A Race to Remember: Touring Manhattan, the NYC Half Marathon!

Central Park, Times Square, West Side Highway, Battery Tunnel, Wall Street!

nyc13_UpTown_07On 17 March, I was one of the lucky lotto-winning runners who was invited to participate in the NYC Half! It was an epic race tour through parts of Manhattan that are normally restricted to cars and sidewalks. But this time, I got to run straight down the middle of nyc13_UpTown_13the streets!

Unlike the Manhattan Half, which was twice around the park, I wanted to do well on this one. I wanted to PR. I wanted to beat my record (which, coincidentally, was the Manhattan Half time). And I needed this to happen because I had been doing everything right. I trained. I even signed up for the gym for bad weather wimp out days. I ate homemade tomato sauce with my whole wheat carbs. I drank a ton of water the night before. AND it was going to be flat…after the park loop. No way was I going to settle on the same time as last time!
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Run for JAPAN #9 and my Longest Run Ever

2 Years and 20 Miles Later

20130310_100259On 10 March, our heroic friend Ayako organized the 9th Run for JAPAN group run around Central Park to raise money for the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This Run for JAPAN fundraising event which started two years ago kicked off my renewed running ‘career’ as it was the first time I had ever attempted 6 miles straight, the longest run of my life to that date. This time, I followed suit by marking the run as the current Longest Run to date. And that distance was Twenty. 20 Miles. Blaw.

Before the meet up time of 10AM, I decided to go out and do a pre-run, so that I would get some miles in beforehand in case my running friend Santiago would not do more than 2 loops with me. Fernando, still nursing his fracture, joined my side on his bike. Proudly sporting our Run for JAPAN shirts, we went down to the park, covered the east side, and then did two of the small 1.7 southern loop so that we’d be near the meeting point. By the time it was 10AM, I had completed over 6 miles, the whopping distance of 2011.

Run for JAPAN #9, Huge Success, thanks to Ayako!

Run for JAPAN #9, Huge Success, thanks to Ayako!

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Coogan’s 5K Recap

A fun 5K through hilly Washington Heights

IMG_6649A few Sunday’s ago, I participated in the Coogan’s Salsa 5K race. Now, with my marathon training in mind, I really had no business doing a fun 5K. But Fernando and I signed up thinking we’d run it together, yet with his fracture, it became a one-woman show.

The best thing about this race was that it was in Washington Heights, a place I am not familiar with and certainly not on my training run radar. There is a certain excitement about running in unknown territory. Described as “hilly” on the NYRR website, I settled on not looking to PR, and just have fun. I didn’t bring headphones and planned to listen to the bands along the way. There was an Irish party somewhere in the hood afterwards but I wasn’t planning to participate in that because I had VIP guests coming over for lunch and they were bringing steaks.  😀

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Back on Track

Not literally though, I’m still just a park runner!

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You don’t have to know German to guess what this mug says!

 It’s already March! And while I am trying to make a lot of positive changes in my life for my future, I am also trying to keep my running steady like Freddy. Whatever that means.

I shall confess that over December after my epic 19 mile run (longest run to date), I went to Germany and just relaxed. I came back and did a few runs but boy, the AM was dark and really cold, so there was no real schedule. After the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, and Fernando’s 10K, this relaxed running mentality persisted.

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It’s a little dark and a little cold

My new ‘schedule’ morphed into Accuweather’s “real feel” – if it was going to be over 20 degrees, I would plan on waking up to run. If it was under, I’d reset the alarm for a delightful 7:30am. After my Manhattan Half went well with a new PR, I feel justified in my choices. I did well, I never got sick, and I got some sleep.

However, this system cannot persist. My running schedule is all out of whack but I have decided to at least put the miles in, even if they aren’t in optimal order. Continue reading