NYRR Bronx 10 Miler Race Recap



Not many things, other than running, will get me out of bed at 5:30 AM on a Sunday morning. Luckily the NYRR Bronx 10 Mile Race is one of my favorite NYRR races or else waking up this morning would have been ten times harder. Bo and I woke up while it was still dark outside, and spent the next 45 minute sipping coffee, eating Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread and almond butter and getting race ready.


We had to leave the house earlier than usual since neither of us wanted to brave the Pope and UN traffic and crowds while heading up to the NYRR headquarters on the UES. By 6:30 we were on the subway for the 45 minute trek up to the Bronx.  Due to the small talk we made with fellow runners, the subway ride flew by very quickly.


As soon as we exited the subway station we were greeted by brisk temperatures and sunshine. Even though we were both a bit chilly, we agreed that this was perfect race weather. Though there were more than 9,000 people running the race, New York Road Runners did a phenomenal job this morning. Bib pick up only took a few minutes and the porta potty lines moved very quickly due to the multitude of porta potties. Every volunteer was wide eyed and bushy tailed, happily pointing runners towards the start on the Grand Concourse.


At 7:50 Bo and I slid into the F corral with just enough time to stretch before the 8 AM start and choose our meeting point for the finish. Our plan was to start the race together before running our own races.


Our training has been very different lately and Bo wanted to use this as a diagnostic run while I had a very specific race plan from Jess. The goal of this race was to serve as preparation for Brooklyn RocknRoll half marathon in 13 days. Instead of trying to run a PR today, I focused on executing a race strategy in a race setting.  The goal was 7 easier paced miles followed by 3 tempo miles at the end.

bronx 10 mile course map

One of the reasons that I enjoy this race so much is because it’s very unique course. It is an out and back run that takes you through urban area of the Bronx as you run down the main street, Grand Concourse Boulevard, as well as quieter parks when the out and back diverts before turning you back towards the finish. It is also a great race to practice running hills as is ten miles worth of small, rolling hills. Nothing compares to Harlem Hill in Central Park but after the race my calves felt the combination of hills and running in the lightweight, responsive New Balance Vazee Pace. (elevation map courtesy of  Runner Girl Esq recap)

elevation map bronx 10 miler

I crossed the start line exactly at 8 AM feeling incredible. My legs felt loose after yesterday’s shake out run and the cooler temperature made me excited to run.  Unfortunately, I was so excited that I forgot to start my watch or Nike+ running app. My watch was still in tempo/lap setting which did me no good but luckily within a quarter of a mile I was able to start my Nike app.


I spent the first four miles enjoying the sites and taking in the energy of the people cheering and running around me. Once the lead runners came by I passed the time by watching the runners, hoping to spot Jess or other speedy friends sprinting by me.


I didn’t spot Jess but I did have the chance to say hello to four different blog readers who spotted me on the course! When I dropped the pace, around mile 7, I put my headphones in and jammed out to my Berlin Marathon playlist from last year. While I was certainly burnt out on the playlist a year ago, today I loved the mix of Calvin Harris, Avicci and Macklemore. bronx 10 miler

As you’ll see below, I did a good job not going out too fast and sticking roughly to our plan. My “easy” pace is closer to a 9:30 but the fact that I had enough energy in the tank to drop it to sub 9 for the finish made me feel good. After talking to Theodora and seeing the official NYRR time, I also realize that the Nike Plus app isn’t perfect and seems to be a bit generous. If we assume that and add 5-6 seconds onto each mile, then I was right in the range Jess wanted.


  • Mile 1: 9:22
  • Mile 2: 9:10
  • Mile 3: 9:12
  • Mile 4: 9:20
  • Mile 5: 9:05
  • Mile 6: 9:08
  • Mile 7: 9:15
  • Mile 8: 9:01
  • Mile 9: 9:00
  • Mile 10: 8:51

Nike Plus Avg: 9:07

NYRR: 9:14 

This race has me so excited for the five weeks of running. My plan for Brooklyn is to run with Amy and see how she’s feeling since she’s still making a return to running after having a baby. Savannah will hopefully be a PR race while San Francisco will be all about the fun with Evann, Kristine and friends!

Did you race this weekend? How’d it go? 



NYRR R-U-N 5K Race Recap

Rarely do NYC runners have the opportunity to run a race through Central Park in the evening. Often crowded with tourists and other events, most NYRR races are limited to Saturday or Sunday mornings, bright and early.  Many people took advantage of last night’s NYRR R-U-N 5k, a new socially oriented 5k race. In fact many of my favorite NYC running friends came out for the evening including Meg, Russel, Anne, Beth, Kristin, Jess and 10 Race Pace Runners! I hoped that the smaller race would mean we’d all meet before the start; but, with over 5,000 runners I barely saw anyone I knew before, during or after the race.

