Monday, December 19, 2016

NYC Marathon Recap

I ran the NYC Marathon well over one month ago. Yes, this post is extremely delayed but I had trouble coming up with the words to write it. I had the time of my life but the feeling of euphoria didn't last long. My friends are still telling me how proud they are of me and are trying to make me see what a big deal running 26.2 miles is.

Whether it's because the one person I really wanted to be there never came or because someone I didn't want there invited them-self, I haven't been able to bring myself to write this post. But I finally wrote and it was pretty euphoric reliving that experience again.

I'm going to spare you the details of the day before, because friends who don't run marathons were begging me to get excited. God bless the girls who got me through that day in one piece.

I woke up really early on Sunday and put some pump-me-up music on, ate my bagel, drank my water and got dressed. I had throw away sweats I wore but it was so warm, I had my jacket open. After taking the train to the Staten Island Ferry, I boarded the 7:30 AM. The ride was relaxing. I had my headphones in and my phone plugged into a portable charger .

Waiting to get on a bus took forever but nothing compared to the bus ride there. When I run this again, I will be taking the 5:30 AM bus directly to Fort Wadsworth. I will say that I was fortunate enough to get a seat on the bus. Once we arrived at the start village I had practically less than 15 minutes to find a bathroom, get rid of the plastic bag and get ready to run. Not ideal in my opinion. I felt so rushed!

Less than 10 minutes after I got in my corral, we started moving towards the top of the Verrazano bridge. What a cool experience! Shortly after, the cannon went off for my wave and New York, New York, blared through the speakers.

I took the two miles on the bridge to really take in the view and what I was about to do. I felt abnormally relaxed so that obviously was not a good sign. And of course that downhill did me no favors and I lost my race at mile 2.

Brooklyn was by far my favorite borough. The energy, the people, the banana, everything. I was excited to give people high-fives but my hand started hurting after a few so I had to stop. Right before the mile 4 marker I stopped to pee at a hidden porta potty. I was still drinking water when I arrived at the start line and had a feeling that would happen. Fortunately there were only 2 people in front of me so it was a quick stop.

Even though I was taking my chews and had two bagels earlier, by mile 9 I was starving, clearly not good. I took a chew and at mile 11 ended up literally cutting off a shit ton of runners to snatch a banana out of a spectators hand (don't worry, they were meant for the runners). I slowly ate the entire thing and finished it just before the halfway mark.

As I got closer to the 13.1 mile marker, I started to realize the toll my legs were taking- the Pulaski bridge is barely an incline and I definitely huffed and puffed my way across it. I was so excited to get into my borough! It was also going to be the first time I saw some of my people.

I ended up connecting with a woman I met at the start line. We found each other a few times and Queens was the last time I saw her. I slowed down a little after mile 14 because I didn't want to miss my Hellgate team or my dad who was with my aunt, uncle and cousin. For some reason I didn't see my team until someone yelled right after I passed them. My dad was up at the front and I jumped into his arms (I literally jumped on all of my people) and went on my merry way. He told me later he wished I would have stopped for a picture, I said I was kind of in the middle of something.

Next was the bridge with the highest elevation of the entire race- the Queensboro. I ended up flying over that one because I ran that bridge on a weekly basis. The only shitty thing about that bridge was my GPS lost its signal and I never got it back. Let me tell you, doing math for 10 miles after running 16 doesn't work that well.

I was completely underwhelmed coming off of the bridge and going up First Ave. I was really expecting more noise and people. However, I did have 3 sets of people I got to see! First I saw Claire, who I didn't know was going to be watching, then was my mom with Tasch, Wendy and my sister, and last was my ride or die Anna with Chris and Meghan. Again, I jumped into everyone's arms, thankfully not knocking anyone over.

Once I got to mile 19, I really started feeling the effects of the race. As during my training, my hydration wasn't holding so I grabbed some water from a spectator. I made it over the Willis Ave bridge and to mile 21.5 and took a minor walk break. I did that a few times until mile 25 but judging by my time, I was only doing it for a few seconds at a time even though it felt longer. My mind was so clear so I think that's why the pain was so apparent to me. I actually think if I was delirious I would have just ran through like I do when I sometimes get delirious at the end of a hard half marathon.

I will say, the Bronx was pretty poppin'. I was told it was going to be quiet so I was pleasantly surprised

Mile 25-26.2 was so magical. When I got to Central Park South, both of my parents were there (on opposite sides of the street because why make my life easy?) and my friend Jaclyn was there! She was the last person I saw before I went into the park and I was so happy I got to see her.

