Quick Update

11:33 AM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Since the Brooklyn Half, I've taken a week off of doing anything! Yea, I know.. my legs were sore and just unable to do anything so I stretched and stretched and as the week progressed my legs were feeling back to normal again. 

This week however is a different story, seems like after I took that week off I found it hard to get into the groove of things. Right now there is 23 days until the Queens 10K and I haven't even touch the cement yet. 

Just have to make sure these next 22 days are the best 22 days ever. 

Sorry for the short post, just need to get my life in order :) 

-KS

My First Half Marathon Story!

8:21 PM KyannaSimone 1 Comments

It’s 3:59am, I’m awake and my nerves are jumping, I flutter my eyes and start dancing and smiling in my bed, I am nervous. 4am, my alarm goes off, my LED light is flashing and my phone is playing Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” its time to hop out of this bed.

I’m getting ready, going through my normal routine, washing my face and brushing my teeth. As I start to get dressed, I turn on the TV at 4:15am and decide to put on Dancing with the Stars on demand and listen to the music while I get ready.

My heart rate monitor is on, my bra is on, followed by my sports bra. I have on my compression tights followed by my colorful tights that I want to wear. I sit down to watch a particular dance and I realized it’s now 4:26am. Damn, I need to be out the house by 5:15am the latest.

I throw on my marvel superhero shirt and make my breakfast. Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and bananas, this should work. I take my breakfast with me into the bathroom so I can eat and do my hair at the same time, got to save time somehow.

Oh great, my hair is done, I get my socks and sneakers and put them on, I’m gathering my belongings from my room and from my Brooklyn half pre-race party bag. I stuff everything in my fanny pack and take a look outside. “Oh the sun is rising, what time is it?” I glance over at the clock, “Damn, it’s 5 o-clock, I need to get the hell out of here.”

My mother is awake at this time; she explains to me that I need to take a sweater because it’s cold, but we also discuss that the sweater I take I’m throwing it away because I’m clearly not going to run in it.
I figure out that I am taking a black and pink sweater to throw away since it doesn’t fit anymore because I’ve lost some weight. I’ve asked my mother to meet me at the finish line with my gray sweater because I know I’m going to be freezing after awhile.

I take a couple of pictures of my outfit and post it on Instagram and head out the door.



I walk to the train station and of course at 5:30am I encounter a man, looking for directions, he missed his stop, and wanted directions, we talked and I tried to explain to him that he needs to get on the on coming train and take it back to his stop, he does, we talk some more, transfer trains and I watch him get off. He was clearly drunk.

I see a girl with a Brooklyn half bib on, she sits next to me and I ask her how she is getting to the start because the trains are always running different routes on weekends, she explained it to me and I realized that wasn’t going to work for me because I had to meet my friend Josette at Grand Army Plaza.

I get into the 2 train station at Hoyt Street and wait for the next 2 train to arrive, which is going to be in 11 minutes, I look down at my phone and it’s almost 6am, “Damn,” I say, “I have to meet Josette at 6:30.” I see my friend Miriam come into the platform and we exchange greetings, I know she’s running late at this point because she’s in wave 1 and I’m in wave 2, she has a coffee in her hand and she eats a Luna bar. “Man, I forgot to pack a second breakfast, hopefully I’ll be alright.” I say to myself.

A train comes and it’s so full that we can’t even get on it, no room anywhere, not even for one of us to fit. So we stay on the platform and wait for the next train to come, which is in another 11 minutes.
Miriam has her clear bag with her to check in, but she realizes that she doesn’t want to check her bag in and she wants to drop it off back at her house. Luckily, I’ve been texting my friend Aubrie and she was in a cab not too far from us, Miriam decided to run back to her house and then Aubrie picked her up from there, I decided to stay on the train platform because I still had to meet my friend Josette at Grand Army Plaza.

The second train comes and I get on, there are massive amounts of people both on the platform and on the train but that’s fine, I make room for myself and get on the train, I couldn’t afford to miss two trains.
 


The train empties out at Grand Army Plaza and everyone is making their way to the start point, I’m confused at this point, I don’t see Josette so I call her twice, went straight to voicemail. I can’t wait though, its already 7am and corrals close at 7:20, I don’t want to be late and miss getting into my corral and then I can’t run, that would suck.

