In sickness and in health

If my relationship with running is ANY indication of my marriage skills, the future is looking bright for me and Kyle. 

I was thisclose to throwing in the towel at multiple points this morning, and oddly enough, they were ALL before the race even started.  I’m not going to go into too detailed a description of the race, because most of my issues and battles were psychological in nature and BEFORE I even got to the starting corral. 


I took this horrendous photo of myself to (a) show you the obscene time I was up for this race (on the microwave’s clock in the background) and (b) prove how less-than-thrilled I felt.  However, since you can’t even see the clock, I’ll just tell you that I was up at 3 am (yikes!).  The other photo will help you understand WHY I was up at that time.  A bus at FOUR in the morning?!  The race started at 7 am, so I’m not sure why they felt it necessary to leave at that hour, but a $15 bus from the East side is way better than $50 cab ride from the West side, so I went with it…

When my alarm went off, I was SO confused.  It was pitch black out and I felt nothing like my awesomely perky self.  Still, I laced up like a devoted runner (fake it ‘til you make it, right?).  As I was about to head out the door, it dawned on me that walking across Central Park at 3:30 am was probably the most RIDICULOUS idea ever.  Apparently, in my delirious, half-asleep state, I thought the sun rose before 3 am.  New York is safe and all – but not THAT safe.  And since I’d rather avoid my own Jaycee Dugard incident, I decided to nix operation rape the midnight stroll idea, and go with plan B (as in bus).  Well, Kyle objected to that, too (for being such a Giuliani fan, he really has NO FAITH in NYC’s public transportation system).  Rather than take a bus, Kyle insisted on hailing me a cab (methinks he didn’t believe that I would actually take a cab if he weren’t there to witness it).  Poor guy. 

It was during all this confusion that idea to scrap the whole race first crossed my mind (there were many, though, so stay tuned).  Instead, Kyle convinced me to stick to my guns, and so off I went.  Sort of.  [insert 10 minute search for a shop that was both open and had coffee brewing]. 

A $7 cab ride later I was on the East side, black coffee in hand, boarding the bus, and bound for glory Queens.  Seeing all the other runners got me excited again, and I was glad I decided to just do tha damn thang

A brief word about the bus rollercoaster ride to the race.  AAH!  If the driver had used his microphone, I think he would have said something like “hold on for your lives people.”  But instead, we got no such warning, and suffice it to say, there was probably 5% of my coffee left in the cup when we arrived (and that’s being generous).

Not only was it still pitch black when the bus got to the starting area, but it was also 55 degrees and I was in shorts and a thin fleece.  It didn’t take long before I completely lost feeling in my feet.  I wanted to cry.  I was shivering, alone, and had nothing to do for 3 more hours before the race started.  Oh, and the coffee that was supposed to keep me warm and wake me up was all over the bus seat.  Most of the other runners went back to sleep on the ground or benches, but I was FAR too cold for that.  Instead I started thinking (read OVER thinking), which turned into a psychological show-down between my numb extremities (which wanted nothing more than to go home and go back to bed) and my barely recuperated body (which still craved cough drops on a nearly hourly basis).  Too much time to think!!!  I actually started planning how I could get home, figuring out the bus schedule, etc.  I was 99% ready to call it quits.  I started walking back to the drop off/pick up point, only to turn back around because let’s face it, I couldn’t face the idea of not even giving my body a CHANCE.  It wasn’t that I had to prove anything (I already know how I run when I’m in shape).  The truth of the matter is: You can ALWAYS find excuses to NOT do something, but if you don’t have the mental strength to look past those, you won’t ever know if you CAN.  I wanted to know that I could.  I wanted to know that the meek 1% of me that didn’t want to quit was strong enough to overpower the other 99% that was already on the bus back home.  And so I did.

