JFK Rotary Club 5k Recap
When my cousin told me that she signed up to run a 5k on a runway in JFK Airport, I was shocked at first, then terribly intrigued. I went home that night and signed up. Immediately a bunch of questions came into mind:
- Would I be on an actual runway?
- Would planes be flying above my head?
- Why on earth did I sign up to run 3 miles in JFK?!
My girlfriend Yonnie was also very intrigued when I told her what my plans were and she signed up too! So the three of us got up super early on Sunday morning, jumped in a cab (because public transportation would be a nightmare!) and we headed out on a semi cold morning and got ready to run. My goal for this race was anything Sub 42 minutes. I know for a fact that I am NOT a runner, I kinda hate it really, but something inside of my wants to conquer it so–here I am.
I have been running 3 miles a week for the past 8 weeks, no more no less. Its not quite as intense as C25k, but it worked for ME. I also know that running on a treadmill and running outside can’t be compared because when I am running on the treadmill and I stop, I end up in a very embarrassed heap of Nellie on the floor. When I run outside however, and stop, I’m okay. My challenge is not stopping–I have always run/walked races. Even that famous summer of 2007 when I ran 10 races and was at my peak of running, I still ran/walked all of my races.
When we got there there were a lot of folks gathered, so many different types of people, young, old, short, tall, novice, professional–everyone was represented. I even ran into the fabulous ladies of Black Girls Run! I consider myself an honorary member even though I don’t run weekly with the group, I am always meeting them at the races 🙂
We registered, checked our bags and began what seemed like the longest wait EVER. Not only were we super early but it was super cold outside, around 8 am they started loading up the hundreds of runners and carrying us 15 minutes away to the whole other side of the airport. Once we go there, the wind settled in and we waited 45 really cold minutes for the race to start. Since we were actually on the runway we were surrounded by landing planes (how cool is that?!).
My first goal of the race was to make it to mile one. My girls are both much better runners than I so when we started, they took off! I however had my music as my running companion so I took my sweet time and started off with a jog.
I have to admit, it was a beautiful scene, running on an actual runway is actually pretty fun! Lots of people stopped to take pictures of landing planes, not me because I was focused!
I finally made it to mile one and felt OK. I hadn’t stopped and I was running around a 12 minute mile. Since I had made it this far, I dare dared myself to reach mile two. I’ll be honest once I hit mile two I knew that I had gone way beyond what I came to do. So I was ready to start walking.
Running is such a mental sport, right when you want to give up you take a couple more steps, then some more, and before I knew it I saw the finish line. I didn’t stop, as much as my legs wanted to, as much as my brain wanted to, my heart pushed me on. I finished at 37:38. (See below #662!) It was the first time I finished a 5k under 40 and it was the very first time I didn’t stop to walk.
Both of my girl finished in 31 minutes and overall it was a really fantastic race. At the end we even did a Usain Bolt pose to celebrate.