Once Again Running Amazes Me!

I have to admit, I have been fortunate when it comes to running. I have always managed to turn to running as an escape from madness. It has in its truest form, become a form of therapy for me. Part of that stems from the fact that I do push myself hard when I run and 99 times out of 100, I am usually pleased with the end result when I look back at any of my runs regardless of whether it is training or a race. There is no question that it boosts my self esteem and confidence as it does for a lot of people. These aren’t the only things that running has done for me. I have met so many wonderful like minded people thru running. Even today, I come across so many new people that all share the same passion for running that I do. For me, running is like the gift that keeps on giving.

So it doesn’t surprise me that this past weekend, running was up to its tricks again. Last week I stumbled across an event on the New York Road Runners website. At first it came across as an attempt to advertise the upcoming Millrose Games. For those that may not be familiar with the Millrose Games, it is the longest running track & field meet that exists today. Those who have won at Millrose Games have gone on to become elite track and field legends. The event that I stumbled upon was a 4 mile group run sponsored by New York Road Runners that would allow members to run with some athletes that would be competing at the Millrose Games. Going into this run on Sunday, they wouldn’t say which athletes would be running with NYRR members, simply that we wouldn’t be disappointed!

I took the bait and signed up even though I had no clue who was going to be there.

The one thing about professional runners is that unfortunately they go relatively unknown in public. The sad truth is that track and field is not that popular with main stream sports fans. Recently however there has been an uptick in American middle distance and distance runners that has captivated some fans. Shalane Flannigan’s win at this past year’s New York City Marathon is a prime example of that as was Matthew Centrowitz’s win at the Rio Olympics in the 1500m. So when I arrived at the NYRR run center and saw a group of about 30 people gathered for the run on Sunday, even though I was excited to be there, I had no idea who were the NYRR members like me, and who were the athletes competing at Millrose! Before I knew it, I had taken off my jacket and barely laced up my sneakers and we were off on running on a Sunday morning heading to Central Park!

In Central Park on Sunday with NYRR members and some Millrose Games Athletes!

As we entered the park, four runners took to the lead. The pace for this run was advertised to be between 8:00-12:00 minute mile pace. These guys were going faster than 8:00 minute mile pace. These guys clearly must have been the Millrose athletes. I noticed on one of them that he had a gold rope chain bouncing in and out of his shirt. I remembered back to the 2016 Olympics, an American runner that ran the mile who also had a rope chain that he wore during his race. That American was Robby Andrews. Could this be him? At the moment however, I had some hills to deal with at Central Park and a pretty rapid pace that these Millrose athletes had set!

The pro runners stopped once they were two miles into Central Park and waited for us so that we could turn back around. I was the first one to reach these guys. I introduced myself to them and amongst them were Eric Avila, Charlie Grice and I had guessed right earlier, the American Olympian Robby Andrews. Grice was also an Olympian for England in 2016.

So lets stop for a minute. I am in Central Park on a Sunday morning running with professional runners, two of them who are Olympians?

Yup!

I decided to run back with Robby Andrews. I had watched this kid run before. He was an Olympian at the mile. But this wasn’t the main reason why I was a fan of his. He also  excelled at the 800 meters which was my race in high school. In his career he has run a 1:44 for the 800 meters and a 3:53 for the mile. Both of those are blistering times! As we started running, the conversation was easy and casual. I could have been talking casually to someone on my train ride to work instead of running an 8:00 mile in Central Park. He told me about how he got into running thru his father who was a track and field coach when he was younger. He recounted that for many years as a kid, he would run one track and field race a year. This and his father’s passion for track and field  was enough to keep him somewhat in love with running. But he admitted that his true love was basketball. He swore he was going to play for the North Carolina Tarheels in college. Now an Olympian, I think he made out ok!

Andrews_Robby_Winning_2017_USA_1500_24-Jun-2017_David_Monti-800x529

Robby Andrews winning the USA outdoor title in the mile back in June 2017.

Later as we progressed in our run, I asked him what race he would be running at the Millrose games. He responded by saying in an excited tone, that he would be running the Wanamaker mile. If Millrose was a prestigous meet, the Wanamaker mile is the jewel at that prestigous meet. The race has been won by track and field royalty. Eamonn Coghlan, Marcus O Sullivan, Bernard Legat and Matthew Centrowitz are just a few names that have won this race multiple times in the ninety plus years that the race has been run. The field for Saturday’s Wanamaker Mile is an impressive one as it will include multiple Olympians such as Charles Brice and Nick Willis. It will also have Andrews though who is the reigning USA outdoor champion at the mile. In June of 2017, Andrews came from way back in the pack to sprint past Olympic champion Centrowitz to claim the 2017 USA Championship. You can watch that come back here. Andrews would add that he is particularly excited about running the Wanamaker mile. He revealed to me that he won the Boys High School mile at Millrose Games when he was a high schooler. In 2009 he won that race with a time of 4:17. He further revealed to me that no one has ever won both the High School mile at Millrose and the Wanamaker mile. Mind you we are still running thru Central Park, and I let out a big “Whoa!” when he told me this. Not only is this guy an Olympian, the reigning US Champion in the mile, but he has plans on doing something no one has ever done before at the Millrose Games this Saturday. We continued to talk about my running and my upcoming races. This guy was genuinely interested in the races I was running. We talked about my upcoming United NYC Half Marathon and how the course was changing.  I mentioned how I was also running the marathon in November and he said he would likely never do a marathon but encouraged me to stick with the training and wished me the best.

I will never step on a baseball field with the league leader in home runs and toss a baseball around with them. I’ll never shoot hoops with an NBA all star. But I got to run a few miles with an Olympian, US Champion and a participant in this weekend’s Wanamker mile. I tell you, running has been very good to me!

The Millrose games will be broadcast live this Saturday on NBC. The Wanamker mile is the last event on the schedule. Tune in to see if Robby Andrews can do what no runner has done at Millrose! If he does, am I allowed to take a little credit for that since we kind of sort of “trained” together for this race? (haha) .

Regardless, its going to be pretty cool just to watch Andrews on the track regardless of where he finishes. A genuinely nice guy deserves to win but of course, nothing is given in the world of track and field. I’m confident though that Andrews is going to put up a fight.

Go get ’em Robby!

With Andrews outside the NYRR run center after we crushed 4 miles!

Training For A First Race

If you have committed to start running in 2018, congratulations!

Hopefully one of the things that you have done to help you towards this goal is to commit to a race. If you haven’t been a runner up til now, working up towards a 5k, a 5 miler or even a 10k can be a daunting task. But let’s not fret, with some patience and perseverance you can absolutely get there. In fact, I try to instill in most people that not only will you get there but you are going to enjoy it so much that you are going to want to do this again and again and maybe even on a bigger scale! With that said, I decided to list some key points to keep in mind as you prepare for that first race. These are from personal experience and I am sure they will help in your prep. In fact after all of the races I have done, I still follow these when I start to increase the distance of my races to distances I have never run before!

Give yourself enough time to prep for your big day – race day!

