Country Mouse Runs the City

There are times in my life where I can see my roots sprouting out of the bottom of my pants. Times when country-mouse-turned-city-mouse wonders what she’s gotten herself into. Times when the freedom of 200 acres of trees and grass calls my name from thousands of miles away. One of those times was Tuesday evening.

I found myself in the middle of a sea of 10,000 people all waiting to start the NYRR American Heart Association Start! Heart Run. My hometown only has around 13,000 or 14,000 people living there. I honestly didn’t know how to react, but I played it totally cool cool-ish and tried really hard to keep my mouth from falling open in amazement.

The three-mile race wound its way through the closed streets of New York City’s financial district, past Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty. It was, I must say, one of the most interesting and awesome races I’ve ever been a part of — once we got moving, that is. There was a lot of hurry up ‘n’ wait once the official “start” of the race. We waddled our way to the start line, as thousands of runners made their way across the mats. We were able to pick up speed once we all started running, but I waited for the crowd to open up after the start of the race, as usually happens. But it never did.

Throughout much of the race, I was not only worried about stepping in one of the surprising number of potholes or stepping off the edge of the cracked asphalt; I also was worried about stepping on someone’s feet and finding myself flat out on the road, 10,000 New York runners stepping on my head cartoon-style as they ran over me. I’m just clumsy enough for that to happen. But, it didn’t. And, since I had given up on trying to set a PR once I saw the crowds, I was able to enjoy the scenery and appreciate where I was running. All in all, it was a good race. I enjoyed myself. I ran well — no pain, no pressure, no pushing, no pouting. My official time was 29:33, a pace of 9:51. I’m pleased with that, especially since I had no help, timing or pacing from my nonworking GPS. Oh, and a crowd of people that did a pretty good job of keeping me in line.

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The best part?
This race will always stand out in my memories not only because of the amazing course or the immense crowd of people, but because I ran it with some very cool, intelligent and hilarious women — all members of my beloved health-and-fitness blogger family. It is so wonderful to meet people who have similar goals and experiences as me, people I can talk to about what I’m going through. I enjoyed visiting with all of them and learning more about their lives and their journeys. But mostly, I enjoyed just being me with women just being themselves. They’re all amazing in their own right. But, bring ‘em all together, and it was almost too much amazingness to handle (which I’m pretty sure why our service at dinner was so miserably awful — just too much awesome in one place).

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Special thanks to Veggielife for the lovely photo above.

And a very special thanks to the lovely crew of New York Tumblrs for making me feel so at home and comfortable. Your hospitality was amazing. If you ever find your way to Michigan, please be sure to look me up. In closing, I want to wish everyone of these lovely ladies the best of luck in tomorrow’s Brooklyn Half Marathon. I’ll be rooting for you!

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