Run for the Parks 4Miler Race Recap

This happened last week, but I didn’t want this week to pass without me telling you about my most-recent amazing race: The Run for the Parks race in Central Park.

During my fall training, I use races to break up my long runs. This race was on a Sunday and I’ve been trying to keep to my long run being on Saturday, so that meant that I would run 9 (really 8.5 miles) on Saturday and then 4 (usually it’s 3) miles on Sunday. I was fine with that. I wanted to have a race that was just a race. Not a race but 5 miles LOL. Because I ran those miles the day before Coach said to just take it easy, but later gave me permission “if you’re feeling great, then push it!” So really, I came to this race with no preconceived notions, just an opportunity to get some hill work in, and run a few miles before regularly scheduled breakfast.

I didn’t pick up my bib for this race prior to race day so I needed to leave a little earlier than usual. I remembered I didn’t grab breakfast things, so I just put a handful of cheerios in a bag and grabbed a granola bar, and then set off on my way. I stopped for coffee (only thing open that early was McDonalds :( ) and was as good to go as I was going to get.

After I picked up my race material, I waited in line for the port-a-potties, and then made my way to the MASSIVE START area. I mean, I thought to myself, oh, it’s just a little 4 miler, it won’t be that bad. Somehow, they managed to let 10,000 people register for this. So, it took us 15 minutes to cross the start line. Before I joined the group, I stretched and got my life together and ate my breakfast. &, you know, took a picture.

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Anyways, I put in my music, and let the people weave in and around me, because I was just here to have fun and run. First up: Cat Hill. It was so early in the race that I powered up the hill, passing people, really feeling like I was in a video game–that each person I passed gave me a coin or extra power, haha, and so I kept going & going. I walked at the top for a few seconds, but still basked in my accomplishment. I was going at a decent pace, and I thought, then, that I only have to keep that pace to be OK with myself for the rest of the race, so I just held steady for a bit until the straight away on the east side, and I found a different rhythm. I was finally “in the middle” of the race enough to have runners around me and feel like a pack. It has been a while since I felt that. I kept finding people to pace behind–just fall in step with their steps and lose myself for a few minutes. But yall, there were these two ladies (they were at Scotland, I didn’t mention them) who were race walking at a pace I was *trying to get to*! I kept leap frogging them, and finally decided to mentally attach a rope around them and let them “pull me” through the 102 transverse and up the first hill on the West Side. I swear they were using me as a target, though, as I was. As soon as the down hill came, I zipped past to catch up some time & pace, and then the uphill came again, and I “latched on” to another person to get me up the hill (pace me) and here they came, LOLOL. I got to the top of the hill and zipped past. Finding a few runners who run up the hill also helps you collect those coins and powers!

So then I go to the base of the last big hill before the finish line, and they came and I said, OK ladies, you’re going to get me up this hill. I’m sure they felt me breathing on their neck. Oh well. I wasn’t going to pass them yet. I knew the long downhill was coming and I could finally put them behind me. So I let them pull me up the long, windy hill, and then zipped past and literally flew down the hill (I’m talking paces I haven’t seen in a very long time!) and never saw them again! LOL.

What was great about this race was that, once I got to the flat part of the race, nearing the end, I had gained such speed, I was 11:3X pace! I kept that pace through the flat part, around the last bend, and used the slight down hill to sprint into the finish (with an 8:xx pace!)!! I had just a little bit in the tank, but, I was so proud of my efforts! I ran all the hills, I walked minimally, and I “raced smart” by letting other people do the hard work, per se.

& it paid off. I “live tracked” myself to see what my race time was & then immediately texted my coach & husband!

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12:26! I haven’t seen that in a race since I started back! & My last mile was 11:36! & it was just a great race all around. I brought that victory into this past week’s training, and it’s paying off, yall. #ihavegoals. I still don’t know what Brooklyn Half is going to bring, but I’m getting excited and happy!