 

  • Plan right.Set a race date far enough out into the future that allows you adequate time to prepare for. Its perfectly ok to be excited and eager to get to your first race date but if you are new to running, you want to give yourself ample time to prepare. 3 months is a reasonable time to prepare for a race like a 5k (3.1 miles) or something comparable. If you have chosen something a little longer adjust the time frame accordingly.
  • Start slow. If you are new to running, please do not try and run your scheduled race distance in the first month of training runs. For example, if your first race is a 5k, build up to the 3.1 miles slowly. Start in the first couple of weeks to run one mile without stopping. When that feels comfortable work up to 1.5 miles and so on and so on. Also, do not be afraid to walk in the beginning. There are some people that find it beneficial to take a short walk and continue running. This is your race and no one else’s! Your goal is to finish the race and feel good! Also, very important that most new runners overlook is stretching. Stretch 5-10 minutes before each of your runs as well as a few minutes after your runs.
  • Listen to your body. If your body isn’t accustomed to running, certain muscles will talk back to you at first. Don’t feel the need to run everyday. Allow your muscles to recover before going out for another run. At first, run every other day to allow your muscles to recuperate. Do not feel the need to run 7 days a week. For older runners, you may need two days off between runs. That’s perfectly fine because while you want to run your target distance on race day, we also don’t want you injured while training for it!
  • Keep it interesting. Many people shy away from running because they say it is boring. I cringe when I hear that because sometimes they give up on running before ever running a race! I firmly believe that if you stick with your running until you have conquered that first race, you may get addicted to it. So how do we keep it interesting? Listen to music while you run works for me. Also, don’t run the same routes every day because that can get boring. Sometimes I say that running is the best sight seeing in your neighborhood. Also running with a friend or a group can keep thinks interesting. If you are engaged in good conversation, those miles will pass by fast! Finally, pick a running application to track your runs. The stats on these things are amazing and they actually can add a sense of fun to your runs. Check out Strava (in my opinion the best) or Map My Fitness by Under Armour.
  • Change up your routes and become a sightseer in your area while you run!

  • Ignore social media accomplishments. Yes you are reading my blog and you might follow my social media and I am telling you to ignore me! But wait – don’t ignore me all together! Ignore the accomplishments of other runners. Don’t be fixated on the distances or times that other runners are running and posting on social media. As I mentioned before, this is your journey and no one else’s. Don’t get me wrong, I think its good to follow runners on social media to see their experiences, to see what works for them and to learn from their mistakes. But sometimes new runners, say “well I am never going to run that time” or “gosh, my times for a mile or so much slower than theirs”. Who cares!! All of these runners started out somewhere and now you are! Your progress is what is important so while its good to follow other runners, never ever compare yourself to anyone else!
  • Trust the process and see it thru to the end. As I mentioned before, so many folks start to run and then give it up. I cannot stress how wonderful it is to run that first race. And then to run the next one. And the next one after that and so on. The experience has so many emotions. The nervousness before the race. The comraderie with other runners. The struggle of the race itself. The sense of accomplishment when you finish. There may be even more emotions for you as well and this continues to happen with each race you run. But lets not get ahead of ourselves – just get thru the first race!

The year is just getting started and with so many races that 2018 has to offer, your possibilities are endless. Hope the above can help you get on track towards your first race. Drop me a line and let me know how it went. Oh and hope to see you are the finish line!

 

Stick with the process and maybe I’ll see you at the finish line!

 

 

 

Trying Out Virtual Racing

There isn’t a weekend that goes by where I don’t run. Of course some weekends, I even race. However with winter having NYC in its grip, I haven’t run a race since Thanksgiving and that is a long time for me! Last week, I once again looked at the New York Road Runners website hoping there was something sooner than February 4th that filled my needs. They have a half marathon coming up this weekend, The Fred Lebow Half Marathon however I don’t think I am half marathon ready yet.

The lack of races made me look at something that I had overlooked and flat out ignored on their website, their virtual racing series. Virtual racing is basically a fancy name for “do it at home” racing. This particular race was a 5K distance. The way it works is they give you a length of time to complete the distance. In this case, it was two whole weeks and at any time during those two weeks, you can run the 5k and track your run using the Strava Application, which is a free download. Once you have run your race, your time gets uploaded to the Strava site and NYRR then throws your time into a pool of all of the other runners running the virtual race and they rank you by time. No traveling on your part. You can do this in your neighborhood!

I took part in the virtual 5k and allow me to break down the pros and cons of this type of race and maybe it will help you decide whether this is something you want to part take in.

PROS:

  • There is no traveling involved and no schedule to adhere to. You don’t have to worry about commuting to the race or driving to it, or being stuck in traffic or even parking! Just strap on your shoes and go.
  • This particular race was free. Free is always good!
  • You can run this race wherever you want. No need to deal with a hilly course if you don’t want to. Just pick out a flat course and fire away!
  • No dealing with crowds

CONS:

  • For me, there is no adrenalin rush of the crowds, the spectators or even the starters gun. It was me hitting my watch and just saying “go!” lol
  • I don’t know that the timing on a Strava app can be that accurate. I enjoy the fully automatic time of most races.
  • It was a pro above, but for me its also a con – you can run this race wherever you want and get away with a much faster course for the distance than what you may usually run. I chose to run the 5k on a track for example. No hills at all. Is that cheating? There were no rules against that! I think by being allowed to do this, it discredits time, placing etc.

PERSONAL TAKE AWAY:

Look, I ran the race because I was desperate to run a race. I ran it on a 400 meter track. I don’t think I have ever run a 5k on a track (lol). This presented a flat course with no hills. Guess how I ran? Personal record for 5k by 8 seconds (22:31 to be exact). Strava app says I PR’d but do I count it? If you are looking for a good workout and looking to see how that workout compares to others, then this might be a good “race” to run. Another thing I wasn’t a fan of and this may be isolated to New York Road Runners, they actually tried to charge for a variation of this race. As this was their first virtual race of the year, they have an incentive, that if you ran 6 of these virtual races, then you automatically qualify for next year’s Brooklyn Half Marathon. The catch however is that if you want these races to qualify for the half marathon, then each virtual race costs you $20. That’s 6 races at $20 each and ending up costing you $120 to qualify for a race that you will pay another $100 for. I’m sorry but that is just not for me. I have no problem paying a race fee when I get the full experience, the adrenalin, maybe a medal and a fully automatic timed race. But $20 for me to run in my neighborhood to be timed by a free app – I just can’t justify a fee for these.

Will I run these virtual races again? I don’t know. I guess it depends on how my race schedule looks at the time. I enjoy racing for the full experience. The commuting. The buildup before a race. Having to use the bathroom countless times before entering a crowded corral with thousands of other runners. Hearing the national anthem before the race, hearing the starting gun, then having all of these other runners push me along the course. Finally, nothing like coming down the home stretch of a race with spectators cheering you on. Thats the race day experience for me!

Anyways, I thought I would share my “virtual” experience with you. Have you run a virtual race? What was your take on it?

2017 – My Running Year In Review

As Christmas approaches this weekend, it is soon time to bid the year farewell! I came back to running in 2016 for health reasons but 2017 was the year that I came back to racing. It has been a challenging, rewarding and yet fun year for me as far as my running goes. With that said, I thought it would be a good idea to summarize my year and the races I ran. Hey if nothing else, I know I can always come back to this post and read about my year if I ever get bored or want to compare future races! Sure one can just go to this link and see my results, but that doesn’t tell you any of the highs and lows of those races!  You can stop reading here if you don’t want to read recaps of my 2017 races, but if your intrigued, settle in for a bit of a long read. They were almost all New York Road Runners races but that’s ok because it got me qualified for the 2018 NYC Marathon!

