A long overdue race review but here it is. One of my favorite races is the half marathon version of the Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon so I was real excited to get the chance to run it again. I know I normally am one to complain, but I really love everything about this race. Didn’t have any personal goals here, the goal was to help my sister finish her first half marathon. She failed miserably. No she did great but that doesn’t move the needle like abject failure.
The expo is also in Miami and while I normally hate spending any extra time going to get my race materials, especially if I have to travel to go get it, I actually enjoy this expo. I guess it helps that I can literally drive right to the thing and leave the second I want. The expo is pretty big, if not as big as the NYC one then pretty close. Lots of discount sneakers which I always love, as well as the standard array of gels, weird protein foods, an espresso machine and a snack bar. Overall it is as good a time as those things could get, something about the energy of Miami makes things always just a little more festive. Plus that Wynwood area is fucking awesome to walk around.
The gear is simple enough, a short sleeve shirt that is of a heavier material then the one I got the last time I did this and a cool enough bib. The real draw is the medals, this race is well known for having these crazy medals and this year was no different. This thing looks like a spin bike wheel. And it spins like a . . . uh . . . spin bike wheel.
The race starts earllllllllllly, our chip time start was 6:28 AM and we had to be one of the last groups to start. I have gone on many rants about the early start times of Florida races but in this case if we honestly had to wait any longer we would have got fucking cooked. I think the temperature was 78 degrees and the second half of the race was starting to get crazy sunny so I was thankful. The race start is also accessible by car, which makes things about a billion times easier. I maybe had to walk 15ish minutes to the start. It is also fairly well organized so that is no stress to finding your group or having to deal with a million people.
The race itself winds through Miami, you cross a few bridges though it is mostly a flat course. The biggest incline is right in the beginning, so once that is out of the way the rest of it is fairly flat. I don’t know any areas in Miami but I think at one point you go through South Beach. Around the 10 mile mark there is music on every corner, which always gets me pumped up. Most importantly though, my sister did great and really pushed through to the end. Crushed the race. Obligatory picture of the running crew, we did not look this put together at the end.
I know that says Coco Classic but they must have changed the name of the race and not updated the image because that is certainly the course I ran. There was hot chocolate at the end so at least that part is correct.
In a a beautiful tribute to global warming, I participated in the not-so-Frozen Penguin 5K & 10K last Saturday in order to prep for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in March. That sentence was complicated and took way to much thinking. The race took place in Riverside Park which is somewhere in NYC, to be honest with you I really don’t know where I was but the park itself was pretty cool. The race was on the smaller side, there were 547 participants for the 10k portion, which took place a 1:15 after the 5k. This was a good thing as I don’t really think this race could have handled many more people. There were a few parts where the path was pretty narrow and the pavement in typical New York fashion was torn up, so if there were a lot more people I think this could have been a nightmare.
The course was two loops, something that I typically don’t really enjoy but for this it worked out alright. About half of the course was hilly, with a monster hill right before the first mile, so that was not to fun, especially the second time around. The second half of the race had a .25 out and back along the waterfront. I’m mentioning these things with zero elaboration because I found the whole thing a little scrunched together, really forcing you to run past a lot of people at a few different points. Things were kept pretty organized at least. My picture of the start line is a little misleading, as that was the widest part of the course. Altogether if I was not trying to PR this would have been a pretty little stroll through the park. Since I was trying too, I would have liked a less challenging race. But it is the beginning of February so I am happy I even had the option.
The shirt for the race was the kind of shirt Mac from Always Sunny in Philadelphia would love. A sleeveless t shirt with a pretty standard logo. I actually find the logo solidly cute, but as to the design of the shirt I hate it. Unless I am a 60-year-old man going to hoop at the local YMCA or Mac, I doubt I will ever wear this. The women got tank tops, which would have been nice. I like the race bib though. At the end of the race there were some solid bagels, hot chocolate, and some fruits. Pretty good spread.
I am doing an astronomical amount of complaining for a race I actually set a PR in. I knew I was off to a good start when I saw 22:30 after the first loop. My prior PR was set in the Queens 10k back in like June, if you want to read all about that click here. The old PR was 48:26 so this was an almost 4 minute improvement. I was really happy that I was able to keep a 7:13 minute mile for the entire race, I really didn’t fluctuate that much. That large an improvement is a testimony to how much better a runner I have become and I felt really thankful that I have seen results of all the hard work I put in.
Hopefully this translates to a solid Half in March. If I stick with this training plan I think it will happen. Obligatory post-race picture below, notice my awesome bright orange condom hat. In a little slice of humble pie, god that expression is fucking terrible, I sat next to the winner of the race on the PATH ride home. That little fucker ran it in like 33 minutes and had the audacity to tell me it was his first ever competitive 10k. TBH he was a super humble ass kid. That’s a review everybody.
Final Notes: It took me almost as long to find that old blog as it did to write this entire review. Don’t ever say I am not dedicated.
On a whim during my recent trip down to Ft. Lauderdale I signed up for this local 5k in North Hollywood. There was no real goal in mind besides looking for stuff to do and the desire to fill up valuable vacation time with exercise to feed a crippling exercise addiction. Nothing really prompted this, my sister sent me the details as an almost joke and me and my girlfriend decided to do it.
