What I was doing this time last year; participating in the Trenton Half Marathon 10k. We trekked it all the way to Trenton NJ for this one. It was a Black Girls Run! race stop, so the club represented with I think 700+ runners. It was a fun day, and I recorded most of the race with my flip cam…footage below. The best part of that weekend….eating at Cracker Barrel after the race! Why or why don’t we have Cracker Barrel in New York?? I’m pretty sure I was a couple weeks pregnant in this pic too.
Me in front of the hope sign a la the love sign in Philly.
Saturday I completed race 7 of 9 to qualify for the 2015 NYC Marathon. I would say this is one of the most memorable races I have done for a number of reasons. #1 It’s not often that you get to run down the middle of 42nd street #2 it was pouring down rain, #3 Having to walk a mile and a half to the start line, and then a mile after the race would make any race memorable, and #4 Getting to run through the finish of the NYC Marathon was awesome!
The Chrysler Building
This race started on 47th and 1st avenue, and ended in Central Park, on the west side somewhere near 67th street; so different stop and start locations. I parked my car somewhere kind of midway on West 54th Street so that I wouldn’t have to walk 3 miles back to the start to get to my vehicle. The walk to the start was an interesting one. The first noticeable thing we passed was this HOPE statue. It looks an awfully like the LOVE statue in Philly so I figured let me take a pic in front of this. Next landmark was the Chrysler Building. Yes living in New York I’ve seen it a thousand times, but now I have a photo memory of it to last a lifetime.
Corral line up before the start
So as we are walking I’m just thinking are we there yet? The rain coupled with the cold made this a not so fun trek to the start line. Eventually we started to see other runners heading in the same direction so I figured we must have been close. When we finally got to the start I couldn’t believe the number of runners that were there. According to NYRR there were 7,424 total finishers, but it just seemed like so many more people; possibly because we were cramped into such a small space. I’m guessing this race is pretty popular every year because it is the day before the marathon.
United States Mission
Walking to the start we passed by the United Nations. I tried to get a good selfie, but walking and trying to selfie make not for a great pic! Even walking to the start took forever. I have to say the logistics of this race were not great for the runners. I guess there was a lot of pre-walking because it was only a 5K? I’d love to know the thought process behind this.
Once the race got started we made a quick turn onto 42nd Street and it really hit me the shear number of people in this race. I mean there were bodies for miles! Seeing this made me think that doing the NYC Marathon must look something like this, but even more amplified. A lot of people who were doing the marathon the next day were in this race which was surprising since they should have been resting! There were lots of international runners and is was great to see them in such high spirits. It made the dreary day more bearable. There was though a lot of bobbing and weaving. I think a lot of people were in this one as a fun race and were taking their time with it. So I found my self running around a lot of people which I am sure added some time onto my finish.
My goal for this race was to better my pace with NYRR which was at 11:01 per mile….well mission accomplished! I’m not at 10:48 a mile…hey every second counts. Not a PR, but better than before. The finish on this one was epic! It was directly through the finish for the marathon, so I was able to get a small feeling of what it would be like for me next year. People were so excited and stopping to take pics before and after the finish….as was I! I would consider doing this one again next year, only if I haven’t completed my 9 races by then….cold weather running is not for me! 2 races to go!
Well I completed race 6 of 9 to qualify for the 2015 NYC Marathon….3 to go! I saw this question on facebook recently about drinking coffee before a race, and while a lot of people do, a whole lot more said they didn’t for a slew of reasons. I drink coffee basically every morning. I may skip a day here and there, but 9 times out of 10 I start with a cup, so race day is no different. This is me walking to the start with my obligatory McDonalds $0.99 coffee…yum! It is NYC Marathon week, and this race was the Marathon kick off 5 miler. True to my word from my last recap after the Staten Island Half I did not run one bit in 2 weeks. I mean not even a brisk mile walk. I took a much needed break from running. Partly because I was pooped, but mainly because I don’t think my body was fully recovered after having the baby….even 2.5 months later. I guess it really does take time. Now I didn’t take a working out break altogether. I still swam, and completed my first 40 mile bike ride…now that was a doosey!
I had to leave my house very early that morning to make a stop, and I had to pick up my t-shirt and bib (race number) for the race……it was freezing! So of course I threw on an extra layer and I was baking by mile 3, but I’ll get to that later. This race was very crowded, and it was sold out
NYRR doing same day registrations.
online for a while. Here is a tip a lot of people don’t know: even if a race is sold out online NYRR will still do day of registrations on site. So if your still trying to get your 9 in to qualify for the marathon and the race is sold out, come out race day and try to register in person. Don’t try this at the BK Half or any of the 5 boro races though!
People standing on line waiting for pottys.
That pre-race coffee usually leads to a pre-race need to use the bathroom. While I hate to use the port-a-pottys, sometimes it is inevitable, and due to the large amount of people the lines were so friggin long. Luckily I got there early and had enough time to wait it out.
So any ho, NYRR issues race numbers based on your best average pace per mile, mine was in the 7000s based on my 11:02 min mile average. Now I think this is great for the leisurely runner, but now that I am doing the Ironman I think it’s time to take my running more seriously; especially after taking that long walk to the 7000’s start corral.
