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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day 5K

Last year I signed up for the Valentine's Day 5K in Prospect Park, but I had had a crappy weekend, flipping out about some boy (this seems to be a trend, no?) and my running buddy Palindrome ditched me because his foot hurt. Really? Your foot hurts? You're a runner. Most runners have feet that hurt. I sent an email to the race organizer, Mike, and being the great guy that he is, Mike said I could run this year instead.

I went to my parents' house for the weekend (doesn't that sound so much more grown-up than saying my house?) and decided it was best to drive to the race. I worked in Brooklyn for two years, and there is no excuse for how I managed to miss all the exits I did yesterday, adding thirty minutes to my trip. My GPS just hates Brooklyn. We don't have problems anywhere else, but the minute we get over the Jackie Robinson, she's adding distance, removing streets, and claiming all other sorts of nonsense. I managed to get my bib from PS 154 before the race began and I found parking right next to the park's entrance.

I decided to finally take my red Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11s out of the box. The Adrenaline GTS 11s went on sale last month and I snapped these pretty babies up. I was saving them for my birthday, but then realistically assessed the situation and decided I couldn't wait that long. I want to wear them for the Caumsett 50K, but I couldn't resist wearing red shoes for a Valentine's Day run.

I love brand new white shoe laces.
I obviously made my mother take a picture of me.
I wore black matty m leggings, my red C9 by Champion for Target pullover, white Old Navy athletic socks (3.1 miles didn't warrant ruining my outfit with day-glo Balega socks), my patriotic Knockaround sunglasses, and an awesome faux-fur headband. I had planned on wearing my bright yellow Brooks gloves but I decided I didn't need them and left them in the car. Poor decision.

Female finishers received red carnations at the finish line.
We all lined up for the race somewhere between the entrance closest to 10th Avenue and Center Drive. I do not understand Prospect Park and I spent four and a half hours running around it. It confuses me, the landmarks look all the same, and I wouldn't be able to find you if without a compass and a map. I thought I had placed myself up towards the front, but the race volunteers asked everyone to get in the rec lane and suddenly I found many more people up ahead of me. I surged forward at the start and found that I was running something like 4:37 miles. Obviously not sustainable, but it got me out of that crowd. I reined it back in and finished my first mile in 6:37*. (These times are subject to change. My Garmin is on my kitchen table and I am at work, so I am writing this from memory.)

Leaving the park after the race.
I was feeling pretty great heading into the second mile. The second mile is the never-ending hill that the Professor and I battled over and over and over and over again during the Brooklyn Marathon. It's not that steep, you don't even really notice it at first, but it just keeps coming at you. I kept telling my legs to speed up, but my mind had my body trapped in marathon mode. I was able to run at 6:58 pace a few times, but I also kept stalling out at 8 somethings. I think I completed mile 2 in 8:02 (need Garmin verification.)

I am a big fan of the t-shirts.
The last mile remind me of mile 20 of the marathon. It was either run it and shut up or cry and go home. I started chanting beast in an even more beastly voice than usual. My real-life friends can attest to how years of smoking, chanting, and chugging has given me a deep and sometimes sexy voice. It's usually strongly disliked by children and high-strung women, but it has given me a fall-back career in the adult phone industry.

I came in at 22:40 according to the Garmin. The course was exactly 3.1 miles. I like consistency between my wrist and the race officials, so I am looking forward to when the official results are released.

I had to work after the race, so I didn't return to the school for celebratory cups of hot cocoa. Instead I drove into Manhattan to drop off my clean clothing (thanks Mom!) and pick up my FWF (favorite work friend) before heading back to Brooklyn. We were site leaders for administering a survey on Universal Pre-K in Bed Stuy. When I am not running drunk, I care deeply about ed reform. I am multi-faceted. FWF shared her new ginger treats with me after we each inhaled a #13 while we waited at McDonald's for our volunteers to check back in. They're really tasty and would probably have killed me appetite if I wasn't already stuffed from chicken mcnuggets and fries.

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