• Running My First Race: A Timeline

    This post is an excerpt from Christiana’s excellent post on Medium. You can read about her full morning there.

    5 AM: My alarm goes off. What kind of person chooses to wake up at 5 am on a SUNDAY to run a race in the frigid cold — which btw — SHE PAID MONEY FOR!?! This person. LET’S GO.

    5:15: Thinking about how much I’d like to poop before I leave the house.

    5:30: Still haven’t pooped.

    5:31: Please body, please poop.

    5:32: I poop.

    (to read about the rest of Christiana’s day, check out her post on Medium)

  • Kylie Dickson’s Report on her First NYRR 9+1 Experience

    What was your experience of doing NYRR’s 9 +1 program for the first time like?

    I first heard about the 9+1 program when I was attending a Zumba class at NYRR Run Hub. I struck up a conversation with a woman; excitedly I told her that I would be running my first race soon! She told me about NYRR group training classes and asked if I was running for 9+1 credit. She explained to me if I were to run 9 races and volunteer at one I would receive guaranteed entry at next years marathon. I had just began running at the time and idea of running a full marathon never crossed my mind. I entered my first race, the Italy Run (a 5 mile race seemed like the perfect place to start), and boy did I love it. The energy is electric, the camaraderie amongst runners is inspiring, the feeling of crossing the finish line—unmatched!

    The best part of running races, is meeting hundreds of people who share a common interest. As I ran more races, I began striking up conversations with other runners.  I enjoyed sharing my progress and love for running with people around me. I recall walking home from the Italy Run and I noticed two men who still had their bibs on. I asked them how they did- and they remarked they finished in somewhere around 30 mins. I congratulated them and told them I finished in an hour. I wasn’t demoralized but inspired, everyone has to start somewhere and I was just proud that I had the courage to start. For the rest of the day a smile was plastered to my face, as I told family and friends of my accomplishment. But this was only just the beginning.

    As I participated in more races, I would always get asked one question “Are you running the NYC marathon.” I decided to finally go on NYRR website and research 9+1 and the NYC marathon. I came to the realization that if over fifty two thousand people run the NYC marathon and finish it then I can too! I finished my 9+1 requirements in November and am excited to run the NYC marathon in 2020!

    Did you have any goals for the races? If so, what were they?

    When I ran my first race, the Italy Run in June, I had no goals other than to finish and have fun. The more races I ran and the more I trained I began to make small goals for myself. My goals starting off pertained to endurance. I wanted to increase the time I ran for. These goals were trying to run continuously for 1 minute, 2 minutes, and so on. My next goal pertained to speed and this is one I’m still trying to achieve. In 2020, I want to complete a 5k race in under 30 minutes.

    What was your favorite part about the 9 +1 program?

    There were so many parts of the program that I enjoyed. I especially loved how NYRR has races in all 5 boroughs with varying distances. The NB 5th Ave Mile and the Bronx 10 Mile were my favorite races by far. At the NB 5th Ave Mile, it was amazing seeing people of all ages and performance levels perform. The Bronx 10 Mile was my first long race and first emotional finish. It was pretty tough and hot! The cheers from the crowd really helped me to finish strong.

    Would you do it again?

    I would absolutely do 9+1 again! I had a blast running races this year and can’t wait for what’s in store for next year. There was no better feeling to ring the bell on my ninth race and to have achieved a goal I’ve been working so hard for.

    What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to do the 9+1 program?

    Go for it! I recommend starting with 5k races and increasing your mileage when you feel comfortable. Also, tell your fellow Royals that you are participating in 9+1! Having the support of your club mates during races will definitely help with pre-race jitters. In addition, there really is no better feeling than to see people you know cheering for you from the sidelines.

  • Liz’s 2019 NYC Marathon Report

    What was your race experience like?

    The 2019 NYC Marathon was, by leaps and bounds, the MOST FUN I have ever had running a marathon! This was my fifth marathon overall, but my first time running NYC. My previous four marathons were all small races, with barely anyone out cheering. And I’ve certainly never had anyone come out to cheer specifically for me. So I really don’t have the words to describe how it felt to run a marathon with so many friends and family out on the course that I had to carry a cheat sheet listing everyone’s locations! When I started to struggle with a flareup of my recurring IT band injury at mile 15, I set my mind to running from cheer station to cheer station, and that pulled me through when my body started to quit on me. 

