Category Archives: Central Park

Colon Cancer Challenge 15K Race Recap & Fit Four Gloves Winner

This morning I woke up and headed to Central Park for my very first race this year: The NYRR Colon Cancer Challenge 15K. I have a much lighter race schedule this year than last in order to try to stay healthy for the NYC Marathon this fall. I was excited for this one for several reasons 1) it was my first 2013 race 2) I ran with my sister and 3) this was the first time I ran a 15K distance (9.3 miles). Plus, the weather was beautiful and sunny.

Central Park on race morning

Central Park on race morning

There were three events happening this morning: 1.7 mile walk, 4 mile run and 9.3 mile run plus a festival to increase awareness of colorecta cancer. They even had a giant inflatable colon at the festival that you could walk though. I really liked that this race was in support of this organization and helps to increase awareness.

Colon Cancer shirt and bib

Colon Cancer race shirt and bib

The race:

The race itself was held in Central Park and was almost two full loops of the lower loop (excluded the Harlem hills.. to my relief!). I typically am not the biggest ran of races where you repeat loops but today it didn’t bother me for some reason, although I would have preferred a route where this didn’t happen. I have also never ran a 15K distance before so this was different for me, I’m not used to stopping my runs mid-mile!

At the race start there was a bit of a bottleneck before it opened up, which is always annoying for a runner. We were basically fast walking at the start but once everyone spread out there was plenty of room on the rest of the course so it wasn’t a huge deal. There seemed to also be a good deal of people cheering on the sides which I always appreciate a bunch.

Approaching the finishline in pink and blue :)

Approaching the finishline in pink and blue :) As you can tell, I’m obsessed with my blue capris, I promise I wash them in between each wear!

The hills of Central Park came out to play for sure. I haven’t run there in a while so I didn’t even think of it, but the rolling hills of the West side are, in my opinion, are always the toughest. My legs are certainly going to be sort tomorrow, the quads got a workout!

Luckily, I felt pretty good for most of the race and my breathing did settle in. My sister ran at a nice pace which pushed me to pick up mine to more than I have been running, plus I wanted someone to chat with during the race so we stayed together for most of it. I didn’t have any foot pain (yay) but my knee was a little tweaky (is that even a word?). Still, its not awful and the French toast bagels at the finishline made everything all better :)

I ended up finishing 9.3 miles in 1:25 (9:11/mile) which I’m happy with since I did it without too many body parts hurting me.

Recovering after the finish.

Recovering after the finish.

Pros:

  • Beautiful weather: sunshine, nice temperature
  • The distance. I never ran a 15K before but its a nice distance below a half marathon. Since I’ll be running the Nike Half in a two weeks, this was a nice training run
  • Besides the bottleneck at the start, the runners spread out quickly for the rest of the race.
  • French toast bagels at the race finish

Cons:

  • The double loop course wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t horrible either.
  • Short bottleneck at the start of the race.

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Lastly, the winner of the Fit Four Gloves giveaway is….

Jill Snethen

Congratulations Jill! Contact me at runlikeagrlmegan [at] gmail [dot] com within 48 hours so I can get these gloves to you!

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Also, I *may* be switching my blog over to self-hosted this week so if you get error messages or things look funny, that’s why. I’ll tweet updates if that happens!

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Did you run this weekend? How did you do?
What is your next upcoming race?

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Filed under Central Park, giveaway, race photos, race recap, race review, races

Last Race of 2012: NYC Runs Ekiden Relay

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The weekend before I went to Vermont, I ran my very last race of the year: the NYCRuns Ekiden Relay. What the heck does “Ekiden” mean, you ask? Well, the Ekiden originated in Japan a long long time before I was born (I don’t do dates). “The original concept of the race hearkens back to Japan’s old communication and transportation system in which stations were posted at intervals along the road. In the race, each runner on a team runs the distance from one “station” to the next, and then hands off a cloth sash, or tasuki, to the next runner.”

Now, during our race there were 4 people and we just ran in Central Park, not to replace a transportation system. But, we did pass off a sash to each other! I ran this race with my RTB Relay van-mate’s Alex and BLC, and Kasandra. Our team looked good if I don’t say so myself…

Freezing our butts off.

Freezing our butts off, but having fun!

The race was held in Central Park on a super cold and rainy morning. Luckily it was more of a misty rain while we ran so we missed out on any heavy downpour. And we all brought coats and warm clothes to wear in between legs. Of course, I overpacked as usual but I have to say I was very warm! The race was divided into four legs: 3.4 miles, 5 miles, 6.1 miles, and 1.7 miles. A lot of the runners that showed up were pretty intense looking and ended up being incredibly fast. Our goal was just to have fun but we enjoyed watching all the super speedy runners.

Start/Finish line

Start/Finish line

BLC was first and, despite not having run since the RTB Relay in October, went out and rocked his leg! Next was Kasandra with her 5 mile run. While she was out, Alex BLC and I had some time to chat about this relay and re-live some memories from the RTB Relay. As Kasandra was out and I started to get ready, I realized that my feet were absolutely freezing in my shoes and felt like lead. It was one of those situations where you can barely feel your toes. At this point, I couldn’t wait for Kasandra to come just to run to get my body warm!

Hanging out with Alex before my run!

Hanging out with Alex before my run!

One big mistake I made during this race was forgetting my inhaler. Runs are SO much more difficulty when I forget to take it beforehand, and this was no exception. Despite this, I was so happy when Kasandra came into the finish area and handed off the green sash to me.. I was up for my 6.1 mile leg and for some warmth!

It was a tough run because my breathing was more labored than usual but luckily I run the full CP loop often and am familiar with the elevation grades. As I made my way around, there weren’t too many other runners since it was a smaller race and since runners were spread out across different legs. But since its CP there were still tons of non-racing runners out there to keep me motivated. I did my usual “pick a person to beat” game during my leg which always helps me keep pace, plus its fun to run past people (no matter how much you try to deny it, everyone loves this feeling!).

Here I come to the finish!

Here I come to the finish!

Eventually I came around to the finish line and saw Alex in the distance ready to start her leg!

Happy to see Alex in the distance!

Happy to see Alex in the distance!

The official finish time for my leg was: 53:27 (8:55/mile). After I finished Alex took off for her speedy 1.7 mile leg. Our team’s final finish time was: 2:37.05 (9:42/mile). Overall, we had a great time running, catching up and hanging out, and laughing about Alex’s in-between legs outfit. I enjoyed the way the legs were divided and thought in general everything went very smoothly with the organization.

Although we had a great time, I do have some critiques. Unfortunately, there was also no aid stations along the course so I had to carry my water bottle, which is never my favorite thing to do by any means. Maybe next year they will have some water set up (please, please, please!). Also, although its the tradition, I really didn’t like the sash because it kept falling off and eventually I had to squeeze it into my iFitness belt. Too much fussing.

This was my second relay and, while much different from the RTB Relay, it was lots of fun. I’m definitely a relay type of girl :)

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What was the last race/event you participated in this year?
Have you ever run a relay?

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Filed under Central Park, race photos, race recap, race review, races

Three Things Thursday

I’ve decided to bring back my super fun Three Things Thursday posts! Oh, you didn’t even realize they were gone? Well I did and I’m taking it old school today. I have lots to tell you all and this post is always the best way to do it. And I miss making lists, or at least the super organized girl somewhere inside of me does. So here it goes…

Thursday

1. First of all, I have some BIG news. I have officially finished my fieldwork (basically, that’s another word for clinicals) and am one licensing exam away from being an official occupational therapist! After 20+ years of school including one tough grad school program and I am finally done, except for the big exam. I am so happy I can’t even put into words. I had some great fieldwork affiliations that I am very thankful for, but its exciting to be one step away from getting my first job. I feel like I am definitely ready for it. Yay!

After graduation! Now I can finally really celebrate

After graduation in May! Now I can finally really celebrate

2. Running! I haven’t updated you guys lately about my weekly running even though I’ve done race recaps. I wasn’t running too much while I was finishing up fieldwork but this week I’ve been getting out there much more. In fact, today I’ll be joining Katherine for the Pushcart Coffee Running Club that she is involved with. It should be fun and I always need that extra push to keep up during the winter months–running with people should help!

I also had a nice easy run in Central Park on Tuesday with Jen, on the warmest day I’ve ever experienced in December.

Central Park on an unseasonably warm day

Central Park on an unseasonably warm day

The park was beautiful that morning, as it always is. I never ever get sick of running Central Park, it always amazes me. So we ran a few loops of the reservoir before running to a brunch spot on the UWS for some food (~4.1 miles). We went to a vegan restaurant which was exciting. It always interesting how they combine food to make up for not including meat. We shared delicious chickpea fries and I had a mushroom/veggie sandwich. We also shared vegan desserts, and I have to say while I wasn’t sure what to expect… the cookies rocked!

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Mushroom sandwich and chickpea fries! Delicious

3. I am running another relay: The NYC Runs Ekiden. No, this one isn’t 200 miles and doesn’t involve sleeping in a van like my last relay. But it should be just as fun! Actually, two of my teammates from the RTB Relay are on the team: Alex and her husband (BLC). We had such a great time in our van we decided to keep the relay fun going. Alex, BLC, and our other awesome teammate Kasandra met up last night for some pre-race gelato and just to hang out.

Relay Team PNG

The race will be in Central Park and the legs are: 3.4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles, and 1.7 miles. I’ve got the 6 mile leg and run third. I can’t wait :) I’ll be sure to post lots of photos after the race, but there may be a delay since I’m going to Vermont for a week after the race (but bringing my laptop).

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Three favorite Christmas-related items right now:

1. David’s Tea holiday collection
2. String lights I hung up in my apartment
3. Gingerbread :) Yum!

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Three exciting things that happened this week:
1. I saw Tom Colicchio at Soul Cycle and then he tweeted me!
2. I finished my fieldwork :)
3. Learned that Brad Paisley has an album coming out in April!

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  Three favorite races I’ve run this year:
1. NYC Half Marathon
2. RTB Relay: NJ
3. Staten Island Duathlon

Staten Island Duathlon

Staten Island Duathlon

What are three random things about your day?
Answer any of the three things questions!

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Filed under Central Park, City life, races, Three things thursdays