Monday, September 30, 2013

Body Mechanics Massage Review!

OHMYGOSH! How is tomorrow already October?! So many great things have happened in my family in the last 10 days. Here's how it all went down:

September 20- my sister's birthday
September 23- my twin nieces were born!
September 24- went to Philly to meet nieces and celebrated my sister and brother-in-law's wedding anniversary
September 26- my nieces were named- Josephine and Vivian!
September 27- I got engaged (on a run!)! Oh, and it was my 30th birthday!

First picture as engaged couple!

Celebrating my birthday and our engagement!

So, all that to say that I'm a BIT behind on things! Oh, and I'm racing Wineglass Half on Sunday, so have to get ready for that. It's been crazy busy, but amazing!

I started this post over a week ago and feel badly that I'm just getting around to finishing it. I hope it finally makes it up on my blog today!

I recently had the chance to go check out the newly opened Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage.

From their website:

What is Body Mechanics?

Do you want more out of your treatment than a 'spa' massage can offer in a beautiful space? Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage New York is a luxury boutique  massage clinic  in Midtown, New York specializing in:

  • Relaxation 
  • Sports massage
  • Prenatal Massage
  • TMJ  

Body Mechanics Massage New York is a client-centered experience,   We tailor our treatments to you, rather than fit you into our treatment style. We combine a spa atmosphere with advanced manual therapy for physical problem solving.

Honestly, I didn't look into them too much once I was contacted about a complimentary treatment, I just said yes! So going in, I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't spend enough time on the website to see how awesome the space looks but here are a few pictures that I took. There are also more/better pictures on their website!

The lobby and check-in/waiting area

This is one of the rooms where massages are given. 
This is where I had my massage!

There are three massage rooms (only two are pictured above) and they are all super clean and decorated really nicely. Basically, I'd like my apartment to look like this! 

Not only does the space look great, but Beret, the owner, so was nice and interested in learning about me and my running before starting the massage. She asked me some questions, we talked about previous injuries, what my training is like now and if I was currently having any issues. You could tell that she knew what she was talking about and that I'd be in good hands! 

Everyone loves massages, but you know how sometimes you get someone that doesn't really know their stuff, or is too weak, or just doesn't quite do what you're looking for? This was the BEST MASSAGE I'VE EVER HAD! Beret gave me my massage and it was incredible! It definitely wasn't as painful as a sports massage, but I didn't have to ask her to use more pressure either. It was a perfect balance between relaxing and effective. 

So if you have a big race coming up, want to relax, or need something worked out of your body, I 100% recommend Body Mechanics! It's conveniently located near Grand Central and your body will thank you!

Follow Body Mechanics on twitter at @BodyMechanicsNY

Visit the Body Mechanics website

Disclaimer: I was offered a complimentary one-hour treatment. I was not required to write a few and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Race Recap!

Last Sunday, I ran the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. This was my second year running this race, and I loved it just as much this year as last year, if not more! The mid-September date has provided awesome weather the past two years and the course is great -  a few miles downtown and then the rest is along the river.

This was my first half marathon since I ran this race last year! The past year went like this for me:

September - Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and a bunch of other races
October- trained for Philadelphia Marathon
November- ran Philadelphia Marathon!
December- sort of injured- IT band issues
January- started training for Spring halves
February- training/got injured
March- injured- 2 miles logged
April- injured- 1.5 miles logged
May- yay! I can finally run again! SLOWLY got back into it and tried not to freak out about leg
June- first race back! Leg feels great! Went to Hawaii, hardly ran this month!
July- started training for Fall halves
August- raced a 5k
September- Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and a bunch of other races

When I started training again in July, after allowing myself 2 months of easy running after injury, my coaches had their work cut out for them. At that time, a 9 minute mile felt really hard for me and I hadn't run more than a 10k since February. I had almost zero base built up. About the only thing that I had going for me was that I was excited and ready to work. But I (and they) also knew that I had to do that really careful to avoid another injury. July consisted of a few faster miles, but was mostly just easy running while building mileage. It really wasn't until August that I started doing any tempo runs or speedwork. After weeks of having crap runs, I finally started to feel like myself again and got in a few 10+ mile runs before this race.

My boyfriend, Anthony, and I were both running this race. He had to work until 5pm on Saturday, so I went down to Philly before him to get our bibs at the expo. I also met up with these Oiselle teammates!

Jill, me, Amanda and Ashley!

After the expo, I went back to the hotel to relax and took a quick nap before going to my sister's for dinner. She's about to have twin girls(!!!) so we ordered in a bunch of Italian and cheesecake. Anthony met us there for dinner then drove me back to the hotel, and we were in bed by 10pm. My kind of night! I set the alarm for 6:45am and went to sleep, so you can imagine our surprise when the hotel alarm clock went off very loudly at 5am!! Thanks to whomever stayed in that room before us and didn't turn it off. After that, I tossed and turned until our real alarm went off at 6:45am.

Anthony and I have started a few other half marathons together, but have never run the entire race with each other. I wasn't sure what we were going to do for this race either- we were prepared to run it together or separate mid-race if one person wanted to push. By Saturday, I had solidified my race plan, with the help of my coaches. I was planning to start off around PR pace (7:55) and then pick it up if I was feeling good. To be honest, and I think he'd say the same thing, I wasn't sure that Anthony had trained enough to run a PR with me. Going into this race, Anthony's half PR was 1:43:06 and mine was 1:43:23. I was torn- I wanted to run a strong race and PR, but I also wanted to run the race with Anthony, since I was the one that made him signed him up for it.

We got to the start around 7:45am and it was 50 degrees- perfect running weather! We tried to stay warm until 8am when the race started. In typical Philadelphia fashion, I messed up my Garmin before we even crossed the starting line. I did the same thing at the marathon- what is wrong with me?! So, I was trying to keep us on pace to run a PR, but my watch was off. I don't think I took that 15 seconds into account enough while we were running.

Our first 5k was 8:05 pace, which was slower than I planned on. But after that, we started to push it a bit more. We talked on and off the whole time, checked in with each other, ate some Honey Stingers, drank some water, and before we knew it, we only had a few miles left! I almost never run with anyone else and I gotta say, it did make the miles go by really quickly!

I don't know how Anthony does it, but on little training, he stuck with me the whole race! He even told me afterwards that he felt like he had some left in the tank. Maybe we should have run faster!

I will say that this was the longest half marathon I've run, in distance. For the record, I am NOT saying the course was long (I hate it when people pretend that's the reason that their time wasn't as fast). I'm saying, I (we) SUCK at running tangents! Anthony's Garmin said 13.27 at the end. Um, well that's annoying, because if we had run the tangents, our time would have been significantly faster. Oh well, hopefully I can do this better at Wineglass!

I guess the long and short of it is, we PR'd in overrunning the course, but still PR'd the half! I'm almost positive this is the first half I've negative split and it definitely felt like the easiest half I've run. I remember during the Brooklyn Half in 2012 (where my PR before this race was from) that I wanted to DIE starting around mile 9, so I'm glad I never felt horrible during this race! And I never even got sore, which was a nice surprise, since I usually can't walk down stairs the day after a half....  Thanks to Derek and Allison for making this possible!!

All in all, an awesome morning! I hope I (we?) can do this race again next year!

Next up, the 5th Ave Mile tomorrow morning and Wineglass Half two weeks from tomorrow!

Tell me: HOW DO YOU RUN TANGENTS SUCCESSFULLY?!?!?!  What's your favorite half marathon?