A Girl Runs in Brooklyn

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

The Story So Far: A Combined Race Recap of my 26 Races to Date

on February 2, 2014

So….finally…..tomorrow is my first race day in 2014!!! I was supposed to have a half marathon last weekend that I had to “DNS” (Did Not Start) due to JUST getting back to running after my foot injury, but that is water under the bridge now. My race tomorrow (a 4 miler) will be for fun….certainly won’t be a PR (personal record/best recorded time in a race at that distance) as I am easing back into running very slowly both with pace and distance, but I am looking forward to it. I figured that since after my race tomorrow I will get to write my first real Race Recap for this blog (yay!), it got me thinking that I owe you guys a lot of Race Recaps from all my races before I began this blog a few weeks ago. It may help put all future races recapped on here into perspective. So….without further ado, here is a “quick and dirty” recap of ALL the races I have run so far, in 2012 and 2013. There are 26 completed races (plus 3 DNSes and 1 DNF). Enjoy!

How It All Began

My first race was the Baltimore Running Festival 5K on October 13, 2012. Before my friend convinced me to register, which I did in June or July of 2012, I had done a little bit of walk/jogging in the park before…generally on nice spring or fall days when it was too beautiful to be cooped up in the gym (I had been a fan of the elliptical since college, as well as classes such as cardio-kickboxing, Zumba and yoga). I never ran more than two times a week, and would go through spurts where I would do it 1-2 times a week for maybe 3-4 weeks in a row and then not go for another run for months (generally all of winter and summer). I had wanted to get more into running, and my friend from college, who liked to run and race, suggested I sign up for a race. She lives in Baltimore, and had signed up for the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon as her first half and encouraged me to sign up for the 5K. I did, as a motivation to get out there and get running. I didn’t really follow a plan, I just tried to get out there at least 3 days a week. I tried to run as long as possible before taking a walk break, and tried to slowly increase my distance.

I was a total noob. I didn’t wear a watch or time any of my runs, and didn’t have any means of tracking my distance while I was running (did not even carry my phone). I would measure out routes on mapmyrun.com on the computer, sometimes before I’d head out I’d plan a route, but usually I would just run and then come home and recreate my route on the website to see how far I went (usually between 1.5 and 3 miles). I had absolutely no concept of my pace, since I never timed anything and rarely even knew how far I was going. I had no log of any form, I have no idea how many miles I ran during this training cycle. (And maybe those were the “good old days” when I could not care less about minutes per mile, miles per week, ect.) I started my training for the race in sneakers I had bought at a Target for $11 in college, probably my sophomore year (and I had been out of college for over 4 years). I figured I would run in those instead of my “good gym shoes” which were Reebok something or other I had also gotten crazy on sale somewhere 2 years or so before, because “I was only wearing them for running outside, so they’re going to get dirty anyway.”  (A year and a half later I have 4 pairs of shoes just for running, the most expensive being $160…..oh how times have changed!) Good thing my friend Janis convinced me to get a professional shoe fitting a few weeks before race day. When I began I also wore cotton tank tops and cotton sports bras, cotton gym shorts, cotton socks, I had never heard of tech material/dry fit/sweat wicking anything. As I got closer to the race, I began taking more and more of Janis’s advice and began to buy some clothes “just for running.” By the time I toed the starting line, I “almost” felt like a runner.

Baltimore Running Festival 5K- 10/13/12- 37:07

I trained consistently and finishing that 5K was the proudest moment I had experienced. Running past Camden Yards, the roar of the crowd….oh man I loved every second. It was magical…..and I was hooked.

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Morris Township Turkey Trot 5K- 11/22/12- 33:33

After I finished my first I kept training, and actually started following a training plan. I set my sights on a second 5K a little over a month later, and a 10K 2 months later. I began following the Hal Higdon Novice 10K plan. I got myself Nike+ so I knew my distance and pace. My 2nd 5K was a huge PR.

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NYC Runs Hot Chocolate 10K- 12/16/12- 1:07:46

I kept following the plan and completed my first 10K. I did better than I thought I could do and had fun on my first trip out to Roosevelt Island (little Island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens).

