I haven’t run an organized race since high school, which at this point to me is an unbelievable number of years. But earlier this evening I ran in a 10K. My first ever. See, I run (at the gym, every-so-often) but I’ve never really considered myself a “runner”. So, I’m feeling pretty proud of the accomplishment. No worries—I already gave myself a pat on the back and ordered penne a la vodka to be delivered as my dinner reward. (I know—a bowl of carbs after the race…???)
It all started about three weeks ago when I saw what seemed a larger-than-life billboard on the corner of 34th and Seventh advertising Nike’s Human Race. Hmm, I thought. What is that? So when I got home I checked it out. Set for August 31, the world’s largest one-day running event where participants race with individuals in twenty-five cities in the U.S and abroad, a portion of the proceeds going to global causes. So I signed up. I admit, Nike’s marketing (the giant Photoshop-ed billboard) had something to do with it, but I also thought it was about time to put myself up to such a challenge. (It was one of my New Year’s resolutions).
So, earlier this evening, with my nails painted a bright red-orange to match my uniform Nike racing jersey (that happened to match the ten-thousand others racing) I hopped onto the 6 train to 125th Street, ready for my challenge. As we chugged uptown, the population of red jersies increased as others with the same destination hopped aboard. And it became the norm to smile and nod a ‘hey, I see you’re running too.’ Once in the open air again on 125th, we (the ones in red) were everywhere, a herd of us even walking the foot-bridge to Randall’s Island in rebellion against the wrap-around line to get on the bus as we’d planned. At the start line, there was nothing but red. Well, red, and a lot of amazing energy that I hadn’t felt since my high school racing days.
We ended up having to wait through a bit of a start delay and once moving had to deal with a narrow path, a large crowd and uneven terrain, but it was awesome. I maintained a decent pace thanks for my new playlist full of Rihanna and M.I.A. (compliments ladies) and I slowed down for water only twice. Go me! I knew I wouldn’t come anywhere near winning the race but that wasn’t really what it was about for me. I accepted my “Challenge To Self” and had a great time running with a bunch of other enthusiastic humans.
It’s already on my to-do list for next year, wherever I may be!