This race was the first race I ran since the Chicago marathon in 2013. I was forced to take a year and half break from racing, and more or less running. A lingering pain in the knee made running a rather annoying experience. Until this spring. In March, I started running again on a regular basis thinking about bringing myself to run this 5-miler. I always make every effort not to miss this park and the Sands Point Preserve in August. Both these runs attract me by their hills and, mainly, by being inside of the park/preserve, under the canopy of trees.

After such a long hiatus from racing, I had some trepidations first. Upon the arrival, my heart was beating very fast due to a rush of adrenaline. It went away, as I was warming up and snapping pictures and video of kids race. I came to participate, not to break a PR or racing somebody.

I overheard some runners saying the course has been changed since I was here last time, 2 years ago. I hope for better. At the registration, I noticed the organizers teamed up with NYC RUNS that provided timing. Electronic timing was not here during my last participation. It certainly elevated the run to the nowadays standards. The club also launched their own Alley Pond Facebook group.

tel boothThis picture of the old telephone booth, I took in order to show my youngest that these were everywhere when I was his age. I didn’t try, if there was a dial tone, but it’s not important. My supporters showed up and we took more pictures together. The playground and dogs were more attractive to them, though.

To provoke runner’s gods and also have an excuse to stop in case I wasn’t able to catch a breath I intentionally didn’t double knot the shoe laces (pictured). I positioned myself toward the back of the pack at the start and ran very conservatively at first. My goal was to finish under 40 min. and I did it in 37:16. (The Alley Pond run results). I increased the speed at mile 3. I could visualize the 2 remaining miles, as that’s the distance from the Lynbrook Runner’s Stop store to the middle school track and back. We have a group run there every Tuesday.

The first race went very well. In addition, I also got inspiration for Malverne 5K run/walk. I’ll share ideas with other directors of the Malverne Educational and Fitness Foundation. Let’s name few. Do you see that color combination of the Manhattan bridge on the T-shirt? It reminded me our Malverne 5K run/walk color theme. Perhaps, it’s time to change the color of the shirt for this year’s run on October 18. Maybe neon orange shirt with navy blue imprint? What do you say? This is not a rhetorical question. I’ll appreciate your feedback.

Another inspiration for the Malverne 5K run was that the organizers were holding the ribbon for ALL kids, not only the first one. Did we even have a ribbon at our run? I can’t remember. The Alley Pond Striders kids course was about 3 or 4 times longer than ours. Extending the Malverne kids run could be problematic, but I’ll suggest to organize a spring run for KIDS …and parents. It could be a shorter run, just nicely fitting the village side roads.