5,000 Meters of Accomplishment

Hey world,

My last post, Race to the Finish, talked about how my (very quick) decision about running a 5K. 

Today, of course, was the big day. 

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was a four letter word (that is best paired with dogs doing a #2). I shook off my initial feeling of dread and put on my running outfit, ate a delicious cup of yogurt, and drank half a liter of water.

I packed up a few things in a bag, and started walking to the subway earlier than I had planned -- I realized that my 'lucky' sweatband was still at my office downtown, and I needed to pick it up before I met up with my friend J at 9.

When I got to the building, the security guard came out and said that no one was allowed inside because of some strange construction project for the weekend. SERIOUSLY?! I could feel the self-doubt in my heart already start to bubble.

Before the 5K began
Then I met up with J and we got on the subway together to head down to FiDi -- but the R runs on a different path on weekends, and before we knew it we were in Brooklyn instead. My heart sank a little more -- THE UNIVERSE WAS CLEARLY SENDING ME MESSAGES.

Determined to not let that voice have space, we made it in the knick of time to the event space, signed in, and nervously half-stretched as the organizers told us more about the cause we were supporting (Komera, check them out!).

Then it was time to run.

The leaders brought us into Battery Park, and we ran North up the Esplanade to Chambers Street, and then U-turned and headed back to where we came from. For most of the first mile, the group stayed together, and we ran at a manageable pace.

Then, the group slowly split as everyone found their stride and stayed there, and I spent most of the time with people I recognized in sight, but not nearby (aka, I was eating their dust). Instead, I took the time to focus on my self, and my surroundings, and every time that little voice in my head said "take a breather, no one will know that you stopped", I reminded myself that I would know, and I kept going.

When I got to the turn-around place, I was pretty sure I was going to keel over.
I had to run all the way back now?!

But I kept going, and at a slow and steady pace, continued to move in a forward motion. I reminded myself that I hadn't heard my 'halfway song' on my ipod playlist -- the one that would signal that I had been running for 30 minutes. That re-motivated me: how close to the end could I get before that song came on?

The other great thing was that J would always stay in view somewhere, and every so often, he would jog in place and wait for me to catch up before we both continued running.

"I'm not going to finish without you!" he'd say.

It meant a lot. And at the very end of the run, I lost everyone in the group I could see. In fact, I started thinking I had missed the turn-off point, and I could just see the headlines "Runner Goes Rogue during 5K and Ends up in NJ Instead of FiDi".

After we ran 3.6 miles! (and why do we look better than before?)
Thank god for J, who came looking for me, and ran with the final 3 minutes to the finish line. As soon as the store came into view, I threw my hands in the air like the marathon runners do, and screamed "I DID ITTTTTTT!"

And I did...and even 5 minutes faster than the goal I had for set myself!

With just 9 days notice, I went from the girl who had never run 1.5 miles without stopping to the girl who finishes a 5K without stopping*.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao-tzu

Now I'm trying to decide what I need to tackle next; what plans do you have to change up your routine and push your limits?


* I would also like to note that I was one of 3 raffle ticket winners -- clearly my karma for continuing came back to reward me with a week of yoga classes!

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