Hi, I'm Petra and this is my weight loss/fitness blog.
I used to be on Weight Watchers from January 2011 to October 2012, dropping approximately 45 lbs. I've made the transition from unhealthy and unhappy to athlete and this is my journey to becoming a healthier, happier me. I frequently post about my exercise (mostly running, yoga and lifting), the foods I eat, recipes I liked and my daily struggles. You'll also find the occasional tree hugger post, (travel) photography or anything else I find worth remembering and collecting.
I follow most blogs back that follow me. However, I do stay away from blogs that promote EDs, unhealthy methods of weight loss or negative body image.
Feel free to say hi any time!
So today was the big day. RACE Day. For those of you who have run a bunch of marathons, my tiny 5k non-competitive fun run might be ridic, but believe me, being my first race ever, to me it was a big deal. I wasn’t concerned about the distance and I didn’t really care about the time. I was mostly nervous about the mechanics behind a race, never having run one before. Of course it turned out to be just fine and I had a lot of fun. That doesn’t mean my worries didn’t have their right to be there.
The race was for New York’s Wildlife Conservation Society and it was held at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. There’s a reason why I’ve never been to Coney Island before. It’s a bitch to get to. For me that meant getting up at 4:30 in the morning so that I had time to shower, have coffee, double check I have everything, make a light snack and take the train out there. I had laid out my stuff the night before:
Race outfit, bib, water, Luna bar, iPhone holder, earphones. I also brought coconut water, a towel, change of clothes. For food I ate an English muffin with cream cheese at home and brought a banana for on the train.
I had given myself plenty of time to make the trip, so I arrived a couple of minutes before 7, just about as registration opened. I was a little disgruntled that apparently they did have t-shirts in a size small. When I picked up my bib a couple of days in advance in order to avoid the registration line, they told me they never made smalls and that they were also out of mediums. I ended up with a large. I forgot to bring it so that I could ask for an exchange. Meh.
Things were getting busy as the sun rose. There was a pre-race food table. I grabbed a cup of OJ and forewent the bagels (I really wanted one!) but I had already eaten. I used the porta potty, took a picture of Luna Park and the starting line from below the Boardwalk and then made my way up to the start.
Obligatory pre-race pictures:
It was pretty hot, despite the fact that it was only 8 AM on an October morning. The last two days have been warm in NY so I was l glad that the race was so early.
Everybody lined up at the starting line and since it was a fun race, there were no chips, no sections to align yourself depending on your pace, etc. At this point all my nervousness had gone away and had been replaced by excitement. I must admit that I was a little intimidated by all the fit-looking men and women, but there were also a lot people who looked less fit than me, so I knew I was going to be fine.
As soon as the whistle blew, off we were. There were so many people (about 2,000) and even though I was in the front section of the line up, by the time I got to the first narrow patch before the 1 mile mark, the mass of people slowed me down. Looking at my splits, that’s probably a good thing. I started too fast and it was beneficiary that I was forced to slow down a bit.
The course was a little misleading. I know that the boardwalk is not very long, but the starting and finishing points of the race were not the best.
We ran in one direction, then after about 1.3 miles, we turned around and ran back. People started seeing the starting line and a lot of people assumed it was also going to be the finishing line, including myself. I started sprinting too soon and barely made it to the finish line after I had to take another turn before we even hit the 3 mile mark.
My pacing felt off during the race and I was sure I was going to finish with a horrible time. At one point I even thought that I just wanted to finish below 32 minutes. However, looking at my stats I’m pleased to see that my pacing only seemed off to me, that I became faster with each mile.
I think I hit start on my running app a little early and stop definitely a little late after I made it through the finish line. My app tells me I did 3.12 miles in 28:53. If I look at my 3.1 miles time, it’s 28:39. That’s definitely a new PR. Considering that I ran for the fun of it and not the time, this is a huge accomplishment.
Overall, I had an amazing time. Running on the boardwalk was awkward and quite honestly, not very safe. The boardwalk is in dire need for repair as some of the wooden planks are loose and there was definite danger of people tripping and falling.
After the race, participants were treated to a post-race breakfast. I was so hungry that I had a banana, some grapes, a small bagel and two yogurts. And then you were also welcome to stick around, go to the Aquarium and watch a sea lion show.
After sticking around the aquarium for a bit, I took another short walk on the boardwalk, watched the beach, ate some corn on the cob (without the butter) and eventually made the trip back to Manhattan.
I’m super tired now and the fact that I’ve had very little sleep last night is catching up with me. Just for my own reference: I ate ramen last night. Apparently a good food for me pre-race. I’ll lay down for a nap and maybe I’ll go shopping a little later.
Tomorrow registration opens for a half marathon I want to run next year. Guess who’s excited?