My first race was in 1980... Women's Mini Marathon... I don't remember my time. My mother was very excited and sent me off to the 2nd Avenue deli for turkey sandwiches to celebrate. She thought it was a very big deal ... which indeed it was. I did the marathon in 1982 - 4:27:39.. equal that now and I'd be in Boston. Any rate after the marathon, I was ordered to take a bath in epsom salts... I could not get out of the tub. I have not taken a bath since 1982.
My first race was in January of this year. It was the New York Road Runners Grid Iron. Only 4 miles. But cold. Very cold. I was ecstatic when I finished. Though, on my next run about 3 days later I partially tore a ligament in my knee and couldn't run for 4 months. So mixed feelings about that.
I do remember being very nervous the night before. I hadn't actually meant to register for that race, so when I got an email from NYRR I was surprised. But I decided to run it anyway. I googled what to do for your first race. I pinned my bib on my shirt, and put my d-tag on my shoe. I laid out all my clothes, and packed a bag. And then I barely slept.
I still don't sleep well the night before a race. Though I'm no longer anxious, I think I'm excited. And I worry about oversleeping.
My first race proved to be a real turning point for me and it's an amusing story.
In my early 20's I swam competitively and only ran for cross-training. I never considered running competitively, as all my running back then was at a comfortable pace. I'd always been a swimmer and swimming was my sport.
After moving to Long Island in my late 20's I decided to run in the local Lynbrook 10k race to familiarize myself with the neighborhood. I lined up with the other 100 or so runners thinking, OK, this should be a fun run.
By about mile 2 I hear people along the side shouting, " 1st woman!, 1st woman coming !" I'm looking around and up ahead and I don't see her. Where is she, I'm thinking. I keep running and I keep hearing the same thing.
By about mile 4 it dawns on me that I am the 1st woman! Oh no, now I have to run really fast! No easier run. So I crank up my pace, I've now got a police escort ahead of me!
I finish the race to loud cheers, breaking my 1st finish line tape and well, after that I was hooked!!
I still find racing as exciting and fun as my 1st race and that's why I'm still at it!
It was the 1985 Turkey Trot in ProspectPark. It was a bone soaking , rainy morning but it never occurred to me to "bag" the race due to weather. I ran with my heart and loved every, wet minute of it. As I approached the finish line I felt like an olympian. As I crossed that line I knew that I could do anything that I put my mind to. For me it was the start of something that I love to do to this day. It is probably the best self image builder that I have ever found. Like Nike says, JUST DO IT.
My first race? I think that was one in ProspectPark sponsored by a shoe company. We were given t-shirts that read "Kinney shoes. Run to be fit." I believe Jeff Derecki was there, and told me I looked happy as I ran through the lower transverse. But it is the second race that really surprised me: a trail race in Van Cortlandt Park.
Since I didn't know any better, I believed that the instruction about "going into the hills" meant there would be a roadway like the one at the zoo hill. Was I surprised by the real trail, complete with rocks and holes in the ground, that I found. The "flats" at the end seemed like a heart-stopper.I managed to be one of the first fifty or seventy-five guys to complete the course though, and received a little medal. I was totally proud, and also totally wiped out...but I was hooked on races.