    Other than the IT band problem, the whole day was pretty much perfect from start to finish. I rode the 5:30am ferry with fellow CHRC-ers Nicole and Thomas, we found Guillermo and Kelsey at the busses, Jimmy in the start village, and Brooke and Madeline just before I headed to the start corral. Having so many friends around definitely helped keep my nerves at bay, and made the long wait in the village fly by. That’s the best thing about being part of a club like CHRC — you’re almost guaranteed to find a buddy at any NYC running event.

    The NYC marathon is literally a 26.2 mile party through the streets of the best city in the world, and I really just tried to take it all in. Kelsey, Nicole and I ran most of the way together, and it was amazing to run as part of a little squad, with random spectators shouting “Yeah Crown Heights” at us. The feeling when the three of us hit the CHRC cheer station at mile 9, with my sister waiting at the end of the line holding a sign that I didn’t have time to read before I crushed her in a huge hug…well, I just want to capture that incredible joy in a bottle so I can dose myself with it when I’m feeling down.

    I’ve found that with my past marathons, I don’t remember much of the race. Once I fall into a good pace, the miles kind of blend together. But I remember EVERY. SINGLE. MILE of the 2019 NYC Marathon, and I will for the rest of my life.

    Did you train for this race? If so, how?

    I used McMillan Running’s Intermediate Marathon Training Plan, which is the same plan I’ve used for my most recent two marathons. And I followed it pretty closely. 

    Did you have any goals for this race? If so, what were they?

    My A goal was to just to embrace the experience of running NYC for the first time by running as happy as possible. And I totally succeeded.

    My B goal was to finish in under 4 hours. I missed this goal by 52 seconds; my IT band problem meant I couldn’t push as hard as usual in the second half of the race. But honestly I cared very little about my time goal.  I mean it when I say I ran this race just for my love of running and my love of NYC.  

    Did CHRC help you train for/run/celebrate this race? If so, how?

    I did most of my training on my own, but CHRC definitely helped me run & celebrate this race. I was lucky to have Nicole and Kelsey with me for most of the run. Even though it was sometimes hard to keep track of each other when the course got crowded, I was so proud to be running with these amazing women. I lost them for a while on 1st Ave, when my IT band started to be a real problem. I caught up to them just as we were about to cross into the Bronx, and hearing them shout encouragement at me as we pushed up the Willis Ave bridge made me proud to call them my teammates. 

    And of course CHRC helped me to celebrate the race! I’ve missed the post-race potluck the past two years since I was out of town running the Indianapolis marathon, so I was thrilled to make a triumphant return as a finisher!

    What was your favorite thing about the race?

    If I have to pick just one thing, then it’s definitely seeing my friends and family all along the course, especially my sister and parents. Having my own personal cheer squads out on the course honestly meant the world to me.

    My parents drove down from Albany to cheer, and caught me three times during the race: in Brooklyn  on 4th Ave & Bergen, and twice in Manhattan on 1st and 5th Aves. My mom put an old orange feather boa to hold up above the crowd to help me spot them, which was ridiculous but totally worked. And she made three different signs to hold, my favorite of which featured a picture of my dog, Meera. 

    My sister came all the way from Indianapolis just to cheer me on, and took on the challenge of catching me in four boroughs. She started at the CHRC station in Brooklyn, then caught me in Queens near the Court Street Station, in the Bronx at Grand Concourse, and in Manhattan on 5th & 97th! She also made separate signs for every stop, and all of them referenced my favorite musicals. Seeing her for the first time in Brooklyn – a moment captured by CHRC’s excellent photographer – well, I just don’t have the words to describe how that felt.

    What was the biggest challenge about the race?

    This was a hard marathon to run, but not for the reason most people think. Most people think it’s the bridges and hills that make NYC a challenging course. But I didn’t have a problem with those, because I spent all summer training them and I’m generally pretty strong on hills.  

    My biggest challenge was just how crowded the course was! It was almost impossible to settle into a stable, comfortable pace. I was constantly weaving around slower runners, runners stopping to hug their families, runners who were trying to get around other runners. The water stations were especially tight, even if I tried to just cruise through the middle without getting a drink. I expended a lot of energy trying to avoid tripping over or colliding with other runners.

