|This was the weekend when I could finally run/exercise. OK, I ran once earlier, but it was only a short jog and this weekend was going to be nonstop action.
Saturday was the NY Mets Run for Homeplate 5K. I was glad that I did that little jog on Wednesday since it gave me an idea as to how hard I could push myself. The answer I got was not much. So I had every intention of just doing this race as a nice easy run. The morning dawned hot and humid with a promise of more heat and more humidity. Chelly and I headed over to Shea for the odd 10am start. We picked up our bibs and headed into the stadium picnic area to take a gander at the field and watch a little of the kids running. I used to be a baseball fan and a big Mets fan. They're still my team, but I've not been following baseball much the last few years. But I was still excited over the opportunity to see Shea from a different vantage point. I used to go a dozen times a summer when I was a kid and I always sat all the way up in the grandstand area. The picnic area is usually set aside for corporate groups or others with moolah.
As races go, this was kind of ::meh:: Very hot, no shade, rough roadway (I almost fell flat on my face due to potholes) and, of course, I was out of shape. I settled into a 10:30 - 10:50 pace. Nice easy jog. Just wanted to last the distance. Managed to finish in a chip time of 33:18, official time of 34:38. 66th in my age group, which I would be thrilled with normally, but there were only 81 in my age group on Saturday ;-) I felt pretty good after the race. Nowhere near the feeling I usually have, but not too bad for the lack of running for a month.
Next year, if I run this one again, I'm going to bring my camera with me while I run and just take advantage of the opportunity to catch some great photos. This one is practically in my backyard, so I don't mind just using it as workout.
After the race, and after being unceremoniously shuffled out of the stadium, we headed back to my place to clean up and pack the car for the Harlem Valley Rail Ride on Sunday. We headed upstate to Poughkeepsie where we got a motel room for the night in order to be able to make the early ride start. This was my first organized bike ride. It also was the longest bike ride I've ever done and only the second time I had taken my bike out on the road. I was looking to do all kinds of new things this weekend!
Sunday we got an early start. After breakfasting at IHOP, we headed up to the start point in Millerton, NY. Dutchess County is a beautiful area and I was looking forward to riding through the countryside, even if it was supposed to hit 91 that day. We arrived at the parking area after a little bit of wandering through local roads and proceeded to unpack and unfold the bikes. Chelly immediately noticed an unusual sound coming from her bike when she was rolling it around a bit. We tried to locate the source and noticed a broken spoke. It looked like our ride was going to be over before we even got started. We asked one of the volunteers who told us there was a repair tent set up at the checkin area. So we walked the mile to the checkin only to be told that wasn't a repair they were equipped to handle. They pointed us to a local bike shop near the start of the ride. So we decided to pick up our stuff and walk over. If the bike wasn't rideable, Chelly told me to do the ride myself and she'd hang out in Millerton. The bike shop wasn't much help except to tell us that we might be able to do the ride without the spoke. The wheel was going to have to be repaired either way, the ride we were planning was on fairly flat paved trails, so Chelly decided to go for it.
The ride was wonderful. I highly recommend the Harlem Valley Rail Trail for biking and other activities. Most of the ride was shaded and I didn't feel uncomfortably hot. The beginner ride we did was basically 11 miles out and 11 miles back on the Rail Trail. I didn't have any real difficulties, except for 'numb butt' and some pain and stiffness in my right knee which I felt a twinge of on Saturday in the race. I was flagging as we approached the end, but I'm pretty sure that I can manage a bit longer ride if I was in better shape. I'm going to sign up for the 35 mile option in the New York Century Ride in September and see if I can do that. My only cringe is the really early start time in upper Manhattan. I foresee a 4am wake up call :-)