Also known as Operation NYCM Part 4.
Since my last post, I ran the All for One 4-miler, which was largely uneventful and exactly the same as the City Parks 4-miler two weeks before that. Today’s UAE Healthy Kidney 10K makes my fourth race of nine required for guaranteed entry.
This race was particularly meaningful to me because this was one I had no intention of signing up for (uh, what?) I had decided after the NYC half that I would keep my racing to a minimum for the health of my wallet and for my happiness. Last year, I noticed that I wasn’t enjoying running as much when I was on a training plan for the half marathon I didn’t end up running. The pressure of knowing I had to run x-miles on a given day became really unappealing and overall counterproductive for my training. I’ve since changed courses — I run for fun. I run when I have time. And I run until I get too tired to run more.
Anyways, the point is — I had no plans to sign up for more races. Early on January 22, I received rather unexpected news that my grandfather had passed away and in the ensuing hours, there was a scramble to find plane tickets to China for the funeral. (As New Yorkers will remember, that was also the day of a huge snowstorm, when all flights were cancelled/delayed approximately two days.) In the end, I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, but in the haze of helplessness and grief, I knew I wanted to do something meaningful to mark my loss. To be completely honest, I don’t even remember actually signing up for the race but when I did realize it was on the books, I decided to go the extra mile (ha-ha, get it? i’m funny) and gun for 9 races and NYCM2015. So in a way, the UAE run and my goals for the NYCM2015 are all a tribute to my grandfather.
I’m normally not one to assign higher meaning to the things that happen to me, but I really do think my grandfather was watching over me today because by all appearances, I did NOT have a good pre-race morning. I woke up with a granddad of all stomachaches. My gps watch was completely dead. I forgot my race fuel. I took a nice (un)graceful fall down the stairs at the train station. My phone battery was half way to 0. And the corrals were PACKED.
But once I started running, all the negativeness just fell away. I started at a nice steady pace with easy breathing and despite the packed corrals, there were no aggressive runners cutting me off. Without my gps watch, I wasn’t focused on maintaining a certain pace. All I had was my music and the road. and the HUMIDITY. (76% humidity at the end of the race, but it felt much higher starting out.) It gave me a lot of time to think, about my grandfather, about my dad (who recently had kidney surgery), and about my mom (as Mother’s Day is tomorrow). Six miles flew by and I felt NO pain. Not in my ankle, not in my stomach, and not even on my back from sliding down the staircase. And to top it off, I ran faster than I’ve run in any other NYRR race. BAM.