    Would you run it again?

    Yes, absolutely. I’m hoping that I can convince my sister and brother-in-law to enter the lotto for the 50th Anniversary marathon in 2020.

    What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to run this race?
    1. Do it! Even if you never run another marathon, the experience of running 26.2 through this incredible city we all call home — while it throws a massive party just for us — is something every runner should experience at least once. 
    2. The bridges and hills aren’t as bad as people make them out to be.
    3. Come talk to me for all of the tips & tricks for staying warm in the start village.
  • Madeline’s 2019 NYC Marathon Report

    On Sunday, November 3rd, 2019, I checked marathon #2 off my list. My official time – 5:09:44 – was a 5+ minute PR from my first marathon! I also achieved so many intangibles, including maintaining a steadier pace, feeling stronger the whole way through, and finishing feeling relatively solid.

    This year was so wildly different than the last, and it all started with the training cycle. This past summer, I took my long runs so much less seriously than I had done so previously. My first sixteen/eighteen/twenty-milers of the season would not be the first of my life – they were just really really long runs. I knew I’d done similar distances before and survived (and sometimes even felt fine after) so I went into my weekly long runs with much less apprehension. I also had much more consistent company! The solid crew of Chill Pace Group (TM) members kept me from getting lonely on those long journeys across the borough (and beyond), and signing myself up to lead CPG runs kept me accountable. Due to these measures – social support and accountability – I was much more consistent with my long runs this summer, which certainly helped improve my endurance. I also threw in some speedwork and strength training alongside the regular runs this year, which may have helped with the overall feel of my race.

    Speaking to fellow CHRC members about their first and second marathons, so many people had mentioned that the mistakes they made during their first races informed them well enough to achieve massive PRs the second time around – 10, 15, 20 minutes, even! Because of this, I went in hoping to break 5 hours (which would put me at a little bit under a 15 minute PR). However, even though I had planned and trained more consistently this year, and knew to incorporate walk breaks much earlier in the race, I began running out of steam by the Queensboro bridge. By the time I hit 1st Avenue, I made the decision to reassess my plans so that I could finish the race with a PR while also not exhausting myself so much that I would end up injured and hobbling across the finish line. The final miles of the race still hurt, for sure, but the pain was different this year. It was all from exertion, not injury, and when I finished, even though I felt so, so tired and broken down, I knew I hadn’t done lasting damage, and that I would recover soon.

    Although I didn’t make a massive difference in time this time around, I have no regrets. I attribute my mindset during this race to many factors, including the lighthearted members of chill pace group, to the raucous support of my friends and family, and also to Brooke, my start buddy, who had made the decision to run the race for fun. Although we lost each other after the first few miles, once the going got tough, I kept going back in my mind to the conversation Brooke and I had had while crossing the Verazzano. We discussed what it meant to have our main goal of the day being enjoyment, how focusing on having a fulfilling experience while running would keep us buoyant and resilient, and how positivity and high fiving every cute kid we see is more motivating (to us, at least) than beating ourselves up over going slower than goal pace. Because at the end of the day, the Marathon is a beast, whichever way you look at it and however fast or slow you run it. It’s a daylong party and an assault on the senses and I am so, so glad that I went into it this year looking to soak up and cherish the whole experience.

    Yes, I concede that my future plans include getting faster, but I am still so happy with the outcome of this year’s race because, even though my PR was relatively small, I finished feeling so much better than I did last year. I was no longer sore after a few days of babying my legs and I didn’t catch the dreaded post-race cold that I suffered last year. Although I have entered the lottery for the 2020 NYC marathon, and will certainly run it if admitted, my main goals are to focus on speed and running shorter races, while adding some more yoga and strength training back into my weekly schedule. I’m hoping to build on my base of fitness from the past two years of marathon training cycles and come back for #3 stronger, faster, and even more optimistic.