Even though death sounded more appealing than the thought of removing my fleece, at 6:58, I pried the warm jacket from my body and started shaking out my legs (for the record my feet were still numb at the start of the race).  Once in the corral, it was less than 2 minutes before the race started.  At this point my head FINALLY started to clear from it’s negative fog, and the runner in me took over.  The gun fired, and I was off.


My goodies not MY goodies.   I managed to shove the entire packet of Jelly Belly’s Extreme Sport Beans in the teeny tiny pocket-flap inside my shorts (at the end of the run, I discovered they dyed my shorts lining and part of my groin green).  Hot.


This PowerBar gel got me to mile 6 no prob, at which point I started popping the green jelly beans at each mile marker.

As for the actual race, well, once it started, I really enjoyed it.  Unlike my last half marathon, this one was a breeze mentally and physically.  Both the course and my playlist were foreign to me, so I wasn’t analyzing the distance I had left, or where I was song-wise compared to where I was on previous runs, etc. The weather was perfect (after the first mile once I could feel my feet again).  Also, I had no expectations about my time, so I went at my own pace, not pushing myself too hard, and just enjoying the endorphins.  It was beautiful.  I didn’t need to psych myself into anything, I was content in the moment. 

Now I remember why I run.  If you want to know how I did.

My time was 1:42:07, with a 7:47 pace (min per mile).  :) 

And here’s the bossy playlist that you all helped me make!



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Comments (56)

  1. Megan

    Congrats on such an awesome race!! I’m sorry about the freezing-ness of the 3 hours prerace (that’s INSANE!), but I bet you’re glad you made it through now!! Congrats again.. I only wish I could run that fast!

  2. homegirlcaneat

    OH HAPPY DAAAAYS! I am so happy to hear that you overcame your bad health and kicked da sh!t out of this half marathon. I also want to let you know that I love the way you are so humble with running and not all super intense about posting your stats, calories burned, etc every time you run. It refreshing to see a homegirl just do da damn thang and report back saying you were a bo$$ the whole time. And now you can eat a feast for 13.1. The .1 could be like for someone’s arm or something. Anyways, send me some drugs if you feel like it because I am DyInG for the first time in a dorm room. Gadzooks! Okay this is turning into a paragraph because NO ONE has updated their blog for the sick homegirl to read and my google reader is actually at ZERO! Desperate times my friend! KK LOOOOVES CONGRATS AGAIN AGAIN

  3. Chocolate-Covered Katie

    Ooh, I’m always looking for new songs. Thanks for posting the playlist!! 🙂

  4. VeggieGirl

    This post makes me even happier now, after receiving your text about it – CONGRATULATIONS once again, dear Elise!! 🙂

  5. Courtney

    You are my hero! Seriously! Your time is AMAZING and you are a rock star! Go you 🙂

    I hope you got home okay and that you are taking it easy!


  6. amy

    you are an amazing runner! holy sh%%t! congrats!
    amy from los angeles

  7. Graze With Me

    Oh man, story of my life. I talk myself out of EVERYTHING I don’t feel like doing. Still working on that….

    Congrats on the awesome race! I’m sure the feeling of euphoria after completing it is amazing. Have a great day. 🙂

  8. ksgoodeats

    I don’t know what’s more impressive…that you found coffee at 3 in the morning or that AWESOME race time!! CONGRATS 🙂 Hope you refuel with mass quantities of hummus!

    PS. LOL to your green groin!

  9. julie

    dude you KILLED it I’m seriously utterly impressed by your will power. my idol forever. You should be SOOOOOOOOOO proud of yourself 🙂

    btw I’m feelin the amount of “explicit” tunes on your playlist.

    celebrate in a mayjah way today

  10. Ada

    Awesome job!! I was going to do that race but the prospect of heading to Queens at 4AM was less then thrilling. I really admire you for going through with it!

