overdue race report #1: dick meighan 5k

Finally gonna get started on these way, way overdue race reports! 🙂

So even though I’ve been a serious runner/racer since 2004, I had only run one turkey trot (aka race on Thanksgiving morning) once, in 2004.  I ran a 5-miler on Long Island with my uncle and 2 cousins.  Sadly there will never be another race I’ll run again with my uncle 😦  Unfortunately, I don’t remember too much about the race that year except it was very hilly.  I wish I could remember more.

me, uncle and cousin after race with our finisher medals

And for whatever reason every year after, I hadn’t raced on Turkey Day…most of the time I preferred to get my own Central Park done in the AM and then train it to wherever I’m going, or sleep in 😛

But this time around, I was sorta itching to race.  And I had heard that the Dick Meighan 5K, which was around 15-20 minutes away from my parents in NJ, was a good-albeit hilly-race.  And oh yeah, based on previous race results there was a good chance I’d place in my AG.  Wasn’t expecting a PR, given I was only 2 1/2 weeks out from NYC and that it would be hilly.

How hilly?

So the nite before I stayed over at the parentals, then awoke to a nice and chilly morning, and drove over to where the race was…taking note of where certain uphills/downhills would be.  Got my bib and a nice tech shirt, and then went to warm up on the first mile of the course…which was good as you can see, I would know not to blow it in the first half-mile so to say 🙂  Finished my warmup, did some strides, took care of business and went over to the start.  Looked like it was gonna be another free-for-all, so I positioned myself a few rows back from the front and just waited for the starting horn.

the start

And knowing that the first half-mile contained a big-ass hill, I let people pass me, ran hard but did hold back just a little bit.  The downhill at the half-mile point was very welcome, but in a way felt like after the big hill at mile 8 of the Staten Island half…like I needed 100-200 meters to recover and of course in a short race like a 5K, you don’t have that 🙂  But was pleased with my first mile-7:24.  I then made the time goal of the day to get under 23 minutes…

…which I could get as long as I avoid my usual mile 2 collapse in 5K’s.  Mile 2 was rolling hills, but nothing really horrible.  And as this was 7:23, I was able to hold on.  This was less of a net uphill mile than the previous, so maybe effort-wise was a little slower, but I don’t think by much.  And I had enough in the tank to pick up the pace for the last 1.1 and pass people in the process.  However, in my drive over, I did note one more big hill that would be in the last mile and sure enough with about .5-.6 miles to go, there it was.  I just killed it best I could, knowing I didn’t have long to go.  One more turn…and more climbing…however thankfully the last .1 was downhill into the school’s parking lot, then flat to the finish.  I was neck and neck with this other woman, but she outkicked me to the finish…arrrgh!!  Last 1.1 in 7:52 (7:09 pace.)

chick in black next to me had just outkicked me to the line. damn.

Wound up with 22:39, 7:18 pace…which given the terrain and still recovering from NYC (and minimal speedwork!), I was definitely happy with.  I mean, I outperformed a flat 5K I did 3 weeks after Chicago last year 🙂

So I didn’t know yet how I did in terms of placing, so I went for a cooldown and then went back to the school’s gym (where the refreshments/awards were), grabbed some hot cider and checked out the results.  FOURTH in my AG.  Arrgh.  Missed by half a second-to the chick who just outkicked me at the finish!  And the kicker is that if I were still 34, I would have placed!  It is what it is, I guess.  And actually, I most likely would not have been able to stay for the awards anyway, they started with the older age groups and it would have taken a while to get down to mine, and I had to leave fairly early as my parents wanted to get an early start on our trek to Long Island for Thanksgiving festivities and beat the traffic.  Before I left, I saw and chatted with Ari briefly-he was there with his daughter for her first 5K, which they both enjoyed a lot.  (And I love how she noticed the Yankee charm on my shoe and said “Daddy, look she’s a Yankee fan too!” 🙂 )

So I went home, got cleaned up, headed to LI with la familia, ate and drank more than enough to counteract the morning’s run, and checked the final results online…and I was bumped up to THIRD in my AG.  Whoa.  Apparently the chick who was originally 1st in the 35-39 AG was now 10 years younger, moving us all up a spot.  Was definitely happy about that!!  Though actually claiming my trophy…well it’s taken more work than the race itself!!  First my trophy was actually in the hands of the 1st place woman.  Then when she returned the trophy it was actually the 2nd place one she had, and the one ahead of me had the 3rd place one had no info for anyone to get in touch with her.  So all in all, I will have to accept the 2nd place trophy (which my dad did on my behalf, and I’ll finally get it in my hands next weekend!) and Sharpie it up to show how the real chips fell.  And if 2nd place chick finally decides she wants it back, well that’ll show her to outkick me next time 😛

And next year?  I’ll just have to come back and win my AG outright 🙂

on a different track

So 2 weeks down in Chicago training.  I’ve been getting the miles in, but hasn’t been pretty as of late…

13 miles were on tap for my long run this weekend, and Saturday was the better of the 2 days to get it in.  Of course, I had to do it in the mid-afternoon heat, as I did not feel like setting the alarm…and this was after crashing early on Friday nite!!  Slept around 11 hours…hmmm think I needed to catch up on sleep or something?  Anyway not much to report except it was hot, I had to fight for the last coupla miles…only took a gel and water, should have taken Gatorade during the run too…know for next time!  That left me with 4 miles to finish off the week, which were done on the roads around my parents’ house in NJ on Sunday morning…and good god, it was awful-my slowest run in a long time.

