The Recap I Never Wrote

It’s no great secret that I get bogged down with school in the month of October. A month I love for the change in weather, leaves, and general pace of the city is now known as The Month of Midterms.

Fall used to be such a peaceful time of year...

Fall used to be such a peaceful time of year…

This year was something special because we were required to take special certification test in September that has made the entirety of this Fall semester feel like a never-ending exam schedule. No wonder I never wrote a recap about my September half marathon.

The Hamptons Marathon in September was supposed to be my triumphant 10th marathon. I trained all Summer, dutifully completing my workouts and sticking to a strength training routine at Refine, logging long runs on the weekends killer workouts during the week. I hit my highest training mileage in August with 64 miles in one week.

beast-mode-switch

Nothing special, but lots of running for me.

I was determined to PR at this race and was on track in every single run to do so. I even had Birdie signed up to rabbit my race and get me to that finish line. Alas, it was not to be come race day.

I’m no stranger to having to pull out of races completely, but this would be the first time I would have to drop down mid-race because my body just couldn’t take it.

HalfFullLogo

To be fair, I knew this was going to happen about two weeks before the race. Despite my pouch holding up AMAZINGLY throughout most of training, there are totally unpredictable circumstances that just sneak up and make it impossible to push.

What can you do?

Birdie still ran with me and we still had a fun trip out East, eating Two Boots pizza in the car while JB drove the expressway. Thank goodness JB, GB, and some of our friends came out to cheer. It was a huge boost mid-race.

Yes, we wore matching outfits. We were totally the coolest kids in the race.

Yes, we wore matching outfits. We were totally the coolest kids in the race. (Picture courtesy of GB)

The race itself, however, sucked.

  1. The man announcing the race was mean and nasty and left every runner within ear shot irritated right from the start of the race. His exact words right before the gun went off, “If you have a full marathon bib (me) and are dropping down to the half (me), DON’T EVEN THINK OF COMING CLOSE TO THE FINISH LINE. We will NOT let you cross it.” I mean, seriously?!?! Get a grip, dude.
  2. The course was not closed to cars.
  3. We ran on the main road (Montauk Highway) and there were no cones to block the cars from riding up right behind or beside us.
  4. Birdie and I almost got hit by two cars trying to navigate the road and the runners.
  5. The cops did nothing, NOTHING to protect the runners from the traffic.

The pre-race number pick-up was fine, the finish line food included chocolate milk (yum), and the course was good, but that definitely didn’t make up for the unsafe course and nasty race announcer.

Tried to smile through the near-death car accidents.

Tried to smile through the near-death car accidents.

Needless to say that in spite of the convenience of this race, I will not be doing it again unless they can guarantee the safety of the runners by closing off part of Montauk Highway or at least making the course more visible to cars by adding cones along the entirety of the race.

I’m sure there was a part of me that was bummed when I knew I wouldn’t be running the full after all that training, but that fleeing moment was erased as I high-fived myself for surviving training, being able to run my fastest training runs, and getting into all-around awesome shape after everything my poor little body has been through.

Finish line!!!!!

Finish line!!!!!

And still rocking 1:43 in a half-marathon. 3 minutes off my PR. Not too shabby, body.

I mean, HELL, I am STILL running and feeling awesome, my body is 100% in working order. How awesome is THAT?!?!!!!!

So, that was the Hamptons Marathon/Half Marathon.

Did anyone else run this race? What were your thoughts? Are you planning on running it next Fall? Is this typical for a small town race? Am I being a prima donna? You can tell me.

Now go out and run.

PS. I contacted the race directors about the issues I had with their race and their response was basically, “Eh, too bad. Nothing we can do about the cars and the announcer was just insistent.” Excellent PR. Really, stellar job.

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Friday Fitness News: Dump

I’ve been slacking on my Friday Fitness posts. Partly because they’re pretty time consuming, partly because I’m too busy enjoying my Fridays to sit down and write a post. That will probably change pretty soon since I’ll be sitting a whole lot more when school starts.

On a cheerier note, happy Labor Day long weekend, everyone! I hope you’re all at the beach, attending a clambake, wearing your best summer whites right now.

