Tag Archive for cold

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half- Race Recap

Today was my first race of 2014! And with sub-20 degree temps and 13.1 miles to tackle it was quite a day! The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half is the first of six races in the New York Road Runner’s Borough Series (5 Borough’s + the NYC Half), and dedicated to the founder of the New York City Marathon.

I first became with Fred Lebow’s story (dare I say legacy?) when I stumbled across the documentary, “Run for Your Life” (2008,) on Netflix which centers on his impact on running events with NYRR. However, this December, when I was volunteering at a bib pickup at NYRRs headquarters on 89th Street, the “mandatory” volunteers like myself, had the opportunity to meet many of the older true volunteers who came for reasons other than fulfilling a 9+1 credit. And I will never forget at least two of them -each completely independent of the other- would get a faraway look in their eyes and smile as they recounted a story about Fred’s enthusiasm about something as usual as sorting bib numbers. And for that, as fantastic as “Run for Your Life” was, I feel like I learned more about Lebow in the 2 minutes I watched his friends remember him.

It was also for these reasons that amid the threat of a “feels like -1 degree” weather forecast and potentially icy course conditions, that many runner’s pressed for NYRRs to continue the race as planned instead of canceling it (as they were considering last night).

It was probably some combination of Fred’s spirit prevailing and the cold winds not that culminated in the race continuing. And by 7:55 the mister and I were running from our car to the corrals, where I managed to squeeze in just before the gun.

Let’s break it down.

Miles 1-6: Not bad. Feeling strong. The hardest part was chewing super cold Shot Blocks.

Mile 7: Internal monologue: “Hey! I just ran 7 miles in 1 hour. Looks like I might come in under 2:00 hrs on light training after all. Wait, now I should try to shave 3 mins off of that and PR too….” Cue number crunching and minor stress.

Mile 8: Motivated by a high five from someone in a bunny suit, and the idea of a fuel-ingesting walk break reward after my favorite downhill.

Mile 9-12: Better understanding of why people cry might cry when they hit the wall during marathons. Beginning to think I pushed to hard to get to that walk break because my legs are finally feeling shot. Also, I know I am way behind on my water intake, but my stomach has had it today and any more and I know I am risking full blown cramps.

Mile 13: Longest mile of my life? Probably not. Quickest mile of my life? Definitely not.

And at long last, the finish! I lost my mister for the whole race, but found him again (with a huge scarf and an even bigger smile) exactly as they announced my name and a moment later I was crossing the finish. It. Was. Awesome.

1:55:44 – my new 1/2 marathon PR didn’t hurt either. 

Oh yeah, and then this happened!

"To a Cold Weather Runner"

To: ” A Cold Weather Runner!”

I saw the High-Five Bunny again.

Me (to the mister)- It’s that bunny!
Bunny (comes over for high five)
Me- I already got a high five earlier! It was great!
Bunny- Oh yeah. You want a gift card?
Me (suspicious new york style)- Um, kind of.
Bunny (gives me $20 Jack Rabbit Gift Card)

So I guess that makes him a High-Five Jack Rabbit?

December- Gone in a Blink!

December was quite a busy month for me; lots of running all around, both literally and figuratively. I completed my 9+1 volunteer requirement, ran the Ted Corbitt 15K, qualified for the New York City Marathon, created my winter/spring training plan, and joined the gym!

Blink Fitness Gym PassWhy join a gym at all when Central Park is the stuff my dreams are made of?

Cold. I have gotten much better this winter about forcing myself to run in the cold… that and a combination of being forced to run in the cold, but I digress. I can only take so much.

Snow. Ice. Snow and Ice. Let’s face it, running in snow and ice regularly seems to be just asking for an injury. No, thank you.

Cross training. Since I am planning on increasing my mileage, it’s becoming increasingly important to me to develop a thought out, sustainable workout regime. By supplementing cross training hopefully I can increase my overall fitness and strength, and decrease my chances of injury.

I ended up choosing Blink! Fitness for a couple of reasons:

Price. As the proud owner (re., reluctant holder) of a gross amount of student loans, I can’t afford to spend $100+ monthly on a gym membership – which is unfortunately what most gyms in Manhattan seem to charge. Moreover, even if I could spend that much, I’m not even sure I would want to.

Yelp. Planet Fitness falls into the same price range as Blink!, but I’m not gonna lie, I read their yelp reviews and they succeeded in putting me off.

Free trial? Yes please! Last year I tried a Blink! gym as my aunt’s guest and I loved it. Once they grew their locations to be accessible to my job, my internship, and my home, I knew we were meant to be- I would join this gym.

One month later, I am still loving it.

-Tons of treadmills… …in front of tons of tvs.

-Tons of lockers.

-Clean, clean, and clean- this gym feels as clean as a gym could. Only downside is the percentage of people who actually wipe down their machine when they are done is about 1 in 3. People, stop being gross.

