This morning, I awoke, refreshed thanks to the extra hour of sleep, got in my car and drove downtown to push my body once again. I’m not quite sure why I continue to do this to myself…to sign up for races, to run with total strangers, to cross a finish line. I could just as easily go outside and run 3.1 miles, 5 miles, 6.2 miles…but I know that the challenge I put forth to myself is worth the cost of entry. Well, that and I’m a sucker for a long-sleeved T.
The inaugural Run Geek Run 8k took place at 8am this morning in West and East Potomac parks. A beautiful, tree-lined course along the Potomac River. Deliciously flat, unlike many of the other courses I’ve run this year. Peaceful, almost…as we ran to the edge of Hains Point, nothing but the sound of the river and the occasional plane taking off from National Airport. No music, no cars, just the sounds of my feet hitting the asphalt…it was a zen-like moment when I have these conversations in my head, thanking my body for it’s ability to push itself further…to run another mile…to cross another finish line…to take another breath.
This was my third 8K this year and my eight race…definitely one of my best and the one that I finished feeling the most satisfied with the entire experience. I ran all 5 miles, not stopping once to walk. I had a final mile time of 9:29…which is insane to me. I have the woman I finished the race with to thank for pulling me along the last two miles. I had a new personal record at the finish line, beating my best 8K time by 1:30. And, apparently, I have the insane drive to sign right back up and do another, longer, run in about a month.
Four years ago yesterday I quit smoking after being a pack-a-day smoker for 10 years.
Four years later, I run 5 mile races for a buzz…a much healthier one at that.
I’d venture to say I’m well on my way to undoing the damage to my lungs…one mile at a time.