March 2017 – United NYC Half

No matter what happens for the remainder of my running life, the United NYC Half will be a special one for me and one that I will likely want to run again and again. After being turned down for the NYC Marathon for 4 years straight, I was accepted into the United NYC Half on my first try! While the race was run in March with snow on the ground, I didn’t care. I was excited to run my first half marathon and this one didn’t disappoint. The first two miles were frigid but as we made our way thru Central Park, by mile three I felt wonderful. As we left the park to start mile 8 on seventh avenue, I will never forget the energy of the crowd and how it propelled me to my fastest mile of the race. I belted out a 7:46 mile in the middle of the race! From there the crowds on the West Side highway kept me smiling as I enjoyed my first half marathon thoroughly. I finished that day in 1:54 (8:44 pace) and completed my first half marathon. This race would set the stage for several more races in the year!

June 2017 – JPM Corporate Challenge, NYRR Retro 5 Miler, Queens 10K, Achilles Hope  Possibility 4 Miler

Ok, June was a busy month! When I ran the NYC Half in March, I ran it just because I got picked in the lottery. When I picked up my bib however in March, I learned about the “9 +1 program” that NYRR had that would eventually qualify me for the NYC Marathon. I didn’t really pay attention to the program until April however. By then, April and May NYRR races were mostly filled which meant I couldn’t start accumulating races til June. Before I could run my next NYRR race, I would run the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with my company. I’ve run this race many times over the years but usually casually with my co-workers. In 2016 I ran pretty decent but I knew I could go faster because the course was way too congested! In 2017 I decided I would line up much closer to the start than I did in 2016. What a difference that made. The course is still congested but no where near what I dealt with in 2016.  I ran a 26:45 that day (7:38 pace). Never ran that course that fast or even close to it. Had me feeling positive about what was coming later that weekend – the NYRR Retro 5 Miler.

The NYRR Retro 5 miler is more of a laugh than a race! So many people were dressed up in retro outfits from the 70’s and 80’s! It was like a time warp back to those years. I thought it was fantastic lol . The course was the 5 mile course in Central Park that included Harlem Hill. My ankle was a bit sore still from the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge that I had run a few days before so I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be. Still 40:55 (8:11 pace) was ok with me! My time and the several crazy outfits I saw that day made the race very worthwhile for me!

My Next race in June was the Queens 10k. This race was part of the NYRR 5 borough series, just like the United NYC Half was. I was particularly looking forward to this race because it was situated in Flushing Meadow Park, a park where I used to do a lot of training runs when I ran track in High School. That and the fact that the course ran in front of Citi Field, home of my beloved Mets, had me excited for this race! Someone however should have reminded me the night before about how excited I was for the race. I ended up partying the night away the night before with some friends. Way too many beers! I got to the starting line with a bottle of gatorade, a hangover and a lot of beer burps. In my starting corral I accidently let a small burp out and the lady next to me said to me smiling “someone had a good night last night”. I just shook my head and proceeded to pound the pavement for the next 6.2 miles with my head throbbing for most of it. By mile 4 the hangover was gone, but the lack of sleep kicked in. I managed to run 51:16 (8:15 pace)but I know I could have done better. I want this race back, which will likely be the reason I run it again in 2018!

My final race in June was the Achilles Hope and Possibility 4 miler in Central Park. I enjoyed this race because of all the inspiring athletes that run this race. Blind people, people without limbs, people with several disabilities, all of them running and completing 4 miles. Truly awesome. My wife is asthmatic and while that isn’t a disability, it can create difficulties when trying to run. She ran this race and conquered it. For me inspiration was all around me. I remember pushing hard because of that. It resulted in my fastest race pace of the year up until that point, 30:34 (7:39 pace). The race was a feel good race and I commend NYRR for the job that they do with this race year in and year out.

July – NYRR R-U-N 5K

I had to take a couple of weeks off after a busy June but I found myself back in Central Park on a Thursday night for a 5k. I hadn’t run the 5k distance since the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge a few years back when it was a 5k course. Since I started running frequently, I was eager to see how I would do. I recall the first mile of the race and how I thought the pace was super fast. Well I was right. My GPS told me I ran the first mile in 6:52. I was baffled at how that could be. I went back and looked at the course and it was because the first mile was pretty much all down hill. It all made sense now lol . In Central Park, whatever goes down, has to come back up right? Well it did! I would inevitably slow down and finish my 5k at 22:39 (7:18 pace). Not upset with that one bit! I think my previous 5k time was in the high 24 minute range. By the end of July, I was really starting to like these NYRR runs!

August – Percy Sutton Harlem 5k

Well after not running a 5k in many years, I would do two of them in back to back months! This time I was off to Harlem where I frankly hadn’t been in many years. Since I hadn’t been there in years, I made the mistake of driving there for this race. With the lack of parking in the area, I found myself scrambling for parking. I ended up parking at a meter about 8 blocks away from the start line. Race was at 8:30am. I parked at 8:15am. You could say my race started as soon as I finished putting money in the meter. I got to the start line with 2 minutes to spare before the start. I barely checked my bag in before the start. No bathroom visit. No stretching. And there goes the horn for the start!  I remember running the first mile and I was sucking wind. I didn’t get to jog, or stretch and a lot of the first mile was up hill. As we zig zagged thru the streets of Harlem I took in the sites and was excited at how diverse and vibrant the neighborhood was. Before I knew it we were heading back towards the starting line. You know those uphills towards the beginning? Well now they were become some serious downhills! Great crowds on hand for this race had me pumped the whole last mile. Finished the race at 22:41 (7:18 pace). Just two seconds slower than the 5k I ran in Central Park a month ago! Damn it why didn’t I get a good warmup in!! That would have definitely been a PR! Oh well, save it for another day I guess!

September – 5th Avenue Mile & Bronx 10 Mile

I cannot say that I honestly trained for the 5th Avenue Mile. Sure I did a few workouts leading up to the the race on the track, but they weren’t really speed workouts. They were more of doing 3 or 4 mile runs on the track with maybe doing a few laps at full tilt. Screw it. Lets go run the mile anyways! After seeing heat after heat go off before mine and seeing the energetic crowds get behind the runners, I was anxious to start my race. As opposed to my last race in Harlem, I got a good warm up in here. The bag check is near the end of the race. Which means you have to walk or jog a mile to the start lol. Ok so warmup was done right this time! For this race, it was the closest I have ever been to the actual starting line. I think there were only two people in front of me at the starting line. The horn went off and I tried not to get trampled! The first quarter mile was swift – definitely not what I am used to. I think the clock said 1:15 for the first quarter mile. Umm that’s 5 minute mile pace if you aren’t keeping track!  In the 2nd quarter mile I slowed down particularly because it was uphill. I believe my half mile split was 3:00. As we got to the top of the hill, I could see the finish line. In all of the races I had run so far this year, whenever I saw the finish line, I would start my kick. This time however, it didn’t register in my head that I was still a half mile away from the finish line! Needless to say I hung onto dear life to finish that race as I was gassed. That last quarter mile hurt man! Mile time – 6:12. Hey, I haven’t run a mile all out since High School. I’ll take it! This was a very fun race and one that I would totally do again!

