Cherry Tree 10-mile relay

The 65 degree temperatures on Friday were long gone by Sunday morning and when my alarm clock went off at 7:30am, I cursed myself a little bit for signing up for a February race. My running club had formed relay teams for the annual Cherry Tree 10-mile race in Prospect Park and after imbibing in 1/2 bottle of wine the night before (hey, it was date night…) I was less than thrilled about running fast in the windy cold.

A cup of strong coffee and a peanut butter and banana sandwich helped me to wake up a little.

I made it to Brooklyn without incident and met up with my teammates. Don’t let the sunshine fool you! It was freezing. Luckily, we received hand-warmers in our race packets. I slipped them inside my gloves and headed out for a ~2 mile warm-up.

Heh, I think my teammate Mark might have regretted his decision to wear shorts…

I led off the relay and while my splits were nothing spectacular, they were respectable.

  • mile 1: 6:30
  • mile 2: 7:02 (this was uphill, windy, and it sucked, haha)
  • mile 3: 6:34
  • last .2 miles: 84 seconds
  • Total: ~3.2 miles in 21:30, 6:43 pace (I think that the first leg was a little short of 3.3 miles)

I handed off the “baton” a.k.a. a slap bracelet (remember those from the early 90’s!?) and my teammate Ashley took off on the second lap of the park.

Mark finished up the race and our total time for 10 miles was 1:07:11, good for 22nd place amongst the 100+ relay teams. It was a fun event and I’m glad I got to spend the morning with my running buddies.

I cooled-down for another 2.5 miles or so and found myself some hot chocolate (I know DD hot chocolate is probably full of hydrogenated oils and chemicals, but it’s really delicious).

After I warmed up a bit, I met up with my college roomie for brunch in Prospect Heights. We headed to a little Mexican cafe called Chavela’s and it was adorable! For less than $12 (hah, a.k.a. cheap by NYC standards), I got a big plate of re-fried beans, breakfast potatoes, and poached eggs with tomatillo and salsa verde. I cleaned my plate.

I also had a few cups of cinnamon coffee and some Mexican sweet bread (sort of like a pineapple danish). If you’re ever in the ‘hood, I highly recommend this place. It was tiny (it felt like we were dining in someone’s house), but we got lucky and were seated right away. Score one for Brooklyn.

After my early morning wake-up call and several hours outside in the cold, I crashed hard and took a 4 hour (!!) nap later in the afternoon. It happens….

I have a few more relays coming up (possibly one as soon as this Thursday!) and I’m really looking forward to them. So often, I stress out about racing and put pressure on myself to perform, but relays remind me that I do this sport for FUN and camaraderie. There are times to run PRs and there are also times that racing needs to be about enjoying myself. But maybe next time I’ll skip the 1/2 bottle of wine beforehand…

  • AR

    I <B you. I also <B DD hot chocolate, coffee, and winter races.

    To that end: Before my New Year's Day Race I had 3/4 of a bottle of wine before I said "perhaps this is ill advised." Oh well!

  • I’m already excited for our 10K relay! Think of it as a discounted workout at the Armory. And you KNOW I’m 100% WITH you on the DD hot chocolate. With extra whipped cream of course 🙂

  • Well, I always tell myself that a couple of glasses or two of wine before a race will help me sleep better. IT WORKS!

    Looks like a fun relay!

  • WIne is delicious, ’nuff said 🙂 That race looks like fun (although cold) – I’ve never done a relay but they seem like a nice way to mix it up a bit and hang with buddies!

  • Megan

    Oh please…half a bottle of wine is NOTHING.

    What a champ.

  • oh megan. thank you for letting me pass on the runners-who-binge-drink-before-races torch to you. i am so, so proud. and proud of your mexican-food eating. chavella’s is delicious. i went there when i lived in the ‘hood for about, oh, two weeks. yum yum yum.

  • Nice job! Especially with the crazy wind…and wine 😉

    Love hand warmers. I use them all the time in the winter.

  • That looks so fun!! Awesome job on your leg of the relay – a 7 min. mile when it’s freezing, uphill and windy is no small feat! The mexican breakfast looks like something I’d definitely crave after a run!

  • Andra

    I **love** Chavelas! It’s really close to where my sister used to live. Yum.

  • Good to see you out in Brooklyn;) That wind was a b*tch on the hill. Impressive split given the conditions. Looks like you indulged in some delicious Brooklyn brunch as well. Yum!

  • I heard you & Elyssa saw one another, bummed to have missed you again. Soon!

    The strategically placed wind gusts while climbing that dang hill were a special touch 🙂 Great work to you & your teammates!

  • The baton was a slap bracelet? That’s dangerous. I wouldn’t want to hand it off and have to part with it!

  • You became a little famous. Thanks for blogging about the Cherry Tree.

  • J

    Great job on the relay! Super speedy! I am so ready for spring! NO more cold weather! I always get Dunkin donuts hot chocolate after cold runs! it really is delicious!

  • That is a lot faster than 7 minute pace, yo. Mark looks like he’s trying not to look like he’s protecting his manhood in that picture, you look kind of hung over, and Ashley looks chipper as always. Sweet.

    What other relays besides Thursday, HM?

  • mandy

    hey megan,

    I am doing some training that includes speedwork. Some weeks i am not able to get to a track or treadmill, thus stuck with the eliptical inside my apartment building. Can you give me some suggestions for a speed workout on the eliptical? I have searched and cannot find any that I like.
    Feel free to shoot me an email:
    Thanks 🙂

  • Sarah

    My mom and I were going to run this race this weekend, but when we were in the Park on Sunday morning and saw that they needed 1 gallon water coolers to keep the cones from blowing over, we were glad we didn’t. I’m impressed you were able to stick around in that cold to see your teammates finish without turning into a human popsicle!

  • Great job! and your whole breakfast looks phenomenal! I really need to come visit NYC and do nothing but eat good food=)

  • Dani

    I had a great time with you! We did miss you at the bar afterwards, haha. Next time!