A year ago, I was happy to walk back and forth in my hallway, with the squeaky walker.
A year ago, I still needed help to get out of bed.
A year ago, I was still waiting for an electric wheelchair so I can go outside by myself.
A year ago, I couldn't stand without help. I always had a hold onto something.
Today, I participated in a 4 mile race. I'm not to say I ran it, because honestly I am not up to that yet. Officially, the New York Road. Runners clocked me at 1:29:10 or 22 minutes and 18 seconds per mile. That pace confuses me a little, because when I run on the track it takes me about three minutes to run an eighth of a mile putting me at 24 minutes per mile. Maybe I have to get out of the outside lane and see how fast I'm running.
When I finish this race I was really really happy to see that the finish line was still there for me. NYRR policy is that the finish line stays up for anyone running a 13 1/2 minute mile. My pace was a little over 22 minutes a mile. So on a scale of 1 to 10 my joy level was a 10. Can you tell from the picture of me to the right? But I found out last night that everyone at the finish line knew I was coming. They knew my name! Now on a scale of 1 to 10 my joy meter is at a 100. If Peter Ciaccia and Michael Capiraaso would stand in the middle of fifth Avenue and shoot someone I would still love him.
(I went back to the truck and ran in the inside lane. Boom! Without any more effort than I did last week I got around the 200 m track in a little over two minutes. I did it again. Two minutes and 20 seconds. This is a big difference. An 18 minute mile is a lot different than a 24 minute mile!)
This week in my gym I ran 5/8 of a mile without stopping. My goal right now is to run a 1 mile race on St. Patrick's Day. But today, I walked over mile to the starting line and then walked a 4 mile race.
But today's accomplishment wasn't just 4 miles. It was a good 4 miles. I can think of a few reasons right away why it was A Good 4 miles.
- It was good to be back in a giant race. We are after all herd animals, genetically programmed to move as one.
- It was good to run with my friends.
- It was good to have strangers see me and tell how happy they are that I'm out there. I used to regret being told him inspirational. I'd much rather have my old life back in the inspirational. But that feedback from strangers works both ways.
- It was good because the sag wagon stayed far enough away from me that I didn't have to listen to its diesel engine.
- It was good because the President and the CEO of the New York Road. Runners Club were waiting at the finish line to congratulate me.
- But it was really a Great 4 miles because it was actually a 10K. I had a walk to the starting line and then walk home from the finish line.
Ya see, if a good 10 minutes is a half-hour, a good 4 miles is 6.2 miles.