I wanted to acknowledge the "Mini" aspect with a skirt, so I went to LuluLemon the day before to buy a running skirt. I'll be honest - I didn't want to like this store (because I have heard it's expensive and women get addicted to their clothes), but I did like it. Darn you, LuluLemon!
I bought the cutest ever running skirt!
|Here it is from the front ...|
|...but the best part is the adorable pleats in the back!|
- Running Bra from Victoria's Secret
- Top from Target
- CWX Compression Pants
- Skirt from LuluLemon
- Moisture wicking socks (New Balance?)
- Reebok Sneakers
- iPod wrap around arm holder
- Nathan running belt
- Vitaband & Road ID
- Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor
- Nike Plus chip
- Pink headband
- Garmin GPS
I grabbed Isabella and left the apartment!
|my make up looks flawless as I ride up the Pulaski (later, not so much)|
|Passing through Long Island City, Queens. (Side note: I always use that Citi building as a landmark. As long as I can see it - no matter where I am in Queens, I know I can get home.)|
As I passed them I said "Good morning, Hellgate!" and then struggled to outpace them on that bridge (runners often pass me on that steep ramp! It's humbling, but I'm used to it)
|riding up the 59th Street Bridge|
|isn't she beautiful?|
As I finally got to 57th & 5th, who should I see entering the park but those damn Hellgate Runners! They beat me to the park!! And by this time I realized they had likely come to cheer for their other members who were running. How sweet!
|dang, you guys are fast!|
|black & yellow, black & yellow, black & yellow, black & yellow (from Girl Talk, All Day - my running soundtrack)|
I biked over to baggage as quickly as I could but baggage was really far from the starting line! I locked up my bike, checked my bag, then waited in line for the bathroom with lots of other runners! Then I had to walk/jog/run to the starting which was easily a quarter mile away...
I walked there as briskly as possible while simultaneously starting my gadgets. I was a nervous wreck, I hate that feeling! As I crossed the starting line, I wasn't surprised to see they were already starting to dismantle it!
|the timer was already gone!|
I started running up Central Park West with the other stragglers. I wondered if I'd be able to catch up to Jen & Josephine who had already started. The nice thing about starting so late is that there is almost no one to maneuver around. The bad thing is the fear of being last. But I didn't dwell on that too long, especially as I saw I was occasionally passing other runners.
Now, I'm sure it doesn't even need to be said, but it's a very different experience when you go out for a solo run vs an event run. On personal runs, when you run down a narrow sidewalk in New York City, you have to take care to avoid pedestrians, food carts, dogs, kids, strollers, delivery guys and other scofflaws on bikes, garbage cans, benches, cars turning at corners and whatever other random nonsense appears on the streets of New York City. But on an event run, the runners have a lot less to worry about. This time we were running down the center of the street with little to no interference except the other runners. I could instead spend my time admiring the park and bystanders on my right and the architecture on my left. And that's when it hit me: I'm running up Central Park West! How cool is this?!
Sometimes I think to myself "How on earth did I get right here, right now in this time and place?" And this was one of those times. Because no matter how far I get, I never let myself lose sight of where I started. And on many occasions, like this one, I enjoy reminding myself that just a few years ago, I would have never believed I'd be doing what I'm doing right now. And how lucky am I to be doing what I'm doing and having this experience? Very!
|we passed the famous Dakota - the building John Lennon lived in|
|and then we passed that building I like - the one I always photograph from *inside* the park|
|What's up, dog?|
|before I know it, we're already at Mile 1 (still not too many runners on the course)|
|Every decision I ever made led me up to this very point in time|
|I'm at Mile 2, and still trying to catch up to the pack!|
|because you're mine, I walk the line|
|walking. it's hot!|
Hey, what's that - not far ahead in the distance? It looks like I'm starting to catch up to some of the other runners! woo hoo! I won't be finishing last after all!
|Hi Ladies! I've come to join you!|
|For once we were running DOWN that huge hill in Harlem. Nice!|
|Mile marker 3|
|I'm totally sweating!|
|that buff dude in the orange vest was offering high-fives. You know I got one!|
|I guess she interpreted the "mini" in Mini10K to be Minnie Mouse|
|Train like a beast!|
|Hey crazy lady! Want some of my magical sports beans?|
|Run, Jen! The cat's totally going to pounce on you!|
|Beer! 1.2 miles that way! Nice job, guy!|
On my final sprint to the finish line, who else should I see cheering on the finishers, but many of the fine ladies from Black Girls Run. They have crazy team spirit and I love that about them! Hello girls!!!!
|It's so close I can taste it!|
|even more BGR members are cheering and waving at me as I ran in for the finish! And the chick running is one of my followers (I didn't know that at the time, but she saw us together in the Brightroom pics) Hi Virginia!!|
But wait - what's that?? Medals?? Really?? Once again, I had no idea but was thrilled to receive one!!!
|It's official: I'm now a medal addict|
|finishers by the baggage area|
Lauren also told me a pretty cute little story that she said I could share - she told me that a few days before this run, she was in Union Square, on her way to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. (seriously, this is a real thing) And on her way, she saw me ride by on my bike! (Incidentally, I was on my way to the Soft Serve Fruit Co!, haha) When she saw me, she re-thought her ice cream purchase and decided not to splurge. She didn't go to the BGICT after all. I thought that was funny and adorable - almost like seeing me was a sign that she didn't really want to spend those PointsPlus on that item. Good for you, Lauren! (PS you should have followed me to the frozen fruit place instead! Next time...)
