We woke up with a wake-up call at 4am (much better than the 2am wake-up at Disney!), and I jumped in the shower first, had my Arnold Thin with peanut butter for breakfast, and we were out the door by 5am. We drove over to the PATH and found at least 100 other runners waiting for the next subway to take us into the city. Our plan was to just get off the subway with a bunch of other runners and follow them. Well, we followed them, and they all got in to cabs, which we weren’t planning on doing. So, I pulled out the email Megan had sent me with the subway directions, but we still caught a cab anyway to 102nd Street on the East Side, where my corral would be. The cab ride felt like my last moments on Earth- the driver was the worst! But we made it safely there…
We hung out for a little while before the race, and with about a half hour left to go, they went on their way so I could warm up and get settled in my corral. I really enjoyed a nice jog along some trails in Central Park and some stretching up on a hill before I got settled. I felt so relieved that I could stretch and get loose, unlike my experience with Disney. Once I was in my corral, I started chatting with some other girls to help pass the time. The line started moving right at 7:30, and by 7:47, I was crossing the starting line.
Miles 1 and 2 were fairly easy. I knew I had to stick more with my interval training this time, so at the first mile marker, I stopped to walk for a minute, and I did the same thing at mile 2. However, the hills are Central Park snuck up on us for Miles 3-5. I still stuck with my intervals, but I let myself walk the hills when they got too tough, but I made up the time later. Miles 7 and 8 were repeats of miles 1 and 2, which got pretty boring. But coming up on the 8th Mile marker, there were more lined along the road cheering, and there was even a crowd of kids wanting their hands slapped. How cute.
Making the turn out of Central Park and on to Seventh Avenue was probably the best part of the race to me. Seeing the skyscrapers and hearing “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z being played on the speakers was awesome! And then I turned on “City on Down” by OAR, picked up my speed, and almost started to cry. The scene was amazing, and I was running in the middle of the streets of NYC! This was even better than running through Cinderella’s Castle!
This was also where my friends, Ellen and Holly, saw me! But I was too busy getting the photographer’s attention to notice them! But Ellen caught some action pictures…
Right after Times Square, we turned right on to 42nd Street and started the 10th mile. This is where I completely tanked at Disney, but I didn’t let it play with my head. At the 11th mile, we were on the West Side Highway, and I started “pole dancing” as Holly calls it. I would pick a lamp post and run to it, walk a little, pick a new lamp post, and so on. I already knew by this time, I was going to PR by at least 5 minutes. I just needed to keep moving at a good pace. At this point, the spectators were sporadic, but I could see runners walking back to cheer everyone else on. They were wearing their medals, which spurred me on! I wanted that medal!! So the pole dancing continued until the end. I gave it my all from mile 12.5 to the end and sprinted that last 0.1 miles. I felt like every muscle in my legs was falling off of me, and I’m pretty sure I uttered a four-letter word. You can see my anger/frustration/pain in this picture…
But the happy face returned as I crossed the finish line!
And a shot after the race, which I didn’t even know about at Disney!
My finishing time:
A PR of 10 minutes, 5 seconds
5k- didn’t record
After the race, I was to meet Ellen and Holly at the New York City Public Library on 42nd and 5th. However, I took the wrong subway and got lost in Brooklyn. Yeah, this was fun. I’m all alone, hobbling like I’m crippled, and I’m sure I looked like a hot mess. But a nice man gave me directions back to Manhattan so I could meet up with my friends 🙂
We were all starving at this point, so we decided to walk around and find a good “New York” place to go to. On the way, I grabbed my Muscle Milk out of my “after the race bag”. We ended up choosing Heartland Brewery in Times Square where we enjoyed some great beer!
I ordered the mushroom ravioli, which was absolutely delicious and hit the spot!
Right after getting up from the booth to leave, I noticed I must have had a blister on the bottom of my heel. I didn’t have any blisters after Disney, but I did get one from NYC. Thankfully, it’s already healed!
We made our way back to the car in Weehawken and headed home, but not before we got a picture of the three of us!
Overall, I absolutely loved this race. The scenery was amazing. I could have done without the hills in Central Park, but hey, I like a good challenge. Disney Princess was a fun race, but I felt like this was a more serious race. I mean, Deena Kastor was running it! So, after finishing this one, I truly feel like a half-marathoner. Not that I didn’t feel like one after Disney, but this solidified it for me.
The best part of this race was… Ellen and Holly have decided to join me in next year’s Disney Princess Half Marathon! They’re both going to start training now. Isn’t that exciting!?!?! And I just found out my friend Jen, who I lived with in Florida, will be training for it as well. I’m so excited to have a big group of girls join me next year!
Now I must pack for my Orlando trip! I need to leave my house in 3 hours, and I’m not even packed. And… I got my iPhone back today! Well, it’s a refurbed one, so it needs to be synced, and who knows how long that will take!
Good night! See you in Orlando! If anyone in Orlando wants to meet up while I’m there, email me 🙂 I’ll be around Thursday-Monday.