Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Road to New York

Last weekend I kicked off the 2014 race season with the Chocolatier's 5k in Lansing's Old Town. I decided this would be a great idea after my first stint in the pool for triathlon training. I've had better ideas. This year, with every race and every workout, I'll be pushing toward my 4th (and I swear final) marathon - the New York City Marathon in November. 

I started last Saturday in the pool at the YMCA with my super patient girlfriend (who is an awesome swimmer). After just a few lengths of the pool I was winded. I felt like I had been sprinting a mile. My heart was pounding, and it was hard. I don't like to do things I'm not good at, and it definitely felt like this was something I wasn't going to be good at. It was a short workout - maybe 30 minutes or so - but it got me in the pool. Now the goal is to do at least two days a week until I start triathlon training intensely in April.  One big negative was hitting my toe on the side of the pool (I am the world's most accident prone human) which resulted in a delightfully bruised toe. That helped tremendously during the 5k later in the day.

So that left a mark.
Around two we headed to Lansing's coolest bar, Zoobies, for packet pick-up. I have to say that the location was the best part of packet pick-up because otherwise it was a bit slow. Zoobies reopened last summer, and it's one of my favorite spots in town. The cocktails are creative, and the snacks are delicious (the black pepper truffle oil popcorn? In-sane.) Don't even get me started on the wine list, which I think is one of the (if not THE) best in town. I'm not a huge white wine fan, but the "electricly dry" Gruner Veltliner is crisp and delightful.

Unfortunately I wasn't having a cocktail before the race (although I did drink two martinis once before a 15 mile marathon training run a few years ago...true story). We headed to the start near the Brenke Fish Ladder in Old Town. The course was an out and back on the Lansing River Trail, a course I've run in several 5ks and on multiple long training runs. One of the biggest negatives was no bathrooms near the start. One thing that is consistent in every race is that runners need bathrooms. Even if you don't actually need it, you think you do. I had to run to a gas station a block or so away for the bathroom which was rather irritating. I am not sure I've ever seen a race, even a 5k, without bathrooms at the start. 

The fish ladder on a brilliant winter afternoon

Chilly at the start

The start was very crowded. Not only were there lots of people, but given the amount of snow we've gotten the course was a understandably a little slushy. It would have been extremely helpful to have at least little signs suggesting runners/walkers line up by time. It was nearly impossible to pass for a while, and I kept passing walkers who started out at the front of the pack. It was very frustrating.  

A really crowded start
It was the slowest 5k I've run in a number of years, but given the icy conditions and the crowded course it felt okay. It felt good to get outside and race again for the first time in over two months. On Sunday my shoulders and calves were so sore from my two workouts, but I know the cross-training for the tri will help me run faster. I've got five boroughs coming up in nine months. There's a lot of work to do. 

A happy finish


  1. Love the PICS! It is better to be slow and have fun then to be fast and get injured!

    1. Thanks Anita! My husband is my own personal race paparazzo! :)