Category Archives: race recap

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

Abs By April Week 2 Challenge & Spartan Race Times Square

Its officially Week 2 of the Abs By April Challenge! If you signed up, I sent out an email with a PDF of all the workouts including photos, descriptions, etc. Here is the abridged version of this week’s challenge, which should be done 3-4x this week (NOT daily!).

Abs by April- Week2 PNG

I am going to continue with the plank-a-day, and I hope you all do too! Its a great and quick way to give those abs a wake up every day. You can learn more about the challenge here and sign up to participate (and receive PDF challenges, too) here. Good luck with this week’s challenge, don’t forget to use the hashtag #AbsByApril to share your progess.

Oh, and remember to take your ab progress photo!

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So a little over a week ago I got the amazing opportunity as a Fitfluential Ambassador to attend a press conference and special event called the Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge! The event was to promote the new partnership between the Spartan race and Reebok, so I knew it was going to be a ton of fun. When we arrived, we were given a Reebok bag with tons of swag so we could represent the company during the press conference. Loved the gear!

Reebok Swag

Reebok Swag

Now, I’m not typically an extreme sport person but thought this would be a great way to learn more about it. And so did fellow Ambassadors NoelleAshleyAvaSylviaAlfonsoAndre, Christine and Meghan who I was lucky enough to meet at the event. We headed to the press area after changing into our gear and and got to take part by learning about the partnership and asking questions.

Some of the awesome Fitfluential Ambassadors!

Some of the awesome Fitfluential Ambassadors in our new Reebok gear!

Ashley and I at the press conference

Ashley and I at the press conference

The Spartan Race was founded in 2010, but has since grown dramatically and participation in this race is expected to grow to 500,000 in 2013 (with 60 events worldwide) as compared to less than 50,000 in 2010. Obviously these types of races are catching on!

The Spartan Race is certainly one of the most challenging of the obstacle races, however, they do have different levels of difficulty participants can choose from. They offer a 5K (sprint), 8-10 mile, and half marathon distances so theres something for people of most fitness levels. Completing all three in one year gives you the “trifecta” title.

Spartan 3

Reebok recently became the company most involved with crossfit, and they even began a crossfit clothing and gear collection. Since the Spartan Race has similar aspects to crossfit workouts, I think this company is a good match.

Reebok and the Spartan Race founders both believe that “when people are challenged, they can achieve more than they thought possible.” To do this, Reebok will help promote obstacle course racing to new markets and also will create gear (i.e. clothes, shoes) for the sport, which I think is fantastic! I am interested to see how this partnership will grow and where it will take the sport of obstacle racing int he future!

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The 7 foot climbing wall

After the press conference, we headed outside to Times Square where they set up a small makeshift version of the Spartan Race. I have to say, even the small version was intimidating and consisted of a 7 foot wall climb, rope climb, monkey bars, a mud crawl under barbed wire, and flipping tires. Intense! Some of our own Fitfluential Ambassadors even got out there and gave it a try!

Meghan on the monkey bars!

Meghan on the monkey bars!

In addition to everyday people participating, former NY Giant Tiki Barber and model/actress Brooklyn Decker were there to promote the event. They both went through the course. I have to say, even though he is retired Tiki is still incredible athletic! There were also kids who completed the course and I was seriously impressed by them. They did amazing.

Joe DeSena, Tiki Barber, and Brooklyn Decker

Joe DeSena, Tiki Barber, and Brooklyn Decker

One of the kids. He was awesome!

One of the kids. He was awesome!

But the most inspirational group there was  Team X-T.R.E.M.E, a group of active, veteran, and wounded military men/women who participate in races and events all over the country. They participate as a team and help out veterans with various injuries (including one man who is a quadruple amputee), plus they also complete the races wearing gas masks to honor their fellow servicemen. The gas masks make it harder to breathe, but they love the challenge. I was incredibly inspired by their teamwork, willpower, and drive.

Some of the participants plus TEAM EXTREME!

Some of the participants plus TEAM EXTREME!

This was an awesome event and I am excited to share the details with you. Also, for those of you in the NYC area, there will be a Spartan Race at Citi Field on April 13, 2013.

Disclosure: I was invited to participate in this event as a member of Fitfluential, but was not compensated for this post. At the event, I received a gift bag. As always, all views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Have you ever done an obstacle race? Would you?
What is the toughest race you’ve ever done?

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Filed under Abs by April, blogging, City life, FitFluential, race recap, 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