Tag Archive: central park half marathon

Races and Friends

The end of summer is time to gear up for fall races.  I love fall races – the weather gets cooler and there are so many great races to choose from.  Thankfully I have kept my mileage up because I can’t fully commit to a training schedule until the kids are back in school.  For now I have to be happy with 8s and 10s and an occasional 13 or 14.

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Here is my race schedule so far…  I have to admit I am thinking of adding one 5k in there.  Just one.  Melissa – come run it with me.  I guess it has been long enough that I have forgotten how painful they are!

Summer fun continues.  Beautiful beach days that will unfortunately stop suddenly.

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Dinner with friends.  This restaurant has $1.00 kids meals sometimes, but you have to order off of the kids menu.  Our boys just might have outgrown this.  They each had two kids meals!  😉

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Dinner was followed by the biggest ice cream cones you have ever seen.

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Dane and I took advantage of some down time by playing ping pong.  He is being picture shy lately though.

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So, I am wondering, how far in advance do you sign up for races?

Central Park Half Marathon

Today I was lucky enough to spend the day with 17 of my great friends doing what we love on an unseasonably warm February day in Central Park.  It was my friend Kelley’s birthday, and she brought us all luck.  It was an amazing day.  Happy Birthday Kelley!  This is most of us before the race.

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It was an early morning, but that is part of the fun (sort of!).  The park was still snow covered and beautiful, despite the warm temperatures. 

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The race was limited to 1,500 runners and was not too crowded.  It was the perfect size for the park.  The course would have been confusing, but NYCruns.com did a great job of directing runners on the course.  It was two loops around the perimeter of the park with two smaller loops at either end.

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My usual race partners and I were ready to go!

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There were some crazy hills on this course!  The toughest was the infamous “Harlem Hill” at the northwest end of the park.  According to mapmyrun the bottom of the hill starts at an elevation of 34 feet and the highest point is 147 feet!  http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/9112472  I was too busy gasping for air to take a picture, but here is a picture I found  – this is close to the end of the seemingly never ending climb.

harlem hill

The good news is that once you finally get up the hill, you get to run down.  That is my favorite part.  :) 

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There were so many sights on this course and good friends to chat with along the way.  It felt like a Sunday run rather than a race.

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The CNN sign verified the 45 degree temperature -something we are not used to this time of year!

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We passed many famous locations, but one of my favorite places to spend a summer afternoon (well – before kids) is at the Boathouse, sitting outside next to the lake with a cold drink in my hand and the sun on my face.  Those were the days!

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I have been annoyed at being passed during races before, but I have to admit this is the first time I was passed by a horse!  Well a real horse, anyway.  Since he has four legs, I am ok with it.

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Holly – do you remember those two guys running in a horse costume in Atlantic City last year?  13.1 miles!  Some people are crazy!

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I don’t think any of us started the race looking for a PR (personal record), but a few of us did get them!  I was pleasantly surprised at about mile 11 when Eileen calculated our projected time, so I sped up for the last 2 plus miles.  It was worth it! I beat my best time by 5 minutes!  And, somehow, I ran the course a little long.  I was trying to avoid the slanted parts of the road to save my heel. 

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We were all happy when we were done, although the hills caused us all to feel immediately sore!

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The goodies for this race were top notch too – a shirt, medal and fleece scarf.

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Time for my date with my foam roller and then off to bed.  I don’t get sore very often after running anymore, but I have a feeling all of us girls will be walking a little funny tomorrow!

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So, I am wondering, have you used a foam roller?  What do you do when you are sore?

 

Final Preparations

Final preparations for our big weekend are under way and we are exhausted!  The boys got their banner and flag completed tonight for the Blue and Gold Dinner this weekend.  An hour and a half seems like a long time for a meeting, but it flies by while we are working on projects.  Our den flag is an ongoing project that will be added to as the boys progress in rank each year.  Here is the front so far:

flag front

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We chose a camping theme for this side of the flag because camping twice a year is such a big part of scouting.  Our camping trips usually have themes, so we will add something to our flag commemorating the theme after each camping trip.  So far these boys have attended 3 camping trips (as scouts and not siblings!) – Frontierland, Dinosaur Days and Minecamp (Minecraft).  The back of the flag has a section for each rank the boys will pass through.  We will add memorable items from each year to this side as well.

