Sunday morning, my calloused feet enjoyed some fun time at Central Park for the Fred Lebow Half Marathon with New York Road Runners. I'm a notorious medal whore and I'm not in denial of such. For 2017, I'll be redecorating my side of the office to put up more medals. Cringe if you desire but my office will be bedazzled the hell out with finisher medals.
I kept my running gear simple: Base layer heat thermal shirt from Uniqlo, my Superfit Hero shirt from the BuzzFeed shoot and these cool capri leggings with deep pockets to store my cell phone and energy gels. Although my Saloman sneakers are close to done in mileage, I'm riding them until the wheels fall off. Because my procrastinating nature can get the best out of me on race day, I didn't opt to pick up my bib or hat days before the race. In my head, I lied to myself and said that I would be leaving out of my home by 6AM. Six snoozed alarms later, I woke up at 5:45AM, not leaving my house until 6:45. I suppose this isn't too terrible with my track record.
My train ride was fairly decent. It was a straight shot to 96th Street. Strangely enough, NYRR changed their course map or maybe it is because this is the first time that I participated in the Fred Lebow Half Marathon. Last year, I was in between various parts of Florida for the Miami Half and days later venturing off to Atlanta to meet one of my beloved online friends of ten plus years for the first time. Once I saw a pack of runners exiting the train, I felt pretty pumped up for my first race of the year.
Being late means that you're surrounded by a school of scattering runners of all ages scurrying off to their respective corrals. Others like me are collecting their bibs, frantically running to bag check and heading back to the race line before cut off. Please don't be a procrastinator like me. Some races will not let you in if you do not make it to the start line on time. Thankfully, I had ten minutes to spare to collect my bib, get my paraphernalia and shuffle my fat lumps to the start line.
And We're Off!
I started 8 minutes after the start of the race. Around this time, you can hear the announcers strongly urging folks to hurry up and get on the start mat. When being an international procrastinator, you have to know how far you can push your luck. Again, don't be like me and if you choose to and happen to lose your entrance into the race, don't go hunting for me to whip my ass. I'm broke and I can barely afford my own races.
When I first started running at events, I used to be scared about being the last one at the finish line. January 11, 2014 was my first NYRR race. Year three of officially running in events taught me that being in the back of the pack isn't so bad.
Oh, can I feel all of the side eyes and inserts of your favorite fun filled profanity words here but I'm serious. Being in the back of the pack has its pluses and minus. Since I am sure most of you guys are full of fears, particularly my new runners, about being in the back, I'll lay out all of the negative stuff below: