Hellooo Monday Runday!!

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Hellooo Monday Runday!! Monday is usually a rest day for me, but with my Mom’s BirthdayΒ  yesterday I traded my Sunday Runday for a Monday Runday so I could spend the entire day with my family! With a 5 mile race coming up this Saturday; I knew I definitely wanted to throw in some quicker miles this week to prepare (mentally) for my race! Although I train 5 days a week; it is not often that I go all out in a training run, so prior to a race I like to throw in some quicker miles (around goal pace) to test out my legs! Today’s run consisted of 7 miles at 7:57/mile! A friend/fellow runner suggested this workout & this run felt amazing! I started off with a 1 mile warm-up at an easy pace (8:49/mile), I then did 2 x 2 miles! This consisted of 2 miles (7:33 and 7:32). 1 recovery mile – easy pace (8:30/mile), 2 quick miles (7:31 and 7:27)!! Finally a cool down mile at 8:25!Β  This run felt very comfortable & was a huge confidence booster for my upcoming race!! I am so ready to go out there on Saturday & earn my 50th medal! A PR would be nice too! πŸ™‚Β  Next up Spring Lake 5!!

Thank you as always for following my journey!!

Mere @meretherunner14

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UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Recap – 80th Race in the Books!

Heat, hills & hormones the best & only way to describe this race! Despite putting my 80th race in the books; this race did not by any means go the way that I hoped! Alarm went off at 5:45am; I hopped out of bed, changed, showered and drove into NYC with hubby. There was absolutely no traffic; which made for a quick 55 minute drive in! We found a parking garage; parked my car and walked about 14 blocks to Central Park. In Central Park; I picked up my bib & met up with my sister in law Jess who was also running the 10k. While we waited; we listened to the music of the band 2U. They were awesome! We also took some pics with Sidney the Kidney!

It was an absolutely perfect picture perfect morning in Central Park, but the Heat scared me a bit as I am definitely a “cold weather runner.”

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Announcements were made for all runners to start taking their places in the corrals so that is exactly what we did! We gave each other hugs & good luck wishes & within minutes; we were off. With the new setup of the corrals; the start of the race was quite crowded. The start was slow & it took about .5 miles for the crowds to open up & for me to get to a comfortable pace. The race started with a bit of an incline; which as I know is definitely expected in Central Park. I knew there were plenty more hills to come (running several 10k’s in central park over the years) ; I paced myself in the first mile at an 7:59/mile. I continued maintaining about the same pace for mile 2 as we ran through many rolling hills! I knew that cat hill and Harlem Hill were part of this course so I reminded myself that I had to conserve energy. Mile 3 came & it consisted of a bit of uphill followed by a nice long downhill; it felt amazing! I used the downhills to my advantage as I always do; flying through mile 3 with a 7:34/mile pace! I was feeling good, but it was getting extremely hot in the sun. I was sipping and pouring water over my head at every water stop, but by mile 3.5 something happened. I took the uphill like a champ then out of nowhere I became really nauseous and a bit dizzy. I knew part of it definitely had to be the sudden heat/humidity. I immediately slowed my pace; took a honey stinger gel & coasted to the next water stop where I took Gatorade and water – again pouring it over my head. At that point I came to the realization that as much as I wanted it to be; this just wasn’t my day. I focused on positive things like crossing the finish line; remembering that this was my 80th race no matter how it went; I also remembered that my friend Haley would be at mile 6 and that my hubby & brother in law were at the finish line. I prayed that I would make it to the finish line without throwing up. At mile 4 my pace had slipped to 8:21 and I knew all hopes of a good race or even a PR were gone. By mile 5 I felt a little better but my body was still telling me “I don’t want to go anymore” my legs were tight & I just wasn’t feeling like myself. I was confused; I tapered properly, rested, fueled properly – how could this happen? My mile 5 pace was a bit better hitting high 7:50’s. I thought to myself; just over 1 mile left – you can get through this! I kept my eye out for my friend Haley. At mile 6 I heard “Go Mere Go”; I was so excited to see her ! I waved and smiled & seeing her gave me that determination I needed to finish strong despite how I was feeling.

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I gave it every last bit of energy I had in that final stretch! As my body continued to tell me “I don’t want to go anymore’ I dug deep andΒ  Sprinted with everything I had with a 7:47 pace. I was so focused on the finish line; I didn’t even see my hubby when I ran past him, but he snapped this photo of me giving it every last bit that I had with pure determination!

