Posted by: Sarah | June 23, 2008

Running down a dream…

I woke up with butterflies in my stomach early yesterday morning. Weather forecast was humid, but manageable, cooler than the past few days had been and the rain wasn’t scheduled to begin until after noon. Perfect conditions for our first race.

The pre-race jitters picked up on the train, as I tried to remind myself that it was just Central Park, just like any other easy Saturday practice, that the hills and turns of these trails were starting to become second nature. I wasn’t out of my element. On the contrary, the course was predictable and manageable. I psyched myself up a little more when I arrived to find my teammates gathered near the bag check. I was glad that I wasn’t in this alone.
 
The race went well, I ran strong and steady, breaking my stride only at the fluid stations to grab a cup of water and pour half of it down my back. The more I run, the more I am starting to understand the mental aspect of the sport – the discipline, the determination, the consistency. The more I run, the more I appreciate the social aspect of the sport – having a running buddy who I can pace myself with, the volunteers along the course who push you along and tell you how amazing you look and how inspiring you are, hearing my mentor yell my name from the sidelines as we round the final curve and push ourselves into burning sprints. The cheers of the crowd, the lyrics of PUMP IT blasting through the speakers, my lungs burning in protest pushed me to cross the finish line. It was an amazing feeling.
 
And this is just the beginning. I can’t even imagine the adrenaline that San Francisco will be in October.

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