The Bronx 10 mile was a race that I was preparing for. Aside from the Fifth Avenue mile, I had been building up my miles gradually knowing that I had the Staten Island Half Marathon coming up in a few weeks. This race was a perfect training run in my prep for the SI Half. I remember the forecast for this day being very hot. The race however was early enough that I figure we would escape the heat. The course was an “out and back”. Pretty much 5 miles up the Grand Concourse and 5 miles back down. Remember that heat that I thought we would escape? It showed up for the 2nd half of the race! For the first time all year, I fell the effects of the heat. I stopped a lot for water during this race. I want to say 6 or 7 times. Some times it was just to dump the water over my head. I have to say it worked because I found another gear in the last three miles. Each of the last three miles were under 8:00 with the fastest one being the last mile at 7:36. Final time 1:21 (8:08 pace). I gotta say, the crowds were great in the Bronx! Even though I hate the Yankees, I guess it was kind of cool crossing the finish line literally right in front of the stadium. The Bronx 10 mile was my favorite medal of the year. Something about the red and black ribbon – nothing to do with the Yankees!

October – Staten Island Half Marathon

The year started with the United NYC Half in March. Only fitting it ends with another half marathon. This time in Staten Island. The only thing I know about Staten Island is where the Staten Island Yankees play. Lucky for me, this is pretty much where the race started and finished! The only thing I wanted out of this day was to be faster than my half marathon in March. Starting the race I felt decent. We were pretty much going down hill. Mile one was 7:46. Whoa – slow down Nelly, we got twelve more of these miles! At about mile three, some drizzle started and so did some hills. By mile five the hills had flattened out and we were running along South Beach. That’s when the skies decided to open. I have run in rain before, but never like this. It was a torrential down pour. The type that if you happen to be caught in it, you run for cover and hide anywhere until it slows up. I’m in mile five however of a half marathon – where the hell was I going to hide?!? That rain came down so fast that it was running down my face and I was literally gagging on it. My shoes were soaked and I could feel them getting heavier. At around mile nine, the rain decided to stop. But someone decided to put a huge half mile hill at mile nine. I was depleted after that mile I tell you. I hadn’t struggled that much thru a mile ALL YEAR. I wanted to stop. I felt slow and my GPS agreed with me – mile nine split was a 9:02. What? a 9:02? I don’t think I had run that split in any of my races – not even the March half marathon. I have to admit, when I heard the split for mile nine I kissed a PR for the half marathon goodbye. I took one more GU gel in mile 10 and hoped for the best. Mile ten 8:27. Mile eleven 8:02. Ok – here we go. Remember how I said the beginning was down hill? Yup – we are going to finish this miserable day going up hill. After mile eleven I had started to look at the cumulative clock and started calculating if a PR was possible. It still was, but I didn’t factor in a mile long up hill. That last mile was tough. It hurt. Further, because of all the water in my shoes, my insole had started shifting. I knew it was all out of place in my shoe, I could feel it. But the end of the race finally came, and it read a happy time at the end –1:51 (8:31 pace). When I finished I didn’t know how it was possible. Not with all the hills and not with all the rain. I guess the work from March thru October simply paid off. Crossing that finish line also completed my 9th NYRR race. The NYC Marathon was finally going to be mine in 2018!

What a year is all I will say. Running is amazing for just these reasons. In this lengthy post, I had no teammate to run with me. No one to toss a ball to or run for me. This was all me. That’s one of the things I love about running, no one can do this but you! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again  – can’t wait for 2018!!

Frozen Friday

New York City has some snow in its forecast! I cannot tell you how bummed I am about that. I’ve never talked about snow before but I despise it. Of course when I was younger I loved snow but in my older age, and now that I am a runner, I despise it. Kudos to those that run when there is actual snow on the ground. Not me! I just won’t do it. It’s not that I can’t. I’ve given it a try but I am not a fan of running in wet shoes in general. Add in the icy feel of snow and that makes matters even worse and it also makes my hate for snow even greater! Lurking in the back of my mind is the “home owner” in me that knows I have to get out and clean the snow when it falls. Which reminds me, I haven’t even powered up my snow blower yet for this season (SMH). Cross your fingers for me and pray that it starts if I need to crank it up! Yeah you can say I am just a little bit bitter about the snow!

Finally got on Strava this week!

It is looking like I will have to get my fix of running on the treadmill this weekend. I was hoping to get out and try the Strava app this weekend which I just finally downloaded onto my phone only this week! I had been running with Under Armour’s Map My Fitness app and I believe you can use both simultaneously. Initially I didn’t want to give up on Map My Fitness because I have so many runs logged on there that I didn’t want to lose my history of those runs. For now I will likely continue to use both but I have been told that there is a way I can transfer my runs over from Map My Fitness to Strava. That will be one of my “to-do’s” this weekend. If it works, why did I wait so long to download Strava? My reason for finally download it was because apparently there is a nice running community in NYC on the Strava app. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a big fan of the running community in general and the more runners I can be around, even if it is on an app, the better! For those of you that use either of these apps, which do you like better and why?

Snow was on the ground for last year’s United NYC Half!

Looking at my race calendar on this site, it looks like there are two pretty big races occurring this weekend, and Central Park will be the location for both! On Saturday, the New York Road Runners will be holding the Ted Corbitt 15k run starting at 8:30 AM. The race honors the late Ted Corbitt (aka “the Father of long distance running) who was the first president of the New York Road Runners Club and the first African American to compete in an Olympic marathon competition. The race is sold out so there should be a great crowd on hand. There will likely be several runners on hand trying to complete their “9+1” requirement for the 2018 NYC Marathon so it does not surprise me that this race is sold out. Sending some positive thoughts to all you running the race and hoping that no snow falls before or during your race!

On Sunday, the good folks over at NYC Runs take over Central Park for the NYC Runs Big Apple Half Marathon. Start time for this race is 9am. This looks like the last half marathon in the NYC area for 2017 so if you really want to get that half marathon PR in before 2017 runs out, this is your last chance! As of this posting, spots are still available for this race so head on over and register! Personal note on NYC Runs, I still haven’t run any of their races. A small goal of mine for 2018 will be to finally give them some of my money!

That is all for this Friday and this week my friends! Enjoy the weekend and keep those positive thoughts in your head to fuel you towards your goals!

CAT

United NYC Half Facebook Group

UANYCH18_Race-Header

March and the United NYC Half Will Be Here Before You Know It!

 

The calendar says that it is only November but I already have the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon on my mind. I ran the 2017 version of the race earlier this year and while I know I have not run the full New York City Marathon, I can tell you that the United NYC Half was a lot of fun and I was very impressed with the organization and promoting done for the race.

This year, they have decided to change the course up and make this a true New York City Half Marathon. In previous years, the race was run exclusively in Manhattan. This year, the race is starting in Brooklyn, and going over the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan up the east side, thru Times Square and ultimately ending in Central Park. Many people have expressed their excitement over the new course as it gives the race a mini feel of the New York City Marathon.

New Course Starts The Race In Brooklyn & Ends It in Manhattan!

 

One thing that I do remember about the 2017 NYC Half was the vibe that I felt days before the race at the expo, before the race on race day and of course during the race itself. I realized running this race, that there is a strong running community out there. When you come across another runner, you can usually engage in lots of conversation. Soon you find that some of your concerns, your excitements and other feelings that you thought were unique to you, are actually shared by other people.

So in the spirit of the running community, I decided to start a Facebook group that is dedicated to the 2018 version of the United NYC Half. The group is closed but just request to join the group and you will be allowed in. You can find that group here – 2018 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. I started this because I remember getting ready for the race and not knowing what to expect, not knowing where to go, not knowing what to wear and so many other things. Now as a returning runner, I still have questions running thru my head about this race. Clearly this group can serve as a benefit to any runner so hopefully I will see you in the group if you are indeed running the race.

