JFK Rotary Run on the Runway 5K
I am so excited to be moving forward with my journey with running. It hasn’t been easy, but I have been working through those tough times. And yesterday was just another example of why I know this is the right path for me.
I awoke at 6:30 in the morning, feeling ready to face this race. I was not nervous at all. It’s a race I’d done twice before. I knew the course, I was familiar with the whole experience of it. I was fully prepared. Except for one thing – I forgot to eat breakfast before I left. UGH!
I arrived at the race packet pickup location in 20-minutes flat. One of the reasons this is my favorite race is that it takes no time to get there from my apartment. I find a parking spot and go to retrieve my bib and t-shirt. I rarely wear the event t-shirt. Generally they have an unattractive fit and are not very comfortable. I love a race that provides technical t-shirts. You hear that world – we racers want tech tees!!! I know they cost more money. I’m willing to pay a few dollars more. Just an FYI. I usually toss the standard race shirts into the giveaway bin at the end of the year.
I attach my bib to my pants because I simply don’t want to put any holes in my new BatGirl shirt. I love that shirt. It makes me feel powerful and I don’t want to ruin it.
Because this race is held at JFK, the packet pickup and the race site are at 2 different locations within the airport. Once you are ready, you hop on a bus for a 10-minute ride through one of the largest airports in the country. The race takes place on the longest runway of JFK, and starts in an area where they do plane rescue training. It’s pretty cool.
One thing I seem to forget is because this is an airport, it’s a very large, open space; therefore when you are waiting at the start, it is incredibly windy, which means it is incredibly cold. And I had nearly an hour to wait. ARGH! Mental note – take one of the later buses to the race site so you won’t freeze to death Irene. Sheesh!
A little after 9am, after I am frozen solid, the race begins to corral. As usual, I get in the back with the 10+ pace runners, but before the walkers. When the gun goes off, we are all off.
I started off as slow as possible, trying to get myself into a comfortable rhythm with my breathing and my pace. I’ve got my fitness playlist going and I am all good. The course is almost completely flat, almost. There is a very very very slight uphill grade until the halfway point when we turn around and go back the other way. Then it’s a very very very slight downhill grade. Admittedly, I took it sort of slow till the halfway point. I could have pushed a little harder, but with my recent runs being so challenging and the fact that I didn’t have anything to eat beforehand, I was afraid I’d lose all my energy and wind up stopping. There would be no stopping. So, yeah, I took my time.
That was until the halfway point, when I could visibly see the downhill. That’s when I kind of took off.
The wind was pushing me now too. There was a strong cross breeze that made it a little difficult at first, but then it changed a bit and was on my back for a short period of time. I felt like I was flying. There I was, running a 5K with the wind at my back, music in my ears, and planes flying ever so slightly above me and I had the biggest smile on my face. I felt so strong. I never felt this strong at the back end of any race. I felt like I could run even farther than the 5K demanded. It was awesome!
At the final turn there was a slight uphill with only about 400 meters to go. People around me were slowing down, some were even stopping. I started to yell “There is no stopping! Push
yourselves! We’re almost done! Let’s go!”
And then everyone was running their hardest again. It was like we were all a team and we were determined to not fail each other. I ran as hard as I could and even though I was grasping for air, I finished the race with my hands in the air and a grin on my face. I had done it. I had finished this race, not feeling as if I was gonna collapse, but rather, feeling strong, confident, and capable. I always feel good after this race, which is why it is usually the first one of the racing season for me.
So often we spend loads of time doubting our ability to accomplish all the great things we want to do. We talk ourselves into believing we can’t do something.
Screw that -ish!
I am incredibly proud of myself.
This whole experience is changing for me – the consistent running, the cross training, the yoga – it’s all coming together in a way I never could have imagined. I am going farther and getting faster every day.
I don’t want to brag, but I am making 2013 my bitch!
Now you tell me, what’s your favorite race and why?