A look back on a year in running, swimming and cycling.
2010 started with a bang as my husband, best friend and I all ran the New Year's Eve 4 miler to ring in the new year. All that I remember is a slow, slippery jog through the park with lots of excited folks. It was my only run with my husband all year long! It was an appropriate start to a year that topped out at 1300 miles last week before I came down with the plague and we got buried under 2.5 ft of snow in NJ.
We had a rough winter weather-wise, but I slogged through it with the help of many other great runners and new friends made via twitter.
January: The Manhattan half marathon in Central Park. I ran this one with Elyssa (Bridges Runner) and our friend Ansky who was looking for his first sub 1:50. The conditions were mild considering the date and we cruised in to a 1:48! This was the first of my 4 (out of a possible 5) Grand Prix races this year.
I also got in a fun training run in January with my brother and sister in law who came to NJ for a visit while training for their first half marathon. That was a first and it was great to have the company. They've since tackled half marathons, a full marathon and a few triathlons too!
February: This picture sums up Feb in a nutshell, lots of snow! We had the Snowpocalypse, the Snurricane and SnOMG. Through it all, I managed to get in a handful of quality runs to prepare for the "Run for Haiti" hosted in Central Park by the NYRR and also held virtually around the world. I was in NJ to get my car inspected that day, so I had to run it alone. Believe it or not: I set a new 4 mile PR on the nice square course near Mom's house. Was it the coffee?lack of crowds? I don't know but I came in at 28:27! 15 sec PR.
March: Looking back on my March blog posts I can see that the weather finally began to change because I am wearing shorts in all of my pictures. March was a good month this year, I'd been training pretty hard for the Shamrock 1/2 in VA Beach with a goal of 1:43 in mind. I had so much fun running that race and unleashing my new speed that thinking about it still makes me smile. I walked away with a 1:40 and a huge 6 minute PR. My brother and SIL rocked this race too, it was their first half and they are hooked! I'm not sure if this race is sold out yet, but if you're looking for a flat, fast half (or full) I recommend Shamrock!
Coogan's 5K is also in March, and it's one of my favorite races of the year! Passing by my apt and running "my hills" is always a blast. I made a math error this year, but I'm ready for it in 2011- I will get a new 5K PR!
April: This was a month of new things for me- I bought a road bike in April in preparation for the NYC Triathlon and I was hesitant but still pretty excited. I can still remember the nerves as I made my first ride around Fort Tryon park with my clipless pedals. I still have a lot to learn on the bike, but I have come a long, long way too. Hopefully 2011 will be the year that I get out of the middle of the pack on that bike.
April is the first time I considered a 70.3 Half Ironman, now I'm registered for one! I think it is safe to say that April was the beginning of an era: the triathlon was becoming a reality.
April brought yet another 4 mile PR, this time in Central Park with the crowds. This was my 4th "Run as One" for the Thomas G Labreque foundation and I went into it with no intention of racing, but the crowds got me excited and I took off, smoking those 4 miles in 27:48 which pushed my NYRR bib pace down into the 6:00's! Wow. I remember when I was running this race in 31:30 just a few years ago.
May: The Riverdale Ramble kicked off the month with a steamy, sweaty 10K on the crazy hills of the Bronx. It was worth it though because I came away with a 3rd place AG medal and a gift certificate from the raffle despite having Strep the week before. I'm looking forward to that race again this year, I'd like to kick some hilly butt.
Later in May I volunteered with a group of friends and one weird guy at the North Face endurance challenge 50 miler on Bear Mountain. It was so much fun that I may do it again this year, but I'll be sure that I don't have plans the day after because I was exhausted!!
The end of May brought warm weather and the start of the Van Cortlandt Track Club summer 5K series. I walked away with the first of many victory muffins!
June: My first triathlon!!!!! The NY Sprint Tri in Harriman State Park is where it all began! I
did really well (4th in my AG!) and most of all- I LOVED IT!! I can still remember smiling as I rode along the hilly bike course because I was riding with confidence and I was really looking forward to the run portion. It was during the run that I realized so many of the folks who smoked me on the bike were practically standing still on the run. Hmm, I was on to something here.
In mid-June I did another new type of race: a 12 person weekend relay in Vermont. The Green Mountain Relay was more fun than I could have imagined spending a weekend in a sweaty van could possibly be. I met some really fun people that have become good friends, both virtually and in real life. A 200 mile trek through the hills of Vermont can bring out the best in a group of runners, and thanks to TK we had a great bunch of people and a really smooth weekend. We aren't doing the relay this year, but I have a feeling we'll be back in 2012!