After that it was a right into the park and there it was, the NYC Marathon finish line. The best piece of advice I got was to screw stopping your watch and put your hands up for that picture. Fortunately since my watch lost GPS, it didn't matter! I crossed the line with my hands up and the biggest smile on my face. I literally had no idea what my time was and when I finally saw they had the clocks going, I was a little disappointed. But then I turned by phone on and checked the app and saw I met my goal!!!!!

I didn't really talk about my goals prior to the race. My first goal was sub-5 hours. My second was 4:45 and my third was 4:30. I was SO excited to see I finished with a 4:44:12.

All I wanted to do while going through the finish line shoot was sit down but I also really wanted to get my poncho and be ready to go to the bar before I did that. Once the long waddle was over, I sat down on the sidewalk to stretch my legs out before ordering a very expensive Uber,

I spent the rest of the night celebrating with family and friends. I somehow managed to stay out until 11:30 PM!

Running the NYC Marathon was the most amazing experience. The question I've been getting a lot is if I'm doing another one. I am. When, I'm not sure. I'm a summer girl so training for a fall race took away a lot of my spontaneity during the summer but it's too cold for me during the winter to train for a spring race. But I'm looking forward to a sweet PR (and running a much flatter course).

Thanks again to everyone who cheered and partied with me, and didn't judge me for sleeping all day on most Saturday's after my long runs so I could go out that night.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Training with Butch Reynolds

Starting a business and working my own hours has allowed me a little flexibility to do things I traditionally wouldn't be able to do working for someone else, like sneak out for a training session with former Olympian Butch Reynolds. 

Butch holds an Olympic gold in the 4x4oom relay and a silver in the 400m. His world record of  43.29 seconds in the 400m was held for 11 years before it was broken. 

Two weeks ago I headed to a fancy gym in the FiDi for a private session with him courtesy of Philip Stein. They were launching their new Horizon Sport bracelet, which Butch is a fan of. 

I had a speed workout later that night so I was hoping he wasn't going to work me too hard. 

We started with a slow walk on the treadmill then went over what we were going to do. He was going to show me some warm ups, stretch my legs out and test my flexibility then go over my running form. 

We did traditional coordination warm ups, balance exercises, high knees, butt kicks, etc. We also went over where to look when running- not straight ahead but also not all the way down. Chin slightly tilted and eyes basically aimed at the feet of the person a few feet in front of you. '

After the first portion, he mentioned I was one of the most in shape person he worked with all day. Thennnn we got to the stretching portion and I became the least flexible person he saw all day. 

While lying on my back, we worked each leg individually to get them to a 90 degree angle vertical and horizontal. Whoa did that stretch out my super tight hips! In order to move my legs back further, Butch used resistance on every exhale. I highly recommend working on flexibility if you're a runner. I have been trying to get to yoga at least once a week. 

Last, we got to the running portion. We did this twice. The first time, without any tips, I ran up and down the small corridor in the gym and Butch took video. Then we went over it. I learned that I run too flat footed and up and down. Also, my elbows are a little too wide. 

The second time I did it, of course I nailed it. Launch off the balls of my feet? Done. Lean a bit forward? Check. Aim eyes lower? Yes. Elbows in? For the most part. 

I have definitely been trying to incorporate all of those changes into my training. I can feel the difference when I'm suddenly aware of something and tweak it. 

Training the past 2 weeks has gone fantastic. My speed is coming back and my long run wasn't half bad. Fingers crossed as the weather gets nicer, my breath and hydration becomes normal again. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Marathon Training!


When life throws you some curve balls, you take a little blogging break. Between branching out to be a solo PR badass, weekends out east, seeing friends and oh yeah, running, things got a little cray.

Fortunately, I have been training and as of this moment, in 73 days, I will be toeing the starting line on the Verrazano Bridge to run the NYC Marathon!

In the spring I finally started attending practice (after joining in January) with my team, the Hellgate Road Runners. On Mondays I aim to go to the hill repeat workout and on Wednesdays it's speed on the track. Both of those workouts are going to contribute to me getting up and over those marathon hills and bridges. I can already feel myself getting stronger and faster.

If you hadn't noticed, I signed up for 0 races this year besides the NYC half and full marathons. Coming off of injuries with all of my speed basically gone was going to set me up for disappointment so I decided that 2017 will be the year of PR's.

