As I’m sure everyone lost sleep over the fact that today was my big race, I want you to rest assured that I did in fact make it. I ran –or more accurately, jogged slowly– the entire 13.1 miles in a little over two hours.
“A little over two hours? You mean you don’t know exactly what your time was down to the minutes and seconds??”
Well, no. I guess I missed my window of opportunity to ask. When I finally limped over to the table, they said the person with all the time info had already left and the only person who knew was the clocker dude who was using the device that looked like a radar gun. Maybe he was really clocking my speed, who knows. But I didn’t feel like bothering him, so I consented to wait to find out until it comes out in the paper.
SO, my experience. The only other race I’ve ever done was a 5K in the middle of summer, so this was remotely different. For one, rather than staying on the bike path that goes through Roswell, we had to run down the highway because the trail ended. I came to enjoy the closeness I shared with the semi trucks because they created a draft that pushed me forward when they drove by. Of course, that was only in one direction. After the turn-around, they basically caused me to run in place for a few seconds, which wasn’t nearly as fun.
Pleasant experiences: Road work–there’s nothing like the fresh smell of tar to get you going in the morning– and dead skunks. Ahh the scents of success.
Blessings: The weather–sunny, light breeze, t-shirt and shorts weather– and KLOVE radio. It kept me company (I prefer the radio to my playlists because it’s like connecting with life rather than a recording, and it’s more unpredictable) AND it provided me with inspiration. The guest on the morning show was that kid who won the Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne, the youngest person to win it. He had a cool story and hellooooo, he’s talking about what it was like to win the Daytona 500, which is a race. And I was racing. FATE anyone??
Around mile 7 was when my hip joints said, “Uh uh. We don’t want these gangly leg-things attached to us anymore,” so that made running slightly uncomfortable. Then my knee started to hurt a litte, my ankles hurt a lot, and the soles of my feet were literally crying. They had tears, I’m sure of it. So I had many fervent prayers (when you are weak, lean on Him who is strong! I’m leaning. Leaning. FALLING, even) but I pulled through, and it was totally worth it.
BUT HOW DID YOU DO?
Well, I think I would have done better had I started at the front of the line when the race began rather than at the VERY END since I never stopped running, and it’s harder to play catch up than to hold your position–but it’s all my fault for why I started at the very end. Embarrassing story time! Okay, so I was going to have to carry my car key while running, right? That seemed like it’d be annoying, so I decided to wear these shorts that have this little mini-pocket flap on the inside, right in front of my hip. But my Honda key is large and it only fit awkwardly, so I had to kind of tilt the pocket so the key wouldn’t jab into my socket when I ran. Well…moments before the race started, I noticed a weird weight in my, uh, underwear. It’s like when you go swimming at the beach (at least if you wear women’s swimwear) and that stupid crotch pocket fills with sand. I was like, Oh Dear God, what’s going on? Then I realized my car key had fallen out of the pocket and slid into the underwear-shaped lining of my shorts. HOW EFFING AWKWARD. And it’s not like I can run 13 miles that way, OH HELL NO, and I can’t just reach down the front of my shorts and retrieve it in front of all these people. So I had to go to the very back of the crowd where no one was watching to get my car key. And right after that, of course, they fired the gun and the race started.
But such is life. My goal was to finish the race and to run (jog, whatever!) the whole thing without stopping, which I DID! YAY!!! Victory!
And I may have finished first in my age bracket and gotten a gold medal, too…
It speaks less of my talent and more on the fact that there are no 20-somethings in Roswell, but that’s okay. It was a Happy Day. 🙂