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TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

The TCS New York City Marathon 2019 might be my longest race recap ever so hang on tight.  I’ve run the New York City Marathon two other times: 2013 and 2018. 

In early September, I pulled my hamstring which caused me to miss my previous marathon (Big Cottonwood in Utah). Around that time,  New Balance asked if I wanted to run the TCS New York City Marathon as part of Team New Balance. I love the atmosphere of New York City Marathon and it’s hard to say no. If it were almost every other marathon, I probably would have said no.

The goal of the six weeks leading up to the TCS New York City Marathon were to get my hamstring healthy. I got ART from Dr. Craig and rested. 2 weeks prior, I was able to do a very loose 20-mile run. I ran 13.1 miles at the Atlantic City Half Marathon (logging a personal worst there too) and slogged my way through 7 more. At that point, I was like how on earth am I going to run the New York City Marathon? My hamstring seemed fine, but it felt like I took 12 steps back when I was never in front.

I got to New York City on Thursday night. Danielle and I picked up our packets, did a quick scan of the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) New York City Marathon expo and went to a diner in Jersey City. The next two days were spent trolling around New York City. New Balance had a shakeout run with Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson. It was a 2-mile shakeout run at the New Balance Pizza Co.

The theme of the TCS New York City Marathon was: I move me and inspiring people through running. It’s one of my more favorite themes from New York Road Runners.

I was on the sub-elite bus again for the New York City Marathon. This meant I got to spent the morning at Ocean Breeze (on Staten Island) amongst all of the elites and other sub elites. I exchanged good lucks with Sara Hall, and I sat within feet of Allie Kieffer, Kellyn Taylor, and Mary Kiettany. I enjoyed it last year and it was equally as fun this year.

First, the elite women off, then the rest of us.  Once we got off the bus, we threw out bags into the elite check-in. Initially, they said we could use the bathroom one last time, but then the line was too long and they made us head to the start. Unfortunately, this meant I started the race needing to use the bathroom. The start of the New York City Marathon is always amazing. They had music blasting and people dancing. They fired the cannons and before I knew it, we were off.  One thing I appreciate about the TCS New York City Marathon is the ability to track mile by mile with the New York City Marathon app. Not that it mattered to me at the time, but family and friends could do so.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

I spent most of the New York City Marathon being passed by people. The first mile of the TCS New York City Marathon goes up the Verrazano Bridge. This means it’s uphill and going to be one of the slowest miles you run. I hit the first mile of the New York City Marathon in 7:52.  All I could think was, wow, I’m in worse shape than I am. I knew it was a slow mile, but somehow seeing the clock beep at 7:52 and knowing (with my lack of training): I wasn’t going to negative split the race, I was nervous.

Luckily, the second mile of the TCS New York City Marathon cruises down the Verazzano Bridge and I hit mile 2 in 6:54.

The next few miles of the New York City Marathon alternate between uphill and downhill. There are very few parts of the TCS New York City Marathon that are flat. I kept my eyes peeled for a bathroom. I knew I was not going to make it through 26.2 miles without using the bathroom so I figured earlier rather than later.  Miles 3-5 of the New York City Marathon were all between 7:22-7:28. I felt fine and my hamstring felt fine.

Just after mile 5 at the New York City Marathon, I found a bathroom. I ducked in and realized I had to go more than I thought. I was in and out within 30 seconds and proceeded on. I hit mile 6 of the New York City Marathon in 7:55. I asked NYRR to pause the clock while I used the bathroom, but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my GPS watch either.

I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I like to take gels every 5 miles of the marathon and Gatorade the rest of the time. Around mile 8 of the New York City Marathon, I saw Amelia in her Giraffe suit. I waved and she snapped this photo of me. During some of the water stops, I found myself weaving and before I knew it, my watch was not matching up with mile markers at all. I was slowly adding time and distance. While I tried to run the tangents, (because I didn’t want to run any further than needed), I also wasn’t that worried about it. I weaved around the course high fiving friends and I wasn’t going to stop in front of people.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in exactly 1:15. Exactly the time I ran at the Cow Town 10 Miler a month ago. LOL, that’s not what is supposed to happen here I thought. I took my gel between mile 10-11 of the New York City Marathon. I could feel a cramp coming on, but after getting the water, it went away. The next 5k of the New York City Marathon was focused on getting to half. I knew the halfway mark was on a bridge. I hit the halfway mark in 1:40.12. I was already at 13.5 and I thought, ok, I am going to make a little more effort, so I don’t run 27 miles.