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It was about a week or so after this race that I began having an awful pain on the outside of my left knee. It turned out to be Illio-Tibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). I could not run for more than a mile without pain, and it hurt walking up and down the stairs. I would take a few days off until it didn’t hurt on the stairs anymore, try to run again, and not get very far before the pain kicked in again. Finally I decided to take a full month off running. I did not run in January (and sadly had to DNS the next 10K I was registered for), instead I went to physical therapy, spent a lot of time on running forums learning about ITBS, foam rolled like crazy, worked on strengthening my hips, discovered the magic of a deep tissue massage, cross trained a lot on the elliptical, discovered spin class, and when I started running again I felt better than ever, and ready to finally use the Garmin FR 10 I had gotten for Christmas!

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NYC Runs Brooklyn Hot Chocolate 10K- 1/26/13- DNS

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NYRR Al Gordon 4M- 2/23/13- 47:39

My next race I kind of stumbled upon the night before the race, when I was on the NYRR website. I planned to run in Prospect Park one Saturday in late February for 3 miles, and found out there was a 4 mile race in that park. I decided on a whim to register, and run it as a training run. Since I only planned for 3, I walk/jogged the first mile and then ran the rest.

Al Gordon

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NYRR Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K- 3/3/13- 32:30

Next up was another 5K. I had been running pain free for a month and was anxious to see if I could PR. I somehow was faster when I started running again after the month off for ITBS, so I wanted to see what I was capable of. The race was VERY hilly, and I pushed the pace a bit but held back a little on the hills out of fear of aggravating the IT band. I still PRed :).

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Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5K- 4/6/13- 28:31

I ran another 5K about a month later, and with another month of largely pain-free training under my belt and a flat course I was ready to give everything I had and attempt my first sub-30 5K. The results actually shocked me, I blew sub-30 out of the water! The course was beautiful, running under the Brooklyn Bridge and along the East River on the Brooklyn side in Brooklyn Bridge Park with great views of lower Manhattan. I rocked that race and enjoyed every second!

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NYRR Colon Cancer Challenge 4M- 4/7/13- 44:46

I ran a 4M in Central Park the next day. I actually had it scheduled before the 5K, but when I found out about the 5K in Brooklyn Bridge Park and couldn’t resist it. So I turned the 4M into more of a “fun run.”  I still PRed the 4M distance for what it’s worth (my first 4M was also a “fun run” though).

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colon cancer official

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America’s Vet Dog 5K- 4/21/13- 32:23

Next up was a 5K at the end of the month. I had a blast, because it was a fundraiser in Annapolis, MD for America’s Vet Dogs, an organization that provides service dogs and therapy dogs for disabled veterans returning from war. I started out at an OK pace, but crashed and burned a little bit and had some IT band pain during the race. I still had a blast though, and my boyfriend and his dog did the 5K dog walk that started after the 5K race. I also did this as a virtual run in remembrance of the victims of the recent Boston Marathon bombing, so I wore Boston Marathon colors (blue and yellow) and my virtual race bib on my back.

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NYC Runs CAMBA HealthyWay 5K- 5/5/13- 28:16

Next up, I PRed a 5K 2 weeks later 🙂 and, actually, this race still remains my current 5K PR. And it was in one of my favorite places to run, Prospect Park, and benefited a local women’s shelter.

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Capitol Hill Classic 10K- 5/19/13- 1:05:02

After running 2 5Ks under 30 minutes, I was incredibly hopeful that I could run a sub-60 minute 10K at my next 10K. I had finally worked back up to the 10K distance (more slowly this time) after my month off for the ITBS, and was very confident I could meet this goal. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I ran the Capitol Hill Classic 10K on the streets of DC, and the first 5K went amazingly. I was right on pace for sub 60- hitting the 5K mark in 29 minutes and change with gas in the tank to push the pace more in the second half. Unfortunately, before I hit the 4 mile marker my IT band completely locked up. I stopped twice to stretch, and could barely manage a gimpy jog. I finished the race, but in tears, and crushed with my finish time. Even though it was a PR, it was probably the most disappointing PR ever.

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Get Your Rear in Gear 4M- 6/9/13- 45:47

I took the next week off running, foam rolled a lot, did the elliptical, rededicated myself to hip strengthening exercises and ran cautiously. I ran a 4M 2 weeks later in Prospect Park, but again did it as a “fun run.”

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Baltimore 10 Miler (aka the B10)- 6/15/13- 1:57:23

I had registered Baltimore 10 Miler in all the way back in December. Unfortunately due to that pesky IT Band, training did NOT go as planned. The longest run I managed before the race due to my IT band issues was 7 miles. So I ended up running this race really easy, and taking walk breaks. I was thrilled that I was able to complete the 10 miles though, my longest distance ever, and I was even able to pick up the pace in the last 5K, even on a huge hill in the 9th mile!

