Last Sunday was the 5th Annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium, a run/walk for cancer research. This is not the first 5K I have done for charity but this time I decided I would run. Mainly just for the personal satisfaction of running.

photo (3)I signed up in June and started training, that was probably a little short sighted of me since that gave me just 8 weeks to train. However I was convinced by the app I looked at that I could do it, I’m not going to say they lied, because I did have a few setbacks of my own, pain in my legs in the second week, unbearable heat for a week and I got sick. By the time the run came around I was at week six and the farthest I had run was 1.58 miles, a 5K is 3.1 miles. To say I was a little nervous when Sunday came around would be a bit of an understatement. Since I said I was going to run and had collected money to donate, I was determined to not quit. I picked up my race packet ahead of time and wrote the names of the people I was running for on the blue sign they provided for me in purple ink, then pinned it to my purple shirt, taking great care to make sure it was straight.

Standing in line waiting to go in I was rather preoccupied with thoughts that I would either trip, fall or die so I didn’t notice the people around me until a photographer said something to the woman behind me about being a Mets fan. She was wearing a Mets hat and Mets socks. She was also wearing a DR run shirt and had written all over it names, “In Honor” and “In Memory”, something I had planned on doing but never got around to. I also saw a boy in an Indians shirt and the lady behind me said she saw some in Red Sox shirts. Cancer’s not picky is what she said, I think.

20130821-130404.jpgAs I walked in I heard some people saying they were going to start off walking. That made me feel a little better, knowing that some others in the group were walking. As the race went on, most were running and walking, I felt like I fit right in. After the run was over I met up with the lady who had been behind me, who was actually a very nice Mets fan. That was when I found out I had actually done a smart thing signing up for the slowest group of runners, since that group is usually made up of slow runners and fast walkers. Score one for the rookie. The race course is inside Yankee Stadium, twice around the main level, then down to where Monument Park is, past the entrance to Mohegan Sun Sports bar around and out twice around the warning track. Runners are not allowed in the dugout, but no one stopped me from taking this picture, and see the front of the barricade there? I put my foot up there to retie my shoe. Then back inside and up the stairs to the 3rd level, down the ramp to the great hall, then to the right and back up the stair to the third level, 286 stair steps in total. Then back down to the finish line to pick up a bottle of water, a medal and a goodie bag.

After the run, when I was leaving the stadium, the woman who had been behind me asked me how I did. “I finished.” I said, she gave me a high five and we walked to the subway together. I got off at Columbus Circle and a couple carrying Damon Runyon goodie bags got off at the same time and exclaimed, “MORE STAIRS!”

There were photographers everywhere, now I have to decide which picture to buy, on the warning track? And if on the warning track, which picture on the warning track? The one of me running, sticking my tongue out at the photographer, or walking slowly looking at my phone? Maybe one of me inside on the stairs? Crossing the finish line or standing in the great hall with the Yankee logo behind my head? I might have to get all of them.

The ramen place wasn’t busy, so I plopped down and had some spicy ramen, my treat to myself for not giving up.

There were 2,559 participants, 1,321 were women, there were 79 women in my age group. Of the 2,559 I came in 1,975 and my time was 50:46. My next event? I’m thinking a 10K.

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