Well, you never forget your first kiss 5k. And seriously, it seems so funny to me that I’ve been running races since 2006 and have never, until today run a scored 5k. Plenty of 4 milers, 5 milers, 10ks, half-marathons and full marathons…but I digress.

Yesterday I hit up the NYC Marathon Expo to pick up my Dash to the Finish Line 5k race number.

Dash to the Finish Line

just 3.1 instead of 26.2 this year. #slacker

It felt weird to be picking up my 5k bib when 50,000 other people were picking up their marathon bib! I chose this race because I knew I wasn’t running the marathon this year and I wanted to still be able to take advantage of the energy that builds in the city marathon weekend, and with the race finishing at the marathon’s iconic finish line, this seemed like the perfect fit. Not to mention I got excited to finally register for a scored 5k.

This morning I was up at 5:30 am to head out by 6:30 am and start my journey to Manhattan. It was 46 degrees and raining when I left the house. I didn’t let the weather upset me though because hey, I ran a PR at the Love Run half-marathon this past March in the cold, pouring rain right?!

I drove across Staten Island and jumped on an express bus that would take me the 7 miles (over the Verrazano Bridge and thru Brooklyn) into downtown Manhattan where I would then hop on the subway to get up to Grand Central and then trek by foot another 1/2 mile to the corrals. I should have arrived downtown at 7:30 am but an accident caused a major traffic snarl and when I got off the bus it was 8:10!

anxiously riding the bus that was going ZERO miles an hour

anxiously riding the bus. took my handy dandy rain poncho, and my metrocard for the subway.

I managed to get down to the subway and on a train by 8:15. I looked at my phone app and it said the train should take 12 minutes to get to Grand Central. I kept doing the math. Holy crap I was cutting it close. At 8:27 I began the mad dash off the train, through the terminal and up the stairs. At 8:30am I started running as fast as I could to the start line. I got to the corrals at 8:34 and was so freakin’ relieved to see crowds of people still there. Thankfully with close to 10,000 runners I made it to the back of the pack and successfully started 12 minutes after the gun went off. Whew!

The race was CROWDED! Apparently there was a large percentage of international participants who probably had a family member running the marathon tomorrow. There were a lot of walkers and kids too. And there I was at the back trying to run as fast as I could. There were puddles and potholes to dodge, and I spent a good amount of the race weaving around people and probably ran the LONGEST tangents ever. Not smart Sally! But hey! I was on a mission to break 30 minutes. I knew that a good part of miles 1 and 2 were downhill so I just booked! And then once in the park I slowed a bit up one small hill and as soon as I saw the 26 mile marker for the marathon I kicked it into high gear. I knew I just had another .2 miles to go.

My friends will be so happy to see this mile marker tomorrow!

My friends will be so happy to see this mile marker tomorrow!

I finished in 28:34. The rain wasn’t even an issue. And ultimately the crowds didn’t hold me back. Heck, the traffic snarl left me so frustrated that I don’t think anything could have held me back from running hard. While this was an automatic PR thanks to it being my first 5k it was actually faster than my goal pace. I knew I could keep a 9:30 pace but my A goal was to run a 9:15 pace. I ended up running a 9:12 pace! YAY! and my Garmin showed 3.2 miles (thanks to my dodging and weaving) which read 8:59 pace. I’m so thrilled! It only means that I’m capable of more and I’m looking forward to running a few more 5ks in the future.


While walking to the subway to start my journey home, I made a little pit stop at Magnolia Bakery.

magnolia bakery

Blueberry crisp and hot coffee: yes please!

And before I knew it I was back on the bus.

photo 4

No finishers medals, but I got an apple and water and a power bar.

this Columbia vest was the best thing i ever bought.

this Columbia vest is one the best pieces of gear i ever bought.

So here are the stats:

2 hours 6 minutes to get to the start

28 min to run the race

1 hour 20 minutes to get home

8th NYRR race for 2014 complete leaving me with only one more to complete before the end of the year to secure my spot in next year’s NYC Marathon

oh, and 2 towels to dry the dog after walking him in this rain when I got home.


Have you ever missed the start of a race?

Have you ever cut it that close before?

Do you run faster in the rain?

What are you doing this weekend?

Anyone running the NYC Marathon tomorrow?