|Well, this was a busy weekend. Saturday I planned to go into Manhattan and check out a bike festival that I read about online here Times-Up. After the last six months or so of reading various triathlete's blogs and also hearing all about the Five Boro Bike Tour from my friend, Chelly, I've been seriously considering getting a bike. When I mentioned it to Chelly, she talked up her folding bike and how convenient it was for city living. So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to check out a bunch of different folders at the bike festival.
It just so happens that the Ninth Avenue Food Festival was this weekend, so I thought I could combine the two and eat lunch and then walk across town to the bike fest.
Ninth Avenue Food Festival is a mile long street fair. There's usually quite a few booths featuring foods from many different lands. Of course, like any other NYC street fair, there are also booths selling socks and t-shirts. I made quick work of the festival since there didn't seem to be much in the way of unusual food.
I figured I'd grab something on the way across town. I had about an hour and a half to kill before the start of the bike fest.
I wove my way through the streets and avenues on my way to the other side of Manhattan. I probably walked for about two hours that day. I'd probably regret it the next day.
I arrived at the described location to nothing that looked like a bike festival. I might have been a little early, so I thought I'd sit down in the lovely greenway that runs up the east side of Manhattan. I didn't even know this existed.
I wandered up and down the pathways checking out the lovely landscaped pathways and the neat paved walk/jog path and the designated bike lanes. After a little while, a bunch of cyclists approached the area and then I was amid dozens of folding bikes.
This is the Mobiky, a nifty little folder from France, I believe.
This one is a Dahon.
And here is a row of Bromptons - an English import.
This is the Downtube - the one I've decided I want.
Sunday was the 4 Mile Roads & Trails race run by The Forest Park RR one of the local running clubs in this county and part of the Queens Grand Prix that my running club is involved with.
I woke up with a splitting headache and legs that were stiff and sore - from all the walking I did the day before. I popped a couple of aspirin and took a warm shower, hoping to feel better. After about an hour, it seemed to be working, so I headed off to the race.
I met up with about 12 members of the Alley Pond Striders. After a bit of chatting and some info on the course, we headed for the starting line. I wasn't intending this to be a really fast run, but you know what they say about good intentions...
When the race started, I was in a group with about six other Striders. We were running easy, chatting a bit, commenting on the course changes from the previous years and then we came to a switchback. Because they lost use of part of the course, the race organizers had the field go out and back along a paved road for about a half mile. We quickly saw the leaders coming back at us. I felt good, not too pressed, when we approached the first mile marker. The course marshall yelled out a time of 7:54 as we approached. Our whole group let out a gasp - none of us thought we were going quite that fast!
I tried to ease up a bit, since I was sure I had just left most of my race on that first mile. At this point, we started on the trails portion of the course. The park has bridle paths cutting through it for two stables that are located nearby. These were nice to run on, except for the dust that was being kicked up. I started to feel it in my eyes and nose.
The second mile was done in under 17 minutes - I'd slowed down but not by much. I was really starting to feel it and by the time I was about halfway into the third mile, I had to walk. There were some pretty good hills on the course, as well. I walked for about twenty feet, just to catch my breath and collect myself. Then I picked up a jog again and was off.
The third mile was completed in 25 and change. I did some quick arithmetic in my head. If I ran the fourth mile in anything under 11 minutes, I would probably get my best time in this race. So I tried to slow down a bit more, and had to walk again. I started to get passed by some runners and managed to pick up a run again. We then broke out of the trees onto a paved roadway. The finish line was approaching and I managed to pick myself up some. I passed under the finish line in 34:24 - a personal best. I'm really pleased with the final time, but I think I should have run a smarter race. That first mile killed me. If I hadn't gone out quite that fast, I might have been able to finish with a better overall time, as I wouldn't have had to walk. Lesson learned.
It turned out my time was good enough for a second in my age group. I got another shiny trophy for my shelf. Bring on the hardware!
Now, I have a two week break until the NYRR Anniversary run. I'm planning on doing that one as a training run. It's the week before my first 10K. When I signed up it was supposed to be 4.8k, but they've since extended it to 4.8 miles. Rather than pull out all together, I'm going to use it as a long run and have a good time with it.