Sunday, February 5, 2012

Birthday race: M-M-Manhattan Hot Chocolate 10k

The question is legal birthday vs. actual birthday.

There was a typo on my birth certificate that I didn't know about until I was 12 and never got around to changing it. And why would I? I get TWO birthdays! Yes, it gets annoying and confusing but whatever. The day that I was brought into the world was 30 years ago yesterday (Feb. 4). The day that the government acknowledges my birthday is Feb. 2. And this year, the birthday fairy (;-) announced Feb. 3 is my Bridge Day, so now I have THREE days of birthday celebrations!

Presents for my legal birthday from my birthday fairy! 

All I wanted for my birthday this year was a sparkle skirt and to run a race. And that's what I got to do!

NYRR was putting on the Gridiron Classic on Feb. 5, but I wanted to run on my actual birthday. Plus it sold out before I had a chance to register. Boo. That's when I found's M-M-Manhattan Hot Chocolate 5/10K.

 Anna Banana was in town, so I got to run with my partner in crime!

The race was in Riverside Park and it was beautiful! The only other time I had run in this park was for the Cupid's Chase 5k last year and it was covered in snow. This year it was gorgeous and a perfect day for a race.

This was the extent of the people in the race.
Yall? This was a super small race. I want to guesstimate about 1000 people total (Update: I looked at the results. It was about 300 finishers total). Fred tells me that that isn't a small race, but when the majority of my race history is NYRR, Rock-n-Roll and Disney? That's one corral for them. This was tiny for me.
I am a fan of big races. Why? Because I'm slow and slow people don't run small races. Well, I'm sure they do, but I would rather not. I've run about 4 or 5 small races and they weren't fun. Volunteers packing up before you pass them, no crowd support, no runners support because there is no one around you. A huge part of running is mental, so you can just imagine the mental terrorism going on there inside a slow runner's head. My first couple of NYRRs were like that. Yea. Not my idea of fun. Luckily, I was training with TNT and I always had a running partner. A friend of mine wasn't so lucky and was so scarred by the race experience, she hasn't really run since. I didn't realize people ran my pace until I ran RnR's Nashville half marathon last year and I was in the middle corral. It made me feel a million times better knowing I wasn't alone in the slow runner's world. When you get my PIC and I together for a long run, especially when we haven't seen each other for weeks, we as a team are even slower. We lollygag (isn't that an amazing word?!) and have fun, which isn't that the point? And it was my birthday? Yea, nothing over a 15 minute mile today.
After looking at the crowd, I knew we were going to be last. 
I started to freak out in my head. I mean, one of the guys in charge was kind of being a d-bag at the beginning of the race, what the hell was he going to be like when he was waiting for us to finish? Would he even be waiting? We bag checked, so they would know we were out there. Would they be pissed they had to wait around in the cold for us? And the course was weird. Not only did I find out that morning it was a hilly course, a half mile in, the crowd had thinned out so much that we had no idea where the actual course was. It wasn't marked well and it zigged and zagged to get enough miles in. . .would I remember how to go the 2nd loop?? And holy crap, the road's are thin. The faster runners are going to be coming straight at us in packs. What if one runs into me? And you know those elistist fast runners, they think they're sooo amazing. . . .

Then I stopped, said fuck it and ran an awesome race for my birthday with my favorite running partner.

Were we last? Oh yes. The race director literally rode on a bike next to us as we finished because all the volunteers had left and the course was taken down. But, he was super awesome! We all chatted, he rode, we ran and I learned a bunch about what goes into putting on a race. Not one person was rude to us. In fact, we got a ton of cheers. I'm sure it was because they were excited they got to leave, but hey, I'll take it! Everyone was super nice and it made me feel so much better. Maybe smaller races aren't that bad after all.
 We finished!! Thanks, NYCRUNS.COM!

AND there was hot chocolate left! 
Cute souvenir mug instead of a shirt.

I was dead last in a race (which has been my fear since I started running) for my 30th birthday, and it was pretty amazing. I got to spend my morning with my friend doing something we love. That's exactly how I spent my entire day; doing things I love with the people I love. Who could ask for a better birthday?!

Hope everyone had as awesome of a birthday weekend as I did.


  1. I think that's awesome! You have fun, you sparkled and you did what you love! Great day!!

    **I'm with you, I find myself drawn to the BIG races because then I look like a better runner than I do and those tiny 5Ks.

  2. Nice post!you enjoyed this awesome day and a lot fun.