Whoa blogging backlog!
Let’s skip the apologies and get right into it shall we? On Saturday morning I met up with Ashley and Melissa, a reader who commented last week. After getting her sweet comment, I emailed her and learned she is also training for the NYC Half Marathon. We decided it would be a lot of fun to run the 9 miles together!
We decided to run 5 miles and then run another 4 as part of the Run for Haiti, where 100% of race entry fees went to Haiti relief. This race was also a double qualifier for the 2011 NYC Marathon. I’ve decided to qualify for guaranteed entry for November, 2011! All I have to do is run 9 New York Road Runners races (8 because Haiti counts twice) and volunteer at one race. Of course, anything can happen between now and then (ahem, injuries) but for now. . . I plan on running the NYC Marathon in 2011!
We met at my apartment and ran to the park on the east side, across Central Park South, up Central Park West and back. We did 5 miles that way and then went into the park for the race. We talked the entire time and the miles sped by. It was such a gorgeous day, too. Sunny and in the 40s. Tropical!
There were SO MANY people!
I got a cool number for the race: 5050! Here I am with Ashley and Melissa:
It was amazing seeing people lined up to race for Haiti as far as our eyes could see. We actually snuck in with the 7 minute milers because it was so hard to get a spot. When the race began there was a Haitian group singing We are the World, which was powerful.
You can hear the song, watch the race coverage and see just how gorgeous Central Park was that day covered in snow. And you can get chills like I did when you see just how many people were running for this cause in this video here:
We started running and some people tried to trample us. Yes, we were in a faster group but, I mean, this was a race for charity, no? Plus, there were tons of walkers (this was a run/walk) where they shouldn’t have been too!
We talked so much that I didn’t even notice the Central Park Hills. Seriously! It was so smooth. For the last mile we decided to put on our headphones and do our own thing. Since I was feeling amazing (had I really run 8 miles already?! The 9th was my PDR!) I followed in Melissa’s footsteps as she jetted off and I did the same. I took off running and sped up my pace. I felt so awesome! This was the easiest and best run I’ve had, especially for such a long run! My knees felt fine, my foot felt fine, the sun was shining, so many people were united for a wonderful cause.
As I ran faster and began dodging people, I wondered if I could beat my 4 mile race PR of 40:00 exactly. I was running faster but at the very end had to slow down for a tight corner and it was too crowded to spring near the finish line. And then I couldn’t even step OVER the finish line. It was full of people just standing! So I lingered near the finish and tried to stick my foot in to record the time!
I knew that last mile was the strongest and fastest I’ve ran (this does not count the 5th Avenue Mile which was fast but certainly not strong!), but was it enough to beat my time?
I checked my time later and . . .nope. Not enough! 42:39 with an average pace of 10:39. Oh, well! Apparently those easy hills were made easy by our slow, chatty pace. At least it felt fast, huh?
And I decided to run another 4 mile race in April where I will (yes, I am making time goals again now that I know I can do it) aim to PR.
After the race we miraculously found each other. We walked back to my apartment and Ashley and Melissa got their stuff and left for brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup. I felt so upset that I couldn’t go with them since I am dying to try their baked french toast! But I had plans . . . for a tour of The Lite Choice!
More on that in another post very soon! In the meantime, anyone want to go to Alice’s Tea Cup with me so I can finally try the french toast? Anyone?
The Race for Haiti raised over $400,000 towards earthquake relief. I know this is comparatively minor, but it is SOMETHING and I am proud to have been able to participate and help this incredible cause.
I plan to run with Ashley and Melissa in the weekends leading up to the big race. Running with friends is great and it made the scary long run much less scary. After last weekend, I know I will do great at the NYC Half!