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NYC Half Marathon~ The Race Report

24 Mar

We woke up with a wake-up call at 4am (much better than the 2am wake-up at Disney!), and I jumped in the shower first, had my Arnold Thin with peanut butter for breakfast, and we were out the door by 5am. We drove over to the PATH and found at least 100 other runners waiting for the next subway to take us into the city. Our plan was to just get off the subway with a bunch of other runners and follow them. Well, we followed them, and they all got in to cabs, which we weren’t planning on doing.  So, I pulled out the email Megan had sent me with the subway directions, but we still caught a cab anyway to 102nd Street on the East Side, where my corral would be. The cab ride felt like my last moments on Earth- the driver was the worst! But we made it safely there…

Holly, me, and Ellen before the race

We hung out for a little while before the race, and with about a half hour left to go, they went on their way so I could warm up and get settled in my corral. I really enjoyed a nice jog along some trails in Central Park and some stretching up on a hill before I got settled. I felt so relieved that I could stretch and get loose, unlike my experience with Disney. Once I was in my corral, I started chatting with some other girls to help pass the time. The line started moving right at 7:30, and by 7:47, I was crossing the starting line.

Miles 1 and 2 were fairly easy. I knew I had to stick more with my interval training this time, so at the first mile marker, I stopped to walk for a minute, and I did the same thing at mile 2. However, the hills are Central Park snuck up on us for Miles 3-5. I still stuck with my intervals, but I let myself walk the hills when they got too tough, but I made up the time later. Miles 7 and 8 were repeats of miles 1 and 2, which got pretty boring. But coming up on the 8th Mile marker, there were more lined along the road cheering, and there was even a crowd of kids wanting their hands slapped. How cute.

Making the turn out of Central Park and on to Seventh Avenue was probably the best part of the race to me. Seeing the skyscrapers and hearing “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z being played on the speakers was awesome! And then I turned on “City on Down” by OAR, picked up my speed, and almost started to cry. The scene was amazing, and I was running in the middle of the streets of NYC! This was even better than running through Cinderella’s Castle!

This was also where my friends, Ellen and Holly, saw me! But I was too busy getting the photographer’s attention to notice them! But Ellen caught some action pictures…

Right after Times Square, we turned right on to 42nd Street and started the 10th mile. This is where I completely tanked at Disney, but I didn’t let it play with my head. At the 11th mile, we were on the West Side Highway, and I started “pole dancing” as Holly calls it. I would pick a lamp post and run to it, walk a little, pick a new lamp post, and so on. I already knew by this time, I was going to PR by at least 5 minutes. I just needed to keep moving at a good pace. At this point, the spectators were sporadic, but I could see runners walking back to cheer everyone else on. They were wearing their medals, which spurred me on! I wanted that medal!! So the pole dancing continued until the end. I gave it my all from mile 12.5 to the end and sprinted that last 0.1 miles. I felt like every muscle in my legs was falling off of me, and I’m pretty sure I uttered a four-letter word. You can see my anger/frustration/pain in this picture…

But the happy face returned as I crossed the finish line!

And a shot after the race, which I didn’t even know about at Disney!

My finishing time:

2:40:51

A PR of 10 minutes, 5 seconds

Splits:

5k- didn’t record

10k- 1:11:57

15k- 1:49:50

20k- 2:32:58

Pace- 12:17

After the race, I was to meet Ellen and Holly at the New York City Public Library on 42nd and 5th. However, I took the wrong subway and got lost in Brooklyn. Yeah, this was fun. I’m all alone, hobbling like I’m crippled, and I’m sure I looked like a hot mess. But a nice man gave me directions back to Manhattan so I could meet up with my friends :)

We were all starving at this point, so we decided to walk around and find a good “New York” place to go to. On the way, I grabbed my Muscle Milk out of my “after the race bag”. We ended up choosing Heartland Brewery in Times Square where we enjoyed some great beer!

I ordered the mushroom ravioli, which was absolutely delicious and hit the spot!

Right after getting up from the booth to leave, I noticed I must have had a blister on the bottom of my heel. I didn’t have any blisters after Disney, but I did get one from NYC. Thankfully, it’s already healed!

We made our way back to the car in Weehawken and headed home, but not before we got a picture of the three of us!

Overall, I absolutely loved this race. The scenery was amazing. I could have done without the hills in Central Park, but hey, I like a good challenge. Disney Princess was a fun race, but I felt like this was a more serious race. I mean, Deena Kastor was running it! So, after finishing this one, I truly feel like a half-marathoner. Not that I didn’t feel like one after Disney, but this solidified it for me.

The best part of this race was… Ellen and Holly have decided to join me in next year’s Disney Princess Half Marathon! They’re both going to start training now. Isn’t that exciting!?!?!  And I just found out my friend Jen, who I lived with in Florida, will be training for it as well. I’m so excited to have a big group of girls join me next year!

