November Recap

November Recap

Can you believe it’s December? Have I posted “can you believe it’s X month,” every month?

November brought a big race, lots of downtime, and then a smaller race. I’m still getting back into fitness, while not trying to push the envelope too much.

Miles Run: Around 130
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: New York City Marathon 
Workouts: 0
Rest Days: 16
Races:
New York City Marathon (3:07.15)
Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Thoughts:

Most of the running month revolved around the New York City Marathon. I have had a tough time typing this out, but I recovered rather rapidly from the marathon. I’ve had many 13.1s that it’s taken me longer to feel better.

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Some days are just made for running. 🌞 🏃‍♀️

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I knew taking 2 weeks off was the right call.  The other component is I never felt like I got into peak shape for the marathon.  When I ran, it almost felt like a tough workout versus a tough race. My legs fatigued towards the end, but there was never a time that I felt “in the hole or twilight zone.”  That’s very different from my previous marathon experiences when I haven’t wanted or felt up to running for at least a month.

Now that I’m a month out, I feel like I’m getting “back into shape again.”  I’m starting around where I started over the summer.  A 20:24 5k, and 1:30 range half. Over the winter and Spring, I want to build more speed and hopefully get back into sub 19 shape as well as at least 1:25 half marathon shape.

If the weather holds up, I plan to race most weekends in December. It will be a fun way to build fitness and keep me going strong.

Posts from the Month:

Running Related: 
Why Use Compression Socks
Marathon Recovery
Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

Hiking:
Exploring Sandy Hook

Questions for you:
How was your month of December?
Do you have any goals for the rest of the year?

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York…New York.

This recap will be long. It hasn’t been a secret after my last marathon I said I was tired of them and had no interest in marathoning. So for over 3 years, I didn’t. Then the opportunity to run New York in the sub-elite corral presented itself, and I knew I would kick myself for not taking it. I was nervous, and I knew, and I would be the slowest person in the corral, but I decided to go for it. Spoiler, I have no regrets.

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It moved me because I’m here.

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The morning itself was just as great as the marathon, if not better. I got to be around the best of the best. We boarded the bus and were off to Ocean Breeze. Initially, I thought being at the Ocean Breeze track would be ideal because if it rained or was inclement weather, I would stay drier. The weather was beautiful, and I spent about 3 hours just hanging out and watching elites and other sub-elites warm up. Not every person warmed up, and I was on the team no warmups (Running 26.2 miles is enough for me).  It was very relaxed and peaceful which made it hard to think…I’m going to run my 3rd marathon soon.

Since many people asked, I ate a waffle at 5 am, and then a bagel around 8 am. I get hungry in the morning and starting a race at 9:50, I knew it was the best option for me.  It’s probably a lot of food for most people, but I don’t like running on an empty stomach.

When I went to go pin on my bib, I realized OMG my pins had fallen out of my bag.  So like a goon, I had a race bib but no pins. I hung my head in shame and asked one of the volunteers (who was actually talking to Jared Ward) if they had any and they were able to get me some.

By 9:20, we were off to the Verazzano Bridge. We got back on the bus, and when we got off, I felt like I had entered a whirlwind. People were shouting, get to the bridge, drop your stuff off now.  NOW! The excitement finally dawned on me, that yes I was about to run 26.2 miles.

The professional men stood in front of us, then us, then about 30 feet behind corral 1. Since I was the slowest person in the corral, I stood at the back. It felt kind of cool to say; I am the slowest one here.  I chatted with several other women, many of whom, were going to attempt a sub 3. I knew that could be me someday, but New York was not that day.

All of a sudden, they were filming us, and the gun went off.  The first mile is up over the Verazanno Bridge. It’s 100% uphill because you are climbing a bridge. I ran a 7:28.  Many people from the first corral were flying by me, which was fine. I just stayed in a straight line and did my thing. I don’t really ever feel pressure anymore when people run by.  They do them…I do me…

The second mile was my fastest, as it was down the bridge, and I ran a 6:36. I knew it was downhill but seeing a 6:36 made me feel a bit better.  I didn’t have a time goal and I knew with the constant climbs, my miles would be everywhere.