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I crossed the finish line & can honesty say I have never been so thankful for a race to be over. I thought about what happened; still wondered why it happened, but in the end I was thankful to have officially crossed the finish line of my 80th race.

Overall not a bad time considering the circumstances, but by no means how I expected this day to go. After the race; I was handed my medal, picked up my race tee and saw my friend Haley (a runner herself) who had been out there cheering us on! I was so happy to see her; she is always so supportive & it has been way too long since I’ve seen her!


I immediately called my sister in law to see how she did! I knew that she crushed it!! met I was indeed correct; Jess ran a PR!!! This girl is seriously crushing it! Soo happy for you Jess!Β  Jess was going for coffee after the race with a fellow “Instagrammer” and Mermaid Club Ambassador & invited us along.I had prior plans to meet my family down by the Jersey Shore so we did not go. We said goodbye to everyone and headed home to shower & change before meeting my family and Carter to enjoy the rest of this beautiful, sunny Saturday! I was surprised to find that the temperature down the shore and even by home was significantly cooler than it was in the city. It was approximately 15 degrees cooler by the shore.

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I didn’t think about my race the rest of the day (a huge step for me)! I basically put it behind me chalking it up as ‘just a bad day!’. I normally ponder on the thought of why I had a bad race; hours upon hours after but this time I didn’t! I enjoyed the time with my family! I am so grateful to have constant love & support from my family and that means more to me than any time on my Garmin! It was a beautiful day spent with the ones I love & that means more to me than anything! The next day; I did figure out why I wasn’t feeling so hot on the course (it never fails) – let’s just say GIRL POWER is what pushed me through!! Wink, wink.

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I am a huge fan of all the NYRR races; having run many over the years to complete my 9 + 1 to gain entry into the TCS NYC Marathon; which I have run 3 times! I haven’t run the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k since 2011”; although I have run several 10k’s in Central Park since. It is always great to run for such a great cause; as in this race – Kidney Disease. A few things have changed since I ran this race last; including each runner receiving a medal at the finish line. Despite not feeling very well; I still placed 57th out of 672 females 35 – 39, 355th female out of 3,879 females and 1,870th overall out of 8,033 runners & there is no way I am complaining about that!

Does heat affect you when you run? What do you do to keep from overheating? After a bad race; do you dwell on it too?

Thank you for reading & thank you as always for following my journey!!!

Mere @meretherunner14

Next Up – Spring Lake 5 which officially kicks off summer here on the Jersey Shore!

 

NJ Half Marathon Race Recap – Half Marathon 27!!

After weeks of debating whether to register for my 11th marathon (6 weeks after completing my 10th in VA) or whether to even run a race the same weekend as a wedding; I finally made the decision. I decided after 5 years of taking part in the NJ Marathon series (2 halves & 3 fulls) that I just couldn’t miss this race! So many memories; including my 2nd half marathon finishing in 1:57 (taking almost 30 minutes off my 1st half marathon), my half in 2011′ where my sister surprised me at the finish line, my PR Marathon in 2012′ (my 3rd BQ) – the race that took me to Boston in 2013, NJ Marathon 2013′; just 3 weeks after running the 2013′ Boston Marathon & last year’s NJ Marathon!

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I had to defer it in 2014′ due to a stress fracture & I was completely crushed! My decision was made; decided against another full so soon after completing my 10th plus we had a wedding the same weekend & I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel! Instead; I would run the 2016′ NJ Half Marathon making this my 27th half marathon after just completing my 26th 2 weeks prior! I knew many people running the full & the half; including my sister-in-law Jess! I immediately informed everyone of my decision to run! I was so excited to run & hang out after to cheer on fellow runners! I continued training just as I had been & slowly began a slight taper. I wasn’t yet sure if I was going to all out race or run at a comfortable pace. I decided to just focus on getting rest, tapering & loading up in my carbs. I would simply decide based on how I felt on race weekend. Race weekend arrived!Β  Friday was our friends wedding; I woke up bright & early. I had a few errands to run before heading over to the mall for my makeup appointment. It had been years since I had my makeup done so I was looking forward to it.Β  I showed up at 11am and in less than an hour my makeup was done! I was so pleased with the way it came out!!

Now to head home, do my hair & drive up north to make it in time for the ceremony.Β  The wedding was wonderful! We had such a blast that we ended up getting home at 3am.

