Tuesday, March 27, 2012

13.1 NY (race recap)

State #25---- HALFWAY DONE---- WOOT! 
Flushing Meadows Park- Queens NY

Believe it or not I have NEVER been to the great Empire State. Majority of the people I talked to, highly recommended the New York 1/2 Marathon since you get to run throughout the city and kill two birds with one stone. My girlfriend Heidi who wanted to come across from St. Louis had a conflict that weekend, so we decided to meet up the weekend after and do this race instead. 

We lucked out immensely since one of our best girlfriends, Toya, from high school happens to live in Brooklyn- translation, free lodging with complimentary tour guiding. For those that perhaps are looking at traveling to New York for a race, HIGHLY recommend looking at what transportation would be to the race --- if we had not had Toya her and her husband drive us to the park in Queens and did the public transportation instead, it would have been close to a 2 hour commute each way.... yikes!

Race start was at 9am, so we were able to sleep in a little till 6:30, got ready, ate my traditional Larabar and were out the door shortly after 7am. Luckily Jarrett (Toya's husband)knew exactly where to go- Flushing Meadows Park (if you've seen the first Men In Black movie, the footage where they are stopping the bug from trying to leave earth is shot here)

T & J walk with Heidi and I to the start line, then we depart ways and promise to touch base after race so we can leave.
Heidi and I at the start line 

Throwing up my "25" with my hands

We seriously have an hour to kill so after walking right up to a port o potty (no lines) we go off to stretch and talk. I can only stretch for so long, so after 30 min or so I just stopped and people watched. The 5k started at 8:30 and once all the runners had dissipated from the area, we part ways and go into our pace range...
There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I would break 1:50--- that was a given. My ultimate goal, which didn't seem realistic to me, was to run at least a 1:45:59 so I could earn my sweet asics I've been eyeing. Although I don't feel 'bad' before the race, I don't feel great either- I'm not limber, I'm starting to get hungry (WHY did I eat my lara bar 2 hours before racing??) and my confidence just wasn't as high as it was before Austin. Guess we'll see how this goes....

So for those who saw on facebook, I got a freakin 7 min PR... 7 minutes--- totally unexpected going into the race. The mixture of excitement causing my mind to be a blur + the fact that we ran in a park so I saw the same sights a few times, makes it extremely difficult to recap the race. So since there wasn't anything negative to report on (aside from the fact that 9am is a late race start) I figured I'd give you 20 things I liked about the race... tried to stretch it to 25 since its my 25th state... but coming up with another 5 things is more work than my brain wants me to do.

20 Reasons this race was A.W.E.S.O.M.E
The 'race' itself
1. The size--- only 5,000 people so aside from the first mile being a little crowded, it was extremely easy to navigate and go around people. No Austin repeats here
2. The terrain- there were a few mild hills here and there, but otherwise it was fairly flat and easy
3. The weather- NY in March can be extremely 'iffy'. Weather was pristine- high 50s, sunny, slight breeze. I didn't really sweat that much and NO SALT on my face (generally get 'salt face' when its really hot out)
4. Spring time races are gorgeous- lots of blooming trees and flowers to look at (ok so maybe the photo below doesn't include "blooming trees" but there were some, I promise) 

 5. Aide stations- they  were plentiful, AND they had blue powerade... huge upgrade from normal crappy lemon lime gatorade, ugh. 
6. Spectators- the parts that were heavily filled with spectators definitely helped me go faster, but what was surprising was how much it motivated me when we were going by a baseball game or soccer game (there were tons since this was a park) and having the players on the sidelines cheer us on. Pleasant surprise on how that kept my pace up. 

The mental game
7.  I wasn't too sure how fast I should go out to ensure enough energy was conserved since it worked in Austin for a faster time, SO the first mile I took easy.  First mile was slowest mile of the race-- GREAT booster for confidence that as the miles clicked by, my pace was getting faster. Lesson learned for next time, still don't push it, but know that my 'easy pace' is faster than what I gave myself credit for.
8. I finally found my groove. Although I PRed last month, the race was HARD. All I could think about in Austin was PR, PR, PR... i had to consistently remind myself to NOT go too fast.... it was mentally exhausting. This race I amped up my music loud, and just kind of checked out from the race itself and just RAN. (so much better this way)

9. When I hit mile 7 at 56 min, I knew I would most likely get in the 1:45s, so I told myself... new goal... ride it out and see how fast I can go without overdoing it
10. Mile 9 was my favorite- right then and there I knew this was going to be a big PR--- I started smiling like a little school girl and told myself... its only 4 more miles, you've GOT this.

11. The sheer excitement of getting done with the race and sharing my time with J and my parents is what kept me motivated. There were so many times I was giddy that if there was someone videoing me, they would probably think I was crazy since I was laughing and talking to myself... kept me going though.
12. I started to pretend like I was doing a relay and counting off my kills--- especially the males. Ladies, there is nothing like passing a guy (and making sure he doesn't re-catch you) wearing a skirt.... LOVE some of their remarks :)
13. The last mile, although it sucked and seemed to be much longer than a mile, was sheer bliss. I was smiling the whole way knowing I KILLED IT! I gradually just kept picking it up, so there wasn't a huge difference in my 'kick', but  it was great to know that I pushed myself, but more importantly, I didn't over do it.