I thought if I ran a 1:50 for the second half TCS New York City Marathon, that will be under 3:30. It seemed doable, except I remembered my long runs for the TCS New York City Marathon were not there. I did 1 20, and 2 15 milers. I had no idea what to expect for the second half and rightfully so.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Mile 15 begins the dreaded Queensboro Bridge. Mile 15-16 is one of the hardest miles of the New York City Marathon. It goes over the Queensboro Bridge, it’s quiet, and you only have yourself to motivate you up and over. My legs weren’t feeling fatigued going up. During my New York City Marathon, the Queensboro Bridge crushed me and my legs never recovered. During the second, I felt ok. This time at the New York City Marathon, I felt fine going up but going down my quads were on fire. I hit my 15 going up the Queensboro Bridge in 8:17 and rolled right back down in 7:44. I didn’t feel “good” going downhill and actually felt better going up.

The roar, after leaving the Queensboro Bridge, can’t be beaten. That propelled me to a 7:25 18th mile. I saw a few friends, including Amelia again. After mile 18, my goal was to make it to 20. I told myself: okay, Hollie. You have 8 miles to go, then 10k. It doesn’t quite make it easier. When I hit mile 20 in 7:52, I thought this is where you enter the unknown. I imagined 8 min miles would probably be about what I averaged the last 10k. I didn’t care; I just wanted it done.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

The last 10k of the New York City Marathon is no walk in Central Park and the long inline at mile 23 burns. I saw many people stopping and walking. I knew it I stopped; I would never start again. My legs were tired from running, but my hamstring was ok. I saw plenty of friends and I tried to wave, but my arms hurt. I could feel chafing on my arms, legs, and sports bra. At 23 miles, I said: 5k to go. You like 5ks, 5ks are your favorite. I hit mile 24 in 8:32. My slowest race mile ever. I didn’t care; I was making it to the finish.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Then at mile 24 of the New York City Marathon, I recognized buildings I ran by during my shakeout run the day before. Okay, Hollie, you’ve run by these. 2 miles to go. I hit mile 25 in 8:15 and I felt better I was slightly faster. I knew I would be well above 26.2 miles and tried to prepare myself for that mentally. I hit mile 26 in 8:21 and just proceeded on.

The final countdown was there. I just focused on the New York City Marathon finish and what that would feel like. I kept trucking along and finally, I heard (in a familiar Ali F podcast voice:) Hollie from New Jersey.  I crossed the TCS New York City Marathon finish line in 3:27.19 and collected my things.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

TCS New York City Marathon Thoughts:

I’m happy with my time and effort at the New York City Marathon. I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest marathon and I was happy to finish healthy. It’s motivating to me, and I’m hoping I can resume training with a fully healthy hamstring.  I had such an enjoyable experience from before theNew York City Marathon to the end. For now, I think I’m done with marathons for a while. I prefer shorter distance and to get speed back.  Finally, thank you to New Balance for allowing me the incredible opportunity to run.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Questions for you:

Have you run the New York City Marathon?

What is your favorite distance?

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What Makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

What Makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

Maurten Energy Gel and Maurten Drink Mix Review

One of the most common fueling questions I get is: “What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Maurten Drink Mix Different”? Is it better? Why do so many professional runners use it?  While my preferred gel is Maurten, I have had success with most gels.

One thing to keep in mind is every person is different. What works or some doesn’t work for everyone. Nutrition and fueling is a personal part of running and most of it is done with trial and error.  I’ve written about fueling before in the newsletter, but like shoes, there are many different types of fuels for many different types of people and stomachs. 🙂

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

So Back to Maurten:

Previous research showed the human body could absorb up to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Now, research shows that we can use up to 80 grams.  Having too much sugar is what leads to stomach issues.

Unlike many fuels on the market, Maurten has no added flavor. It’s slightly sweetened but you won’t taste chocolate, cherry, or watermelon. Maurten Energy also uses natural ingredients so no extra color or preservatives.  I have noticed the Maurten with caffeine tastes like just caffeine. (It does have a taste, almost alkaline, bitter, and slightly soapy).

So What Makes Maurten Energy Gels (Gel 100) Different?

To understand what makes a Maurten Energy Gel different, we must understand traditional gels and energy sources.

Traditional “gels” are usually water and carbohydrates mixed together to make a thick syrup (and “goo”). To make them “gel-like,” there are preservatives, and to get a flavor, they add artificially flavors and preservatives.

Maurten Energy gel

The Maurten Gel 100 uses hydrogel.

What is a “hydrogel”?