  • Bernard’s 2019 NYC Marathon Report

    Before 2019, I would not consider myself a runner.  Sure, I had run while playing other sports (e.g. soccer, basketball), but the running, while necessary, was more incidental. Fast forward to late-February 2019, after entering the NYC Marathon lottery 3-4x, I finally “won.”  In the late winter/early spring, I slowly increased my running as I set out to read as much as I could about running a marathon generally and running the NYC Marathon in particular.  Once I settled on a training program, I focused on getting myself in running shape in order to tackle some of the longer distances required in the first few weeks of the plan.  As summer began, I also sought out opportunities to run with others and stumbled upon CHRC via social media.  I had the good fortune of running with CHRC on several long runs during the course of the training season and sincerely enjoyed meeting members old and new and learning a bit about them and their running careers.  With the exception of one long run on a particularly hot and muggy Friday evening through the East Village, the training itself was surprisingly enjoyable.  As the training progressed and I felt more and more confident that I would be able to at least finish the marathon, I started thinking about more specific goals and how to accomplish them.  Fortunately, with a few weeks left before the marathon, I was able to run the Staten Island half (thanks for the bib CHRC) with several CHRC members and it helped solidify some of my goals.  At this point, I thought if I did my best, I might be able to finish the race under 4 hours, a time that months before seemed completely out of reach.  Thanks in large part to the CHRC Saturday long runs and the CHRC NYC Marathon info session in late October, I arrived on Staten Island on November 3 feeling confident that I knew what I needed to do and how to get it done.  By far, my favorite part of the run was running near my house, near mile 8-9 where I had all of my family waiting for me at mile 8 and then CHRC at mile 9.  Four weeks after the marathon, I’m searching for my next run . . . and I’ll be training for it with CHRC.

    If I could do the race all over again, I would do the following:

    1. Orient myself to the location of the starting corrals.  I waited in the cold for 3 hours doing nothing and then sprinted to my corral and arrived just after it closed.
    2. Fuel better. I did not consume enough calories during each of my long training runs and on marathon day, I faded towards the very end due to insufficient fuel.

    That being said, I would run it again in a heartbeat. Thank you CHRC for the support and community.

  • Guillermo Jimenez on the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series

    Lungs and legs on fire for the duration of a race is not my idea of fun. Add to this equation heat and humidity and the discomfort level increases exponentially. Some may argue that anyone who participates in such an event more than once must be some sort of masochist. Masochist or no, 2019 marked the second consecutive year that I’ve signed up for the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series.

    The Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series is a set of seven 5k races that are held every other Wednesday afternoon. They usually begin the Wednesday after the Brooklyn half (last week of May) and end in early August. I guess what draws me to the event is the price. It is $5 per race when you sign up for the whole series ($35), and it’s very competitive. There is also the option to sign up for each race individually ($7.50). The race is always scheduled for 7pm. They start on time for the most part, but they can be delayed for a few minutes. It’s important to note that there are no corrals. I always try to ask the people around me their target time. If it’s more conservative than mine, I move forward. If it’s faster than mine, I move back. The races tend to go on rain or shine, but if there is thunder they will cancel.

    I don’t do any specific training for the 5k. In years past, CHRC speed workouts were done on Tuesdays, but to accommodate the 5k series, they were moved to Mondays (only in the summer). This is great because we have one day to rest between hard efforts. I do the CHRC speed workouts on Mondays and they have helped improve my speed and stamina. The summer marks the beginning of marathon training. It can be hard to incorporate 5k races, but the trick is not overdo it. I switch workouts and get an extra day to fully recover. It only takes me about two days to fully recover from a hard 5k effort

    The first race of the series was extra special as it fell on my birthday and Joe B. brought along cupcakes. I had raced the Brooklyn half four days prior and was not expecting a fast time, but somehow I managed to beat my personal record. It was a nice surprise. The rest of the races were fun. A huge PR came along. Another day I almost missed the start time, but the last race of the season was the second most memorable. Many of my strava friends came from the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. Our goal was to break 19 minutes. The conditions were not ideal, hot and humid, but we tried and pushed each other. We didn’t achieve the sub 19, but we gave it our best. There are always friends cheering out on the course. In the first race it was Heather, while at the last one it was Jessie. It always makes me feel extra special when someone I know is out there cheering.

    I never place in my age group, but teammates like Brooke and Kelly do. I love to hang out at the award ceremony to witness runners of all ages receive their medals. I mingle with runners from all groups and share how our race went. The results are posted on a wall and everyone gathers anxiously to see if they placed in their age group.

    You will always find someone to make you push the pace. Aside from the price, the best part is hanging out with your crew or friends that you make on the course. There is something about suffering together that brings us closer. I don’t love the 5k, but I don’t hate it anymore either. Racing the series for two years in a row has given me the experience to race it better. I’ve learned to finish strong and have broken my personal best multiple times. So make the PPTC 5k series your best frienemy like I have.

