Friday, March 2, 2012

March into Spring

It's Friday!

I'm switching up the list a bit. This week's theme: The First Five Races I Ran (and a brief story on each)

1. 2006 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run (Now the Philadelphia Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon)

One of my friends had read about this race in "Runner's World," and decided to sign up for it. She also convinced her dad and a few mutual friends to sign up, and then said to me, "You'll be in Philly. You should run it." A half-marathon as my first road race? Clearly a great idea. It was a beautiful course, but running up West River Drive was so boring (nothing but trees, and not too much crowd support). But I finished in under 2 hours. And ended up running it again in 2007 (also before they sold out to ING and Competitor, Inc.).

*Note: I'm not counting that 2007 run as race #2 because it was the same race, just a different year.

2. 2007 Philadelphia Marathon

For whatever reason (I don't recall why), I was looking up fall marathons, and found the website for the Philadelphia Marathon. I noticed that the registration fee was scheduled to increase the next day, so I took that as a sign that I should sign up. What I remember from that race is a Gu pack exploding on my face because I opened it with my teeth (my fingers were frozen, so using my hands wasn't an option), being disappointed at mile 20 because I realized that I wasn't going to get any new/exciting scenery (the last half of the race is composed of a 12 mile out-and-back loop (6 miles out, 6 miles back), and the fine locals of Manayunk who were handing out beer at miles 18 and 22 (the benefits of an out-and-back: you can be at 2 different mile markers at the same time!).

Exhausted after having to wake up before the sun and run for over 3.5 hours
3. 2008 Grete's Great Gallop (half-marathon)

This was a last-minute registration, as well as my introduction to NYRR racing. This also marks the first time I ran in Central Park.

During the 2011 NYC Half Marathon
For those of you who don't know Central Park, one loop around the park is about 10K, so a half marathon is slightly more than two loops. This was great, because once I finished the first loop, I was able to tell myself that I was on the last loop. There were also bagels with lox and cream cheese at the end, which tasted delicious. I was disappointed that I missed my PR by less than a minute, but given that I hadn't intended on running a half, I wasn't fully prepared and should simply have been happy with finishing.

4. 2008 Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M)

NYRR hosts this race the Sunday before the NYC Marathon to kick off Marathon Week. (Yes, NYC makes a whole week out of the Marathon.) Nothing else from this race really stands out, except that it was a sunny, October day.

5. 2008 Race to Deliver (4M)

This race benefits God's Love We Deliver, a NYC organization devoted to providing "nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves" (as quoted from their website -- see hyperlink). At the time, Star Jones was one of their main spokespeople (she may still be), and she was present at the event. My per-mile split from this race was slower than my per-mile split from the Poland Spring run (by one second), which was annoying/disappointing.

About a month later, I was watching a special on running on the YES Network (to this date, I don't understand why a network devoted to Yankee baseball was airing something on running, aside from the fact that the show was focused on NY running, and the Yankees are in NY), and they showed footage from the Race to Deliver. I was thinking to myself, "Oh, that'd be really funny if I ended up on here!" Lo and behold, they showed my legs and part of the bright purple shirt I was wearing. 

It's been a fairly bad week on the training front. I caught this head cold (sore throat, sinus issues), and so I ended up taking a few days off from training so I could rest up. But I had good runs on Wednesday and Thursday. I also realized that in February, I ran 112.92 miles. That's more than January, which as we're all aware, is a longer month! 

As much as I'd love to continue this post, I have to do my training run for today (4M). Have a great weekend, and happy running!

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