On Sunday, November 16, 2008, my sister and I participated in our third race …the “Race to Deliver” in Central Park, NYC. A 4 mile race that circled the center portion of the park. We have ran it before (to make sure we could) and yet it still was a challenge. My adrenaline was pumping and I got caught up in the excitement early on and started a tad too fast. This resulted in a side stitch and made the race very uncomfortable. Oh well — I forged ahead and ran my little heart out. As usual on race days – the hills seemed bigger, the course never ending and some ailment or another decided to show themselves. In addition to the side stitch I somehow developed a cramp in my thigh. I kept going with my sister pushing me on the straights and me yelling at her to get up the hills. Unless the pain is excrutiating I try to run through it! Towards the end I found my second wind and ran faster than I ever thought I could. I had a personal pace record of 12:41 from 13:05. I was not the last person to finish, which was my initial concern and for the first time ever in a race……I RAN THE WHOLE THING (no walking). I am truly proud of myself and am looking forward to my next race on December 7, 2008 – a 10k with even bigger hills and colder weather. Wish me luck!
Okay, I will start off with saying that at first I really thought that I had gone crazy when I decided or should I say when I agreed to let my sister talk me into signing up for a 1/2 Marathon.
Now, I know that I am crazy!
Me – the person that hates mornings, can’t function without 2 cups of coffee, would rather wait for the elevator to go up a flight of stairs, trips over her own feet and probably only ever spent $50 on tennis shoes – now wakes up early on Saturday for a long run ( yup that is right 5 Miles this last weekend and there were even hills). My last pair of running shoes cost over $130 and I didn’t even fret. Okay, I still drink coffee, take the elevator ( I am on the 6th floor) and still hate morning but I am out there and I don’t nearly complain as much. (There are plenty of people that can back up that claim.)
So what have I learned —
Running makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Running makes me feel graceful. Running makes me feel strong. Running works out all those daily frustrations I have. Running is about me and no one else.
I can’t blame anyone else if I don’t make the miles or if I don’t run as fast as I want. Running is about me listening to myself and learning just how far I WANT and CAN push myself.
The other day I decided to go for a run on a trail that cuts through the city rather than the usual run. Unfortunately, time had erased my memory in regards to the trail. I realized halfway through that there were several steep hills in both directions.
I made it through but I had to really adjust my interval timings. To save anyone else from this heartache (uh, literally), I thought I’d share the following website. You can type in your location and it will show you a bunch of runs suggested by site users, including mileage, course type, etc.