“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham
Seeing that finish line in the distance was incredible, I just had to not think about the fact that I was pushing myself so hard that I might get sick but I was actually finishing a race I never thought I could run. The Great Cow Harbor 10K in Northport Village Long Island was an amazing race. The entire town came out to support the racers, so no matter where I was on the course someone was cheering or passing out water ( I seriously need to work on my water grabbing skills, it wasn’t pretty). The course was beautiful, we ran right by the harbor and finished in the village of Northport. I am very happy that this was my first race.
How did I decide to run the Great Cow Harbor 10K? Back in June I wrote The Little Dog vs. Running, I had just started my love for running and I was so excited for my first race, which was supposed to be a 4M in Central Park but my plans were ruined by an abnormal EKG. After that happened it was hard to motivate myself to run again, once you start running and then you stop its very hard to pick up where you left off. So when I received the email that Runner’s World and Foot Locker were starting a RUN CLUB to train for a 10K I knew this was my opportunity to start again. And I am so happy I did, the club met twice a week for 8 weeks. It was not easy but it was definitely worth it, I met some amazing people and some great coaches. The race they had picked for our final test was the Great Cow Harbor 10K. Sadly they decided to pick a race that was crazy to get to (meaning you needed a car), but luckily I talked one of my running buddies into doing it with me.
The night before the race I was totally freaked out; I packed my bag, laid out my clothes (which many my running/blogger inspirations do), went to Berry Wild to get yogurt
(stole this idea from one of my biggest running inspirations Ali on the Run), and then watched a sappy romance comedy (no I will not tell you what it is super embarrassing…) okay, okay it was Prom. I was in bed by 10pm and had my alarm set for 4:30am so I could meet my running partner and we could drive an hour to Northport. While on the way to meet her I realized the one thing I forgot to pack was my headphones, I made this awesome playlist but had no way to listen to it. Looks like this race going to be a race with no music.
When we got to the race we quickly realized what a big deal this was. It was pretty chilly out, so I am glad I wore a sweatshirt and sweatpants that I could throw on after the race but it was perfect weather for racing. There was well over 5,000 participants. Everyone was there for different reasons, there were the serious racers, the cross-country teams, the family and charity teams, the newbie runners (like me), and many more. There were 14 different waves and I was luckily enough to receive my favorite number 13! If you are a newbie like me, you probably have no idea what a wave is. All it is, is a scattered start so that way you’re not going out all at once, and I was the 13th group to go. Which means anytime on the course I heard a time being called out I had to subtract 13 minutes from that because I started 13 minutes behind. The course was pretty challenging, it has two huge hills one around mile 2 and one around mile 5. I did walk 3 times during the race, once at the first hill, once close to mile 5, and on the last hill. When I finally saw mile 6 and then the finish line ahead all I could think is “There are all these people, if you start walking now, you will look like you gave up” so I pushed harder, tried to get close to a camera man so I could have a race photo (haha even though I know I must have looked like I was in pain) and then made it through the finish. I am not going to lie, I thought I was going to be sick, which isn’t a good thing when hundreds of people are standing around and there is really no where for you to get sick. Luckily my coach said if you feel like that at the end of a race, that means you ran a good race, I am not quite sure I believe him. Unofficially I finished around 1:01 which was around a 9:22/mile pace. Not to bad for my first race. Probably should have slowed down a bit. This is only the beginning of my running adventure, I have a lot of work ahead of me and I am so excited!
I have about 5 more races in 2011 and then in January 2012, right after my 25th Birthday, I will be running my FIRST 1/2 marathon!!! More information to come on this soon….