The alarm went off at 6:30 AM. It was another early morning on a Saturday and I again wondered why I keep doing this to myself. Why do I race? Why do I give up my weekend mornings to sleep in and instead go pound the road for X number of hours in a race? I pondered the thought briefly then moved on and got ready to go.
I was up in New York for the week having all of my prostheses worked on by my prosthetist, Erik Schaffer. He had outfitted me with a new type of suspension system and I was looking forward to trying it out in my first race. I had picked this particular weekend to go up and see him because the ASPIRE 10k was being held on that Saturday.
The race is one that is held every year in Plainview, NY to raise money for ASPIRE, a non-profit that provides money to disabled athleltes like me. A lot of amputees who have received grants from ASPIRE turn out for it to show their support so I knew a bunch of people there.
The race went off at 9:00 and took off at a comfortable pace. I wanted to run about a 7:30 pace, but this was a training run (I did not taper prior to the race) so I wasn't going to push it. I felt comfortable the whole run, cruising well below my pain threshold. My leg went numb from mile 3 on, but that was about the only discomfort I noticed. When I hit the last mile marker I picked it up a bit and cruised in. I guess the speedwork I've been doing has paid off because I ran a 46:47 (7:38 min/mile) practically without sweating. And that is why I run. What a great feeling.