Weekly Workouts (5/19-5/25)

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Since I ran a half on Saturday, pretty much all of my workouts this past week revolved around either prepping, resting, or recovering from that (aside from the actual race, of course). I feel like I did a great job of doing exactly what my body needed both before and after this race, as I’m feeling awesome and healthy and at such a good place.

Thurs, 5/19: Morning 45-minute upper body & abs strength session, followed by a 4 mile (fast) walk to work. I was all about the long walks in the few days leading up to the race, which proved to be a great choice.

Fri, 5/20: Exact duplicate of the previous day’s workout. I have to admit, two days in a row of a lot of upper body (kettlebells, free weights, plates, push-ups, rows, etc) felt really good, and reminded me that I need at least 2-3 days of this a week. another 3.5-4 mile walk to work (distance varies depending upon how many piers I include), and the reverse walk home as well, for a total of 7+ miles of fast walking. The boy and I then went for a couple mile walk that night when he got in as well, as he wanted to stretch his legs, so this was a good day of [walking] miles for me.

Sat, 5/21: Brooklyn Half! 13.1 miles in 1:53:21, at an 8:39 avg pace, which felt really comfortable and good the entire time. Stoked about this race overall and how well I felt.

Sun, 5/22: We woke up at 8am and went for a lovely 6-mile walk before church, as we were both a bit sore/tight and figured a good morning jaunt would help us stretch out the kinks, as well as provide us with some lovely Hudson River selfie backgrounds.

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Mon, 5/23: I walked to work again — still felt a bit of quad soreness and decided I didn’t want to start running again til I felt great.

Tues, 5/24: Exhaustion slammed me in the face this morning and I could not get up with my alarm for a strength workoutI slept as late as possible while still having time to walk to work. This is becoming a welcome pattern and I’m loving long walks lately. I don’t listen to music on my walks, which I always do while running, so it provides some nice quiet time for me to think/reflect/pray, and I’m coming to really covet this.

Wed, 5/25 (today): Ran 6 miles before 7am – felt amazingggg! So glad I gave myself those few days to recover fully because this morning’s run felt great, and I kept it between an 8:20-8:35 pace the entire time. It was humid but otherwise a lovely morning, and supposed to be 90 here today! Whattttt??!!?!?!

I’ll take it!

Total weekly running mileage: 19.1. Not a ton, but totally cool with this since there was a half in there!

Total weekly (intentionally designed as cardio) speed walking: about 26. booyah.

How were your workouts this week?
Anyone run a race?

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2016 Recap

On Saturday, May 21st, I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon for the 4th consecutive year — and for the 4th consecutive year, I had a great race, thankfully! Feeling oh-so-good that it’s over and that it went so well, since I really didn’t commit to any sort of training for this race and just ran when I could and as much as I felt like for the past month, but it all worked out and my no-stress approach to training seems to suit me just fine.

Brooklyn, you always do me so good.

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You know how some experiences seem to just fly by — how even while you’re in the midst of them and trying to stay present and hold on to the moment and tell yourself that this is it, the shining thing you’d been waiting for, and you want to feel it as fully as you can, they still just seem to slip away so quickly and you can hardly recall ever having been in the thick of it? That’s the best way I can come up with to describe how I felt during this year’s race. Maybe it was because I’ve done this 3 times prior and knew exactly what to expect, and was having those weird deja vu moments where I couldn’t tell the difference between last year’s race and this year’s…but the whole thing just seems sort of a blur to me. I wasn’t necessary excited, and I had no nerves at all, and while I enjoyed it, I was glad when it was over and didn’t really experience any of those “OMG MY LIFE IS AMAZING” moments that I did when running a full marathon.

Physically, I felt great from start to finish, save for a tight IT band that was annoyingly achy but not unbearable. I was conscious the entire race that I was running at a comfortable pace and knew I could pick it up and push myself, but I was happy where I was. I knew I hadn’t trained for this (one 12-miler a few weeks ago but otherwise nothing over single-digits in a long time),  I didn’t have any set time goal in mind, and I wanted to feel good throughout it and afterwards, so I stuck to what felt comfortable and decided this wasn’t the day to risk pushing my limits. Quite honestly, I wanted to enjoy my run, celebrate with the boy (who ran his first half!) afterwards, and feel good enough to go right to brunch and then out to a nice dinner later on. Sometimes a long run really effs with my stomach, so I was determined not to let that happen. I wanted to enjoy this whole day.

