Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Central Park Half Marathon.

As per usual on a whim last fall I signed up for a half marathon in Central Park for the end of February.  Fast forward this winter has been super CRAZY cold and snowy.  I had no real plan about it in any way.  I knew I didn't want to get up super early and take the train in so I got a hotel right on Central Park West right on 72nd street since the map showed the start/finish was on the 72nd transverse of Central Park.  (More on this later)

At the beginning of February I had the idea to see if my sista from anotha mista wanted to come up to celebrate her birthday at the same time.  Once I told her we were right across from Strawberry Fields she was sold.....I know what she likes :)

Turkey Day 2004
Friday afternoon she headed up from Maryland where she lives.  She got here just as I was getting out of school so we met up with Dan, Niqui and Xander for dinner at one our favorite places to eat in Huntington, Sapsuckers.  After we headed to Sip Tea Lounge which is owned by our friends Nicole and Toshi and is beyond amazing.  Saturday morning we got up, ate and got mani/pedis.  We decided to drive in so after the race on Sunday she could drop me off at Penn Station and then head south instead of going East to go West and South.  Luckily we stopped to get gas and I checked Facebook, my friend June posted a picture of her bib and I realized that I forgot mine!!!!  We headed back and got it.  We made it into Manhattan as the sun was going down.

View from 59th Street bridge.
We checked into our spacious and luxurious hotel room.  I got my stuff ready for the next morning since I had to get up extra early now since they moved the start/finish up to 102nd st on the East side of the park.  I had to get a bus or subway and I am not that comfortable with public transportation alone as I never pay attention and was afraid I would get not the wrong one.  We then headed out for dinner.

Gabby took this picture from THE HALLWAY of the hotel LMAO

Trying to find a plug Gabby found this picture of safety HAHAHA

Gabby found a grilled cheese place she wanted to go to so we went to dinner.  It was only about 10 blocks away.  We were not disappointed.


So many choices

Grilled cheese and tater tots - dinner of champions!!
On the way back to the hotel we saw the Swatch store was still open so we went in for a laugh....then Gabby saw something I just HAD TO HAVE!!!  I bought it as a gift to myself for finishing the race the next day LMAO

Try to tell me it isn't perfect for me.......

The weather was better than it had been so I changed up my outfit for the next day.  Still long sleeve and jacket but the non lined pants so I would not overheat.

We went to bed, the plan was I would get up and go and Gabby would meet me along the course as we were doing 2 large and 1 small lap of the park.  The bed was so uncomfortable!!!

I was up on time but still nervous about missing the bus or getting on the wrong one so I rushed to get ready and head to the bus stop.  I got on the right one but I forgot my power bar fruit puree and water.    Yup I was about to run 13.1 miles on an empty stomach and with no water before the start.

I got to the start and hit the portopotty, saw and hugged June and headed to the start.  It was a long wait until the start so I was freezing.  We were told to be there at least an hour ahead of time but that was way too much.  I tried stretching and stood in the sun.  While waiting I took some pictures.  I also sent Gabby a text to meet me at on 72nd St. as I came around for a second time from the small loop.  She said OK. (more on this later)

It didn't seem like a large amount of runners for a race that sold out.  There was also a full that was going to start a half hour after us.  We took off and I had to pee right away, we were only going to pass the porto potties once so I jumped out of the race and went to the bathroom right away, I have to say it was great that the people on line who were doing the full let those of us who stopped cut line since our race started.  So I was back enroute pretty quick.  It was a little chilly but sunny and if was comfortable.  I came around to 72nd but Gabby was not there.  Oh well, I was feeling pretty good and was taking gatorade at the stops to try to keep up on carbohydrates as much as possible.

Our first time back up to the north side of the park is the first time we go up Cat hill.  It is not an easy one.  Ironic that a cat lady like me hates something named Cat anything.

After that we head into the Harlem Hills.  I remembered this from the Pride run in June......they are TOUGH!!  So we came around and headed south again.  I was feeling pretty good and sticking to my 3:1 run:walk pretty well, with the exception of walking up the hills.  Around mile 9 I was noticing that the back of my neck was starting to hurt and I realized it was from my bondi band being soaked with sweat and it was getting very cold which was causing it to ache.  Then at mile 10 the chafing started in a very new and bad area.  We will leave that there..... LOL

I sent Gabby a text when I hit mile 10 to let her know I was going to be about 35-40 more minutes sine I had to go back up Cat Hill.  I came around the turn to the finish and she was there cheering.  There is nothing like having someone at the finish line for you.  She took a video but I can not get it to upload here.  I got my swag and snacks and we jumped into a cab headed back to the hotel.

Gabby knows what I like and she dropped me off an headed out to give me some alone time to relax and shower.  I sent a text to Tom to let him know I was done and of course post on Facebook.  She came back, we checked out and tried to find breakfast.  That was not as easy as you would think but we found a place.  Right after we ordered I realized that I forgot my garmin at the hotel.  I was not pleased.  I called them and they said they would go up and get it but I had to rush through breakfast because I just wanted to get it back.  We got back there and they had it!  Thank goodness.  I wonder if I was more upset about losing the watch or not being able to upload my race info...LOL

Well Gabby dropped me off at the train station and we both went home.  All in all I think she had a fun birthday weekend and I was so grateful she was there with me.  Just 6 days until my next half marathon......


  1. What an awesome race! And you are right, that watch is perfect for you! :)

    1. Thanks!! Really my only complaint was the fact that it is just loops.....it gets boring if you are alone.

  2. I have family in NYC so I have hopes of running a race there one day. Good job conquering the hills. And good luck on your next half. You're a machine!

    1. Thanks!!! I remember the first time I ran in CP last year for the Pride run and first saw the hills....I had never been to CP before even after living in NY for 99% of my life and just assumed it was flat LOL

  3. Great job Gigi! I just ran the NYC Half and it was soooo cold, I will never train for a NY half in the winter months again, otherwise I would do this one!

    1. It was fun but boring so you aren't missing much, just laps of CP....I do want to do NYC half next year because you don't stay in the park.

  4. Any time I see race recaps in NYC, I wish I lived nearby so I could participate in them! Great recap!