Today was my second 10k “race”. As in “race to my own death by either vehicular manslaughter or a heart attack.”
I admit, I’m a big fat wuss – typically I walk/run on the treadmill in the comfort of our basement. No bugs, no intense heat, no freezing cold, and the ability to take potty breaks as needed. And my hair doesn't get messed up. Ideal training conditions for me, but not for running road races and it was definitely evident today.
The last one I did back in April had 25,000 participants, and I guess due to the amount of runners/walkers the police blocked off streets to all traffic. This was lovely because as I discovered, it was very difficult to maneuver around a kajillion people in the first 2 miles of the course as it was so I can’t even imagine how hard it would’ve been if we’d been limited to one lane of traffic.
Today’s race was different – limited to 1,500 entrants, most of them hard-core runners that belong to the city running club. So the police, in all of their wisdom, closed off one lane on some streets and NO LANES on other streets. At one point, I was literally running on the white line (because there was no shoulder of the road and huge 10-foot tall hedges) and praying for my life as cars went whizzing past me, including quite a few octogenarians driving to church with their battle-scarred cars with suspicious looking dents and stains on them. One jackass trying to turn out of a side street literally came within inches of hitting me, right in front of a police officer who smiled at me and said, “Don’t worry, honey, I won’t let anyone hit you.” Yeah, obviously she was doing a stellar job. I finished that section of the course in record time, needless to say. I don’t think I have ever been that scared in my life.
Long story short, I shaved 9 minutes off of my last race and honestly didn’t even prepare for this at all. As of Thursday, I wasn’t even sure that I was going to do it at all – I had almost talked myself out of it but one of the girls I work with who is a former fitness trainer told me that I should go ahead and at least try to walk the course. I jogged about 1/3 and walked the other 2/3, splitting it up fairly evenly. I ran the last ½ mile, with all of the cheering fans there it was like a huge endorphin boost and helped me get through the exhaustion and to the finish line in a personal best time for myself.
I am obnoxiously proud of myself for sticking to actually doing it, but also relieved that it is over. I told Joey that it was honestly one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life in terms of it not being the controlled race environment I’d experienced in my first race. But this also might be a good thing in that I will do a better job researching the course before I sign up for future races. There is an 8K coming up in September that I desperately want to do and I know that one will be well-organized and no traffic issues either. Sign me up now!
I am sore to the point that I have been useless all afternoon even with an overdose of Motrin. The sweetest part was finding my boys after the race, when Monkey Man asked me if I won the race. "Yes, sweetie, I did - because I finished. And didn't get run over by a car."
Oh, and did I mention the horribly cute outfit I bought myself for the race? Lilac top, black shorts, black hat, and of course my good old faithful Adidas shoes. I might not have been the fastest person, but damn did I look good. Isn’t that what matters?