Race to the Finish

Hey world,

On Saturday, I'm running a 5K.

If you know me in real life, you know that I would be more likely to climb a mountain (check), go white water rafting in grade 5 rapids (check), or live for a year without electricity (check) before I would run a 5K. In fact, my being and the word 'run' are complete antonyms. 

Therefore, if you told me even two weeks ago that I was going to run a 5K anytime in the next year of my life, I would have probably said "Ummmm...NO" or laughed at you. It seems just so anti-thetical to my being.

However last week I was chatting on the phone to a friend about how I am trying to challenge myself and push my boundaries, and she was telling me that she was training for some corporate fitness challenge and part of it was a 5K, and mentioned offhand that I would 'never run a 5K'. And on the call, I totally agreed with her. I wouldn't ever run a 5K, willingly or unwillingly. That's not me.

After I hung up and was walking home that night, I started thinking and asked myself: Of all the personal grandstands I could take, why is running one of them?

Well, I've always been a terrible runner. I get asthma before I even loop around the gym once. My shoelaces are prone to come untied. I hate when people are faster than me (which is virtually anyone other than an actual snail). I ran my first mile without stopping when I was 20 years old -- it's been a long struggle. 

I mean, it's kind of a health thing, but if I didn't try to go from zero to gazelle, I could alleviate the chance of coughing.  Really, it's a pride thing. 

Wait, I was prepared to never run because of my pride?!?!?!

Nope. That wasn't going to fly. I went home, googled "5k runs NYC June 2014" and found one that was held Saturday June 14th, 2014 that benefited Komera, an NGO that works on empowering young women in Rwanda. 

And it was just $10 (!).

And the race started right on my subway line. 

It couldn't be more perfect if it tried. 

I signed up, and went to bed. I woke up the next morning, and without any practice, I ran 1.5 miles on a treadmill -- the furthest distance I had ever run without stopping in my entire life.

The game was on. 

For the past three days I have been just outside of Albany visiting family, and was able to go for beautiful 2 mile runs every day along a quiet country road. Surrounded by quaint houses and fields dotted with wildflowers, I listened to my favorite songs with the volume all the way up, and encouraged my feet to keep passing the pavement. 

An action shot during one of my runs (Altamont, NY)

Every day, I ran the 2 miles without an issue. In fact, I always ended it thinking, "Wait, I'm done already?! I could have kept going!" 

...This is coming from the girl who had never run 2 miles ever in her life before Saturday. And that girl is ME.

It was wonderful.
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For me, the 5K is not at all about racing. I average a 13 minute mile...it's definitely a jog, and I could actually probably walk faster. But it isn't racing. 

It's about starting and not stopping. 
It's about making it to the finish line from the start line without dying. 
It's about doing what I never thought I could do, with my head held high. 
It's about pushing my limits, and altering my boundaries.
It's about approaching an intersection, and taking the path unpaved. 

I'll be spending the rest of the week kickboxing in the mornings, doing schoolwork all day, and running at the gym at night. 

Get excited for 5K pictures on Saturday! 

xoxo,
M

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