July: Early July was training intensive as I prepared for the big event: NYC Triathlon! I was really excited leading up to the race and it went exactly as planned, despite the wicked hot temps. With a killer swim in 17:52, a decent bike in 1:30 and a rockin' PR 10K run in 45:52 I crossed the finish line in 2:46:34 and I was thrilled with the results. Again I passed a lot of folks on the run and wondered why they were going so slow. I never realized that most triathletes aren't runners, who knew? They're all great on the bike and a lot of people struggle in the water, but I didn't realize until I started reading more about tri's that a lot of folks don't come from a strong running background! I'll be using this to my advantage in the future.
The sweaty, disgusting Queens Half Marathon was also in May, it was the 3rd of the Grand Prix races that I did this year. The trend continued and I ran the race with a couple of girlfriends which made it fun and bearable. Sadly, NYRR's attempt to revamp the Queens course just resulted in a windy, out and back boring course.
August: It was a quiet month after a busy July, I slowly started training for the NYC Marathon and tackled my last triathlon of the season. I went back to Harriman State Park with a little more experience under my belt and a hunger for better than 4th place. I raced hard again and walked away with this baby ----->
It was so exciting and fun, but I knew I had to buckle down and get training for the marathon and put my triathlon dreams on the shelf for the time being. I managed a few more VCTC 5K races and a few more muffins to finish off the season.
September: The Philly half was my goal race this month, but as you may remember it didn't go the way Elyssa and I hoped. In hindsight, perhaps it wasn't reasonable to expect a half marathon PR while training for a full when we both have pretty solid HM PRs. September was also the month that I stopped trying to fix my knee injury on my own and sought outside help. I found an excellent Physical Therapist who treats this type of injury on a regular basis who really helped me strengthen my knee so I was able to run pain free. If you're looking for a PT, be sure to check out Finish Line PT in Chelsea, they're excellent.
My husband and I also took a trip to Germany in late September for the wedding of one of my dearest friends, I was sad that I wasn't able to sneak in a run because of my knee pain, but we had such a wonderful trip and made memories that will really last forever. Marathon training marched on.
October: The best race of the Grand prix series takes place in September, the Staten Island half marathon, which was a lot of fun. It was my first time doing the SI Half and I think I'll do it again in the future. Elyssa and I had a really good race which we saw as an indication of readiness for the marathon. We finished in 1:48 and were thrilled with our steady, marathon pace run. Despite fighting a knee injury, I was finally getting excited for the marathon. I kept on logging the miles both on the road and in the pool in an attempt to keep out of the marathon training slump. My swimming partner returned from her house upstate after many months away and it was great to have her back. It was around this time that we started discussing a long distance swim in the spring or early summer next year. I started looking and found the Great Bay swim in June, a 4.4 mile swim between the spans of two bridges that cross from Annapolis to a small island. I entered the lottery and got accepted just before the marathon.
Husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on Halloween and spent the weekend in Rockland County, NY which turned out to be beautiful and peaceful. We'll be back.
November: Finally, it was time to run the damn NYC Marathon! Everyone I knew was tired, mentally exhausted and just ready to get Nov 7th in the rearview mirror. There's a lot to say about the marathon, but I already said most of it here and here. In the end, I'm happy with a new marathon PR (3:46 from a previous 4:03) and another marathon under my belt. I had a great experience both training and running with Elyssa this year, I'm not sure I would have finished without her. I know now that the marathon isn't my passion and may never be. I'm ready to see what I can do in the triathlon next year at various distances. The remainder of Nov was recovery, swimming, trying new things at the gym and rehab. The knee remained stubborn and I ended up getting an MRI to see if there was anything significantly wrong with it. Luckily, there isn't.
December: I'm tired of writing, you're probably tired of reading (if you made it this far- kudos) and I only have one race to report on this month. Just like last year, I ran the Pete McArdle 15K in Central Park with TE from Inwood Hill Runners and Elyssa decided to join in the "fun" this year. In keeping with tradition, it was the shittiest possible weather and the wind was unbearable. Luckily we were armed with a secret weapon this year to prevent us from freezing to death again: my car. The weather being even worse than last year, I wasn't able to beat my time from 2009, but I had a great race and a lot of fun. Best of all, my wonderful hubby made us pancakes and tea after the race. A perfect ending to a great year.