New York City Marathon me running

For the next few miles, I settled into a groove. My goal was to make make it to mile 8. I knew that was where I had the highest chance of seeing friends, although I didn’t.  The next several miles of New York are also the flattest. I averaged between 6:45-6:55.  I could see the 3: 00-hour pacer up ahead but I knew I wouldn’t be running 6:50s up the Queensboro Bridge and in Central Park. I briefly thought about joining the group, but then ultimately decided it would probably cause me to blow up.

So I just kind of trecked along. I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I have a stomach of steel, so most gels do the same thing for me. I felt the same as if I had taken a Gu. I didn’t need a gel at mile 5, but I planned to take them every 5 miles which seems to have worked for me.

Around mile 6, I felt my shoe untie a bit. I also had to use the bathroom, and some people will pee on themselves, but that is not me. I decided when my shoe finally came untied I would tie it.

When I hit mile 8, I saw no one I knew. I wasn’t really surprised, but the crowds gave me life.  I wasn’t bad, and I maintained miles in the 6:50s.

Somewhere around mile 9, my shoe came untied, even though I had double knotted it. I am a clumsy bafoon, and I won’t run any race with an untied shoe and hurt myself. I found an opening on the side and tied it. It took me a little longer than I had hoped because the double knot got wedged in there but I told myself, the more you “panic”, the longer it will take.  I dropped my gloves as well.

I had planned to use the bathroom too but there wasn’t one so I just continued on and never did.  With my stop, I logged a 7:22 mile. I asked NYRR to pause the clock for me while I tied my shoe…but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my Garmin either.

New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in just over 1:10. The next two miles, were two of the quietest from the crowds. I took another gel around mile 10. I grabbed Gatorade at every mile I didn’t take a gel, and water when I did.  I was mentally struggling for the next two miles, thinking about how far I needed to run.

Around mile 12, I snapped out of it because I knew the half mark was coming up soon. I reached 13.1 in 1:32 which was only a minute slower than the Air Force half marathon. I knew I wasn’t going to negative split and I would probably struggle to run another 1:32. I decided that maybe somewhere between 3:05-3:10 was probably doable. It would be a PR, but also it would be on a much more difficult course than my PR in Pheonix.

New York City Marathon me running

After 13.1, I began mentally prepping myself for the Queensboro Bridge. I stand by the thought that during my first marathon, mile 15 was one of the hardest miles I’ve ever run in my life. I needed to mentally prep myself to know, it would hurt.

Mile 14 clicked off in 6:55 and then I saw the Queensboro Bridge ready to be conquered. Ok…here we go.  Mentally in mind, I just blocked off the Queensboro Bridge as being “almost done”.  My mind just thought, when I was there, I was essentially done…which is dumb because after you still have 10 more miles.

New York City marathon me running

We began climbing…and climbing. It was quiet because there are no crowds on the bridge. Suddenly, I looked around and realized I had begun passing people.  It reminded me of when Des Linden said about the Boston Marathon: Well I wasn’t feeling great, but no one probably was, and I was feeling better than other people.  It was true, and I passed a lot of people up the bridge.  I hit ran the mile in about 7:30 which I was pleased with.

As we came down on 1st avenue, the crowds were incredible. During the downhill, I felt my inner thighs and quads locking up. It reminded me of my first marathon, but also my second. I never really felt good during either after mile 16. Was this it? Was I done?

But as I continued, I realized I felt decent.  Both miles 17 and 18 were relatively flat, and I saw Danielle who was motivating. I ran both in 6:52 and 6:56.

From then on, I began mentally counting down. First I counted down to mile 20. I reached mile 20 and said: “just a 10k to go”.  I knew last time, it was a very long 10k.

This time I didn’t feel as bad. The next couple of miles went without much note. I didn’t feel awful, but I didn’t feel like the beginning of the race either.

Somewhere around mile 22, I saw some friends including Hayley.  I waved and it’s where this photo was taken.