  • Elizabeth Tromans on the Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Race

    What was your race experience like?

    Wow, this race was hot! I’ve never enjoyed a popsicle quite so much as I enjoyed the frozen goodness at the finish line of this race.

    Aside from the heat, however, I very much enjoyed the overall lively and positive atmosphere. It truly felt like a celebration, which is its purpose! I also enjoyed Jessie’s tutu, that Heather and I had matching rainbow compression socks, Bess’s commitment to the shorts rainbow by getting a new pair of shorts for a color we were missing, Mary’s enthusiastic sass in the team photo, and everyone’s overall positivity. It is such a happy coincidence to me, also, that Allison and Jessie and I always, including at this race, get assigned to the same coral and can have a laugh before setting off.

    Did CHRC help you train for/run/celebrate this race? If so, how?

    I did not train per se, but I did enjoy many a Monday Miles and Friday Five with the CHRC crew per my normal schedule! There were also the solo runs in between, which these days feel rather lonely, I must admit.

    What was your favorite thing about the race?

    My most favorite thing about this race was the shorts rainbow! Inspired by the good CHRC-ers come before, with minimal last-minute planning we managed to pull off quite the colorful spread. My second favorite thing (yes, the shorts rainbow beat this) was that we set a new world record for the largest ever Pride race, anywhere in the world. I find it quite special not only that NYC gets to claim this title, but that CHRC was a part of it.

    What was the biggest challenge about the race?

    Did I mention the heat? So sweaty…

    What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to run this race?

    Dress up! Have fun! Don’t go expecting a personal record in the dead heat of summer, but have the mindset that this race is meant to be a chance to celebrate the amazing LGBTQ+ community in New York City and around the world, so make it just that – a celebration!

  • Kelsey Drain and Brooke Shaffner on the Charlie Horse Half-Marathon Trail Run

    Kelsey: On a warm, sunny Friday afternoon, Brooke and I hopped on the train to New Jersey — a halfway point between Brooklyn and Reading, Pennsylvania. We picked up my car from my parents’ house in NJ and Brooke was an excellent co-pilot on our 2-hour drive to Reading. We were looking forward to a Memorial Day Weekend getaway that included spending a night in an Airbnb in Reading and running the Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon in Birdsboro Waters Preserve the next morning.

    Saturday was race day and the weather was perfect. I was feeling good and excited after a (surprisingly) delicious Mediterranean feast for dinner the night before and some fresh morning coffee. Brooke and I were both coming off of road half marathons (She got an amazing PR!), so we were confident in our fitness but still had some pre-race jitters about tackling new terrain.

    Once we got to the race and parked, we promptly boarded a classic yellow school bus at 8:30 a.m. with a bunch of stinky runners — it smelled overwhelmingly like sweat, sunscreen, and bug spray. The Charlie Horse half marathon is a point-to-point race, so we were all heading to the start as a pack. “Have you done this race before?” seatmates asked each other, trying to gain insight into the unique course. “You’re from Brooklyn?!?” we got asked a couple of times.

    About 200 runners toed the start line. We were all ready to cross two creeks, battle a mile of mud, and complete the course mapped as 14.2 miles long. After the start whistle blew, we ran down abandoned roads, over an old canal, across rolling hills, through multiple parks, and even through Charlie’s property. Charlie was the founder of this race 22 years ago and still plays an active part in organizing it. Brooke and I ran most of the course together, chatting on the trails and enjoying banana slices at aid stations, and we finished within minutes of each other.

    After crossing the finish line, Brooke and I were elated to reflect on the experience with new friends while everyone waited in line to rinse off all the mud with a hose. We were all insanely muddy — my back was so dirty that Brooke had to hose me down like a horse getting a bath. The water was so cold that I couldn’t catch my breath. Some very smart women in line before us even brought shampoo and soap, and we soon regretted not taking them up on their offer to share. When we got back to NJ a couple of hours later, I took one of the most refreshing showers in my 27 years of life.

    Brooke interviews Kelsey:

    BS: What was your experience with trail running before this race?

