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A Race Around Central Park

by Meghann on February 8, 2010

After I crossed the finish line of the Disney Marathon last January I swore I would never race in sub-freezing temps again. Not even a month later and I’ve already gone back on my word.

The chilly NYRR Gridiron 4 Miler was simply amazing and worth every freezing step. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My morning started nice and early at 6:00 am. The race didn’t start until 9:00, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get to the start without getting lost on the subway.

I had a Odawella Superfood Bar while getting dressed.


And ate an apple on the way out of the hotel.


My Mom, twin bro, and I had no problems hopping on the subway and making our way to Central Park for the race. We arrived in plenty of time to ensure I could use the porta potties and meet up with a group of fellow bloggers to run the 4 miler with.


Jesse, Me, Ashley, and Dori

I met Jesse at the Healthy Living Summit this past summer and had the pleasure of meeting Ashley for the first time this morning.


Loved Ashley! So glad we were able to spot each other before the race! And a big THANKS to Jesse for picking up my race bib and shirt earlier this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jesse was planning on running a super speedy race so she went ahead in the corrals, while Ashley and Dori I headed to the back. We intended to run at an easy pace and just enjoy the experience (at least that was my plan lol)




By the way are you digging my racing outfit?


I swear under all those sweats is actual technical running gear! The plan was to discard the sweats before the start, but I was just sooo cold that I left it on. I didn’t regret that decision for a second. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This race was HUGE!


There were people as far as the eyes could see and it took at least 10 minutes to cross the start line once the race started.




Running through Central Park was absolutely gorgeous. I tried to soak everything in and enjoy as much of the course as possible. I was really glad I decided to not go full out on this race and instead run it easy with a couple of new friends.


Ashley, Dori and I had a blast chit chatting along the way. Ashley even made sure to pick out a few of her favorite Central Park landmarks, including the sport where her husband proposed to her.


Beautiful, right?

Before I knew it the race was over and we were heading to the finish line.



I think we finished in around 41 minutes?

It was a fun race and I am so happy I braved the cold again to run in Central Park. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Mom and Twin Bro forgot to take photos at the end, so we got some ‘let’s pretend’ shot for fun.



After the race a group of bloggers and reader’s headed to Arte Cafe for a nice hot brunch.


Plenty of people had suggested Arte Cafe, so I was happy when Dori had made reservations for the group of us this week.


The table was served cranberry (raspberry?) muffins to start.


I immediately dug in and enjoyed every sweet, crumbly bite.


For my main meal I ordered the Brioche French Toast with a warm, cinnamon apple sauce.


The french toast was delicious with the apple sauce, but I was a little disappointed by the small portion. Everyone else had great plates full of food and I had two tiny squares of french toast.

Heather took pity on me and shared some of her omelet.


Heather’s omelet – full of squash and carrots – was very tasty. Thanks Heather!

Ashley baked the group Vegan Macaroons for dessert.


I had one after breakfast and the other a couple of hours later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Group shot!


(Sorry its a little blurry! I didn’t discover the manual focus was on until later)

I had a blast at brunch getting to know everyone! There are some incredible people in this city. Plenty of excuses to come back and visit in the near future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After a shower and a quick change of clothes my Mom, twin bro and I were off for a little more exploring downtown.

Statue of Liberty



Wall Street Bull








Ashley had suggested we stop at Nice Green Bo Restaurant for some great cheap Dim Sum while we were in Chinatown.


Loved how hot green tea was automatically served at the table.


The three of us decided to split four options.

Shanghai Shu-Mei



Pork Spring Rolls


Vegetable Dumplings


Sweet Red Bean Pasty


This was by far my favorite.


It was like a donut with a red bean center instead of jelly or custard. It was actually pretty tasty – a nice mix of sweet and savory. ๐Ÿ™‚

I left Chinatown and set out in the city for the first time on my own. I took the subway all by myself (Yes, I am an hour away from turning 25 and am very proud of this fact) and met Betsy at The City Bakery for a sweet treat.


Betsy ran the Gridiron this morning as well, but was unable to meet for brunch afterwards. She suggested we meet for coffee instead to say Hi and I told her as long as the place was famous for something tasty then I was all hers.

She did not disappoint when selecting her location. The City Bakery looked and smelled absolutely amazing and as soon as I walked in and saw the crazy Hot Chocolate station I knew exactly what I was ordering.