One of the prouder moment is that I was able to see and wave to so many friends from 20 onward. I couldn’t do that and in fact, I don’t remember the last 10k of the race from 2013. I guess I had tunnel vision.

When I reached 24, I thought, just another 5k to go.  Hollie you like 5ks.  Although one of the hardest and longest climbs comes around mile 24 and I ran a 7:27.  I knew friends would be between miles 25 to the finish, so I gazed along Central Park looking.  My legs burned as the neverending climb in central park continued.

I saw my dad around mile 25 and even waved to him too.  I’ve never been that coherent to wave to someone at mile 25 so I felt good about it.

New York City Marathon me running

The last mile felt as though it took forever.  It was my slowest mile, and I ran a 7:34.  I saw the sign “800 to go” and began sprinting (or what I thought mentally was).  I passed a man who was wearing too short of shorts which weren’t covering…anything. :O

New York City Marathon me running

OMG, that is two laps around a track.  I begin powering through.  Then 400 to go.  Then I crossed and averaged a 6:34 last .2.

New York City Marathon me running

I crossed in 3:07.15 which is my fastest marathon by over 7 minutes.  It’s 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran New York.  I’m proud of it.  A few days later, I’m not all that sore and I feel like I was sorer after both of the trail races I did this summer.

New York City marathon me running

Now that I’ve run a marathon and I had a positive experience, I do believe I could run faster at some point.  I don’t foresee myself running another marathon soon, but I do know eventually I’ll run another one. Yes, I have qualified for Boston and I don’t take that for granted, but that isn’t a race that interests me right now. I can barely plan 2 months ahead, let alone a year and a half.

New York City Marathon me running

I still like the half marathon and 5k better, but I am glad to have started and finished a marathon training cycle healthy and with a PR.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York before?

What is your favorite race distance?

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Last week was a good week.

Because it was the week of the marathon, which I Pred. I’ll write an entire recap later, for the most part, I’m happy with the week of training and tapering itself.

For the last two weeks, I’ve dealt with a lot of calve tightness.  Nothing injury-wise, but my legs have felt very stiff.  It isn’t something taper “made better”, and they were still stiff before the race. I will say, they felt the best they’ve felt in the last two weeks.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 10 miles
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Easy 30 minutes
Friday: Off
Sat: Easy 20 minutes
Sunday: NYCM 26.2 miles (3:07.15)

Thoughts:

All of my runs were easy and without a watch. It might have been a little overboard to run 10, the Tuesday before New York but it was fun to chat with Skip, and it didn’t feel bad.

After Tuesday, I kept repeating to myself you can only do too much but to be honest, it wasn’t that hard to even cut mileage. Between work and life, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to squeeze running in. Sure I could wake up at 4 am to run more miles, but I would rather sleep and taper more.

My legs seem to loosen up more as the week went on. After the Atlantic City half two weeks ago, I felt great. The few days after, it didn’t feel as though I had even raced a half marathon. Then my calves just felt like they locked up. It was like no amount of stretching could loosen them up.  I wasn’t “worried” because I knew I wasn’t injured, it was just frustrating because I didn’t want to feel stiff.

NYCM: 3:07.15

My last marathon Phoenix was a 3:14.59 and my first marathon, NYCM in 2013 was a 3:17. So it was a PR. I’ve always been more proud of my race at NY, but that is neither here nor there.

On race day, my calves felt better than they had the week before. I didn’t feel great, but I felt as great as I could be. I have a lot of thoughts about my fitness going into NY and I know I’m not in the same fitness as when I ran a 1:22 this winter.

The race itself was amazing. I will probably have my longest race recap yet about it. Essentially, the miles clicked by pretty effortlessly.  I had to stop and tie my shoe (which I did double knot) around mile 9 but other than that I felt good the entire race.

Since I was in the sub-elite corral, I spent about the first half of the race being passed by hundreds of people. It’s kind of funny to just have people consistently whirling by you like you’re standing still but I ran my own race. Starting out too fast is usually not a problem I have in races anymore…my mentality is you do you…I do me…

The first 8 miles were just focused on getting to mile 8. That is where I knew the highest chance of me seeing someone I knew spectating was…but I didn’t see anyone. After that, I just kept trucking along.

