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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. ;)

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. :)

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)

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By the way are you digging my racing outfit?

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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. ;)

This race was HUGE!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Beautiful, right?

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

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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. :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

Ashley baked the group Vegan Macaroons for dessert.

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I had one after breakfast and the other a couple of hours later. :)

Group shot!

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(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. ;)

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

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Wall Street Bull

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Chinatown

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

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

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The three of us decided to split four options.

Shanghai Shu-Mei

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Pork Spring Rolls

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Vegetable Dumplings

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Sweet Red Bean Pasty

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This was by far my favorite.

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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. :)

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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Now I have a sudden urger to see Sleepless in Seattle for the 10th time. ;)

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

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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, :)

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

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I need to remember to try this flavor combination at home sometime. :)

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!

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