52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 17: A walk/run in the park

This week, the running gods decided to remind me who pulls the strings. I’d had a series of good runs, posted one PR and then another, and was feeling pretty chuffed about this whole sweaty business. (Not even the speedy bullies from the B.A.A. 5K could truly dampen my spirits, although they gave it their best shot.)

So it was clearly only a matter of weekends before things unraveled. They did, in spectacular fashion, at Sunday’s Melissa Fund Sun Run, No. 17 in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge.

It wasn’t a pretty sight.

The setting for the spectacularly un-sunny Melissa Fund Sun Run.

Actually, I lie. It was a very pretty sight. This event took place in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, which was awash in that bright new-green you only see in the first weeks of spring. Lovely. We had never been to Riverside before and were excited to see it and run somewhere new. Also, we were thrilled to benefit the Melissa Fund, which aims to eliminate skin cancer. It was established to honor Melissa Bambino, who died from metastatic melanoma at age 29.

There was certainly no sun to be seen as we milled about before the run. In fact, the weather gods looked as though they were going to unleash their soggy fury. But despite the prospect of a damp 30 minutes, I was happy. It was cool and the surrounds idyllic. What could possibly go wrong …

Melissa Fun Sun Run

The crowd gathers for the starting horn.


Lurking behind all that lush foliage was a series of slopes so relentless they knocked the wind out of me and I never got it back. Bastards. Give me my wind back. The first was the steepest and the worst, rising seemingly out of nowhere about five minutes in. Then there was another and another. I think I lost count after the fourth. At that point, I may have just been hallucinating hills, but I can’t know for sure.

I strolled the last mile. It was the farthest I’ve had to walk in months. Deprived of its wind, my body just wouldn’t go. I started to get angry. Who am I kidding calling myself a runner? I’ll have to return all those Lululemon shirts to the store.

Off the rails

But then I decided to blame it on the subway. In typical weekend fashion, New York’s trains were a hot mess. We had left ourselves oodles of time, but oodles weren’t enough for all the line changing and course correcting we had to do over the course of our trip from downtown to Riverside Park. We made it, but ended up running through tunnels and across blocks and up ramps. I swear I ran a 5K before I actually ran the 5K.

Melissa Fund Sun Run

Sun-protection goodies.

Despite my inability to maintain any semblance of composure (and despite looking as though I had never run in my life), this was a fabulous event. (What do you mean it’s not all about me?) It was a small run with a great community feel. And there was some excellent swag …

Seventeen runs down, 35 to go. It’s a long, leafy road ahead.

Melissa Fund Sun RunThe event: Melissa Fund Sun Run
The location: Riverside Park, NYC
The date: April 22, 2012
My time: 34.35 (pace 11.05)
Hubby’s time:
21.28 (pace 6.55); seventh overall and second in his age group
The cause: The Melissa Fund
The T-shirt:
White tech shirt (they had women’s-specific shirts. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that)
The aftermath:
Bananas, bagels, cookies, brownies


24 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 17: A walk/run in the park

  1. Good on you!! Hills are beasts but you conquered then, even if it was just walking. I’m curious to know why you travel so often… maybe you can do a blog post and indulge a bit. =)

    • Thanks!! I wish I could conquer hills in a slightly more elegant fashion!

      As for the traveling, we went to Virgina and North Carolina just for the runs (I know, slightly mad), and I have friends in NYC. To keep things interesting, for the blog and for us, we generally like to choose runs in unusual places. Part of what I love about doing these events is that they’ve taken us to many parts of New England we never would have visited before. We have always been road-trip fans. You know Aussies, they love to travel! πŸ™‚

      You’re right though. It probably is worth a post!

      • You will get there. I actually am starting to like low grade hills b/c of the break it gives me on the way down. Haha The way up sucks though.

        You are right about traveling! Shame there’s not enough holiday time in the US… Maybe you can do a run somewhere random, like Idaho.

      • Yep, I do love those downhills. I must learn to make peace with the other side! I thought I had at one point, but I guess not …

        I’d love to do a run somewhere totally unexpected. Well, given our proclivity to wind up in unusual places, Little Rock, for example, I’m sure it’ll happen one of these days.

      • How about Alaska? It seems they’re rather mountainous up there…

  2. Running, like this course, has its ups and downs, you’ll do better next race and don’t forget, you’ve come a long way since running with the Chik-Fil-A cows! Maybe you need more costumed characters to get you going. Is a run at Disney in your future?!?

  3. I’m with ya on the hills, S&J! But hills are bullies and bullies can be beat (or so I keep telling myself), so someday we will get there! Keep it up – you are doing great!

    • Thanks so much!! You’re right about bullies. I am determined to get stronger so I can take them down! Just need a little more effort on my part, I think. πŸ™‚

  4. Do you remember when we thought PR was short for public relations? Those were simpler times.

  5. NIce pace for walking a full mile! You must have been trucking for at least part of it πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I thought that too. I have no idea how I managed that pace when I was basically taking a leisurely stroll for the final mile. I ran across the finish line, to avoid total shame. πŸ™‚

  6. Saving My Belly Button Ring

    Love your writings and good for you! πŸ™‚

  7. Great job! Your time didn’t suck for walking up hills! I did hill repeats myself on sunday, and my calves are still SCREAMING!!! Hmmmm did I see an earlier post about Disney Wine & Dine? Have my email? Inbox me! Our group is a fun one, how can it not be- tiaras & tutus????!!!! LoL. Doing the run for Fallen Police Chief Maloney this weekend…..I think the next time I run into you may be the last Run for Beer race!!!!!! Keep up the good work, you are doing great and a wonderful inspiration!

    • Thanks!! I will get the better of those hills one of these days! We are definitely considering Wine and Dine! I will let you know as soon as we have a decision. I would love, love to do it!

      I think you’re right … Will Run for Beer is the next run we’re likely to be at together. MUST hook up this time. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your run this weekend.

  8. I’m not a strong hill runner, but I’d do that race just for the women’s cut T-shirts! “Unisex” my foot! Nice race πŸ™‚

    • Hell yes! I hate that most of the time, the “small” T-shirt is a men’s small, which is a) not cut for a chick and b) usually swims on me! So anything made for girls gets my thumbs up!

  9. I have so much admiration for what you’re doing. I hate hills as well, but they will make you amazing – you’ll blast that PR out of the water!

    • I hope so! I have to grit my teeth and find a way to manage them. The problem is, it’s usually not my legs that give out, but my lungs. Maybe they just need a little extra encouragement. πŸ™‚

  10. For walking the lst mile, your total time is great! Hills, I hate hills, especially in races. They just shouldn’t be allowed!

    • Couldn’t agree more! They definitely manage to steal away all my fun. I know it would be boring if every run were totally flat (and I’d seemingly have nothing to write about), but it’s still the dream! πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: 52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 18: By George! | Stride and Joy