I have mentioned this about Florida races and Florida in general but it is worth mentioning again: Florida after 9:00 is a molten fireball where running gives you a similar feeling to that dude Icarus when he flew too close to the sun. Because of this the race started like super early, I think at 6:30 which is a fucking nightmare. Due to the last minute nature of this, we also had to arrive even earlier for packet pickup. All-in-all a clusterfuck of poor decisions designed to minimize my precious sleep.
So apparently this is a 2 part half marathon series, with the other event taking place in October. Considering I am already in training for a half marathon and trying to stick to the weekly mileage, we elected to just hit the 5k instead.
This was a cool idea, the field was small, maybe no more then 200 participants. That being said, any more then that would have made this 5k a nightmare. The course itself was pretty narrow, for a majority of mile 1 we spent it doing the ol’ weave and bob through the crowd, though it did eventually clear up. The best part of this whole thing was seeing the sun rise as we were running, what started off as pitch blackness and a freezing wind turned into sunshine and a freezing wind. As you can see from the race start line picture, the beginning of this race was a dark mass of people freezing to death because they chose to dress like it was a middle of the day Florida run. This of course includes me.
The swag to this race was nothing to write home about, you had the option for I believe a dri-fit shirt of a tank top, both in white so that you won’t get to wear them for very long. The medal was disproportionately large for a 5k because I think they gave the same medal to the people who finished the half. This part was cool, I want my medals to be as obscene as possible and this totally nailed it.
The course itself was fun, it was a little more then a mile down this kind of boardwalk, a mileish back, then one more time till it curled at the end. Felt a little bit like they really didn’t have enough room to make a 5k, like when you run up and down the sidewalk on your block to hit that last .09 mile. Also there was water at some point. The start to the race was a mad house, I actually had to do a quick trot from a deck down a flight of stairs, which I did successfully. The lady next to me did not and proceeded to bust her ass in front of everybody. I found this funny because I am a bad person.
To wrap up a really unnecessarily long race review for a race that I doubt anyone really cares about it is worth mentioning that my oft mentioned girlfriend Nathalie took 3rd place in her age group. It’s incredible that at 70-years-old she is still able to participate in these kind of events. Great job! That’s all folks.
Every time I run a turkey trot I always think about that stupid meme that shames people just trying to better themselves and give back to great causes. What do you hate fitness? Do you hate charity? Don’t fit shame me.
For real though as someone whose blog is 50% about his own runs it is obvious that I would be a participant in a turkey trot. What I was pleasantly surprised with this year was that I was joined by my two sisters. For my older sister this was her first race, and she specifically started running just for it. This shows that I am slowly morphing the people around me into doing the things that I enjoy. Or that my sister took on an awesome challenge and did a great job. Either way I ran it.
Lets talk about the gear briefly. In short, I am unimpressed. The t-shirt is ass. Why anyone gives a white t-shirt for anything always blows my mind but as a running shirt there could not be a lower effort more useless piece of swag. I mean the race is in fucking Florida, if I wore that shirt for 15 seconds outside you would see every follicle of nipple hair on my masculine, animalistic (gross) chest. Though cartoon turkeys make me laugh so I guess it isn’t all bad. As I write this I am also realizing that for like 5 more dollars I could have gotten a dri-fit shirt and then maybe I would not be complaining. That’s on me dog.
I have lamented in the past about the misery that is Florida running but in this case the race was so early that it really wasn’t an issue. It also helps that it was a short run but whatever. What was hot in both the heat sense and the sexually attractive sense were these fire ass turkey hats we wore.
As you can see from the lovely picture above I have a hella ugly family. Also that the race took place on the street that is right on the beach, so we were treated to a great view. The race itself was solidly organized, they had day of registration and had water at the 1 mile and 2.5 mile marks. The race was willlllld packed, if you look at the picture below you can see where the race was supposed to start, and how many people were just swarming the start line. I actually thought that was kind of funny.
To wrap up this semi boring review I will say that I had a blast running this thing. I was on vacation in Florida and traded 30 degree shit weather for 80 degree glory so no matter what that was a win. The race itself, while a little on the disorganized side was a nice relaxing run with excellent energy that didn’t take itself serious at all. I mean its a fucking turkey trot, if you can’t have fun doing that your friends prob hate you. Shout out to Jenna for running this thing, she literally started running just to do this with me and my younger sister. My younger sister finishing the whole thing with that fucking hat on was equal parts impressive and possible serial killer. That was pretty cool.
Final Notes: Got into the American Airlines Half-Marathon so expect a revival of the (Half) Marathon Mondays blog series.
Well if you couldn’t tell by the title of this blog and the accompanying information, I finished the marathon! Though I think it would be hilarious to write a race review for a race I dropped out of, unfortunately for my perverse sense of humor that is not the case. It seems almost to minimize the event to have my entire experience documented in one simple review but I don’t feel like breaking it down into parts so one blog is all this is getting.
I think for the sake of cohesiveness and readability I am going to do this whole thing chronologically. That would mean starting with the race expo. I went to the expo the day before the race, meaning that on a day I wasn’t already in the city I lugged my ass to the Javits Center, which to you might seem like a minor complaint but I really don’t like having to go somewhere to pick up something to go do something else. Whatever.
