June is a special month for me, and I started it off with the Day 1 of the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Central Park on June 1st. There were 15,000 runners and walkers, from 329 companies. I expected to finish the little-over-5K course (which was originally supposed to be 3.5 Miles instead of 3.2 Miles) at 10:30 min/mi pace. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I actually finished it in 9:47 min/mi pace, which is almost a whole minute shaved off per mile since my last race in April.
According to official times, I ran 3.2 miles in 31:20 minutes, finishing 7411th place out of 14732 participants. Right smack in the middle!
What’s So Special About June?
June is a special month for many reasons. First off, it’s my birthday (this weekend). Second, I was diagnosed with Arteriovenous Malformation shortly after my birthday, five years ago. Third, this upcoming week is my 4 1/2 year “Annie-Versary” (as my craniotomy was December 7th, 2011- a “half birthday”). Finally, I made the leap 2 Junes ago and moved to New York City, which began my journey towards independence and working. It was a huge shift from a “survivor,” “patient,” “dependent,” and “student” to “Independent Adult in the Adult World.” Two years later, I can’t really say I’m even half way there in the “Independent Adult in the Adult World” category, but I’m still trudging along!
The J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge is a corporation-based race held in a dozen countries across multiple continents. The original one resides in New York City, and this is their 40th year. I met up with my colleagues (I’d never met any of them before), and walked to Central Park, and spent most of the time leading up to the race and the after-race Party at a bar chatting with them.
Once the race started (which took, for us, 20 minutes because there were 15,000 other people running), I lost my coworkers, and ended up running alone again. I still find it very difficult to self motivate, so I spent majority of the half hour convincing myself to not stop, and to keep trudging along, no matter how slowly I was going. The mile markers alongside the race path seemed to stretch longer and longer apart…
I “sprinted” the last ~0.3 miles of the race, and ended up retching after the finish line, but drank some water, doused myself with some more water, and grabbed a banana, and felt pretty good after a few minutes. After a little while, we left to go to the after party sponsored by our company at a bar, stuffed ourselves with bar food, and left. By the time I got home, it was 10:30 or 11, and of course, I had the early shift this morning…
Since my first race in 2016 (Run for the Parks 4 Mile Race in April), I hadn’t really increased my running, but I joined a NYRR Weekly Group Training Program (I just registered for the next session too!). I participate in the weekly Turnover Tuesdays, which focuses on “interval training (faster short runs with rest intervals between them) and hill repeats.” Interval Training supposedly helps you get faster and help you figure out how to pace yourself, which is something I really need to learn. I missed a week because of my vacation to San Francisco, but aside from that, I have been consistently attending since the first week of May. It’s very nice to have running programs be set for you so that you can just trudge through it and complain for a few miles in your head instead of having to make one yourself and have only yourself to curse. 😛 I’ve even managed to rope my coworker into this as well.
Global Running Day 2016
Conveniently, June 1st was #GlobalRunningDay, so I was able to get my miles in to celebrate it by running a race. Next year’s is July 7th, 2017, and hopefully I will be able to take part in it again, maybe this time with the New York Road Runners.
But What About the Aneurysm/AVM Walk?
Last month, as many of you know, I traveled to the other side of the country to attend the Annual Aneurysm and AVM Awareness Walk hosted by The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation. I am still in the process of writing up an entry for this blog on it, because it was a trip I had been wanting to make for YEARS, and it takes a lot of thoughts and feelings to complete.