I follow the group of people and head towards the start, of course it’s going to take awhile until I actually get to that point because I have to go through security, the lines are long and crowded, but that’s expected. Josette calls me and tells me she’s out of the station, however at this point I can’t see her because they are only letting runners in at this point. We talk a little bit, and I see a man getting dragged out of the area by police. He didn’t look like a runner, so why was he back here in the first place?

Aubrie calls me, she wants to know where I am, I tell her and she spots me, she’s with Miriam, we walk over and meet each other, but I have Josette on the other line, I talk to her for some more and then hang up, she had a final to take and she’s didn’t need to be late.

Aubrie, Miriam and I get through security and line up in the last corral, I realize I needed to use the bathroom but of course the line as just long as ever, so we wait until everyone moves up and we can shimmy our way into a spot. But Miriam and Aubrie spotted some friends at the race and they chatted with them, I’m just nervous.

I take off my sweater and leave it on a railing, “hopefully it goes to someone who needs it and not just get thrown away,” I say. I wouldn’t want me throwing a decent sweater away just to end up in the garbage, but I guess that’s the point of throwing something away? Eh, oh well.

People are walking, somewhere, guessing to the start point, some bathrooms open up so I jump in one, it’s disgusting, there shouldn’t be this much urine around the bathroom so early in the morning, whatever I don’t sit on the seat anyway. I come out and give Aubrie a fair warning of what’s to come.
She comes out and we head to the start line, there is a woman and a man talking over the loud speaker but I don’t really pay attention, I’m just nervous at this point, I can’t believe I am about to run my first half marathon, I just kept telling myself, “I know I did the training, I know I did the work and how here’s the action.”



All I could remember Aubrie asking me is “Do you want to take a picture of the start sign,” “No” I say and as I set my Nike running app to track my run and then we start running.

Mile One: We’re running through some part of the area that I’ve never seen before, it looks like a forest almost. Already I can feel my left calf tighten up and I know this isn’t going to be good, I readjust my running and my calf feels better, no worries.

Mile Two: We run up a street and we can see runners on the opposite side down the street, guess there is a turn somewhere and there was. When I turn I look over to my left and a see a couple of runners straggling in the back. That could have been me. I see a girl with some shot blocks in her belt and a gray shirt on, “hey, I have those same shot blocks in my fanny pack, she’s going to be my pacer.” Another thought I say to myself.

Mile Three: We hit the mile three marker and I say damn, that was fast, we are running in the street, with traffic on the opposite side, I hear cars blowing their horns and I’m talking to Aubrie at the same time. Mile three already? This might be easier than I thought. I’m feeling good, no pain anywhere, keeping a nice pace and good breathing, I’m impressed at myself.

Mile Four: We’re inside prospect park and I already know what’s coming, I’ve ran this park so many times I know it like the back of my hand, except this time. The park looked different, I couldn’t make out any distinct makers or routes, the course felt completely new to me, but I was still going strong. There’s the 2:30 pace leader passing us, good I say that means we will finish before 2:30.

Mile Five: Hey hill buddy. NOT! It was hard to run up the hill as it was many times before, I tried to keep the pace of running the hill but Aubrie told me we should walk briskly and then run when we catch the downhill, I agreed and walked. Stupid hill, I hate you.

Mile Six & 10K mark: Wow, mile six, we are getting ready to exit the park that was a fast almost first half of the race, did I really just do that? I guess so. I’m still feeling good and thinking that I can keep this pace for the rest of the race. Oh look, there goes the 2:30 pace leader just passing us again. “That’s great,” I say to Aubrie and she concurs. I also see my gray shirt shot block friend who passes us while we get some water. At least I know I was running faster than both of them.



Mile Seven: We just made it out the park, thank goodness! Now we can get unto some flat roads and knock this race out the park. “There are no more hills after this point,” Aubrie says. Lies, as we were coming up on a bridge. I give her a glare and she laughs and says, “I promise, no more after this one.” Since we came over the bridge we now had to run on a steep decline, but I loved that.

Mile Eight: I know it’s a straight path from here to the finish, but I don’t feel as powerful as I thought I would, I wasn’t feeling terrible but I wasn’t feeling like how I started. That’s ok I think I’m still making good time. However I don’t see the 2:30 pace leader anymore, no matter, I can’t worry about that anymore. Now all I have to do is run.