Week 5 BK Half Training Recap: Boom Boom Pow

LOL! I know, y’all. I know. That song is like 6 years old. Or ancient in song-years. Either way, it it helped make last week’s training pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. First, let me show you the pictographs:

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  • Total Running Miles: 21.24
  • Longest Run: 8.5
  • Cross Training: 2x! Woot!

So last week was a pretty solid training. I hate that I almost let it pass by. I set out one goal for the week: get some cross training in. I accomplished that, twice!

Tuesdays are turning out to be my speed days–where I’m building a foundation for speed, and seeing how it plays out during the week. I don’t think I fully understood how it played out/how each run built upon it in the fall, because honesty, I was just trying to get the distance each day, not die, and live to run another day. This cycle, I really see the building up, and understand what each day is supposed to build towards. I’m growing yall. I’m growing! So Tuesday I had 1, 2, 3 minute intervals at 10:50, 11, 11:15 and did that twice. It felt like I was “holding on” not that it was impossible. That was a good sign. Wednesday’s XT day ended up being about 20 minutes on the stair climber (I have goals yall. I’m trying

Thursday I did 5 “easy” miles at a good, easy clip: 13:13.

Saturday’s Long run was supposed to be 9 miles, but I got to 8.5 and it was a miracle that that even happened! My monthly started the night before so I had fitful sleep, and Advil was no help against the cramps that morning and i was SLOWWW MOVING. I was late meeting C (who has finally agreed to even entertain running with me), and we ate our bagel, and set out on the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. Yall, I got to the base of the bridge, or .39 miles, and said to C “I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO MAKE IT!” and C bargained with me–just get over the bridge, then we’ll come back. So, I crossed the bridge, and stopped to stretch. Then C bargained again, let’s go slow to Manhattan Bridge and come back. So I did. And when we finally made it to Manhattan Bridge, I had a little more wind in me, I didn’t die, LOL, and I was still running. So I decided to run as much of the incline of Manhattan Bridge as possible. So I did–I also know that it’s much easier incline coming into Brooklyn, so I gave myself that challenge. The other thing I’m looking to do this training cycle is increase my hill work. So this was my hill work. I only walked .15 miles near the peak, and ran the full length of the bridge!

We made it to Brooklyn, and ran straight along Flushing Ave. C wanted to take a picture of this You Go Girl tag, and I said, I mean, I should be in it :) and so he obliged me, but you can’t really see the tag, but you *can* see my Spring vest that I bought at the under armour sample sale last fall!

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I said, let’s just run home. By the time we made it to the Avenue that would take us home, I only had 3.5 miles left, and I proposed that we just do some laps of Von King Park, which has a .45 mile loop. and that’s what we did. Loop loop loop loop. But it was like my safe place; I was close to home, after doing all of my running on the treadmill, it just felt so familiar to just be kind of mindlessly moving around this park that I ran some of my fastest miles there. Funny huh?

Anyways, I finished up at 8, and then ran home, and made it to 8.5. And I called it a day. LOL I suffered through. This is what the run looked like:

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I stretched right when we got in, and foam rolled, and who knew? LOLOL I felt like a million bucks the rest of the day. I fueled up on a green smoothie, and then we had dinner at a  Mediterranean restaurant at which I ate about a pound of lamb and it was great. I slept pretty good in prep for the 4 mile race on Sunday. I’ll recap that separately!

But I’ll give you a hint: it was an amazing race!

Week 4 Recap: Brooklyn Half Training + Scotland Run 10k Race Recap

Last week was a solid week of training! Even Coach is saying that I’m rocking this training cycle, which is great, because #ihavegoals :)

Here’s picture view:

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  • 4 runs
  • Longest Run: 8 miles (Scotland 10k + 2 miles)
  • No Cross Training………I NEED TO WORK ON THIS.

I’m trying really hard to maintain 4 runs this training cycle, and so far, so good! I think it is definitely helping me see the gains in my long runs quicker–instead of just maintaining mostly, and getting longer. Sunday’s run of 3 miles was nice and easy, and it’s so great to see that my “easy” runs are quicker than my “easy” runs in the Fall.