Around mile 9, my shoe came untied, so I pulled over to the side and tied it. I’ve always found in those situations if you stress and panic it takes more time. I wasn’t really panicked but it took me nearly 30 seconds. I don’t think it was entirely lost time because I caught a lot of people I was running with.

I hit the halfway point in 1:32.15.

The next goal was to make it to the Queensboro bridge around mile 15-16. In 2013, the Queensboro bridge destroyed me, and I honestly wondered how I would ever run 10 more miles. This year, I was ready, and it became the turning point of the race of when I started passing people.

As we came down, I passed even more people. I still was slowing down, but not as much as many. As I started to pass more people, I became more confident.  The next miles just counted down until the finish. I was smiling, waving, and sidefiving all of my friends. In fact, every photo people caught of me was after mile 20.

The last 10k was difficult, and the hill in Central Park was no joke.  In fact, since I was hurting so bad last time, I don’t even remember it.  I saw my dad around mile 25 and just powered through. I’ve never run a marathon where I’ve been able to raise my arms and wave at mile 25. In fact until yesterday, I don’t like I’ve run a marathon I could wave at mile 18.

me nycm marathon

I crossed in 3:07.15 and felt good. I never felt like I overexerted myself and I finished smiling, happy, and strong. That isn’t something I can say after any other marathon.

Here are all my splits via my Garmin so take it with a grain of salt.

nycm marathon splits

Many people have asked me…now you’ll do lots of marathons and the answer is no. I still like 5ks and half marathons better, but I do like the marathon a little more now. I don’t foresee myself traveling to marathons over halves for a while if ever. I’ll do another marathon again, but I don’t know when.  I also don’t have any plans to do Boston anytime soon, because like NY it’s hard to plan for a race a year out.

I’m proud I started and finished the training cycle and healthy.   My PR was just icing on the cake.  Now I’m taking 2 weeks off. I’ll still be around but my body needs time to recover, and my mind does too.

Posts from the Week:

 October Training

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
What body parts gets the most for you, running wise?

For me, it’s always my calves.

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

The Nike Pegasus is most people’s first running shoe.  In fact, way back in 2011, it was my first running shoe.  It’s gone through many changes.  This year, it has divided into two, and the current models are both the Nike Pegasus 35 and the Nike Pegasus 25 Turbo. They are two completely different shoes with different fits, feels, rides, and prices.   My foot barely fits into the regular width of the Pegasus 35 so I haven’t bothered running in it.

The Nike Pegasus Turbo is a lightweight weight and “faster” version of the Pegasus.  It uses the same ZoomX foam as the Vaporfly 4%.  That’s why it comes in at $180 and has a very short life.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

I bought the Pegasus Turbo 35 because I was looking for a long run/faster shoe.  During previous training cycles, I would have used a less cushioned shoes like a racing flat.

My only goal of this training cycle is to start and finish the marathon healthy.  Among many things, it means adding a lot more cushion into my training shoes. I’m not the type of runner that can get away minimal shoes anyway.  I did recently write about racing flats and if they are right for you.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

The Pegasus Turbo has ZoomX foam, which is lighter and provides more energy return than the regular Pegasus.  The only shoes that have the ZoomX foam are the Vaporfly Elite, Vaporfly 4%, and now the Pegasus Turbo.  You’ll know if your shoe has the foam because they are only available is certain colors and far more expensive than the traditional shoe.

Fit:

The upper of the Turbo is very different than the regular Pegasus and a lot wider. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to try the Turbo versus the normal Pegasus.

Of course, I want to run faster, but the Turbo is just a wider shoe. I usually wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and I cannot fit my foot into the regular Pegasus.

I can, however, wear a women’s 10 in the turbo with no problem.  The Turbo is one of the few shoes that a standard size 10 feels comfortable to me.