The group belongs to all those running the race, its not just my group. If you have a question or comment – fire away! Hope to see and meet some new faces running the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon!

MarathonFoto Always Captures Great Shots!

The Emotions Of A Runner

This race moves participants in so many ways!

I wasn’t planning on a Friday after 5pm post but then this afternoon happened. I walked to Central Park today because it was gorgeous out. I had read that the finish line for the New York City Marathon was finally complete so I figured I walk over to Central Park. 
The weather was beautiful out so uptown I went on 6th Avenue from my office at Rockefeller Center. Halfway on my walk up 6th avenue at around 54th street, I’m waiting for the light to change, and I see a young woman running towards me. I looked, I looked again more intently and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was one of my favorite runners currently on the circuit, none other than Brenda Martinez. I COMPLETELY FROZE for 3 seconds. I watched her run by and thought about asking for a selfie. Then I  had all of these thoughts

“maybe she was on a final training run for the Abbot 5k Dash To The Finish- you can’t ask her for a selfie- what if you mess up her training run and she loses because of you- what if you stir up attention to her and she gets mobbed?” 

Recognized Brenda b/c she was still wearing the shirt in the pic she posted about an hour earlier lol

By the time I asked all those questions in my head – she was gone. Running down 6th ave- it was good to see you Brenda! But i continued my walk smiling because I had seen one of my favorite runners up close. Pretty damn cool!

The marathon – truly a global affair!

Onwards I went to Central Park! I made  it to the finish line and what first  struck me were all of the flags from all of the countries being representee at the marathon. How beautiful that sight was. How beautiful it must feel coming up that final uphill running between all of those flags.
Finally I made it to the finish line. I felt ecstatic about being able to see it. There was excitement because there were people meeting and discussing their plans for meeting their family members after the race. There were news reporters interviewing people about the race. So much buzz and optimism! Then I started to long for running this race on Sunday. Maybe I was teasing myself going to the Pavilion, Expo and now the finish line all in one week. But then I thought “screw this- I’m a runner and this is our Super Bowl, Our World Series, I’m going to celebrate”. 

Next time I see you, I cross you with hands held high!

While I still felt feelings of wanting to run the race. I started to chat with people that were taking pictures with their numbers and with their families. Heck I implored people to get into the pics with their families on a couple of occasions and I snapped the pictures for them. I congratulated them for getting the opportunity to run th best race in the world and wished hem nothing but luck!

On my way out, I turned back because I saw Fred. Fred Lebow that is. The grandfather of the NYC Marathon has his famous stature just to the left of the finish line. I snapped a pic of Fred and literally said “thanks Fred”. Without him he won’t have this race, we don’t feel these emotions and we would never be able to say the words “New York City Marathon”.

I keep saying I will see you next year, but getting closer to the race this year has me more motivated than ever!

Once again good luck to all of those running this beautiful race on Sunday!

The father of the NYC Marathon – Fred Lebow

Marathon Expo In Full Swing!

An inspiring view message to all marathon runners!

All these years that I have been running and I never brought myself to visit one of the NYC marathon expos. What have I been missing all of these years? Well finally Thursday was the day that I made my way over to Jacob Javits Center and I was not disappointed in the least! The only thing that I was disappointed in was that  I didn’t give myself enough time there! Yes I left there frustrated that I only gave myself an hour of my lunch break there!

A huge welcome before getting your numbers!

I arrived at Javits Center at around 12;30pm and was literally overwhelmed when I walked in. I was not expecting the massiveness of it all! Many of the volunteers that were working the venue were directing guests upon arrival to the race number pick up area. Sadly for me, I am not running the race this year so there was no need for me to go into that area. I will say that to have the bags and numbers for 50,000 plus runners requires alot of space so this area of the expo in itself was very big!

An insane amount of official merchandise!

Once runners were done picking up their numbers, they were led right into the midst of the New Balance Official 2017 NYC Marathon Merchandise area. I have run lots of road races before but I have never seen a race have so much official merchandise! So many t-shirts with the NYC Marathon logo. So many fleeces, jackets, pants, shorts, winter tops, winter bottoms, hats, gloves, and every other accessory you can think of, all of them, with the NYC Marathon logo on it! There were so many items I wanted to buy but I couldn’t let myself buy something that said “2017 NYC Marathon” when I wasn’t running it. So I actually found a couple of items that didn’t have the year on it. I was very happy with these items but then I thought to myself “when I come back for the 2018 expo, I am going to have to come back with at the very least $500“!

A nice pair of cold weather gloves with no year on them!


After I left the New Balance area, the next part of the expo was what was considered the expo itself. Rows upon rows of different vendors selling every single type of merchandise that could ever be used by a runner. The amount of items I browsed was dizzying likely because I viewed them all so fast because I was limited in time. I tried a few different sports drinks, tried some protein bars and was introduced to Gatorade “carb-gummies” which I found as a personal future alternative to the “Gu Gels” that I have always used. My only issue with these gatorade gummies, they come 4 in a pack. If i only want one or two during a race, do I really want to carry the others during my race? Will they melt? I am going to have to research this a bit! 

Carb gummies from Gatorade!


From there I saw so many different types of apparel vendors, from North Face, to Paragon, to Nike, the list just went on and on. If there was an accessory or gadget that a runner may use, several vendors were selling them all.  I stumbled across a couple of vendors that were selling memorabilia keep sakes that would preserve your race number pictures and medals to commemorate your race. Definitely something I would consider getting should I ever complete the NYC Marathon.

Another course strategy presentation!


Tucked away in another corner was a section that was dedicated to the Marathon itself. In this corner there were a couple of NYRR coaches talking about race strategy. In one of my last posts, I wrote about attending a race course strategy event on Monday at the Marathon Pavilion. It was very nice to see them give multiple course strategy sessions because there is some really great insight discussed at this session and I think all runners should try to attend one that fits their schedules. Amongst the other items that they had regarding the marathon in this corner was an opportunity to meet the “Pace team” members and to learn the mile splits that you would have to run in order to meet your desired time. There were also virtual reality kiosks set up so that you could see several parts of the race in a virtual environment right smack dab in the middle of the Javits Center .

My hour was done and I barely scraped the surface at the expo. My last stop on the way out was at the Disney World table. I had heard of races run at Disney before and I wondered how one could sign up for them. The table had several medals from past Disney races on display and I fell in love with all of them. At the table they also had a timeline for upcoming races in the next couple of years. I have the timeline saved at home and I have entered the registration dates as calendar entires on my i-phone. This might just be my next race after the 2018 NYC Marathon!

Just look at these Disney Medals – #bucketlist!


I am still a year away from running the 2018 NYC Marathon but here I am looking at races beyond that. This is what will hopefully keep me motivated in the years to come. This is what can get some of you motivated, if you haven’t started running yet. Pick a race and start training for it. Come on what are you waiting for! 

In the meantime, if you need more inspiration, check out the NYC Marathon Expo at the Javits Center like I did. They will be there thru Saturday! Hope you enjoy it as much as  I did!

And for anyone reading this that is running in Sunday’s New York City marathon, I want to personally wish you all nothing but strong legs, hearts fulls of pride, and finally minds full of courage! This race is yours – enjoy every second of it!! 

 

A Quick Visit To The Pavillion!