This will be my first time using a coach to plan for a half marathon. It’s interesting, my first half marathon, I just ran a lot…and just tried to get faster, and just ran some more, as my training (some variations on Hal Higdon…). The second half marathon, a few months later, was actually mostly cross-training, and a long run, maybe a short run during the week, but it was a perfect storm of swimming, bike commuting, and boot camp (which I didn’t think was doing anything for me, and then…it was gone. lol. and the rest, as they say, is history). C and I might have done long runs once a week, but running, ironically, during training for my second half marathon (which is also my PR half marathon) was like 3rd on the list.

So I need to get back to cross training, because I know what it can do. And my body can move a little easier now, even though I haven’t lost much weight (which is….sad) since I started 4 weeks ago. Maybe adding in Cross training will not only help strengthen the other muscles, but will also help me shed some pounds–something I’m sure will only make me faster: b/c my body will have been running/training with so much weight and then won’t have to carry it over such distances, and because I’ll be moving my boy in new ways. So, do one 1 hour session of cross training is my goal for this week. LOL But can she do it?

Scotland 10k Recap: 

So also what happened last week was my first race of the year. I had signed up for two others…and just didn’t make it to those starting lines, but finally, my day had come to line up. I was on my own, and you could tell. I tried to fall into my rhythm I had established during marathon training, but I was RUSTY. I had 8 miles for the day to run, and so I thought I was going to have a running partner to pace me for this race (I’m really trying to get faster, yall, to get back to my former glory. LOL I will never shit on 11:XX miles again!), but that didn’t work out—though it caused me to meet at Central Park a lot earlier, and eat my breakfast a lot earlier, and well. Already I’m started out on the wrong foot.

So I only do about .6 miles before the race (when I was trying to do at least 1…), and I’m alone during the race, and so I cue up my music. It was also only my second time running outside LOL for the year, and I was running on old shoes..and I left my power gels at home…and NOW you’re primed to hear how I ran a 10k with no fuel and all heart against gusts of 30-50mph. LOL. To some degree THAT was like Marathon Day, and comforted me a little: If I could run 26.2 miles in a 30-50mph headwind, surely I could do a 10k.

It started with a backwards loop of the park, which, having run 14, 16, 18, 18 miles in the park during marathon training, running backwards was actually my favorite direction. My first three miles have been some of my fastest in long-run history (2014-2015), and I sped down to the bottom of Harlem Hill. Then, my tank runneth on E.

The rest of the race was luckily “downhill” after I made it up Harlem Hill, and once I passed 90th street, I felt so good again; this was the first time I had run in this direction in this park since the Marathon…this was mile 24-26 for me. I made it then, I could make it now. So through some walking and some hard running, I made it to the end, and C took some snaps of me in action (In truth, I was going to walk until he spotted me, so then I had to run, lol, but then walked shortly after)

20150404_092948This is definitely my winter-running outfit. Also my marathon outfit. LOL. Sue me.

Anyways, I finished with a respectable 10k time, but then….wobbled to finish out the 1.2 miles left of my run to make 8 miles. My feet were not happy, nor were my legs, to still be running on old shoes.

I fixed that by doing a nice slow recovery run on Sunday. Just get the miles in, no matter how long. It felt good, I felt good.

I’ll tell you about today’s run next week, LOL. Preview: #WHEW

#BrooklynHalfTraining–Weeks 1-3

So my life has been a bit crazy as of March 1, but somehow I’ve found time to fit in half marathon training. It’s only partially less time-intensive than marathon training (only 2 hours on my long run on Saturday as opposed to, oh, 5 hours…), and even more so now that I’m considerably faster (like, 2-3 minutes per mile faster, faster).

When I was riding my marathon high back in November, I had all these goals for this year! Run a half marathon in March! PR in Brooklyn Half (My PR is 2:27, at Brooklyn Half)! Run my little legs off!

