Tag Archives: Run & Chug

Run & Chug Race Series 10K – Two-fer! – Race Recap

The Hudson River and Jersey views before the race.

A rainy view of the Hudson River and New Jersey before the race.

Yesterday I ran two 10Ks in the rain, and yes, my legs are still tired.  The first race was the Scotland 10K in Central Park, which I started a little after 8 am, finished at 9:20, and got home from at 9:30.  After a quick shower, a change into different, more rainproof gear, and several mouthfuls of essential chocolate, I was in a taxi down to Chelsea Piers by 10:30 for the 11 am start of Run & Chug’s inaugural 10K.

 

Run & Chug (aka NYC Fun Run) is a fun running group with branches all over the US.  They meet every Wednesday at 7 pm at different bars around the city to run (usually 3-5 miles, but you can always turn around early or just skip it entirely), and then drink and socialize.  Often they make a deal with the bar to get drink specials (and they usually have a place to store bags while you run).  It’s good motivation to get out there on any given Wednesday, especially in the winter (but I still don’t go nearly enough… maybe if it were called “Run & Chocolate”?).

 

When I saw they were doing their first race series with a 10K, medal, and free pint glass, I was in!  I knew it was the same day as the NYRR Scotland Run, but I decided to sign up anyway, since I had never tried doing two different races in the same day before, and because I thought that even at my slow pace I’d have enough time to get from Central Park to the West Side Highway before the 11 am start.  And I did!

 

Originally I thought I’d hang out after the Scotland run, eating my bagel, entering the raffle, and checking out the bagpipers, then head directly to the second race, but because I was thoroughly soaked and cold, I hustled back to my apartment to change into dry clothes.  Once I was warm and dry, I had no desire to go outside again, but I did, because I paid money for the swag experience, dammit.

 

When I got to Pier 62 (right behind the northern end of Chelsea Piers), there were already quite a few other Run Chuggers patiently waiting under the awning of a carousel that I didn’t know existed out there.  It took me a minute to realize that packet pickup was actually out on the exposed walkway, where the poor volunteers were getting drenched as they passed out bibs and pint glasses.  I got my bib and hustled back under the carousel to wait for the start.

You know what other animal stands around in the rain?  Yeah, that's right.

You know what other animal stands around in the rain? Yeah, that’s right.

It wasn’t long before the race started.  There were four waves, each 2 minutes apart, so the course was never congested (aside from the area around the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise which required some artful dodging of tourists and tour buses).

 

Maybe because I was tired from the first race, or distracted by thoughts of what I could eat when this was all over, or because I was chatting with another runner about her race dots and if she liked them, but I missed my wave start.  Bye bye wave 2!  Guess I’m wave 3 now!

Wave 2 is off!

Taking a picture of my wave, not realizing it was my wave.  Oops!

The course started at Pier 62 (about 22nd Street), went up almost to the Intrepid (about 44th Street), then looped back down again.  You ran the loop twice for 6.2 miles, so you passed every spot 4 times.  There were also volunteers standing at key intersections to direct you where to go, and chalk arrows that were surprisingly resilient in the rain.  The run wasn’t that bad, since the rain stopped after a few miles, the wind off the river wasn’t as bad as I had feared, and the course was flat.  It was also nice to see all the same runners again and again as you passed each other.  It was a small community race!

Much of the course was along the river.

Much of the course was along the river.

The Intrepid!

The Intrepid!

I actually finished a little faster than my Scotland run, I think because it was totally flat compared to Central Park and because I was so excited to be finished for the day, but even with my blistering speed of 1 hour 7 minutes I was still one of the slower people to finish.  After the race I remember thinking, “if I were my friend Ben, I would just run home now.”  But I am not Ben, and I was tired and hungry, so I got my bag, changed in the Chelsea Piers bathroom, and hopped into a cab to Billymark’s where my free beer (and post-race party) was waiting.  Unfortunately it turned out that there was no food at Billymark’s, so I went next door (to a Chinese restaurant I just learned is called “Aaron’s“) and in mere minutes got an order of piping hot and delicious sautéed string beans and white rice.

The medal!

The medal!

When I walked into Billymark’s it was crowded and noisy and didn’t have a place for me to eat my meal, so I wistfully gave my beer tickets away and hopped back into a cab to go home.  I was tired, a little cold, but mostly I was STARVING.  It was about 1 pm at this point, and I was DONE.  I even ate before I showered, shoveling sauce-covered beans into my mouth like a lunatic.

