Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finally, the last 9+1 Race: Join the Voices 5M Race Recap

The day came. I am finally done with my NYRR 9+1 obligation.

Perhaps I should be more grateful, more excited about racing and running with my fellow New Yorkers. But I was dreading the race on Sunday, and I’m so happy I’m done with racing for awhile.

Aside from my psychological apathy, I have also been in pain since the marathon. This also happened to me last year – my right IT band was killing me for a few months. Now it’s my left IT band. I’m guessing it’s my body’s way of telling me to take a break from running.

I tried to go running on Thursday morning, and made it about ¾ of a mile before the outside of my knee began throbbing. I knew that Sunday’s race was going to be unpleasant, but I didn’t want to delay the inevitable any longer.

So I woke up nice and early, and arrived at Central Park just in time to drop off my stuff at baggage and make a quick porta-potty trip.

New Mizunos at a flattering angle!
Cyber Monday deal, nbd.
I forgot my Garmin watch at home, which I didn’t care about too much, because I had no intentions of going fast. There were only 4,000 or so total runners, and I was placed in the second fastest corral because of my fast yet possibly misleading time at a 3Mile race back in May. This meant I actually was able to hear the pre-race speeches and announcements for once.

The Join the Voices organization, for which this race was in honor of, supports finding a cure for brain cancer. So in addition to the normal announcements, I heard really touching stories about survivors and loved ones lost. One of my favorite speakers was a guy who introduced himself, and asked “How many of you are here for your last qualifying race for 9+1?” I felt like the shy girl in class (which I never was) and didn’t raise my hand or yell “Whoop whoop!” in agreement like my neighbors. He said that a year ago, he was in our place, and received his last volunteer credit during the Jingle Bell Jog last December. Then, two months later, he had a seizure and doctors found a tumor in his brain.

Luckily, the doctors were able to take it out, and he is now undergoing treatment.

So naturally, I felt like a total jerk for being completely unaware of why I was running this race. 

Almost all of the races I ran this year supported a charitable organization, and for all but one of them, I didn’t find out what their cause was until race day (the exception being that 3 Mile race I ran to support the American Heart Association. They have really persuasive ways of getting you to reach out to your family and friends to donate. I received a free, XXXL t-shirt for raising $100 for their race. Be jealous).

I tried, for once, to think about the charity during the race rather than my own selfish goals. It may sound a little cheesy, but it actually helped me get through the race. My IT band started to hurt at mile 1.5, so I spent 3.5 miles in varying degrees of pain. Thinking of the people I heard about during the pre-race speeches helped a lot.

So, I finished the race. I walked through all of the water stops, kept it at a comfortable pace, and kindly asked my IT band to get me through the rolling hills of Central Park. I finished the race in 45:20, which at a 9:04 pace, is closer to a training run for me. But I am DONE with my stupid 9+1. Take that New York Road Races! And all my money while you’re at it.

I iced my IT band when I got home, but it really hurt anyway (DISCLAIMER: Mom, please stop reading. I don’t want you to worry). It hurt to walk by the end of the day, and it hurt to walk yesterday too. I went to my favorite spin class last night, and it felt loads better after the class. I think it just needed a little cross-training and some Rihanna.

I also went to my physical therapist today, and he is a miracle worker. Dr. Rob Destefano worked out the kinks in my tight hips, and by the end of our quick session, I was able to do a lunge without an ounce of pain. Like I said, miracle worker.

I’ll leave you with a creative endeavor I had this week. After 9 NYRR races, and one marathon, I’ve accumulated a lot of race bibs, with nowhere to put them. Awhile ago, I saw this cute sign on Etsy from Running on the Wall:

And since I’m never without crafty paints or a random piece of wood to paint on, I decided to re-create my Etsy favorite.

Thoughts? Am I officially a running nerd, or was I already one?


  1. Rihanna helped your IT?? You are too cute for words!

    Ps I sure am glad I asked you about the Race Bibs sign!!!:):)

  2. Congrats on a great, great, great year. What perseverance! You are certainly not a "try" but a "do" person.