Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

Run as One 4 Mile Race Banner

Hey All,

My NYRR 9+1 quest continued this past weekend when I ran in the “Run as One” 4-mile race in Central Park. (2+1 down, 7 races to go!)

9+1 NYRR progress 050113

The weather was gorgeous and spirits were definitely high when I entered the park around 7:45AM. This is the first running race that my mom has ever attended and it was pretty cool having her there to support me (and hold all of my stuff – much easier than dropping things off at bag check haha).

Couch Stretch

After a short warm-up jog, I did a bit of stretching, including the infamous Couch Stretch we do quite often at CrossFit (see above). I couldn’t find a wall so made do with this oak tree. More than a few dogs were a bit peeved that I was invading their territory. While comical at the time, the more I think about it the more I realize that maybe I shouldn’t use trees to couch stretch in the future…(ick).

Run as One 4 Mile Start

One valuable lesson I learned from the Run as One 4-miler is to get to my pace corral nice and early. I always seem to squeeze into the crowd about 5 minutes before the start and unfortunately this weekend I was too late to get with my correct pace group. Speaking of crowds, there were about 7,000 runners in the race. That’s a lot of people!

Run as One 4 Mile Race Man

My mom was having some fun with my camera while she was trying to pick me out in the crowd running by. The guy above is one of the most legit runners I’ve ever seen. He puts all of us to shame – what a champ.

Run as One 4 Mile Race Kristen Henkels

I had bit of a slow start since there were so many people running shoulder-to-shoulder for the first 2 minutes of the race. Thankfully I went into the run with the goal of feeling things out and trying to find my natural pace without stressing over my splits and average pace. So while typically I would have been very frustrated that I was stuck behind some slower runners, I just let it roll of my shoulder and instead focused on finding a comfortable rhythm while enjoying the racing atmosphere.

Run as One 4 Mile Race Kristen Henkels 2

Despite relaxing my competitive spirit a bit on this run, I always make a point to give it my all and sprint through to the finish of the race. There’s always a little bit of gas left to burn in the tank at the end of the race, and I know I’m always happier after tapping that last energy reserve no matter how badly I’m hurting. Plus it’s pretty fun to pass people in the last 10 seconds, not gonna lie.

Run as One 4 Mile Race 2013

Overall, I’d say the race was a success in terms of finding a solid rhythm and gathering a few race day learnings prior to my half marathon on May 18th. I finished with an average pace of 7:51/mile which is historically a bit slower for me, but heck – I’ll take it!

Spring Blossoms in Central Park

The “Run as One” 4-miler was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday morning in Central Park with my mom, especially since everything is green and in bloom. I’m sure I’ll miss this type of weather when the humid summer months roll around. I better start hydrating now….

Forever Wandering,

– Kristen

Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

Weekly Wanderings…October 15th-21st

Hey all,

I’m a bit late in posting my wanderings, but here they are! While last week started off a tad rainy and gross in NYC, we were lucky enough to have amazing Fall running weather this past weekend. Rain or shine, I still managed to wander:

1. Sensational strawberry oatmeal smoothie

Strawberry smoothie

Here’s another super simple smoothie recipe I tested out last week. It takes about 2 minutes to make and is especially handy for those mornings that you happen to oversleep and are running late for work (not to say that Ever happens to me!…)

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

  • 1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk (I prefer almond milk)
  • 7 strawberries, cut up (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts - Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie

2. Ezekiel 4:9 pasta

Sprouted Grain Pasta - Ezekiel 1

Another week, and yet another interesting Amish Market food find. This week I discovered Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain pasta. Sprouting grains unlocks nutrients that would otherwise remain dormant, and cooking and baking with these grains results in a bevy of benefits, including:

  • Increased Digestibility
  • Increased Absorption of Minerals
  • Increased Antioxidants
  • Increased Vitamin C
  • Increased Vitamin B

While it’s kind of difficult for the layperson (like me) to measure the above health claims of sprouted grain products, the key takeaway I gleaned from my pasta dish was that I did not feel like crap after eating it. For the most part I have stopped cooking pasta since I graduated from college two years ago because it typically upsets my stomach. However now that I’ve been running and training more, I needed to find an easy and relient way to incorporate more carbs into my diet.

While the Ezekiel pasta is not “gluten-free”, it was much easier on my stomach and it tastes good too. I will definitely be searching out more sprouted grain products in the near future.

3. Running weather – Central Park

Central Park Running

Here’s a shot of Central Park featuring the amazing Fall weather we had this past weekend. Hopefully this good weather stays with us – I am not looking forward to bundling up to run any time soon.

4. Patiently waiting

Patient bike

I caught this shot while waiting at a red light on Lexington Ave and 42nd St. I love the orange glow reflected off of the bike. Someday soon I too will gather the courage to ride my bike through NYC traffic…*gulp*.

5. If I only had a…brain!

Pumpkin Scarecrow

I was really getting into the Fall spirit this weekend, in part due to the fantastic weather. Here’s a cute Jack O’ Lantern/Scarecrow hybrid I picked up at Duane Reade. I hope it didn’t scare my roommate too much when she first saw it!

Forever Wandering,

– Kristen

Weekly Wanderings…October 15th-21st

Weekly wanderings…September 17th-23rd

Here is a small glimpse of my favorite wanderings of the week:

1. Panther ready to pounce in Central Park

Panther in Central Park

Whenever I run around the bend on the west side of East Drive road, I invariably catch a glimpse of this guy perched up on his rock. As soon as I see him, I know that I had better pick up my pace, and fast.

Panther Statue in Central Park

He’s watching.

2. Lounging seals

Seals in Central Park Zoo

I always peek to see if these gentleman are out for some sun whenever I run through the Central Park Zoo. They even smiled for me today 🙂

3. David’s Tea

David's TeaIf you’ve ever been to David’s Tea before, you know that the options are pretty incredible but extremely overwhelming. These tiny sampler packs are perfect for testing new flavors without a huge commitment (and you can’t beat 3 for $5).

4. Raw coconut meat from Eli Zabar’s

Coconut meat

I tried some raw coconut meat for the first time this week from Eli Zabar’s Farm to Table in Grand Central Market. Surprisingly, I found that it has a quite mild, almond-like taste. Bonus points – raw coconut meat is high in fiber, manganese, potassium, copper, and “good fat”. Yum.

5. Nearly retired Nike Frees

Dirty Nike Frees

Let’s be honest, these babies have seen better days. They’ve been good to me, but I think I forsee a visit to Paragon Sports in the very near future.

Here’s to another great week of wandering!

– Kristen

Weekly wanderings…September 17th-23rd