There were the 3000s, 2000s, & 1000s that I didn’t get a pic of, but you get the gist of it. I was too pooped by the time I got to the 7000s to get a pic of the banner. So my goal for the next race is to best my 11:01 pace so that I get a better start position, and won’t have to take such a long hike to get to my start corral!
Most of my running buddies are pretty much done with their 9 races, so I was basically alone. I asked a stranger to take a pic of me and she obliged…cheese, 6th race! I did run into Deb right before the start (no pic of that!) and we chit chatted a bit. I looked at her and said “why am I doing this?” as I was freezing my buns off. I think I say that to myself before every race, because its early and I’m cranky and so not a morning person. Sometimes after a race I say I’m never doing this again (like the Staten Island Half) but often times at the end I feel that gratification of completing a task and think this is why I do this.
Not having run in 2 weeks I think I did ok. The first 2 miles were faster than the last 3. By mile 3 I was burning up and wanted to take off my sweater, but like a fool I wore a pull over and had my watch and armband fastened on top of it, so the only way I was getting it off was by stopping to walk and I didn’t want to do that. I did walk through each water station and that was the only walking I wanted to do through the race. Nike thermal gear is no joke. If it is the least bit warm out you will get hot wearing it, so I can unequivocally say that the thermal gear does its job. If the forecast is 50 or above do not wear it! I felt good the entire time. I didn’t get tired or feel fatigued at all, so I’d say that 2 week break was much needed.
All in all this wasn’t the most eventful or fun race, but it is another qualifier that is in the bag so I loved it. They did give out the large size Poland Spring water bottles at the end so that was kool…bagels and apples too. I did see quite a few of the green Poland Spring freebie gloves on the ground. I didn’t get a pair, but it was nice that they gave them out again. If your looking for a nice easy qualifier this one is for you….on to the next one!
This past Saturday I completed my 3rd of 9 races to get guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon, although I don’t know if you can really call this one a race being that it is only 1 mile! but a super fast mile at that. The race starts off on 5th Ave and 80th Street, and is a straight shoot down fifth ave for 20 city blocks and finishes up on 60th street. I guess to keep the race competitive racers start in waves with their age group. I was in the 30-34 age range so my start was at 9:30. I thought my start was at 8:30 so we ended up getting there an hour early which was perfectly ok since it gave us time to use the port-a-potties (ewwww) and pose for pics. Here’s me posing with some of the ladies from Black Girls Run.
Me and Ms. Jackie
Nashon, Me, Tarnia, & Sondra
At the start of the race my shoes were untied. Unfortunately for me I was in the middle of the street, so I had to somehow get over to the right side without getting trampled….trust me it wasn’t easy! This is like the first time ever I did not double knot my shoes….never again! Stopping during a quick mile is a no no and cost me precious time. It was ok though. I wasn’t doing this race to be a speed demon, but just to check another one off of my 9 that needed to be done. Here is my official time. Way slower than last year. I believe last year I was in the low 8 minutes. What a difference a year makes!
Speaking of last year, the photo on the left is the same race in 2013. I was done with my 9 races by then. Photo on the right is this year. Still rocking my Brooks Pure Connect sneakers….I luv these shoes and have 3 pairs of them! Once you find the right running shoe it is a good idea to stock up on them. 15lbs to go to reach my pre-pregnancy weight!
Last Saturday I completed qualifier 2 of 9 for guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon. It’s always great when you can do a race that benefits a cause and this one was for Autism. While I trucked along at my leisurely pace, it was great to see so many children persevering and getting their 4 miles done; many of whom zoomed by me along the way! It goes to show you that if you put your heart and soul into something, anything is possible. It was truly an inspiration to see.
This was my first 4 miler in a very long time, and while it wasn’t necessarily hard, it wasn’t a walk in the park either (no pun intended). The race started around 68th and 5th avenue on the east side. If you are a New Yorker, then you know parking in the city is hell especially on Saturday. There is virtually no street parking on Saturday, and parking in a garage can start at $30 and this is basically the only option available. I use the site http://nyc.bestparking.com/ to find reasonable priced parking anytime I drive into the city and it never lets me down. I was fortunate enough to find a garage that cost only $13. The only downside is it was on 67th between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, so I had about a half a mile walk to get to the race start….we’ll just call that my warm up! Oh check out my new hair do! I’ll be rocking my natural hair for a bit…..we’ll see how this goes!
Anywho, I started off the race at a ok pace for me at 12:30 a mile. Of course it’s way slower than my pre-baby mile pace, but it is good for now. As each mile progressed I could feel how out of shape I was, and in turn the miles got longer and longer. Mile 2 was a 13:17 pace, mile 3 13:45, and mile 4 14.21. Needless to say I need to get my but back out there and clock some mileage! The race finished at about 68th and West Drive which is a doosey because I parked way on the east side, so I had to walk through the park and back to my car. That added another mile to my daily take, so all in all I’d say I did between 5.5-6 miles that day.
I purchased some new wheels with the help of Corey at Brands Cycle & Fitness and was able to take her for a spin. Say hello to my new Specialized Allez….I think she is gorgeous!! I got in a 10 mile bike ride on Sunday and it felt great! Gonna slowly add more mileage weekly as I prepare for my first Duathalon in October.…Next race coming soon!