Monday, September 17, 2007

The Long Run

Yesterday, I participated in the 27th annual American Heart Association 5KFun Run/Walk at the Irvine Spectrum. I had not planned on doing it, but was awakened out of a sound sleep by the sound of a great band playing "America" songs and other rock favorites. I quickly looked online to research what event would incorporate rock music at 6 am, saw it was a race, and threw on my leggings, cap, and t-shirt and headed out to the Spectrum across the street, deciding to "run with it," so to speak. There were crowds of thousands - children, adults, poodles wearing race shirts (don't ask), and about 20 booths representing hospitals and health care companies. I registered, donated a contribution, and warmed up as the already hot sun was beaming down. I was excited- my first California race!

As a former New York City marathoner (twice), and an avid runner years ago, having participated in hundreds of Central Park races with the New York Road Runners Club, and in New Jersey, it was great to get out there again, particularly for such a terrific cause. The lead fundraiser had raised over $20,000! Crowds cheered, bands played, and at one point the lead runner flashed in front with lightning speed - or almost. "Way to go!" people cheered. "Almost done!" They cheered the same for me, who, half running and half walking, was happy to be getting my legs back after a few years haitus. "Almost there!" I said out loud to myself. "Way to go!" I clapped for a couple in front of me I didn't know, and a man behind me in mile 2, and a group of kids next to me toward the finish.

At the end, I sprinted for the finish, and felt the familiar endorphin buzz I remembered from my last race several years ago. My legs were sore, and I mopped the sweat from my face. I gathered up my goodies, including water, apples, fruit cups, and other healthy snacks, and congratulated myself and others for a job well done, vowing to do the next race that came along. I had been bitten by the running bug yet again. Oh...and my time? 54 minutes, but who's counting....

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