At the same time, I ran into a woman Julie who I met on the Tour de Bronx. Not only had she also run this race but she PR'ed - with a jaw dropping time of 45 minutes. (Julie you are a running goddess, congratulations!)
After those fun little encounters, I really had to hightail it out of there because I was supposed to be in lower Manhattan at 10am! On my way out, I ran into Jen & Josephine who had also finished and were going to meet me downtown. We got a photo together before leaving:
|Josephine, me & Jen|
|Fruit is your friend!|
|by now I don't look nearly as good as I did on the Pulaski Bridge earlier!|
|That's the Manhattan Bridge, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background|
|I'm a sucker for this shot - how could you not be?|
Do you remember that show Workout on Bravo with Jackie Warner - that hot fitness instructor from LA with the blonde hair? Yeah. Her! Evian was hosting this outdoor fitness event and they found me via my blog and invited me. It was one of the best offers I ever received from my blog and I was thrilled to attend! (Thanks, Evian!)
|Jackie on stage. The other gluttons for punishment on a very humid day. But look at that view!!|
There are no photos taken during the workout for a few reasons:
1) I was seriously working out every second
2) I thought Jackie might say something (she could totally see me!)
3) We were in SAND and I couldn't risk killing my brand new camera I've had for only 5 days - which I had to buy because I killed my other camera a week ago, with SAND!
It was a 45 minute workout of cardio and strength training and it was NO JOKE! It was fun but very challenging! I loved it! First of all, did I mention we were in sand? Seriously, I have no idea where the city imported this sand from because it was really nice. Anyway, that sandy surface made planks, pushups, lunges - everything - more challenging because of the instability and uneven-ness factor. We also used an elastic band to get a super arm and shoulder workout. She killed our abs and core too. This was a great and intense full body workout. I was sore for two days- my hamstrings and shoulders especially - and I'm rarely ever sore - certainly never for that long! I loved every sweaty, sandy second of it!
|Jen shows off her Evian|
|Jackie, I love you!|
After the workout, Jackie stuck around to answer questions. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay because I had even more plans this day and a tight schedule to stick to. I just snapped a photo of her before leaving -
On our way out, I asked for a photo with Amanda and Josie - the woman who invited me to the event. Thank you so much, Josie! We had a great time!!
And since I didn't have a chance to give the real Jackie a kiss, I gave billboard Jackie a kiss -
|thanks for the workout!|
|Fulton Fish Market - I love this building!|
|Really, Sheryl ? The same shot again, really??? Yes, I can't help it!|
|FDNY Chinatown Dragon Fighters (fire breathing dragons, no doubt!)|
|biking home with another medal to add to the collection :)|
While on the ferry, a young woman came up to me and told me she reads my blog and she ran the Brooklyn Pride Run this morning (I didn't even know about that one). She said she had to make herself go because for some reason she didn't want to. And she told me she thought of me - because she remembered a post of mine where I didn't want to run and I got up and out and did it anyway (probably this one). I'm so glad that story stuck with her and helped get her moving today! Way to go, Kerri!!
|Me with Kerri, on the Governor's Island Ferry|
|What's up, Lady Liberty? Don't mind me while I just hang out on your eyebrow for this shot|
|polka dots & stripes|
|She's so beautiful!|
|view of lower Manhattan from Governor's Island|
|That's the Staten Island Ferry that I mention in my Five Boro Bike Tour posts and Tour de Staten Island post.|
|oh no! Bail Panda out of jail!|
|whew! What a day!|
|You go, Puerto Ricans!|
|I love this building on Kent|
|Arial shot of my curl. It looks pretty good!|
... but I wasn't headed home just yet. First I had to celebrate my awesome day of running, biking, medal receiving, and working out with Jackie Warner. Naturally, this meant I needed beer. So I tracked down Meghan and had her meet me at the Lost & Found Bar where they give you a free pizza with every beer. Seriously. A free personal sized pizza with every beer purchase! Neat-o!
Also, who better to celebrate than with a woman who does crazy stuff like this
When I arrived, Meghan already had my favorite beer, Brooklyner Weisse waiting for me! Then I ordered a cheese-less pizza with jalapenos, pineapple and garlic. (The pizza is free but the toppings cost you a buck each. Still a pretty awesome deal)
We had a few beers and many laughs. It was the perfect ending to my active day!
|what trip to a bar would be complete without a photo in the bathroom?|
Here are my heart rate monitor stats for the day:
That was such a fun and awesome day - filled with activity, adventures and friends. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm so glad I'm me and I love my life. :)