Race Thoughts: New York City 18 Mile Marathon Tune-Up

This race is feared by many and rightfully so. This race is held each year in mid-September, mainly as a tune-up race for NYC Marathon, but the pre-race announcers always say, “If you can get through this race today, you will be able to run any of the fall marathons!” (photo credit)

I heard that four years ago, and set off into the race as a novice, never having raced more than one half marathon. I did not like the race. I walked through water stops. The three loops would never end.

And the second year, it got better. Like 20 minutes better. And the 3rd year? I was looking forward to it. And ended up running 25+ minutes better.

And this year? Saw it as a job. Got it done, and ran 30+minutes better than my first time running it. 

Something about those 3 loops in Central Park on that particular raceday makes it achievable and almost desirable. I don’t think mentally I could get through 3 CP loops without the support and camaraderie that this race brings. I come raceday ready to make those three loops mine, and we NYC runners have such an advantage since we train there every single week! Harlem hills got nothin’ on me!

As you may or may not know, I’m training to run sub 3:20 at Philly this upcoming November (what, eek, ahhh!). The average pace for a 3:20 marathon is 7:38 so I’ve been keeping that time as sort of a benchmark, obviously I’d like to be under it as much as I can be.

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Mile 1 was so clogged and I thought I would come in faster than 8:30 pace so when I saw that, I got nervous, and booked it. Probably not the smartest move, but mentally I needed to kick my butt into gear so I wouldn’t get stuck. 7:18 pace for mile 2 was a bit aggressive. Live and learn!

The overall average pace ended up becoming 7:39 which I was super happy about since it’s really close to 7:38/MGP! My second loop was my fastest, regarding average pace, yet I felt the worst during that lap.

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Race Itinerary

5am – wake up, get dressed

5:30am – eat banana + make Gen Ucan bottle to bring with –> (Mix 10 oz of cold water with 1 scoop of Gen Ucan – I used Chocolate Protein enhanced)

5:45am – get on subway

6:15am – arrive in CP, use bathroom

6:30am – drink Gen Ucan, bathroom #2

6:45am – jog to warm up and get in corral

7am – race start!

During Race Fuel

I had only packed one gel (my new obsession is Gu’s Salted Caramel!) so at mile 3 I quickly grabbed a random Power Bar Gel from the ones that they were giving out. I took that Power Bar Gel at mile 7 (Berry Blast) and I liked that it had caffeine in it but it’s consistency was too liquid-y for me (I guess that helped it go down quicker though) and the flavor was very very potent.

At mile 13 I took most of my salted caramel gel.

Despite having taken the Gen Ucan beforehand, I definitely wanted to supplement my energy with the gels. I would rather be overly fueled than not fueled enough.

I feel happy with my training so far and still have 9.5 weeks until Philly and 6.5 until New York! I’m staying injury free and hope to keep it that way by ramping up my protein intake and strength training.

How is your training going?

How many weeks until your race?!

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New York Fashion Week x Fitness!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok

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Fashion week is always an interesting time in New York. And for me in particular, what I was doing this week versus what I was doing four years ago? Completely different.

I remember having one job during Fashion’s Night Out 2010 where I was instructed to stand on a glass box, in six inch heels, for four hours in a window display in Soho’s Guess by Marciano store. I don’t remember having a good time, I don’t remember feeling great, I do remember my feet hurting like hell though.

Flash forward four years, I had no idea that opportunities like the one I had this week would exist. Reebok teamed up with Cyc (a spin studio here in NYC) and set up a runway lined with spin bikes in their store! It was great being on the other side of things and getting to experience a celebration of fitness, health, fashion and community.

The event was held at the Reebok Fithub in Union Square which is such a cool space – their whole idea is that you can shop and sweat at the same time so they often hold events and classes in their store! Reebok partnered with Burn This – a community based fitness app – and Cyc to make this event happen. It was such a cool experience!

Reebok was debuting their Spring 2015 line and the looks were stunning and made me want basically every single piece from the collection! Can’t wait for it to be Spring already!

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I was in LOVE with this jacket.

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We were even given a new pair of their ZQuick sneaks which are beautiful! I’m obsessed with the mesh netting on the sides. Definitely fashion week approved kicks, if you ask me!

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They’re super lightweight so I wouldn’t substitute them as running sneakers but I would definitely wear them to the gym for cross training or lifting. They are also going to be my new spin sneaks because I don’t own clip in spin shoes! We were also sent a sports bra, top and crops. I love the pattern of the bra!

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I’ve tried on their longer version of leggings which I love! They fit me perfectly despite my height (I’m basically 6 feet tall). Basically because at times I’m in denial. :)

And finally, caught being on my phone. Just doing my job, right?! And I promise class hadn’t started yet..! (insert crying from laughing emoji…)

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Photo Credit

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Want to hear my interview?

