Central Park Half Marathon

Today I was lucky enough to spend the day with 17 of my great friends doing what we love on an unseasonably warm February day in Central Park.  It was my friend Kelley’s birthday, and she brought us all luck.  It was an amazing day.  Happy Birthday Kelley!  This is most of us before the race.

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It was an early morning, but that is part of the fun (sort of!).  The park was still snow covered and beautiful, despite the warm temperatures. 

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The race was limited to 1,500 runners and was not too crowded.  It was the perfect size for the park.  The course would have been confusing, but NYCruns.com did a great job of directing runners on the course.  It was two loops around the perimeter of the park with two smaller loops at either end.

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My usual race partners and I were ready to go!

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There were some crazy hills on this course!  The toughest was the infamous “Harlem Hill” at the northwest end of the park.  According to mapmyrun the bottom of the hill starts at an elevation of 34 feet and the highest point is 147 feet!  http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/9112472  I was too busy gasping for air to take a picture, but here is a picture I found  – this is close to the end of the seemingly never ending climb.

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The good news is that once you finally get up the hill, you get to run down.  That is my favorite part.  :) 

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There were so many sights on this course and good friends to chat with along the way.  It felt like a Sunday run rather than a race.

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The CNN sign verified the 45 degree temperature -something we are not used to this time of year!

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We passed many famous locations, but one of my favorite places to spend a summer afternoon (well – before kids) is at the Boathouse, sitting outside next to the lake with a cold drink in my hand and the sun on my face.  Those were the days!

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I have been annoyed at being passed during races before, but I have to admit this is the first time I was passed by a horse!  Well a real horse, anyway.  Since he has four legs, I am ok with it.

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Holly – do you remember those two guys running in a horse costume in Atlantic City last year?  13.1 miles!  Some people are crazy!

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I don’t think any of us started the race looking for a PR (personal record), but a few of us did get them!  I was pleasantly surprised at about mile 11 when Eileen calculated our projected time, so I sped up for the last 2 plus miles.  It was worth it! I beat my best time by 5 minutes!  And, somehow, I ran the course a little long.  I was trying to avoid the slanted parts of the road to save my heel. 

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We were all happy when we were done, although the hills caused us all to feel immediately sore!

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The goodies for this race were top notch too – a shirt, medal and fleece scarf.

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Time for my date with my foam roller and then off to bed.  I don’t get sore very often after running anymore, but I have a feeling all of us girls will be walking a little funny tomorrow!

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So, I am wondering, have you used a foam roller?  What do you do when you are sore?

 

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