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!
I also realized I never posted a word about the Sleepy Hollow 10k that I ran only 6 days after the Grete’s half. I definitely still felt the very hard half marathon (and the PR!) in my legs, so the 10k wasn’t great at all from a performance perspective - that’s probably why I never mentioned it. ;o) When I originally signed up for the half, it was supposed to be in September, but then they changed the date to October. Otherwise, I never would have scheduled two hilly races less than a week apart.
Anyway. I ran the Sleepy Hollow 10k in 2011 (my first and to-date fastest 10k) and I thought it was a lot of fun as people dress up in costumes and Sleepy Hollow is a fun Halloween kind of town. Besides, it’s actually really nice to get out of the city if only for half a day, so despite being exhausted going into the race, I didn’t want to miss it.
The trip to Sleepy Hollow takes me about an hour and as I dragged my ass out of bed very, very early, I’ve come to realize how lucky I am to live so close to Central Park where most of my races takes place. I didn’t take any chances on race day and took an earlier train than I probably could have, but at least it allowed to me stop for coffee on the way and get there without a rush.
The race shirts were actually the same/very similar to last year’s, just in a different color. Still fun though!
Sleepy Hollow takes Halloween and their legends serious:
Unfortunately, I had to see this guy again later. :(
In the meantime, registration & getting ready:
Checking my phone, because that’s what people do these days when they’re scared to talk to people. ;)
On to the race!
You better get out of the way! There’s a horde of eager runners coming your way!
Another thing the Sleepy Hollow 10k reminded me of is how “professional” the NYRR races are in comparison. While the SH 10k was timed, it still was more of a fun run. There were so many people, it was crazy. There was also no seeded times start, so people could line up wherever. However, what really made the difference was the crowd. There were so many people who don’t seem to race a lot and hence didn’t have as much experience in race etiquette. I’m not saying these people shouldn’t race - by all means, I think everybody should race! - but is running 3 or 4 people abreast really necessary? Or listening to music so loudly that you can’t hear when somebody is right behind you, asking to let them pass? I don’t know. Especially at the start the race was really, really crowded and I did get a little annoyed.
The course was the same as last year so I knew what to expect. I don’t know whether that was a good or bad thing. Maybe it made me hold back more than I could have/should have. Or maybe it allowed me to pace well and the fact that I wasn’t very fast was only based on the half marathon less than a week before this race.
The course is really scenic, but it is also really, really hilly. I run a lot of hills in Central Park. I actually don’t mind the Harlem Hills. But the Sleepy Hollow course? That hurts!
Once you start that little loop past Freemont Pond, that part in particular is very tough. At the very top, you have to run up a hill that is so steep, it makes you want to cry. I actually had to slow down to a walk toward the very top of this hill this year. I’m not sure whether it was because I used an approaching ambulance as an excuse to continue running or whether I really, really would not have been able to continue running.
Speaking of the ambulance, shortly after I passed the 3 mile mark, I saw a bunch of people hovering around a guy that was unconscious on the ground. His knees were scraped, so I’m assuming he passed out mid run and collapsed. They called the ambulance - who at first couldn’t find him even though he was right there!!! - but it was still very distressing to witness.
Overall, my pace wasn’t all that great.
The first mile was really slow, mainly because there were so many people. During mile 2, I picked it up, but then happened miles 3 and 4 and I somehow lost it. Miles 5 and 6, I was extremely tired and also mentally exhausted that I told myself, I just wanted to finish and enjoy myself - no matter the time. The last .25 mile are up a steep hill and pure torture. I slowed down to a walk at some point, but then kicked myself in the butt and picked up a jog again.
Overall, my time wasn’t great at all (I think official time was 1:03:31 - I started my Garmin a few seconds late), almost 1:30 minutes slower than my PR. However, given the previous half-marathon, the distress of seeing that guy on the ground and my overall fatigue, I was pleased with the result. As you can see from the elevation gain and loss, this is a hilly course after all!
Who cares about the hills? Just one step at a time.
I have no neck in this picture.
Happy to be done.
There were a bunch of fun costumes this year. The overall theme seemed to be superheroes. Oh really?
Batgirls and derpy Superman.
Salt & Pepper and your obligatory dude in a gorilla costume.
Michael Phelps costume - looked rather unfortunate toward the finish line.
Well, nothing spells fun like running the last .25 mile of a 10k up a goddamn steep hill!
They did have donuts at the finish line.
Despite the overall poor performance, it was a lot of fun. Definitely considering it again for next year.