Monday, February 6, 2012

New Site + Gridiron Classic 4M Race Report

I’m excited to announce the new site for Running Around and Other Stuff: While I’m still trying to find the direction and tone of the blog, my amateur frenchie tag didn't reflect the fact that I rarely write about France but almost always write about running. Somehow, the Brooklyn Running site wasn’t taken, so I snatched it up! Very exciting things happening here.

So in order to completely contradict what I just said, I’m going to post about something French. Keith surprised me with an AWESOME book this weekend – Paris vs New York: a Tally of Two Cities by Vahram Muratyan. It’s an artistic comparison of the two cities, illustrated by a guy who grew up in Paris. Check out some of the images on his blog here:

This one is my favorite - one thing I never quite got used to in France were the miniscule coffee cups my host family had in their kitchen. They had one “larger” coffee mug reserved for American students. Americans are so predictable.

I spent the beautiful weekend doing very New York activities – grabbed drinks with friends, attended a party with a random “celebrity”, went ice skating in Bryant Park, and ran a race in Central Park (followed by the inevitable brunch with cocktails).

That’s Keith and me on the rink at Bryant Park… even though it just looks
like we’re standing in front of a building.

But on to running! I’m quite antsy to share the details of my race in Central Park yesterday.

Gridiron Classic 4M Race Report

I woke up at 6:40am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I threw on some layers (including my awesome zebra running jacket!), prepared my pre-race meal of an English muffin with peanut butter and banana, and strode out the door.

Notice the twilight coloring and lack of people on the street.

Since I’m doing the 9+1 program this year with New York Road Runners (if you run nine NYRR races + volunteer for one race, you are automatically entered into the NYC Marathon the following year), I need to prepare myself for the hours I will be waiting for the subway to get to races. I waited for the G for 15 minutes, the L for 13 minutes, and the 6 for 10 minutes. Luckily, I brought a really good book and I left myself plenty of time to get there. I would have gotten there faster had I crawled instead.

At 8:15, I joined my fellow runners in Central Park, where a football-throwing competition was in full force. Aside from learning that there are a lot of people in New York who don’t know how to throw a football, I also learned that New York has a cheerleading team.

The NYC Cheer Team mascot.
I got a couple of creepy waves from him/her.

My running buddies were a little on the late side, and since Jillian had my bib and luggage tag, I had to bribe a volunteer to let me drop off my backpack without the required luggage tag (NYRR volunteers love to follow protocol). I sprinted to the start, found Jillian, and frantically pinned on my bib.

Yay running friends! Jillian and Lauren are running their first marathon in March!

I put on some good music, and began to run. In my mind, I was aiming for an 8:15 pace. It felt really good to be outside with so many other energized runners, but my legs were very aware of the hills. My paces ended up looking like this:

Mile 1 – 8:20
Mile 2 – 8:20
Mile 3 – 8:20
Mile 4 – 7:44

I was really proud of myself for maintaining that pace, and picking it up for the last mile. I ended up with a 32:44 time, making it an overall 8:11 average! I’d like to start hitting a sub 8:00 pace for future short races, and I think this is a good sign I can make this goal.

Saving up for a Garmin – but in the meantime, my trusty pink timex will do.

After the race, we grabbed some much needed brunch at the Amsterdam Diner on the Upper West Side. I filled up on banana pancakes and mimosas, then headed home and took a cozy nap on my couch. Awesome day!

1 comment:

  1. Ah - skating in Bryant Park. What a gem that place is and I walk by it every day! Could imagine you on the rink being a New Yorker! And CONGRATS on the 8:15 minute (excuse me 8:11) miles!