Tag Archives: trail runs

SpOOoooOOOoooOOOOky!

31 Oct

So, about a month ago, I discovered a 5K trail run in… SLEEPY HOLLOW!  I am (nearly) a Halloween baby and I have ALWAYS loved the fall and particularly the glorious month of October.  Since I’m a semi-recently converted city mouse, I don’t get to see the foliage nearly as much as I would like to.  So, the notion of participating in a trail run in spooooooky Sleepy Hollow really got me stoked!  I told T that was what I wanted to do for my birthday weekend.

Friday night, T and I drove to Tarrytown (about 40 mins outside the city in the Hudson Valley) and checked into our hotel a little late after a few, uh, wrong turns.  (We forgot the Garmin and the roads are NOT well-marked up there!)  We were ravenous by the time we got to our room and almost everything that w0uld have delivered was closed.

We wound up finding a pizza place that was open and went to bed with our bellies full of a shameful amount of really greasy food…

Then we got lost in the morning on our way to the race.  Thankfully, we left super duper early and still made it in time.  When I picked up my bib, I noticed that I had mistakenly been signed up as a dude.  Which I decided to go ahead and clear up.

The race photographer captured this moment in which I cleared up the little gender snafu…

The official race guy said with a wink, “Sure, we’ll get that cleared right up so you can get your award!”  I laughed and rolled my eyes.  Yeah, right.

Then, T and I headed to the start.  I was feeling a bit nervous. (Or maybe that was the late-night greasy awful-ness still settling into my belly?)  This was my 2nd ever trail run (my first trail run actually being my first official race ever!)  And also, if I was being completely honest with myself, I had taken a little peek at last year’s results and had seen that it wouldn’t be entirely impossible for me to place in my age group…

Once we reached the start, I stretched…

The official race dude thanked everyone for coming and advised us that the first half mile to a mile was uphill, so to be prepared for that… and then we were off!

Fast dudes at the front

I immediately thought to myself, “Why is everyone going SO SLOW?!?!?!” and powered  ahead, even though I should have known better… but hey, I was having fun!  (As evidenced by the pics the race photographer captured of me!)

I’m on the left in the blue and red…

REALLY having fun here!

Not sure about that stride…

Anyway, shortly after this, I realized that my watch wasn’t working (damn it) and that the guy wasn’t lying about the hill.  It sucked and I felt like sh*t immediately.  I was pretty frustrated since I realized I had no idea how to feel out 5K/3.1 miles and I suck at pacing myself.  Harumpf.  I managed to pass 2 women who were ahead of me on the hill (yay, Queensboro Bridge running!) and then tried not to wipe out as I motored down the other side of the hill.  It was STEEP.

As I ran, I realized this was an excellent reminder to not attempt to be a hero for the NYC Marathon.  I felt like crap for having gone out way too fast (on a darn hill, no less!) and I did not want to spend a good 10 miles after having already run 16 feeling this way.  I promised myself then and there that I was going to take the NYC marathon easy.

make it end!

I finally saw the blessed finish and told myself to try and do some kind of minimal kick, especially since I could hear someone coming up behind me.

For the record, I beat her (by 2 seconds!) 🙂

And then I actually thought I might barf, but I didn’t.  Cool story!  I met up with T and then we went hung out while they tallied up the results.

And I came in 6th woman overall!

Also, I got an award for taking 2nd in my age group, but I just noticed that these results indicate I was 3rd.  Oops?  Well, anyway, that was fun for me.  Even if I had not gotten my little award, I would still say that this race was a super fun experience.  I don’t often run races that aren’t NYRR-sponsored and yes, I do LOVE NYRR, but… there is something to be said for the casual, hometown feel of smaller races like this.  Everyone was so nice!  Plus, I won’t EVER complain about running in a state park, especially in the peak of fall foliage time!  Another thing worth mentioning– ain’t no way this very mediocre runner (I’m NOT digging, facts iz facts yo) would ever place in a big race, so this was a nice little ego boost.

The rest of the weekend was equally awesome.  We went and walked around Stone Barns, which was just beautiful, stopped in for a beer and some delicious food (Ommegang mac and cheese, OMG) at The Tap, in downtown Tarrytown, and then went on a haunted hayride!  It was perfect.

Then… we came home… and weathered a little storm.

Monday morning, I received word that I didn’t need to report to work, so instead I took care of a little 10-mile run in my neighborhood, over the Queensboro Bridge, and then back.  There was definitely a spooky feel in the air, but I did enjoy the rare camaraderie I felt with other runners.  Typically when running in NYC, no one really acknowledges one another (which makes me sad.)  But on this particular day — with the grey skies, the  continual spray of rain, and the high wind gusts that nearly knocked my hat off my head more than once — other runners were waving and smiling at me.  We were united in our wacky need to run on a day when a hurricane was approaching.

angry, choppy East River

Anyway, I never really thought I would experience a hurricane first hand.  I should also say right off the bat that I was INCREDIBLY lucky and never lost power or water (unlike many of my friends) and was never in any danger.  The storm was merely a headache that kept us cooped up for 2 days and forced us to evacuate our bedroom since our ceiling was leaking pretty badly in there.  (GRRRRR.)  But again, I was VERY lucky.

I ran to work today since the subways are not working.  I’m so lucky to have a shower at work!  I will be commuting home by foot, as well… and possibly doing the same thing for the rest of the week.  That’s OK, though.  I just hope everyone who was affected by Sandy recovers OK and without too much cost, financial and otherwise.  Man.