Right by Tavern On The Green is the Marathon Pavillion


Happy Tuesday to all of you beautiful folks out there! I was in Philadelphia the entire weekend and for the second straight weekend in a row, I did absolutely no exercise on the weekend. Mark my words – THIS NEEDS TO STOP! 

As winter approaches and the days get colder and shorter, the weekend will likely bring me the only opportunities that I will have to get out and run outdoors in the day light. I am vowing that I will no longer have weekends like the last two weekends that I had! With that said, let me just say that at least I did enjoy myself visiting Terror Behind The Walls in Philadelphia! Throw in the fact that I had cheesesteaks two days in a row at Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks and lets just say that I myself was in need of some inspiration on Monday!

I would have taken pics of my sandwiches but I ate them too fast!


Last week I had written about the NYC Marathon Pavillion going up in Central Park. What better place to get inspiration than there. I walked over around noon time and made it about 5 minutes into a “Course Strategy” presentation given by two NYRR coaches. 

Tips on running the marathon!


Since I am not running the marathon this year, I was not listening intently as others were. I decided to grab some lunch while there (roasted turkey sandwhich on wheat bread) and enjoy the sights of the Pavillion. New York Road Runners club was so gracious as to give away some nice pint glasses with the NYC Marathon logo on it. I was lucky to be able to score these as I heard they are limited edition!

Some NYC marathon swag!


Those nice little pint glasses weren’t the only things that I scored. New Balance was also on hand to give out some really simple but nifty free gift for runners. Up for grabs without any limits on quantity, they were giving out chapstick sticks, mini sun screen packs, mini band-aid packs, scarves, and a nice little pennant that said “All Roads Lead to NYC”. In all when you factor in the glasses, I walked out with a nice little swag bag of goodies when  I wasn’t expecting to get anything at all. Had I actually paid attention to the race tips, I may have walked out with some valuable information there too, even though  I am not running the race for another year!

Lots of NYRR merchandise!


Of course there was plenty of New York City Marathon Merchandise on hand for sale. One cool little added bonus that they did have on site at the Pavillion was if you purchase a TCS Marathon shirt at the Pavillion, they would screen print a message of your choice on it. Think of it as personalizing your shirt so that you can wear during the NYC Marathon. The personalization was also free! What is better than that! The personalizing will be at the Pavillion all week so if you are into that, go on over buy a shirt and get it personalized!

Once I was done at the Pavillion, I can honestly say that I was back in a healthier state of mind. I proceeded to complete a pretty nice workout tonight at the gym and I am looking forward to a run in the morning as I happen to be off on Tuesday!

As I was leaving the Pavillion, I noticed that they were working on the finish line area. Even thought I won’t be running this year, I will likely go back later this week to gaze at the finish line. Those that don’t run likely won’t understand!

Marathon Events All This Week!

Can’t wait for Marathon Week!


While the New York City Marathon is not til next week, the New York Road Runners Club is hosting so many events next week that you almost don’t have to run the marathon to be excited about it! I stumbled upon some information from them and thought I would share it here.

They have so many events going on that they needed three different venues to host them all in! Here are those locaitons:

  1. The NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street New York, NY 10019)
  2. The Marathon Pavilion (67th street and Central Park West, inside the park)
  3. The Marathon Expo (Jacob Javits Convention Center)

The full calendar of events, as of now, is below with the time and location of each.

The marathon pavilion will open its doors on Sunday!


If it wasn’t for the fact that I will be in Philadelphia  this weekend, I would have loved to have gone to the opening of the Marathon Pavillion on Sunday morning (8:00-10:00am)! Fortunately enough for me, its close enough to my job that I may just visit it during the week! A side note, I’m actually pretty excited about Philly this weekend. I get to visit what is in my opinion, the spookiest attraction in the North East in Terror Behind The Walls at the Eastern State Penitentiary! Very cool if you are into that type of thing, but if you are not, I understand!

Back to the race week calendar and back to the Pavillion. I see that they are having a member lunch on Monday with course strategy. I may not be running the marathon this year but I am so intrigued still by the course that I may just stop by to listen! If I don’t do the lunch, I may stop by on Monday after 5pm as they are offering a free Michelob Ultra plus a giveaway for all members!

On Wednesday November 1 they are offering an interesting session at the RunCenter. The session is sponsored by BEDGEAR who happens to be the official mattress and pillow of the New York City Marathon!? I didn’t know there was ever an official mattress and pillow sonsor…well then! Anyhow, I don’t know about any of you but whenever I go on a night run after work, I have a lot of trouble falling asleep. My muscles ache a bit and sometimes I am just wired and can’t fall sleep. I would love to hear what they have to say to cope with this. Do any of you struggle with this after a night run?

Not too often you get to meet an Olympian….


On Saturday November 4th, they might make me do something I hate to do. They may just make me come into Manhattan from Long Island for something other than work or a race! Why? At the RunCenter they will be having a pair of Olympians and World Champions in Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn. I cannot tell you how much I love these two middle distance runners. Earlier this year when I ran the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile I stuck around well after my race just to watch the professional women’s mile. I was torn on who I wanted to win, Jenny Simpson or Brenda Martinez . Brenda surged at the end but there was no way she was catching Jenny. A chance to meet Jenny and Emma Coburn would be the highlight of the week since I can’t run the marathon this year! 

….and you get to meet a world champion!

So those are my favorites! What are you looking forward to? Whatever you choose, make sure to enjoy the event and most importantly the actual marathon on Sunday!

Sunday, October 29

Time Location Event
7:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Number Pickup: Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships
Runners participating on Saturday’s race through Midtown Manhattan can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
8:00–10:00 a.m. Pavilion TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion Grand Opening
The TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion opens its doors to visitors, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Pavilion Race-day Nutrition with Lauren Antonucci, Brought to You by Poland Spring
Join the registered dietitian for a conversation starting every hour at the top of the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
4:00–6:00 p.m. Pavilion Course Strategy with NYRR Coaches
NYRR coaches will lead runners through a mile-by-mile course strategy session, including race-day tips and insights on how to manage the 26.2-mile tour through the five boroughs. Sessions will be held every hour on the hour.

Monday, October 30

Time Location Event
7:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Number Pickup: Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships
Runners participating on Saturday’s race through Midtown Manhattan can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
7:30–8:30 a.m. RUNCENTER RUNHealthy: Yoga for TCS New York City Marathon Runners
Prep for the TCS New York City Marathon with RUNHealthy: Yoga for Runners! The class is open to all levels and will incorporate postures that help with running performance and injury prevention.
Led by instructor Steph Armijo, you’ll focus on relieving tightness and building strength in five key muscle groups involved in running–glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, and calves–as well as increasing mental focus through breathing.
Bring your own mat and RSVP here.
12:00–1:00 p.m. Pavilion NYRR Member Lunch and Course Strategy
Prepare for your five-borough run with tips and course information from NYRR’s coaching staff.
4:00–6:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Runner Hydration with Gatorade
Sample the latest and greatest from Gatorade at the NYRR RUNCENTER!
5:00–6:00 p.m. Pavilion Strength Training with Hospital for Special Surgery
Join Hospital for Special Surgery specialists Pam Geisel and Tiffany Chag, as well as physical therapist Lauren Alix Riccardi, as they teach runners how to effectively strength train and prevent injury during marathon training. RSVP here.
6:00–7:00 p.m. Pavilion Member Monday: Course Strategy and Meet Your Pacer
NYRR members ages 21 and up can stop by and receive a free drink courtesy of Michelob Ultra. At 6:30 p.m., NYRR Coaches will host a Course Strategy session with valuable insight and will answer questions about race day. Members may also receive a limited-edition giveaway while supplies last.
6:00–7:00 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Team for Kids Group Run
Runners from NYRR’s Team for Kids will meet for a run in Central Park, beginning and ending at the NYRR RUNCENTER.

