It’s Sunday evening and I’m lying on the sofa with my feet propped up, kind of like a cat claiming its territory. Earlier this morning, my sister and I ran our first NYRR race of the year – mine, as a long run for the Dusseldorf Marathon in April, and hers, as her first half marathon! *Snaps & claps*
The race was the Fred LeBow Manhattan Half, an annual January race held in Central Park. From my research, it seems like this race has always been cursed with cold, frigid weather. In fact, last year, it was cancelled due to a snow storm. The year before, temperatures were in single digits with winds in the double digits. This year, although it was on the foggy and cloudy side, temperatures were in the mid 40s – a bit chilly but still a blessing.
Although running Central Park 2.5 times isn’t the most interesting route, it is, in my opinion, of the hardest. The new route this year takes runners up Harlem Hill twice on the West Side and up Cat Hill three times on the East Side. You’re literally running on hills on hills on hills.
We woke up at 5:00AM to prepare for the race. It was an 8:00AM start on West 94th Street so it was a slightly longer commute than the Columbus Circle start area. My dad drove us to the train station and we caught a 6:10AM train. I munched my usual Honey Nut Cheerios as my pre-race fuel during the ride, and arrived at the start area around 7:30AM. After checking in our bags, we lined up in the corrals. I decided to start in the later corral with Christine and stay with her until we hit the start.
I would say that my splits using the Nike Run Club app were pretty consistent. My finish wasn’t a PR, but what counts is that I finished! I didn’t cramp up or turn numb on any joints, so that was good. After I finished, I joined my friend Jing at the mile 13 mile marker to cheer on my sister. I had seen her twice during my own run and was happy to see a familiar face in the cheering squad. She commuted early from Queens Queens to cheer for all of us. She has such spirit!
The tracking app kind of off so I used Find My Friends instead to find my sister (thank you Apple!) I was ready with my phone to film her finish.
After she got her life-saving bagel, apple, pretzels, and retrieved her bag, she didn’t feel to well so we found a bench to sit down. Apparently chugging down 2 cups of Gatorade and devouring a bagel didn’t sit well with her. But luckily a quick burp was all she needed to fix herself and we were on our way to our post-run noms.
Since it was her first half and she wanted to get brunch, I asked her to choose. Normally after a race, I just head home. No celebrations for me. I was telling her that for my first half marathon I ran it, got some freebies, used a porta potty because I really needed to, and after some persuasion from my mom to take the bus and not walk back to campus, took the bus back to my dorm. After a meal at the dining hall, I went back to studying (yes, the nerd in me).
We stopped by JuicePress on Madison Avenue to get our #jprunclub juices. This time I got a carrot and apple juice while Christine chose a berry smoothie. We walked several avenues down to 3rd Avenue to The Barking Dog for lunch. Luckily there was no wait and we were seated immediately.
After a long wait, the waitress took our orders. I initially wanted to go to Doughnut Plant and get a donut after the meal, so I wanted to get something light and went with a blueberry muffin. Unfortunately, they were out of blueberry muffins (totally ridiculous to be out of muffins at 12PM on a Sunday, but it is what is it), so I decided on a black forest and turkey sandwich on focaccia. Simple, but it was so good. Christine ordered the Chef’s Omelette, which consisted of shrimp, corn, and feta cheese. We both ordered hot cocoa to warm ourselves up. Since I ordered a bigger size lunch, I postponed Doughnut Plant for another day. Plus, I really wanted to go home and warm up.
We decided to take the Q train on the new Second Avenue line home. After a quick nap on the train, we were so happy to finally reach home!