I ordered a small flavor of the day with one of their famous marshmallows.


I felt like I was sipping pure chocolate. This little bowl was very rich and divine!

I ended up drinking (eating?) my hot chocolate with a spoon and concentrated on having a piece of marshmallow in every bite. It was so rich I could only handle a quarter of the drink.

I also enjoyed a few bites of Betsy’s Blueberry Cornbread she had ordered.


An hour of gabbing later, Betsy and I sadly had to part ways.


She headed uptown to a Super Bowl Party and I headed midtown to meet my Mom and win bro at the Empire State Building.


I’ve been to the Empire State Building three times before, but have never been to the top. Each time the line was too long to even fathom waiting in.

This time, however, we lucked out without a line and decided to buy tickets to the top.


It was cooold at the top, but the views were worth it!




Now I have a sudden urger to see Sleepless in Seattle for the 10th time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We ended our evening at Candle Cafe for some tasty vegan eats.


Candle Cafe was cute, quaint and exactly what I was expecting. The menu looked fantastic and I wish I had more time to come back and try everything, ๐Ÿ™‚

My twin bro and I both ordered the BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potato Sandwich and were both very impressed.


I need to remember to try this flavor combination at home sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚

What a day! I a officially exhausted and I know I just have another full day ahead of me!

Tomorrow is mine and Josh’s Birthday and we plan to celebrate with the Today Show and Serendipity. I can’t wait!!!

Good Night!

1 caronae February 8, 2010 at 12:56 am

Sounds like a fab day!
I was actually in CP this morning doing my long run and saw the race. I looked for you and Heather and Dori but never spotted you guys. Oh well. Serendipity is really good, but expensive. I hope you have a stellar birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) February 8, 2010 at 12:58 am

Awesome RACE!!

Awesome NYC Adventures!!!

Awesome Sammie!!!

Have fun tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

3 Run Sarah February 8, 2010 at 1:02 am

Wow, what a fun but busy day! I would love to run through Central Park one day!

4 Marissa February 8, 2010 at 1:07 am

How fun!!!!!!!!!!

5 Kelly February 8, 2010 at 1:13 am

I have a twin brother as well and we turned 25 this past November. Twin brothers are simply the best. Have a great birthday!

6 thefitbridesmaid February 8, 2010 at 1:19 am

My suggestion for NYC would have been to go to the top of the Empire State Building, especially at night. The sight of all of the lights takes my breath away! I didn’t realize that you hadn’t been there!

Way to go on running in the freezing temps!

7 tiffnie February 8, 2010 at 2:27 am

OMG it looks SO cold! But the pics of Central Park look amazing, I’m so glad you got to run there with your friends and enjoy the experience.

Red bean pastries are one of my favorite dim sum items…I wish you could have tried the traditional ‘staples’ though what you guys ordered look pretty amazing!

And the view from the top of the Empire State Building is breathtaking! What a fun and full day you’ve had…have a happy birthday tomorrow and enjoy the rest of your time in the city that never sleeps ๐Ÿ™‚

8 foodfitnessandfreya February 8, 2010 at 3:31 am

wow what a great re-cap, you packed so much into this post!
All the good looks INCREDIBLE (I love the idea of a sweet potato sandwich :)) and good race re-cap!I had a race yesterday too (1stever half marathon), but it wasn’t as cold as your one…no wonder you kept so many layers on!!
Happy birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

9 ashley February 8, 2010 at 7:27 am

Iam so glad you had a wonderful day and were able to enjoy two of my favorite restaurants!! Happy Birthday and ill post the recipe later today! Love how we all look like abominable snowmen!

10 Ada February 8, 2010 at 7:44 am

I’m so glad I got to meet you and great job on the race:) Sorry I had to jet off so quickly and head back to school. You picked great places to visit/dine while in the city, City Bakery and Candle Cafe are two of my faves.

11 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

Wow, what a day! when you travel, you go all out!

12 Dori February 8, 2010 at 8:20 am

Happy birthday!!! I don’t know how you did all those things after the race, I got home and crashed, slept for 2.5 hours! Chinatown meal looks great and WOW that hot chocolate! I’ve never been to City Bakery, will have to go. Glad you loved Candle Cafe, that place is a favorite! Have a great day today for YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!

