Bronx 10 Mile!
My eyes open at 3:20AM, that’s the time I see on my phone. However my alarm goes off in 25 minutes, I lay in bed until then. My alarm goes off, I get up and realize I should have gotten up earlier, no worries I tell myself, I already know what I’m wearing and it isn’t going to take a long time for me to get dressed.
I do my morning rituals, wash my face, brush my teeth the normal. It’s now pushing 4AM, I get breakfast together, the usual, whole-wheat toast, peanut butter and slices of bananas. I begin to get dressed as well, because I would like to be out of the house by 5AM, but it doesn’t seem like that’s happening.
I’m eating, clothes are on, hair is done and I’m drinking some water while trying to pack my fanny pack together. I throw in a couple of dollars, ID card, my shot bloks and metro card in there. I text my friend Avonna (who I only met the night before on facebook through my running group NYCInstaRunners) to see how far along she was. We were both ready to walk out the door in the next 10 minutes, so I took some pictures before then.
I meet Avonna at the train station, hopped on the train and chatted until we have to transfer trains, lucky we didn’t have to wait long for the second train and we hopped on that as well.
As Avonna and I chatted I’ve noticed the runners crowing the train with each and every stop. Excitement couldn’t even being to describe the feeling that overwhelmed me. Thousands of people getting ready to run, but for various amount of reasons.
We get off the train and find our way up a hill and to baggage check where we met the rest of out team. We chatted, took a couple of pictures and went on the line for the bathrooms. After that, I realized I was getting hungry and I popped a shot blok in my mouth and then went to line up at my corral.
Avonna and I started to put out headphones on as we walked up to the start line and then in less than five minutes we were off.
Mile 1: My ankle is already hurting, I felt so strong, but my ankle is killing me. I run slower to conserve energy and not to agitate my ankle anymore than what I am already doing to it, or wait until the pain subsides.
Mile 2: My ankle is still hurting me but I am by no means quitting, I’m still running slower than usual but I am ok. I turn around to see if I see Avonna and I don’t see her. Damn I’ve lost her, but I keep running.
Mile 3: It’s hot, the sun comes up from no where, it’s getting harder to keep a pace especially with my ankle, but I keep going. “Balada Boa” by Gusttavo Lima starts playing and I’m finally in a zone. This is one of my power songs and then I feel a tap on my right shoulder. I turn to look and I see a woman in green, she’s talking to me but I cant make out what she’s saying, I pull back one of my ear phones and she said “Hi I’m So1913.” Of course my mind went into overdrive like “what are all these numbers, oh this is an instagram name, associating the profile picture to the name and then finally saying,” “OH HEY!” now knowing who she was. (I don’t remember faces at all, but names I can remember.) Next to her was a man in a red shirt, he too also said hi and he spoke saying “I’m Alexie” again another quick register of my brain to come to the conclusion that is this “Alexie Bailey” from Facebook. Alexie then introduces me to his friend Cindy, who has on a bright green sports bra and black shorts. I could just remember thinking, “damn I’m going to wear something like this one day.”
We chatted some while we ran. I tried to keep up with Kai/So1913 but I had to slow down a little because of my ankle, so she ended up taking off. Alexie and Cindy pass me a bit up I managed to keep up with them for the majority of this mile.
Mile 4: I’m keeping up with Cindy. She’s in front, I’m in front and I make her my pacer. Alexie is right next to her as well, but he catches up with Amy and talks to her. Cindy passes Alexie and Amy and so do I. I give them a wave and I keep running. There was a small water sprinkler at this point but I didn’t run through it, I just kept going. I remembered thinking that this is a out and back course and I know I was going “out” but I looking for the “back” the turn in this course and I didn’t see it. Alexie caught up to me again and explained how the course is shaped, so it was going to take awhile until we saw the “back” part of the course.
Mile 5: I’ve lost Alexie and Amy but I am still keeping up with Cindy, we’re still going stride for stride. At this point I see the “sweep” truck on my right making the turn to mile four. I just thought “I have to pick up the damn pace, that truck is not getting me.”
Mile 6: The turn that finally starts the “back,” of the “out and back.” I feel a wave of relief, because I’ve made it to mile six without being swept. I glance over to my right and I can see handfuls of runners. I see Alexie and Amy, which mean they are behind me. Cindy is still next to me so this means I’m keeping pace. I make a right turn and there is a small incline, Cindy gets in front of me and then I stay right with her.
Mile 7: I realize I have passed Cindy at this point, so I just have to keep going. I know I have the energy, my ankle doesn’t hurt anymore, so I know I can keep going. Avonna spots me and waves, she’s talking to two other women and walking. She’s shocked because she didn’t know she was in front of me, I’m shocked because I thought I left her behind me. Either way it was nice seeing her on the course. I wave to her that I’m going to see her later and then I keep running.
Mile 8: I know I have lost everyone at this point, I know that everyone is behind me with the exception of Kai/So1913. But now a new problem has arisen, the soles of me feet hurt, its beginning to get harder to run. My chest tightens up and I walk. I need to catch my breathing, I don’t want to pass out, and I just walked for a while. Once I caught my breath and felt good enough to run, I did. An over pass was above me and I can see people cheering. I wave back and continue to run a nice little downhill, but of course this means an uphill was coming. I slowed down my pace, but ran up and then walked once I got to the top.
Mile 9: Good lord I know there is one mile left. I wanted to fun as fast and I could, but I didn’t want to tire out and then not be able to run across the finish line. I wanted to finish strong, so I waited and waited until I saw the mile 10 marker and the finish sign and I ran as hard as I could passing everyone else who was in front of me.
Mile 10/Finish: I’m done, I’m done. No crying for me this time, however I felt like I was going to, but I held it in. I hear the screams and cheers and someone gives me my medal. I make my way over to the water station and got a bottle of water as well as an apple and a banana. I was now waiting for Avonna. I did end up seeing Kai, Cindy and Amy. Kai and I waited for Avonna and Alexie. Who were with others when we caught up to them.
I finished in 2:12:42. I didn't realize that I've set two times for myself. 2:18:59 and 2:20:59. Needless to say I beat both times I set for myself and I feel a little more comfortable going into this half marathon.
After that we went to the city, got some food with a bunch of other fellow NYCInstaRunners members and I got to know other people. A great experience.
So now, I have 12 days until the Staten Island Half Marathon. Still in training mode and making sure I am ready to take on that distance and of course not get swept because this race has a three hour time limit and you know the last time I finish my half in 3:02:59. This is redemption for me.
Catch me in Staten Island next!