A hydrogel is a biopolymer matrix and made with a blend of fructose and glucose.  The hydrogel technology is a biopolymer, which means it’s water-based with small pores. The hydrogel acts like a sponge. This biopolymer matrix allows the body to absorb and keep 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour (i.e., The Maurten Gel 100).

The hydrogel in the Maurten Gel 100, enables a smooth transportation of carbohydrates through the stomach to the intestine. This means if you often get an upset stomach, the Maurten Gel 100s are a bit smoother on the stomach.

Plus, the hydrogel allows you to use gel and also has an electrolyte liquid. Doing so, with most traditional gels, results in an upset stomach or cramps. (I’ve used with on-course electrolyte aid and never had an issue).

What about the Maurten Drink Mix?

The Maurten Drink Mixes come in 2 varieties:

  • The Drink Mix 160
  • The Drink Mix 320

Each of the drink mixes is mixed with 500 ml of water.  When combined with water, the Maurten Sports Drink instantly converts to hydrogel in the acidity of the stomach. The hydrogel then enables a smooth transportation of the drink through the stomach to the intestine. The intestine is where the water, salt, and carbohydrates are absorbed.

To make it easy, the Maurten Drink mixes refer to how many calories each contain. The Maurten Drink Mix 160 has the standard amount of carbohydrates we thought the body was able to absorb. The Drink Mix 320 contains twice the energy and nearly 14% of carbohydrates. That is nearly twice the amount of carbohydrates we thought the body could once absorb.

To get the most amount of carbohydrates, you want to take the Maurten Drink Mix 320.

Maurten Energy gel

So Why Use the Maurten Drink Mix vs. Maurten Gel:

First, gels are easier to carry. Most of us don’t have the luxury of elite bottles at races. We must bring our own fuel. Gels allow you to consume energy without running with bottles.

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

Is Maurten Energy Gel or Drink Mix Right for Me?

The only way to know is to try yourself. Reading product reviews (yes, even here won’t tell you until you try).

If you’ve tried Maurten Energy Gels or Drink Mixes, let me know!

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Do you like Maurten Energy Gel? Which is your favorite?

 

 

Training: I Ran a Marathon

Training: I Ran a Marathon

Wow, what a fun thing to say. I had an incredible weekend at the New York City Marathon. It wasn’t just the race but the entire weekend in general.  I obviously have a lot to say about the New York City Marathon, which will deserve its own race recap.  My goal was to start and finish healthy. It wasn’t to run X time, but I wanted to start and finish healthy.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: 10 miles with a fast finish
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 2 miles with New Balance
Saturday: Easy 3 miles
Sunday: New York City Marathon 3:27.19

Thoughts:

Most of the week was dedicated to the New York City Marathon. I had so much fun just relaxing in the city.  I even got to meet both Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson.

New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

After being on my feet most of the weekend, I could tell my legs didn’t “feel good.”  Sure, I could have skipped all of the fun activities, but my goal was to start and finish healthy, plus have fun. It was a weekend to celebrate my ability to run and health. Is PRing fun? Of course, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen and it wasn’t a secret goal of mine.

My goal was to do it more as a long run and the race itself went by fast. I took it out “easy” and ran up the Verazzano Bridge in 7:40.  That second mile is downhill and I ran a 6:53 at the same effort (maybe I should do a downhill marathon JK). The rest of the miles clicked by and I averaged between 7:25-7:40 depending on terrain. I did stop to use the bathroom at mile 5. Up the Queensboro Bridge, I ran an 8:15, then most of my miles afterward were between 7:45-8:15 with my final few at 8:15-8:30.

I crossed in 3:17.19, which I’m proud of. It was an extremely short buildup for this and just six weeks ago; I didn’t think I would be able to run. While it’s my slowest marathon, I’m equally as proud as any other marathon I’ve run. Now I’m looking forward to getting back into shorter races and getting my speed back.

Posts from the Week:

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

October Training Recap

The Anatomy of a Running Shoe

Pennypacker Park Cross Country Open 5k (21:00)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Have you run the New York City Marathon?

Have you met someone famous?

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review:

The New Balance 890v7 was the last shoe I tried before deciding what I wanted to wear for the New York City Marathon. While I like the New Balance 890v7, it feels more like a tempo running shoe or trainer to me. I wanted something a little more responsive so I decided the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel was my go-to.

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

When someone asks: “did my running shoe change much,” usually the answer is no. Between the New Balance 890v6 to the New Balance 890v7, it changed a lot. The latest update is over an ounce lighter. The cushion is still there, but New Balance made the upper lighter and more breathable as well as removed some of the rubber.