Now I must pack for my Orlando trip! I need to leave my house in 3 hours, and I’m not even packed. And… I got my iPhone back today! Well, it’s a refurbed one, so it needs to be synced, and who knows how long that will take!

Good night! See you in Orlando! If anyone in Orlando wants to meet up while I’m there, email me :) I’ll be around Thursday-Monday.

NYC Half Marathon Recap~ Part One

23 Mar

Ellen, Holly, and I packed up Ellen’s car on Friday and headed out of town around 6pm for our trek to NYC. It was a short 3-hour drive to Weehawken, New Jersey, where we were staying. Staying in New Jersey rather than NYC has one big advantage… you can see the city!

Ok, so my camera doesn’t take the best nighttime pictures, but deal with it, ok?

We were all checked in by 9 and headed up to our room to check things out. We stayed at this hotel last year when Ellen and I were auditioning for the Biggest Loser, so we were already familiar with the area.

And pictures of us girls…

No idea what that dot is

Holly and Ellen

Side note- this was us last year at this time the day before auditioning for The Biggest Loser. A year sure does make a different, doesn’t it?

So anyways, we were off to our favorite place to eat in Weehawken, The Malibu Diner! We had dinner there last year, and we got the giggles there so bad then that we had to come back to our favorite hang-out! Hehehe :) I ordered a house salad and the portabello mushroom and veggie panini with a baked potato. Yum!

When we got back to the hotel, Ellen suggested we have a 20-minute stretching session. The girl is obviously brilliant! I totally forgot I needed to stretch.

We didn’t sleep too well, but we all naturally woke up around 7:30ish on Saturday.

Good morning, New York!!!

They both knew I was nervous about race morning transportation from New Jersey, so we did a trial run. Thank goodness we did because the plan we had worked out did not work out. The light rail from our hotel to the PATH (the subway from NJ to NYC) did not leave until 6:30ish on Sundays, so that was out. We then decided I needed to get a ride to the PATH. Once we were on the PATH, the girls decided they would just drive me to the PATH station and come with me race morning so I wouldn’t be nervous.

My first time on the NYC Subway!!!

Once we were in the city, I knew I wanted to hit up Jack Rabbit, a running store suggested by Megan. I had tweeted about whether or not I should stick my Gu down my bra or not on race day since I didn’t want to run with the hydration belt again, and she had suggested I go to Jack Rabbit for a SpiBelt. She was also very wonderful in giving me directions on how to get the city on race day! She was a tremendous help!

Once I was there, I decided against the SpiBelt and purchased a Wrist Runner by Nathan. (picture from Nathan Sport’s website).


We also did some shopping in Wet Seal, which was right next door. I scored two summer bags for $2.50 each. Woo! Next, it was time to find the expo!

I actually ended up buying a SpiBelt at the expo. I loved the pattern, and the sales girl showed me how much stuff I could fit into it. Sold!

Next was lunch at Famiglia Pizzeria…

Our delicious slices!

And then… we all decided it was time to go to China Town! I had never been, and Ellen and I both really wanted bags. I spotted these “D&G” sunglasses and this “Guess?” bag, and I knew I had to have them! How fabulous!

After China Town, it was time to head back to the room. I could finally go through my swag bag and check out my goodies, which were much better than Disney’s, in my opinion.

I actually liked the race shirt, and I can’t wait to wear it out running. They also gave us some men’s body wash (which can come in handy since I don’t own any and guys who come over don’t really like flower-scented stuff), body lotion, a New York Road Runners lunch bag, and Newman’s Own popcorn. Muscle Milk was being handed for free at the expo.

Then, I started laying out my things for the morning, but I got tired and wanted to ice my knees and take a nap…

While I was laying in bed, I noticed what a cool shot I could take of my shoes on the window sill…

After a 2-hour nap, we ordered Italian food to be delivered, and I finished preparing for race morning…

Dinner hit the spot! I got the eggplant parmigiana with garlic bread. Yum! We spent the evening watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and the first part of HBO’s new mini-series The Pacific. I might even consider ordering HBO now to watch that show. It looked so good from what I saw of it.

I really enjoyed a quiet night in with dinner, movie, a nap, and some more stretching with Ellen. It was just what I needed to calm my nerves. I slept wonderfully!

Stayed tuned for the race report!!!

“These streets will make you feel brand new”…

22 Mar

“Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York”

~ Jay-Z and Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”

Just a short post to let you all know I’m back from NYC with a big PR and a whole lot of knee pain.

I’ll recap the entire race tomorrow evening when I have more time and all of my pictures uploaded, but I wanted to share…

My official time was 2:40:51, a 12:17 pace

A PR of 10 minutes, 5 seconds!!!!!!

I felt pretty amazing throughout the whole race, but you’ll read more later.

