Yesterday was my very first race since attempting to become a “runner.” It was the World Trade Center Run to Remember 5K, to benefit charities who help raise awareness of September 11 and help families who suffered losses on that date as well. The race was on Governor’s Island, a place I have never been. Has anyone, really?
I woke up very early to make a green juice (broccoli, celery, spearmint, cucumber, apple) and stretch. The boy asked his trainer for a good hip stretch for me to do, since I always get a really bad pain in my right hip (actually, a little lower than the hip) when I run. I did that and it felt nice. I almost forgot to foam roll, so I ran back and did it after. And at the last second before leaving, I went back inside to grab a sweatshirt. That was the smartest decision ever.
My best friend came with me for support and to watch and to practice getting up early. I left the apartment earlier than I needed to, but it was a good thing. I was on the 1 train headed for the ferry terminal. At 42nd street, they made an announcement that the last stop would be Chambers Street, a few stops before the ferry. There would be shuttle buses making the rest of the stops. I’d be fine with that, but my best friend doesn’t know the subway well and I was worried about her not knowing what to do at that point (she was taking the same subway as me when her Long Island Rail Road train got in). Luckily, the announcement was made right before Penn Station, where she would be getting on. I wasn’t sure if I should get off and meet her at Penn, or if I was too late and she was already on a 1 train. Luckily, I got a surprise burst of service at exactly that time and a BBM from her came in saying she was almost at Penn.
I got off the train and met her at Penn Station, where we took a cab down to the ferry. Perfect!
We took a 9:00 ferry to the island. We were goats.
It was absolutely freezing and windy, although sunny and beautiful. I was shivering and had goosebumps. If I didn’t have my sweatshirt, I would have really been suffering! We walked about 15 minutes to where the pre-race activities were. There were booths representing each charity, booths with food for the runners (bananas, bagels, peaches, pudding cups), massage booth and more.
Here I am all ready to run! Like the shirt?
Rae and I sat on the grass in a sunny spot and waited. The announcer told everyone that over 1,000 people signed up for the event — some walkers and some participating in the 3K and children’s run. I popped open my Juice Generation cold pressed green juice and had a couple sips. We waited and waited, as the race did not start until 11. I did some more stretches and we spotted some hammocks placed around the park.
Rae loves the hammock! She even chilled in it while I was running before heading to the finish line to wait for me to cross.
As it got close to 11, race time, we walked over to the starting line. I was so nervous!
At about 5 to 11, they made an announcement that they were delaying the race by 30 minutes because people who took the later ferry didn’t get there with enough time. I was annoyed because we all knew what time the race started. Lots of people made the effort to get there on time. They should have done the same! I was more annoyed because I wanted to eat! I didn’t want a cramp when running, so all I had was green juice and water.
Oh, well. So we waited some more. We saw quite a few people who registered their baby for the run nd the stroller had a bib:
And we saw these strange bike/carriage things. They had pedals like a bike…:
Finally it was 11:30 and we all took our places. I was so nervous! I stood a little in front of the 10+ min mile sign. Someone sang the national anthem and then we were off!
My first order of business was escaping the crowd. I weaved in and out of people, passing them and moving ahead. I went a little too fast for the beginning of a run, but I just wanted to be able to run at my own pace, not the people’s in front of me! Pretty soon I had my own space and I felt great. It took me a few minutes to notice that I was running with no ribcage cramp! I felt great considering it was the beginning of the run, which is usually tough for me. It was amazing running with all these people around me doing the same thing.
My visor had started to fall very early on and I realized I didn’t make it tight enough. Instead of letting it bother me, I pushed it further down on my forehead against the wider part, and all was good!
When I got to the 1 mile sign, I was surprised to see I had been running for less than 10 minutes! My pace was faster than normal, which I attributed to my escape attempts in the beginning. At that point, however, I had to slow down. Breathing was hard and my heart rate was skyrocketing. It held steady in the 190s for much of the time! I guess I was pushing myself harder than I realized.
The run became more difficult and I didn’t feel that great. Good news — no knee pain, no hip pain, no ribcage cramp, no lower stomach cramp, no neck cramp. I did have the side/back cramp but it wasn’t too bad. I had my Nike + iPod going and enjoyed the updates on how many kilometers I had left. I would find out at the finish line that it was inaccurate, but still a nice thing to have.
The island was beautiful. Lots of grass, views of the water, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, lots of old buildings and parks. I even saw the building where I work!
In the beginning of the run, I passed lots of people. Now, people kept passing me! I tried to keep my pace was steady as I could. I remember being so happy to reach the 2 mile sign, and the time was in the 18:00s! At this point, I was in another world. I can’t even remember what I was thinking or what I saw really, it is like a blur.