Mile Nine: My calves are feeling tight as we run down Ocean parkway. We decided to stop at a tree and stretch out our calves. I didn’t know people did this during a race but I didn’t care if they did or didn’t, but it needed to be done. And it helped. We continued down the parkway and Aubrie sang her song “do you wanna build a snow man.” My response was always, “No, because it’s spring time.” But I knew she did it to keep my spirits up.

Mile 10: Water station, Gatorade, everything. I am in pain now, I can feel my calves killing me, the left more than the right, but I don’t care about that, I just want to finish. The sun is on my face, I’m on Ocean parkway, passing Kings Highway and coming up on avenue U, oh yes mile 12, mile 12.

Mile 11: What? This is only 11? I thought I was passing mile 12, can I even go on right now? My eyes start to fill themselves with water, I wanted to cry right then and there, I couldn’t believe I made a stupid mistake, am I getting delusional? Has the heat gotten to me? Then split thoughts come into my head. “What were you thinking running this half marathon,” “You’re not going to be able to run a full marathon if your feeling like this,” “Why am I still running right now?” It must have been writing all over my face with every negative thought because the next thing I heard Aubrie say was “I want you to get every negative thought out of your mind right now and just think about running.” That came at the prefect time. I could feel the tears trying to come back but I wouldn’t let them, so I just focused on the people around me and try to keep running. But we stopped for a bathroom break, of course all disgusting.

Mile 12: Oh look there goes shot block girl, she is now running in front of me, as well as these other two women who I kept seeing. Aubrie has just finished telling me “find someone you want to beat,” I felt like I couldn’t do that at that particular time, but after seeing shot block girl, I knew I had to beat at least her and the two other woman I kept seeing, that was a mental note I kept in my head. My legs and calves hurt, still not sure how I am going through this but I am getting through this. I can vaguely see the boardwalk and I can see people running in front of me. That means I’m almost done right?

20K & Mile 13 Marker: Here is it, the turn down Surf avenue. The part where the race is almost over. There are people flying by me at this point because they knew the finish line was just ahead. I can see people lined up on the side cheering us on, I see wave one finishers drinking beer and walking down surf avenue, “someday that will be me, cheering other people on.” I thought. But right now I had to focus on the task at hand, not letting shot block girl and the two other women beat me out.



13.1: The countdown to the “point one” begins, 800 meters left, 400 meters left, I had pick up my pace, I have now past shot block girl and the two other women. Aubrie quickly tells me there is an incline and then you’re on the boardwalk. “Great,” I say sarcastically. We run up the ramp and then make a run towards the finish line. This seemed like the longest stretch ever, my ankle felt funny as I ran, calves felt heavy, but I was still running, tried to fix my face because I know there are cameras everywhere and then Aubrie and I crossed the finish line together.



I cried, seriously cried, I was so upset that I was crying at Coney Island, but I was so happy I finished. Aubrie was hugging me telling me how proud she was of me, but I was still crying. I had my face in my hand because I didn’t want anyone to see me crying. We walked through the medal rack and received our medals, I wiped the tears off my face and then I spotted my mother. I ran up to her and gave her a hug, she looked so happy to see me finish because she knew the type of training I put into this race and she knew how much it meant to me.



So what was my official time? 3:02:59. I was very disappointed when I found out this was my time at first. Because I wanted to finish this race in under three hours and if I could I wanted to do it in 2:30:00, but I realized that didn’t matter, I finished, I am running the Staten Island Half in October, I can use that as a PR and I can get better, faster and stronger. So I’ve proudly accepted my time of 3:02:59 and used it as a building point for the next races.

My Nike running app isn’t reliable. I say this because I thought I was running an 11:30 pace and according to NYRR I was running a 13:30 pace, so I need a new app that can accurately track my pace, so any suggestions on running apps? I could use them.

That’s my half marathon, check out the bling!

 

Here's pictures of me and my friends... 







Next race, Queens 10K, June 22nd! 


-KS

1 comments:

Time to Travel: Orlando, FL

6:23 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

My last and final stop in my Time to Travel series is the…

5) Disney Princess Half Marathon: Orlando, FL

Yes folks yes, the famous Disney Princess half marathon is something I would love to do. I have read bloggers recaps of the race and I’ve even seen Ali Vincent complete one on TV.

Back in Florida, which is great, but this race takes place through magic kingdom and epcot themed parks. It’s Disney princess themed so there are live Disney characters on the course cheering you on are waving while you’re running. I mean who wouldn’t enjoy the magic of Disney? Except the person who doesn’t like Disney, but that’s neither here nor there.

