It’s pretty safe to say that I have caught the racing bug, and I’m not entirely sure how.
Someone in my running group offered up their bib to run in the Run As One 4 miler last Sunday, and I jumped at the chance to see if I could break my 7:18 10K pace with the shorter distance.
I went to the NYRR offices on the Upper East Side and picked up my bib and my technical shirt (which I got WAY too excited about!) I was pumped.
Central Park was sunny and springy at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday morning.
(Blue skies, green trees- the best color combination nature can supply!)
But there are many things I do not like about racing.
I do not like that I stress out the night before, going over everything in my head a thousand times.
(Perhaps I have a slight case of OCD)
I do not like that despite all my best efforts at going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep, I’m always too anxious/excited to actually fall asleep at a normal time.
I do not like that when I wake up in the morning, at least this time of year, the race is so early that it’s still FREEZING out.
(Sunny does not necessarily mean warm!!!!)
I do not like that this means I need to wear more clothes than I’d like, which I will need to take off before the race, which means that I need to check a bag.
I do not like the portapotty lines.
I do not like that at the start of the race, it is so.crowded. that I feel like there’s no way I can run at the speed I want to.
I do not like that I am still a total newbie to racing, meaning I fall into the biggest trap of all time- starting out too fast.
For the Run As One, I took the subway and got to Central Park and was absolutely frozen. I had planned on racing in a tank top and shorts (plus compression sleeves) but then there was no way I was taking my long sleeves off, so I decided I would suck it up and be a sweaty mess by the end of the race. Plus, if I had to, I always could have taken the long sleeves off and held it and been that girl racing in her sports bra (hey, I totally would).
I ate my banana, used the bathroom, found a friend, got a high five, jogged to my corral, waited, got to the start, and hauled ass for 4 miles.
There were a few people who I kept ending up really close to throughout the race, which motivated me to beat them, because I’m competitive like that.
The hills of central park kill me. I don’t know if the term “rolling hills” is supposed to make you feel less apprehensive about them, but they’re not fooling me. I hate hills of all shapes and sizes, rolling or not.
Things I love about races that make up for all of the negative things I listed above:
Crossing the finish line, knowing you gave it your all.
The volunteers along the route who cheer you own and tell you you’re looking great, even though you probably look far from fabulous.
Being surrounded by thousands of people who share the same passion as you.
(Hi other people who love running!)
Challenging yourself to go faster and further than before.
Free apples and bagels when you finish? Best part.
Feeling like I belong to a community when there’s a group of people from JackRabbit to talk to after the race.
And I’ll admit, you feel kind of badass walking back to your apartment with your race number proudly displayed on your shirt ;)
Alright- can I say one more thing I hate?
WAITING FOR MY RESULTS TO BE POSTED.
I am beyond impatient.
I ended up finishing the Run as One 4 miler with a time of 28:27. I was shooting for 28, but at least my pace (7:07) was faster than my 10K pace! I finished 75 out of 4,031 female runners which kind of blows my mind a little bit. And in the 20-24 age group, I finished 5th.
So why do I say that I’ve caught the racing bug? Because I am now running in the Brooklyn Half on May 17. I am SO excited to run another half and hopefully beat my time (if I don’t there will probably be tears). But I am also really nervous because of the pressure I know I’m going to put on myself.
To end, here’s a picture of my post-race sweet potato with cinnamon, almonds, raisins and PEANUT BUTTER.
Yeah, you’re jealous.