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The Central Park Half Marathon is only 3 days away as well!  The girls and I are figuring out all of the race day logistics like whether we should drive in or take the train (final decision is to drive – the subway is too unreliable on a Sunday!).  It seems like bag check and bib pick up will be quite easy with this race.  Security at races has been pretty tight since Boston, so you never know.  Another hot topic is what to wear to the race.  We are all used to running in 20 degree weather!  Today was a first breakthrough of warmer weather and we could barely take it on our run!  Race day weather is supposed to be great, so we will have to shed a few layers.

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I guess Eileen and I won’t need the hats I made for us after all. 

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Of course, there will be 2 basketball games and baseball tryouts before any of this happens.  Life moves fast around here!

So, I am wondering, what do you have planned for the weekend?

 

 

Half Marathon Training

The countdown has begun for the Central Park Half Marathon.  17 days until me and about 15 of my friends will wake up at four in the morning to make a freezing cold trip into the city with all of our race essentials.  Trying to figure out the timing of when to eat, when to have coffee and when to get in line for the bathrooms is all part of the crazy fun of race day.  Hopefully when we arrive it will look like this

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and not like this!

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One way or another I know it will be a great day with my friends and I will have run a race in Central Park – something I have always wanted to do.

To run a half marathon you really do have to train.  There are all different levels of training plans available – for novice to experienced runners.  There are even couch to half marathon plans (I bet you have already heard of couch to 5k plans)!  If you are completely new to running but would like to tackle a half marathon, set aside about 14 weeks to get ready.  It is actually a good idea to give yourself 15 or 16 weeks because life sometimes doesn’t cooperate with our plans.  This way you will have a cushion if you or someone in your house gets sick or if anything else comes up.  Here is a couch to half marathon plan if you are interested.  http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2013/09/training-tips/couch-to-half-marathon-training-plan_15065

I have mentioned before that I have not done very well with planning the half marathons I have already run.  It is not ideal, and I am sure I could run a better time with better training.  But, if you already run at an intermediate or above level, you will be fine training for less time.  Here is a sample of a 10 week plan for an intermediate level runner.

10 week half training

To see this plan in more detail, look here http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/half-marathon-training#.  From past experience I have learned that it is best for me to get 13 miles in at least once before race day.  Many people do not find it necessary though.

Surprise, surprise, I am behind on training for the upcoming half.  I ran 10 miles today and only have two weeks left until race day!  That means next week has to be my 13 mile week, since you would never want to run that too soon before the race.  Now if only the weather will cooperate…  I am just not a treadmill runner.  I did get to try out my new ponytail hat today.  It worked great – it was warm and not annoying.  What else can you ask for?

hat

Tonight we tried pumpkin pizza for dinner.

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I adapted this recipe from the one posted on www.twopeasandthierpod.com  That recipe looks great too, but we love garlic and parmesan cheese and I didn’t have time to make the dough.  We liked this pizza a lot, and it is a nice alternative.  Traditional pizza is still our favorite though!

So, I am wondering, do you get up early to work out?

2014 – New Races!

2013 was my first official race year.  I have always run, but I didn’t really run races before this year.  Now I have no idea why I didn’t!  Races motivate and inform my training.  They give me something to look forward to.  Of course, I have a great running club full of inspirational and motivational women to run and race with.  I have mentioned that I am pretty lucky, right?  Also, as an adult I find there are not too many opportunities to be truly recognized for your efforts.  In races you are always recognized – whether it is with a finisher medal, a place medal, a PR or even just knowing your official time.  When you finish a race you always feel accomplished.  It was hard for me to take my race schedule down today, but I am slightly appeased by the fact that I will replace it with a new one!

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Runners love race bling.  It is the tangible and lasting pat on the back we are probably all (runners and non runners alike) overdue!

medal holder 10 2013

It is officially time to start my 2014 race calendar.  I have signed up for my first race, and it is one I am really excited about!  The Central Park Half Marathon!

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I love the city and am so excited for the opportunity to race in the park.  A bunch of girls from my running club have signed up and we will be celebrating Kelley’s birthday while there.  It is sure to be a great time.  This is also the first half marathon that I actually planned to run in advance!  The other two were a result of circumstance.  So this will be the first race entered on my new calendar.  Maybe I should get a real calendar this year?  We’ll see.

I did get a training calendar.  I got it before I signed up for this race, so I am not sure I will be able to squeeze it in for this one.  Next half, I guess.

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I’m looking forward to a great running year.  I hope you are too!

So, I am wondering, do you have any fitness goals for the new year?

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