Breakfast: I had my usual vegan pancakes & vegan sausage link w/maple syrup and coffee w/ unsweetened almond milk.
Activity: I didn't attend my weekly weights class since that sometimes makes my leg muscles sore the next day. I knew I had to take it easy, activity wise, so all I did was ride my bike to Manhattan to meet a friend. I ended up riding a total of 17 miles but totally took my time and didn't exert myself.
Late lunch: I stopped at Kate's Joint on Ave B on my way home and picked up a vegan spinach & bean quesadilla.
Dinner: I was going to make whole wheat macaroni but didn't have time. I just ate a whole wheat everything bagel with peanut butter & jelly.
Notes: I stretched often throughout the day, took my vitamins and tried to drink more water than I normally do on a weekend but probably only had about 8 glasses total.
9:30pm I was in bed!
4:00 Rise and shine! Why do I get up so early? Because I know myself. One hour is simply not enough. No matter how much I prepare the night before, I need 2 hours to get ready. I've cut it too close too many other times where I'm rushing to events and that's a terrible feeling. I'd rather wake up at an obscene hour and not feel rushed.
Breakfast: Coffee with unsweetened almond milk, 2 frozen Nature's Path waffles with maple syrup and 1 Tofurky breakfast (vegan) sausage link (loaded with sodium - I wanted the salt!)
Protein shake consisting of water, vegan vanilla protein powder, PB2, small banana and a little green juice from Trader Joe's (thanks for the tip, Fei!)
6:00 I was dressed and ready to leave-
|bottom layer - I knew I wouldn't be running in my shirt for the whole event|
|Representing my new running gang, North Brooklyn Runners, with my shirt|
I left my apartment in pitch blackness. It was shortly after 6am and the streets of Greenpoint were pretty empty except for the stray hipsters wandering home from a bar or one night stand.
The start was in Central Park, so I took the Pulaski Bridge to Queens -
|On the Pulaski Bridge|
|On the Pulaski- I <3 NY too!!|
|view of midtown from them the Pulaski - look at the Chrysler Building! She's still lit up but the heavy fog covers the top of her a little.|
|Zooming north on 1st Ave in Manhattan|
|the cruiser locked up on 5th Ave|
|Runners at the 72nd St & 5th Ave entrance. The sun is trying to make an appearance for us.|
|I love how they line up the cups for these events.|
|Yes, it was a tad crowded|
|Waiting to begin and so glad it's chilly!|
I learned a little more about the course while I was waiting - we were starting with a full loop in Central Park before being unleashed to run free through the streets of Manhattan. Good thing I just ran the full loop with Lainy last month! That meant I knew what to expect.
|We finally started moving up, making our way towards the starting line|
|Elite Woman & Men|
I quickly consumed one of those Gu gel packs and ate a salt packet I had made at home (something I remember reading when I was preparing for last year's Brooklyn Half). Then I had to start all my electronics: Nike+/iPod (yes of course I listened to Girl Talk All Day!), my Polar Heart Rate Monitor, Runtastic app on my phone and the real time app I had downloaded called Glympse. Unfortunately I had little to no GPS reception in Central Park so I'm not sure if you were even able to follow along while I was running.
As I approached the start and told myself "This is it. You're about to run 13.1 miles. Let's do this!"
|Nervous anticipation as I'm about to cross the starting line!|
But I just kept going, taking in the experience and assessing how I felt. I was pleased that I felt pretty great! As I ran, in between tons of other thoughts, I reminded myself of my mantra "Run when you can, walk if you must, but never quit!"
|Running past the first fluid station. After I drank, of course!|
|Look at that! It's Cat Hill!|
|I heard the distinct sound of a bouncing basketball behind me. I turned around and snapped this shot. She was actually dribbling while running.|
|Hey Jane! Funny running into you here ;)|
|Hannah offered to run with me and was kind enough to take my sweatshirt, which I need to retrieve at some point|
|I like the way my eyelashes look here. I also like running straight down the center of painted lines|
|I missed Mile Marker 2 because I passed it as I was talking to Jane, but here's Mile 3|
|The 5K time (note: I crossed the start at 38 minutes, so my time is about 35 minutes for a 5K. That's pretty much my standard pace)|
|Shortly before attacking the big hill at 110th St|
As I was running, every mile or so I did a sort of self-check, asking myself if anything was bothering me. Much to my delight and surprise my allergies were not bad at all this day. That was a huge plus. My tendonitis was fine - I didn't feel any pain in my left ankle area. My right rib/chest muscle I had recently pulled was ok too. No pain over there. I was breathing well and feeling really good. Surprisingly good. It was such a relief!
|Why yes, that IS a man on a unicycle on the right.|
|What do you know! Mile Marker 4 already? That went fast!|
|I always photograph those buildings when I'm in the park. I can't help it. I love them!|
|As I passed the reservoir, I smiled even wider. This is the Jackie Onassis reservoir in the park and the first time I ran around the park on my own and "discovered" it, I was listening to Girl Talk. At the time, the Ramones (one of my favorite bands and very NY) were on and it just struck me what an incredible moment it was - Here I was in Central Park, running, with The Ramones. I wondered how I got to that exact awesome moment in my life. Everything just clicked and felt great, so now I recall that memory and smile whenever I see the reservoir.|
|Behind the scenes at one of the water stations|
|Mile Marker 5 - I got there in just under an hour. I was really not worrying about my time/pace but was pleasantly surprised to see how I was doing.|
|Yay! Back on the white stripe!|
|I came up on the Black Girls Run! cheering squad. I know a few of the gals in this group (Hi Florence!) but don't think I met these particular ladies. Regardless, it was wonderful to see them out there supporting their girls!|
|Well hello Mile Marker 6. I must be on my way out of the park soon!|
|I thought this sign was adorable! (Go Team Hole in the Wall)|
|and what do you know, the 10K mark!|
|OMG Exiting Central Park - to run free on 7th Avenue!!|
|7th Ave. Closed to cars. Delightful!|
|I actually stopped in front of them. I couldn't risk a bad run-by shot. I talked to them too "Seriously, guys?! I have no idea what is going on here BUT I LOVE IT! And you're wearing my favorite colors - pink & black!"|
I kept running down 7th Ave with a huge smile on my face - I was just full of joy! I was looking ahead at Times Square in the distance and taking in the lights and signs that I was running past. I saw tourists who seemed confused about what they were witnessing and others that were clearly annoyed that they couldn't cross the street. It was pure magic!
|still on 7th Ave|
|Running towards the Jumbotron|
|I turned around briefly to snap a shot of me in the middle of Times Square|
|Oh hey! There's Mile Marker 7!|
|once again trying to get a self portrait in the middle of Times Square. and by the way, where are all the other runners!?|
|we were not on the Jumbotron :(|
|This is the corner of 7th Ave & 42nd St. We were turning right onto 42nd Street to run west.|
|You KNEW I was getting a shot of the HK store!!|
|I love this building and that sign - I've always wanted to get a shot of it|
|This crowd was super enthusiastic and went NUTS when I ran past. I loved it!|
I was still feeling great and was already more than half way done!
To be continued...