The expo was surprisingly both organized and awesome. Walking in all the volunteers are applauding and cheering you and stuff. Really a cool way to make an entrance. You go to the booth that corresponds with your number and pick up your bib. If you have any questions, which due to lack of preparation I had several, there is a whole set up of race support. With bib in hand you go get your shirt, which I of course have a terrible picture of for the purposes of showing the full experience. They tell you to not fuck up picking the size of your shirt since they will not exchange it, this is not true they will if you complain enough. They have a whole shirt try-on area to make sure you don’t screw up this decision. They ran out of women’s mediums, which as a man doesn’t impact me at all but it almost screwed over my girlfriend. As I mentioned if you go full Karen you can get anything done. If feet are your thing my girlfriend’s toes are in the bottom of this picture. Sorry babe.
Hard to tell from the picture but that shirt is a long sleeve. Okay moving on. The expo itself was huge, first you go through their New Balance sponsored store, where they have a masssssive amount of gear to spend all your money on. I got a workout shirt, a finisher hoodie, a quarter zip and credit card debt. Worth it. After spending your hard earned money you go through to the expo part. It was all these different booths with their sponosers and other things. If you have ever been to any expo it was pretty much the same thing, but for runners. They had all kinds of backdrops to take pictures at, a million booths promoting massagers (please Hypervolt send me one of those little pieces of heaven, no free ads though) gels, bars and other consumables, and for some reason mattresses. The Honey Stinger booth gave out samples of their waffles and I had a million. I really actually had a great time at this thing and not just because I got to massage myself. That sounded weird.
That was all on Saturday. Saturday night we ate a nice delicious and nutritious meal which for me meant a giant cheeseburger and some mac-and-cheese bites. Got all my stuff together, which included a full sweatsuit, hat, and gloves that I planned on donating at the race start as well as what I was bringing. I brought two packets of Biofreeze to rub on the ol’ knees, not that I really needed it more that I had them lying around so why not. I brought two gel packets, some hand warmers, my Bose Soundsports, my Garmin Forerunner 235, my Birddogs shorts, race belt and my Mizuno Waverider 22’s. No free ads of course. With that all laid out and ready to go it was on to the event.
So for anyone not familiar with the marathon you run through all five boroughs. The race starts in Staten Island, a little shit hole that hangs off of Brooklyn, where their is a massive pre-race town they basically set up. Living in Hoboken it was like a 35-minute Uber to the start. Only time living in Hoboken made getting to a NYRR race easy. Apparently the transportation they provide would have taken way longer. O well not my problem.
Depending on your group, their are villages set up that correspond to your color. These villages are huge and contain all kinds of amenities, which is good because regardless of what mode of transportation you take, you are going to be waiting around for 4ish hours before the start of the race. Yes that is for real. They close the bridges at 7am so you are forced to go super early. To make up for this, they have booths that offer Dunkin’ coffee, Honey Stinger waffles and gels, bananas, bagels and for some odd reason therapy dogs. Also 50 million porta potties that all manage to have a line.
People did different things while they waited like read, talk, stretch, try to capture the perfect Instagram picture, but what everyone unequivocally did was freeze. Not that it was terrible out, actually the weather was perfect. It started out high 40’s and moved into the low 50’s during the race with absolutely no wind. Easily the luckiest weather situation one could imagine. It was more that you were just waiting around while the sun wasn’t up, which is chilling regardless of what you wear. That is why they recommend you buy a bunch of throw away layers, and encourage this by having donation bins all over the place to get rid of the clothes as it gets closer to race time.
About 30 minutes out they tell you to make your way to your corral, which once again I was surprised by just how organize this was. They kind of move you into this walled up pens, a little prisionish but whatever, and you wait it out until you start walking. It was here that I finally shed my layers, keeping just the Dunkin’ hat and gloves on. There are more porta potties in the corrals in case you panic that you never got the chance to go.
My wave started at 10:10am, so around 10ish you start walking to the beginning of the Verrazano Bridge. Different groups are on different parts of the bridge, but either way there are a billion people all around. The announcer did a great job of pumping up the crowd. I thought I would be more nervous at this point, but I was actually so jacked up that I was doing that thing that would-be-athletes do before intramural games and was like pumping myself up. I was really excited at this point, I am sure I could go into a whole “wow my whole journey led me to this point thing” but that is fucking corny. But for real though I did spend some time getting ready for this, you can see in the previous 16 blogs about training for it if you really care too.
So some, I think Frank Sinatra, song about New York played and the race began. I think I am going to break up this review by borough, so without further ado, the actual race!
STATEN ISLAND (Miles 0 to 1ish)
So you are in Staten Island for a total of like 10 minutes. You literally just run across the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn. Starting a race on a massive incline has the advantage of tiring you out right from the get-go and making you really work without proper ally warming up. They don’t call this an easy marathon. After the 2 seconds, 2 seconds too many in my opinion, you are in Staten Island, its on to Brooklyn. Also I don’t have any pictures of anything borough specific after this one, so enjoy. Every week I posted as the feature image to my training blogs an overview of the runners on the bridge, this time I am posting a picture of my actually on it.
