Monday, October 11, 2010

Fitness Adventures: Get to the 'Point! 5K

Yesterday I did my third 5K in as many weeks - It was the Greenpoint "Get to the 'Point" 5K. I actually did this 5K last year with Lainy. That was my first ever 5K and while I haven't run much since then, I've definitely improved.

This particular run started very late - 1pm - which meant I had a chance to go to pilates that morning! I love pilates! But I hadn't been there in weeks due to the two other 5Ks and the gym being closed for cleaning the 2 weeks before that. Here I am before pilates:

10/10/10 137.6 pounds

After pilates, I changed into my 5K outfit which consisted of spanx, covered by bike shorts & covered by workout pants. (That's right, I finally figured out the right combination of supportive lower body garments that eliminated the shaking/jiggling of my ample ass & thighs bouncing up and down with every step!) And I wanted to represent my neighborhood so I went with a cool Greenpoint shirt I bought a while ago, but never wore (because it's too big and the cotton is thicker/stiffer than I prefer).

I biked over to the starting point and while waiting to check in and get my bib, I was approached by a woman who identified herself as Jill. I knew immediately who she was based on a number of emails we exchanged this summer. It was nice to put a face with the name and be able to talk to her while I waited in line. Of course I also asked to get a photo, which she agreed to -

I checked in and took a few pics before the race began...

The starting line, with runners waiting -

Me at the start:

Shortly after that, the race began. I started off just running comfortably. I never try to go 'fast'. I strive for endurance, not speed. If I can pick up speed comfortably, that's fine. But it's not my objective. I'd rather be able to breathe and feel ok than to have to stop because I exhausted myself.

A few blocks into the run, we passed my favorite bike store, B's Bikes, and I was fortunate enough to see Ted outside. He called out my name and I high-fived him as I ran past. It was magical. (I don't have a photo of Ted from that day, but here is Alex, Me, Ted & Andre - my 3 favorite bike guys - who came out to celebrate my birthday with me this past August-)

the super cute and always helpful boys from B's Bikes

Here I am running on Berry:

At the end of that block, I saw my friend Elaine and her husband Jeff cheering on the corner. I was so excited to see them! I stopped for a moment and asked him to photograph us together-

After that very brief stop, I continued on, reaching the 1 mile marker soon thereafter. The person with the stop watch called out my time as 11 minutes and 13 seconds. That was a pretty good pace for me.

We ran past my gym, the Greenpoint YMCA-

At some point, I got this great shadow shot of me running -

And eventually hit mile marker 2. The guy called out 23 minutes and change -

Shortly after that, who should I see again but my friend Elaine and her husband Jeff. I didn't stop to get a photo with them this time, but I did get a photo *of* them, cheering for me! How awesome!

And before I knew it, I was at mile marker 3. This woman called 31 minutes, 31 seconds (easy enough to remember since a 5K is 3.1 miles).

I knew something had to be wrong. There was no way I had increased my pace that much. Either the mile markers were inaccurate or they didn't all start their stopwatches at the same time. But it didn't matter. I was going by my end time anyway.

Soon after that I crossed the finish line and hit stop on my heart rate monitor. The total time read 33 minutes 29 seconds, which is a really great time for me; way better than I expected! And then I went and posed with the finish line and clock -

Jill was at the finish line (she had a super impressive time of about 25 minutes. Great job!!), and she was good enough to offer to exchange my super giant event shirt for her slightly less giant event shirt (they were out of the kids' sizes by the time I got there). Thank you, Jill!

I left the 5K and went home to model my t-shirt. You know, in keeping with tradition. But first I took an "after" photo. Not that this was the most strenuous of events, and to tell you the truth, I'm not even sure I broke a sweat, but here I am (sans workout pants):

And here are my traditional event t-shirt photos:

My heart rate monitor stats for the day were:

Total Time: 33 minutes, 29 seconds
Minutes in Cardio Zone: 33 minutes, 21 seconds
% of time in Cardio Zone: 99.76%
Average Heart Rate: 160
High Heart Rate: 175
Calories Burned: 315

It was a really fun run - I love being in my neighborhood! And what I love about events like this (and the bike tours) is to see people come out of their homes, or take a moment to stop what they're doing to cheer for us. Thank you to everyone that cheered us on!

