This week, the running gods decided to remind me who pulls the strings. I’d had a series of good runs, posted one PR and then another, and was feeling pretty chuffed about this whole sweaty business. (Not even the speedy bullies from the B.A.A. 5K could truly dampen my spirits, although they gave it their best shot.)
It wasn’t a pretty sight.
Actually, I lie. It was a very pretty sight. This event took place in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, which was awash in that bright new-green you only see in the first weeks of spring. Lovely. We had never been to Riverside before and were excited to see it and run somewhere new. Also, we were thrilled to benefit the Melissa Fund, which aims to eliminate skin cancer. It was established to honor Melissa Bambino, who died from metastatic melanoma at age 29.
There was certainly no sun to be seen as we milled about before the run. In fact, the weather gods looked as though they were going to unleash their soggy fury. But despite the prospect of a damp 30 minutes, I was happy. It was cool and the surrounds idyllic. What could possibly go wrong …
Lurking behind all that lush foliage was a series of slopes so relentless they knocked the wind out of me and I never got it back. Bastards. Give me my wind back. The first was the steepest and the worst, rising seemingly out of nowhere about five minutes in. Then there was another and another. I think I lost count after the fourth. At that point, I may have just been hallucinating hills, but I can’t know for sure.
I strolled the last mile. It was the farthest I’ve had to walk in months. Deprived of its wind, my body just wouldn’t go. I started to get angry. Who am I kidding calling myself a runner? I’ll have to return all those Lululemon shirts to the store.
Off the rails
But then I decided to blame it on the subway. In typical weekend fashion, New York’s trains were a hot mess. We had left ourselves oodles of time, but oodles weren’t enough for all the line changing and course correcting we had to do over the course of our trip from downtown to Riverside Park. We made it, but ended up running through tunnels and across blocks and up ramps. I swear I ran a 5K before I actually ran the 5K.
Despite my inability to maintain any semblance of composure (and despite looking as though I had never run in my life), this was a fabulous event. (What do you mean it’s not all about me?) It was a small run with a great community feel. And there was some excellent swag …
Seventeen runs down, 35 to go. It’s a long, leafy road ahead.
The event: Melissa Fund Sun Run
The location: Riverside Park, NYC
The date: April 22, 2012
My time: 34.35 (pace 11.05)
Hubby’s time: 21.28 (pace 6.55); seventh overall and second in his age group
The cause: The Melissa Fund
The T-shirt: White tech shirt (they had women’s-specific shirts. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that)
The aftermath: Bananas, bagels, cookies, brownies