Never Forget and a Day of Firsts

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge today in my post before going on and on about my day on Sunday. I left for a VERY early run this morning.

As the sun began to rise, I couldn’t help but get choked up thinking about today. On a beautiful morning, reminiscent of that fateful morning 11 years ago, I couldn’t help but think of something more than myself during my run today. Never Forget.

Sunday I ran the Bronx 10-Mile and got a sweet little medal.

While we were busy crushing miles in the Bronx, thousands of people raced for the cure to breast cancer in Central Park. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure marks my one year anniversary of racing. It’s when I became addicted to crossing that finish line.

Sunday was a big day of firsts for me. My first 10-mile race. My first race outside of the comforts of Manhattan. My first day taking the subway to a race and even managing to remain calm when the next train wasn’t due to arrive for 25 minutes. I felt a strange peace and calm before Sunday’s race. I usually get pretty anxious on race morning, but Sunday I felt completely at ease. I’m not sure if it was because I truly believed in myself or because I knew I was running this race for something greater than myself. Sunday would have been my grandfather’s 96th birthday and I ran the Bronx 10-Mile for him. To celebrate his life and make him proud of me.

I thought a lot about both my grandfathers over the course of the 10-mile race. See, my other grandfather used to own a Pioneer supermarket in the Bronx. In the early miles of the race, maybe mile 2 or 3, as we were running up the Grand Concourse, I saw a Pioneer supermarket and immediately thought of my grandfather. That wasn’t the store he owned, but it made me think of him and smile and I felt him smiling down on me as well. It was an incredible feeling. Later on in the race we crossed East Kingsbridge Road, where his actual supermarket was located, and I again thought of him and smiled. I was also born in the Bronx, so racing there was pretty cool for many reasons.

The beginning of the race was great. Maybe even perfect. I felt strong and comfortable in my pace. That is until mile 5. When I had to stop. To go to the bathroom. I have NEVER had to stop during a race to go to the bathroom. I was kind of disappointed because if not for that unfortunate, yet necessary, stop, I would have DEFINITELY reached my goal for the race, 1:45 or under, or a 10:30 average pace/mile. Sunday night, after I had time for reflection, and a little perspective, I realized that I was completely on pace to reach my goal for the race and I can’t control my sometimes crazy stomach. I went to sleep with a smile on my face knowing that I did the best I could given the circumstances and at the end of the day I was still proud of myself.

Mile 1: 9:46

Mile 2: 10:00

Mile 3: 9:56

Mile 4: 10:07

Mile 5: 16:14 (clearly the bathroom stop)

Mile 6: 10:15

Mile 7: 11:20 (not sure what happened here)

Mile 8: 10:40

Mile 9: 10:34

Mile 10: 10:17

Apparently. I ran 10:05 miles.

Last .05: 7:46 (holy crap, I’ve NEVER seen a 7. EVER. To be fair, the finish WAS on a slight downhill, but I felt crazy strong and happy through the finish)

Thanks to Kara for cheering me on at the end! That always helps SO MUCH!

It was a great day, overall, spent with amazing runner friends, old and new.

My favorite running buddy, who I also celebrated my first race with last year.

Favorite Running Buddy

My partner in crime for the Newport Half Marathon.

Partner in Crime

And I finally got to meet Megan in person and she is just as cool as she seems through Twitter and her blog.

Runner Friends

I thought about all the firsts that Sunday represented. I thought about how far I’ve come and all that I have accomplished in my first year of racing. I went to sleep Sunday night with a smile on my face and an overwhelming feeling of excitement for all that is possible in the year to come.

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6 thoughts on “Never Forget and a Day of Firsts

  1. Congrats on a great year of racing! Don’t worry about the stomach thing… happens to all of us, especially in the longer distances. I always try to look at what I ate the day before to see if anything sticks out as an irritant and try to avoid it in the future.

    • Thank you so much for this comment! At first I was seriously bummed about my overall pace and time, but I realize you can’t always control the stomach, and then after looking at my splits I gained some perspective. I ate the same thing I normally eat before a race, but perhaps TOO many veggies. I did eat something before the race that I don’t normally eat and I think it might have also been too close to race start.

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