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NY Giants Run of Champions 5K- 6/23/13- 32:19

Next up was the NY Giants Run of Champions 5K. This race was extremely special to me. My dad and I are HUGE Giants fans. When I found out there was going to be a race that ran around MetLife Stadium and ran across the Giants field and finished in the endzone, I knew we had to do it. My dad started training just for this race! The plan was to run together. We started together, but he unfortunately pulled a calf muscle during the race. He urged me to go ahead, and I did. I regretted it though, I wish we could have finished together. We still had a great time though. We got the “VIP package” which came with breakfast with Giants alumni players and a locker room tour. :):)

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NYC Runs Firecracker 10K- 7/4/13- 1:05:16

Next up was another crack at a sub-60 minute 10K. Unfortunately I chose the 4th of July to do so, and it was hot and crazy humid. I started out at a decent pace, but halfway through the heat and humidity really overwhelmed me and I couldn’t hold a pace. I crashed and burned in a major way. I didn’t even PR :(. But my parents and their puppy came to that one and braved the heat to watch me race (yes they were sweating just WATCHING if that is any indication of how rough it was running lol) and it is always extra special when they come see me, so I had a great time.

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MLB All-Star 5K- 7/13/13- 32:27

Next up was another chance to run with my dad. We are also huge Mets fans, and Citifield hosted the All-Star game in July. MLB always has a 5K in the city where the All-Star game is, so when I found out about the race, my dad was all in and wanted another crack at a 5K after his time suffered due to the calf strain during his first 5K. He did much better during this one :). I ran it as a fun run.

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NYC Runs Shore Road Summer Classic Mini-Series 10K- 7/14/13- 1:04:45

I ran a 10K the day after the MLB 5K. The starting line was 5 blocks from my apartment, how could I not?! I did not attempt a sub-60 again, but I did want to PR since I knew my PR was soft by probably close to a minute per mile, so I figured if I didn’t crash and burn I could at least beat my 1:05:02. I gave it a little extra gas without going all-out and did manage to PR.

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Washington Crossing15K- 8/17/13- 1:34:25

Next up, my first 15K. This was an evening race on a lovely flat course between the Delaware River and a canal, on the Pennsylvania side of the river, on a crushed stone/dirt trail. I ran a really strong race and was very happy with my time. And….the first medal I received!

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NYC Runs Labor Day 10K- 9/2/13- DNF

My next 10K, already recapped as a part of this blog entry, was a DNF due to a fire on the course, but I ran for and MET my buddy Judy who I was paired with through www.whoirun4.com, so it was amazing anyway!

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NYRR and Autism Speaks 4 Miles of Hope- 9/7/13- 41:43

Next up was a race that had a lot of meaning for me: the Autism Speaks race in Central Park. I decided to join Team Up! For Autism Speaks and fundraise for them for this race. I work with children with Autsim, so this was a special cause near and dear to my heart. I had never “raced” a 4 miler yet, and while the half marathon plan I was following for my first half in October didn’t want me racing anything at “race effort” during that time frame, I knew my 4M PR was soft and I at least wanted to PR. So I gave it a little more than easy effort and managed a PR for a great cause!

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Oktoberfest 10K- 9/28/13- 1:08:13

My dad wanted me to find us a fun fall 10K because he wanted to take a stab at the 10K distance. The one thing we love as much as the Giants and Mets is all things Oktoberfest (as we went to Oktoberfest in Munich together in 2009), and when I found out about the Oktoberfest 10K I knew it was the one. Oktoberfest themed costumes were encouraged and we gladly obliged. Afterwards was an Oktoberfest celebration! Unfortunately my dad pulled a calf again during the race, but he finished!

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Long Island DIVA 5K- 10/6/13- 30:59

Next up was another 5K. It was a week before my first half marathon, and my plan called for me to race it at 90% effort as a time trial to get a feel for what pace to go out at for my half. It predicted I would actually PR by about 30 seconds. I was excited for this race, as it occurred during my 28th birthday week, and was all about super girliness, which made me think of my buddy Judy. I was excited to potentially PR as well since I had not given race effort in a 5K since early May. Well the universe had other plans for me that day, as it often does, because I woke up with an awful head cold. I almost didn’t even go. But somehow I dragged myself out of bed and drove to Long Island. I was completely congested, running a low grade fever, and coughing. NOT PR conditions. But I ran a decent race, and placed 150th out of 1,200 runners which I was reallllly proud of! Also, I gave all my “race swag” to Judy, because I thought she would appreciate it more than me, and look better in it that I did….and her birthday was the next week! 🙂

