race, Uncategorized

Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon 2018


I can’t believe it took me almost three months to get myself together and write this post. Anyway, I finally did it!

I have not planned to run such a big race as a half marathon only three months after I started running. BUT I got an invitation to run Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon 4-5 weeks before the race date. This race is a most popular half marathon in the United States, 27000 participants and it was sold out within 2 hours after the sale started in 2018.

I was not sure if I can run that distance. I did not have proper training, the longest distance in my training session was only 10k, and it was not enough time left before the race. So, I decided to reach out to my trainer for her approval. And she said, “Go for it, this is a rare chance to get the spot in such popular race.” This is how I got myself into this.

A week before the half marathon I have a 4-mile race “Japan Run” from NYRR. And most of my training was concentrating on this. Plus it was the end of the semester in my grad school, so my preparation for half marathon did not go well. The longest distance I run before race day was 14 km/8.7 miles. But I felt that I am going to be okay.

Thursday. 2 days before the race day.

This race has a fantastic pre-party (expo) in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We went together with my husband. The party located on the pier with life music (Dj and some bands), expo, photo zones, food tracks and just a big zone to relax and enjoy the Manhattan view. The atmosphere was chill. Everyone looked enjoying the party and excited about the race.

The weather forecast for race day was RAIN. But everyone hoped to the last minute that as always weather prognoses in New York would change. But of course, it did not happen this time. Only one thing I bought at the expo was New Balance Visor, and it was the best purchase for the race!

Saturday. Race day.

4.20 am – my alarm went on. I woke up quickly and was so excited before my first BIG race.

The weather was not what I dreamt about… Rainy and cold. Brrr. But what can you do? I instantly thought about Boston runners, who had the worst conditions, and small rain did not look bad anymore.

I ate oatmeal which I made overnight with frozen berries and almond milk. Got ready, I was wearing Adidas shorts, official Popular Brooklyn Half t-shirt (New Balance), Visor, Nike Pegasus 34 and old jacket (which I prepared for donation before the start).


5.15 am – my Uber arrived and took me to the start line. The driver was super nervous, that all roads were closed and he did like to go extra block to get closer to the start. But eventually, we get where.

6.00 am – I was in my corral- wave 1, corral H. It was not the best feeling waiting for the start under the rain, but it was not that bad as I thought. Around 7 am I saw a pacer from my corral – Connor, target was 1 hour 55 minutes. I asked him about the strategy, and he planned to run with even pace all distance. I liked this because I think I am struggling with negative splits. Plus, I was not sure, that I will have any energy left to push after 10 miles.

7.05 am– we start moving towards the start line.


7.20 am– I am running! YAY! Finally!

Every coach and runner ho run this half will tell you, not to go crazy in the first part of the race. I really liked how we kept our pace even around 8.46/mile during all distance. After first couple miles, we grew a little team of runners who targeted 1hour: 55 minutes finish time for this race. We had a little chat, supported each other, and controlled our mile mark time. It was a lot of fun. For my future big races, I will definitely run with pacer again.

Ok. Let’s talk a little bit about a course.

This is the map for 2018 course.


The race starts with awesome sights of the Brooklyn Museum and an easy downhill for the first half mile following by another half mile which takes you uphill towards the Grand Army Plaza, then up and down again. It is crucial not to go crazy on first miles, and just take it slow and enjoy it.


The second mile is fun, as you will running a turnaround and see all other runners who just started the race. As you look on the elevation chart, it is a little hill on the second mile, but it is nothing to worry about. It is very small, and you will barely notice it.

The biggest hill awaits you on 4.5 mile. The Prospect Park Hill is long, you can’t even see where it ends, but is not super bad! After you push yourself through this part, you’re good to go, and nothing can stop you. I was mentally preparing myself for craaazy hill, but I did not even realize that we run through it until the pacer told us “that is it, the hardest part is done!”. So, if you had a hills training in your routine and did not push yourself crazy in the beginning, you will be fine! J

The race is flat or downhill past mile 6, so you have a lot of room to play with. After you exit Prospect Park on Mile 7, you will be in Ocean Parkway all the way until the last mile of the race. Many people saying is a little boring to run this part. But for me it was perfect. Running straight (no turns), downhill, what can you else ask for PR?! It is an ideal opportunity to zone out and push your best.

After mile 11-12 I run a little bit faster when my pacer team. I was waiting for when I will hit the wall, but it was just perfect! I did not take any gels during this run. I felt energized and not hungry. I started fell hunger on the last 800 meters.


