The winner of the #NYTough P & G Product Giveaway is Amy Laforte!
Congrats Amy and thank you to everyone for entering!
As tired as I was Saturday night after running the 5k and 10k, I made it a point to take out my computer and start jotting down some thoughts from the day, knowing that if I didn’t, I would totally forget some of the key moments I wanted to remember and share with you.
It’s hard enough sometimes to remember all of your thoughts and experiences that occur during one race; try remembering the details from three races that all happen within 24 hours.
Before I discuss the races in brief detail….
The access to REAL BATHROOMS at the start of all three races was just an amazing feature.
Not only did we have plenty of access to real bathrooms with little to no lines, we had the opportunity to wait indoors before the races began which helped keep us warm and comfortable.
In the Arts Quest building, there was even the opportunity to buy food like bagels, muffins, coffee and other stuff.
I know I saw Porta Potties scattered throughout the half marathon route but thankfully I did not need one. There were also plenty of water stops with Powerade too (which I didn’t take), some gels available on the half marathon course as well as Twizzlers at some point.
Okay, on to the races….
Was I nervous? Yes and no.
I had to remind myself over and over and over again that this was the first of three races and although I usually start off as if I was shot out from some cannon, I could not do that if I wanted to successfully make it through the weekend.
In my head I kept repeating pressure off but we all know that a start line will still produce that race day feeling.
I am pretty sure I put myself in the 8 minute mile section of the corral rather than in the 7’s.
We can ask Sarah if she remembers which pace area we were in because she was right in front of me!
I had a slight side stitch during the first mile which worked itself out by mile two.
Even with the side stitch, I felt as though I had more to give, that I should be pushing and speeding the heck up but I kept forcing myself to hold back in order to conserve.
And this race was over before I knew it.
I know there was a hill somewhere but I honestly don’t remember much.
I didn’t shut MapMyRun immediately and it was off slightly from the official timing but you get the idea.
Finish time: 24:24
Not bad, right? I think this was only slightly over a minute from my last 5k finish time.
I definitely picked up the pace when I saw the finish line on the horizon because as much as you tell yourself this isn’t your typical race because you have a 10k to run in an hour and a half marathon the next day, it is impossible to see a finish line and not run as though you are in a race.
A race atmosphere will always bring out the race runner in you, regardless of how much you try to run easy.
The In-Between Wait:
This got a little tricky.
Just hanging around the Steel Stacks waiting for the 10K. There was an indoor area with nice, clean bathrooms too!
I had a little over an hour to spare before the 10k started and my fear in advance was getting cold while I waited.
I always get cold after running so I planned my outfit early that morning for both races accordingly:
*Nike running skirt
*Lululemon Race Your Pace Half Zip with just a sports bra underneath
*Pro Compression Socks – new pair from the expo
If you run and do not own Pro Compression socks, please do yourself a favor and order a pair. No need to thank me.
I chose the Race Your Pace Half Zip specifically for these races because I knew it would keep me warm yet not let me overheat and the cuff-over feature for the hands would be perfect while waiting around.
Not to mention, it also has a perfectly sized zippered pocket to hold a packet of peanut butter.
I had a bottle of water and a few jelly beans right after finishing the 5k and then a little while later I had a banana with some peanut butter.
I am so smart, right?
I mean, I knew a banana would not be enough to get through the 10K which started at 9:30 am.
I had eaten breakfast at 5:00 am and I get super hungry every few hours, especially when running is involved.
I needed something besides carbs to satisfy me so a drop of peanut butter on each bite of banana was perfect.
During the downtime, I began getting sleepy and then nervous that I wouldn’t be able to run the race.
No, I don’t mean that. I was getting nervous that I would feel tired or burned out once I started running again.
I think when we finally lined up for the 10K start I put myself back by the 9:00 minute mile sign.
I kept forcing myself to take that first mile really easy and slow, telling myself to run like it’s my usual morning run through my neighborhood.
I kept saying, just la-de-da yourself like you usually do and ignore everyone else around you.
Forget that it’s a race. Remember that you just ran a 5k and remember that you have a half marathon to run in less than 24 hours.
The miles were flying by. I was enjoying myself. It was nice to be running rather than pushing/working. Does that make sense?
I tried to ignore the time clocks because seeing my pace for the first mile of over 9:00 min/mile was weird for a race but I forced my brain to reroute the thought process and let it go.
Once again, slightly off but you get the idea.
The hills weren’t bad. They were gradual and nothing crazy.
Before I knew it, we were at the six-mile mark and yes, it’s that last .2 that gets you.
I was pushing at this point because hello, how do you not when you see the big FINISH?.
Finish time: 53:44
At the conclusion of the 10k, I took my medal for the 5k too.
The Half Marathon:
Of course I remember the most details from this race since it was the last in the series as well as the longest distance.
