It’s still over a month away (41 days to be exact) but I am getting really excited about the River Bank Run. I apologize in advance because I will probably write about this race almost daily until I run it on May 12…
I think the most exciting thing for me right now is the fact that this will be the first time anyone in my family will be at a race of mine. All three of the half marathons I have run have been in New York (2 in NYC and 1 in the Hamptons) so making the weekend trip out hasn’t exactly been feasible. It will be incredible to have my parents waiting at the finish line and familiar faces posted up along the race route.
The thing that makes this different from other long races that I’ve run is that I’m comfortable with the distance. A 25k is a little more than a half marathon (duh), but I know it’s completely within my ability so it’s easier to be excited about all of the extra stuff that goes along with running a big race. Even though I’m returning to my old stomping grounds, it feels like a destination race, only I get to reap the benefits of home-cooked meals, familiar and comfortable accommodations, and friendly faces. Not to mention, I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my momma, and my baby sister (not such a baby anymore - eeek!) will be going to her senior prom so I can see her all fancied up. (I got a sneak peek of the dress and it’s gorgeous!)
My mom is even excited for the race. She excitedly told me that much like the NYC Half I ran last March, the RBR will have the SMS runner tracking and GPS that she used to follow me as I wound my way through the streets of New York. She told me the other day that she was proud of my running prowess. It made me tear up a little bit. She and my dad have already carved out time in their busy schedules for the NYC Marathon in November. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family! So excited to show them my little world of running!
After a crazed end to my workday, I’m feeling a lot like this:
I was going to come home and be all kinds of productive, but instead, I’m going to sit on the couch and watch the Red Wings and drink my oversized, crappy beer and love every. single. minute of it. Cheers!
Today’s Tunes on Repeat Brought To You By: The Civil Wars
I’m in about 5 kinds of love with this album. It has been the perfect soundtrack to my laid back Friday at work. (You can buy it on Amazon for $3.99!)
I’ve got this friend I don’t think you know her She sings a simple song It sounds a lot like his Oh I’ve got this friend Holding onto her heart Like it’s a little secret Like it’s all she’s got to give
Maui Jim Punchbowl Sunglasses: I got these sunglasses as a birthday gift from RB and they’ve already gotten a lot of mileage. (Thanks for looking out for my eyeballs RB!) From sunny New York days spent wandering the city to sunbathing by the pool or on the beach in Tampa, I’ve worn these babies almost every day. The lenses are amazing and I love the blue accent inside the frames!
Signing Up For Races: (See my previous post…) There’s something so satisfying about receiving a race registration confirmation email. Spring and summer are just not as exciting without a few Saturday and Sunday mornings devoted to running around with a few hundred — and in some cases, a few thousand — like-minded individuals.
Direct Flights to Grand Rapids: When I fly home I generally fly into Detroit because it’s less expensive, but I’ve been fortunate enough to find reasonably priced nonstop flights from New York into Grand Rapids. (Just booked flights for the River Bank Run, in fact!) This shaves a good 8 hours of drive time off for my parents and means I have 4 more hours to spend with family and friends in West Michigan.
I don’t have much on the race calendar this year, (a far cry from last year when I was constantly prepping for races to complete my NYRR 9+1) so I’m feeling a bit like a slacker.
I just registered to run the Inaugural Escape to The Palisades 5k. (They offer a half marathon, but because I’m running my 25k the following weekend, I decided against the half - obviously.) It should be the perfect solution to staving off the taper madness that I’m sure will plague me that week. It’s also a gorgeous course. I ran in the Palisades when I was training for the NYC Half last year with Team In Training and really enjoyed it.
It also sounds like I will get to enjoy the company of 94monkeys, who found the race, and Alice. (We’ve got a thing for running races outside of the city I guess… First Sleepy Hollow and now the Palisades!)
Tonight’s Speedy Last Half Mile Brought To You By:Crank It Up by David Guetta (feat. Akon)
Instead of listening to my usual running playlist, I opted to listen to the Dance Cardio station on Pandora for tonight’s run and I am so glad I did. This song came on at the very end of my run and made for a really fun, energetic last half mile. (It will also be a new favorite for pre-run dance parties.) This is definitely being added to my usual playlist.
…make sure to take your twice daily snort of Nasonex. As a severe seasonal allergy sufferer, you don’t have the luxury of just being able to forget things like that from the months of March-November.
Central Park was beautiful tonight. I didn’t even mind that I had to break out the long sleeves and cropped running tights again. So lovely.
