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Joe Kleinerman 10K

The first race of 2016 is in the books!

I hadn’t really planned on running the predicably frigid 10K, but a group of co-workers had already signed up and I was peer-pressured into it. OK, 50% peer pressure, 50% I had sitting on the sidelines and watching every one else run (run-vy?)!

I woke up in the middle of the night the evening before the race, and had a quick case of the “what-the-f*$#-am-I-doings”- the run was sandwiched between two long work shifts, I wasn’t getting much sleep in between them, and it was cold. Wah. However, I have watched my runner brother slog through the last 70 miles of an ultra rather than DNF even when he should, so there is no way I will ever DNS a race because I was chilly. 


I had decided ahead of time that I would run to and from the race for an added 3 miles, round-trip. This part went according to plan. What did not go according to plan was me wearing a teeshirt and running zip up for the 40 degree weather. Oh no, instead  I made the rookie mistake of deciding to wear a long sleeve underarmor, and the zip up. Of course, not 2 miles in I was sweating my face off and trapped in a long sleeve underarmor.

Note on winter running: Listen to your brain, not your goosebumps.

All in all, the run went great! I was very happy with my time (especially since I was only a week back into running, and hadn’t run 8 miles since mid-November) and I am pretty sure I ran a negative split (which was a pleasant surprise).

Here’s to a great year- and many more running adventures- ahead!

First Day of New York City Marathon Training

tcs new york marathon countdown

It’s on.

Today I went on my first official, unofficial marathon run. After a few weeks off from running, it felt great to get out and pound the pavement with a goal in front of me. I’ve noticed if I don’t have a specific race approaching, I drift a bit in terms of training. With a sub-4 goal and three months to (literally) chase it down, I am ready to make every mile count.

My three goals for the next three months of training are:

1. Run 5 times a week.

2. Make the hard miles count– I love long runs; I find them meditative and refreshing. However, long runs tend to be run at an easier pace. To make sub-4 happen in November, I need to get serious about tempo runs and speed-work.

3. Make nutrition work for me. More protein (especially “recovery” protein). More vegetables. Less fried food. Can do!

Next up: 6-miler. Now here’s to hoping the rain holds off!

rain running

Taper Madness


Instead of the glorious slow taper into moderately simple nine mile runs I had envisioned for the last two weeks, my tapering has looked a lot like this ->

Some mystery injury near my ankle had begun to flare up shortly after my second to last long run. I took it easy, iced it, and completed my last long run, which I was particularly worried about squeezing in before I was less than 2 1/2 weeks out from the race.

The last long run was awesome, I felt great, and my muscles weren’t even that sore the next day. Sweet!

The only thing was, with in a day, that phantom foot pain returned. Fine one day, bad the next, fine again, visibly inflamed the next. Some further googling (not recommended, terrible idea,) led me to be fairly certain that it could be Peroneal Tendinitis. And thus, the unholy trinity of running disasters (not running because of an injury from running thereby eliminating all foreseeable running), brought me to my own tragic meltdown in the middle of the week.

The Mister and Runner Brother talked me through it and somehow two weeks that should have been a carefully crafted, reduced distance runs, looked like this:

The No Running, Hail Mary, Injury Curing Taper:

1. As stated, no running. And since we need a “hard heal,” no biking, jumping, lunging.

2. Ice. Ice. Baby (that foot). 20 minutes, after work. Once or twice a day.

3. Ibuprofen. Every other day roughly.

4. Hydrate. Since I have so much restless race prep energy, I might as well nail the other nuances of running a marathon. Like properly hydrating the next few days. Might as well carb-load while I am at it too, amiright?

5. Mental Inventory. One thing I learned during my long runs was how important the mental aspect is during distance events and, for me personally, how important it is to relax. I feel wholly mentally prepared for this race, and that might be even more important than having logged XYZ amount of miles or having executed the perfect. I trained well up through my last long run, and as long as my foot (tendon? who knows) holds up remotely, it’ll work out.

6. Shoes. Last spring I went to Paragon Sports, near Union Square, and walked away with a blessing and a curse. The blessing? The new Adidas Energy Boost shoes which would be, and still are, the greatest running shoes I’ve ever tried/owned. The curse? The associate who introduced me them said you get double the millage of other shoes and the he personally put on over 1,000. 