So, I pushed hard as I can and crossed the finish line with a time of 1 hour: 54 minutes! Yay! I was so happy that I run my first half-marathon without sufficient training and only after three months of running UNDER TWO HOURS. I was so proud of myself.

My husband was waiting or me at the finish line. After the race, I change my wet clothes and went home, and get a full body massage at evening. I felt pretty good on the next day. It took me about a couple of days to recover and restart my running training.

I was an amazing race and experience!

With love,

Katy Cherry.

sport, Uncategorized

Scott Jurek.

I love New York City for all opportunities it gives to everyone. This is perfect place to stay active.

When I have decided to contribute my time and energy into running, I start looking for a book I can read about it. I am this type of person, who will thoroughly dig in into something he is interested in. If I decided running, I need to know as much as I can lol. And do it the best way I can. So, scrolling through runners blogs ( specifically vegan runners blogs), I found few posts with the same book recommendation: “Eat&Run,” written by Scott Jurek- American ultramarathoner, merely a legend in runners world. You can go to Wikipedia to look up his accomplishments.

And I fell in love with this book. If you have not read it yet, you definitely should! An incredible personal story about how Scott’s career began and about his running adventures. If you love long distance and looking for new vegan recipes to your diet, you will find this book enjoyable for sure.


And I was so happy to hear that he finished his new book “Go to North” about his 46 days run to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail.   Last week scrolling my Instagram I saw the post from Scott that he is going to do a presentation of his book in New York, plus everyone who wants can join him for a free run in Central Park before the event. Yay!

It was exciting opportunity to join the legend, get inspired and motivated. I called my friend and on April 10th, 2018 we had a fantastic evening!

We had 4-mile group run and after enjoyed the presentation of the book. I just start reading it and will share with you my thought about it later.

Now I want to share pictures with you from that day.

Follow me on Instagram @katycherry.usa.

With love,

Katy Cherry.

sport, Uncategorized

Hi, world!

Hey, everyone!

Thanks for checking out my blog.

A couple of months ago I started running and fell in love with it. I tried running three years ago. I even registered for motivation in a mini 10k race in NY, but after four short training runs (4.5 km each) I stopped running at all. I did not feel that I am ready to run. And it is explainable. I have not exercised at all back when, I have not cared about my nutrition, and 4.5 km for first trainings was too much for me to take. It takes time for the person who never exercised to start loving the sport, beeing active and sticking with healthy lifestyle.


My first time in gym (2015).

Later  I started to exercise regularly in the gym with the online trainer. I did meal preparation, tried to eat healthily, but the healthy on that moment meant for me: dry and not tasty chicken breasts, minimum carbs and little veggies on the side. My motivation was to lose weight. Because as many people who moved from another country (I am originally from Russia) to the United States I gained in a first year a lot of extra weight (around 20 pounds).


Me before and after long and hard work in the gym.

The vegan diet helped me to be more energized and changed my perspective on the nutrition upside down. I was so afraid of carbs for so many years that I think I starve my body for good energy (which we can receive from quality carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta, etc). I measured each gram of carbs and protein I ate. I tried to eat waaaay to much of protein. Normal person does not need that much of protein, only 0.8 gr per 1 kg of your body weight. If you athlete 1-1.6 gr per kg will be more than enough! My life changed after switching the diet. I eat as many carbs as I want now. I am not struggling to get my protein amount because with good amount of good plant based food it is easily reachble. I feel energized all the time, my sleep is better, and my performance went up. I exercised 5-6 times in the gym.


I believe that you need to allow your self try different things in sport to stay always interested and excited. Try yoga, tennis, run, gym, box, swimming, hiking.. it is so many activities out there, and I bet you did not try some of it!


In February 2018 I felt like I am ready to do something new in sport and I decided to start running again. I am a very ambitious person who needs to have goals in every aspect of life. And with running is the same story. I already made up my mind to run a New York City Marathon in 2019. For this reason, I registered for nine races in 2018 through NYRR club and one race I will be a volunteer. This way I will have a guaranteed entry in NYC Marathon. YAY.


I want to share here my journey to NYC Marathon in 2019 and share my passion to healthy lifestyle with you. Also, I am currently study to receive a NASMA personal trainer certification. And I will be glad to share my knowledge here with you. Stay tuned.

With love,

Katy Cherry.