BROOKLYN (Miles 2 to 13)
At this point I had just run down the bridge and was feeling pretty damn good. Brooklyn was amazing, the energy was great with live music every mile or so and people packed along the streets cheering on the runners. I was so enjoying it that I didn’t even throw on my music until mile 9. Brooklyn is also flat, which made it an easy enough section. There were all kinds of signs, my favorite was one that said “Don’t Trust the Fart,” because I am immature. Also for real don’t trust it. At this point of the race we were cruising, Nathalie (that is my girlfriend in case that wasn’t obvious) and I were keeping a solid pace, we were doing a good job of spacing out hydration, and feeling overall solid. The crowd was just so lively and vivacious that it was hard to feel pumped. The areas of Brooklyn you run through are really pretty, so it is an enjoyable way to look at things. Right before the halfway point we stopped real quick to pee, and then got on another bridge to enter Queens.
QUEENS (Miles 13 to 16)
A quick popover in Queens to see a bunch of parking lots and factories made this part of the run pretty forgettable. After the bridge our pace started to drop a little bit, but it never got out of hand. Queens had some places with good energy, but it was not really a pretty area so I wasn’t terribly entertained. But of course at the end of Queens is the dreaded Queensboro Bridge, which might be the most unfair obstacle to throw into a marathon ever. SO the Queensboro Bridge fucking sucks, you are in the bottom part of it so there is no sun, it is a steady incline for what feels like at least 5 miles but is actually 1, and at the end it is a steep decline that doesn’t even feel like a break because you have to bend your legs in order to avoid them snapping. I repeat, fuck that bridge. On to Manhattan.
MANHATTAN PART 1 (Miles 16 to 20ish)
This part of the race takes you all the way up First Avenue, which is a cool enough street, if devoid of anything that really stand out to look at. At this point of the race we started to fall off a steady pace a little more. That dreaded 18th mile wall never really smacked me in the face, fortunately seeing a bunch of family and friends helped out a lot here. Around mile 16 I started to feel great, the idea of only having single digit miles to go I think mentally made this whole thing seem doable. I honestly felt fantastic at this point, that changed later on but whatever switch got flipped, it stayed flipped up until like mile 24. We started to hydrate a little more frequently, about ever 2 miles or so. I had also had 2 gel packets at this point (they gave packets out at miles 11 and 18). Another bridge, another borough.
BRONX (Miles 20ish to 22ish)
The Bronx stunk. Not like actually, well a little, but it just was ugly. This could have been because it felt like a tease until the final part of the race, but also there really wasn’t much to look at. There were still a ton of people, and the energy was solid, I just didn’t like this part of the race. Fortunately it was back to Manhattan.
MANHATTAN PART 2 (Miles 22ish to 26.2)
So the last part of the race is quite the interesting little adventure. From an actual running stand-point, mile 23 is basically a giant hill, which is something you always want at the end of a race. You travel down 5th Avenue until you do a quick popover into Central Park, where you go downhill for about another mile or so until it flattens out until the end. This part of the race is brutal, at that point I was starting to lose my little feeling of elation and the constant smacking of the concrete was starting to take its toll. At mile 24 I felt my outer right calf starting to tighten. This lead to my right quad tightening, and it became hard to bend my leg. I was forced to kind of high step it every quarter mile or so for a bit in order to keep the leg from tightening up completely. There was like a good 30 seconds where I wondered what would happen if the thing locked up on me and I couldn’t run, but then I thought there was no way I was stopping at this point so it didn’t matter.
I attribute this to a few things, the first is obvious exhaustion. I had been running for 4+ hours at this point and my body was feeling it. Next was that for the second half of the race, we had taken much more water breaks, as well as gave quick hugs and high fives to people who came to see us. This kind of stop-and-go style led to lactic acid build up. It’s not like we walked at any point, it was more that the change of pace and grabbing water and shit disrupts the run. We were running slower, at the pace we were going it was not the most optimal running motion for me or Nat. The last thing is that it was a god damn marathon and shit hurts. If I ran the whole thing without any type of pain or exhaustion than it wouldn’t be a challenge. Eat shit haters.
Going up and hill and down a hill, the TCS New York City Marathon finish line was finally in sight. The crowd for the second part of Manhattan, and really the whole race, was absolutely going nuts. It was crazy motivational and inspiring and while I don’t really ever feel moved by that kind of stuff, I honestly was blown away by the crowd. New York may be a cesspool of grime and filth and the worst kind of people, but it is still the best place on earth and nothing shows that more then being cheered on by millions of people. The people in Central Park were cheering their hearts out, and it actually did help push us too the end.
Sure enough we crossed the finish line, so ending our adventure. Well not really, they make you walk another mile as a sick, sadistic way to torture you before you are allowed to exit the park. If you selected a post-race poncho you got out of the park a little earlier. I did not. For real though I am not even kidding you actually have to walk a mile out of the park. It takes 45ish minutes and is absolutely horrible. They do give you a post-race bag with an apple some snacks and some drinks. I guess that is cool.
So to wrap up this monster blog, I have a few last thoughts on the race. This is going to be super sappy so if that is not your thing stop reading. You probably have already.