So the fact that my legs seem to be stuck in “slow mode”…part of the reason why I decided to pass on the track meet at Icahn tonite.  Besides the fact that getting there from work may be cutting it kind of close, I just don’t feel capable of running a time-especially at a short race-that won’t leave me disappointed and embarrassed.  And my other option for a workout this week is tomorrow nite, at a “different track” indeed…East 6th Street.  I love that track, but I haven’t been there in over a year…so how could I pass up a chance to do a workout there? 🙂 

Oh and why did I have to do my run in NJ this Sunday?  Well was there visiting la familia for Father’s Day…and bonding a little bit with the newest member of my family:


(this pic was from mother’s day actually, but the only good one I had with my parents’ new doggie!)

Tell me this isn’t the cutest dog you have ever seen. 😀

Being in NJ this Father’s Day meant that, for the first time, I wasn’t either running in or spectating the Father’s Day 5-mile race in Central Park-the guyz’ points race (since us ladies had ours last week.) Sorry Flyer guys!! I wish I could have been there to cheer you all on. But I see you did great even without me!! yeah, I was cheering from afar 😉

the latest dilemma…

So this upcoming weekend, since I am not going to be in Boston, I wanted to do a short local race around here to hopefully run well and make me feel better about myself.  And a few weeks ago, I had decided on the JFK Runway 5K on Sunday…I’ve heard it’s a fun race…flat, fast, running on the runway is unique…so why not?

But family obligations are throwing a wrench into things.  I don’t want to go into detail, but I’ll say it’s something I absolutely cannot miss.  And unfortunately I didn’t find out until after I plunked down the $$ for race entry that there would be a conflict.  Maybe there is a possibility I could still run it…but only if I could meet up with them in Queens by 11:30.  Race starts at 9, I’d be done by 9:30…but it’s kind of a remote location, mass-transit wise. (MTAfail, anyone?)  And I’d need to shower and stuff.  So it may be cutting it close…

Now on the other hand-the Run for the Parks 4-miler is on also on Sunday.  It’s early (8 am) and local…could probably be home by 9 if I don’t stick around afterwards.  But also something interesting about this race-it’s on April 18th.  On April 18, 2004-I ran my first NYRR race-what was then the Niketown Run for the Parks 4-miler.  So maybe running this one will be symbolic in a way…like coming full circle.

So what do I do?  Run the 5K at JFK with the flat course and hopefully a chance of hardware but more stress about meeting up with the family afterwards?  Or run the NYRR race on a course I’d done before and no chance of hardware but less of a conflict?

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And to inject a little bit of humor in here…just another “WTF” work moment.  Seems like there have been more and more internal meetings which just seem extraneous and keep us from actually doing our job!  Next thing I know, there are going to be meetings to decide when to have meetings.

And good to know one of my colleagues has a sense of humor…as I got this meeting request in my inbox today:

And when I read it, I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Ahhh…it’s just so “Office Space!” 🙂

winter is long

So yeah, here is that “longer blog post” I referred to in yesterday’s “welcome to my new blog crib” post 🙂  And rumor has it there may be other bloggy peeps looking to make a blog software switcharoo and join me here…ahhh once again, I am a trendsetter 😉

So first off, how about those Jets?  Wasn’t sure how their chances would be yesterday, as I’m sure the Bengals gave them last Sunday’s game just so they could choose their first-round opponent, so to say.  And there was some sloppy playing yesterday, but it all came together in the end.  (And I just also have to mention that Mark Sanchez is good eye candy 😉 )  So they take on San Diego next week…can they repeat the magic?

And now that the new year has started…yeah winter really seems long…everything seems long(er).  Last week was the first 5-day week I worked in awhile and it just killed me 😛  Well not really.  Though of course, the week cannot pass by without incident…well, besides being in an all-day training session for an online reporting tool and feeling so unproductive for one day, there’s a quasi-crisis on one project (thankfully was not my fault, and did not get fingers unfairly pointed at me!) and then I had to save someone else’s ass, who doesn’t follow directions when being told “re-map yourself to the new shared drive and don’t use the old one.”  Friday couldn’t come soon enough…

And on that running thang, I got my new orthotics in and have started breaking ’em in…not sure if they are drastically different from my old ones, but they do feel good and seem to be better made.  And my PT is starting to kick my ass-literally-with squats and lunges…I think I am gonna have a chronically sore butt for the next few weeks 😛

And a topic that I’ve mentioned briefly before, but just feel like raising the question again…what is the etiquette on family members being friends/keeping in touch with ex-boyfriends?  Like do I have any reason to feel bothered by the fact that my ex-boyfriend (who I havent spoken to in forever) is Facebook friends with my brother and I see him posting comments on my brother’s status?  (I give it 2 weeks before he friends both my parents…)  Never the mind that for 2 years after I broke up, my mom still had a picture of the 2 of us in her office…and would probably still have it there today had I not seen it that one time… :-\