Given how congested I was and how tight my chest felt, this run didn’t feel like a great run until I hit mile 4. And then I finished the run and looked at my watch. I did it again…
Tonight’s run was inexplicably fast. I really need to rein it in a bit. While I like seeing such low numbers when I plug my Garmin in, I know it’s not necessarily a good thing to run fast all the time. I think later this week I’ll run some hill repeats. (Can’t run too fast on hills.) The only thing I can point to that may have had something to do with my running like a mad woman was my afternoon spent perusing marathon training plans. I’ve got the NYC Marathon on my mind and I don’t care who knows it!
This morning I met one of my best friends Rebecca for a training run in Central Park. Being that we’re both West Michigan girls, we both signed up to run the Fifth Third River Bank Run which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this May. This is a race that I grew up hearing about, and before I was a serious semi-serious runner, it was the only race I had any interest in running. It’s a 25k (the largest 25k road race in the country) that winds its way through Grand Rapids and along the Grand River.
The race is a big deal in Grand Rapids and it’s not uncommon to overhear friends and neighbors checking in with one another on their training or clinics that they attended. Local businesses provide an unbelievable amount of support and charities turn out in droves to fundraise for their causes. I’m almost as excited to run this race as I am to run the NYC Marathon. The city is very proud of this race and running this race makes me feel like I’m finally a real Grand Rapidian (despite having spent most of my life there).
So, because Reb and I are running this race and because she had never run in Central Park before, we decided to get together to do our 10 miler this morning in Central Park. It was a bit chilly when we started but as we settled in it warmed up. The forecast and clouds overhead threatened rain, but it held off until about mile 8.
Earlier this week I tweaked my groin when I slipped on a stick on my way up Harlem Hill. (I’m such a klutz.) I’ve spent every day since icing and hoping that it would heal quickly. Though I was a little apprehensive when we started today, it didn’t bother me at all until after the hills and even then it was only for half a mile.
This was a really good run for me. It was so nice to run with Reb and chat. I hardly ever run with someone else, but I’ve found that my long runs are more bearable and go by much faster when I’ve got someone else right there with me. I feel like I have come into my own as a runner. I had myself convinced that the faster times I was posting were just a fluke, but I’m still managing to put together solid runs. I feel like I have learned when to rein myself in and when to let myself go to town.
Now, I’m going to make dinner, which will amount to roughly the 5th meal I’ve eaten today. Long runs make me ravenous!
1. My favorite color is green or purple. I have a hard time deciding on just one.
2. My home decor color palette includes a lot of earth tones. Beige with reds, browns and greens.
3. Other people always tell me I look good in the color green. I don’t know if it has something to do with my blonde hair or if it’s because it makes my normally gray eyes look exceptionally green.
4. The color I detest is pink. I can’t wear pink (not that I would choose to) and it’s just a little too precious for me. I wasn’t super girlie when I was little, but I did have a penchant for Barbie and my closet was filled with various articles of pink clothing bearing grass stains.
5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colors you’d see would be pretty monochromatic. (I live in New York after all…) I have a lot of grays, whites and blacks.
6. A color that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is cream or nudes. I’m too fair skinned and it washes me out.
7. The color of my favorite dress is kind of a cross between midnight blue and eggplant. (A deep purple?) I’m wearing it today in fact!
Bare Legs in March: Spring decided to grace New York City with its presence prior to my vacation and after ditching jeans for shorts and skirts and dresses for about a week, my legs were really digging the fresh air. Today is supposed to be another beautiful day so I thought, “Why not?! Get those gams back out and wear a dress to work.” You will never hear me complain about getting to wear a sundress, and certainly not when it’s in March.
dfl Travel Mugs: My mom (because she’s awesome) sends me the occasional box of odds and ends. One of her more recent deliveries included 3 dfl travel mugs. Knowing me as she does, she knows I like my coffee, and thought these cute little mugs would meet my caffeine-addict needs nicely. They’re nice because they don’t leak or spill on the train and the lids stay on nice and tight. Thanks, Mom! (And no, I was not paid to write this…)
Apples and Peanut Butter: Honestly, this is one of my favorite snacks. Two things I love that pair so nicely. Great pre or post-run or as a little snack. (I don’t really think there’s any time that this combination isn’t good…) *Note: I don’t usually include chocolate chips or oats, but I just remembered that this combination exists and that I must try it soon…
Work: (Shhh… I know, I know. “Favorite” may be a bit of a stretch, but bear with me…) My job is awesome. It is. It’s hard to explain to people what it is that I do on a day-to-day basis, and sometimes I feel like it still sounds so entry-level, but that’s just me projecting. I have no reason to complain about anything. (Yet, I still always find something to complain about…) It’s easy to get frustrated when you don’t see yourself doing exactly what it is you want to do, but why not make the most of what you are doing? I just need to remind myself how awesome it is to work in a great lab and to have such awesome, understanding bosses. I’m lucky. (Seeing all of your hard work and data come together in a great lab meeting never hurts either.)