And then, well, Winter happened. In NYC it’s not December that sucks, it’s January and February, and well. They sucked. Hard. And all exercise ceased to exist. And my poor coach kept sending me monthly plans, because I kept telling myself–“tomorrow”–and then, in addition to that, I was on this crusade to change my working life by either getting a promotion where I am currently, or find a new place of employ all together.

March came and I was still hammering out the details of my promotion here (I’m still hoping this was the right decision), and then it went from 0 to 600MPH reallll fast, and it’s actually in those moments–when my life is moving at the speed of light, that having something like an exercise plan actually keeps me grounded. I hope it stays that way, because my life will be full steam ahead until about July 1.

Brooklyn Half Training

In the meantime, I adjusted my 2015 goal for this half marathon is to not PR (that would mean a 2-3 minute per mile drop in my current pace), but to reach 2:45-2:38 (my friend Toni gave me that goal. That’s about a 12:30 mile). I think it’s doable, certainly.  I know the route, I know that I need to get some hill work in (though really only in the first 4 miles, then it’s literally downhill and straight from there. But that straight stretch also takes a different type of training & gumption), and basically right now, I know I can run 13 miles (I ran double that amount in November! :) I rant that amount + like every weekend from August until November), I just need to run 13 miles faster than I have in the last year and a half.

So I say that my Brooklyn Half Goal is a 2014-2015 goal.     In order to keep moving forward, I have to think of 2014 as my reset. If I keep thinking to myself, “I ran 10:22 in 2012″, then I’ll just keep getting frustrated. I think part of my year of wonder right now is just that, I keep getting faster and stronger, and maybe….my wonder-filled moment will be a PR in May. Or DEFINITELY a PR in November.

At any rate. Here’s my stats from last week. I’ll try and remember doing this going forward:

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  • 18 Miles
  • Longest run: 7
  • Fastest pace: 12:31

The runs are scrunched up near the end of the week because I had to travel Tuesday-Thursday and my coach shifted the schedule, instead of me trying to figure out how on earth I’m going to get my miles in on the road with 15 High School Juniors.

Saturday’s run was the first time that I ran outside in the last three weeks, and I felt good, but I also felt it. Whew! Up until then, I was having some pretty good streaks of running without stopping/walking, and well, that wasn’t my reality on Saturday, but I did have a good pace. Long run pace of 13:21, which is, literally 2-3 minutes faster than my first 7 mile run for NYC Marathon training, so already you can imagine I’m feeling better about things.

Here’s a picture of my long-run route:

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After the run, C and I went to Brooklyn Museum to check out Kehinde Wiley’s exhibit, and also ate at Kimchi Grill–both great experiences, and wonderful combo! We were both knocked out like a lamp early–raging Saturday night, I tell you, and up pretty early on Sunday. C had a run with Black Men Run in Central Park, and I was inspired to take on my optional 3 mile run, and go grocery shopping. So I did. And then came home and cooked up #allthechicken and baked sweet potatoes and steamed string beans and washed my hair–it was a good, solid weekend.

Week 4, I’m coming for ya!   This week features a short work week (WOOT!) and a 10k race on Saturday. I do love a 10k.

You Remember When + Where + How You Are

I was at my then fiance’s house, with his mother, his father, his older brother, and his (ours) two nephews. My husband is the middle of three boys, all Brooklyn-born, all married, all fathers. C is the only childless one.

Anyways, we’re in the kitchen, which, if you know black houses, is most-often the living/den/hanging out room. Mother-in-Law (I call her Moms–Mama reserved for the woman who birthed me–) is cooking something to feed us, even though we didn’t necessarily come over to eat, we know that as soon as we cross the threshold, there will be onions and thyme sizzling in a pan a few moments later. There is a television mounted to the wall. Pops (Daddy–you know. There is only ever ONE Daddy) usually controls what the entertainment is–sports or some home-remodeling channel.