With that said, hopefully brighter running days are ahead. Like many other runners, the heat and humidity was not my friend. There was some walking, extended traffic light breaks and finishing of the water bottle wayyy before the run was done.

My longest run in this training cycle so far has been 13 miles and it was awful. My hydration was completely off and although I never had to pee, it was a miracle my body was retaining it because all I wanted to to was drink everything I saw. Be it the heat or the fact I was eating pretzels, it did not leaving me feeling great about this race.

But on Monday, a miracle happened and it started getting cooler. I did my scheduled 5 miles, with hills incorporated, and felt fab.

I'm going to start putting a bigger focus on yoga and Pilates to make sure my core and arms are strong so they can carry me across that finish line.

I'm so happy to be back to blogging and can't wait to share some fun topic changes I'm going to be making!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Running & Life Lessons

[Credit: Imgrum]
After a not-so-wonderful Saturday night, I spent all of Sunday sleeping, woke up to get some work done, then went back to sleep. I felt pretty crappy- physically and emotionally. Even though it's been a few years since I lost the weight I put on those last two years in college, I still haven't quite figured out that certain drinks can and will effect me differently now. 

After basically embarrassing myself (and countless others), I woke up Monday and realized nights like that are like not-so-great training runs. They will not ruin your life, just like a bad training run will not destroy your race. 

One of the great things about running is the lessons you learn that can be applicable to other parts of your life. 

[Credit: The Running Mormon]
Running teaches you to keep going even when things get hard and you feel like you're going to go down. 

That hard work and determination will reward you. 

To look forward instead of looking behind you, because then you will go down. 

That one rough training session is not going to make or break the end result. 

[Credit: Quotesgram]
So the next time you want to go into hiding, remember that you bounced back from that awful run and you'll eventually get over it all. 


Monday, April 4, 2016

NYC Half Marathon Recap

Most of you know from my previous posts that I have been nursing a hamstring injury since September and a knee injury since last February. After I completed by 9+1 for guaranteed entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon, I took exactly 2 months off of running and boy did it take a toll on my body. It was the first time I realized how much running played in my physical and emotional health. 

I'm happy to report that although I was under-trained, I started and finished the NYC Half Marathon 2 weeks ago! It was no easy feat but I ran one of the smartest races I have ever run. 

With my hamstring acting up leading up to the race, I didn't make the fact that I was running public knowledge because I didn't know if I was going to be able to finish. The two weekends prior to the race I was also getting certified in Pilates (more on that soon!) so I wasn't able to run. 

During my last Mile High Run Club Dash28 class, I asked Andia if she had any tips for the hills that were going to tear my hamstring up and she told me to run on my toes, lean a little forward and pretend I was climbing stairs. 

So off I went on the morning of March 20 to a freezing Central Park. Knowing if I wore gloves during the race my hands would get to hot, and not having any throwaway options, I checked mine and think I got a little frostbite. Bare hands paired with bare legs = no bueno. I went to find Brock and we headed over to the corrals. 

I already knew I'd be running slower than what NYRR thought I might run so I went to the last corral in the second wave. 

We were finally off about 20 minutes later (at this point my entire body was numb)! The first thing I had to conquer was cat hill, which was easy. While we were on the east side next to the reservoir,  a runner was yelling about bananas and completed crashed into the orange cone and wiped out (she was OK!). Don't yell and not pay attention to where you're going when you're running. 

The rolling hills going into Harlem felt a little tricky and by the time we got up to the roundabout before Harlem Hill, I began to feel my hamstring, yay. I ran very slow during the roundabout and also screwed up my fuel over here. I refused to eat until I went up the hill except I usually take fuel at mile 3. Oops. 

Harlem Hill was hard. I took it slow and made it to the top and I was the happiest injured runner ever. I knew that if I got over that one, the rest of the rolling hills would be fine. And they were! 

Once we started getting closer to the CNN building I got more excited because I knew once I stepped foot out of the park, it was pretty much a flat road to the end. 

Running through Times Square will always be magical. It's only one of two times they shut the street down each year. Between the lights and the crowds, it's an easy mile to get through. And for me, right before I made the right onto 42nd St., my friends were at the end of it! Anna, Lauren and Erin came out to cheer for me, Lauren's boyfriend, Brock and the rest of their Team for Kids team. I tossed Anna my ear warmers (I got hot) and went on my way. 

Everyone I talked to said they didn't like the West Side Highway because it was so boring. As an injured runner, I felt the opposite. I LOVED it. There were no hills, there were crowds and most of all, I could just run without fearing an extra challenge. 

