Empire State Half Marathon

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control.

Let’s rewind, last week I just felt terrible. Every day was just blah – we were training straight through so no taper and was not I running that much: they way my training worked out was four miles everyday besides the race and my workout. I just kept trying to focus on what I could control, which basically meant work. After my workout on Wednesday, I knew I was good to go if I could just stay relaxed and rested the rest of the week (more so mentally). Especially because Friday consisted of driving to Syracuse and back (for my bib#) and then take the team solo to Princeton. It was going to be a lot of driving before the race but I was trying not to think about it.. In fact it working was keeping my mind off my race as I had to oversee 12 College-Aged women in an tiny van. Talk about trying to not freak out.

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It’s kinda cool, I was thoroughly annoyed when I found out you could pick it up race morning- UGH!

So saturday arrived and we had two races for the girls, one at 10AM and one at 12PM. The goal was to try to leave at 1PM. This is when Lisa’s nervousness and anxiety started to set in as I had to drive back to Ithaca and then jump in my car and drive to my parents. It took us an HOUR to get our of Princeton. I was NOT a happy camper and I’m sure the girls new it- as much as you can try to always be in a good mood around them, they can often notice when something is off, especially with me. Eventually we made it back and semi quickly (thanks to my incredible need to get someplace ASAP & my anxiety).

Dropped the girls off, jumped in my car and I was off. After being an emotional wreck for 30 minutes, (thanks emotions, just what I needed the night before my race.. UGH!) I put on some music and tried to ‘relax’ the best I could. Finally got home and got dinner- oh yeah it was 8pm and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.. Eeep! (Shout out to Mom for picking me up Chipotle.. Woot woot!!). The best part about getting home was seeing my PIPPY PUPPY- He always makes me feel better. OF course he was so excited to see me, wagging his tail uncontrollable, lots of kisses and sure enough he was ready to snuggle with me! In less than 20 we were on the floor cuddling away…

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This is my Pippy, he makes me happy. I miss him so much.

 I did not force him either.

I did not force him either.

Finally I was in bed ready for sleep at 9:00PM which was perfect for a solid 8 hours of sleep before a 5:00AM wake up call.   I actually slept really well probably from the emotional stress I gave myself over the course of 2 days (typically, I never sleep well at home on the first night). I was up bright and early at 5:00AM, kept trying to get myself to move around and not sit down for breakfast. Lots of moving, some kisses from pippy and some hugs from mom left me feeling relatively relaxed before we (mom and I) headed to the ball stadium for the start and finish of the race. The big worry at that point was no PRP (I’ll let you figure that out). But of course when we got to the stadium, I was ready to go and headed straight to the Porta-potties- 3 times in an hour 😡

I warmed up a 50 minutes before instead of an hour because it was REALLY chilly and CRAZY windy (yes, it was crazy- Remember when I said it was windy mmmk?). I only had about a 10 minute warm up- which felt TERRIBLE. I tried not to focus on it. Just went through the motions, listening to some music (yes.. there may have been Call Me Maybe..), doing some drills. The timing of my warm up was perfect! I had less than 10 minutes before the start. Just time to stay loose and do strides. Found mom a perfect spot so I could ditch my clothes before the start (I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy) and the last thing I told her was ‘it is what it is right?‘. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go and that mantra actually stayed with me the whole race. It was also probably the best piece of advice I could give to myself hahah. I nestled into a nice spot on the side of the start line so I wouldn’t have to jump between people at the start, ditched my clothes to mom and then we were offfffff.

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The start! You can see my in my sweet Oiselle threads!

The race plan was supposed to be 15 minutes ‘feeling’ like I was running a normal run, then 4 * 10 minutes at steady state w. 2 minutes running easy, then race the last little bit. Well let’s say it was a good thing I did NOT look at Garmie.. because I would have freaked out. The run ‘like you are running a normal run’ was at 6:33 pace. Let’s say that was the EASIEST 6:33 pace of my life.

After the first 15 minutes I started the first steady state portion, then I threw the race plan out of the window as I was feeling good and was staying with the top women (I am still competitive after all!!). We had a HEADWIND for what seemed like FOREVER. It was definitely at least for the first half. But I told myself ‘it is what it is’ (catching the theme yet?) and tried to nestle behind someone so I wouldn’t have to fight the wind. For the first half of the race I felt pretty good, focused on staying relaxed and smooth. I was with the 2nd place woman up until about mile 7. Then my legs were just not with the mind. I was trying not to panic.. I remember telling myself this was over a mile after they started aching in wineglass and I ran well there. So I just kept chugging along. [Disclaimer: It took me a few miles before I realized people were  hiding behind me, not sure how well it worked though. I used men ;)]

The course was an out an back on the parkway, so when the achy feeling first started, the majority of the race was heading towards the turn around. Everyone was so supportive and offered amazing encouragement. I felt bad because I would’ve smiled and liked to look into their eyes (for thanks) but the sun was in my eyes and all I could do was grimace (THANK GOODNESS there were no photographers at that point!). Just kept putting one foot in front of the other. At some point another woman passed me. I tried to break out of my rhythm but couldn’t. So I went back to just one foot in front of the other. Oh and the wind came back when we left the park.

This is when I got crazy and started being silly.. by being silly I mean questioning everything about my running and why I decide to do this. Fortunately that was only for a few minutes then I snapped back out of it 🙂 GO LISA! At this point we were a little under 2 miles to go, and I just kept waiting to see the stadium. When I did I just tried to finish as strong as possible 🙂 Which I did.. 4th Female (again- this is the third time!) with a 1:26:14 which is a 43 second PR. I was happy, it took me until after the massage to realize what I had ran.. and under what circumstances my life decided to throw at me at that moment. However after that I was FREEEEEZING again and had to run around like a lost kid to try to find my momma–speaking of, what a GREAT fan, she broke speed limits to find me, stood in the cold and wind, then drove me to the grocery store for bread, apple cider, and coffee creamer- BEST mom ever 🙂

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Good thing you can’t see the pain face!

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I’m pretty sure I was thinking ‘why is the finish line SO far awayyy’

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Donezo!! Look I was having FUN!

There was ONE mishap. I got the WORST blister. I could feel it for the last 4 miles. I just kept praying it wouldn’t pop. It didn’t.. PHEW but as soon as I stopped running, every step consisted of a squishy feeling. BE aware you may want to stop reading.

IMG_3225It doesn’t look bad, but it HURT! BUT — trust me. I am NOT complaining by any means 🙂 I’ll take a blister any day!

This race leaves me VERY excited for the RnR Half in January, I’ll have a few days to relax before and not have to drive 12 hours- but the best part is that I still have 3 months of training to get under my belt. I can’t wait for what the next phase of training brings my way. FIRST, we have the 3rd Annual Surowick Family Turkey Trot 5k (which is part of the Baldwinsville Turkey Trot). Obviously it’s one of my favorite races 🙂 Here’s to the next few months!

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