Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rock N' Roll New York 10K

Yesterday I ran the Inaugural Rock N' Roll New York 10K race in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.  It was my first official 10K and my finishing time was 58:25, averaging a 9:25 min/mile pace, so I'm very happy! I just wanted to be at or under 1 hour, so that was successful! 

Sweet sparkly finisher's medal! :)

The Rock 'N' Roll crew by Competitor is a well established company, so I was expecting a smooth operation.  This was not necessarily the case.  From checking out their facebook page, many other runners are angry and seeking refunds.  I didn't have that bad of an experience, but for the price of the entry fee, I can completely understand why so many are enraged.  The first complaint I would have is with the big claim to fame that this race is filled with "Rock and Roll" music along the course.  There were 3 DJ's along the 6.2 miles, each playing some version of pop/dance music.  As a 25-year old girl, I listen to some of this and don't mind it as I run, but I definitely wouldn't classify ANYTHING I heard as Rock and Roll.  The other major complaint I have is with bag check.  They required you to use their "swag bag" to check your items, which were seemingly efficiently organized in large moving trucks according to runner's last names.  However, fast forward to the finish line and the bag pick-up was a nightmare.  Bags had been tossed on the ground outside of the trucks and there was absolutely no organization to finding your bag.  Not to mention no security as anyone could have walked off with anyone else's bag.  A few participants quickly took charge and started calling out bib numbers to distribute bags.  I was lucky enough to be called quickly and got out of there ASAP.

Nice & Sweaty post-race!

On a more positive note, I personally had a good run!  The nice thing about running a certain distance for the first time is that it is automatically your PR!  :)  I felt strong through the first 5k, but mile 4 was not fun.  My legs suddenly felt tired and I had to force one foot in front of the next.  For whatever reason, I picked back up at mile 5 and finished strong!  The course was 2 loops through the park, with small rolling hills.  I had to laugh at anyone I heard complaining about these "hills"...I guess they haven't actually run a real hill.  Most of the course was downhill and the hill inclines were almost not noticeable!

So, would I run this race again? Maybe. I enjoy runs in Prospect Park, but I'm not sure the lure of the "Rock N' Roll" name (or pricetag) was worth it!  In the end it was a beautiful fall day and the sucess of my first 10k! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Billy Goat 5k 2011

This past Sunday October 16, my dad and I ran the Billy Goat 5k trail run at Baird Park.  It was my second time doing the Billy Goat, and I just love this run. 

The course is essentially 1.5 miles uphill on a trail and 1.6 miles back down, all the while winding through rocks, streams and plants.  I really wish there were more places to do trail runs nearby!  It was a beautiful morning and I felt great!  I will complain about those who don't follow running/race etiquette.  It drives me crazy to see people start out up front at the start line, sprint out for 1/2 mile, only to slow down and WALK.  Get out of my way! I am by no means a fast runner, but I will always get out of the way for anyone attempting to pass.  This is especially important on a race like this, because at some points the trail is only wide enough for one or two runners.  Most of these things are common sense!

The old man kickin butt!
Me following behind!
Like father, like daughter?
My dad finished 97th of 133 (33:55) and I finished 100th with a time of 34:01.  This was slower than our times last year, but I felt strong and good.  I'm not one to worry about places or times...I'm proud we completed it and look forward to another one next year!

 Next up: Rock'N'Roll New York 10K this Saturday in Prospect Park! As always, happy running! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Vegetarian Day!

Good morning! Today is World Vegetarian Day, the kickoff to Vegetarian Awareness Month.  As I do everyday, I'll be celebrating with another meatless day! 

Eating a vegetarian diet can reduce risks of heart disease, stroke and cancers.  A plant-based diet also helps the fight for animals suffering and being slaughtered in factory-farms.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed several studies that examined the health benefits of vegetarian diets.  (Read this review here!) In short, they concluded there is significant evidence of vegetarian diets leading to lower risk of coronary heart disease.  This is likely due to lower incidence of obesity, diabetes and hypertension (all risk factors for heart disease). 

So what can you do to celebrate World Vegetarian Day (or month)!?
  • Eat meat-free today, or all month! :)
  • Host a vegetarian potluck meal with your friends/family
  • Visit a vegetarian restaurant or try meatless options at your favorite restaurants
  • Swap meat for "fake" meat products (Morningstar Farms, Dr. Praeger's, Garden Burger)
  • Encourage others to go meatless for the day!