I wasn’t feeling great. Running was hard, my heart rate was still in the 190s, I wanted it to be over. I expected it would take about 33 minutes (although my goal was 30) so I was judging how much longer I had on that time.
When I hit the 3 mile mark, I was able to see the finish line! I was in too much of a blur to notice the time at 3 miles, but once I saw the finish line I just started sprinting. I literally ran as fast as I could, unable to breathe, just running running running, the end was so close, and then I was DONE! Done done done! Someone handed me a cup of water. Ahhhhh.
I saw the time at the finish was at 28-something. I stopped my HRM and Nike + and both were in the 28s as well. How could that be?! Did I really finish in under 30 minutes?! My goal was 30 minutes!
I was SO happy. I called the boy, I called my mom, I called my grandma. I couldn’t believe how well it went! My best friend was waiting near the finish line with my camera to take a picture of me. She saw me in the distance and she got all ready, and as she snapped the close up she realized that she accidentally took a picture of the guy in front of me, who happened to be wearing the same color! She erased the picture, or I’d show you!
So she quickly had to recover and get a pic of me. There I am!
See the guy in front of me in the same color! She told me I was running so fast! Of course, she happened to see me during my sprint, but it still felt great! I collapsed in the grass for a few minutes, and then we left for the ferry back to the city. Oh and I have to say — the Saucony shirt was PERFECT. Even though I know I was sweating, it wasn’t wet at all. SO dry and airy and breathable. I love it and hope to get more just like it for next summer. My Under Armour visor was perfect as well. I am used to my regular old visor that leaves my forehead soaked, but this one left it completely dry. I am so happy with that purchase.
I kept checking the website, Flrrt.com, for my official chip time. Finally, my race was posted and my heart stopped while I got ready to search my name.
And there it was:
Official Chip Time: 28:46 minutes. Pace: 9:16
Aaaaaahhhh! I could not stop smiling!! I beat my 10 minute mile goal, I beat my similar 30 minute goal, and I even finished in less than 29 minutes! I didn’t even train for this, although for longer races I certainly would. Yeah, I am already thinking of longer races. It is just so exciting when you actually finish! I’d really need to train though, my endurance sucked! As you can see my HRM stats:
Avg HR: 187
And now, let us see my Nike + stats.
2.91 miles – wrong.
Although I guess it is a close enough idea? And the calorie difference between the Nike and Polar is often 100! Obviously I trust the Polar. It’s strapped to my chest!
It is decided that next year I will get myself a Garmin or upgrade my Polar.
Although it is cool to see how I sped up and slowed down:
See the sprint at the end?
After we finally got off the island, we decided a taxi would be the quickest route to food. Wrong again! The cabbie who picked us up then sat in the front seat, not moving, hunched over on his cell phone. We asked him if there was a problem and he said one second, and kept talking. We didn’t know what to do! Finally, he started driving, but it was clear he had no idea how to. He ended up staying in a line of double parked cars instead of moving to the lane with all the moving cars. Eventually he figured that out, and his next decision was to take the highway on the east side when we were going to the wesit side — and were currently BETWEEN the two highways. Once on the highway, he drove around 20 miles per hour, even though it was empty. In the middle line. He would hit the gas and take his foot off, over and over. He would also break out of nowhere. Cars were honking at us, and everyone was passing us. I was starting to get frustrated and nauseous. His next decision was to get off the highway and cross town on one of Manhattan’s busiest streets, if not THE busiest — 42nd street. By the time we got to Grand Central, the fare was up to $20 and I couldn’t take his slow, timid driving, and we got out and ended up taking 2 subways to our destination. It would have been one subway if we did this from the ferry! Grrr.
By the time we finally got to Josephina for brunch, I was STARVING. I hadn’t eaten any solid food all day other than a peach after the run! We sat outside and I relaxed and had a bellini and really great banana walnut pancakes. For dinner, another treat, Chipotle — both restaurants from Clean Plates NYC, by the way! I haven’t had Chipotle in about two years, and it was better than I remembered. I will definitely be making more trips here. And I had been wanting to try Josephina for a long time. I enjoyed it so much (and the banana [I think] bread in the bread basket) that I am going for dinner tonight!
Official race pictures will be posted later this week, and I will check back often so I can post them on here. Thank you ALL so much for your words of support and encouragement on the race. I never in my life thought I would be anything resembling a runner, and if it wasn’t for the blog world I am sure I wouldn’t be!
As I mentioned, my posting schedule will be less frequent but I will do my best. Along the same lines, I will be reading your blogs but I won’t be able to comment as much since I will be reading mostly from Google Reader on my BlackBerry. But know that I am here and I am loving what you have to say.
Next week I have the Komen 5K and I am relieved it is not a competitive race. I can barely even remember what it was like during yesterday’s race because I was so amped up and nervous and all. I am looking forward to taking it easy and chatting with Missy and Megan. Let me know if you want to join!