New Balance 890v7 Quick Facts:

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6 mm
Weight: 5.6 oz

New Balance 890v7 Fit

The updated fit of the New Balance 890v7 reminds me of the Fuelcell series. The upper has completely changed from version 6 to 7. The New Balance 890v7 uses one single-layer knit highly breathable fabric and engineered mesh. Since it’s all one seem, the top is more of a bootie-like fit. The engineered knit breathes and moves well with your foot. One thing I can appreciate about New Balance is with their higher cut shoes; they don’t tub or irritate the foot. Other brands have tried a higher cut shoe, but it often digs into the foot.  The padded collar and heel counter doesn’t bother the back of your foot during runs.

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

It’s all on one seem and even with the sock like fit, it doesn’t rub bunions. Typically I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide and the 10.5 fits well.  Even with the engineered knit, the toe box still has plenty of room.

New Balance 890v7 Ride:

A reason I thought I would prefer the New Balance 890v7 for the New York City Marathon, is because it’s more of a speed shoe. The New Balance 880 and New Balance 1080 both have more cushion and are designed for easier runs.

If you have run in a previous model of the New Balance 890v7, you’ll notice version 7 is significantly lighter.  The New Balance 890v7 has a 6 mm drop which helps to feel more responsive.

Like the New Balance 1400v7, New Balance 890v7  uses REVlite midsole foam. The REVlite foam is more firm than the fresh foam but softer than the fuelcell cushioning. Since New Balance is such a large brand, they can use various foams. I appreciate how responsive it is. I’ve done easy runs as well as hard runs and for me, I prefer it for hard or distance runs.

The New Balance 890v7 also has a lot of traction if you’re running in inclement weather. If it’s torrentially raining, I think I would gravitate more towards the New Balance 890v7.

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

New Balance 890v7 Conclusion:

The New Balance 890v7 has been completely updated and only shared the name: New Balance 890 with previous versions. I do believe the update is good and it separates it from the New Balance 880. The New Balance 890v7 is designed for speed and fast running. I appreciate the minimal upper and while I don’t think I’ll run my marathon in them,I’ll continue to do hard runs in them afterward.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka RinconNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro, 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the New Balance 8090v9?

Have you had a shoe completely redesigned lately? 

 

October Training Recap

October Training Recap

I can’t believe October has flown by, but that’s been the theme of 2019. As most people know, 2019 hasn’t been my year of running. I’m okay with it and I’ve enjoyed running, but I’ve run 5, 10, and even almost 15 minutes slower in my favorite distance: the half marathon!

As I move into NYCM weekend, I have come to terms with marathon running isn’t for me. This is the last month of marathon training for a very long time (maybe ever, who knows). I’m looking forward to getting back into shorter stuff.

Anyway, Back to Training:

Miles Run: 220
Range of Paces: 6:07-11:15-untimed
Races:
Cow Run 10 Miler 1:15.00
Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)
Gritty 5k (20:45)
Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:36.27)
Pennypacker Park Cross Country Open 5k (21:00)
Rest Days: 5
Cross Training: 4 (hiking or swimming)

Thoughts:

None of my races were “amazing,” but I had an enjoyable time at each one. I actually never felt good at any.  All of the shorter distance were fine and served to get speed work in without going to the track or a structured speed workout.

The Atlantic City Half Marathon didn’t go as planned. It was a personal worst by about 4 minutes.  The goal that day was to get 20 miles without my hamstring bothering me.

Speaking of my hamstring, it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve felt any sort of twinge or hard pain. I have a hunch it might hurt I get into a 5:5X pace but since I’m not in that fitness, I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t feel it on easy runs or even running in the high 6s, low 7s, which is all I need for NYCM!

Even though none of my races were great, I’m happy with my running and building back miles. I’m looking forward to running the New York City Marathon and enjoying it as a final marathon for a while. My goal isn’t to run hard and I know I’m not in “PR Shape.” Right now, I believe I think a 3:30 is doable. According to my VDot and other race performances, a 3:20 is possible, but I don’t think I’ve done enough long runs for that to be possible. I’ll be happy to start and finish the marathon.

After this month, I’ll spend time recovering and then going back to shorter distance and getting speed back.

Posts from the Month:

The Anatomy of a Running Shoe
New Balance 1400v6 Shoe Review
New Balance Fuelcell Echo Shoe Review
New Balance 1500v5 Shoe Review
On Cloudstratus Shoe Review

Hiking:

Hiking Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park
Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve
Hiking Sunrise Mountain at State Forest

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite distance for training?
How was your October training?

 

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