That night, it was the court room. We were waiting to hear what would happen to George Zimmerman. At first nothing was happening. Pops muted the television, and we chatted about any and everything; his bell-toned Guyanese accent filling up the space. It’s summer, the summer before my nephew enters high school–and I think it is the summer before he bridges into being a man, into coming into himself in a way that has been different from other summers. He is making choices of his own now. His voice is getting deeper. He rides the train by himself.

I’m still trying to figure out my place in all of this–the family gathered around the room, and not-yet-married; am I a part of it? How will I be a part of it. Moms and Pops joke that I’m the quiet one (read: daughter in law), that I observe. Pops knows the way to my heart–through food, and listens when I make requests: Oxtails at Christmas, Lamb on the grill, whiskey or brown liquor on the table, and so on. Moms loves her boys, all of them, and I joke and say C is her favorite, though he says it’s not true. I’m not calling him a Mama’s boy, just stating fact. The two of them (Moms and Pops) raised some beautiful men in New York in the hard 70’s, in the harder 80’s, in the hardest 90’s, in the most hard 2000’s, in the ever hardest 2010’s. What must it take now? In the future?

Pops shushes us. Remember, he controls the television in the kitchen, always. A man is walking on screen to say something, and I swear to you, all of the warm air that was in the hot summer kitchen with the gas stove sizzling oil and thyme and rice now is sucked out of its one window.

I don’t remember the words or how they came. I just remember Moms scream.

She has three black sons; this is her worst fear. She has two black boy grandchildren, and–she hopes, looking at Me + C–for more, but this television just told her that the man who killed a black boy–just a few years older than her oldest grandchild–will be able to walk away guilt-free. Will be able to hold his gun in his hand; will be able to–has been given permission to–hold another gun in his hand and point it at a black man that could be–my husband, my brothers-in-law, my Daddy, my Pops, my two nephews (today, the oldest one is taller than me; he has facial hair, and his voice keeps reaching to his knees)….

And what are we, the women of the room, to do when the answer comes and it is judgment passed down? When my husband leaves at 11:30PM Thursday, Friday nights to go to work, in Brooklyn, just 8 blocks south of where the man shot the police, just a few blocks south of where the young man was shot sitting in the stairwell, where cops post up on our blocks in threes and fours……when My husband leaves the house, and kisses me good night. I pray he makes it back. He might not.

There might come a day when someone I know is sitting in a court room waiting for an answer to arrive. We have been waiting with baited breath too many times, gathered around a television, waiting for an answer. Only to yelp. Only to turn off the television and sit in silence, and figure out how you are going to continue to walk out into a world that continues to deny your very breath that expands your chest.

Moms catches her breath, and holds her oldest grandson. A black boy. We shake our heads. We shake our heads. The remote drops to the table. Somehow, we gather the strength to eat.

New Year. In Search of [more] Wonder

So, I owe everyone a recap–a formal one–of Amsterdam, and there was a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in there since I last wrote. But now, Christmas has passed and the new year, and I’m staring down the short road to my birthday, to 30.

C’s birthday is in December (in fact, a day after I got back from Amsterdam), and my Birthday in January, so we get several opportunities to really sit and reflect on the year and what we would like for the next year (our birth year, or the annual year). One thing that I realized while in Amsterdam, and what made the second half of 2014 so great is that, I found the part of me that was in search of wonder, and I fed it.

Let me explain. I think it goes back to my loving to “start” things, but my less desire to finish things. When I was marathon training, it wasn’t the starting that I was afraid I wouldn’t do, it was the seeing it through. But, each week, each month, each Saturday long run, had this built-in unknown. Each week, I was in search of my ability to accomplish what I set out to do, and that fueled me to continue on. After 13 mile runs, every distance up to 20 was a new territory. It was: can I run 14, can I run 16 (twice!), can I run 18 (twice!), can I run 20 (!!) miles. And I had this five month journey to answer the question: Can I run 26.2 miles?