After the Race
14. Food was okay, could have done a little more, but glad it wasn't overbearing- cups filled with gatorade (so i took 2) plus 1 bottle of water. I don't like bagels after I run, and apparently didn't see the egg rolls, so the only other thing I grabbed was a banana :( BUT Heidi gave me her egg roll when she finished and it was HEAVEN
15. Called J to let him know I earned my shoes--- unbeknownst to him, he's helped me a lot with breaking down some mental barriers I've been battling when it comes to running. It was good to hear the "i'm proud of you" from someone outside my parents.
16. Speaking of parents- had to call them separately since they were doing their own errands... the sound of shock in their voices followed by 'congrats' was definitely worth getting giddy over earlier in the race.
17. There was an option to stand in line to find out your official time before it was posted online--- you know I took full advantage (wish more races did this)
18. Entertainment was decent as I waited for T & J to come back to park and for Heidi to finish

Who doesn't love men with Disco ball heads dancing around

HAD to get my photo with them 

19. Loved the bling (and the center 13.1 moves!)

20. Enough Said. 

This race will forever be held near and dear to my heart--- not because I got a huge.freakin.PR  BUT because it marked a huge milestone in my journey and now I'm officially halfway through the states. It's been such a humbling and insightful quest thus far- I've learned so much about running, but also about myself and my hang backs (this will be a whole different post on that)

our weak attempt at holdin gup the world

For now I'm extremely pleased that I surpassed a goal I didn't think was in my near future, and cannot wait to see what the rest of the year holds for me.

Official time 1:43:30

Naturally as I go to copy my splits from my Garmin,the lovely watch decided it wanted to pretend like it was brand new and restart all the way back to day 1 giving me a tutorial and asking my gender, dob etc. Why is it that the past 2 races are my best races and I can't retrieve splits! Needless to say, all my data is officially lost :(

I do remember mile 1 was 8:14 and mile 6 was 8:12 because I  stopped for a gu and extra water. These were my only miles in the 8s. My last mile was 7:38 and my last .17 was 6:56. In between there were a lot of 7:50s and 7:49s. That's the best I got. Kim R-  believe me when I say that I was pretty consistent, you'd have been proud :)


  1. Holy cow!!! That's an amazing race!! That's a great pic where you have that smile on your face!! Think that's my favorite one! Now.... go get those shoes!

  2. Wow! Great job! Love the outfit and you got some great race pictures. You should be so proud of yourself. Man that medal is awesome. Really inspiring.

  3. You are awesome! Great job! Love the bling and can't wait to see those new shoes on your feet:)

  4. You rocked it!!! I love following your blog-you inspire me!


  5. Congrats speedy!! Holy crap you killed that PR! :) I did this race it's inaugural year...and while I thought the course was boring as all heck..I PR'd too. Guess it helps that it's boring! Definitely want to do it again next year.

  6. Wow!! You did AMAZING!!! So happy for you :D I may want to try this challenge one day because of the travel aspect. It must be so much fun to visit all these new towns. What's been your favorite race and city so far?

  7. You are awesome!! That is a huge PR and you rocked that race! I always found when I take the "PR" pressure off myself is when I've gotten the best times in my races.

  8. Yay Lisa!!! I'm so happy for you!! I knew you could do it...it was just convincing you that you could! You more than earned those shoes..I think a new shirt should go with it!!

  9. So so proud of you! REally awesome! Congrats LIsa!

  10. I am so proud! Could your proof picturesbe any more awesome! Way to go, so much accomplished in 13.1.

  11. wow - awesome job speedy lady!

  12. Great job!! Love the medal too!! I'm def going to look into this race for my NY 1/2. :)

  13. awww! you look so happy! i love it :) congrats again on your PR and being halfway! that is incredible! also...i cant believe all you eat is a larabar!?! craziness.

  14. Love the pic of you around mile 9 (assuming that is where it is)-you HAVE to frame that one for your milestone :) so, so happy for you. you killed it!! CONGRATS!!

  15. Yes, yes, yes, YES! Love this recap!!! SO SO SOOOO happy for you and girl, you KILLED that PR!!!! :)

  16. Congratulations! I knew you could earn those shoes. Way to go on a strong race and I love the photos.

  17. way to go lisa!! amazing PR and woohooo for new shoes!!!!!!!

  18. 7 minutes!!!!! BRAVO!!!!!
    I love all the pictures!!! I did that race here in Los Angeles and I have that same medal and I love it!

  19. Wow, what a HUGE PR!!!!! That is such a huge milestone and to run an amazing race on top of that must have been so exciting for you.

  20. YAY YAY YAY!! so happy you had such a great race. congrats on that shiny new PR!

  21. Oh my, way to go!!!! You rocked it and your feet were off the ground in both your photos...a win win. :)

  22. Lisa, that is amazing!! Way to go! I knew you had it in you, too. :) Awesome job on such consistent splits, and starting slower is absolutely the way to go. Enjoy celebrating the new pr!!

  23. Happy halfway!! Congrats on the big 25! This race sounds fabulous, I'm dying to run in new York. I'm in the NYC lottery and want in soo bad!

  24. PR and half way! Congratulations Lisa! You inspire with every post :)

  25. Awesome job!! Congrats on the halfway... I'm thinking of working toward a half in every state after your inspiration (and my love to travel). Any tips/suggestions?

  26. That is freaking awesome!!!! You totally deserve those shows, they are beautiful!!