Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

Run as One 4 Mile Race Banner

Hey All,

My NYRR 9+1 quest continued this past weekend when I ran in the “Run as One” 4-mile race in Central Park. (2+1 down, 7 races to go!)

9+1 NYRR progress 050113

The weather was gorgeous and spirits were definitely high when I entered the park around 7:45AM. This is the first running race that my mom has ever attended and it was pretty cool having her there to support me (and hold all of my stuff – much easier than dropping things off at bag check haha).

Couch Stretch

After a short warm-up jog, I did a bit of stretching, including the infamous Couch Stretch we do quite often at CrossFit (see above). I couldn’t find a wall so made do with this oak tree. More than a few dogs were a bit peeved that I was invading their territory. While comical at the time, the more I think about it the more I realize that maybe I shouldn’t use trees to couch stretch in the future…(ick).

Run as One 4 Mile Start

One valuable lesson I learned from the Run as One 4-miler is to get to my pace corral nice and early. I always seem to squeeze into the crowd about 5 minutes before the start and unfortunately this weekend I was too late to get with my correct pace group. Speaking of crowds, there were about 7,000 runners in the race. That’s a lot of people!

Run as One 4 Mile Race Man

My mom was having some fun with my camera while she was trying to pick me out in the crowd running by. The guy above is one of the most legit runners I’ve ever seen. He puts all of us to shame – what a champ.

Run as One 4 Mile Race Kristen Henkels

I had bit of a slow start since there were so many people running shoulder-to-shoulder for the first 2 minutes of the race. Thankfully I went into the run with the goal of feeling things out and trying to find my natural pace without stressing over my splits and average pace. So while typically I would have been very frustrated that I was stuck behind some slower runners, I just let it roll of my shoulder and instead focused on finding a comfortable rhythm while enjoying the racing atmosphere.

Run as One 4 Mile Race Kristen Henkels 2

Despite relaxing my competitive spirit a bit on this run, I always make a point to give it my all and sprint through to the finish of the race. There’s always a little bit of gas left to burn in the tank at the end of the race, and I know I’m always happier after tapping that last energy reserve no matter how badly I’m hurting. Plus it’s pretty fun to pass people in the last 10 seconds, not gonna lie.

Run as One 4 Mile Race 2013

Overall, I’d say the race was a success in terms of finding a solid rhythm and gathering a few race day learnings prior to my half marathon on May 18th. I finished with an average pace of 7:51/mile which is historically a bit slower for me, but heck – I’ll take it!

Spring Blossoms in Central Park

The “Run as One” 4-miler was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday morning in Central Park with my mom, especially since everything is green and in bloom. I’m sure I’ll miss this type of weather when the humid summer months roll around. I better start hydrating now….

Forever Wandering,

– Kristen

Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

My (1-Month) Half Marathon Training Plan

Kristen Henkels running 2012

Hey All,

So as I mentioned, I spontaneously (and perhaps recklessly?) signed up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon with only about a month to train for it.  D-day is May 18th, 2013.

…What the heck was I thinking?!?

Now obviously this is not an ideal (or an intelligent) timeframe to train for a 13.1 mile race but I’m going to attempt to take a smart approach in preparing for it. After a bit of frenzied Googling I thankfully came across the following article in Men’s Health Magazine: http://news.menshealth.com/half-marathon-training/2012/11/08/. To sum it up, training for a half marathon in a 1-month timeframe is not advised, but it is possible. Here are the main points from the article:

  • Build up to a 10-mile run and add only about 10 percent volume a week.
  • In addition – focus on RECOVERY, include a strength workout twice a week, and make sure to do some stretching and foam rolling.

I crafted my 1-month half marathon training plan based on the above points and also incorporated 5 days of CrossFit training into it (I couldn’t resist – at least it’s a healthy addiction?). Stir that together with a heavy dose of mobility work and recovery et voila!:

The Fit Wanderer 1 month Half Marathon Training Plan-1

The Fit Wanderer 1 month Half Marathon Training Plan-2

I feel much more confident now that I have a plan to guide my training. The hard part is sticking to it.

For all you distance runners out there – How many weeks did you take to train for your first half marathon and do you have any advice for sticking to a training plan?

Time to hit the pavement (and the foam roller)!

Forever Wandering,

– Kristen

My (1-Month) Half Marathon Training Plan

Back in Business – CrossFit, Racing, & More

Hey All,

It’s been a long time, but The Fit Wanderer is officially back in business. I may have stopped regularly posting (shame on me), but I have definitely been busy challenging myself with new training and new goals.

CrossFit Reebok 5th Ave Split Jerk

First of all, I am officially CrossFit obsessed. I joined Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave in December of 2012 and have never looked back since. Not only have my workouts become much more dynamic and varied, but I’ve also made a ton of great friends. More on CrossFit later, but if you’re a skeptic I must say – don’t knock it until you try it. It may seem like a cult from the outside, but once you go, you know that the constant, humbling challenges and the super supportive community of CrossFitters is what makes the experience so wonderfully addicting.

NYRRlogo

NYRR 9+1 NYC Marathon Program

In other news, I’ve also decided to complete the NYRR 9+1 Program this year. Pretty much, any New York Road Runner member who completes at least 9 qualifying races and volunteers to help at one race in 2013 is eligible for guaranteed entry to the 2014 ING New York City Marathon. So far I’ve completed 1 race (Scotland Run 10K in Central Park) and also got my +1 in by volunteering as a race marshal at the More Magazine/ Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon. So obviously, there are quite a few running races in my not so distant future…and I’m pumped.

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2013

Speaking of running races, I did something very spontaneous a few weeks back. I signed up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 18th. That’s 13.1 miles – I’ve never run that far in my life! Well, there’s a first time for everything and although my training time is very limited I did put together a solid plan to get me ready for the big day. I will for sure be scheduling a few long runs in Prospect Park leading up to race day as well – those hills won’t know what hit them!

Kristen Henkels Highland Swim Club

Finally, I’ve also decided to start incorporating a bit of swimming into my weekly training – just for kicks. I was a competitive swimmer from the ages of 6-18 and I suppose I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. You can take the swimmer out of the pool, but you can never really take the pool out of the swimmer (no really, I think I still sweat out chlorine…). I plan on signing up for a few open water swims this summer, most of which will be down the Jersey Shore. However, I’ve already committed to swim the Brooklyn Bridge 1K Swim between Brooklyn and Manhattan on July 7th – so excited for this. I just need to purchase a wetsuit so most of my body does not have to come in contact with the polluted waters of the East River…

As you can see, I’ve been pretty busy the past few months and plan to keep it that way. But have no fear – I will be posting more frequently to keep you updated on all of these fun new challenges ahead of me – so stay tuned.

Forever Wandering – but back in business.

– Kristen

Back in Business – CrossFit, Racing, & More