NYC Pizza Run recap

Happy Monday!

Is anyone else suffering from allergies? My sinuses are making my whole face hurt!

So when I started Whole30 I knew there would be one day this month I would HAVE to make an exception and deviate from the plan because a few weeks ago I signed up for…THE NYC PIZZA RUN!

The gist is, you run four laps around Tompkins Square Park, totaling 2.25 miles, and after each lap you stop at the pizza station and down a slice of New York’s finest.

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The registration for the race was a bit pricey, but the charge went to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation…and included a free beer post race.

I have to admit, usually I’m intimidated by the other participants when I do races so it was nice to be around a group of runners who were mostly laid back and just looking to have fun. There were people dressed like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a guy carrying a bottle of Coca-Cola like you would normally see someone carrying a water bottle.

I have no idea about timing or anything because there was no chip in the race bib and the start and finish lines were drawn with chalk, but I ran the first two laps and then walked most of the second two as to not risk any chance of the pizza coming back up….haha.

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I wasn’t sure how well my body would react to three slices of pizza between bouts of jogging, but my stomach and legs were strong. I completed the race with two friends who were just as happy as me to be stuffing their face with pizza.

After the race we walked over the Common Ground to cash in on the free beer – but I decided to make the pizza my only “cheat” from Whole30 and graciously passed mine over to my friends and sipped on water instead.

Overall the race was a great experience and I would totally be up for doing more unique races in the future.

Not to get all serious in kind of a silly post, but doings things like this really reminds me how many fun times I would have (and did in the past) miss out on because my weight just prohibited me from participating in life.

Even though there were runners of all shapes and sizes at the event, there is no way I would have ever signed up or even considered doing something like this at 243 pounds. Never.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend and enjoyed the windy fall weather :)!

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Me? Stubborn?

Yesterday I ran a 5K race against the advice of everyone that I knew.

Yet it didn’t surprise anyone that I was going to push through the shin pain I’ve been having to run.

“You’re stubborn,” my trainer said very matter-of-fact like in his thick Peruvian accent.

No one. ever. has described be as stubborn…..in regard to WANTING to run.

Sure, I was stubborn in high school when I refused to even TRY to run the required mile in gym class.

My, things have changed.

So let’s talk about this shin pain then.

It’s not shin splints. The pain has become very localized. I can point to an exact spot where the pain is coming from and my lower leg has been throbbing on and off for days, even through prior to the race I cut down my activity to ZERO. Oddly enough, the pain goes away after I run for a few minutes, and I was able to make it through the race without thinking about my shins.

My trainer poked around my leg a bit on Saturday and there was definitely one very tender spot. It also hurts more than normal when I foam roll over my left calf.

So in an effort not to be completely stupid, I’m taking a break from running. And seeing a doctor to (hopefully) rule out a stress fracture.

I’m trying not to be too upset…but it’s hard because I was really starting to LOVE running. The feeling of pushing myself past my limits, following a training plan and the rush of endorphins that lasted for hours.

My rational self knows that right now rest is the best thing for my body. So rest I will.

In other news, I will have a race recap…but it’s going to have to wait, because I’m actually writing about the race for my job. I can’t wait to share it!

I'm probably asking a very important question in this photo.

Credit to Bill Smithuysen for capturing the awkward moment where I’m interviewing the president of the Waldwick Chamber of Commerce.

Hope everyone else is having an injury-free Monday!

 

 

Glen Rock Opt-In 5K Race Recap

I knew this race would be for me when I read the description “flat and fast” on Active.com.

All week I debated signing up, however, because my last few runs have been terrible. I’ve been having a tough time getting through just 2 miles from a combination of wind and allergies, so I was less than stoked to conquer 3.1.

Also, I had no one to run it with. Would a race alone be any fun?

Enter: Meetups!

A few months ago I joined a runners group on Meetup.com, not actually thinking I belonged in a runners group, but figuring it would give me the motivation to run faster so I could eventually be in a runners group. Wacky logic, I know.

Anyway, I got an e-mail the day before the race that the runners group had posted the Glen Rock 5k as an event and knew it was a sign that I should do it. I RSVP’d immediately, then registered.

Then I started hydrating. The day before I had gone out with some coworkers and drank a bit too much and was absolutely dehydrated (Charley Horses, UGH) so I hit up Trader Joes for some Zico Coconut Water, bananas and Lara Bars.

Saturday I woke up at 7 a.m. Breakfast was half a banana, a cashew cookie Lara Bar and a Coconut Water. Fantastic fuel.

Around 8 a.m. I headed over to the park where it started, which was only a few minutes from my apartment. I was a little shocked to see how few people were there and a little worried that it would mean I would be coming in last.

My nerves soon disappeared as I began chatting with Michelle from the runners group after we found each other by text message. Her longest distance was a marathon, and I told her the 5K distance still felt like a marathon to me! I was so grateful to have her there to distract me from the impending start.

The race kicked off with a playing of the Star Spangled Banner and then all 150 of us (hah!) were off!

The race course was an out and back, which I wasn’t too excited about, but it turned out to be a great thing. Around Mile 1 I saw the winner heading back in the other direction – he was FLYING!

It was a sunny day but cold and I was glad I had chosen to keep on my gloves and ear warmers.

It felt like it took forever to get to the turnaround, but once I passed it I was feeling good again. There were a few spectators along the route who were cheering, which I love.

I got a bit of a stomach cramp around Mile 2 so really concentrated on my breathing and the pain disappeared quickly.

At Mile 2.5 Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” came on my iPod and it was just what I needed to carry me to the end.

No heel striking here!

As the finish line came into site, I knew I could cross it in under 36 minutes – a new PR! I saw Michelle on the side cheering and started sprinting!

My official time was 35:31! More than a minute faster than my first race on Thanksgiving where my time was 36:38. Obviously the total time on RunKeeper is a little off because I started it early and stopped it after finishing, but you can see my splits below:

I’m super proud of those numbers! Every mile was under 12 minutes, which is not the norm for me.

This race definitely gave me confidence in running again. There is something about being surrounded by a bunch of other runners that is always so motivating!

After the race I headed straight to Starbucks for a giant iced coffee and then spent most of the day lying around watching Mad Men. A perfect Saturday 🙂

Hope you all had a good weekend, too!