& in case you’re wondering, I’m completely happy with my time!

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1:53:21 and an overall gender placement of 2,556 out of 14,717 women suits me just fine. 🙂

And the boy, well…he crushed his first half and ran a 1:45 like it was a walk in the park. I’m so proud (& a teeeensy bit envious!) of my amazingly athletic man!

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The Brooklyn Half truly is a terrific race, from organization & ease of runner experience to course layout to spectator enthusiasm to iconic finish line on the Coney Island boardwalk. It’s also a really inspiring race to run, as it’s become the biggest and most popular half marathon in the USA and had 27,410 finishers this year! You’re basically running shoulder-to-shoulder with people the whole time, but it’s so awesome to see all the different runners and teams (and fun capris!) and so many people pushing themselves to achieve the status of a 13.1 finisher. I love that aspect of this race.

Also, I saw a girl in my corral wearing these pineapple capris, which made me really happy.

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I won’t lie — isn’t checking out other runners’ attire one of the most fun aspects of running a race? We saw a few people with a shirt that said “I thought this was a 5K” on the back, which was pretty sweet as well.

Congrats to everyone who ran BK this weekend! I always love how great a long race feels when it’s over (and you get to eat all the food and take all the naps). 🙂

Runners: Do you have a fave race you run annually?
Tell me a highlight from your weekend!

Thinking Out Loud

Hi friends! How’s May treating you?

I have zero excuses for my two-week blogging hiatus. Of course I missed you guys, but LIFE! I’m glad I can link up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thursday’s Thinking Out Loud post today, because a healthy dose of randomness sounds up my alley right now.

1. Travel. I was in Colorado last week for a quick 3.5 day trip, which was definitely too short but all sorts of fun. I love so many things about that state and will take any opportunity to get back there! Tyler’s brother lives outside of Boulder (a city I really like), so we went for his MBA graduation. Of course I’ve been looking at lofts in Boulder online for the past week now, because that’s what I do every time I go anywhere cool. #wanttoliveeverywhere

2. Fit Cities. So, this article was just published on the Fittest Cities in America. NYC didn’t make the top 10, but Denver, San Francisco and San Diego did (not to mention Seattle and Portland, two cities I’ve been so wanting to visit), so I’m doing the logical thing and taking this as a sign I should move West. As if I needed more of those.

3. Run. This Saturday, I’ll run my favorite half marathon for the 4th consecutive year: The Airbnb Brooklyn Half. I’ve had great experiences running this the past 3 years, so I’m hoping this one follows suit. I’m definitely not over-trained (to say the least), but I think it’ll be manageable and hopefully fun. 🙂 It’s the boy’s first half, so that’s exciting, and I’m thankful we can do this together (even though he’ll probably finish wayyyy before me).

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I don’t actually have any goals for this race other than to feel good, enjoy it, and finish under 2 hours. Not too much to ask, I don’t think!

4. Watch. If you haven’t seen the film Brooklyn and you have any sort of heart for the beauty of humanity and a touching coming-of-age story whatsoever, you must see it. I adored this movie sooooo much – one of the loveliest, sweetest films I’ve ever seen. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed it.

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5. Read. I’m currently finally reading Oscar Wilde’s class The Picture of Dorian Gray and really rather enjoying it. His writing is so whimsical and thought-provoking and unique, and I need to make a note to read more of his works.

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6. Drink. Boy & I lucked upon a delicious cabernet by Martin Ray Winer at a lovely restaurant called Colterra in Niwat, Colorado, and I need to track it down and buy some asap. It was one of my favorite cabs I’ve had in a while, right up there with my beloved Josh by Joseph Carr:

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I feel like I try so many different cabs all the time and always hope I’ll stumble upon a gem, and this one was such a welcome surprise. Crossing my fingers I can find it!

That’s all for me today — hope you’re all doing well!

Reading anything good?
Discover any new wines lately that I should try?
Anyone else have a race this weekend (or next)?

2 Things Tuesday

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ONE: Brooklyn Half Marathon.

