Couldn’t Stand It!

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I couldn’t!

I had to register for a race! I miss them.

I need to run, so I registered for the Ted Corbitt 15k in Central Park mid-Decemeber to make myself feel better. I did the run last year and it was lovely so, you know. But I don’t want to move my marathon widget! I’ll have to figure something out to keep it showcased…

And ok – so I applied for the NYC half in March too! So sue me!

I feel a little better now 🙂


I’ve Been Lapped

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Hey, it happens when you don’t run a 5-minute mile.

This morning I ran the Grete’s Great Gallop, a half marathon put on by Fred’s Team charity. By signing on to fundraise for Fred’s Team, I gained entry to the 2014 TCS NYC marathon.

So yesterday was to be my long run, but I wasn’t feeling great and knowing I was running a half today I didn’t feel too guilty about not running yesterday.

As I ventured into the chilled air at 8:3o this morning, I ran to the start line to put in a couple extra miles as my way to make up miles from yesterday. I was feeling good, despite the windy, cool air. I dressed appropriately in my Fred’s Team long sleeve tech shirt and the Grete’s tech shirt, along with my shorts.

At the Start

At the start

I was glad I was warm when I got to the start because had to wait about 10 minutes to start. The first miles were great, but by mile three I already had to tinkle so I decided to step off at the pit stop at the trough of the Harlem Hills. Turned out there was a bit of a line, no big deal.

As I was waiting, I heard the whistle. No way! I was getting lapped already! The first runner was lapping me while I was waiting to pee at my 3.5 mile mark – but he was at his 9.5 mile!

All I could think (or say actually) was – “holy shit, that guy’s fast”. For a split second I felt inferior to his champion running abilities. I’m not sure why considering he is a professional athlete and I am far from it. It’s really more of an honor to share a course with city/state/national/international champion runners. It’s really exciting to watch the first runners go by and cheer them on!

Alas I finished, an hour and some minutes after I had been lapped. And to think, a mere four weeks until I cross that same finish line at the end of my first full marathon.

“My Mom Gave My Dad a Kidney So I Run For Love”

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That was the sign on a girl’s shirt today for the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k. That’s when I decided I finally need to pick a charity to donate my miles to. For the amount of running I do, I should be, and now I will run with a greater purpose. Yes, there are times when partial registration fees are contributed to charities, but not always. I’ve been struggling to decide which charity to run my miles for.

I know a common charity choice is some sort of scientific research around diseases like cancer, usually because loved ones had been affected by it. Totally makes sense. There is often a lot of focus on supporting children, and again – very valid. So as I ran and thought and ran and thought, and as I ran past some older runners – and by older I mean 70ish – I wondered what supports they had in their want and need to remain active. Or what about bettering our communities through building gardens or something like that? So my quest is to choose my charity in the next short while. Or maybe I’ll just have to pick a few!

I Guess I Didn’t

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So I thought I registered for the Al Gordon 4M at Prospect Park tomorrow morning. Initially I didn’t register because I thought I was going to be in San Diego visiting Alaa this week. But when I knew I couldn’t make the trip happen, I THOUGHT I registered for this run. I put in my calendar, added it my race widgets and was mentally getting myself ready for the early get-up on Saturday.

When I didn’t receive an email from NYRR to pick up my packet yesterday, I became confused… I checked my dashboard on the NYRR site and didn’t see the race on my list… I checked my email for a receipt… Not there.

Hmmmm, so I guess I didn’t register. Bummer. And it’s sold out. I guess I’ll be in charge of motivating myself to get out while the weather is 50 degrees. 🙂

Happy weekend!

Forget Waiting a Week

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Ok, so I just went a little race registration crazy on the NYRR site… But they just opened registration for April through June races and I didn’t want to miss out!! So I registered for 5 races! And two of the weekends are Saturday and Sunday races! So forget about racing on a Saturday then waiting until the following Saturday! Might as well race again the very next day! Check out my new scheduled race widgets along the left of the page…

What can I say? I get obsessed. But you already knew that…

Running in Fog…

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… is like running in a dream. You have this feeling of running in slow motion with no idea where you are headed or where the end is. Reality checks were necessary while I was running this morning. Today was the first official race of 2014 for both the NYRR and me. After a month of NYRR race hiatus, 6,000 runners gathered in Central Park for the Joe Kleinerman 10k.

