"I Can Go the Distance"

This might be a really boring post for everyone out there to read, but I want to write about it as something to look back on, and it’s my blog so I’m gunna do what I want!
Before Saturday, the furthest distance I had ever run was a half-marathon.  I ran my first half-marathon in March 2013 and finished in 1:59:21 (read about it here if you want!) Then, when I was working in LA this winter, I went out intending to run 7 miles and ended up (according to Map My Run, so take it for what it is) running 13.27 miles in 1:48:33. 

Saturday, the plan was to head out with the JackRabbit UES running group for a “Boogie Down Bronx” 12-mile run, which ended up being a 14 mile run- my furthest distance ever! Hooray for progress! 

I never really know how to write about a run, but I’m going to attempt to anyway.  We started out by running along the east river and crossing over to Randall’s Island, where we looped around and crossed over the Bronx footbridge.  I like running on Randall’s Island! It was windy though, and colder than I thought, and I definitely should have been wearing more clothes.  But at least for this part of the run it wasn’t raining! Everyone was running pretty slow, which was fine by me. 

Once we got into the Bronx we headed to St. Mary’s Park. The pace was still slow, and I felt fine, but lazy…every time we passed a 6 train, there was a definite urge to just head home and wait for my parents to arrive.  But I kept going and soon enough we were at St. Mary’s where we stopped for a quick picture.  Ok, a not so quick picture.  I like laid back runs, but the longer we stood around chatting, I knew the harder it would be to start up again.  Plus this was ruining any sort of semi-acceptable pace.  And it was actually raining now.  Eventually, we set out from St. Mary’s to Crotona Park, which was a supposed 2 miles.  Well it felt like 200 given the weather.  For this stretch of the run, it was raining pretty consistently, it was windy, and I swear the temperature was dropping.  I had to stop at a bodega for a plastic bag for my phone, and my fingers were so numb I considered buying a pair of gloves while I was at it!  It seriously felt like we would never reach Crotona.  But sure enough, we did! We stopped for another picture and I decided it was time to take my first ever gel! I seriously had my doubts that it would have any kind of noticeable effect, but I was starving and figured it would taste good so why not? My first ever gel was the Clif Double Expresso Shot Turbo.  


It was a LOT thicker than I ever imagined it would be, but delicious nonetheless.  After some dilly-dallying/walking out of Crotona Park, we headed back towards Manhattan on Willis Ave. and that gel for SURE had an effect.  My stride noticeably opened up and for the first time all morning I felt like I was in the groove.  It also helped that I was so OVER the rain that I just wanted these last 6 or 7 miles to be DONE.  Once we crossed over the Willis Avenue Bridge, I was on a mission to get back to JackRabbit AFAP (as fast as possible, duh).  
And I did! And Map My Run said 14 miles as soon as I got to the door of the store! Myself and another girl had finished first, and it was her first time running that far either! I was so excited, but I got even MORE excited when I told the store manager and SHE got excited FOR me! It was so great the way her face lit up and she ran to get me the foam roller and congratulated me and gave me Cliff bars :) I seriously LOVE the running community.  While running isn’t a team sport like I grew up playing, it’s seriously true that you can get to know people extremely well by running with them.  And since I started going on group runs at the different JackRabbit stores, I have met some incredible people and seen just how much camaraderie there truly is between runners in NYC.  I’m obsessed.

I rolled out my legs a little bit but then I had to run to meet up with my parents (what’s another .7 miles to run back to my apartment?) But the feeling of accomplishment stayed with me all day! Maybe it wasn’t a fast 14 miles, and maybe we took some stops along the way, but my legs carried me further than they ever have before (even pre-stress fracture) and for that I am grateful!

And I’m super thankful for that gel.  I also find it strange that for someone who hates the rain, I have now had 2 runs in the rain that haven’t completely made me miserable (only slightly miserable).  It’s so true that the discomfort you experience while running completely vanishes as soon as you finish and instead, all the curses you said in your head are replaced with “Wow, that was actually kind of amazing, I feel great now!”