The upper of the Pegasus Turbo generally is a similar to the regular Pegasus but a little more sturdy.  One thing worth mentioning is the Racing Stripe on the shoe. It looks cool, sure, but it takes a lot of breathability out of the shoe. To me personally, it seems cheap.  It could have been screen printed onto the shoe with no issues with the material.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

Ride:

Both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turbo look like aggressive shoes.  They have a curved heel almost resembling a fin.  Nike mentions the fin is aerodynamic.  Every second matter right?  I like shoes that you can see the technology.  In any of the Turbo shoes, you can see where the two layers of foam meet.  You can see the material crush down in both the Vaporfly and Nike Pegasus Turbo.

During long runs, it’s much softer than the regular Pegasus and resembles the squishy of the Vomero but fast…very fast.  All of my long runs have been productive in the shoe.  Is it the shoe? Is it my training? I’m able to get good leg turnover in the shoe.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I think the Nike Pegasus Turbo is a good shoe, however, there are a few things that I think need to be mentioned.  I’ll continue to run in it and get faster long runs, but do I think it’s worth all of the hype? That I’m not sure.

  • The shoe is not durable. Similar to the VaporFly, you aren’t going to get “a lot” of mileage in them. The foam tends to break down in the Turbo around 150 miles.  Why don’t people talk about this? The Vaporfly is only designed to last 2 or so marathons?
  • The price. $180 is a lot for a neutral, low cushioned, shoe.

I don’t think it’s a bad shoe, but for me, it serves its purpose as a long, fast, run shoe. I’m not going to take it out for a leisurely jog or add additional mileage in it.

If your foot is a more narrow width, I would probably suggest getting the regular Pegasus, as it’s significantly cheaper and you get more mileage out it.  I know I’m in the minority, but I think it’s more of a social media shoe than anything.  Obviously, most people love it, since it sells out so quickly!

Current Shoe Rotation:

Long Runs: Nike Pegasus Turbo, Hoka Cavu

Easy Run/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin, New Balance 1080, On Cloudace 

Workouts: Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Zoom Streak or Saucony Type A

Questions for you:

What was your first running shoe?

What shoe do you race most often in? 

September Training:

September Training:

Where did September go? It’s hard to believe the month is already over but I think I say that about most months now. Training for September wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t bad either. I’ve gotten quality runs in which has been most important.

Range of Paces: 6:05-11:15-untimed
Rest Days: 6
Races:
Boothbay Half Marathon (1:29.50)
Air Force Half Marathon (1:31.12)
Cherry Hill Library Book It 6:30 pace
Dragon Run 5k (19:28)
Longest Run: 20 miles
Workouts: 6

Thoughts:

This month didn’t go exactly as I had hoped, but honestly no month really ever does with running or life. There are always hiccups in life, training, and everything else.

I was actually hoping to be more fit than I am right now, my fitness hasn’t come back as quickly. My endurance is there but I don’t feel sharp. My primary goal is to start and finish New York Marathon healthy. If I can do that, I will feel satisfied. I don’t have a secret time goal.  As someone who hasn’t run a marathon in a few years, I am treating it my first one again.

The first half of the month was spent getting ready for my husband’s deployment. He was gone for a lot beforehand anyway, and it was a whirlwind of chaos leading up to it.  Luckily, we were able to spend time with each other on a couple of short trips including Maine and Dayton. The middle of September went by with no major incident, but last week ended up bringing more anxiety than I would have hoped or liked. (But really, who wants to have anxiety?).

My goal for October is to get 2, 20 mile runs in. One needs to be next weekend at the Crawlin Crab and I’ll figure the second. Other than that, I’m living a relatively low key, and boring life. I wake up, go for runs, go to work, go to diners and see friends when I have the time, and go home. People think bloggers have “thrilling lives” and believe me I don’t! I am looking forward to seeing my parents this upcoming weekend though.

Posts from the Month:
Shoe Reviews:
On Cloudace Shoe Review
Brooks Levitate 2 Shoe Review

Training:
NYCM Training Thoughts
I have a Fall Goal Race
A Summer of Fun

Hiking:
Exploring Wells State Park (Sturbridge, MA)

Questions for you:

How was your month of September?

What are you currently training for?

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