First off a humongous thank you to everyone who came out to support me. Seeing my family and friends during and after the race was something that helped push me to achieve a life long dream and I will forever be thankful. I feel truly blessed to have such great people in my life who are willing to freeze their asses off just to see me for two seconds and cheer me on.
Thank you to everyone who supported me throughout this whole process. So many of you reached out during and after the race and it meant a lot. Nobody, I repeat nobody, wants to hear someone talk about running and training for a marathon, yet my family and friends were always willing to put up with me blabbing on and on about pace, mile splits, tempo runs and all other running related things. They also listened to me complain about how much time this was taking up, how I had to get up early all the time to get in a run, and how I was constantly sore and exhausted, with nothing but patience and understanding. I apologize for whining and promise I will continue to.
But I could not possibly end this blog without talking about my girlfriend Nathalie. About two years ago, Nathalie set this whole thing in motion based on me mentioning that it was a life goal to run a marathon. She carefully researched how exactly to get into the marathon and got me a NYRR membership so that I could begin the journey. She decided to embark on the journey with me and we began the process of the making the dream happen.
She was with me grinding out the 9+1, meticulously planning our runs, making sure we signed up at the right times, and constantly getting on my case about planning things better. Without her I would never have been able to sign up, get too, and meet the prerequisites to even get into this.
This year we began training for the marathon, and throughout the process she continued to encourage me to push myself in order to put myself in the best position to succeed. Her tireless efforts in her own training were inspiring. She worked her fucking ass off and it showed. She facilitated rearranging our social lives to accommodate our training schedules, she was there every time I needed to bitch about being too exhausted, and her incredible toughness and resiliency motivated me to keep working. She is a warrior.
This was one of the best experiences of my life and I could not be happier to have experienced it with her. We had an absolute blast, and through all the tough times, the fights, the whining, the pain, we always kept the goal in mind and when we both crossed the finish line it was incredible. I am so beyond proud of her and grateful we got to do this together. Thank you Nat. I love you.
While that would have been the perfect place to end this, I want to say that this is not it for me, I will continue to post about training and running and events. I am not positive what comes next, but when I do know I will be sure to write extensively, perhaps to extensively, about it. Thank you all for reading along. O yea here is what the medal looks like.
Welp the big training event before the marathon is now officially in the past. I learned a lot about what to expect, what I need to work on, where I am at with my fitness, what kind of runner I am, and how much I dislike central park all in the course of almost three hours early Sunday morning.
First off lets get to the gear. For some reason I can only imagine was due to overstock, the gear for this race was the ever practical arm sleeves. The arm sleeve, as history commonly accepts, was not made cool until Allen Iverson wore one. In of course, as many readers are aware, a sport that involves your arms. So just to get it out of the way, these arm sleeves are wack as hell. They look like bad stained glass windows. I already have tattoos I don’t need fake ones. Of course here they are for reference. Make your own judgement.
Moving on. The race itself went surprisingly well. The start time of 7:00 AM would normally have me throwing a fit, but I actually think with this distance it was a blessing. I had little time to think about the task at hand, as I was mostly focused on staying awake and maneuvering the PATH and subway. I wound up taking an Uber to the start line anyway. But because it was early I just woke up and got right to it.
The weather was great for it, I think it was high 60’s low 70’s for the entire time, if the race started any later it would have been a nightmare, as it crept up to 80’s later on. I had planned on taking my sweet ass time for this, really emphasizing the “training” part of the race, but I think I either got caught up in the moment or just had a good day out there. I am by no means a great runner, I would say for my age I usually sit about average, but I was extraordinarily consistent throughout the course.
Originally I planned on running 10:30-11:00 minute miles in order to focus on just getting the distance in without injury, but around 3 miles in I noticed that I came out the gate faster than I would have liked. I know I have the watch, but I kept trying to do the math every time I passed a timer, which by the way they had at every mile, and I was surprised that I was moving quicker. I thought I actually slowed down at some point but clearly I stayed consistent throughout.
For anyone who has ever done a NYRR race or ran in Central Park in general, they are familiar with the fucking up-and-down nature of NYC’s one redeeming place. The race was three loops around the park, which is not only really unoriginal but also means you know where the hills are and can start dreading them. Now this wasn’t really an issue for me until the 3rd time around, by which point I was working on miles 12 through 18 and knew exactly where every incline was. That third lap was torture, I hit like a physical wall around mile 15 where I honestly questioned if I would be able to go another foot.
My strategy going in was water every 5 miles and some bee goo around the halfway mark. This did not happen, I took water/Gatorade at miles 5, 9, 12, 14, and 16 which shows me that I need to be aware of how necessary hydration is. My fear with water breaks is that as I slow down to grab a cup that I just physically won’t be able to pick it back up, but experience has shown the actual opposite effect. It’s not like when I have to stop for stupid cars that I just collapse, idk what kind of mental block makes me think it is going to happen during a race. I also think I need more of those gel packet things.
Either way, I smoked that last mile finishing nice and strong. Physically the largest challenge I had was in my legs. My groins were killing me, which is surprising as usually my hamstrings are the first thing I feel. I honestly thing doing yoga earlier in the week was the game changer. My quads felt like bricks by mile 16, I am not sure really how that is going to change besides just getting in better running shape, but it has motivated me to keep going to hot yoga torture chambers and get a few more gym sessions in before the big race.