Tuesday, October 31

Time Location Event
7:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Number Pickup: Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships
Runners participating on Saturday’s race through Midtown Manhattan can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
7:30–8:30 a.m. RUNCENTER RUNHealthy: Pilates for TCS New York City Marathon Runners
Join New York Pilates instructor and running coach Jen Ares-Cruz for a core-focused class designed to support your running and make you feel your strongest at the starting line!
Pilates for TCS New York City Runners will focus on the rotational strength and stabilization needed for running, particularly in the lower body and shoulders. This workout is ideal for runners looking to improve their body awareness and running form; strengthen key muscle groups to improve speed, efficiency, and prevent injury; and stretch the areas of the body that running stresses the most.
Bring your own mat and RSVP here.
6:00–8:00 p.m. Pavilion MEB: The Home Stretch Series Premiere Screening with Q&A
Watch the series premiere of MEB: The Home Stretch, a five-part documentary series chronicling the final season of America’s greatest marathoner, Meb Keflezighi. A Q&A with Meb will follow the screening.
Doors will open for the free screening at 6:00 p.m. Please plan to arrive on time, as there is no guaranteed, reserved seating. RSVP here.

Wednesday, November 1

Time Location Event
8:00–10:00 a.m. RUNCENTER BEDGEAR presents Yoga Nidra: Guided Meditation for Better Sleep
Ingrid Prueher, a pediatric and adult sleep and nutrition consultant and founder of sleeptransformation.org, will be leading the yoga nidra classes. This practice of meditation enables you to use downtime to increase your recovery, which is especially useful when race-day adrenaline is keeping you awake. Join us for a 40-minute guided “sleep meditation” that is sure to relax your muscles and give you clarity so you can be ready for your run!
Please bring your own mat and towel. RSVP here.
12:00–1:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Facebook Live: Coaches’ Chat
NYRR Coaches will answer questions about training at the NYRR RUNCENTER, streaming live on the NYRR Facebook page.
2:00–3:00 p.m. Pavilion Touring and Training: Meet and Greet with Prince Royce
The Bronx native will share his experiences training for the TCS New York City Marathon while performing as a recording artist.
4:00–5:00 p.m. RUNCENTER BEDGEAR presents Sleep Insights for Athletes
For more than 10 years, Lorenzo Turicchia was a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked on biomedical devices and bioelectronics. His recent work has included research on medical devices for monitoring sleep and daily activity.
Currently, Lorenzo is working on new technologies for measuring and optimizing sleep performance, based on his knowledge of the human body. During this presentation, Lorenzo will provide tips for how athletes can improve their sleep for optimal performance each day.
5:30–6:30 p.m. RUNCENTER MELT Seminar for TCS New York City Marathon Runners with Hospital for Special Surgery
Join Hospital for Special Surgery exercise physiologist and performance specialist Polly deMille as she teaches you this simple yet effective technique for self-myofascial release that can benefit your entire body and help prevent injury.
Runners will have the opportunity to learn the self-treatment technique MELT (myofascial energetic length technique) to restore optimal integrity of the connective tissue. RSVP here.
6:00–7:00 p.m. Pavilion BEDGEAR presents Sleep Insights for Athletes
For more than 10 years, Lorenzo Turicchia was a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked on biomedical devices and bioelectronics. His recent work has included research on medical devices for monitoring sleep and daily activity.
Currently, Lorenzo is working on new technologies for measuring and optimizing sleep performance, based on his knowledge of the human body. During this presentation, Lorenzo will provide tips for how athletes can improve their sleep for optimal performance each day.
6:30–7:30 p.m. RUNCENTER Hospital for Special Surgery presents Foam Rolling for TCS New York City Marathon Runners
Join Hospital for Special Surgery physical therapists Catherine Wysin and Julie Khan as they teach runners how to use foam rollers to help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and accelerate the return of muscle strength and power after a hard workout. RSVP here.

Thursday, November 2

Time Location Event
8:00–10:00 a.m. Pavilion Run Mama Run Screening and Breakfast with Sarah Brown
Join us for an exclusive free screening of Run Mama Run, followed by breakfast and a panel with New Balance athlete Sarah Brown.
Doors open at 8:00 a.m. Seating and breakfast are first come, first served. RSVP here.
10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Number Pickup: TCS New York City Marathon
Runners participating in Sunday’s race can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Number Pickup: Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships
Runners participating in Saturday’s race through Midtown Manhattan can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
10:00–11:30 a.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Central Park Running History Tour (English)
Get a taste of the Big Apple’s vibrant past on the NYRR Central Park Running History Tour! After leaving the NYRR RUNCENTER, our coaches will guide you at a comfortable (~10:00 min/mile) pace past various landmarks significant to New York City’s running history. RSVP here.
10:00–11:00 a.m. Pavilion Team Celiac: The Benefits of Gluten-Free Running
11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Course Strategy with NYRR Coaches
Learn valuable advice about how to approach 26.2 miles through the five boroughs with NYRR’s coaching staff. Course strategy sessions will be held every hour on the hour starting at 11:00 a.m., with a special presentation from Hospital for Special Surgery at 3:00 p.m.
12:00–2:15 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Central Park Running History Tours (Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese)
Languages and tour times are listed below. RSVP here.
Spanish: 12:00–1:30 p.m
Portuguese: 12:15–1:45 p.m.
Italian: 12:30–2:00 p.m.
French: 12:45–2:15 p.m.
12:00–1:00 p.m. Pavilion It Will Move You Professional Athlete Panel
Pro athletes Jared Ward, Aliphine Tuliaumuk, Amanda McGrory, and Josh George will participate in an exclusive It Will Move You panel. These athletes will share their stories of how they’ve been moved by running and the marathon.
2:00–3:30 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Central Park Running History Tour (English)
RSVP here.
3:00–5:00 p.m. Pavilion NYRR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and Abebe Bikila and George Hirsch Journalism Awards Presentation
Inducted in 2017 will be Tom Fleming, Ryan Hall, Lornah Kiplagat, Orlando Pizzolato, and Dr. Norbert Sander. Tim Layden will receive the George Hirsch Journalism Award. This event is free and open to the public.
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Expo Maximizing Race Day: Tips for Success on Your 26.2 with Tiffany Chag from Hospital for Special Surgery
5:30–6:30 p.m. Pavilion Fitbit Presentation with Ryan and Sara Hall
Chat with Professional Runners Ryan & Sara Hall to get race day tips and advice. The professional running duo set records and earned accolades both as All-Americans at Stanford and in the competitive race world, so come ask your last-minute questions and get ready to take on race day. RSVP here.
5:30–6:30 p.m. RUNCENTER Foam Rolling with Hospital for Special Surgery
RSVP here.
6:30–7:30 p.m. RUNCENTER Spectator 101: How to Find Your Runner on Race Day
Trying to figure out where you are going to cheer your runner on come marathon Sunday? Join us at the NYRR RUNCENTER for a brief informational session on the best practices and strategies to find your runner on race day! A Q&A will follow, and we’ll show you how to use the incredible spectator section of our TCS New York City Marathon app.
8:30–11:45 p.m. Pavilion BOSTON Screening with Q&A
Watch an exclusive screening of BOSTON, the first feature-length documentary chronicling the iconic race from its very beginning 120 years ago to present day.
Doors will open for the free screening at 8:30 p.m. Please plan to arrive by 8:00 p.m., as there is no guaranteed, reserved seating. RSVP here.