And then I did.

Luckily, in the middle of that, I had planned to do another adventure: go to Amsterdam, by myself, and see the Anne Frank museum/The Secret Annex. So I was running towards 26.2 miles, and preparing to travel alone across an ocean, and be able to give my childhood self an answer to a search of wonder. I had read the diary as a young girl, and while I was struck by the writing about the war, what moved me most was her steadfast determination to be a writer, and to work her craft, and to desire all of that in spite of what was going on around her.

I had coasted on the joy of conquering the unknown–a marathon–until it was time to depart for another unknown–Amsterdam–and then, I came back, and life had no more momentum. No more wonder.

December inched by much in the way that the first half of 2014 inched by, and I recognized that I was letting myself get depressed again. I had no motivation. Nothing I was searching for; nothing to uncover.

On NYE, C and I talked about our goals for 2015, and for me for my first year of 30, and I didn’t really have a full list thought out in the way I might have in my early 20’s. A few years ago, I came up with phrases that would help me guide my thinking and actions. One was: A Year of Courageous Acts. Which meant, I was constantly going outside of my comfort zone. That’s how C and I started dating, actually.

This year, I think I want to say I’m “In search of more Wonder”.  And see what new adventures come my way.

Weekend Runs + Race to Deliver 4Miler Race Recap

Hello! Happy Thanksgiving Week!

I am so excited to get to Thanksgiving, but I still am unable to believe that it is this week! It also means that AMSTERDAM is next week, but that’s another post :) And there’s a lot that stands between me and Amsterdam–like my Daddy’s turkey, my Mama’s dressing, and all the sides I have to cook (mac & cheese, collards, greenbeans, etc etc)!

I have to admit though, that weekends are SO LONG when you’re not marathon training. I swear, they zipped by so quickly when half of the days were spent running, preparing to run, and recovering from the run. I ran Saturday and Sunday, both outside and enjoyed every minute of it, and also enjoyed some nice, relaxing time at home!

Here’s what my week looked like:

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  • 4 runs
  • 1 bike day
  • not much cross training action (need to work this in)

Saturday I met up with my friend Charif to run 4 miles around Prospect Park. My “usual” now, Bike + Run (until snow comes, I guess). Ignorance is certainly bliss, because I accidentally left my gloves at home, and my fingers almost froze off! I got home and realized the weather was 38*! No wonder! Anyways, so my goal this past week has been to get my miles in without stopping or walking, which I am capable of doing, but mentally it’s a struggle. I enrolled Charif in my goal of 4 miles without stopping/walking and we were successful! I still managed to spend over an hour with him and forgot to get a photo, but he was there. And it is so nice to get to a point of running and talking again :) Also! Charif coached me up Prospect Park Hill without stopping so it was a good mental push I needed, especially for Sunday’s race in Hilly Central Park.

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Sunday was Race Day! It was my first race since THE MARATHON (lol I feel like it always has to be in all caps), but also my last of 9 + 1 Qualifying races for 2015 Marathon! When I signed up for it, I had no idea what my legs were going to feel like on race day after the marathon, but I could walk 4 miles if I had to if it meant I could get my 9th race in!

Instead, it turned out to be a great race! And my legs have never felt stronger! (Well, 2014 strong) So I was hoping for a good race. C is injured and also didn’t sign up for this race but he came up to cheer me on! It was nice to have someone out there rooting for me! My coach was running Philly Half Marathon the same day and we talked about my goals for this race, and she said to “surprise yourself.” And if I was feeling really good in the last mile then I could push it.

The great thing and bad thing about weight loss is your fat clothes don’t fit you anymore. I found this out the hard way. On race day. I had been lazy about immediately washing my pants after runs this week and so were left with my all black old navy tights–with no drawstring. I put them on and they felt loose–yikes–but I didn’t have a choice. It was that, or capris, and I wasn’t prepared to have exposed skin today. So I went with the tights. Bad move.

