|Today began with brilliant sunshine and what promised to be a beautiful day. The plan was to participate in the Revlon Walk/Run for Women, so I got dressed and headed into the city on the subway.
I chose to participate in this event partly because of the unique course. When would I get another chance to run a race that took off right in the middle of Times Square? So I met up with Chelly just outside Times Square and was met by tons of participants. Hordes of women heading in the same direction, dressed in active clothing, and with signs proclaiming the women in their lives whose cancer fight they were supporting. I raised some money for the charity, but, fortunately, don't have a personal stake in the fight. Cancer is not what takes the women in my family.
Since we wanted to get a good run out of this, I suggested getting as close to the starting line as possible. The website had stated that strollers were allowed, but were asked to try and stay toward the rear as not to impede the runners. Of course, this was completely ignored and I was less than 10 feet from the starting line with a stroller on Chelly's heels and a small child on their bicyle to our right.
After a whole lot of announcement over the PA system, which I'm sure were touching and moving, but totally not understandable by those of us on the street, they started the event with a loud bang and whole lot of confetti. Now began about a half mile obstacle race where we weaved and bobbed around walkers and standers and others who really should have lined up farther back.
At about the half mile mark we entered the park and it became one of the most surreal races I've done so far in the city. I was participating in a 'race' of what was claimed to be 40,000 participants and there were fewer runners around me than were doing their workouts on the path. Most races are spent weaving around runners for the entire race, as I slowly pass a few here and there. Today, once I was clear, I hardly passed anyone. Except for the occasional stopped participant who had let the excitement goad them into going way to fast for the first mile.
I noticed at the first mile marker that it didn't seem to match with what my Garmin was telling me. I allowed that the initial start may have messed with my mileage and/or the tall buildings on 7th Avenue may have caused the GPS to miscalculate, but the second mile marker was off, as well. I really felt like I was working hard, but wasn't really sure of the distance, so I was kind of disappointed. The five mile race last weekend has been lingering with me all week and I thought that perhaps I was going to bonk in this race.
With all the distance markers being a little off, I wasn't exactly sure where they were going to put the finish line. I wanted to try and kick it a little in the last tenth of a mile, but was afraid that I would end up having to run farther than a tenth of a mile. I kept up a steady pace and I was right. The Garmin gave the total distance at 3.25 miles and I was able to verify that against what some other people got. My final time for the course was 27:17 - what would have been a PR for 5k and definitely the fastest 3.25 miles I've run. I was really pleased, especially since I thought I was working really hard just to get my normal pace.
They had quite a big post-race expo with tons of giveaways and lots of literature from other cancer charities. The end of the race bagel was accompanied by a small container of cream cheese and small bag of mini rice cakes, for a special touch.
I lost Chelly, though. I wandered the post-race area for over an hour before we finally bumped into each other. Chelly also ran a fantastic time for her race. I'm happy that we're both progressing through the season. We should be killer by fall! :-)
We wandered over to The Barking Dog for brunch. It was a cute place with a doggy decor and pretty good food. I got the breakfast plate which had an ample pile of bacon and hash browns along with three eggs and sausage. Mmmmm!
We then wandered downtown along Third Avenue just window shopping. Chelly picked up a couple of things for the 5 Boro Bike Tour tomorrow, in which she is participating. The idea of ice cream was floating in my head for some reason so I was keeping an eye open for a Ben & Jerry's or a Haagan Daz or any kind of ice cream shop where I could get a cone. Well, there was none to be had and I was kind of bummed. That's when Chelly remembered that FAO Schwartz has an ice cream bar in the store. Let me just say, this is not the place to go if you are on a diet. The sundae I got had three scoops of ice cream, hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce and chocolate chips. And whipped cream and a cherry on top. I didn't eat the whole thing, I couldn't. The other confections they were constructing contained enormous amounts of ice cream. They actually make one called the Volcano that has, I think, 12 scoops of ice cream. It's $100 and is supposed to serve six. My gosh!
Another little race was happening today in Kentucky. My pick for the Derby was Sweetnorthernsaint. I don't bet, but usually favor one or two horses. The winner was Barbaro in a stunning race. I'm happy for his trainer, Michael Matz, who I remember from the showjumping circuit, which was my passion when I was younger. How can you compare an Olympic medal and a Kentucky Derby win? He now has both. I can't wait to see if Barbaro can prove himself in the other Triple Crown races.