 

Overall, I think the first Run & Chug race was a success!  For $30 ($40 if you registered later) you got a medal, a pint glass, and a free beer (if you were willing to wait and/or eat something outside first, which I was not).

The pint glass with a map of the course underneath.

The pint glass with a map of the course underneath.

As for two races in one day, it was ok!  It was definitely exhausting, and it took more out of me than I expected, but if it hadn’t been for the rain I think it would have been a lot more manageable.  I also should have packed snacks in my bag, but I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly (and I always pack snacks!).  I’d consider doing two races in a day again, but I hope next time it’s in the summer, and instead of complaining about the rain and cold I can complain about the heat and how my chocolate melted.

 

How was your weekend?  Do you want beer or food more after a run?  What’s your favorite Chinese food order?  Share in the comments!

Seal statues along East River downtown NYC

Beer Before Liquor, Never Quicker?

Sea lion statues along East River downtown NYC

Some sea lions I saw on my last Run & Chug outing. I think even the guy on the left was faster than me that night.

I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t been running very much and because I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – where you turn off your inner editor and write 50,000 words of some of the worst fiction on the planet).  I’ve also kinda been feeling down about running because the few runs I have done over the past month or so have been plagued with knee pain – nothing serious, just that standard low-grade pain that is as familiar as the back of my hand.

 

I know running has its ups and downs (and hills and repeats and more ups and more downs) and that it’s not a sprint, it’s a literal marathon, and that I’ll be fine.  But I’m also looking for any motivation I can get, so I’ve been trying to commit going to Run & Chug on Wednesdays more often (where even if I have a terrible run, I can drink beer and complain about it afterwards), and I’ve signed up for the Ugly Sweater Run (check for runs in your area – it’s nationwide!), as it combines everything I love about running (dressing up, being social, getting a fun souvenir, chocolate in some form, and beer).  If it offered medals and pizza, I might marry it.

 

So even though the Houston Marathon is only a terrifying 9 weeks away, and my “long” run at this point is only 6 miles (instead of the 16 according to my schedule), apparently I’m going to focus on short, social running events featuring beer.  There’s no way this could end badly.

 

Can you believe there are only 3 episodes left of The Walking Dead?  Unrelated to that, why isn’t Patrick Wilson a bigger star?  Are you participating in any Turkey Trots or other holiday runs?  Share in the comments!

Run & Chug NYC Fun Run mascot

Run & Chug

Run & Chug NYC Fun Run mascot

The Run & Chug mascot – and yet somehow I was intimidated by this group.

After over a year of lurking, last night I finally went to my first “Run & Chug” meetup.  Hosted by NYC Fun Run, a meetup.com group for runners, Run & Chug happens every Wednesday at a different bar in the city.  Runners meet at the bar, go for a run along a pre-marked route (although you don’t have to run the exact route, all of the route, or run at all), then meet back at the bar for drinking and socializing while sweaty.

 

I’ve made a lot of excuses for never meeting up with this group, usually related to my injuries but also because of the hassle of actually going to the meetup location (instead of just walking out the door and into the park), and because of my fear that the other runners would make me feel slow and fat and lame.  Luckily, there was zero judgment about pace or distance or anything related to running and everyone was very welcoming.  There were runners who were super serious and fast, others who had just started running, and even some who didn’t run at all that night and just came for a drink.

 

Overall, it was a beautiful night, I had a surprisingly good run along the river, and I met a bunch of great people.  The bar even had grapefruit beer, of which I’ve been obsessed with since having it for the first time at Hessen Haus in Des Moines, Iowa, this summer.  The can of beer (UFO Big Squeeze Shandy) wasn’t quite as good as the draft at Hessen Haus (Stiegl Radler Grapefruit), but it was still damn delightful.  I’ll be going to next Wednesday’s Run & Chug and crossing my fingers that that bar will have a grapefruit beer as well.

 

In injury news, my plantar fasciitis flared up a bit last night, but it seems ok today, and I’ll be sure to baby my foot until Saturday’s Pizza Run.  How excited am I for the Pizza Run?  Way too excited.  Irrationally excited.  Pizza excited.

 

Have you ever gone to other meetup.com group meetings?  Have you ever had grapefruit beer?  Do you think pizza and grapefruit beer would go well together?  Share in the comments!