Tag Archives: race review

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

We Reached the Beach: Recap Part 1 & Tommie Copper Giveaway!

I’m not even sure how to put the amazing experience of running the Reach the Beach NJ Relay into words, but I’m going to try. Just a warning, it may take me a few posts to do so. Needless to say, after 31 hours and 200 miles…Team Run, Eat, Sleep Repeat REACHED THE BEACH!

Reach the Beach Relay

I didn’t know much of what to expect going into this. I had only met one of the people on my team beforehand, I had never run more than 13.1 miles in 24 hours, and had literally no idea what to expect from my body since my mileage was split into three separate legs. But I ended up finishing the distance, my body felt pretty good, and my teammates were AMAZING!

If you haven’t heard of relays before, basically you create a team of 12 runners split into 2 vans and each runner has 3 legs of various distances. Together, the runners complete 200 miles. First, the 6 people in Van 1 run all their first legs, then Van 2 runs their first legs. Then its Van 1’s turn again and so forth until you reach the finish!

*****

I took a bus from the Port Authority Thursday night and got dropped off by a town near the start line in Vernon, NJ (Mountain Creek). But I got dropped off in the middle of nowhere in a random church parking lot in the middle of a freezing cold night. Luckily, I didn’t die like I thought I was going to and my teammates came to save me in one of the vans. We stayed in a hotel that night and I shared a room with the awesome Colleen.

The next morning we headed for registration and orientation before meeting up with my van: Van 1! My van was starting off with the first 6 legs of the relay so after team photos, our first runner Dave headed to the start line and the rest of us went to transition 1 to wait for him.

Here we go!

I was runner 6 so that means I was the last in my van to run my legs. That means that even though the race started at 9:30am, I didn’t run until 2pm because 5 other people were in front of me. Needless to say, I had a lot of time to cheer on and hang out with my teammates in my van at the transitions before my first run.

One of the transitions was in a church where a cute old lady sold us homemade soups and sandwiches which was SO awesome since it was really cold. Most of the transition areas weren’t that stocked with food and most just consisted of the awesome volunteers and one port-a-potty.

We also rocked our bright neon green Jersey Shore-inspired team shirts throughout the morning :)

Transition 2 with Mecca and Alex!

Loretta and Mecca at transition 2. Mecca had some SERIOUS hills on this leg!

Alex and me. Go Brooklyn girls!

During our first legs, Van 1 had some seriously insane hills since we started so close to the mountains. If you’ve met me or read my blog you know I hate hills with a passion so this wasn’t my favorite part. But all my teammates were able to rock them out, so I figured I could too.

Before I talk about Leg 1, here was the breakdown of all my distances. The official ones are different but I went with what my GPS watch said. Everyone’s distances were longer than what the RTB people had listed:

2:00 pm: Leg 1: 6.21 miles, 1:00, Average pace 9:48/mile
1:00am: Leg 2: 2.52 miles, 22:42, Average pace 9:00/mile
12:30pm: Leg 3: 5.34 miles, 47.18, Average pace 8:52/mile
Total miles: 14.07

****

LEG 1
2:00 pm, 6.21 miles, 1:00, Average pace 9:48/mile

After Alex finished her longest leg (9+ miles!!), she handed off the slap bracelet to me and I was off!

I think this summarizes my first leg pretty well…

Because of the elevation my pace suffered, but I’m just happy I kept my pace under 10 minute/mile. Luckily there was a girl from another team in front of me for most of this leg who kept me motivated (even though she didn’t know it until I told her at the end) to push through it, especially this one insane switchback hill that I felt like I needed ropes to get up. Yep, we were definitely running in the mountains! My breathing a bit more labored than usual because of this, plus having asthma doesn’t help.

Towards the end, the transition area was also located on top of a giant hill so of course I had to scale that too. But coming down it was like heaven and I passed the slap bracelet off to runner 7 (and van 2’s first runner) Issac. Then Van 2 was off!

A nice compilation of Leg 1, compliments of Loretta :)

Its me and the girl who kept me going. We chatted towards the end :)

After leg 1 our team quickly stopped at a diner for some lunch/dinner while Van 2 took over. Some of us decided to brush our teeth on the side of the road.. very classy. Then we went to the transition area we would eventually meet Van 2 at and tried to sleep on the ground outside in sleeping bags before our nighttime legs. There were another group of runners there too from the Caveman team, who we actually saw so many times during the race. Yup, they ran in caveman outfits. We saw them and a team called the Tough Moms (12 moms) team so many times!