When I kept reading about this I just thought to myself, “I must do this, I have to do this.” This half is something I am seriously thinking about doing next year, the trip to Florida alone would stand for a decent vacation, but actually participating in this marathon would be a dream come true. Now I sound like a Disney Princess!

Did you know there is an entire weekend long expo catered for this half marathon; oh the first 1,000 runners get personalized bibs! Isn’t that great?

Any who, I could ramble on and on about this race, but I hope to collect some friends and head down for Florida in the middle of February and cross this off my “half marathon bucket list.”

Let’s not forget the pretty medal…



That’s it folks, hoped you enjoyed my Time to Travel series. Do you guys have any favorite races that you usually run? Did I miss a race that I should have looked at? Let me know.

Tomorrow I run my first half marathon, the Brooklyn Half Marathon and I can’t wait, I am nervous and excited to do so. I like to plan ahead so after this half marathon I am eagerly planning what my 2015 race schedule is going to look like. Seems I need to get a frequent flier card or something huh?

Of course when I get the chance I will be doing a “My first half marathon” post and I hope I have nothing but positive feedback to report to you all.

Time to gather some last minute things, stretch and off to bed.


-KS

Time to Travel: Buenos Aires, Argentina

12:01 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments


Time to Travel again to.....

4) Buenos Aires Half Marathon: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Taking it international guys, time to travel to South America and head to Argentina for the Buenos Aires half marathon. This race of course takes place in Buenos Aires running along side the river while bypassing different historical landmarks, (don't ask which ones, but I know it does by looking at the course map,) restaurants, a golf course and a church, so I know there is going to be quite a few things sights to see.

However, if you don't finish the race in three hours, you will be swept. I have a fear a being swept because that's the worst thing that can happen to a runner, training so hard for a race and then to not complete it, but I guess you train so you wont be swept huh?

When I think of Buenos Aires, I think of a colorful, vibrant city full of people with plenty to do! Such as checking into a "love hotel" or telos as they are called in Buenos Aires, learn how to tango, indulge in dulce de leche, eat intestines, yes I said intestines and of course drink until your hearts content. I mean, what else could you ask for, I mean the sandy beaches sure, but I'm positive you don't have to ask for that.

In Buenos Aires, even though the race is a half marathon, they call them by their kilometer name, 21K and the medal also says 21K not half marathon on it, but it's the same distance, relatively.



It would be amazing to complete a half marathon in a different country, where the native language isn't English. I mean sure it would be difficult to get around but not enough to not want to visit. Oh, did I mention that this would be a weeklong trip! Who want to visit another country for two days? Not me!

My Time to Travel series ends tomorrow and to me I've saved the best for last! Stay tuned and come back tomorrow to check it out!

-KS

Time to Travel: Corning, NY

7:59 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

Time to Travel:

3) Wineglass Half Marathon: Corning, NY

Not really much of a travel for me since I live in New York, but I’ve never been to this part of New York before, so that makes it a place to travel to.

This particular race takes place in October and starts in Bath, NY and travels through small towns in NY ending up in Corning, but something that caught my eye during research is that the race is entirely flat. Yes, I said it, flat. Some people find flat races boring but I don’t, I think it’s great that races are flat, in my opinion races that have hills are difficult for me and just tire me out. I guess that’s me needed to practice more right?

Anywho, It’s a Wineglass race, emphasis on the WINE! That means wine after the race. Most races typically serve beer, which I am not a fan of, but wine? I can drink anytime.
And of course the cool finishers medal..



It’s GLASS! I’m sure not actual glass, but glass enough! What would have been cool if the medal was shaped as a wine glass and made out of glass as well, that would have been a beauty!
New York in October is cool, not temperatures that I would like to run a race in but better than running December.

Come back tomorrow!


-KS

Time to Travel: Sarasota, FL

11:19 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

It’s day two in my Time to Travel series and the next stop is Sarasota, FL for the Sarasota Half Marathon.

2) First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon: Sarasota, FL

First off, I like Florida, not love, but like and I think it’s a good place to visit, it’s always sunny, living seems easy breezy and I’m sure it’s beautiful.

Why I picked this race? Well I did research and a couple of things have caught my attention… Here’s the exact paragraph that I saw on the website.

“Known for its giant dolphin finisher medal and awesome gender-specific tech shirts, the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay features a great scenic course over the John Ringling Causeway with breathtaking views.

