Best. Weekend. Ever.
Best. Race. Ever.
I’m pretty much on cloud nine right now.
The MORE/FITNESS half-marathon today in Central Park really was phenomenal. It was well-organized, clearly marked and stress-free. Not to mention the weather was absolutely gorgeous! Perfect running weather for a perfect first half.
But let’s rewind a bit.
I woke up bright and early this morning at 5:00 to fuel up for the race and give myself plenty of time to go to the bathroom before jetting off to the starting line.
For breakfast, I gnawed on half of a huge cinnamon-raisin bagel with peanut butter and a sliced banana on top. Yum! I enjoyed some water on the side, as I’m not a coffee-drinker. I spent the rest of the morning getting ready, catching up on blogs and having fun with my camera.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what I’m wearing, I realized this morning that it’s all Nike: my sneaks are Nike LunarGlide +2′s, and all of my clothing is Nike — sports bra, T-shirt, long-sleeved top, capris and socks. Maybe they’ll sponsor me next time?
Anyway, Nina and I headed out to grab the N train to Central Park, then made our way to my grey corral. Before parting ways, we made sure everyone had their necessary belongings, including the sign she made me!
Standing around all of the people with cameras prompted a quick pre-race photo shoot outside of the corral.
Nina gave me a quick hug goodbye and good luck, then made her way out to mile three, where we planned on seeing each other first. I moved into the corral and waited for the gun to sound. Before I knew it, we were off and running!
The first few miles zoomed by and I saw Nina at mile three sooner than I expected. I planned on walking a little around mile five, but never needed to. In fact, I didn’t walk at all! I ran the entire race, stopping briefly to chug down water three times at the water stations. I haven’t mastered the “run while drinking” trick yet — I tried it at the first stop, but ended up dumping nearly the entire thing down the front of my shirt. Whoops!
I had one ear bud in to listen to my iPod, but ended up zoning out a lot. Occasionally, I tuned into a song I really enjoyed, but I spent most of the race paying attention to how awesome my body felt and soaking in the scenery. Seriously, running in Central Park is amazing.
I drank water for most of the race, choosing Gatorade only twice because it made my stomach feel a little funky. I popped in a Clif shot blok at mile six and another one right before mile 12. Once I saw that 12-mile marker, I high-tailed it to the end. I finished my last mile at a 9:10 pace, crossing the finish line at 2:16:02! I finished in 3,725th place out of more than 10,000 runners, and 378th out of my age group of 20-24-year-old women
They gave me this awesome medal at the end, too.
Just so you know, I met all three of the goals that I set for myself when I signed up for this race:
- Train the best you can without getting an injury.
- Finish the race.
- Cross the finish line before 2:30:00.
The sponsors had a festival at the end of the race, so I met up with Nina there and roamed around the various tents in an attempt to shake out the pain that hit my legs after I stopped running.
I also met up with my old boss, FITNESS editor-in-chief Betty Wong, and chatted about the race for a bit.
By then I was starving, so Nina and I headed out and grabbed some lunch at a random diner. I can’t remember the name, but I had a Santa Fe wrap: grilled chicken, roasted peppers and veggies on a whole wheat wrap.
I was craving something sweet after, so Nina and I searched for a Pinkberry for some fro-yo. Instead, we stumbled upon a 16 Handles. I’ve heard great things about this place, so we opted for it instead. We were impressed! I had a medium mix of peanut butter, chocolate and berry medley with an assortment of fruit, brownie bites and Reese’s Pieces on top.
It hit the spot.
Now I’m back at Nina’s apartment, relaxing for another hour or so before I have to catch a bus back to upstate New York. I’m still on cloud nine, so I’m not sure how much homework I’m going to get finished. But hey, at least I have a shiny medal. Don’t be surprised if I sport it all week long.
Did anyone else run the race this weekend? What did you think?