-Friendly staff- as I was getting my card scanned in, the desk attendant asks, “Are you excited for your workout today?” Since I had just gotten off of work, and had been literally dreaming of running all day, I was excited. Realizing it only made me more stoked.

Also, it has really helped me get back into my running groove this winter. Beginning this December I began keeping track of my (running) miles so that I can stay on track and gauge my progress as I prepare for my spring marathon. This is what December looked like:

december running

It’s not ideal, but it’s a good baseline and I feel like I have finally caught up to my mid-october intensity. Watch out, January, it’s on.

Hot Chocolate, Cold Toes: NYC RUNS 10K Race Recap

Today I ran the Hot Chocolate 10K in Riverside Park- my first NYC RUNS race!

Bib and nearly demolished swag!

Bib and nearly demolished swag!

Yesterday, I ran down to Columbus Circle to grab my bib. The pickup was at the New York Running Company and not only did I get a bib, but they gave us a free mug too. I was glad I planned to take the train back home because I had enough trouble holding onto my mug/bib/bag as it was and I kept smacking the mug into things.  Luckily, I did manage to whisk it home without a chip  😉

This morning we woke up way too early since we got used to heading out for 8:30 races, even though this morning’s race wasn’t until 10. In fact, the mister and I got to riverside park so early we watched almost the entire 5K race- which began at 9. Opps.

Observation #1: This race was small (in a good way)! I’m pretty sure there were only  about 250 runners for the 10K race. It reminded me of my cross country days because you had a very good sense of where you were in the pack and what sort of progress you were making moving ahead (or falling back).  I loved this size race. The volunteers and race organizers were also incredibly enthusiastic and personable.

Observation #2: I knew Riverside Park was hilly, but damn, Riverside Park was hilly! I’ve run through several times on my way to the West Side Highway, but apparently I always missed the actual hills.  This also made me question some hilly, er, mountainous runs I’ve been planning….

Observation #3: I’m pretty sure I actually injured myself on this run. I’m not sure if it was the cold, or the change in incline for me, or too much time off from being sick, but somewhere between mile 4 and 5 I felt it in my foot. It’s a muscle pain roughly from my big toe to the middle/top area of my foot. I’m hoping it’s just a rouge pain, worse case a minor sprain? Either way, as it was happening I immediately realized how stupid it would be to injure myself on a run that a) doesn’t count as marathon qualifying credit when b) I have one race left for my 9+1 and c) that race happens to be a 9 mile race. Gosh. Golly.

"Thank god that's over." Bashful as I may look, I'm trying not to cough a lung.

“Thank god that’s over.” Bashful as I may look, I’m trying not to cough a lung.

In the meantime, I had a race to finish, and at 0:51:52, I hit some of my best placement stats to date! I was 8/88 in the women’s 20 to 29 division, and 47/250 (ish) overall. Sweet!

It was also an unusual day because I met up with a co-worker who was also running and this was here first race. She killed it and came in just under 1 hour. Something tells me it won’t be her last either…

The Coldest Mile….er, The Coldest FOUR Miles: Race to Deliver 4M

Cold Runners

Cold Runners and I, in my subtle neon orange hat- courtesy of the mister.

Sunday before Thanksgiving, 4,689 poor souls gathered in  Central Park to be tortured to run 4 miles. I, for better or worse, was one of them. All week I had my eye on the weather and all week I knew it was going to be a cold one.

Wind Chill Factor: feels like 11 degrees.

Wind Chill Factor: feels like 11 degrees.

23 degrees cold. As we stood in the corral, the announcer then added: with the wind chill, it really felt more like 11 degrees. 11 degrees. And I was still sick.

The race began, and from the first step to the last my calves were so cold I felt like from the knee down I was running on glass vases. It was so cold, that at the first water station, the runner immediately in front of me picked up a cup, only to throw it away in disgust. As I discovered a moment later, there was about a half inch of ice on the cup, sealing the water beneath it. Nothing a good crack couldn’t clear up, but still! Come ‘on!

The finish line, in fact, featured a volunteer proclaiming like a circus barker: “Ice cold, hot water up ahead! Get your ice cold, hot water up ahead.”

The finish line also featured a cheer squad! And they were awesome, cheering for every single runner as we came across the finish line. And as brutal as this race was, it was a for a great charity called God’s Love We Deliver which provides and delivers meals to New Yorkers living wither serious illness.

I finished in 00:32:25. Not a race for the record books, but an interesting experience nonetheless. Even last winter when I was running outside, I always curtailed my outdoor running in sub 30 degree weather.

This past year I’ve run on Mountains, all over my hometown, in torrential downpours, in 98 degree heat, in 80% humidity, at the first hint of daybreak, and in the dying glow of twilight… And now I can add “in eskimo weather” to that list. And even though these were-by far– the most painful 4 miles I’ve run all year, it’s fun to face new environmental challenges and figure out how to adapt accordingly.