13 Jen February 8, 2010 at 8:23 am

Congrats on the race Meghann! It does look beautiful! You have done so much in NYC in 2 days! More than I ever did after living 45min from the city for 18 yrs!

14 Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) February 8, 2010 at 8:29 am

Hooray for NYC! If you get the chance – you MUST go to Momofuku milk bar (14th st and 1st ave) for the compost cookie. It’s one of the best cookies I’ve ever had – potato chips, pretzels, oats, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. I’d be more than happy to meet you there this week ๐Ÿ™‚

15 amanda February 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

brrr. it definitely was a chilly morning for running. but way to power through!

i have always wanted to do the empire state building. i literally worked ten steps away from it and still never experienced going to the top. psh, maybe one day. have a killlllller birthday!

16 Jamie (Food in Real Life) February 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

Great post! I love all of the pics and your new finds. I’ve been to NYC a million times and there is still so much to explore!!

17 Laura Georgina February 8, 2010 at 9:15 am

Way to see off being 24! This makes me want A) a trip to NYC and B) a Meghann visit of whirlwind sightseeing–you sure know how to cram the fun into every second of the day.

18 Erin February 8, 2010 at 9:28 am

Wow, looks like alot of fun with friends and good food. Your photos are looking gorgeous, too.

19 Raya February 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

I LOVE Serendipity!! I go there EVERY time I’m in NYC…Looks like you’re having a blast, I’m so jealous, I <3 NY!!!!!

20 Jesse February 8, 2010 at 10:03 am

So nice to see you again!! thanks for bringing everyone together, it was great to meet so many new people at brunch. Glad Candle Cafe wasn’t busy!

21 Alexis @ Mission: Ambition February 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

That must have been an awesome race to run – Central Park is so beautiful! Looks like you’re having a blast and eating lots of yummy food ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a fabulous birthday!

22 Heather February 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

Congrats on a great race!!! That hot chocolate looks AMAZING! I love Serendipity–have fun tomorrow!

23 Katie February 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

Looks like you had a great race and some great food!

24 Jenna February 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

What a great day in NYC!
Eveyhibg looks sooo good ๐Ÿ™‚

25 Amy February 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Oh I’m so jealous! I’ve never been to NYC, and I’m sure the run was a great way to soak in all the sights!

Have fun hanging out with Kelly and Buddy!

26 Deirdre February 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Congrats on a great race! The bull is actually a block from my office! I wish I could see you when you’re in my city, but you sound so busy!

27 eaternotarunner February 8, 2010 at 11:28 am

Congrats on the race! Looks like you are having a blast in NYC. When I lived there that was one of my favorite spots in chinatown, I’m jealous!!

28 Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) February 8, 2010 at 11:35 am

Oops, Momofuku milk bar is on 2nd Ave and 13th St (not 1st Ave and 14th st like I originally posted). So good!!

29 eatinggreenstayinglean February 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

This looks like such a fun day! NYC is so fun to explore, and congrats on the race!

30 Erin February 8, 2010 at 11:53 am

I never wanted to go to NYC but you’re making me reconsider!

Also, red bean “donuts” are one of my favorite things to get at Chinese restaurants. Everyone else I know thinks they’re gross but I love them!

31 Niki @ Niki's Neverending Adventure February 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Wow! What a fun day you had!! That hot chocolate looks so good!!

32 kristilyn February 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Looks like you had a great day! The run definitely looked like it was on a beautiful route – it would be fun to try that one day!


33 Erin Eats and Exercises February 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Happy Birthday!! Looks like you are having a great time in NYC. The race looked like a blast!!

34 Lauren @Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful February 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Wow-what a trip so far. I did a food tour of China town around Christmas time and wrote reviews on my blog. It was so much fun to learn about the history and culture of the city. Looks like a cold, but fun trip!

35 Stephanie February 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I was really hoping to meet up with you guys yesterday at the race, but there were so many people there I couldn’t find anyone. Glad you are having a good time in NYC!

36 yellowturtleruns February 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Totally enjoyed this photoblog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Made me homesick (and VERY hungry). Happy 25th! Cheers!

37 Amanda February 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Yum – I love dim sum! We go all the time here in Chicago – we have a great Chinatown. My favorite dish is the Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce! Plus soup dumplings…

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