After the 5K, I got changed again for a bike ride. Since it was unseasonably warm, I decided to wear one of my favorite tops, since I likely won't have a chance again until next year -

I then rode over to my favorite vegan bakery, Champs! (on Leonard at Ainslie) I treated myself to a vegan chocolate cupcake with PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING and a mini black and white cookie -

Post 5K vegan baked treats

It was heaven!

Then I went into Manhattan for a bike ride. My main agenda item: Verizon Wireless. (If you follow me on Twitter, you know I had a lot of phone drama after the race - I did the 5K with my Droid tucked into my Spanx and apparently my sweat killed the phone. It would not start properly. Verizon couldn't fix it and pretty much told me that I'd have to buy a new Droid. For close to 600 dollars. I was devastated. DEVASTATED!!! I activated an old phone for the night and at the suggestion of many of you, put the Droid in a pile of rice overnight. By some cellular miracle, it worked! And my Droid started up normally today. I reactivated it and am so happy to have it back! Thank you all for that bit of advice. I can't believe it worked, but I'm thrilled that it did!)

Anyway, phone drama aside, I also wanted to visit my Dad at work - He hasn't seen me since Father's Day. In fact, he hasn't even seen photos of me. This was the first time he saw me since reaching goal weight and it's the first time he ever saw me look the way I do now/at this size. I think it's safe to say he was impressed.

I ran a few other errands, racking up 25 miles total for the day.

On my ride home, while cycling up the Brooklyn bound ramp of the Williamsburg Bridge, I took one of the best self portraits I've ever taken of myself on my bike. I can't believe the symmetry. And I love the lights on both sides of me -

(the new helmet is a brand called Yakkay. You can check them out/order them here)

coming home on the Willy B Bridge tonight

When I got back to Brooklyn, I stopped by one of my favorite neighborhood bars, Matchless, so I could finally enjoy my post-event celebratory beer. (Yes, it was many hours later but I don't enjoy daytime drinking, so I waited...) On my way into the bar, I met a guy who recognized me from the run (and from the bus, apparently) and we spoke briefly. Then, while inside, 3 beautiful young women approached me. They also recognized me from the run and told me they cheered for me and that I looked great (I actually remembered them). It was very sweet of them to come over and tell me that.

I ordered my favorite beer, Brooklyner Weisse. And it turned out it was still happy hour, so that meant I had another free beer coming! Score!

Post 5K beer. Finally!

Oh, and I'd like to mention that I kept to my word and did not order French Fries. (For the record, I *love* their fries!)

I suppose I should register for a 10K since these 5Ks feel like nothing. I'll make that my next running goal...

(the entire set of Flickr photos can be seen here)


  1. That picture of you riding your bike is truly amazing.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I mean truly. It's such a wonderfully happy post filled with great stories and great pictures. It's also made me so nostalgic for my running that i'm even more determined to return to it. Thank you!!! Good timing as you can see by this

    I'm in love with the self-portrait on the bridge. Amazing! It deserves a frame I think :)


  3. You rock.

    Some things for you to google:

    1) Zensah women's compression wear. No need to wear 87 layers. Spanx, Bike shorts, running capris all in one :)

    2) Spibelt and Spibands. They're sweat resistant running gear. I LOVE my Spiband, and carry my iphone in it all the time on long runs.

    3) Distance greater than 5K, eh??? Consider entering the lottery for this:

    You're ready to push yourself. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?

    See you tomorrow!



  4. I have to agree that the pic of you on the bike with the light trails on either side of you is freakin awesome!

  5. Great post - makes me wanna get out and get my butt in gear! Speaking of which, I bought a bike a couple of weeks ago (thanks, in part, to tales of your riding!) and was wondering where you got your fabulous helmet from?? Thanks, G :)

  6. Wow, I can't imagine being in a place where after running a 10K I'm like, "I'm going to shower and go for a bike ride!" Good on you, lady!

    Also, you are inspiring me to get a quasi-impractical but awesome bike for my Philadelphia commutes.

