Tuesday, June 10, 2008

All Access -- A Great Weekend of Running!

I ignore my own advice about running in the rain and wouldn't you know it, I have a cold. Yes, I know that running in the rain has nothing to do with getting a cold. I just prefer to think of it that way.

No new members of the Honor Roll this week. I am not pushing the fundraising too hard just yet, plus I am also involved in another fundraising project, Broadway Bares, the annual strip show put on by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Yes, a strip show. No, I'm not the one stripping. We are trying to MAKE money!! It's a dozen or so original choreographed musical numbers danced by Broadway's hottest dancers, with straight strip, gay strip, drag strip -- all kinds of stripping! -- and it ends with everyone go-go dancing for tips. This year over 200 performers will participate. It's a whole lot of fun, and I love to help out on it (in past years I've been towel girl, door opener, and lately scenery mover, aka "panel pusher." ) It's next Sunday, the 22nd, at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Click the link above for more info!

You don't have to wait for the e-mail solicitation to become a member of the Fred's Team Honor Roll. Just click on the links on the side or bottom of the page, or heck, right here, and donate to my Fred's Team marathon effort on behalf of Liam Witt.

This past weekend was a record-breaking heat wave. Over 90 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. What better time for two races?

Saturday was the NYRR Women's Only Mini 10K. What makes this race a "mini?" I heard that the race used to be called a "mini-marathon," so that makes sense to me. There ain't nothing mini about this race, it's not like we only run 6 miles. It's the whole shebangabang. I've run this race four times, and each time the weather is either too hot or too cold. It's never a temperate day. Ironic, or something like that.

The race started at 9am, on the corner of Central Park West and 61st St. This race is different in that it starts with a run up CPW to 90th Street, then into the Park and a clockwise loop, finishing at Tavern. Not so fun -- the dreaded uphill finish. Don't know why the course is different, but I like the CPW part of the run. I woke up at 7am, ate my "lucky" breakfast -- whole-wheat bagel with banana and a little bit of honey -- and headed over. Took my AirAides and a Succeed electrolyte caplet, and brought another Succeed cap with me. I also wore my fuel belt for the first time in a race this year. I saw on the race course map there would be three water stops and no Gatorade, and I wanted to take some electrolyte drink with me. I sweat like a moose under optimal conditions, so I wanted be comfy and have my "security blanket" for the stifling weather. I also had my BluBandoo cooling hat. I put the hat in the freezer for ten minutes, which made it instantly stiffen, but by race time it was already getting warm. My goal was not to set a PR, it was to finish without barfing or passing out, both of which were distinct possibilities. It pissed me off a little because I set PRs in the last two races, and I was hoping for the streak to continue, but not in this heat. Not worth it. Also, the run I had on Thursday was a crappy one, I had to stop four times for that "can't breathe" feeling I had in Florida. A real set-back. I was not looking forward to this race.

Dropped off my bag at bag check and saw Teammate Lynn and some of her friends. We talked for a few minutes, and I headed over to the porta-johns for a pit stop before the race. Yes, even though I live five minutes from the start line and went three times before leaving the house, I needed to go again. But after waiting in line for ten minutes, I gave up. My only quibble of the day -- this is a WOMEN'S race. MORE PORTA-POTTIES!!

I stuffed my way into the corrals and saw Teammate Sara, so I lined up with her. The intros took a while -- there were a lot of cool people at the race, like the three women who will represent the US in the Olympic marathon, plus a lot of other professional women runners who do this race every year. The National Anthem was sung -- why am I the only person to remember: hat off, and hand over the heart!! -- and we're off!

The first mile-ish is relatively flat, being outside the Park. I ran with Sara for a few minutes, but I'm a little faster than her, and I ended up pulling away. I was really trying to hold back. Still, mile 1 -- 8:32. It was still just a little cool out, but that was quickly changing.

At 90th Street we head into the Park and start heading north towards the Great Hill. I actually prefer going clockwise up and down the hill, so that was good. Mile 2 -- 8:28. I'm thinking good, that's about what I want to do, not dealing with negative splits or anything, just trying to get through the race.

We round the Great Hill and begin the ascent. I pass the 5K mat at 27:27 (official time -- 26:32.) I take a slightly longer walk break at the water station. I also take my second Succeed cap. Still, mile 3 -- 8:32. Geez, I'm cranking. For me. And for this heat. There's a hose spraying water at the racers. I take my hat off and try to get my sprinkle on, but it fizzles into steam by the time it hits my head. I'm starting to feel woozy. Mile 4 -- 8:39.

