|Post-Race & Post-Race-Beer|
|Quiet subway for the ride home|
The original plan was to start couch to 5k WEEKS before and train up until this event. It was a 3 mile course (just short of a 5k) so it was doable. Even if I walked part of it, the length seemed like a reasonable distance. I had been walking that at the park pushing a 20 lb baby in a stroller - surely I could walk it at the very least.
Of course, that original plan did not come to fruition. I did not train. I was benched due to my knee issues. I was sentenced to walking and low impact exercise. But I really wanted to participate. So my hubs signed us up as walkers (basically we didn't get timed) and we figured at the very worst I'd walk the whole thing while he ran and we'd meet at the end.
Mr. Drama works in the neighborhood of the Wall St run, so we made arrangements for Baby Drama to get a ride home from daycare from Grandma so I could train it in to meet him for the run/walk. In my old life (pre-baby) I would into NYC on the regular. Typically, I'd be going to a meeting or photo shoot or something client-related, so I'd get a little more dolled up than usual. Pulling on yoga pants and a sports bra felt SO strange and uncomfortable for going INTO the city. There's a certain amount of discomfort you're supposed to have while walking the streets of NYC. It's part of the "out of your comfort zone" scheme that goes with the city experience. New York always pushes you just a little further than you want it too...and that's what makes it so amazing. You realize potential you didn't even know was there.
And that's what happened to me during this run. I didn't have any intention of running until I got to the starting area. It was a super crazy hot and humid day. Really sticky and gross. One of those days where it's so humid that the air actually feels thick. In the NYC, that feeling can be suffocating. The standard gross city smells are intensified. As you walk (or run) you get hit in the face with pockets of stink. But once we started queuing up in the starting area, the excitement started to build and my confidence magically grew. I started to get that "anything is possible" feeling. So once we crossed the starting line, hubs and I started jogging with the crowd. Not too fast though. He warned me that it was easy to get swept up in the excitement and start off way too fast.
I think I made it about 1/2 mile before I had to walk. It sounds lame, but it was probably the longest distance I've run in a long time straight through. I hadn't run at all in probably 3 weeks. I haven't even done any serious work outs besides my park walks with Baby Drama.
Thankfully, my hubs had decided he'd stick with me the whole time. Walking or not. The only stipulation was that we could walk, but not STOP. I was completely on board with that.
|Photo from NYRR.org (this photo-crazy blogger forgot her phone)|
The course was very cool. It wound through the financial district, in the windy very old street part. The part that feels "old New York." Where you still get glimpses of the days before taxis clogged the main roads and men went to work at roll-top desks and wore stove pipe hats. The time after Gangs of New York yet before Mad Men. I loved being able to travel down the middle of those old streets and be able to look up and enjoy the old architecture sandwiched in with new buildings. This run/walk gave us the precious opportunity to take it all in without worrying about getting hit by a car or running into oncoming pedestrians.
Throughout the run/walk, we did just that. Ran a little, walked a little. I think all-in-all we probably ran over a third of the 3 mile course. After mile 2, I had to listen to my body and not push my knees too much further. So we had a strong start, walked much of the middle, with little bursts of running when it felt appropriate. I actually was watching a woman who was just ahead of us when we started walking. She was running, but slowly. She had a consistent pace, and didn't falter. It became my mission to keep her in my sights. Somehow, I made her my competition. She was shorter and heavier than me. I kept thinking "if she can run this, I can too." Unfortunately that sentiment wasn't exactly true due to my injury. We'd pass her when running, then she'd catch up to us as we walked.
At first I saw her as competition. Then I saw her as an inspiration. It became clear that I didn't want to beat her, but wanted to be her. I wanted her stamina, dedication, and commitment.
I lost sight of her once we paused for water. But it was OK. I had my mini revelation and we were nearing the finish line. As we got to the busier streets near the water, there were people guiding us so we wouldn't accidentally run into oncoming traffic. Some of them just stood there, some of them clapped and half-heartedly cheered us on. I appreciated the effort (even if a couple of them looked like typical NYC skinny girls who never actually worked out a day in their life).
The final stretch was amazing. It went along the water, giving us a nice view of the Statue of Liberty right before we turned for the last leg. The sun was setting and a crowd was gathering. The race workers were getting more enthusiastic and supportive. One guy was telling us "it's only about 30 meters to the finish." I said to my hubs "we could run that, right?" and we started pushing it. The route guy heard me and gave us a big cheer. Without him, I'm not sure I would've run that last distance (for the record, it was way more than 30 meters).
We pushed, running past people walking and jogging slower than us (if that was even possible...maybe they were running backwards). It was a huge rush. At the finish line, there was a small crowd of volunteers cheering us as we finished. Music was playing, a beautiful cold mist of water greeted us as we crossed the end.
Emotion finally came spilling out once that last burst of running was over. It was a great feeling to have finished it and TRIED really hard. Once again, NYC had pushed me past my perceived limits and made me stronger. I couldn't help but think of my Dad due to the American Heart Association stuff. I miss him, and I don't want the same fate. It was a sad and strong reminder of WHY I'm pushing myself like this.
The run/walk finished right at the World Financial Center plaza. We were meeting up with some of my Hub's coworkers at a bar near his office. We walked through some buildings overlooking the 9/11 memorial and construction site. More emotion. More reminders of why we need to better ourselves: for our family, for ourselves, for the ability to be ready for anything...
|So ready for air conditioning|
|dressed down at the Fulton St station|