  7. re: my helmet - I should mention that in a post, thanks for reminding me. The brand is Yakkay. You can get them (or look at them) here:

  8. Thanks a bunch - fingers crossed I can source one in Australia now... :)

  9. hey girl. so glad that the phone situation worked out. i saw her sobs on twitter. xo.

  10. Melanie - I can't tell you how often I repeat that "What's the worst that can happen?" You're right. I'm going to go for it. Thank you.

  11. Great post! I love how you show exercise as something fun, something to be enjoyed. It really inspires me to look at it in that way too. Look how far you've come in just a few years!

  12. Wow you run with your camera??? When I do a run I'm so focused on it that I don't want anything in my hands or in my way! I already resent the fact ath I have to run with a "sissy" I mean fanny pack to put my epipen and inhaler in (beleive it or not I AM allergic to exercise so I can't be without those items or my phone when I go out running)

    I have taken the next step and registered for the Ottawa Race Weekend 10K in May! I've got to start trainign to increase my distance!

  13. Dani - I pretty much do everything with my camera in my right hand. It's almost an extension of my hand at this point. I barely notice it's there. I ride my bike with it, walk with it, even had it there for the mud run! I feel weird without it. Good for you and your 10K! You'll definitely be ready by then!




  15. re: the rice trick - yes, at the suggestion of MANY, I took off the back panel & battery. All were dry at this point, by the way. And I put the phone, battery & back plate into a ziploc bag filled with rice. Left it like that over night. This morning, I reassembled it and turned it on and by golly the thing turned on. The rice absorbs the humidity, I guess - the water I couldn't 'see'. I can't tell you how happy I am it worked. I missed that phone so much and am thrilled to not have to pay 600 dollars for a new one!

  16. You are absolutely, 1000% my fitness hero! You're like superwoman, with your biking and running. A 5K is nothing. That's crazy! Looking through your archives, it wasn't THAT long ago that you were just starting up and weren't sure if you could do 5K. I hope that one day, I will be as active as you. It's definitely a goal of mine. Here's to recovering quickly, lol.


  17. Sheryl, you look amazing! And that photo you took of yourself on the bridge is quite remarkable. I wonder if there is a photo contest you could enter it in...I'd bet it would win.

    When I'm reading your blog, I often look that picture of you sitting by the bridge at over 200 pounds, looking like you wished you weren't there. And right next to it is your recent posts with all of your successes and triumphs. Photos of the same person, right next to each other, yet worlds apart in so many ways.

    Your pride and happiness is shining through - now you look like you're thinking "Bitch Cakes is here NOW...bring it!"

  18. I agree 100% with what Raych says. :) You are a freaking amazing lady.

  19. Great to read running is getting a hold on you :o)
    After health issues in August, surgery and internal bleedings, I couldn't run my half marathon last weekend :o(. Been running 5k for two weeks now, slowly building up to my old "routine". Next week I will start my 10k training.
    Great pics! And as always great motivation vibes... You know I gave up artificial candy because of you???


  20. Renee- I am so happy to hear that! I honestly think that's one of (if not) the best and most important things you can do to keep your weight & health in check. Congrats to you!

  21. Love the new heels you were wearing in the pic with your striped top. Congratulatons on your runs. Sounds like you need a new challenge. $600 for a phone, holy smokes!!! Glad it works now.

  22. Jeff and I loved cheering you on Sheryl!! It was so awesome to see you running. Once we saw you near the park, we ran to the next checkpoint to see you again. Hee. Congrats!!! Oh, and btw, I think I found my first 5k to do. On the Coney Island Boardwalk in November. Sounds perfect. if you want to do it too...

  23. I love that picture of you on the bridge, it looks sort of surreal. & of course, congrats on another 5k!
    I'm doing my first 5k in about 7 years on the 22nd. I'm sure I'll be doing walk/run intervals still, but it's a beginning! Maybe soon I'll be able to run the whole thing.


  24. Sometimes they have runs that are 5 miles (instead of doing a 10k), if you want to get something more than 3.1 miles but less than 6.2+ miles. Food for thought. They have that here in Chicago.

    Great job on the run! Awesome time!

  25. Glad the rice trick worked for you! And yes to the above poster, it works if you drop your phone in the toilet. You may have to keep in rice a few days longer, but it WILL work.