Hey people of the world!
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A reminder coming from me to you! We are one week away from the launch of Get Fit!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should read my post from last Wednesday!

My interview is all about body image and the messed up realities of the modeling world. Luckily I was able to come out much stronger a person than going in and marathon running was a huge step in the right direction for me!

Sign up with your email to get notified of my interview release here: http://www.getfitvirtualevent.com/michelleroos

Hope to have you guys join along in this journey!

Xo,
Michelle

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Energizer Bunny Fuel

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Last Friday, I possibly had one of my best long runs..ever.

And it definitely wasn’t because I ate well before. I actually didn’t even eat lunch the day before – I was working straight from 8am til 7pm. During this time all I had had was a bagel with butter and two bananas.

I had missed my workout with josh at 630pm because I couldn’t leave. And so when I finally got off work, I was frustrated and almost past the point of hungry.

I knew I had to wake up the next morning at 5 to run 17 miles so my optimism was basically nonexistent.

I found myself sitting alone at a newly opened Italian restaurant on my street with an entire buratta and prosciutto appetizer, followed by meatballs and spaghetti, for myself.

I had already given up on the run for that day – was supposed to be one of my main runs of the week – and was going to finish my nice dinner, go home, grab a beer and pack for my weekend upstate with my bf, who I hadn’t seen in 6 weeks.

As soon as I was five bites into my main course, I get a text.

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I didn’t know whether to cry or just finish my dinner or leave.

I grabbed my dinner to go, paid my bill, hurried home and changed. Out the door, with an entire ball of buratta sitting in my stomach, and a 10k later I was finding myself with only about 8 hours until I had to wake up again and run 17 miles.

we do this because we love it, right? Haha boy was this day testing me!

And energizer bunny who?

I woke up with about 6 hours of sleep 30 minutes prior to my run. I had just bought a Generation Ucan single serve packet that week and was excited to try it out.

Lora (@lvrunsnyc) has been a fan-bassador for years so it was only a matter of time I tried some, and I had been meaning to, but never made enough effort to find it in NYC.

I had the protein enhanced chocolate pack with about 10oz of water 30 minutes before my run. No food.

The only other supplement I took was a salted caramel Gu at mile 11.5 and I don’t even know if I would have needed it. I wanted to be on the safe side since I hadn’t eaten, slept or hydrated well.

I can say this honestly that I don’t think I’ve ever felt this great on a long run.

I can’t wait to use Gen Ucan again this week and start using it on a regular basis. I can only imagine how great I’ll feel in races!

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Have you ever had Gen Ucan?
What is your favorite pre run fuel? Does it change on race day?

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Special Announcement…I’m a Get Fit Virtual Summit Speaker!

Hi lovely people!

Earlier in July I was asked to be a speaker for a fitness series. At first, I was a little shocked and then I was really excited and intrigued! Needless to say, I accepted and was given some more information.

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Dawn Berube  (@dawnberube) is hosting this event. She is an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, running and swimming coach  and meditation instructor (and all around inspiring and amazing woman!!) I can tell she is such a wonderful and charming person just from a few minutes together on our Google Hangout. Her story is quite remarkable. As a young adult, Dawn was a victim of sexual abuse and this incident resulted in her spiraling into a negative and unhealthy lifestyle. One day she decided to take hold of her life and fitness was the vehicle that transported her life from unhealthy and destructive to empowered and in control.

My story focuses on a stage in my life where the aspects I consider to mean fitness were not in balance. I attempted to balance two conflicting passions, both requiring drastically separate ways of life. Modeling and running can go hand in hand — but for me, it forced me into an unhealthy state of mind, creating the belief that because I wasn’t a specific size, I wasn’t “good enough.” We all know what happens when a teenage girl hears this. Luckily, I never had an ED but I definitely was toeing a fine line. I wrote an initial blog post a few years ago that goes more into my story about going from being a runner to a model and back to a runner.

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Dawn has invited 21 guest experts to chat with her and be co-hosts of sorts in this 21 day Get Fit Virtual Event. She wants everyone to know that you can accomplish *ANYTHING* if you are fit in your body, mind and your spirit. Each interview is about 30 minutes long and I’m sure you will be blown away by the inspiring stories you will hear from her other speakers. And basically, each day a new person’s interview will be released so you can get inspiration from wherever you are!