While the 5k was an official NYRR race it was definitely a different atmosphere than their normal races. There was music, photo booths and games entertaining runners before the 7pm start. In fact they even served sparkling cider as a fun bubbly stop next to the water on the course!

The week of the race Anne and I decided to run together, aiming to break our previous PRs which were each around an 8:45 pace. Even though I am very much a morning runner and dread hot, sticky evening runs after a day of food, I hoped that I could pull out a PR.  I ran 2.5 warm-up miles up to the park, meeting her right at the entrance to the fanfare and race craziness. The race was organized differently than normal; featuring a fun run section and typical corrals. We started as far in the front of our corral as possible, in hopes that weaving would be limited.


Right at 7pm they announced that the race path was clear and signaled the start of the race, reminding everyone to have fun and enjoy the evening. Anne nor I had a perfect method for tracking our pace as my phone died unexpectedly and her Garmin couldn’t pick up a signal even after 15 minutes of attempts.  We decided that we’d use her Garmin timer and just try to run the race as strong as possible.

The first mile went by quickly due to our rapid pace. We both thought it felt fast but we were racing a 5k afterall. Most of this mile was flat other than a gradual downhill, but due to our pace talking more than a word or two here or there was difficult. We pointed out fun running outfits and remarked at how turned around we were. The course was very different than the routes either of us typically run.  As we approached the mile marker I said that I felt like we were keeping a sub-8 pace. Ding Ding! Her clock told us that we crossed mile 1 in 7:55.

The second mile was far hillier than the first including and is where the pain started to hit. My legs felt heavy and the humidity and 80+ degree temps didn’t help. I grabbed a water at the water station hoping that something cool would help. Instead it forced me to spring to catch up to Anne and loose my groove. I kept within a few steps of her until we made it halfway up Cat Hill. Those few steps turned into about a block’s distance but I just told myself that I can do anything for another 15 minutes, the amount of time I estimated I had left. As I crossed the Mile 2 marker I tried to do math and figured that mile was around an 8:15.

Now Mile 3 is the one that had us each talking all night after the race. It seemed very long and not just because we were in pain by this point. It also seemed to deviate from the original race map shared by NYRR. I think the only time I smiled during this mile was when I saw Ali cheering near Engineers’ Gate and when I finally saw the finish line. This was the mile where I internally yelled at myself for not having my Garmin or a charged phone and for leaving my headphones at home. I needed some Taylor Swift pump up music and instead the only thing I heard was heavy breathing and fellow runners cursing the never-ending mile. Based on my final results, this mile must have been somewhere around an 8:30 which means I earned an A in positive splits and failed at negative splits.


NYRR results from race

I sprinted across the finish at exactly 26:00 (8:22 avg pace), earning a shiny new 5k PR! Huge thanks to Anne for pushing me through those first few miles and to Jess for helping me become a faster, stronger runner! 

Overall I really enjoyed this race. The fun atmosphere was a welcome change from the typical NYRR event and any race that has popsicles at the end is a win in my book! After grabbing water and a popsicle I headed back to the finish line to watch for Meg, Russell and cheer each of the runners through the finish line.


The only thing I’d change in the future is a more festive finish line, possibly including a beer sponsor. While they did there best to negotiate discounts for runners at NYC bars, most of them were nowhere near Central Park. The mix of paces and crowds made it hard to find my other friends who ran the race, especially Beth, Meghan and Kristin whom I hoped to cheer for and high five at the finish line.

Luckily a group of us, including Zoe who enjoyed her first NYRR race after moving to NYC this week, enjoyed beers at a nearby bar together.


Marathon Week Has Arrived and My NYCM Tips

It’s officially marathon week! Suddenly all the training, sweat, and preparation is culminating in an awesome week of excitement! Each day I find myself more and more excited for Sunday.

Today I had the opportunity to kick off the week with Jocelyn, Erica, and a few other local bloggers who were also selected to serve as New York Road Runner’s Social Media Reporter team for the marathon this week.

Since I’ve decided not to actively tweet or take pictures during this year’s marathon, my duties will include covering pre-marathon events such as the NYRR Five Borough Bash and the Expo.

IMG_5191 (640x478) IMG_5192 (640x478) We met uptown at the NYRR headquarters with the NYRR Social Media team this afternoon brain storming ideas and finding out more about our roles and responsibilities.  I’m looking forward to this collaboration and hope you’ll follow us on our Twitter and Facebook. NYRR is passionate about making the 2011 marathon more accessible for everyone; both athletes and spectators alike. They have some pretty amazing surprises up their sleeves for finishers too!

