Monday, April 03, 2006

I would walk 500 miles...


Not really, but I'd run 10. Yesterday, I completed the 10 mile Cherry Blossom run in Washington DC. It was a great race and a great day. The route was beautiful-- cherry blossoms in full bloom (the perfect shade of pale pink) and DC monuments looming at their magestic best. We had to wake up at before 6 am after daylight savings, so it was really 5 am. But I went to bed at 9 (before the time change), after stuffing myself with a great Southern cuisine meal of carbs (cheese grits, cornbread, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes...), so I got a good night's sleep. Amy, Bryan, and Julie gamely and graciously awoke early with me and we drove into the city together as the sun finally started to rise.

I started near the back of the pack, and I couldn't run at my normal race for the first 3 miles because it was so crowded, but in a way this was a good thing,  because I wasn't even breathing hard after 3 miles, and knew I'd be able to run the whole way. I picked up the pace after that, but felt great. The volunteers along the route were supportive and encouraging cheerleaders, and it was great Img_2433to run with so many people. I'd never run more than 8 miles before, but I knew I'd be fine once I reached that mark--afterall, just 2 miles to go? Piece of cake. Of course, those were the longest miles of the race, but Sachin was on the sidelines right after mile 9, and Julie, Amy, and Bryan were there with just 1/2 a mile to go, so that carried me through.

I just checked the race results, and my net time was 1:37:35, which is a per mile split of 10:40--about what I expected. My goal was to finish under 1:45, so that was achieved.

I had entered my name into the lottery for the NYC marathon on March 1 (which was also the year anniversary of moving into my current apartment), and although part of me hopes that I won't get in (it's about a 50/50 shot--I'll find out in mid-June), after this race, I want to make it in (kinda sorta), just to see how I'd do, if I could do it. To play to psychological race in my head while I run.

My friend Libby (also the author of BLOW OUT THE MOON, my first acquisition at Little, Brown) commented on my habit of goal-setting. I was raised this way--my parents taught me to set goals, and that's what I've done all my life. Libby was a child of the 60s, and wasn't brought up in this way. She marveled at my friends and me making our list of things to do before we died, and she's starting to enjoy setting goals now, too.

There's nothing so satisfying to me as achieving or doing something I've set out to do--whether it be breaking into publishing, becoming an editor, skydiving, or running a race. It helps me feel that I'm doing something, that I'm not drifting through life and standing still. In fact, I'm not standing still--I'm running!
Thanks to Rose for suggesting this race, thank you to Amy and Bryan for being superb hosts (cooked a kick-ass brunch after the race, too!), Julie for cheering me on and taking pictures, and Sachin for cheering me on and treating me to a home-cooked Indian meal at his parent's house. It was a great trip overall. I hope to make it down there again soon!

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