I was alert the first couple of miles and managed the Harlem Hills quite nicely, but as I ran along the west side and around along Central Park South, I was in this sleepy daze due to misty and foggy conditions.

The Pond on the west side

The Pond on the west side

On the flip side, running in 93% humidity was great for my skin, nasal passages and lungs. It was like I was at the spa, in a perfectly-temperatured steam room, my skin absorbing as much moisture as it could take. After a week of lost moisture due to absurdly hot classroom conditions, I needed that humidity. I probably should have fueled up with Vitamin Water during the week to account for the excessive loss of fluids, no joke. Complete sauna in my classroom. So today I was pretty thirsty while running because of last week’s “drought”.

In any case, I may have felt more mentally in tune with this event had it not been misty or foggy, or me running in an under-hydrated state. Not making excuses – I finished in around my usual time, but man was I “foggy” morning.

Legs + Cold = Heavy Brick Legs

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Ted Corbitt 15k in Central Park this am.

West side, looking at The San Remo, light flakes at this point

West side, looking at The San Remo, light flakes at this point (mile 1/5)

  • 6 train up to 103 Street – good.
  • Walked to 102 Street entrance of park – good.
  • Baggage line – no big deal.
  • Didn’t get my usual beginning of race instagram pic because I was waiting in the bag line – fine.
  • Entered the corral area and started right away – awesome.
  • Big flakes falling from the sky – pretty (and somewhat blinding).
  • Nice run until … legs and butt became cold heavy bricks with extremely tight hip flexors! – no bueno.
  • Slight struggle to physically push myself through this stiffness for about 3 miles (miles 3-6) – big thumbs down.
  • Passed the start/finish at mile 5, sounds of Adam Levine getting his moves on – muy bueno.
  • Music faded and kept trying to extend my legs back, kick my heels up and the like – not overly helpful.
  • Mind and body back in the race around mile 7 – good.
  • Wind started to pick up back on the east side miles 7/8 – thumbs down.
  • Finished in decent time despite the minor hang ups – excellent.
Thin blanket, leaving the finish area heading back to the east side.

Thin blanket, leaving the finish area heading back to the east side.

Jingly Jog!

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Yesterday morning I participated in the NYRR Jingle Bell Jog today; my first official registered “winter” run ever.

I was a bit nervous because this was a new race condition for me. My minute amount of anxiety concerning this morning’s run was not the location or route or whether I could finish, but… clothing.

I am not new to winter running but new to winter race events.

When Brett and I lived in Edmonton we used to run in the winter a lot; running on the packed snow in our section of the river valley, on the icy stairs up to cross the Rossdale bridge, then along the caked up sidewalk back to the condo. We wouldn’t have to worry about being warm enough or getting stranded because we literally would be running immediately from the entrance and end at the entrance. No chance to get cold en route to a run or afterward, and if we were cold while running of well! It was a short distance!

So my worry for this race was – will I be warm enough? Would I get too hot during the run? I needed to travel to Prospect Park, no big deal. Done that enough times, but I was concerned about the walk from the subway to the start and then back to the subway afterward. And I didn’t want to get too hot when running either. Well, I think I planned well.

The key: simple layers and bag check.

The gear:

  • tech T-shirt
  • long-sleeved tech shirt
  • Nike Pro Dri-Fit semi-turtleneck-ish sweater
  • regular gym pants (I opted out wearing the Dri-Fit pants because it wasn’t super cold)
  • Uniqlo down jacket (squishes to fit in the clear bag check bag)
  • headband and gloves

So here’s the warmth break down:

I was warm on the way to the park. I changed into my Dri-Fit top near the bag check area then checked my bag right away.

I walked over to the start area and was comfortable. I’ve become a good judge of arriving to the start at just the right time so I only had to wait a few minutes to begin.

During the run I was comfortable on top, although my thighs and butt were a cold. I probably could have opted for the Dri-Fit pants, but I was fine. I wore my headband and gloves for 2 of the 4 miles then removed them and clipped them to my belt.

