September 21, 2011

The FITNESS Mind, Body & Spirit 4 Miler

On Saturday, I was supposed to run the FITNESS Mind, Body & Spirit 4 miler in Central Park. Instead, I played it smart and sat this one out. Friends urged me to at least run/walk it, just to get back in the game, but I knew better. Even walking 4 miles of the Central Park hills wouldn't be a good idea with my hamstring still acting up and pushing on my sciatic nerve for an added dose of pain. I considered just sleeping in but when I found out that quite a few lovely ladies I knew where running it, I considered showing up to cheer. Then Rebecca tweeted to let me know she's be running this race to complete that morning's 20 mile training run and I thought "how can I not show up?". If I were running 20 miles, I'd definitely appreciate someone cheering me on at the end.  Definitely a no brainer. So I showed up to cheer on my friends and it was awesome. Sure, the walk to the park was a bit difficult and I might have gotten teary eyed. But I decided to consider it emotional practice for the marathon and told myself: "suck it up Erica; this is no longer your race so enjoy spectating and support your friends." Yes, I often speak to myself. And yes, I speak to myself out loud. I'm okay with being weird; there are a lot of worse things to be. But I digress...

So I showed up at the 4 mile race to cheer on my peeps and it was a glorious morning. High 50's/low 60's with a clear blue sky and happy energy in the air. I took a quick walk along the starting corals where I spotted Ashley and Rebecca , said a quick hello and good luck, and then headed to a spot just above 72nd street on the east side to cheer. Just as I was getting ready to cheer, Neal, who had just raced and PR'd (go Neal!) walked by and decided to join me. We cheered on the east side for a bit, and then headed to the west side to watch as the runners made their way to the finish line. Everyone looked fierce and I remember thinking to myself, this is what beauty looks like. The women looked strong and were working hard. It made me proud to call myself and runner and excited to heal and get back out there.

This weekend, I hope to run my first race since July. But don't worry, I'm still playing it smart and safe. I'll be running, not racing, the Continental 5th Avenue 1 Miler and I'm just hoping to finish with a smile on my face. Stay tuned for that recap...

Until then, I leave you with some crazy good pictures of these women kicking ass followed by a slideshow of all 300+ I took at the race. Enjoy!


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