  26. That picture of you on Williamsburg bridge is so cool. Thank you for sharing all your exciting experiences with us. The black and white cookie looks yummy!!!

  27. Two questions -- do you wear a timing chip during your races? Those are very common where I live and record your time from when you cross the start line to when you cross the finish line. And second, probably sounds stupid, I assume you mean dry, uncooked rice? I read your comment above about the ziplock, but still couldn't tell. And as for the HALF, woo-hoo!!! That's an awesome goal (if that's what you're referring to with "what's the worst that could happen").

  28. Congratulations on everything! Ive been on WW since June, but fell off the Wagon in August, due to one of my husbands field deployments. Im back on it now, with 20 pounds left until I reach my pre-preg weight and then I would like to loose another 20 after that. Ive lost 28 pounds on WW since June. I am currently following your blog and hope I can learn lots!

  29. Your post makes me so excited that my FIRST 5K is in 10 days! I can't wait! My main goal is finishing and then when I run the next one I will work on a better time.

    Congratulations! xo

  30. Good for you!!! Love that you're considering a 10k! Awesome. Pic on bike is fantastic! Amazing capture as you were riding no less. Very cool. Your pics make me miss Brooklyn even more.

  31. Wow, way to go on the fabulous time and the good streak of 5kms. I really need to get out and run another. I haven't gone on a real run since the City 2 Surf back in August. Shame on me.

  32. You write the most unbelivable, beautiful posts! Todays photos of the 5K and the bike ride are so neat. My favorite is the bridge with the lights ....amazing!!

  33. I was in Greenpoint on Sunday but I think the race was over by then. I was taking Hugo to the dog run in Williamsburg. Sorry I missed you - your time was awesome but that just comes with being ... Awesome!!

  34. I just have to say - that photo on the bike is great...

  35. That photo of you on the bike could win a contest, it turned out perfect!

  36. When you have time, take a peek at my blog; I posted the pics from our meeting Saturday! xoxoxo

  37. This is going to sound totally creepy but.... I think we have the same underwear. Victoria's secret sexy little things?
    Also, congrats on another 5K! I'm hoping to do one soon!

  38. Your photographs are amazing - especially the Williamsburg bridge one! Congrats on your 5K!

  39. I absolutely am in love with that black and white top. It's gorgeous.

    And the picture of you riding in it is fantastic!

  40. The fact that you go to pilates, bike to the 5k, run it, and then bike home is just fantastic to me! I think most people would "justify" skipping pilates and driving to and from the 5k. You are super cool, thanks for showing us that you don't just have to do "enough" but make activity an actual lifestyle!

  41. Just found your blog and wanted to comment to tell you how impressed I am with your progress. You look amazing. I found your post about your history with dieting and it could be me. I'm almost the same height as you and have the SAME legs and the same traumatizing memory of trying to buy jeans as a young teen that haunt me to this day. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  42. Hi from NZ Sheryl :) I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have been hooked ever since! My usual workout is just at the gym but I am attempting to get into the running now that the weather is better and wondered if you could tell me what heart rate monitor you use, or if anyone else here could recommend one? I am a bit overwhelmed looking at ll the options. Thanks! And well done on the 5km :)

  43. My word, I somehow ran across your blog for the 1st time today. Have no idea how you had time to stop for all those pics and still finish that fast, and looked great! I just ran my 1st 5k this weekend, didn't stop for pics, was soaked by the end and still took 34min! You rock!

  44. Hey there,
    Been reading for months, you are a total inspiration. Wondered why you hadn't posted in a week, based on the posts on your other blog, I am guessing you are going through some Sh**. All I can say is keep your head up. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger, and though you may feel like dieing, you will make it through, and imerge on the other side stronger than ever before. I will be thinking of you.

  45. Seriously you inspire me in so many more ways than one! You are so presistant with you change of habits. You live outside the box with your appearance and you look cuter than a kitten. and well lets be honest you have blogged for a long freaking time and that deserve a metal all on its own.

    PS: I'd love for you to pop by my blog and enter my very first giveaway! So excited Im getting the chance to do my very first one!

    Yours Truly


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