings…as unfortunately Mo blew the save and I had to leave at the end of the 9th 😦  But as it turned out, the Yanks did win in the bottom of the 10th-doh, I missed the usual pie in the face after a walkoff win! 😛  But I had to get home, cleaned up, and back out the door for a get-together that included some very good food and drink, and then staking out a spot on the West Side Highway to watch the fireworks!!  The fireworks show was great, and it surprisingly was not crowded-I remember the couple of years I lived in Murray Hill and trekked to the FDR to watch the fireworks and it was packed-and took forever to get out!!

And today being a scorcher-thankfully a running rest day!!  But was perfect to sleep in, get some errands done, do some stretching, foam rolling, lifting and ab work in the air-conditioned NYSC, then partake in Cilantro‘s Monday nite $10 fajitas!!  (Not to mention a nice refreshing margarita…yum!!!)  Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow?

I leave you with a great pic of the fireworks from last nite (thx Bridges Runner!)  Happy 4th! 🙂