Thoughts on Boston & More/ Fitness Half Marathon

This was supposed to be a standard review of a race: thoughts on my pace, how I felt throughout, and the euphoria of running past mile signs I had never dared to dream about.

All that changed Monday afternoon when I checked my Twitter feed to see how close runners were to finishing the historic Boston Marathon.

I had been on a runner’s high myself, what with finishing my first half marathon on Sunday, and spending Monday morning cheering on Kara and Shalane through social media. The desire to get out and run overwhelmed me, even as I struggled to take every step with my tight hamstrings and sore hip flexors.

I was burning with a passion to pound the pavement, yet again, and truly test my mental and physical strength. As I saw the elite runners pass the finish line, I made an oath to myself to train harder and faster, because I knew I had the potential. I am a runner.

Fast forward a couple hours to me checking my Twitter and Facebook feed to confusion. An explosion at the marathon? Disbelief and denial coursed through me. As I saw pictures of the smoke surrounding the finish line, I knew the gut-wrenching truth: this was no mere accident. I later heard reports from runners and witnesses that the explosion sounded like a cannon going off, with it being Patriots’ Day in MA.

Although I only saw footage and read reports, I felt like it happened right outside my door. In fact, my mum even commented as soon as I reached home last night,”Thank God this didn’t happen in your race yesterday- and don’t race again.” Though I appreciated her worries, she and I both know that whatever lies ahead, I will continue to run straight towards it.

Today, as I reflect on the events, I am thankful for every minute and every mile my body endures to pursue a never-ending passion for a sport in which everyone can be defined as an athlete. My heart and my prayers are with the victims, the runners, the witnesses and all lovers of the sport of running.

(On a side note:

I ran 13.1 miles, twice around Central Park on Sunday for the More/ Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon. I checked my mile times and I ran two miles at a 9:30ish pace.

The hills didn’t scare me as I took each methodically, sometimes catching a draft from the runner ahead of me, sometimes counting my footfalls in my head. I did walk for about one and a half min. but overall I was happy with my finishing time of 2:23:17.

Yes, my ankles and hip flexors cried in pain, but I pushed through and still had a kick left to push to the finish. I ate a chocolate PowerBar at the 6 mile mark and I do believe it helped. I was most tired during miles 8 and 12. Of course, I was euphoric after mile 7 because that was the furthest I had ever run.

The downhills were amazing as the breeze cooled the sweat produced from the uphill climbs. Running alongside women was thrilling; I felt like we were all motivating each other telepathically to run up those hills together.

I wonder at the feeling of accomplishment and pride marathoners feel when they cross the finish line; if its half of what I was feeling, I hope I run one in the near future.

All in all, I had a great race, didn’t psych myself out too much with the distance, and thoroughly enjoyed the high 50 temps. )

Central Park 4Miler

Sunny skies; a slightly nippy breeze; orange and yellow foliage peeping through the green tops of the park tress; this was the setting for the perfect running weather.

Yesterday, I tested myself in a 4 miler through the park, running alongside like-minded women. In one word, it was amazing. The sun beat brilliantly on my back, the wind kept me cool, the water breaks were a strategic relief and the hills at mile 3 kept me huffing and puffing.

Yet, I pulled through 🙂 For that, I am grateful to my body and to God. I once thought I couldn’t run one block. But, slowly and steadily, my body took me to highs I’ve never experienced before.

  • Yes, you think your feet can’t move another step.
  • Your throat burns from the exertion of pulling in air in rapid pants.
  • Each uphill is pure torture; until you realize that pumping your arms will propel you over the crest and help you reach the downhill portion faster so that you can finally let gravity do its thing.

Although it is in no way a competition for first place; you’re exhilarated by the rush of adrenaline that pushes you to pass your fellow runners on the course. Pacing oneself on race day is so different from training. You realize that just as in life, there are obstacles you have to conquer and pass. Yep, that’s right. I have gone on record to say that in order to understand life, one has to run a race.

I ran a personal best of 10:14 a mile. If not for my 1 minute walk at the mile 3 water station, I might have been under 40 minutes! Ahh, just thinking about the possibility is mind-boggling! So, my official time was 41:41 and of course, I ran like a dog was chasing me for the last 200 yards to cross the finish line. I’m kind of hooked on the all out sprint at the end of the race; it makes me feel like an athlete and that is the best feeling of all!

All in all, I’m hoping for the same conditions and inner strength next weekend when I challenge my first 10K in the Run 10 Feed 10 Women’s Health Mag run. This is my last week of 10k training and I started it off with cross training, Zumba style. Strength is so key!

Now I’m off to scrounging up a playlist that will push me to achieve a PR next weekend.

Happy Fall!

黛安娜  다이아나  ഡയാന