I have never been a runner. In any way shape or form. To be honest here, I legitimately hate running.
I play sports. Shouldn’t that count as a work out? Well, maybe not kickball (but we do get pretty intense), but tennis and softball. They count as really working out. And Pilates. That counts too, right?
But for the past two months I have been making myself go to the gym at least 3 days a week to run (one day a week was reserved for Pilates for stretching purposes) because my friend made me sign up for a 10K with her. Yes, she made me. (Not really.) Actually I was delighted with the idea at the time. The race was two weeks before my sister’s wedding, I would be forced to work out, and hopefully, I would look good in my shale blue, one shoulder bridesmaid dress. So many aspirations!
And I did well at keeping to my schedule and running and training. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. Once a week I had to wake up at 6:30 to go run 3 miles and the thought of it makes me want to cry. But I did it!
And then race day came. And I was nervous because I had only run 5 miles up to that point. I had to run 6!? Did I forget that part? Maybe I should have started with a 5K. Somehow Ali’s blog got into my head and I could hear her saying how proud she was of new runners and that calmed me down a bit. That and all the free Gap Fit headbands I snatched.
So there we were, standing on the pier at 44th street about to partake on a 6.2 mile adventure down the West Side Highway pretending to be happy the whole time. We slowly jogged passed the start line with 2,500 people surrounding us, all of them clearly dying to sprint out of the gates. I stood in the 10+ minute a mile section and walked forward with zero optimism. I’m just kidding; I actually thought I could do it.
The first mile was pleasant, with some dead rats to make us laugh. The second mile was fine. Mile three was sort of dull. We were running towards Freedom Tower and I was running out of things to think about and then my Pandora started playing songs like “Traveling Solider” and “Concrete Angel”. Who wants to run to such sadness? But I was bobbing up and down and couldn’t really settle myself to change the station so I was doomed. And then we started seeing all the lovely ladies in front of us run back passed us the other way. They were about 1 mile beyond us and I wanted to cry. I still had 3.5 miles left and they were sprinting! And not sweating! Nonsense.
By mile 4 I was absolutely miserable. I was debating if I should start walking. My hips hurt, blisters were forming on my feet, my left knee was throbbing (Stina, still blame you on that one!). But the girls I was running with kept pushing so I did too. And then we were at 39th street again and I realized I probably could have run another 3 miles…well, 3 blocks. And I did. And it was epic. And I snatched a bracelet and some more headbands and went on my way like nothing ever happened.
But something did happen. I finished 6.2 miles in 1 hour and 6 (ish) minutes. My pace was steady and it was my first race (ever!). I was a bit excited. Plus I felt good. I was walking home passing a lot of people going to work out and I was thinking in my head “already did that today…”. I’m such a snob. BUT IT WAS 9:00 AM AND I ALREADY RAN 6 MILES! They would have thought the same thing, I’m convinced.
And, if you are wondering, yes, I am so sore today. I feel like I’m 90 years old and in desperate need of a hip replacement but I survived. And I will do it again.