31 March 2008

think less, do more: the 10k

This year I have made a vow with myself to 'think less, do more.' Because like so many of us, I have an ever-growing list of things I say I want to do, try out, or finally get to, and yet, somehow, those things never seem to get crossed off. I'm tired of it, so instead of contemplating how to figure these activities into my life, I'm just going to make it happen.

So that's how I wound up running this 10K last Sunday. I ran high school track and have enjoyed running off and on since then, and over the past few months I've re-emerged myself. Last year, I had good intentions to train and run in the Brooklyn Half Marathon, but my motivation waned before I got there and then I planned to run a 10K with a friend, but it never quite came together. And while it's no good to depend on someone else's interest to motivate you, at least with someone else you can motivate, encourage, and support each other, and I'm lucky to have found someone who's also fond of running and while we don't do all of our training together, we check in with each other regularly, and he was the one who, a couple of weeks ago, suggested we run the Scotland Run 10K in Central Park.

A 10K, or 6.2 miles, was within a reasonable distance for me, as I'd been running 4-5 miles at the gym a couple of times a week, and it's a pretty good race. I was really excited about it but as it got closer, all of these flashbacks of the rush and anxiety of competition from track flooded back and I started to get nervous. Participating in a 'fun run' has been on my to-do list for years, literally, so it was pretty exciting just signing up and making the commitment to do it. I just had to keep reminding myself that I was doing this for fun and not to put too much pressure on myself.

Race day came and it was a brisk 37 degrees, which wasn't ideal, but otherwise the weather was nice and sunny, there was a fun bagpipe band playing (The Red Hot Chili Pipers), and I was pretty jazzed up. I had my new iPod shuffle full of peppy tunes, and I stood towards the front of the line up of 6,900 runners (the front of the pack is meant for those running 5-6 minute miles...that's a couple of minutes faster than me, but it makes for a quicker start), and got off to a strong start and was enjoying the scenery of Central Park in the earliness of spring. The course had a few small, gradual hills, but was not too challenging, and I only felt tired a couple of times, and there even came a few moments when I thought to myself 'Hey! I'm having fun!' I wound up going about 20-25 seconds faster per minute than I anticipated I would, and finished in 1,435th place (what? no ribbon?) at a time of 48 minutes 54 seconds, which I have to say I am damn proud of, seeing as I just wanted to beat 52 minutes. High five!
If you are that interested, here are my full results.

So, keeping with the think less, do more spirit, I'm looking into a couple of upcoming half-marathons, and am applying for the Nike NYC Half which is in July, and participants are selected by lottery. My friend is now trying to get me to also sign up for the NYC Marathon. I never thought about running a marathon-- never particularly appealed to me. But I'm entertaining the idea, especially because the marathon is so hard to get into that you apply and participants are selected at lottery...which means I may get out of having to run it at all, ha!

So, stop thinking and start doing. That's my new motto. Try it out.

Enjoy some entertainment from the Red Hot Chili Pipers!


Anonymous said...

You're not faster than me. (That's right, I said it. And now you're going to have to just deal!)

Kaitlyn said...

Go, Aja, Go!!

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