Ultimately I finished and considering I wasn’t “racing” this race I am beyond happy with my times. This was a huge validation of my own ability and the success of sticking with the program. No more races on the agenda until the big one, so it is on me to stay focused. Bonus picture of me looking like human death at the finish line at the end of this.
Final Notes: Same thing as last week about the Giants, I don’t want to hear it.
Location: New York, NY (5th Ave between like 62nd
and 83rd St. or something)
I was looking for the format I used last time for one of
these race reviews and realized it has been almost two months since I last ran
a race, which for someone who runs consistently seems like a really long time.
In actuality doing races is almost getting in the way of the actual training.
For example, this race is only one mile (which you probably got from the name
of the race). I had to run 10 miles on Sunday, so after finishing the race I
would have had to either run before the race or after. If I got a medal for the
race or any other swag, I would have had to either run with the stuff or leave
it. I keep all this stuff hypothetical because they gave no after race stuff so
this didn’t really apply. I also did my long run on Saturday so I had to run 4
after the race which isn’t bad at all. Point is, the races can in theory get in
the way of training, or at least force it to take way more planning around,
hence why I only signed up for two races during this 16 week thing. One of
those is the 18 mile training run, which lines up with my 18-mile run so that
is actually great.
Complaining about things that didn’t actually happen at all
aside, the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile race is a really cool
concept. They do the race in waves (they might call them heats but it’s the same
concept) broken up by age so you actually line up with a bunch of people who
are in your own age range, as opposed to around your same speed. It definitely
has an actual person against person competition feel to it, because you know
everyone around you started around the same time as you so anyone you pass you
beat. If you care about those things. Which of course I do because I am hyper
With 9,172 running this thing, broken up into a lot of
groups over not a lot of space, it seems like it would be an organizational
nightmare, but NYRR does an excellent job of keeping the thing moving. My wave,
the 25-29 age group, went at 9:20 AM, if I remember from last year that is an
hour later than last year. Last year’s weather was trash, this year it could
not have been more perfect. I think it was 60ish and sunny.
This is an awesome race. That being said, I fucking hate it.
I easily think it is the hardest race I run. This is entirely my own fault and
has no reflection on the race. Last year I flat out sprinted the first quarter
mile because I tried to keep up with all the dudes in the front, and after that
quarter mile I felt as if death had come for me. I spent like 20 minutes after
this thing hacking up a lung.
This year was still not great, though I didn’t feel like
death so that’s an improvement. I spent much more time loosening up, stretching
actively and statically in an attempt to get my hammys at the minimal working.
I also came out much more reserved. This helped a lot, as I cut off 18 seconds
from the year prior.
Still though, after I passed the quarter mile timer, I had
fleeting thoughts about bailing on running hard. I honestly think I would have
if I didn’t think that stopping would have caused me to flat out tear my whole
leg. The second quarter of the race is slightly uphill, so all I see in my
vision is emptiness, very uninspiring. At least the second half is better, it
starts off downhill and I could see the finish line so at least I knew my torture
was coming to the end. I felt my hamstrings pulling the entire time though. I
tried to kick it up another notch at the 200 meters left sign, as I saw that I
was getting close to getting under 6 minutes, but I didn’t realize that I had
started like 8 seconds after so the timer at the end line was over 6 minutes I
was too deflated to run harder. Good thing I didn’t slow down though because I was
literally one second from not being under. That was not intentional at all.
Either way, if you are great at running a mile this race is
probably a blast. I mean I came in 408 of 825 in my age group. As I said I am
irrationally competitive, so even knowing I am not a great mile runner, the
fact that 407 dudes finished ahead of me is infuriating. And on top of that I
was basically dead average. I hate this race. At least at other distances I don’t
really care as much because I know I suck at it. This one hits harder for some
The gear though for this race is sweeeeeeet. Last year they
gave out the wackest hats known to man, I don’t even have mine I threw it out
instantly so no picture. This year though they gave out a pair of running
shorts, but like really nice ones that have pockets. The women’s shorts don’t
have pockets but I am a man so that is zero issue to me. Here they are:
I didn’t take any of my own pictures because I forgot my
phone in the car, for some reason bringing my wallet instead, which of course
is very useful for running a mile. So my apologies.
So in review, this race is really cool and probably a ton of fun. Unless you are me and find no joy in anything. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Jenny Simpson won this thing for the 8th time. What a fuckkkkking beast. Who cares about the guys. Also Tiki Barber I think ran this. It infuriates me to no end that this guy is apart of NYRR. Stay tuned for a race review next week!
Final Notes: No comment on the Giants game yesterday. Leave me alone.
With the doldrums of the workweek beginning it’s
time to recap the weekend festivities in an ode to reliving the glory days and
keeping our minds firmly in the past. I am told looking backwards is the key to
progress, it is also a great strategy to do while running. Give it a try and
let me know how it goes.
This Saturday I was one of the 11,852
participants in the Queens 10k and I would like to bless you all with my much
sought after opinions on the event. After setting the bar way too high by doing
my last race report (I want to call these race reports but I think ‘review’ is
better SEO practice. IDK though because I didn’t pay for the better version of
Wordpress) this is coming a couple of days after. I would offer apologies but I
am not offering apologies. I would also like to state on the record the
importance of keeping your expectations at the bare minimum required to remain
somewhat not miserable, and you will always have your expectations exceeded.