  11. taleoftwovegans

    Hooray for sticking it out and finishing that race! Seriously, all you runners are so intense – I know I’m not even human before 7AM. 😛 -Eve

  12. ellie

    Yay yay yay!!!!!!! AWESOME pace! So glad you pushed through the mental barrier and nailed it…congrats 😀 😀

  13. carolinebee

    What a saga!!!! That 3 am picture is just classic- literally I can hear you being, like, seriously….SERIOUSLY???!! Congrats Elise you freaking rocked it!

  14. lilveggiepatch

    You were flying, lady, green legs and all! You get some major props for being up so freaking early. I hope you’re already asleep.

  15. Emily

    congrats!! you totally owned that race!

  16. jenngirl

    DAYUMM even with that 3am wake up call you WORKED IT!! Congrats on an awesome time, and a bangin’ playlist!

  17. mayapamela

    Amazing willpower. Congrats on sticking to it and for having such a great race time!

  18. blueeyedheart

    Congratulations!! Awesome that you didn’t give up… I’m particularly glad to see that you made it through with both lungs intact and still inside your body. :p

    <3 <3

  19. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    Congrats Elise for doing your race, putting up a stellar time, and for having a green groin. That is uber hot.

    And the playlist…I recently downloaded about two thirds of the songs you have on yours, but I think I may kinda copy yours a bit and organize mine diff b/c I dont like the flow I’ve got on this one playlist of mine.

    And those early race mornings…yeah, that’s one thing that just blows. Why can’t races start at noon, not 8am? I dont get it. It’s not like you finish and 10am and say, oh now I have my whole day to run 17 errands and paint my living room. No, you go home and rest. If it started at noon, it would just be the same thing, only a more sane hour 🙂 My musings…

  20. broccolihut

    You are such a rock star. Way to go on the fab time!

  21. allijag

    Nice job on the race lady! I love seeing people’s playlist! It’s like a little piece of Christmas morning 🙂

  22. The Voracious Vegan

    This was such an awesome post! Really inspiring and I love your music set list, can’t wait to download some of those tunes for myself.

  23. annie

    girl…i love your blog!
    except i live all the way in sydney and it sucks when you talk about really yummy foods that i cant get over here/would cost a fortune to get sent over (and an unncessary amount of CO2).
    you are so freakin funny!!! LOVE

  24. Quinn

    Talk about a mental game! Congrats to you, and you definitely finished yours well before I finished mine yesterday!

    I’m right there with you about the cold. It was 52 in Philly yesterday and my feet were numb for the first three miles. Brrrr!

  25. Missy Maintains

    Congrats! That is an amazing pace, especially after what you went through. Definitely inspiring!

  26. Abby (Abby's VeGaN Eats)

    First time commenter! I love your blog and congrats to you and your race! I don’t think I would have had that determination!!

    Keep up the good work, I enjoy reading 🙂


  27. Angharad (Eating for England)

    Congratulations!! That sounds like the most hellacious precurser to a race I think I can imagine. There is nothing worse in the world to me than being super tired and freezing cold. Ugh. KUDOS to you for winning the mental race and pulling through.
    Also: you are SUPER FAST! Zoom! I am so very impressed at that! And thanks for sharing the playlist – I’m always searching for new songs!

  28. ethel

    E!!!!! You are deserving of WAAAAYYY more exclamations points than that, but I feel that may be overkill (aka durazo’s sn on aim) and so I opted for the 5, one of the numbers we share as a fave. CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so proud of you! And if I don’t say this enough, your blogs make my day. I smile at each witty line and imagine you’re telling me the story in person. This blog is especially inspiring to me at the moment (re: the email I sent you). Thank you for letting all us blog readers into your wonderful vegan-full life daily. You are truly inspiring and I am so grateful for opportunity to be able to get a small peek at your NYC vida.

    p.s. new running shoes para mi soon enough! besos!

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  30. elise

    youre gonna make me cry!! ethel i miss you soooo much. i wish i WERE telling you these stories in person. email to follow…

  31. elise

    so glad i stuck it out. thanks 🙂

  32. elise

    the 0.1 is like half a tub of hummus…so basically i could hit up the sabra factory and open my mouth under the machine and say BRING IT 😀

  33. elise

    mika = SUCH good running music. upbeat and super fun.

