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!
This morning I ran the NYRR Gridiron Classic (4M) / Longest Football Throw Competition in Central Park. It was the second of my 9+1 program races.
I had picked up my bib, chip and t-shirt on Friday and I was really pleased with the shirt. I think it’s one of the nicer ones I have:
(Fun fact, I never wear race t-shirts until after the race. I think it’s actually more fun if you earn it first.)
I had laid out my clothes and backpack the night before and I was really glad for this when the alarm went off this morning. For whatever reason I had a really hard time getting up this morning. Usually on race day, I’m wide awake within seconds when the alarm goes off. It’s all that adrenaline and excitement. No snooze-buttoning on race day. Today was different though. I was tired, unmotivated and just wanted to stay in bed. The alarm rang for the first time at 6 and I ended up getting up at 6:30. That said, there was still plenty enough time to shower, have a coffee and head to Central Park. My roommate got up just as I was leaving and she told me how excited and proud she was. Certainly nice to hear. :)
Unlike the 10k in January, the starting line for this race was a lot further down, so that meant a nice walk for me. As soon as I left my building, I realized how freaking cold it was. On my way to the park, I wore long tights, three layers of tops (a sleeveless shirt, a long armed shirted and a running jacket) and a coat and I was still cold. I was not looking forward to this.
I made it to the start, dropped off my backpack (and discarded my coat, brrrrrrrrrr!) and decided to watch the football throw competition for a bit. Given that today is Superbowl Sunday, the NYRR held a little competition. However threw the farthest received a goodie bag. I think the winner tossed it just a little over 40 yards.
After watching the competition for a bit, I headed toward the start to find my color coral. Still pink. I had plenty of time (and I was freezing), so I used to time to jog around a little bit and stretch. The NYRR always have a bunch of announcers pre-race and today there was quite a bit of Giants - Patriots banter. It was fun. Apparently NYRR’s Mary Wittenberg has a friendly bet with Boston’s Guy Morse - the president of the loser team must wear a jersey of the winner team during the pre-Boston 5k. I’d say go Giants! Later in the race, the course divided into two lanes Giants and Patriots. Depending on which team you think is going to win, you were supposed to pick a lane. The outcome of this very scientific poll was 74% Giants vs 26% Patriots. Go figure.
As I was waiting in my coral, I stood next to the most obnoxious woman. She was there with a friend who had a pink bib (the coral we were in). The other woman had a green bib (which is further in the front). When the gun went off at 9, it took a while until the field started moving, a good 4 minutes. The race was at capacity and there were over 6,000 runners in the park that day. So yes, it took a while until we were moving. At one point obnoxious woman commented and asked whether the gun had gone off at all yet and when her friend told her that yes, it had, she said Well, I haven’t started this far back in a long time. I don’t know why, but it made me so angry. It’s the same elitist bullshit attitude that a lot of runners here on Tumblr have. It’s great if you run fast, probably faster than most other people, but really, there is no need to be such asshole about it. Anyway, when the field finally did start moving, we were off to a slow start.
I really liked that they had placed the starting line where they did. One of the tougher parts of this course was going to be Cat Hill (around the 79th Traverse) and I always like running that on relatively fresh legs. Despite having to move around other runners (it really was crowded), I managed to start off with a good pace, running the first mile (including Cat Hill) at under 10 minutes. As we headed into the second mile I also finally started warming up - bliss! Large parts of the second mile were downhill, which definitely showed in my pace (under 9 minutes). The third mile is one of my least favorite stretches in Central Park. It’s a lot more uphill, which showed in my pace, and I also started getting really warm. I guess dressing appropriately for races is still something I need to learn - especially figuring out just how much chill I can get away with without being too miserable. During the last mile, which is my favorite, I was really able to finish strong and run fast. Knowing that the finish line was so close, I was able to really push it to a 8:30 pace.
I didn’t pay all that much attention to my Garmin during the race and just tried to concentrate on keeping a steady pace, looking for open spots to pass other runners and trying to run the tangents more efficiently than during the Joe Kleinerman 10k. I think I did a fairly good job. My Garmin gave me a total distance of 4.1 miles as opposed to the official 4 miles, so there definitely less additional mileage. Being familiar with Central Park also really helped. It’s a great feeling to know where you can push a little harder (because once you’re over that hill, there’s be a bit of flat course, etc.) and when you need to reduce speed a little bit. At one point, I realized that I was at just a few minutes over 30 and less than 10 minutes away from the finish line. It made me run faster, determined to run the race sub-40 minutes.
Overall I’m really pleased with the result. My official chip time is 37:19 (9:20 pace). And as I mentioned, not only was I faster than during my last race, I also only ran an additional 0.1 miles, meaning I was a little more efficient in running the tangents and when moving around people. (Obviously, my last race was 2 miles longer and who knows whether I’d have been able to hold the 9:20 pace for another 2 miles, especially the Harlem Hills, but this is not me complaining!)
After the race, I ate half a bagel, a small apple and then called my grandmother for her birthday on my way back. At home, I sat down for coffee and some Greek yogurt before I then showered and collapsed into bed. I was so exhausted. Still am. Phew.
The race pictures probably won’t be great since I didn’t watch out for the photographers this time around. I think I only even spotted one - once I had passed him. I guess we’ll see.
Overall, yes, really pleased with myself. Especially considering that I didn’t want to go to begin with.