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i’m stoked to report that i’ll be running this race in May for the 4th year in a row, especially considering how popular it has become. touted as the “biggest half marathon in the country,” it’s already set a new record for this year by selling out in 52 minutes – which is less than half the time it’ll take me to run it! (#wild)

i’ve had nothing but great experiences running BK and am especially stoked for this year because it’ll be my man’s first half, so i just plan to enjoy running it with him. it’s amazing to me how popular half marathons have become in the past few years and i love the race culture that has evolved and the community of runners here in NYC.

TWO: The Blackboard Experiment.

i found this project to be a poignant commentary on the human condition today, and especially loved it because it was set right here in NYC.

it’s my dream/goal to one day do a social experiment like this, and don’t worry – i’ll let you all know when i do. 🙂

Anyone else sign up for Spring races?
What will you regret NOT doing in your life?
for me, it’s traveling more. i want to see as much of this great big wonderful world as i possibly can.

Brooklyn Half Race Recap

i adore this race.

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i’m almost not sure what else to say. for me, running the Brooklyn Half Marathon yesterday morning was an absolutely incredible, near-perfect experience. everything just lined up for me, and i had a carefree, pain-free, absolutely wonderfully enjoyable, easy race, from start to finish.

don’t you just love it when that happens? God knew i needed it, after stressing about my leg hurting for the past couple of weeks (more on this later — i’m thinking i have some psychosomatic issues going on here, as i didn’t have a second’s worth of pain throughout the race). i felt calm and happy and effortless throughout the race and was able to just coast along at what felt like a comfortable, easy pace and take in the whole experience with a happy heart.

i pulled a game-time decision (at 5am) and wore my new Asics, which worked like a dream. it was pretty humid, but i carried a small hand-held water bottle with me and made sure to drink a lot during the race, so i didn’t feel dehydrated at all. around mile 9-10, it started to rain for a bit, which actually felt great.

there were 26,482 finishers. that’s a heckofalotta runners, and you spend a good portion of the course sort of dodging people and trying to find your pace without smashing into anyone. i wouldn’t say it’s the easiest race in which to PR or be a speed demon, but i actually managed to finish with a time that made me happy, despite the masses and the fact that i had zero expectations or any thoughts at all about “racing” this or PRing.

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so yep, i’m completely happy with that. i didn’t push myself or feel winded or overexerted or exhausted or even like i ran a half marathon afterwards (my girlfriend who came to cheer was like, “did you really just run a race? because you don’t look like it!”), so i’m thrilled with that time considering i felt amazing and able to enjoy the rest of my day afterwards! it also encourages me that i know i can train harder (hi, been in Vegas and Amelia Island the past two weeks…not exactly pre-race prep!) and push myself more in the future if i do desire to have a faster time. i think my current half PR is around a 1:51 right now…but honestly, i’m not sure.

because for me, races really aren’t about being a speed demon. sure, it’d be cool to set myself a goal one day and train for it, but that hasn’t been my story as of yet, because i run simply for enjoyment. i love this, every crazy second of it, and that’s how i want it to stay. with so many things to be stressed about in life, i never want to make running one of them.

it’s a passion. it’s about loving something so much you can’t imagine yourself without it. it’s about thanking God for being healthy and fit and able to use your body in that way, and to look around you and bask in the glow of knowing you’re a part of a community of people who all “get it” as well. it’s about doing something that reminds you of who you are at your very core, and makes your life that much of a happier place.

all these thoughts went through my head as i was loving life during this race, and i never, ever want to lose that. i’m so thankful this went as well as it did, and it definitely boosted my desire to enter more races and reminded me of how much i love being a runner.

oh, and it brought me together with some friends afterwards, too! i was able to meet another NYC blogger chick, Charissa, which was pretty darn cool.

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and my friend Beth from Albany ran it as well. 518 represent in Brooklyn, woot!

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so yeah — yesterday was an all-round awesome day for me. Brooklyn definitely knows how to put on a good after party, too, as the stadium at Coney Island was packed with runners & friends/fans all enjoying food, drinks, music and sunshine for hours post race. this was the first year i’ve partook in those festivities, and it was great to see such a vibrant community of runners in NYC.

cheers, Brooklyn — it was a time! looking forward to running you again next year!