Let yourself surprise yourself

Let yourself surprise yourself

Do Your Research

Do Your Research, a race story in 2 parts.

 PART 1 -

2 days before the race

I signed up for a 5k on the boardwalk of the Rockaways which is known to be a great race in the NYC running community.

I paid my $40 non-refundable fee, checked the times of the runners from last year and quickly learned I could very well be out of my league amongst the rest of the field.

This isn’t your neighborhood Fun Run 5k.

Turns out, it’s highly competitive enticing some of the best runners around.

I am not that.

If I had done my research, I probably wouldn’t have signed up.

I’m probably above average for my age and experience, and have been training for 5ks. But I am nowhere near the caliber of many of these runners - on my best day, with the wind at my back.

Awhile ago, I adopted the theory that if I could get myself into the most difficult ballet classes with the best dancers in the city, I might be able to claw my way up by virtue of studying with the best.

 In many ways, it’s been very successful. But, I’ve always stayed in my comfort zone with running.

 In 2 days, I have to test that theory with running.

 PART 2 -

2 days after the race.

 On the ferry out to the Rockaways, I basically ate an entire bag of tortilla chips.

 It was a beautiful night at the beach, but it was HOT. Deceptively so, because the wind was blowing and the sun peaked out from behind the clouds.

 I was tired. I was unsure if I had it in me to put forth the effort.

But I’m cheap, and I didn’t want to waste my $40 entry fee.

 I ran my mile warm up, and felt even more unenthusiastic. People drank on patios, listened to live music, relaxing after a day at the beach. That looked like more fun.

 The women’s race started at 7:30pm and I was close to the front of the pack because I wanted to get it over with.

 In a race, it’s easy to get swept up by adrenaline and leave the start too fast, at a pace impossible to maintain through the course. It’s been my undoing more than it hasn’t, but there I was again.

 “$40, $40, $40. Just run.”

 I linked in with a gal who looked to be running around the same pace I wanted to, and since it’s always easier to run “with” another person, I stuck with her.

 “Stay with her. Stay relaxed. Stay on her shoulder. Don’t let her slip away.”

 On repeat.

 And I did. Somehow.

Until the tail end, when she sprinted to the finish.

I didn’t have it in me.

 But my time was fast enough to earn me a PR of 19 seconds - in a 3.1 mile race, that’s not bad.

 You SHOULD do your research.

And use that research to position yourself in places with more experienced, smarter, and stronger people.

 If you try to keep up, they will lift you higher.

Back to blog