94% rating for "Overall Race Atmosphere".

90% of runners recommend this race.
96% rating for "Finisher Medal".
100% rating for "Access to Medical Services"” Sarasota Half Marathon

Something else that caught my attention was the temperature. I don’t like running in the heat at all so 60 degrees is prefect for me. This race takes place in the middle of March. March 15th to be exact, so I can definitely put this on my horizons for next year.

Bling time..



It’s HUGE right? Goodness, this might break my neck off.. just kidding but seriously, isn’t this beautiful? I hope to add this to my collection soon!

Until tomorrow folks.


-KS

Time to Travel: Huntington, CA

10:46 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments

I'm calling this week "Time to Travel" you'll understand..

Since my half marathon is quickly approaching (5 days out) I've been thinking to myself "I can't wait to travel to different parts of the United States and internationally to participate in different half marathons." But where? And which ones? Those were always the two questions that popped into my head. The idea of traveling to run races and staying in foreign hotels excites me, seems like a vacation while doing something you love to do. And lets face it; the cool medals are always something to brag about.

So I got this idea from Hilary at Getting Through Life: One Day {and one Mile} at a time, which you can read HERE. She did a five-day series of different runners participating in their first half marathons, which eventually lead up to her story of completing her very own first half marathon.

I've decided to do a five-day series as well, but of the half marathons I would love to participate in. Something like a bucket list of half marathons, makes sense? Let's get started. 

1) Surf City Half Marathon: Huntington, CA.

Sitting on the sunny beaches of CA, relaxing in hotels rooms, ordering room service and then heading out the door to running a race. Who could ask for more? California is a state that I would love to visit and live in, in the near future. I'm usually not a person of the hot weather and constant sweating, but for Cali, I'll make an exception, especially when you’re running alongside a beach. And after your race, just jump in the water! At least that's what I'll be doing. Maybe I can get someone to teach me how to surf, cute guys available as well as a couple of drinks? Yes, I can see this race in the future.

But check out the medal



Different right? Part of running a distance race knows that you get some type of reward at the end, so that means medals. When a medal is "true" to the race, meaning in my terms, "the shape of the medal corresponds to the theme of the race," it's just an exciting thing to see and could possibly make the race that more memorable. 

Surf City next year? Maybe, stayed tuned. 

Where to next? Come back tomorrow and find out!


-KS

Brooklyn Half: 9 Day Countdown!

10:42 PM KyannaSimone 0 Comments


Happy Thursday, 



There is only NINE days left until my first half marathon. I have a wave of different emotions hitting me all at once right now. I'm excited, nervous, anxious and a little fearful and for many different reasons. 

Excited because this is my first half marathon of course! But I never thought I would be doing ANYTHING like this in my life. I've always watched the race on TV and I told myself "those people are crazy, I would never." Now here I am, doing the same thing I said I was "NEVER" going to do. "Never say never," right?

Nervous. Since is this my first half marathon I always have the feeling of "did I do enough," "did I train hard enough?" "Is those couple of days that I missed going to affect my run?" I mean I just have so much going through my head and I don't want to psyche myself out.

Anxious because I really have a time in my head I would like to run this race in. I know the general rule is "enjoy your first half, there will be plenty of other half marathons to PR in," but that's not my case. I want to set a time for myself and know that I can match or race under that time, however I am not telling anyone that time as of yet simply because I don't want to hear "oh of course you can do it" and then I don't do it. (Yes I can be a bit of a pessimist when it comes to things like this) So, I'm keeping the time to myself just a little while longer.

And I'm fearful for my leg. It's been bothering me for quite sometime now and I JUST realize it's stemming from my hip. All this time I've been applying ice to my leg but it wasn't really working out. I applied heat to my hip and rolled it out and the pain has significantly decreased from last night. So I'll be doing this until race day. 

I'm sure I'm feeling more emotions than that, but these are the four that stood out to me. Race day is approaching fast and I just want to cross that finish line and receive that medal! Oh yea!

Since I've decided to participate in New York Road Runner's (NYRR) 5-borough series this year, after this race I'll be running the Queens 10K then it's off to the Bronx (length TBD) then off to do the Staten Island Half so I can have guaranteed entry to the NYC half in 2015 since I didn't get in this year! 

Seems like my race calendar is full, but I'm focusing on the Brooklyn Half for now! 

Nine days out! 

-KS