Here’s us at the start:

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We got to the start mad early (like 25 minutes early) and C lent me one of his jackets (haha) to stay warm with while we waited. It was also a small enough race that I wasn’t in the last corral (based on my 2012 10:22 pace), so I wanted to line up before they collapsed :) I got in line and tried to decide between music or no music for the race. Pros: If I landed on the right songs, I could be propelled pretty fast/my legs go into auto pilot. I don’t have to listen to my breath or feet. Cons: If I don’t get the right songs in enough time, I get frustrated and slow down. I didn’t really have any set goals for this run, but I did have a great run on Thursday that gave me hope for a great race. My legs were a little tight from Saturday’s Bike + Run, but not unbearable (I’ve run longer miles through much more pain), so I was just going to run and walk through the water stops.

When the race started, I turned on the music, and just went with whatever my legs were going to give me today—C caught a great shot near the beginning

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And then I was off! Immediately upon running, I realized that my pants were going to be trouble. I pulled them up as much as possible, and they kept sliding down. I checked in back to make sure nothing was too low, and luckily my marathon vest comes down pretty low over the bum area that I would be covered. But up front! they kept sliding down and down and I kept pulling up and up. I found a decent friction point where they wouldn’t go past, and continued to run/only to walk through the water stops, and powered up Cat Hill. I was keeping a pretty good pace for the first mile–well within my comfortable pace that I’ve been keeping these past few runs.

Mile 2 was the flat East Drive section where I picked up some time, and a few downhill slopes turning into the 102 transverse. Mentally, I had to begin to prepare for the “rolling hills” of West Side Drive, and figure out my game plan. I had gotten into a groove, my aches were still there, but fading a little bit (i had walked them out), and my pants were going to be annoying, but they weren’t going to come all the way off, so I was just going to run with it (ha!).

When I turned unto the West Side, I had a quick walk break. This is what I mean when i say it’s mostly mental. Like, I didn’t *need* the walk break, but I felt better when I took it, and my legs were “begging me”.

Then started the slow rolling hills. I had to remind myself that I had done a 14, 16, and two 18 mile runs in Central Park this past season. I knew the hills before that, but I definitely got to know them then. And I also knew that I could make up time on the down hill. The first hill, I ran half-way up, and then walked to the crest, and then powered down the hill. When I made it to the bottom of the short downhill/foot of the next mountain/hill, I kept going at my power speed for more than half of the hill! I took a quick walk break to gather myself, and powered down the next hill, and half-way up the next. At this point, it was the last major incline of the race, I had passed the 3rd mile marker, and coach said if I was feeling good I could push it at the end.

And I did.

I sprinted down the hill (.5 mile downhill, which I knew was coming), and thanked my quads for making me fly. Even when it got to the flat part of the park before the slight downhill, I was still holding a generous clip, AND continued to push it lower and lower.

Honestly, my brain was like, let’s walk. Even though clearly my legs were like: we got this. And I almost walked, except, I saw C and wanted a good picture :)

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And I got it. When I passed him I had less than .15 left, and was inching close to my fastest race mile of the season! I was in this weird pocket by myself, and people in front of me were just a little too far to speed past. But I still managed to push it at the end.

And then I was done! And I felt great! I finished my # 9

The bagel was a little hard, and the apple a little soft, so C and I just went to get breakfast and I basked in my glory. I had a season PR for average mile. I had a negative split the whole way (first mile was slowest, and kept going down to my fastest mile), and today was the first day that I felt like—I could get my old self back.

My coach texted me congrats! and we celebrated her speedy legs in Philly, and it’s going to be a great winter, y’all!

This week: TURKEYTURKEYTURKEY & DRESSINGDRESSINGDRESSING (or, stuffing) & MAC & CHEESEEE

To keep myself accountable, me and C signed up for a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I also have to get a 3 mile run in.

I’m really digging this winter conditioning. It’s more fun than I thought it was going to be. :)Let’s hope it stays that way!