If you see a pony tailed girl sporting this cute shirt and smelling like Tiger Balm, there is a good chance it’s me! Please come and say hello and let me know how you’re journey is going thus far! I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people this week.

IMG_5196 (640x478) A few of the ways that the Social Media Reporter team will contribute are as follows:

  • We will be tweeting and linking to the official marathon hash tags (#nycm and #ingnycm) all week sharing information about events for runners and the public.
  • For runners, following the hash tag may help them find out the best time to attend the expo based on crowds or last minute tips.
  • On marathon day, following these hash tags will help spectators figure out the best place to watch, how to reach a certain mile spot, or see any alerts.

If there are certain topics or information you’d like the team to share, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll share it with NYRR.

When I walked through the door tonight, the week became even more real when I was greeted by this amazing good luck bouquet! My parents unfortunately can’t make the trek up from Savannah for my marathon but they are already cheering me on from afar! This was the best Halloween treat ever!

IMG_5195 (640x478)While I was shopping for my marathon fuel this evening, a fellow shopper inspired me to share a few of my “20×20 hindsight” tips for any readers who are reading the New York City Marathon. She was a bundles of nerves and had tons of questions which were second nature for me now that this is my second time running NYC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert and nor do I proclaim to be one, but having a year of experience certainly helps the pre-race nerves.

  1. As tempted as you’ll be to buy every piece of cool race clothing this week, do not change anything for marathon day. Wear an outfit you’ve completed a long run in, use the same fuel, and don’t buy new shoes! Trust me, the NYCM branded gear is really cool- after the marathon!
  2. Be sure to purchase your regular fuel early in the week, before the expo if possible. Last year I couldn’t find my favorite shot-blocks at my normal stores in the city OR at the expo. They run out of many items early in the week. Also, be careful about testing out fuel with caffeine if you haven’t used caffeinated fuel during training. This can affect some people’s stomachs.
  3. The expo lines can get very long, especially after work and on Saturday. If there is anyway you can go during the week the lines will be far shorter. Following #nycm or #ingnycm for line updates throughout the week. If you HAVE to go on Saturday then do your best to get there right when the expo opens.
  4. You are not guaranteed a NYCM race shirt in your requested size. Therefore, see my above tip in order to avoid lines and get your preferred size. The earlier in the week you go, the better chance you have of getting your perfect size.
  5. Be sure to bring your driver’s license or passport to the expo. Last year they were quite strict, even with me who had a name change due to my marriage. If you’ve recently had a name change, bring documentation.
  6. If you’re taking the ferry, I promise they want you to race on Sunday. It is a public ferry and therefore, as long as there is space, they can’t refuse you access. While it’s probably smarter to go at your “registered time” it isn’t required. But, DO NOT WAIT too late! Keep in mind that after you take the ferry you still have to take a bus to the starting area.


7. The ferry and starting area are cold. Even if it is 60 degrees there will still be wind whipping. Double the amount of throwaway clothes you’ve planned to use and throw in some magazines to read while you wait. I highly recommend pastel fleece robes from your local drugstore. They are equally sexy as they are warm.



8. Last year, they let people wait in the ferry terminal, on the Staten Island side, until 9:15. This was the perfect place to stay warm and use the bathroom instead of heading straight out into the elements.

9.THEY DO CLOSE THE CORRALS. If you don’t believe me, and think you can just meander into your 10:10 corral at 10:15, read Leslie’s recap from last year. She missed her call time because we were too busy talking to hear the loud speaker. I suggest heading towards the corral entrance 20 minutes before your corral closing time, which is normally 20-30 minutes before your start.


10. If you’re friends or family want to watch you along 1st Avenue, I highly recommend strategically placing them as far north as possible. When you leave the bridge you will most likely be greeted by amazing spectators. But, between mile 19-21 it gets pretty quiet. This will give you ample opportunity to find them, grab some fuel or water from them, and keep running with less than a 10k left.

11. Jack Rabbit has an awesome tool which can help your spectator friends figure out when to head out to greet you along the course, based on your pace. Also, ensure they choose very specific locations such as intersection of 1st Avenue and 101st street on the left side of the street near McDonalds. (I have no clue if there is a McDonald’s there but you get my drift.)

12. It truly does take an hour to exit Central Park after finishing. While checking a bag is a pain and something I never recommend, figure out a plan to stay warm during this time. Some people grabbed hoodies from family members during the last mile while other grabbed an extra finisher’s foil.

13. Have fun and smile because you’re going to have a blast running the New York City Marathon!


If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer please leave a comment and I’ll answer it this week.