I saw the girls again right before the Battery Park tunnel. Again, for the second time, I took the tunnel too fast thinking I had more energy I'd be able to kick at the end. I was wrong. I almost began hitting a wall at mile 12.75 and just wanted the race to be over. 

As soon as I saw the left turn into the chute I booked and crossed the finish line. Since I was channeling my inner Shalane by running in my compression socks, it was only fitting that I also almost collapsed at the finish line due to jello-y legs. A volunteer got a little scared that he might have to catch me but I regained my balance, got my medal, found my friends then inhaled a pizza.  

Between my body knowing how to run this distance, a lot of Pilates and running smart, I learned a lot leading up to and during this race. 

Next up: a destination race in Virginia wine country the first weekend in June which takes us right into marathon training. I'm excited that one of the woman who stays in the same Hampton's sharehouse as me and is a marathon runner is going to share her tips and tricks with me. She already said I had to start swimming for my injuries- boo. 

Congrats to all of the NYC Half finishers!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Impact Garden

If you checked out my Instagram last week, you may have seen that I did yoga and got to shoot hoops on the Knicks court on Monday (I might think I'm a badass for this).
Monday, March 7th, 2016, was the first time a yoga event has ever been held at Madison Square Garden and I'm so excited to have been a part of the inaugural event.
REBUILD Globally presented Impact Garden, a sustainability and wellness charity event which is spearheaded by supermodel Heide Lindgren.
The entire evening was dedicated to bringing poverty to an end. After the yoga class,, the Garden transformed into an artisanal marketplace featuring 15 brands from around the world. The marketplace featured brands from around the world including Haiti, India, Kenya and more. The  brands featured included The Way U, Raven & Lily, All Across Africa, Parekh Bugbee, Callina, Deux Mains Design, Mercado Global,Zarif Designs, Sasa Designs, Soko, Kopal, Prima Doll, Indigo Handloom Inc. and Article 22.
If you couldn't already guess, my favorite part was playing basketball on the court.

Overall, this was a fantastic event for a great cause. I hope to continue being a part of it!

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Few of My 2016 Favs So Far

Whoa it's been awhile! January threw a little curve ball at me and I ended up super busy. Then, after a business trip last weekend, I brought home a little 24-hour bug that left me down and out for a few days.

Even though it's been a busy year so far, I've had a chance to test out a few new products and studios and I'm so excited to share them with you.

As I'm writing this it's about 0 degrees out. If you're dreaming of summer, head over to ((305)) Fitness' new midtown east studio. Conveniently located right next the 33rd st stop off the 6 train, the workout hailing from Miami's new studio features a live DJ for each class along with a curated light show, a lounge, a studio for private events and 2 new class offerings: ((305)) Sculpt and Yoga For Better Sex. The dance cardio class I took was fun, upbeat and successfully kicked my ass. There are lockers inside and outside of the locker room. $32/class, 33 E 33rd St,

If you're taking a night class at ((305)) and are looking for something to take the edge off of the day that's also slightly healthy, grab a 6-pack of Smart Beer, NY's first organic brew. Crafted with the lifestyle of those like you and I in mind, Smart Beer is also non-GMO and made with the purest herbal ingredients. I really enjoyed the crisp, clean taste.

I'm happy to report that I've been running again. While I was out on injury I was sent a fun new device called The Milestone Pod. You lace the little pod onto the front of your shoe and hit the pavement (after you've downloaded the app)! The Milestone Pod records your mileage, pace, time, cadence, calories burned, foot strike, stance time, rate of impact, stride length, leg swing and runficiency. I'm really enjoying using this and seeing how I improve or regress with each run. The only thing I don't love is that I can't tell how accurate the milage/time is. It is completely off from my Garmin! I highly suggest investing in The Milestone Pod if you're looking for something that tells you more about your running form. It's also a really great indicator of when you need new shoes as it syncs up to the exact type of show you run in. $25/pod,

When I'm not running or taking classes from my Fitreserve membership, I try to do home workouts. I've recently teamed up with Booya Fitness to curate a fitness plan for the badass working girls out there who need a little assistance getting their workout routine back on track. Each day- whether a work day or rest day- comes with an email with suggestions on how to have a kick ass day. I also included nutrition tips so users can make easy meals and snacks. Each plan is a different length and price varies. Check my plan out here:

Can't wait to hear what you think of everything!