It was windy and colder (like in the 40’s I think at the start?) so I threw together a slightly unplanned race outfit.
I knew I would wear the Run Inspire Crop II’s with Pro Compression calf sleeves underneath.
The fact that I keep sharing these early morning-my-hair-is-too-long-no-make-up-puffy-eyes-from-a-pillow-I -was-clearly-allergic-to-all -night is something I really need to think about or, hmm, not think about and just keep typing.
On top I made a last-minute decision to wear a short sleeve Run Swiftly with a completely random (and yellow) Gap half zip pullover thing which I bought on clearance at the end of last winter.
I can’t even tell you which style this Gap top is but I will say that it worked well for me. Comfortable, breathable, I wasn’t hot or cold and the thumb holes always make me happy.
The gray thing you see over the Gap pullover was my “throw away” thermal hoodie which I took off a couple of minutes prior to the start of the race.
The zipper broke on this hoodie like two years ago. I always save things like this on purpose to use for cold race day mornings since I won’t care about leaving it behind.
I woke up with a crampy feeling in my right big toe.
I never had such a feeling before and I kept trying to stretch it out as well as hoping (praying) that it went away as I walked around prior to the start.
I kept having a pep talk with myself to remind my brain that PR times were not an option.
That under 1:45 was not happening today.
I had to keep telling myself that I just ran two races and this half was to be run as any other routine long run.
I told myself to ignore the pacers with their signs if they bob up and down past me. Even if it is the 1:50, 1:55 and the 2:00.
It is mentally confusing to run a race and ignore the times you typically strive for (and strive against).
I did have a loose goal in my head of still finishing at two hours or under but didn’t hold myself to anything other than running where I felt comfortable and okay.
The energy by the way at the start of each race was terrific.
The music was blasting and totally had everyone dancing.
Anyway, I think I started myself in the 8 minute/mile or maybe the 8:30 minute/mile section and felt great..until my toe was cramping a little bit more around mile two.
It was pretty uncomfortable but I wasn’t stopping. I figured it would loosen up and I really didn’t give it much of a choice.
I was to complete this hat trick even if it meant I had to slow down or walk.
Luckily my toe responded, loosened up and felt normal by mile three.
As for the rest of me, I felt terrific! I was shocked by the pace I was holding and completely forgot I ran the two races the day before.
I even handled the hills pretty well.
They were gradually inclining on me but I didn’t mind because I knew I would appreciate the downhill that much more.
I knew the 1:50 pace man was behind me somewhere with his sign. At one point he scooched ahead of me during an uphill but I made my way past him during the downhill.
I was so happy during this race. The miles were flying by. I was running faster than I could have hoped for, honestly felt pretty awesome and was just proud to be able to run among the rest of the Runner’s World runners.
I think I fueled really well for these races (more on that tomorrow) and truly appreciated all of the miles I log each week, day in and day out.
It’s all of those random miles, the good ones along with the bad ones that prepare us for these races.
I could not have done this race without doing my routine long runs each weekend.
It’s all of those runs, as fast or as slow as I run them each time, that made my legs capable of handling all of this, including the hills.
Especially that hill somewhere around mile six. Yeah. That hill tried to get me. I thought it was over but it was one of those that just kept going.
But I did it. I made it.
I didn’t really want water but I grabbed sips every so often after mile five. I popped my jelly beans starting around mile six. Sometimes spitting them out, sometimes holding them until they dissolved and sometimes chewing them real fast.
I couldn’t even believe it when I made it to mile ten. It seemed to have gone so fast….but then somewhere around there it started getting to me.
Somewhere around there the 1:50 pace man bobbed next to me with his sign and said, “great job, stay strong”.
My response, “Um, I don’t know about that. My goal has been to stay ahead of you!”
I let that go though.
Finish time: 1:50:17
It would have been nice to unexpectedly finish this race under 1:50 but I earned this 1:50:17 and words really cannot express how proud I am of it.
In fact, this 1:50:17 which was run on tired legs was even faster than my first half marathon, exactly two years ago to the day, at Hershey Park, where I finished in 1:53 and I believe 37 seconds on a course almost as hilly.
Have I had moments since finishing on Sunday where I tried to find the points in the race where I could have/should have gone a little faster in order to have come in under 1:50?
Of course I did, it’s the runner in me.
And one final though for today….
Thank you to my favorite Adidas Energy Boosts sneakers. You may have been the most boring-looking pair of running shoes seen throughout all three race courses, but you are indeed the best and I could not have done it without you.
With honorable mention to my just-about-burned-out pink pair of Boosts which played the role of understudy for the weekend.
See you tomorrow for What I Ate
Wednesday over the weekend!
What’s the next race on your calendar?
What do you eat/carry with you during your long runs/races?
Tell me something random, this post took forever to write and I am out of thoughts!