This is fundamental to your boss evaluating your job performance, your family
asking for help at the family event, and most importantly your significant
others expecations for your sexual performance. So strive to get all those
people on board with this philosophy and make mediocrity great again!
The Queens 10k took place in lovely Flushing
Park, where we were treated to beautiful sites of dying grass in untended
fields, the cracked concrete of abandoned parking lots, some weird polluted
lake that has a creepy island with a door on it, and that tennis stadium that
hangs off of Citi Field like an untreated hemorrhoid. Flushing Park is to
Central Park what Queens is to Manhattan, which is the sibling that is just a
little sloppier and worse at everything then the golden child. Your parents may
say they love all their children the same but in your heart you know the truth.
My goal for the race was to shoot for 47
minutes, and similar to my attempts at writing witty and engrossing race reviews
I fell short of the mark. I would like to place all the blame on external
factors in order to escape culpability so here are the things that caused me to
fail in no particular order:
Global warming. The earth was all hot and shit
forcing me to take an extra water break a mere half mile after my first one.
This had nothing to do with the fact that I was dehydrated due to poor
hydration planning and eating crumb cake a mere 40 minutes before the race. Nor
the fact that it actually wasn’t that hot and kind of cloudy. Nope the earth is
getting hotter and it messed me up.
The protests in Hong Kong. The extradition
policies of the Chinese Special Administrative Region is often on my mind and
to see things devolve into such chaos left me no room to calculate my times as
I passed the clocks. I simply do not have the mental capacity to do basic math
while running and think about why Hong Kong is independent of China. Shame
K. Morgan. See my previous blogs for further clarification.
So I think that shows just why I should not be
held responsible for not achieving my goals. As for the course itself, despite
not being the most eye catching of courses, it is actually relatively flat and
though there were some sharp turns and one bridge, it was a solid course for a
10k. There is one part where you run around that giant globe thingy around mile
5 and it blocked out the sun so perfectly. It was such a relief because before
that you are in the sun for a bit so when I got too that part it kind of
charged me up. That globe is cool as shit, and is also the perfect Instagram spot,
as Nathalie was quick to take advantage off. The picture I have is actually of
the sunny side, but whatever imagine being on the other side of the thing if
you have an issue with it.
The swag bag was pretty standard, the tank is,
well here’s a picture of it all so I don’t really need to explain it. The tank
is pretty damn comfortable. I would be remiss if I did not mention there were
no bee power waffles. Points off for that.
All in all I actually had a great time at the
race, I set a PR so while I did fail progress is slow. That’s the motto of the
perpetual underachiever. The course was a lot of fun and I didn’t have to take
a train there because I got a ride, automatically improving the race. NYRR here
is some more unsolicited advice, just give me a ride both ways and I will love
the race. 20 weeks to the marathon. Stay working hard everyone. Here the obligatory
picture of me. Notice that my head is not peeling like a prisoner of the Boltons.
Final Notes: Noted enemy of
the blog Lebron James successfully manipulated another organization into mortgaging
their future because Lebron is incapable of winning a championship on his own.
How could he not win with noted superstars Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart and 3 first
round picks to be named later? Coward.
First and foremost I would like to say Happy Global
Running Day to all my fellow runners. In a society that glorifies made up
holidays sometimes it’s easier to just give in and go with it. Looks good on
social media and honestly isn’t that the only thing we all care about? It didn’t
occur to me why this race was on a Wednesday until that guy with the silky
smooth voice on the PA system mentioned it while we were waiting for the thing
to start in our race corral. That whole thing had me super confused but I
thought this would be an easy way to get my Wednesday morning run in and add
another 1 to the 9 + 1 NYRR scheme. I have used Wednesday four times in this
paragraph, not once have I spelled it correctly on the first try. Shout out to
spell check you a real one.
So made up holiday aside, the point of this race was to promote New Balance, I mean to do some charity work. What that terrible name for a race is supposed to imply is that everyone who signed up for the race got a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit’s and New Balance donated a pair of sneakers to kids in need. I may make fun of a lot of things, including this, but it is really cool that they gave those kids sneakers. The sneakers are awesome too, I added them to my three sneaker rotation as my light run sneaker and so far they have been great. Not sure if they would hold up on a long run, but fuck it they look good which for a short run is all that matters.
As for the race, it didn’t seem to be a particularly
crowded race which was a nice change of pace for a typical NYRR race. Since the
thing started at 7am and was only a 5K, I imagine that unless you lived in Manhattan
this wasn’t really worth it. I may have bitched about this before, but I don’t
live in Manhattan so as usual it was not very convenient. I did hop on the ol’
PATH and take a subway to Bryant Park where I ran to the race start on 83rd
so at least I was able to parlay the race into a good training day. I may
have been gassed, but I have no complaints it was my choice to do a race before
itself was a breeze, the whole course seemed like it was going downhill.