I always end up packing 4-5 more outfits than is really necessary. My first visit to Tampa was problematic because I had to pack for approximately 3 different climates, but this time, with multiple sporting events to attend, I find it extremely necessary to come prepared with each team’s respective apparel.
On a completely separate note, I got to Skype and have a virtual beer with one of my best friends ever tonight. Woo, I love you. I’m so glad you were a part of my day today! Thank you for filling my life with lots of smiles, laughter, love and good times.
This Evening’s Sunny-Day-Bare-White-Legged Run Brought To You By: Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend
Pretty much my favorite song to run to at the moment. I had to stop myself several times from busting out these sweet moves…*
I just did a short 3.4 miles and finished in 29:02. It wasn’t a great run, but it was a run and it was nice to be outside enjoying the weather. The beautiful thing about living where I do is that I am just one stop away from Columbus Circle and it’s easy peasy to pop into Whole Foods after a run and return home with a delicious take and bake Chicken Pot Pie and the fruit I’ve been craving all day. Mmm pineapple…
*Go watch the music video for the full effect and more sweet moves. And if you REALLY want to laugh, watch Tarin from SNL do a side-by-side comparison of the video here! (Thanks, Nicole for reminding me that this gem was out there!!!)
I left work a little bit early today, but I was feeling flustered. I knew the only thing that would help me feel better was a run.
So I got home and immediately changed into my running clothes before I could change my mind. I arrived at Central Park with plenty of daylight to spare and started running. My initial goal was 5 miles, but I hid my watch and set out for an attitude adjustment and 3 laps around the lower loop.
I did some awesome thinking and reasoning and I reminded myself of some pretty exciting things. For example: You’re running the NYC Marathon this year. Before I knew it, I was rounding the bottom of Central Park toward Columbus Circle for the third and final time. I took a glance at my watch as I pressed the stop button and then hit reset. (You know when you look at your phone or something to check the time and a second later you can’t remember what time it was… Yeah, I did that with my distance and time.) When I got home I plugged my little Garmin in and it was like Sunday post-race all over again…
I guess it doesn’t really matter, but this sudden emergence of my inner speed demon has thrown me for a bit of a loop. I’m just going to chalk this one up to pent up frustration and a much needed emotional/mental cleanse.
First, I’m cautiously optimistic that whatever it was that was giving me so much stomach trouble last week has disappeared or is under some sort of control. (Going strong on 3 days without pain + 2 days without nausea + I’ve reintroduced coffee without incident!)
Second, I got to hang out with Chino. Be still my beating heart…
Third, I kicked ass in a race I felt woefully underprepared for. (It’s just 3 miles, but after a squirrely eating week, illness, and no exercise at all I felt underprepared.)
Finally, my Wolverines are Big Ten Co-Champs! Time to head into the B1G tournament and after Selection Sunday, I should be able to firm up the plans in my vacation itinerary. Go BLUE!
Hoping this week passes without too much excitement (and maybe a little more exercise). Only 9 days until I’m wheels up and heading to Tampa for fun in the sun, RB, sporting events galore, green beer, and flip flops! Make it a good week!
So after a week of being sick and not running I went into this race with the goal of finishing. (Do not collapse on the course Caitlin.) It was pouring when I ran it last year (which probably helped to thin out the crowds a bit), and though it’s a hilly course, it’s a fun race. I also love that it’s up in my work ‘hood. It’s always nice to see so many people get out of Central Park and experience a little piece of a Manhattan they don’t see everyday.
So let’s cut to the chase… I didn’t just finish the race. I PR’ed the NYRR Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5k. I knew this after looking at my watch at the finish line, but then I plugged my little Garmin into my computer and I took a peek at my splits and um… what?
(7:53 split!?!??!?! Whaaaaaaaat?)
I didn’t just PR that race, I PR’ed it like a boss.