Race day, what?
No, I wasn’t intentionally trying to hide something from y’all.
To make a long story extremely short, I had a 20 miler on the calendar this weekend and I opted to do it by running 7 + 13.1. I thought that it would be nice to be able to run on a course with water stops and that I would have a lot more incentive to finish strong if I was being timed.
Oh, and this race marks my second birthday as a runner. Not the “exact” date (we’re four days off), but running the Get in Gear 5k was my first race ever two years ago!
What was exactly the same about both of them: The unceasing rain. The cold. The wind. It didn’t really pick up until 9 AM (gun time), so I didn’t have to deal with it for the first seven miles. But once we were in it, we were in it.
Also the same: The appearance of the snappy blue Nike visor that has been a holdout from the days when I was a lifeguard at summer camp.
Yes, in a past life I made my living parading up and down a dock in a red swimsuit. It was a pretty sweet gig.
Today, that is neither here nor there.
Anyway, the visor. I have only run in that visor once before and you had better believe that it was during that 5k.
Spooky coincidences, I know.
I think what set this race apart from so many others I have run is that instead of being in a competitive mode, I thought about some advice I gave Brady earlier this week. I was grateful to log the miles.
My right foot has been a real treat to live with for the past week and so I didn’t even know if I was going to run this weekend. At all.
I seriously considered deferring my entry or at the very least, exchanging it for entry to the 10k. But instead of living in the gray land between victory and defeat, I decided to go big.
My rationale? I either wanted to have a GREAT long run or break a body part in such a definitive and clear-cut way that when I turned myself in to medical professionals, they would actually know how to deal with the situation.
Nagging injuries are their own special circle of hell.
Obviously I didn’t end up in an ambulance (win).
What I can say about the day is that there are few runs where I have experienced such a strong sense of gratitude. Y’all know that I am a major fair-weather runner, so to be able to log the miles in those conditions with a smile on my face, finishing strong and without excruciating pain meant the world to me.
I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.
I will be forever grateful to Amber the Chiropractor and Darren the Aerospace Engineer from Lifetime Fitness in Savage. Around Mile 9.5 I realized we were all kind of sticking together, so I asked them what their plan was for the remainder of the race.
Their plan = Keep the pace and finish running.
That was exactly what I was hoping to hear. I KNEW that if I could find people to keep focus on as I continued to will my body forward (this was Mile 16 of my morning…I could not feel my legs), that I would be more likely to keep moving period.
So they let me tag along and we alternated between workshopping (they’re also doing the Tough Mudder Sunday Session) and rocking out on our iPods.
In case you were wondering what sort of bond can be formed between three running strangers, we definitely exchanged hugs after crossing the finish line.
Final time for the 13.1 = 2:05:51. Considering that those miles were the back 2/3 of my long run, and the weather was (bluntly) horrid, I am extremely proud of that.
Post-race I had a more disheartening moment than that one time where Marcus was at brunch and couldn’t bring me ice for an ice bath.
What we did not think through: We were all crossing the finish line at different times, and while I had Ann’s number, I didn’t have Nancy’s OR Jay’s.
So, soaking wet and with only the space blanket that I Houdini-ed out of my Spibelt, I realized that I was totally alone on this earth and without any dry clothes to stave of hypothermia.
Yes, it was seriously just like that.
Thank the Lord for the kind woman in the pavilion who was doling out dry clothing from The Island of Misfit Toys to Runners Who Looked Like They Really Needed It.
Marcus is I am now +1 men’s size large, royal blue, long-sleeved technical shirt.
Without going into anymore details about The Shivering or the part where I used the hand-dryer in the bathroom in an attempt to dry my pink shirt, we all crossed the finish line.
I’d like to say that it all got better. That I couldn’t see my breath. That the rain let-up. That the wind slowed. But the reality is that by the time we made it back to Ann and Jay’s, we were all but completely numb and ready to throw our bodies into the electric fireplace in an attempt to warm-up.
Sometimes you just have to accept the natural order of things.
What have you been up to this weekend?
Get in Gear Runners, how was your race?