I realized that this may effect my race on Sunday. However, over the years I’ve come to realize just how important it is to find balance in training – allowing myself time to relax & do things outside of training. It is so important. In that case; I wasn’t beating myself up for staying out late. I would do my best Sunday. Saturday arrived, I allowed myself to sleep in a bit. Got about 7 hours sleep before heading out to run some errands & visit the race expo. I arrived at the expo, walking past the Marathon bib pickup thinking “maybe I should have done the full” then I said it out loud as Hubby gave me a look because he knew just how exhausted I was! I picked up my bib and tee; took some pics, met up with a fellow runner and visited the starting line before heading home to do a shakeout run and prepare for race day!

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Rain was in the forecast for race day, but there was nothing I could do but make the absolute best of it! After running a rainy/windy marathon in March; my only hope was that the wind wouldn’t be too bad! I woke up bright and early on race morning (4:45am); got dressed, hopped in the car with hubby and headed to the race! We got there very quickly; no traffic at all & parking was very easy! We headed inside where we met up with my sis-in-law Jess and my brother-in-law Mike. The girls waited on the mile long line to use the restroom before heading outside to line up in our corrals. It stared to rain just before the race started; we gave each other good luck hugs and took our spots in our corrals! I was feeling a bit tired after staying up until 3am on Friday; I wasn’t sure what to expect so I put no pressure on myself and had no pre-race jitters at all. I promised myself I wouldn’t go out to fast and instead I would run by feel. Within minutes; we were off! The start was very crowed, but within minutes I found my pace! I ended up running with the 3:35 marathon pacer for a bit. The pace felt great so I figured I would pace myself! I held this pace for a while; I passed the 3:35 pacer for a bit before joining the 3:30 marathon pacer & 1:45 half marathon pacer. I stayed with these pacers for most of the race; losing them then finding them again at each water stop! It was raining but I felt amazing! A few times during the race; I was definitely feeling like I could have used that extra sleep but overall; I was maintaining my pace; fueling every 5 miles with my Honey Stinger Gel & running strong! The energy of the people on the streets cheering was AMAZING! They didn’t care one bit that it was pouring rain; they greeted each of us with smiles and high fives! At mile 11; we looped around to finish the last 2 miles along the water! I thought that we might be fighting a bit of ocean wind, but surprisingly there was not much wind at all! My goal was to finish strong so I gave it all I had for those last 2 miles! The finish line was soon in sight; I sprinted that final mile with pure determination crossing the finish line in 1:46:18! Not a PR, but considering I danced the night away until 3am at a wedding on Friday I didn’t expect a PR. This was however; the fastest half marathon I’ve run since 2012 & for that I am proud!

After crossing the finish line; I met up with my hubby and brother-in-law; quickly took one photo (above) before heading into the changing tent to put on some dry, warm clothes! We all found a spot at the finish line to cheer on the other runners and see Jess cross the finish line! It was absolutely pouring, but everyone was having such a fantastic time! I looked at my watch & knew Jess would be crossing the finish line soon! I knew she had a goal time in mind & I knew she was going to achieve her goal! And then; there she was! I yelled “Here comes Jess!” We all took our our phones; fidgeting to try to get into my phone as rain drops fell on my screen as I yelled”WOOHOO – GO JESS GO!! I saw the tears in her eyes and immediately knew that she did it; she ran a PR !!

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Even better; she crushed her goal running a 15 minute PR finishing in 2:35! We hugged and cried! Congratulations Jess! I am so proud of you girl!!

It was such a fantastic day in so many ways!

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That day I put my 27th half marathon in the books! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone since I ran my very 1st race / half marathon in 09′ in Central Park, but everyday I am so thankful that I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone & give it a try! Running has changed my life in so many way & for that; I am so thankful!

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In 09′ I began this journey running my 1st half marathon in 2:25 and today my PR is 1:38! Dream. Believe. Achieve. Don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger! If you can dream it; you can do it!

Overall this was a fantastic race and I am so glad that I decided to run it again! (I also was so glad that I went for the half this time instead of the full!) I will definitely be running again next year & I know Jess will be too!!

Have you ever attended a wedding & raced in the same weekend?

How do find balance between training & your social life?

Have you raced in the pouring rain?

Is there a race that you run every year & just can’t miss?

Thoughts, comments – please share!Β 

Thank you as always for following my journey!

Mere @meretherunner14