Well, there we were, cute outfits and all. I mean, if you’re going spending time working on flab control (speaking only for myself, girls), you might as well try to look cute. The jury’s still out on whether the number-over-the-womb hides things or exaggerates them. Sometimes, when the wind catches the paper just right, it reminds me of some pilgrim sail unfurled on the Mayflower. That’s not really the look I’m going for. Regardless, there were were in all our pre-race glory. Ready to fight with the clock and our quads.
The Thursday night before the race, Kamarah (blue shirt) and I went out and ran 2.8 miles and felt great. Our time was good, we were strong, we felt ready. But Saturday morning rolled around and I just didn’t feel like a racer. I felt like a mom who wanted to stay in bed or feast on french toast in an old fleece robe. And have I ever mentioned how I am NOT a morning person? I mean–I am the antithesis of morning. I am barely a person in the morning. I do not like to wake up to see prime numbers on the clock. I was tired, my stomach was all in knots, I regretted wasting my $24 registering for something that I can do for free.
Once race time rolled around, the adrenaline kicked in and it was fun to start with a group of really special women. I got moving at a strong pace (for me) and felt great until I saw the mile marker clock: 10:12 at mile 1. WHAT?! I felt like I was hauling my fanny, but seeing that time started to deflate my balloon of hope. (I did not stop to think that we were over a minute behind the start line when the gun went off, so I was actually doing ok.) Instead, I felt disappointed, but ran on.
This is when things got interesting–in a mentally tough kind of way. I started getting tired. My legs hurt. I was thirsty. I ran and ran and ran and felt like Forrest Gump. Running forever and getting nowhere. I thought for sure I had run another mile. My running mix on my iPod was up to the song that usually measured 2 miles, and I wasn’t seeing the next sign! I decided they had foregone the idea of putting up a 2 mile sign and assumed that I had passed it. This is how naive I am. When I finally DID see the 2 mile sign, I may or may not have whispered something naughty under my breath. I wanted to walk. However, as you may have read in my other post, one of my goals was to not walk.
I made myself think of those poor people on The Biggest Loser who had to run a marathon with only a month’s notice. I commanded my legs to obey me. Move! Pick up your feet! Keep going! I tried to think about how many people are sick and would *love* to feel the wind in their face while they beat the pavement. I tried to be grateful for working limbs. I thought about being done and eating a free banana. I thought about showing my kids that you don’t quit.
The mass of racers turned the corner like a school of fish, and I could see the finish line. GAAA-LORY HALLELUJAH! I thought. My balloon was expanding anew with hope that I could do it. I resolved to finish…
…until the cruel race workers motioned us away from the finish line and forced us to turn another corner. My mind went back to the race map and I remembered, vaguely, having to go around the block at the end, probably to get the .1 miles tacked on to the other 3. I might as well have been running in wooden Klompen shoes for how fast I wasn’t moving. Remember that scene in Old School when Will Farrell sticks vet medicine in his jugular during the birthday party, and everything starts moving in slow motion? That was me. But in real life. S-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n m-a-m-a, all the way up to the glorious orange banner waving me on, homeward bound. And I finally made it!
Despite feeling weak, I did meet my goals:
1. I finished the race without dying, collapsing, vomiting, or rupturing anything important.
2. I did not walk.
3. I finished in less than 30 minutes (28:59)
So, as a poser, as a fake runner, as someone in it just for the flab control, I celebrate! If you’re reading this thinking you can’t do it, I challenge you to
re-think your limits. It feels great to accomplish something that no one else thought you could do. Especially when ‘no one else’ is YOU.