    KD: I had only done one trail race, Run the Farm in 2017, at which I had a great time! I was training for my first marathon, so was wary of pushing my speed because I wanted to stay injury-free. It was a really fun experience with the CHRC team and an awesome excuse to escape the city.

    BS: What scared you about trail running?

    KD: I was a bit worried of mis-stepping on the uneven ground and getting an injury before the start of marathon training season. I’d gained confidence and strength after Brooke and I did two training trail runs leading up to the race. Completing the trail half marathon felt like such an accomplishment, especially since Strava clocked 15 miles, but doing it without injury also felt like an achievement.

    BS: What was the actual experience like? Favorite parts? Least favorite parts?

    KD: The actual experience was really fun and felt like an adventure. I didn’t have any time goals so was just trying to have fun and take it all in. The weather made it extremely pleasant and the varying course kept my attention.
    My favorite parts were simply being in the woods getting some fresh air and talking to new people. We made a couple of pals on the course and it was really nice to chat with fellow runners. My least favorite part was definitely the mud! The whole time I was anxious about getting to the mud that I’d heard so much about on the school bus. I’m proud that I completed it, but will be satisfied if I’m never that muddy again.

    BS: What was the recovery like afterwards?

    KD: I was insanely sore for about three days. Waking up the next few mornings was painful, and I tried to embrace a little break from running afterwards to recover.

    Kelsey interviews Brooke:

    KD: You’ve run many trail races before — how did this compare?

    BS: I’d done Run the Farm (5 miles), Leatherman’s Loop (10k), and the OutdoorFest relay at Staten Island (a few 8k loops with long breaks in between). Running a trail half-marathon was my goal this year. Royals’ descriptions of the Breakneck Ridge Half-Marathon, which left some of them pretty broken, had me a little scared, but the Charlie Horse Half was a comparatively easy course and as you said above, we felt pretty good when we finished.

    The trail terrain was both easier and more varied than the Leatherman’s Loop and Run the Farm trails. It varied from rolling gravel to forest floor that wasn’t too rocky or tangled with roots. We ran about two miles on the road near the end of the race before we returned to the trails for our finish. I’d thought that this road portion would be the easiest part of the race, but it was 2 ascending miles up a never-ending hill. Typically a headphone-dependent runner, I was surprised at how quickly most of the race passed chatting with you and the other runners and enjoying the forest scenery. That 2-mile uphill road-race portion was the only part where I missed my music, but I kept chugging along slowly, not wanting to lose my momentum.

    The creeks we ran through weren’t as high as the Leatherman’s Loop creeks this year, but the mud we ran through was pretty deep and thick, and then there was the Spartan-race style mud challenge near the end where course marshals made us slither on our backs under a tree branch through a mud pit. We really needed that hose-off at the end!

    KD: How was the half marathon distance different on the trails than on the road?

    BS: Mentally, it was a lot looser. At the Brooklyn Half the weekend before, I’d focused on staying with a pacer and keeping my pace consistent. This trail half-marathon was a fun romp through the woods and of course running it with you made it more fun. I didn’t carry my phone (my only pace-tracking device) or worry about pace. Much of it was single-track, so it would have been silly to worry about pace. Navigating the terrain, chatting with people, and enjoying a beautiful day in the woods were all that occupied my mind. The beautiful scenery and changing terrain made the miles go by before I knew it.

    KD: How did you prepare for the race?

    BS: You helped me organize two really fun practice trail runs. On Easter Sunday, we took Metro North up to Cold Spring, walked from the train station to the trails, and ran the 5.5 mile Bull Hill Loop. It was pretty rocky and steep, so we had to hike-run it. Then we took Dave Gibbons’ recommendation and did our second practice trail run in Rockefeller State Preserve. On May 11th, we took LIRR to Tarrytown and caught a quick Uber to the preserve. We ran about 9 miles on the rolling gravel paths and saw baby deer and lots of sheep along the way. We lucked out on great weather for both our practice runs and our race. Being dog fanatics, we made it our equally important mission to pet ALL the happy hiking dogs! Both of our practice runs were such lovely getaways from the city. I felt like we’d gone on a little va-cay and returned to Brooklyn refreshed and restored.

    KD: Would you do this race again? Try a different trail half marathon?

    BS: It might be fun to run this race again and be the ones preparing the newbies on the school bus for the course, but there are so many trail runs out there that offer a chance to explore a new place and run through a different landscape that I think I’d like to try a different one next time.