It’s time to finish up some work and head out to a  poker game!

iBroken

19 Mar

Sorry for no post last night. I was highly unmotivated to do anything besides try to fix my iPhone. Ya see, it took a flying leap out of my hand last night and hit the tile floor pretty hard, despite being wrapped in his rubber case. At first, I just thought the home button didn’t work. But no, it’s the speakers too. And it won’t recognize the charger or the computer. I spent forever last night trying to google a solution, but I’m heading up to Best Buy today to see if the Geek Squad can fix it. Here’s to hoping it’s a same-day fix because there’s no way I can go to NYC without a phone.

But good news is… I found my old iPod nano, so I can still listen to music on the run. And I still have an old cell phone, so they can give me my SIM card, and I can still make calls.

It’s amazing how quickly we get used to having high-tech stuff like iPhones. That thing is my life!

On to other things… my landlord emailed me late afternoon and said she would be coming by this Sunday to show the realtor the house and put it on the market. Well, that meant I had to spend all of last night deep-cleaning my 3-story, 3-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhouse. Joy. It’s a big place (I’m not bragging by any means.. I just got a really good deal on it, and I couldn’t pass it up!) But, a clean house makes for a happy Andrea, and it also means pictures! I’ll be posting a tour of my house on here when I get back.

Oh, and I got a surprise at my front door last night. I had ordered something from The Tea Spot, but I didn’t expect it to come so soon. And… they sent me samples!!! So, be expecting a review of them soon.

Last night was also packing night because I leave for NYC this afternoon! I’m so excited!

You might not hear from me until Monday… until then, have a great weekend!

Confessions and Randoms

16 Mar

I haven’t posted about my eating or my weight loss in a while and for good reason. I suppose I’ve gained the typical taper pounds… 3 of them to be exact. The extra calories I have consumed before, after, and in the last week were probably a little more than necessary. I used the half-marathon as an excuse to eat a lot. But the good thing is… I know how to take it off.

By the way, here’s a link to the NYC Half course if you’d like to check it out. I’m very excited most of the run is through Central Park.

Today was massage day! As part of my 101 in 1001 list, I promised myself I’d get a massage after every long race. So I left work an hour early and headed over to Just Knead It to see Janet for an hour-long Swedish massage.

My back was a little more jacked up than I thought it was. She spent a good amount of time working out all of the knots.. I had a ton! But I feel amazing now! Thank you, Janet! :)

Other Randoms:

  • I’ve been emailing back and forth with a property manager in Orlando. I hope to look at some apartments next week when I’m back in Florida again.
  • My landlord has informed me she’s putting my house on the market. I’m not too concerned though because 1) I’m moving anyway and 2) the house next door is identical to mine and it’s been on the market for over a year. But I am concerned that if it does sell quick and before I move to Florida, I may be “homeless” for a bit because no one would want to rent to me for just a few months.
  • I hope to sign up for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 2 when I get back from New York. It’s a 10-mile run, and I’ve heard it’s “easy and fast”. I just read the number of runners will be capped at 30,000. Thirty thousand?!?! Holy crap! I thought 13,500 at Disney was a lot!
  • Also after the NYC Half, I want to concentrate on getting back into concentrating on healthy eating, as well as start Project Glow and Whittle My Middle.
  • I’ve received some products to review on the blog. I promise I’ll get to them soon!
  • If you look up at the top of the page, I’ve added two new pages- Race Recaps and Wish List.

Oh, and I think I found my headgear for the NYC Half…

Night night lovies!

Knee pain has subsided!

15 Mar

After my failed run on Saturday, I was so afraid I’d have to bail on the NYC Half Marathon this Sunday because of some unexplained knee pain. But I headed to the Y tonight for a short treadmill run. I warmed up first then stretched as John suggested. I think this worked well. I always thought my ten years of stretching then warming up was a good thing, but I shall try this from now on as it seemed to help.

I did 2.74 miles in 35 minutes (5 minute warm-up, 25 minute run with 2 walk breaks, and 3 minute cool down), a 12:54 pace, which I don’t think is too bad considering that pace includes my warm-up and cool down. I completely forgot to check my mileage after the warm-up to see how far the run actually was. Whoops!

Tonight was also my first run with my Princess race shirt

I obviously produce a ridiculous amount of sweat. My review of this shirt- itchy and short. But I liked the v-neck after all. I can see myself in the mirror in front of me while I run, and it was rather cool to see my collar bones for once. They used to be kinda non-existent.

It seems as though my knee pain has subsided. Crossing my fingers it does not return. I’ll be icing it a little before bed tonight.

6 days until the NYC Half Marathon. My friends Ellen and Holly are coming with me, and we’re leaving on Friday afternoon. Holly found an amazing deal on our room in the city! I’m so excited to spend the weekend in the city with my girlfriends! I’ve only taken day trips, so this is a first! But I’m stressing out.. I need to revise my packing list, go grocery shopping for snacks and such, and start packing. Leading up to the race, I’m going to spend 20 minutes every night before bed doing some hip openers and stretches.

Ok, time to hit the hay. I need to start getting to bed earlier!