First of all, I want to give a big shout out to all of my friends who ran in and completed the NYC Marathon last weekend. Quite an accomplishment. Well done!
Perhaps, this will be a future goal for myself as I progress with my running exploits. We will see!
I have been running 5K races since March of 2016 all around the NYC area, along with a few other cities I have jumped into while on vacation. At first, I had set out on a fitness goal to participate in maybe ten events. The running bug bit me and before I knew it by end of 2016 I was approaching 15 races. The crazy in me decided to keep going and now here I am looking to complete 30 races before end of 2018.
Yeah, it sounds pretty nuts considering I am not overly in love with running. It’s always been a love/hate relationship. Like that romantic partner who you can’t stand and want to punch in the face when you’re with them, yet keep jumping into bed with them because the feeling of ecstasy when you’re finished is like an addicting drug. Like the feeling you have when finishing a race and crossing that finish line!
What started out as another fitness thing for me to pursue, drop some pounds, and keep in shape has blossomed into a passion. Yup, I hate to admit it. I have become one of “those people”. The types who talk about their runs, show off their medals, post their pics and running app screenshots on social media week in and week out. Even I can’t stand myself, but I just can’t stop!
Some races I have felt good, some great, and others I have dragged my ass across the finish line. As with any athletic endeavor there is always those nagging injuries that come around, and one hit me hard during a race at end of August. I blew out a hamstring pretty bad in my left leg. It has taken months to heal up and still bothers me. I have had to add more stretching to my training, and readjusted my running form and cadence. At this point it’s a slow healing process, and while it feels much better, I know I still need to take precautions and be more aware when training/competing. I can’t really complain though as overall, I have done quite well.
Which brings me to the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K. As part of the NYC Marathon weekend festivities it is a way for those to get involved who are not ready to run 26.2 miles. The 3.1 miles are a much easier distance for many to maneuver, and judging by the 10,800 runners who participated it is quite a successful event. All types ran this one. Those ranging from Olympic athletes, pro runners, weekend warriors, children, senior citizens, regular 5K participants, married couples, those who run to stay fit, and others looking for a fun thing to do with friends. I saw many from other countries also running. Such a diversity, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
The brisk weather was perfect for a Saturday morning 5K – cold, dry, and sunny. As compared to the next day which was cold, raw, rainy, and dreary we had it made over those running the marathon. I counted my blessings for that one! I loved the course itself. Very cool to run along the empty NYC streets starting off at the United Nations, then across 42nd Street, heading over to Central Park, and ending at the actual finish line for the NYC Marathon. The views were pretty awesome as we passed the UN building, the Chrysler Building towering in the blue sky overhead, and other points of interest on our way to Central Park.
NYRR, the organizing body who puts together the whole Marathon weekend, did a wonderful job. Plenty of signage, water station on the course, and plenty of volunteers helping out. They had this set up like a well-oiled machine. Directions being given out before the race, music and entertainment, a whole lot of porta-potties, and a nice goody bag handed out as we crossed the finish line. The race course itself was well-marked and there were many cheering us on along the sidewalks. Kudos to NYRR as I know this whole race weekend is a massive undertaking.
This race to me was more than about getting a finisher medal, a cool dri-fit shirt, or any other swag. It was more for personal satisfaction and redemption. I set this race as a goal to attempt one of my better times. I do not accept failure easily, and do not give up in the face of setbacks. I kept training and running. Some days it was painful, but I made sure to keep going. At an age when it takes longer to heal up, and when most guys are slowing down or quitting fitness activity altogether, I am getting faster and stronger. I really could have run a 10K on this morning. I ended up with one of my best 5K finisher times and mile pace! It was one of my favorite course runs so far. I was quite satisfied but I know there is more work to be done. I’m hungry for more!
Maybe that 26.2 miles next year? No excuses. Go get it! Thanks again for everyone’s support!
NYRR homepage – races, info, running news http://www.nyrr.org/