On Saturday morning, an absolutely perfect, crisp, sunny morning, the fella and I headed into Manhattan for the Fitness Magazine “Mind, Body +Spirit” 4 mile race in Central Park. To get to Central Park from our little spot in Brooklyn by 9:30 to pick up my race number was far more challenging than I had really thought it would be when I had signed up for the race on a whim a month and a 1/2 ago. It was one of those many things that I was glad that I didn’t really think through, since if I had, I definitely would have talked myself out of it.

I, more often than not, say “hell, yeah I’m in!” before thinking about it- that is especially true if free things are involved.  So, when a random post popped up from Holly that said that any of her peeps that signed up for this race would get a training plan and one of her t-shirts, I signed up right away. Oh, I love free stuff and really, truth be told, I needed a little motivation at that moment to keep running.  After running the Brooklyn half-marathon in May, my motivation to run really had been waning, so this was just what I needed – plus, I really wanted one of those cool Holly Rilinger Fitness shirts!

So Saturday, I got to Central Park just in the nick of time to pick up my race number. It was such a great crowd, so happy to be there, and so into the race. I never really thought that I would enjoy races as much as I do, but there is something about running with that many people that is sort of amazing. The thing that I didn’t expect was the course; I really have never run in Central Park except for short bouts in a boot camp class here and there, so looking at the map beforehand meant nothing to me.  The first two miles were a slow grade climb…Oy vey! It made the first part of the race feel brutal! The second two miles did not remotely have the lovely downhill that I was hoping for, but at least there were some!

I finished in 38 minutes – which isn’t great but apparently means that I ran 9:44 minute miles.  At the end, I met up with the fella and went off to collect my goodie bag. On my way over, I ran into Mary, (Holly’s right hand) who I got to meet for the first time on Tuesday during boot camp. She, of course, rocks and is totally fit and inspiring too, and so when she high fived me, it felt like a medal. THEN she told me it she had my shirt for me and we should go and get it. I was giddy. I love those shirts!

After the race, the fella and I went to Grey’s Papaya and got a recession special – because really, if you get up that early and run AND are on the UWS, really, a hot dog is in order! We ended up going for a long stroll down to 34th before catching the train home.

It was, all in all, the perfect day.