Totally jinxed me. I’m all for replacing running shoes in due time. But I’m also a procrastinator, poor-ish, and inclined to believe unrealistic shoe expectations.

The Mister went back to Paragon with me and treated me to one of the best birthday gifts ever.

energy boost shoes best running shoes ever

Ironically enough, pink was the only color they had. This, after a very long and heated discussion with the mister about whether or not the TCS New York Marathon Training Shirts coloring options are sexist. (Spoiler Alert: they are).

NYCRUNS Spring Fling 10K Recap

race start on Roosevelt IslandBest birthday ever? I’m an old goat now (the mister’s loving turn of phrase) so I may have forgotten some good ones, but this is definitely a contender.

I noted several months ago the NYCRUNS Spring Fling 10K would be an interesting birthday adventure, but after my gauntlet of nyc marathon qualifying races last year, I have been trying to concentrate on certain race goals and training for
those races this year- NYRR Five Borough Series, I’m looking at you; Bear Mountain, I’d look at you I’m pretty sure I have slipped into terrified possum mode. It’s my birthday, I told myself, there are no rules today.

I took the 6 to the F train and then took what seemed like 10 escalators down to Satan’s basement to head to Roosevelt Island (that is, the finest Roosevelt’s island, just to clarify).

Roosevelt’s Island was everything I had ever imagined- that is to say if we were in a movie, it would either be the first place or the last place attacked by zombies.

zombie Island

That’s really all I can imagine when I look over there.

The weather was beautiful, a true spring fling.

The DJ, whoever you are, was killing it. Young MC, Bust a Move? Yes please.

The mic-man at the start line described the course and then said something to the effect of “Everyone understand? Because I don’t.” Laughs all around. “I’m told there will be a total of 3 water stations for you guys today. If I’m wrong, then there’s not.”

Got it buddy. Fast and lose. I’m hours ahead of you.

And we were off. The course was flat and fast. At the early double back I watched the fast pack of mostly men go by and did a rough count of all the quick ladies ahead of me, more than 10 for sure. My main goal today was to come somewhere in the ballpark of my December 51:something PR. If I was faster, I would be thrilled.

Point of fact #1: I always feel best by and at mile 4.  Point of fact #2: Garmin was feeling a bit wonky.

Point of fact #1: I always feel best by and at mile 4.
Point of fact #2: Garmin was feeling a bit wonky

To my surprise, I steadily passed a couple of women, with not many people coming up behind me. Maybe four or five after the first mile? For a mile or so I fell into stride with a woman who I saw had the Bronx 10 Miler tech shirt on and I almost said “I almost wore that shirt today too, god that would have been awkward!” But I’m shy and at that point using oxygen for other things so I kept pace with her for a bit before she pulled ahead.

"Remember when ran that quick jaunt over to Queens? Through the water" "-No".

“Remember when ran that quick jaunt over to Queens? Through the water” “-No”.

Here it is worth noting that my Garmin was a little wonky on the mileage and not aligning with the course mile markers so by the time I hit the official mile 6, my Garmin had me there two minutes earlier. I wanted to grab someone and shake them until they told me exactly how close the finish was.

I opted to keep running and as I came down the final yards, I listened to the crowd, and I heard what a was listening for- another surge of claps and cheers- someone was behind me making a go of it. I had this scenario in my head but ruled out the option of a last kick because I was dying. But the finish was so close and I found a little extra. Just enough to finish 14 seconds ahead of the person behind me, who happened another woman in my age group.

And then I spit up some water next to a tree. Sad. But I’ll never forget in my cross country days the kids who would end projectile vomiting as they ran down the finish chute. So…. yeah.

Old PR, dust. I never would have guessed. 48:47.

3rd place finisher age group

Even bigger surprise, I finished 3rd place in the 20-29 age group! Out of 115!

And then a bird pooped on me.

The verdict: Really great race event. Again, I love the intimacy of NYCRUNS. Lots of surprises today. Lots of rolling with it.

Someone asked me this afternoon how 26 feels. I told them “I feel old. Old and fast.”