I've been slow to post about the race in NY last weekend, but hopefully this will correct that.
It was a beautiful day, cool and sunny. My aunt dropped my off at about 7:45 which gave me time to sit, think about the race, and pray for my success, those that donated to the cause, and for those in Africa who will be helped by a deep-water well. That seems to calm my nerves, as I was very nervous about the race.
I'm not sure why I was so nervous for this one. I trained harder for this one than any of the others and was as prepared as I could be, but I was still unsure if I was going to be able to finish.
As I stretched and waited for the start, the emcee announced that there were 800 World Vision runners who raised over a quarter of a million dollars for water in Africa. It felt wonderful to be a part of such an awesome effort and I knew at that point that I was going to have a good race.
The horn finally sounded and I inched my way to the start line behind several thousand other runners.
As I passed the start line, I started running. My plan was to walk the first minute, then run for four minutes and continue those intervals as long as possible. However, the adrenalin was pumping hard so I just ran. I didn't stop until I hit 10 minutes.
I noticed that my breathing was very hard...I was already short of breath. I'm not sure why, but I didn't catch my breath until mile eight...when my legs started getting tired.
The first mile was hard as my legs loosened up. But the next seven seemed to pass in a flash. I think I was more focused on my surroundings, taking in Flushing Meadow Park and all of the World's Fair buildings and monuments that are within it. I enjoyed the sites, the bands along the route, the other runners and the other World Vision runners who would encourage me as I ran. That was one of the really cool things...whenever someone noticed my orange jersey, they would cheer me on. That really helped, especially as I tired along the race.
As I passed mile ten, my adrenalin picked up again. I knew Cassie, my nephew and my aunt would be along the path soon. They spent the morning at the Science Museum which is along the route, so they planned on waiting for me to cheer me on. As I rounded a corner I saw them and became very emotional. I started running faster than at any point on the run. I passed them, waved, told them I loved them and felt great. About a minute later, I passed the 11 mile mark and the cramps set in.
My left calf let me know that it was tiring quickly. I continued my intervals, but they were now jog three minutes and walk two. That continued for mile eleven and twelve. I couldn't run too much at that point. However, as I rounded to small lake area near approaching the finish line, I pushed to run. They say that the thirteen miles are easy, that the last point one mile is hard...I don't know about the first thirteen being easy, but that last tenth is really killer. I cramped my way to the finish line. The announcer said my name and mentioned that I had come all the way from Texas to run. That was really cool, and helped my sprint through the finish, where I was handed my medal and then proceeded to cramp severely in both of my hamstrings.
I walked out my cramps and met up with some family that had come to see me finish.
It was an awesome day, made better by a family get together at my aunt's house after the race.
I am moved by all of the donations that I have received to this point...many donated Saturday while I was running. My family threw in a bunch of cash, too....so I came home with another $355 for the effort.
All told, it was a very enjoyable experience. I'm guessing that the next race won't be as fun as I won't be able to share it with a lot of family. But, I'm committed to running and still need your donations. I am only at 20% of my goal.
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Thanks for your support, and I will see you in Chicago in June.