For me, fitness means being fit and in control in all of those aspects. It means being able to balance your life in such a way that allows you to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you on an everyday basis. It isn’t just being able to run well, lift excessive amounts of weights, or bike really fast. It’s the combination of mental, physical, social fitness that really creates fitness for me. When I was modeling, these aspects were never in balance. Now, I’m sort of at the extreme opposite end of things — running marathons — and while this a very intense form of exercise/fitness, at least I prioritize the most important things in my life when I’m in training (getting enough sleep, eating well, giving my body the nutrients and vitamins it needs, etc). I’m focusing on making my body as capable, powerful, and strong as possible to achieve my goals, rather than starve myself of confidence and self-worth to try and meet the needs of a silly tape measure.

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Dawn’s message? Get fit. Be empowered. Achieve your goals.

So whether you are interested in transforming your life, hearing more of my story, or just want to know more about getting fit, please sign up here with your email. The virtual summit is completely free — you will be notified via email when my interview will be released!

The event kicks off September 10th and runs through the end of the month! Hope you stick around for an inspiring 3 weeks!

 

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*please note that this event is completely free and none of the speakers received any compensation for this event*

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First Day of Training and Goal Setting!

IMG_5888.PNGToday is a special day! Not only is it Monday, it is also the first day of my Philadelphia Marathon training!

This training is 14 weeks long and will be tougher, more voluminous and longer than my training plan last fall. I’ll be teaming up with Josh – Speedy Sasquatch – again to try and beat my time from Marine Corps Marathon…

The facts….

· At Marine Corps Marathon (my 4th marathon) I ran a PR of 15+ minutes and it remains my current PR (3:26).

· I ran two marathons last year with 6 weeks apart, first time ever doing that! (Marine Corps Marathon and California International Marathon)

· This year, I’m running NYC and Philly (3 weeks apart only!). NYC this year also because my sister and I deferred our cancelled 2012 race until this year!

· Philadelphia is super special this year because my friend is running her first marathon! We will be going down together and I love that it will be her first (it was my first marathon in 2011!).
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· I will be trying to go sub 3:20 at Philly (ahhhh!). This is a 40+ minute difference between my time goal in Philly 2011! In 2011 I was hoping to break 4 hours and ended up with 3:42.

I have made this cute little post-it reminder on my desk so that the number 3:20 is always on my mind! (Idea stolen from Mary who impressively ran a 3:08 at Boston this year!!!) Hoping somehow that post it notes and PRs are related…Add in a bit of hard work, obviously ;)
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The reason behind setting this goal was pretty arbitrary… I am basically just interested in testing my limits and I feel like running sub 3:20 is something I absolutely never thought was possible. Ask me that two years ago and I would have laughed in your face. That’s what is so incredible about the human body and mind. It takes an intense amount of physical and mental dedication and I am hoping that I can muster up enough on all fronts to make this goal a reality!

Everyone who is already training – KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! And can’t wait to follow everyone’s training updates!

What are you training for? How is it going?

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Yoga Styles Gone Running! Onzie Apparel

IMG_5440.JPGThe first time I saw the solar system printed crops I knew they had to be mine! They belong to a company called Onzie who specializes in yoga clothing so I was tempted to figure out whether these amazing yoga pieces could be translated to running apparel as well. They were sweet enough to let me test out two products: the spin crop and the elastic bra.

First off the spin crop.
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Amazing structure to the pants. The seams feel very sturdy and well crafted. Size wise, I’m normally a 6/8 (lululemon) or medium (Gap, Brooks, Nike etc) so I was suggested to order the S/M at Onzie. I definitely think this was the right size because they had enough tightness/compression without being restrictive (or feeling like they were going to tear (god forbid!).

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I’m also unusually tall (about 6 feet tall) so I was a bit nervous about the fit of the crops. They are designed to fall right below the knee, which I found to be true so that was a plus! The material is mesh and adds a bit more flare to them. I think their other crops would be even longer so I think that’s where my next purchase is going in the pants department!
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And I tested them out during spin, yoga and also during a run. How amazing are they in this black-lit room? Solar system to the extreme! I’m obsessed. They were amazing for yoga, as running. Overall definitely recommend them only would make them a *little* bit longer, but I know I’m one special case, so for the average height they should be perfect-o!

Secondly, the elastic bra top.

Holy amazing back detail. How can you not just want to wear this and only this? It fits snug but not too tight. What I mean is that you won’t be worried it’s going anywhere, but doesn’t cut off circulation or leave crazy marks. Wore this during yoga (check plus!) and running (check plus!). Perfect for both. If it were acceptable to wear this in the day I totally would but in the meantime I’ll have to wear It with some flowy tops or cut out back tops!
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I would definitely consider getting the all black one to wear on a more frequent basis, but I LOVED the detail and pattern combination of this specific print. So fun!
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And I also love how it combos with the solar system pants! Too much fun. Definitely was the highlight of my workout those days (guilty!).
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Have you tried Onzie? What are your favorite pieces? What’s your favorite print from their crazy awesome options?

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