Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K Recap

img_6163On Saturday, I ran the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K. Ever since deciding not to run the NYC Marathon this year, I knew I wanted to partake in the festivities and of course cross the marathon finish line for the 4th straight year. I have been following all the excitement and hype around the marathon on social media and was really feeling down about missing it so I am glad I signed up for the race. Also two years ago, Josh and his family ran the race so I knew it was a good one!

I went to the expo at Jacob Javits Center on Friday night right before it closed to pick my marathon and Dash to the Finish bibs. The line was really long to pick up the Dash to the Finish bib and shirt – I guess this is what happens when you wait until the last minute. I quickly walked through the rest of the expo, very uninterested since I wasn’t running the marathon and made it in and out in less than 40 minutes.

img_6165On race morning, I got up a little earlier than I normally would and since it was still dark out, I cursed myself, like I usually do before an early morning run, for putting myself through this torture. My morning routine now includes pumping so it takes me a bit longer and of course I underestimate the amount of time I needed. I left the apartment a little later than I wanted. After I parked the car by Columbus Circle area (so I could be closer after the finish), I ended up taking a taxi to the start. I really wanted to run over but I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough time.

img_6172I made it to race central (47th and 2nd) by 8:10AM for an 8:30AM start so I actually had plenty of time to use the port-a-potties and line up in my corral. I can’t remember the last time I lined up in my assigned corral; these days I arrive at races right as they start. With the staggered start, I didn’t cross the start line until 4 minutes or so in, which wasn’t too bad. The course went south on 1st Avenue and then west on 42nd until 6th Avenue where we turned to go north and eventually a right (east) on Central Park South and entered Central Park at Grand Army Plaza to complete the partial lower loop. The finish is the marathon finish line by Tavern on the Green. Even though I was running hard, I really enjoyed all the sights along the course. It’s not every day you run right by Grand Central, Bryant Park, and Carnegie Hall. My friend, Julio was also out cheering so I kept a lookout for him as well. I saw him right at the turn on Central Park South and then again right before the last hill towards the finish.

img_6166I was extremely excited to finish and cross the marathon finish line without feeling like I just ran a marathon. My finish time was exactly 29:00; 9:20 pace, which is far from a PR but some of the fastest miles I’ve run postpartum. I had to wait a bit to pick up my post race snacks but once I did, we were quickly funneled out of Central Park through 72nd Street. The race, just like all the other NYRR races, was extremely organized. While a very expensive 5K (it was $50!), it was worth it to get out there and run fast and enjoy the marathon excitement. I highly recommend this race to anyone looking to enjoy the marathon hype in NYC!

Bronx 10 Mile Recap

img_5989On Sunday, I ran the Bronx 10 Mile. I ran this race two other times before but not since the course changed.

There were many times leading up to this race even up to 30 minutes before I was supposed to leave the house that I thought about backing out. I had so many doubts about whether I could finish the race without hurting myself and last night, I started having mom guilt. I have not been away for that many hours straight before  (around 6 hours total).

If it weren’t for my friend, Maria, I would definitely not have run this yesterday. She remembered us talking a couple of weeks ago about run/walking it together. We touched base earlier in the week and agreed that we would do the 10 miles together. It sounds like we were each other’s motivation to make it out!

img_5987So race morning started with me waking up to pump, eating breakfast, changing into my running clothes, and coordinating where to pick up our friend, Toni. We made it to the Bronx a little later than I wanted but fortunately NYRR recommended a nearby garage that I was able to park in fairly quickly. The garage was right by Yankee Stadium and bag check. There we met up with Maria who had picked up my bib earlier in the week.

I had serious doubts about whether I could finish the race up until we made it to mile 5. We even talked about how if it didn’t feel right, we would stop and cheer everyone on. With inconsistent running and my longest run being 4 miles, what was I thinking that I could even complete 10? I also brilliantly took a cardio barre class on Saturday so I was already feeling sore. However, Maria and I were in it together and we had a lot of catching up to do. We spent the time chatting about everything from running to families to life. The first 5 miles flew by (flew is relative, not as fast as we both are used to). We walked a bit between mile 5 and 6 while we refueled and drank some water. Then we chugged along and mostly ran with some walk breaks for the last 4 miles. As we were approaching the finish line, we had enough left to speed up. Our finish time of 2:04 is slower than most of my half marathon times, but I am extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish with little training or fitness since the 9th month of pregnancy.

img_6005I signed for the race back in May. I thought when, almost 9 months pregnant, that it would be a good test of my fitness in preparation for the NYC Marathon. This was my first race postpartum (10 weeks postpartum and a 10 mile race, very appropriate timing!) and my first race sporting my Oiselle singlet. I wouldn’t have been as successful today if it weren’t for Maria and Toni who I really wanted to see and that was encouragement enough to get out there. Also, I am fortunate for Josh’s support – he was on full baby duty since Saturday bedtime until I got home. He even managed to track me during the run and send a congratulations video when I crossed the finish line.

As it relates to the logistics of the race, I am generally pleased with NYRR’s organization in race settings and the Bronx 10 Mile was no different. There are a ton of volunteers and signs around. Bag check was relatively easy to find and it was short walk up a hill to the start. We started in the last corral since we were late getting there, so it did take 28 minutes from the start of the race before we crossed. The only downside to the race is how crowded it was. A couple of years ago when I ran this race, there were a lot less people and I didn’t need to sign up months in advance on the day that registration opened just to get in.

Overall, it was a gorgeous Sunday and I am glad that I decided to run. My legs are not feeling the same way now though but as Maria puts it, you need to do things for yourself so that way you give your child(ren) your best time when you’re with them.