I didn’t sleep at all at that point but just laid there and rested my eyes a bit. I guess it just wasn’t late enough in the day for me. Or I’m not into sleeping outside with bugs or in the freezing cold.

Alex, Dave and Brent camping

Stay tuned for the overnight leg and day two…

*****

We had SO many great sponsors for this relay, and one of them is hosting a giveaway on my blog:
Tommie Copper Compression!

Tommie Copper is a fantastic compression gear brand that I first discovered at the NYC Half last year. They also provided me with a compression shirt for the relay this weekend which I absolutely fell in love with. The material and quality are great, plus we all know how I feel about compression and its recovery benefits. I am obsessed with it and Tommie Copper is no different! I love it and know you will too!

The good news? Tommie Copper is offering a FREE pair of compression sleeves to one lucky reader. All you have to do is use the rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance. The giveaway will be open until October 21 at 10pm EST. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Main Image

CLICK HERE TO ENTER: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever run a relay? Did you love it too?
What did you do this weekend?

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Filed under race photos, race recap, race review, races, RTB Relay, weekend

NYRR Fitness Mind, Body& Spirit 4m Race Recap: PR time!

Obviously by the title of this post, you all know I had a 4 mile PR this Saturday at the NYRR Fitness Mind, Body and Spirit 4m! It was a massive one for me, not sure what got into me: the awesome weather, the super girly outfit I wore, or the planets aligning or something. Either way, I couldn’t be happier.

There were two separate races for this event: one for men and one for women. This is the first time I ran in a women-only race and have to say I really liked it! I noticed a few things that were nice about this set-up: there were no lines for porta-potties in the morning, the women were so polite on the course, and my race bib color/number was the lowest it ever has been!

GREEN bib! This is a first for me, and probably a last.

If you are a NYRR runner you know what an awesome feeling it is to move up a corral, and I moved up all the way to the green from my usual purple/silver! The only caveat was that my number had an evil number in it (3666). Honestly thats just my luck. I finally get a low corral and I have the devil’s number on my bib! But I tried really hard not to be superstitious about it.

One really nice part of this race was the festival with free yoga classes, Fitness magazines, Pure Barre classes, and a giveaway from Birkenstock. They hosted yoga classes throughout the morning and many women participated before the race. I didn’t because I’m not a huge yoga person and also was afraid to pull a muscle or something before running!

Yoga in the park

Since it was a women-only run, I decided my outfit should be really girly. I went with my trusty Athleta top, pink Lulu running skirt, neon pink CEP Compression socks and purple/neon Saucony Kinvaras. Got some looks in the subway in the morning, but once I was with other runners I looked so much more normal!

Hard to get much more girly than this.

The race:

Before the race, I made a conscious decision to really race this one instead of focusing on finishing. I wanted a PR. If you’ve ever run in Central Park, you know its pretty hilly and this race was no exception, although we were spared the Harlem Hills (thank you NYRR!).

Mile 1 started off near Cat Hill, which I actually don’t think it too bad honestly. Mile 2 was pretty flat as we turned at the traverse and headed for the rolling hills that stretched for just about all of mile 3. Those were the toughest I think because its one hill after another, although none are as high as the “main” ones. After the hills the rest of the race was pretty flat and manageable.

The 3,000 corral at the start!

I felt really strong throughout this entire race and pushed my pace much farther than I have before. I even saw myself somewhere in the 7:XX/m pace at one point. What?! Thats not me! But I’ll take it. My official results:

8:35/mile pace!!! I just don’t run that fast, plain and simple. But I really pushed it out for this race because I was so determined for a PR that I actually did it. It is possible! I’m still riding high on these results, its such a good feeling reaching my goal. And seeing the number 8 in front of my pace isn’t too bad either :)

The verdict: Great race, loved that it was only women!

*****

HELP! Do you or someone you know want to join my Reach the Beach Relay team for the NJ Race on October 12-13? We are looking for one more runner, let me know ASAP if you need more info and/or are interested :)

*****

I want to hear about YOU! Did you run, bike, exercise this weekend? Tell me about it!
Anyone run any races lately?

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