Post-run – no problem! — The bag check was just past the finish line so I went right there after collecting an apple and hot chocolate (opted out of the red and green bagels). Once I got my bag, I swapped my Dri-Fit top for my puffy jacket and headed to the subway. Perfecto!

Thankfully the rain had stopped and it was nice enough out at about -2 Celsius,  but it’s cooling down this week… Hope I’ll be warm enough for Ted Corbitt 10k next Saturday in Central Park!

Hiking vs. Running – Events From the Last Two Weekends

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I cannot say I like one more than the other because each activity is glorious in itself. The rewards different, the experiences unique. Of course logistically, running is very convenient and accessible for me, whereas hiking requires more planning and more complicated transportation plans.

Hiking overview: Lisa and I had a great time hiking at Bear Mountain last Saturday. Not only did we hike part of the Appalachian Trail (towards Georgia hahaha!), we stopped at the area’s Ocktoberfest and wandered through the Bear Mountain “zoo” with beer in hand. The weather was gorgeous considering it was the last weekend of October. Usually our weather at this time of year is quite nice, minus the last two years (Sandy last year and blizzard the previous year). This was a most enjoyable day.


The lake at Bear Mountain

Beautiful leaves!

Beautiful leaves!

"Bears and beers"

“Bears and beers”

Today’s race: Dash to the Finish Line, a warm-up to the ING NYC marathon. A little jaunt that started three blocks from my apartment (awesome), ran west on 42nd Street (awesome), up 6th Avenue to Central Park and ended at the marathon finish line of tomorrow’s marathon (fabulous). I’m pretty sure next year I will be crossing that line after venturing the 26 miles through all five boroughs. I’m driven to do it and I think I can. I have a year to prep myself mind. Oh and my body.


The Start

Running toward the finish

Running toward the finish


Walking home through the Literary Walk afterward

So what do I choose? Well you know I love running. But if I had more opportunity and willingness to seek out nearby hikes, I would probably hike more. I’ve just gotten so used to how races work, knowing what I need, etc, I’m not sure I will put in the same effort to find hikes. Unless of course they are arranged by someone else or LivingSocial again!

Bronx, You Hilly Beast

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This morning was the NYRR’s Bronx 10 mile race, one of the 5-boro race series. I’ve never done a 10-mile race, but I’m proud to say I kept my pace under the 10-minute mile I try to keep on a longer run (notice the title… and you’ll understand more when you read about the course :/).

Getting there: Had to take the 4 train up to Yankee Stadium, then walk a few minutes to the start on the other side of Joyce Kilmer Park. No big deal, the train was packed but expected that.

Walking to the start was easy. Lots of bathrooms near the start area. Great spot for bag check and easy to line up.

The Course: The race began at 164 Street on the Grand Concourse. The first three miles were a little boring because it was along the Grand Concourse heading north. Nothing special there…. minus the constant change of incline! Lots of rolling in the road, wow! The up and down was almost constant – long gradual inclines and declines – tough nonetheless! Really had to monitor my breathing.

Between miles four to six we made a turn and headed around Lehman College. More decline and incline! Despite that, it was nice because of park-like landscape. The road was a little torn up so it was important to watch our step at this point. After running through some treelined and park-like areas, I enjoyed listening to the music the DJ played as we came around the loop between miles six and seven to head back down the concourse.

The final three miles were great – this was what I was looking forward to. From miles and miles away, the Empire State Building makes its unmistakable appearance. And a little farther in the distance, the Freedom Tower. That was a cool moment. Made me feel really small and reflective, because clearly none of us realize how small we are when we stand beside such mammoth skyscrapers ahahaha, not to mention the history! The sight from such a distance was really inspiring.

So as I approached mile eight, I grabbed my one Gu pack and savored it, to fill the hunger I was starting to feel. I was looking forward to that bagel at the end. I only had another 18 minutes to run! Once I passed the mile nine sign, I pushed myself again – despite a slight incline – knowing that I had made good time.

The End: Glad NYRR kept the finish line area clear, setting the water, Gatorade, apples and bagels down the way. I do have to say, that it was a bit of bummer not receiving a medal for this run. Ten miles is no piece of cake. But…. what do you do? It’s still another bib, T-shirt and an online finisher’s “badge” to add to my collection of running memories.