Friday, November 3

Time Location Event
10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Number Pickup: TCS New York City Marathon
Runners participating in Sunday’s race can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Number Pickup: Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships
Runners participating in Saturday’s race through Midtown Manhattan can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
10:00–11:30 a.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Central Park Running History Tour (English)
Get a taste of the Big Apple’s vibrant past on the NYRR Central Park Running History Tour! After leaving the NYRR RUNCENTER, our coaches will guide you at a comfortable (~10:00 min/mile) pace past various landmarks significant to New York City’s running history. RSVP here.
11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Course Strategy with NYRR Coaches
Learn valuable advice about how to approach 26.2 miles through the five boroughs with NYRR’s coaching staff. Course strategy sessions will be held every hour on the hour starting at 11:00 a.m., with a special presentation from Hospital for Special Surgery at 3:00 p.m.
12:00–2:15 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Central Park Running History Tours (Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese)
Languages and tour times are listed below. RSVP here.
Spanish: 12:00–1:30 p.m
Portuguese: 12:15–1:45 p.m.
Italian: 12:30–2:00 p.m.
French: 12:45–2:15 p.m.
12:00–1:00 p.m. Pavilion Tiki Talk: A Meet-Up and Q&A with Former New York Giants Running Back Tiki Barber
Former New York Giants running back and NFL Pro Bowler Tiki Barber will share the story of his transition from football player to road runner. A three-time TCS New York City Marathon finisher, Barber will dive into his passion for running and the obstacles he’s overcome on his journey to becoming a marathoner.
1:00–3:00 p.m. Pavilion TCS GoIT Presentation
Join us to see the goIT finalists from New York City schools present the fitness app they have created to a panel of judges.
2:00–3:30 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR Central Park Running History Tour (English)
RSVP here.
2:00–3:00 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR RUNTalk: The Future of U.S. Women’s Running with Emily Infeld and Emily Sisson
Join IAAF World Championship bronze medalist Emily Infeld and Team NB young phenom Emily Sisson for a chat about the bright future of women’s running in the United States.
3:00–4:00 p.m. Pavilion Conversation with Dean Karnazes
Renowned ultramarathoner and Fitbit Ambassador Dean Karnazes has run hundreds of marathons and ultramarathons on all seven continents of Earth. He will be running his tenth New York City Marathon and will discuss running 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the New York City Marathon, and how technology has evolved over the past decade. Dean will delve into diet, pre-race preparation, tricks and strategies he’s learned over the years, and how he utilizes Fitbit to optimize training, sleep, and recovery. RSVP here.
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Expo Last-Minute Aches and Pains with Alex Shafiro from Hospital for Special Surgery
4:00–5:00 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR RUNTalk: Dual-Sport Paralympic Athletes
This year’s TCS New York City Marathon will include two wheelchair athletes who have excelled on the world stage at the Paralympic Games in sports other than track and field: South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk (cycling) and Germany’s Annika Zeyen (wheelchair basketball).
Join these two inspirational racers to hear their journeys of competing in multiple sports, and the state of wheelchair racing and Paralympic sport in the world today.
5:00–6:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Seven Continents, Seven Marathons, Seven Days: A Conversation with Ultramarathoner Mike Wardian
Join ultramarathoner Mike Wardian as he talks about his record-breaking performance as he ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days! He’ll discuss this journey as well as the many other ultra adventures that helped him prepare for the TCS New York City Marathon.
6:00–7:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Citius Mag Podcast Live at the NYRR RUNCENTER
Join Citius Magazine as its staff records live from the NYRR RUNCENTER. Co-founder of Citius Mag and Sports Illustrated columnist Chris Chavez and Men’s Journal Senior Editor Kit Fox will preview the incredible professional field of the TCS New York City Marathon.
7:00–8:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Spectator 101: How to Find Your Runner on Race Day
Trying to figure out where you are going to cheer your runner on come marathon Sunday? Join us at the NYRR RUNCENTER for a brief informational session on the best practices and strategies to find your runner on race day! A Q&A will follow, and we’ll show you how to use the incredible spectator section of our TCS New York City Marathon app.

Saturday, November 4

Time Location Event
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Expo Number Pickup: TCS New York City Marathon
Runners participating in Sunday’s race can pick up their race materials, including their bib numbers and shirts.
10:00–11:00 a.m. RUNCENTER NYRR RUNTalk: A Conversation with Four-Time New York City Marathon Winner Bill Rodgers
Join four-time New York City Marathon champion Bill Rodgers as he discusses his iconic wins and tales of the past. A meet and greet will follow.
11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Expo Course Strategy with NYRR Coaches
Learn valuable advice about how to approach 26.2 miles through the five boroughs with NYRR’s coaching staff. Course strategy sessions will be held every hour on the hour starting at 11:00 a.m., with a special presentation from Hospital for Special Surgery at 3:00 p.m.
12:00–1:00 p.m. RUNCENTER NYRR RUNTalk: NYRR Hall of Fame Legends
Don’t miss the fastest panel of New York City running legends ever put together. This “greatest of all time” chat will feature Haile Gebrselassie, Bill Rodgers, Germán Silva, and Ryan Hall.
1:00–2:00 p.m. RUNCENTER The Secrets of Running with Toby Tanser and Lornah Kiplagat
Author of Train Hard, Win Easy: The Kenyan Way Toby Tanser will lead a discussion on the secrets of Kenyan running with Lornah Kiplagat, an IAAF World Half-Marathon and IAAF World Cross Country Championships gold medalist.
2:00–3:00 p.m. RUNCENTER The Future of Women’s Running with Kathrine Switzer, Deena Kastor, and Alison Desir
Join a discussion with female running legends Kathrine Switzer and Deena Kastor as well as Alison Desir, fitness activist and co-founder of Run4AllWomen. The three will discuss the history and future of women’s running around the world. The panel will be moderated by New York Road Runners’ Gordon Bakoulis.
3:00–4:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Team New Balance World Champions: Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn
Join Team New Balance athletes, IAAF World Champions and Olympic medalists Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn as they discuss training, the road to the 2016 Rio Olympics, and their individual moments of World Championships glory.
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Expo Race Recovery: Finish Line and Beyond with Pam Geisel from Hospital for Special Surgery
4:00–5:00 p.m. RUNCENTER It Will Move You: The Most Inspiring Stories of the TCS New York City Marathon
Before the TCS New York City Marathon, get inspired by a panel of runners who have experienced a variety of obstacles to get to the marathon start line–but have overcome them and will be lining up right alongside you on Sunday, November 5.
5:00–6:00 p.m. RUNCENTER Spectator 101: How To Find Your Runner on Race Day
Trying to figure out where you are going to cheer your runner on come marathon Sunday? Join us at the NYRR RUNCENTER for a brief informational session on the best practices and strategies to find your runner on race day! A Q&A will follow, and we’ll show you how to use the incredible spectator section of our TCS New York City Marathon app.