Yesterday, Leonard Komon broke the 10K Central Park record in the United Arab Emirates Healthy Kidney Run, sponsored by the New York Road Runners Club. It was my first 10K. I did not shatter a record, but I felt as though I broke through some fears and learned to trust the way I have been training. I finished in 1:11:15 with a pace of 11:29 a mile. I honestly thought it would take me 2 hours.
I ran in my minimalist shoes and stretch pants that were too long for me. The shoes represented my commitment to allowing my feet to do what they need to do, and my pants reflected my ambivalence about showing up 100%…although I was prepared to run. I have been focusing on form, influenced by CHI RUNNING by Danny Dreyer, and walk breaks, influenced by Jeff Galloway. The 5K race I ran on Dec. 31 was difficult to get through, although I was quite elated to finish. Since then I have dreaded actually racing again, and gone deep inside myself enjoying solitude as I run. But, I want to qualify for the NY Marathon 2012, and I need to run 9 races, and it was time to move forward.
I was in such a better relationship to the crowd then I was back in December–I enjoyed my fellow runners without being so concerned about keeping up. Many folks passed me in the first 2 miles, and I allowed myself to start slow and walk frequently. Then, just at the longest hill, I hit my stride and fell into a rhythm with the other runners. And downhill, I started flying! I enjoyed the crowds, following the beautiful tall woman whose shirt declared that she ran for His glory..the man with his father who knew the course well, and as he coached his dad, I learned what was to come. The trainer and the novice who might have been asking about my shoes, ( I only saw 2 others in ‘barefoot’ shoes). The trainer explained to her mentee that since we have been wearing shoes with cushion and support our whole lives, we should really wear Nikes–she likened the American shoe experience to Chinese footbinding…wow, that makes me want to go barefoot all the more. Maybe the newcomer will try it for herself.
Miles 4-6 were so wonderful, I was high and enjoying the beauty of the park and the unexpected sight of a statue of Fred Lebow himself,(the founder of the NY Road Runner’s Club) timing us alongside 5th avenue. I was so grateful to the volunteers for the bagel and apple at the end of the race. I chomped on the bagel and danced while I watched others (many others, actually) come in at the finish. I was so happy for everyone, just to know they were feeling a bit of what I was feeling. Congratulations to Leonard Komon. And a deep congratulations to all who finished and learned they could do it.