    KD: What’s next? Ready to take on longer trail distances?

    BS: If the terrain were like Charlie Horse, I think I’d be up for a trail marathon. But first I’d like to try a different trail half, perhaps one with more elevation like the Bear Mountain Endurance Challenge, or even Breakneck Ridge, though the stories about that one still scare me!

  • Royal Race Report: Jimmy Nunciato on the Brooklyn Half

    What was your race experience like?

    Hot! “Hot” is the immediate response. Up until this race, the temperature hadn’t been too hot and I was a little thrown by the scorching sun on race day.

    Did you train for this race? If so, how?

    I didn’t follow any specific training plan for this race. However, I made sure to get in speedwork each week (thanks, BedStuy Flyers), and I usually participated in the club’s weekly long run to ensure that I kept my mileage up.

    Did you have any goals for this race? If so, what were they?

    My number one goal is always to have fun! Brooklyn was my first half ever and it’s the race that I have my current PR in, so naturally I was aiming for another PR. Spoiler alert, this was not the day unfortunately.

    Did CHRC help you train for/run/celebrate this race?

    If so, how? They sure did! To keep my mileage up, I usually participated in the club’s long run each week. I certainly celebrated with the club as well! Spumoni Gardens was a delicious reward meal after the race and it was so great to share that with fellow CHRC runners and our cheer squad.

    What was your favorite thing about the race?

    I love how CHRC showed up for this race. I believe the club had over 75 runners! It’s really exciting when we show up like that. Also, I was able to run part of this race with Meb! I passed him and NYRR President Michael Capiraso at the end of Prospect Park. Saying hello to them during the race was definitely my biggest highlight.

    What was the biggest challenge about the race?

    The heat! I was not ready for it and Ocean Parkway was definitely more sunny that I would have wanted it. Also, I always start out too fast! This is definitely something I am trying to work on.

    Would you run it again?

    Absolutely! I’m currently in the process of doing NYRR’s 5 borough series in order to obtain guaranteed entry for next year’s race.

    What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to run this race?

    Enjoy this race. It’s on our home turf so you know the course pretty well. Enjoy that run to the boardwalk and think about pizza!

  • Royal Race Report: Mary Gibbons on the Brooklyn Half

    Mary Gibbons on the Brooklyn Half 2019: or, how I defeated impending GI issues with a smile on my face:

    I didn’t sign up for the half marathon this year, only having run in once in 2016 and not enjoying it (that last 6 miles! the plodding feet! the sun!). But when a post on Facebook about a club bib being available went up, I knew I should try. My winter running had gone off the rails due to over commitments at work, and I needed something on the horizon that would keep me plodding along. I didn’t follow a particular training plan, but made sure to get to Bed-Stuy Flyers workouts with Tara as often as I could, and hit my longer runs on the weekend. I didn’t know how my pace would shake out, but I ran a sub 7 min/mil 5K in the beginning of May, so figured 1:45 was a good goal pace for this race. I have some big race plans over the summer and fall, and so was hoping that hitting 1:45 in this race I didn’t enjoy too much would set me up for a good baseline for my summer training.

    Race week was incredibly silly and fun. The most hype I’ve seen for this race in a long time – there were events by different clubs or crews every day of the week (grumble grumble David, Tara, and I went to one for free swag and came away empty handed). Pizza at Bravi Ragazzi on Putnam (shout-out to Mike Bancale!) the night before with some running friends got me jazzed for the race, and showing up for the pre-race photo with the Royals kept me in “this is fun, this is fun, I swear” mode.

    I ran the race alone, without anyone from the club, though of course we all know how crowded that course was. I kept it conservative in the first six miles, and slowly picked up speed on Ocean Parkway. I am still dumb-founded that I passed a woman running with a boot on (like, the cast things y’all) and a woman running with crutches… both in mile 2. -_____- I kept a smile on my face throughout the race, felt like I was going to go to the bathroom for about six miles, and then had gastrointestinal distress for the evening…but yea, I had a lot more fun than 2016! Oh, and I hit my goal pace. What a treat to be done and hang around the stadium with all the beautiful CHRC buds. Really, it was just a perfect running morning.

    BK half, you’re tricky and popular and I’ll probably see you again.