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Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon- 10/12/13- 2:21:47

My first half marathon! I had followed a Running Wizard customized training plan, and felt decently prepared with two 11 mile runs, three 10 mile runs, three 9 mile runs and a 15K race under my belt. The course was hilly though, and I had been sick the whole week before the race and was still a bit congested for the race (hello snot rockets). The hills were relentless. However, the energy of the race was unbelievable. I held a fairly steady pace with a few kind of rough miles (mile 9 was my slowest) and was so amazingly proud of myself when I crossed that finish line! 🙂

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Marine Corps Marathon 10K- 10/27/13- 1:00:13

Next up, I had two 10Ks on the schedule, followed by two 5Ks and a half marathon. After finishing my first half, I wanted to conquer my unfinished business with the 10K (wanted my sub-60!!!), as well as a 5K PR since my 28:16 from May was still standing. And then I wanted another crack at a HM. First up was the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. This race ended up being a bit of a disaster. Stood in line for TWO HOURS to pickup my packet the day before, stood in line for an HOUR for the porta potty before the race and started over 10 minutes late (it was chipped timed and there were a ton of runners still in line for the porta potties so it wasn’t a huge deal but STILL!), the race course was so congested I came to a dead stop multiple times on the course because of bottlenecking, and to top it off, as I was about to cross the finish line the lead handcycles were about to finish, so the chase car forced all the runners about to cross the finish line WAY to the left hand side, causing congestion and we had to WAIT IN LINE to cross the finish. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I still had a huge PR and WOULD HAVE had my sub-60 since I was standing AT the finish line when my Garmin hit 60 minutes, but my time was actually 1:00:13. Grr. 😦

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CityTri Prospect Park Fall Duathalon and Run 10K- 11/10/13- 1:04:05

Next up was a 10K in Prospect Park that was run simultaneously with 4 different duathalon distances and a 5K running race. Well all the races were too much for this race organization that specializes in Triathalons, so they couldn’t make a separate starting line and finish line, so the race needed to be a full loop of Prospect Park (3.35 miles for the 5K) and a double full loop for the 10K (6.7 miles). So even though the race was to be a half mile longer than the 10K distance, they still called it a 10K. For what it’s worth, I looked at my Garmin at 6.2 miles and it said 59 minutes and change so I would have done it if it was a real 10K. Even though I missed my goal, I placed 3rd in my age group out of 14 (even though they didn’t give AG awards), and  14th female out of 48 :). But I never did get my sub-60 minute 10K :(.

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Morris Township Turkey Trot 5K- 11/28/12- 29:27

Next up were the 5Ks. I was doing the Morris Township Turkey Trot again, and then a few days later was doing a race for my Aunt and Uncle. I decided that the Turkey Trot would be my PR attempt since I was familiar with the course. Well it was very cold (wind chill of 16 degrees, in November so I wasn’t used to cold weather running for the season yet) and it was just so hard to breathe while trying to run fast, the cold air burned my lungs. A PR was not to be that day. But it WAS a course PR by almost 4 minutes so… I will take what I can get.

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Keep Calm and Fight 5K- 11/30/13- 29:03

My uncle is a cancer survivor, and he and my aunt are very active in their chapter of American Cancer Society. Their chapter was sponsoring a 5K the weekend after Thanksgiving. Disappointed I missed my PR on Thanksgiving, I gave it another go. But on tired legs and another day with wind chills in the teens, it was again not meant to be, though I did run faster than I had on Thanksgiving just 2 days earlier.

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NYC Runs Frozen Bonsai Half Marathon- 12/8/13- 2:32:13

And last, the Frozen Bonsai HM, the race right before my foot started to hurt and caused me to take 6 weeks off running (obviously I got injured during the race and never felt it), which I already briefly recapped here.

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And then of course I was injured and barely able to walk for several weeks so:

NYC Runs Hot Chocolate 5K- 12/16/13- DNS

NYRR Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon- 1/26/13- DNS

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And that’s all folks! That was my race years 2012 and 2013, all my races so far!! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2 responses to “The Story So Far: A Combined Race Recap of my 26 Races to Date

  1. BakeNBurn says:

    You had a very busy 2013! Congrats on all your race success! I did the Baltimore half in 2013 too and plan to the the Capitol Classic 10K & Baltimore 10 miler this year.

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