The weather is supposed to get into the 30s this week!!  Break out the running shorts…

a missed opportunity

so I had an opportunity to race a 5K in NJ today. a non-Central Park 5K, smaller race so possibility of age-group hardware, opportunity to maybe do way-overdue damage to the 5K PR…sounds great!!

unfortunately, i couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity, as I had to to the family thing in the afternoon and didn’t want to cut it close. dinner with the family to celebrate grandma’s 92nd b-day…no contest (plus considering other family members need us…me right now.) I heard reports that the 5K course was long, so even if I ran a PR it wouldn’t have counted. And I was able to get in a 10-mile run to prep for Cherry Blossom. (which i got my bib # for this week…number in the 3000s, not sure if thats good or not?)

oh but wait a minute!! my brother was absent from the festivities. why, you ask? well-he thought that a friend’s engagement party was yesterday. until he actually looked at the invitation yesterday-and saw the party was actually today. (OK, I don’t expect everyone to be like me and put all events in their Treo/Blackberry calendar ASAP. But come on…) so…if he had gotten his dates straight from the beginning, we would have done the family celebration yesterday, leaving today free for me to do whatever. and when i saw the age group results and seen that long course or no long course, i would most likely have placed in my age group (3rd in my age group was 25 minutes and change)…grrr.

yeah, i know. in the grand scheme of things, it could have been a lot worse. and it was really good to see la familia.

well i can only hope that forgoing the race for a long run today may lead to some good karma for me at Cherry Blossom (and if i post a good time there, won’t get buried in all the Boston/spring marathon mania!)

In other news-word on the street is that JackRabbit‘s Upper East Side store will be opening THIS WEEK!! yay!! i only have to cross the park to visit my favorite running store ever!!

more highs and lows

I just updated my Facebook status-that I will be happy if this upcoming week is an uneventful one. And I mean that.

Needless to say, the rollercoaster continued last week. The high point being last Tuesday when I found out that I won the election for Flyers Vice President. But something else would happen to make that seem so meaningless in comparison.

Don’t you feel that if there is a certain time of day that you get a phone call, that it is not good news? My landline rings at 7 am on Wednesday. As I don’t have caller ID on that line and I am praying that all it was is a telemarketer, I let it ring. But then my cell phone rings and it’s my parents. And I know what it the call is about, even before I answer. The last time my parents called me at that time of the day was 5 or so years ago when my grandfather passed away. And unfortunately, it was similar news here.

My uncle had unfortunately lost his fight in his battle since last summer with a blood disorder. We all thought he would beat it, he was doing so well for awhile, but suffered a setback in the last couple of weeks that he just could not bounce back from. Some of you may remember from these two posts, that he was the relative that I was running NYCM “for”. But there was only so much I could do.

Even now, a few days later, it does not seem real. Like I am still in some sort of bad dream. Not surprisingly, there was lot of emotion, lots of tears shed. He was an amazing, kind man, who lived his life to the fullest and will be missed by so many…it was just way too soon for him. My reaction-not as much tears shed, but believe me I was sick to my stomach when I heard the news…I heard my dad’s words played over and over again in my head…but I didn’t want to cry, I felt I had to be strong, keep it together for the rest of my family. I know they needed and appreciated it. I know that’s what my uncle would have wanted. I-and many others-have never seen him be anything but happy. But I know when it really is going to hit me. The holidays that we spent together. Baseball season. Random emails and instant messages. All the other little things, the inside jokes.

Things will never be the same for my family-there will always be something missing. But somehow, we will survive. My aunt and cousins have a great support system, which we witnessed over the last few days. And as I have discovered-so have I. You all know who you are-and thank you.

And if this upcoming week is a boring, uneventful, status quo week…well that will just be fine with me.

a different kind of fantasy league

I’m amused by this celebrity fantasy league that my brother is doing with his colleagues (for the 2nd year running)…this idea apparently inspired by ESPN.com’s Sports Guy-what they do is draft a team of 10 celebs…and they score points as follows (time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day):

If your celebrity pick is on the cover of US Weekly-
Give yourself 5 POINTS (each, if applicable)
If your celebrity pick is on the cover inset of US Weekly-
Give yourself 3 POINTS (each, if applicable)
If your celebrity pick is on the inside pages of HOT PICS (and HOT PICS Extra)- Give yourself 1 POINT (each, if applicable)
If your celebrity pick is on the inside pages of FASHION POLICE(and FP Extra)- Deduct yourself 1 POINT (each, if applicable)
If your celebrity pick is on the inside pages of FASHION POLICE(and FP Extra)
but is being recognized/praised for being sooo ridiculously good looking-
Give yourself 2 POINTS (each, if applicable)

So this is the team that my brother drafted this year:
Brad Pitt
Vanessa Minillo
Ashlee Simpson
Jessica Alba
Beyonce
Sarah Jessica Parker
Madonna
Heidi Montag
Adrian Grenier
Pamela Anderson

And after 4 weeks, he is in the lead…I think he chose wisely!! 🙂