Before and After. (Image courtesy of Andrew Dixon and Huffington Post)

Before and After.
(Image courtesy of Andrew Dixon and Huffington Post)

Sheep Meadow looking very fine this Fall day!

I love to run in the Fall!

  • I will be attempting to make my own energy “gels” this weekend. I just can’t find one pre-made that doesn’t taste like liquid candy. Yuck.
  • A fascinating article on why we love certain doctors and not others.
  • GB and Aleah have started blogs. You should follow them: GB for all things sweaty in NYC, Aleah for the best jams to pump you up.
My buddies.

My buddies.
(Images shamelessly stolen from their blogs)

In a totally unrelated category, you can support a seriously awesome company that makes undergarments for ostomates, Awestomy!. It’s really hard to find the right apparel to support an ostomy and I encourage those of you who followed my 5-month ostomy journey to consider supporting their Kickstarter campaign. I did!

Everyone wants to feel good about how they look, even with and ostomy!

Everyone wants to feel good about how they look, even with and ostomy!

Phew! Friday Fitness News dump done! Thanks for sticking with me. That’s a whole lot of randomness in one post.

Happy Labor Day weekend, y’all. Anyone racing this weekend? Any news I missed? I’m gonna go get new school supplies for the big day on Tuesday. See y’all in the next school year!

Now go out and run.

*For the record, this is actually very similar to the type of strength training I do at Refine Method and I have found it to be enormously complimentary to my running.

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Fast Friends

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s a short week for most of you because of the holiday so the weekend is almost here for most of you. Woohoo!

Tuesdays are normally such a ho-hum day of the week except for when they are Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays here at Run Stronger Every Day! BTAT were born out of the necessity to kick myself every once in a while and be reminded why it’s better to be here versus the alternative.

Amen, sister.

Amen, sister.

I was long running last Friday and had the pleasure of meeting up with a fellow runner whom I’d met over Twitter. GB is a native New Yorker, newbie runner, and all-around fitness connoisseur.

Basically, he’s the Kevin Bacon of the NYC fitness scene. He knows someone at almost every studio and is the lynchpin in the web of boutique fitness. Oh, and he’s one of the most genuinely generous, sweet guys I’ve ever met.

GB, gettin his 5K on. Whatta guy.

GB, gettin his 5K on. Whatta guy.

We trekked about 5 miles down the West Side Highway together in the ridiculous humidity and chatted the whole way. GB is a phenomenal guy with a big heart. We were Fast Friends right away. He also hand-delivered a very special accessory for me.

My new workout jewelry.

My new workout jewelry.

This little band is for another Fast Friend of mine, Ali. I crashed Ali’s date and fan-girled her at 16 Handles two years ago. We continued to run into each other out and about town doing fitness stuff and in the park running. We were Fast Friends who bonded over our love of all things sweaty and sweet AND having a super-sexy disease.

Yo, buddy. #SweatingForAli

Yo, buddy. #SweatingForAli

And of course there’s Birdie who was a Fast Friend and is a very FAST Friend. She’s my School Wife. And smart. And generous. And seriously an awesome runner. And inspired me to lose the shirt on a blistering hot run the other day.

Gotta wear the shades whilst running nekkid. I feel less awkward that way...don't know why.

Gotta wear the shades whilst running nekkid. I feel less awkward that way…don’t know why.

These Fast Friends, and so many more,make it easy to join groups, open up, and feel at home in this big “bad” city.

They make walking into a fitness class or group run feel like walking into my version of Cheers. No one thinks I’m a freak or gross because of what I have or what I’ve been through or how very, very much I sweat (my apologies to everyone at Refine Method for that one).

That tiny spot is the color my shirt was pre-13 miles. No, it wasn't raining.

That tiny spot is the color my shirt was pre-13 miles. No, it wasn’t raining.

There is no such thing as TMI with Fast Friends cuz they get you right away.

Here’s to the people who are your friends right off the bat, the Fast Friends. You guys are so awesome and so supportive and so welcoming right off the bat. Thanks for being your badass selves. You guys make today way Better Than the Alternative.

Who makes your Tuesday BTAT?

Now go out and run.