Apparently we ran up the notorious Harlem hill but it didn’t seem bad. At the
end of the race I was saying that I thought the whole thing was downhill and
some old British lady overheard (i.e. eavesdropped) and gave me her thoughts on
it. She did not agree with my assessment to say the least. Suck it up it was
3.2 miles. It’s that type of attitude that lost you the states in the first
place. Even our fat guys whip up on the soft ass English, look at Andy Ruiz. He
might be my new obsession, if I was a young decently attractive 18 to 21 year
old with insecurities about my ability to have a social life and wanted to pay
for a friend group, I would even go so far as to look and Andy Ruiz and give my
thoughts on him with the ever so poignant #Goals.
I didn’t eat breakfast (meaning not a big breakfast)
so the after race snacks were a life saver. Grabbed myself a bagel, an apple,
and some of those bee Belgium waffle things and started hauling ass down 7th
Ave. If you saw a jackass running with a race bib on through one of the most
crowded streets in the country around 8am with a giant bulge in his pocket
eating a bagel, congrats you saw me! The bulge was an apple don’t be a perv.
Its 2019 though so even if I was aroused don’t dick shame me.
All in all pretty happy I woke up for this. I don’t
smell like shit at work and left clothes here yesterday so that’s a plus. Didn’t
bring a belt though. Let’s hope for the best.
I went the entire blog without mentioning how brave and strong I am for writing this the same day I did the race. I am not looking for applause or to be lauded for this achievement. But recognize greatness when you see it. O yea obligatory race picture will appear at the end. Thanks Nat for always managing to look great even drenched in sweat looking like you just carried a jug of water on your head through the fields. And also for looking at the camera instead of at the button like my dumbass.
Final Notes: No idea who is going
to win tonight. Don’t even know the spread, but I am thinking of going against
what I have been doing and betting on the Raptors. I can’t stop laughing
thinking about that story of Kawhi’s trash talk. Not going to link it so if you
made it this far just go look it up. Such a fucking weirdo. I think I am going
to incorporate his style into my running, so every time I run past someone I’ll
mumble “pass” or “pace man gets paid.”
Fresh off the heels of the Brooklyn Half I ran the City
Manager’s 10-Mile Race to Remember in the beautiful city? (I mean a city in the
Long Island sense of the term) of Long Beach for a nice 10 miler. No goal in
mind which was a good thing because it was at least 400 degrees and I am not
sure PRing was going to happen. I was still also feeling the damage of having
done the Brooklyn Half. Not damage in terms of soreness, but if posting a
picture of myself last race review revealed anything besides the fact that I’m
looking low key jacked up, I am also bald as a cue ball. My dome got torchhhhed.
Like peeling all week torched. Like wear a hat to work torched because the
three seconds of sun I see on the walk from Herald Square to my job is too much.
Like I wore my tank top as a durag for a solid 3 miles before I gave up on even
trying. Always thought it looked gross when old dudes had bald skulls with
different colored skin. Well I learned that it is not that hard to have happen.
Not a great look.
There is a reason for it. First poor planning. But second is
that I hate running with a hat. Style wise it looks way better, and while
normally I only care about looking good, my head just starts overheating. Same
reason I hate using sunscreen on my egg head. Clogs my pores, or at least I think
that is what happens, and I overheat and sweat straight sunscreen into my eyes.
I think my biggest injury from the race on Sunday was my eyes were stinging.
Point being, this is way too long to complain about being bald.
This was my third time doing this race so I am really
familiar with it. In fact this was the first race me and my gf ran together,
yes you are allowed to go “Awwwww” here. It also was the longest I had ran at
that point of my life. As a local race goes the course itself is not too
original. It kind of zig zags back and forth, but Long Beach is a cool,
gorgeous area so that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The highlight of the race
is the two miles of boardwalk between miles 3 to 5. You get to experience one
of the best boardwalks on Long Island with an incredible view of the water
without having to look over the gross ass people that go to Jones Beach. The
rest of the race winds through neighborhoods, some of the roads are pretty
narrow but I kind of liked that. Though there were a few people biking on those
streets, you got to be a real loser to bike on a narrow street that a bunch of
people are running on, there are 8 million different roads you can take your
bike and you choose to weave through people.
In terms of amenities, the end of the race has an awesome,
all time spread. Easily one of my favorites. There are no swag bags at the end,
instead at the end there is a million bakery goods, some hotdogs, Gatorades and
water bottles. I might be missing some stuff, but any race that has baked goods
at the end is already an amazing race. I grabbed myself a blue Gatorade and
glazed doughnut and was instantly a significantly happier person. TAKE NOTE
have bakery goods at the end of your race. The shirt was a change from the
prior years, it fit me a little weird but I think that it probably fits the
general population better. It’s a hard cotton shirt but the design is cool, a
good blogger would have a picture of the shirt ready to go, so I will do my
best next time. It was blue so use your imagination.
So the part no one cares about, my performance. I ran it in 1:34:42. Nat and I were running with another couple, who were running their first race together (can you believe the coincidence!!!!!!!!!!!! So cute I’m going to regurgitate that glazed doughnut) so we stuck with them for a little bit and I went solo dolo around mile 3. I hung out with my sister who was nice enough to come watch, nothing to do with her also going to the beach, for a few minutes. Lots of excuses for this run. Might as well mention again it was as hot as the Seven Cities in MBotF. For reference I ran this race in 1:25 during a monsoon last year. Haters going to hate.