Down the East Drive and rounding the corner of the Res, and at the next water stop -- there's GATORADE!! Hooray! Thank you, NYRR! Boy, did I need that. Took another slightly extended walk break at the station to drink it down, and also some water. Down Cat Hill (yay!) and up that infernal little hill at 72nd Street (boo!) Mile 5 -- 8:31.

Last mile and change, around the south end of the Park and to the finish line. I see Teammate Michelle in front of me at the 800m to go mark. For those of you who followed my exploits last year, this is the same Michelle who I spent most of last year emulating on the running front because she's a strong runner with an effortless stride that I admire. You can read that post by clicking right here. Holy crap, did I catch up with Michelle? Holy crap, am I PASSING her??

Holy crap, I am!

Mile 6 -- 8:15, and the last uphill .2 -- 1:41

For a grand total of 52:38 (official time.)

I PRed!

In 90+ degree heat!

And Michelle, your compliments after the race once again made my year.

Sunday was the Second Annual MSKCC Rock and Run by the River. It's a 5K run/walk along the Hudson River that celebrates survivors and their families, and supports their Cancer Survivor Initiative. I ran this race last year with my friend Greg, who lost his brother Tim the year before. It's a lovely race, and with so many friends, family members and Teammates being survivors thanks to MSKCC, even if I wasn't a member of Fred's Team I would be there. More than 2,000 people showed up, even in the heat, and that just shows you what an impact MSKCC has had on so many people.

I'll tell you the story in pictures -- and I have all the pictures on my Koday Easy Share site, if you want to see them all. I will tell you they ain't the best pictures; I took a lot of them on the run. Literally.

Here we are, waiting for the race to begin. There's Lynn, Harrie, and Harrie's friend whose name I am forgetting (sorry!) on the left, and Michelle and Julia on the right:

Here's Coach Annie hanging on the patio, and Nicole:

At the start line I ran into Dr. Mark, one of the lung specialists at MSKCC. Dr. Mark was my buddy-slash-savior during last year's 18 miler, and I was happy to see him here today!

And we're off! I snapped this picture of us on the run:

Mark was pretty speedy, and I had blisters on my feet from the day before -- not from the run, but from Emily's birthday party. In an effort to look good, since the party was at a club, I wore heels. Just a shade over kitten heels. Those shoes rarely bother me, that's why I bought them, but I guess my feet were still swollen from the 10K and at the end of the night I had blisters on both little toes and the bottoms of my feet were scraped raw. So I was suffering, between the feet and the heat, but I kept up.

How I wish someone had told me that even though I washed my face twice, there was still a lot of eye makeup leaching out. I swear, I cannot get the gunk off of me, and that's with using eye makeup remover pads.
Our unofficial time -- it was a fun run -- was about 26 minutes.

Post-race, we all met up on the pier. There's Michelle, Julia, David, Nicole and Alli on the left, and yours truly on the right.

Here's Lynn, Coach Jeff, and Jeff's friend Ben Bailey (yes, the "Cash Cab" host.) "Cash Cab" is like a snarkier version of Jeopardy. Ben's a licensed cabbie, and if you get into his cab you are a contestant on the show, which takes place in his cab while he drives you to your destination. It's fun and also very funny. Watch it!

Turns out, we were all allowed to go to the VIP area at the back of the pier, behind the main stage. Cool! So off we went. There was food and water there, and tables with some much-needed shade.

That's Jill, who heads the Pediatric Cancer unit, on the left, and Jen and Cary on the right.

The two co-chairs of the Rock and run were designer Carmen Marc Valvo (that's him in the white cap; he designed the t-shirts for the race, which are really nice, with a simple footprint graphic) and MSNBC's Dan Abrams (that's him in the black cap!)

A bushel of Baksts

Lastly, but not leastly, Teammate Matt, our resident rock star and he of the 2:53 marathon. He was volunteering in the Survivor tent. Amazing guy.

We are all so lucky!


Dani said...

As a Florida runner, I know what the heat can do to you! That's a great time for the 10K. And the "fun" run sounded like you had lots of fun!

aka blonderx

Brooklyn said...

Great job on the PR!!! I wish I could have come out to cheer. Good to know the weather didn't break you. :)