  34. elise

    i loved chatting with ya the day before. it sounds cliche, but how did i get so lucky as to find such wonderful friendships from blogging?

  35. elise

    thanks AMY!!

  36. elise

    it was a perfect day of nothingness (and football)

  37. elise

    me too!! i try to minimize mind wandering (and over thinking) by keeping myself super busy, but sometimes i cant help it…all the psycho-analysis just makes me going insane. glad there is someone else out there that has the same probz

  38. elise

    well, first of all, im not sure that the black sludge that i got could actually be considered “coffee” – it was DEFINITELY from the previous day. also, the quickie-mart place i got it was so sketch, i didnt DARE add anything. it was straight up black, the way you like it best 😉
    i guarantee i looked SOOOO shady trying to get the jelly beans from my groin while running (definitely pulled some creepy michael jackson style moves with my hands down my pants)

  39. elise

    girl, thats how i roll…im SO gangsta, haha (i think calling yourself that automatically negates the statement)

    i soooo wish you had been there.

  40. elise

    seriously, WHO decided 7 am was a normal time to start the race, and even worse, who thought shuttling people over 3 hours early was the way to go?!? i agree, no more races that involve so much pre-race stress.

  41. elise

    thanks!! (to be fair, i was only barely able to function by the time the race started – i am NOT a morning person either), but thats the best thing about running, you dont need to hold a convo, just put one foot in front of the other.

  42. elise

    thanks girl 🙂

  43. elise

    haha, TOTALLY. if i werent such a miserable grump at the time, i probably would have been thinking how great a post it was going to make…

  44. elise


  45. elise

    i thought of you at the finish, and was like, well at least i finished without hacking up my lungs. im actually coughing LESS since the run. i hope half marathons arent a new cold remedy. thats a bit too intense…

  46. elise

    ummmm, you are SPOT ON. seriously, who the eff thinks a bus shuttle at 4 am is normal. i could barely keep my eyes open last night past 9 pm. and yeah, i was back home by 10ish, but i didnt do a single errand all day, so if thats truly what others are thinking, then im not the multi-tasker/go-getter/to-do-list-aholic that they are targeting.

  47. elise

    so sweet – thank you 🙂

  48. elise

    i bet philly was a fun one, too. congrats quinn!

  49. elise

    first of all, thank you for the sweet comments. second of all, you get NO sympathy bc you live in sydney!!!! haha, just kidding. i guess vegemite isnt quite as tasty on roasted veggies as noochy hummus? thanks for reading 🙂

  50. elise

    hooray for leaving some love 🙂 thanks for reading, and thanks for the sweet feedback!

  51. elise

    ick. it was definitely the opposite of fun. i hate hate hate being cold so you are right, it wasnt exactly ideal conditions to get my head in the right place for running.

    anyways, your uplifting supportive comment means a lot to me (more than i can say in words) – so thanks 🙂

    enjoy the playlist, there are some really fun ones on there.

  52. Lara (Thinspired)

    Elie, I am just catching up on a couple of these older posts. Wow. I am so, so proud of you and so inspired. It sounds like you had a hellish start, and I admire you so much that you stuck it out. I can’t see the time on the clock in the photo, but the whole thing sounds like craziness to me and you are just a rockstar! Did you even eat breakfast? And just doing this thing is amazing, but your time is incredible!
    I am in awe. YOU ROCK!

  53. elise

    thanks lara. it was a rough beginning – and nope, i did NOT have breakfast. at least the great run made up for the nast-ay start.

  54. E

    I literally gasped when I saw your time. That’s INCREDIBLE! I tip my hat off to you.

    I ran my first one today (2h 24min) so you can appreciate how impressed I am.

  55. elise


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