Last Sunday I received the latest edition to my medal collection and with it, a new personal record. I am giddy with joy!
The time was a mere 37 seconds faster than my last record half (Brooklyn Half Marathon 2013) but for me it is a WHOPPING 37 seconds. And it all started off so badly!
First of all, as you are all aware, this winter has been quite drastic to say the least. With the weather being so…wintery…it was hard to get out the door and run. It was dark, icy, dangerous and bitter, bitter cold. And of course, riding off the high of achieving my first Full Marathon (blog post to come!) last November, I wasn’t super motivated to go out and kill myself in the park in 6 degree Fahrenheit weather over black ice with frozen toes and nose and burning red legs (even with the running tights) so I did a little relaxin’ and allowed myself to skip runs (which was probably a good and safe idea most of the time, but probably not all of the time…)….
On 10 March, our heroic friend Ayako organized the 9th Run for JAPAN group run around Central Park to raise money for the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This Run for JAPAN fundraising event which started two years ago kicked off my renewed running ‘career’ as it was the first time I had ever attempted 6 miles straight, the longest run of my life to that date. This time, I followed suit by marking the run as the current Longest Run to date. And that distance was Twenty. 20 Miles. Blaw.
Before the meet up time of 10AM, I decided to go out and do a pre-run, so that I would get some miles in beforehand in case my running friend Santiago would not do more than 2 loops with me. Fernando, still nursing his fracture, joined my side on his bike. Proudly sporting our Run for JAPAN shirts, we went down to the park, covered the east side, and then did two of the small 1.7 southern loop so that we’d be near the meeting point. By the time it was 10AM, I had completed over 6 miles, the whopping distance of 2011.
I am a lucky girl to be back to racing and back on track!
I finished my first real race since my back injury, and in my own neighborhood to boot! Even though I posted the last post about my pre-race thoughts after I actually ran the race, it sure put things into perspective, and it’s all bright and shiny. Yay!
After the proper whole wheat pasta and Papi-recipe tomato sauce for dinner the night before the race, I went to bed with the jitters. I kept having mini dreams about the race which kept waking me up (all of which I can’t remember the details now, unfortunately). I definitely woke up at 3am-ish feeling dehydrated despite the bottle of water I drank before bedtime and I convinced myself not to get up, that it wasn’t a real feeling, knowing that if I physically got out of bed, I would be up for the next three hours without sleeping.
Why was I so nervous? Afterall, 5K is not super far for me anymore. But I really worried about my time and what would happen if I felt I didn’t ‘perform’ well. Would I be upset and blame it on the hard week? Would I cruise through the race with an unimpressive time but feeling like all smiles? I really had no idea what I would do when the time came.
Morning mate to pep me up
I finally went back to sleep only to wake up as I usually do before a lot of races, with the race blues. I didn’t feel like running. Why push yourself to race when training is just fine as far as health is concerned? Why risk feeling bad (or good)? And, as always, I ignored these thoughts and got my gear on. Fernando also got ready and we got out of the door at 7:30am.
This was the first race since the injury, and it was also the first race that was in my neighborhood that I have participated in. It was super awesome to simply walk and warm up to the Start Line, and see all the runners coming out of the woodwork like cockroaches and head to the same place. It was also the best ever that I didn’t have to wake up 3 hours before the race to subway and bag check and all that. Continue reading →