My mom and I foolishly signed up to run/walk the 5K in the YMCA Chase race on Tuesday night. When I signed up I thought “This will be fun. It’s in the evening so it will probably be nice and cool, and I always enjoy working out in the evenings.”
I am such an idiot.
It was bloody hot. I mean, not Texas hot, but still hot. It was something like 85 degrees and not a cloud in the sky to block the sun. Too hot to be running, especially if you are a non-runner like I am.
For the most part, I stuck with my planned pattern of run 2 blocks/walk 1 block. Along the way there were a few motivators which got me running a little harder, or made me run when I would have otherwise been walking. These included, but are not limited to:
(1) The kid standing on the side of the road giving out high fives. Like I said in my Fargo Marathon blog, you can’t WALK up to a kid and get a high five. If you want to earn it, you have to RUN. Unfortunately there was only one such kid on the entire course. Parents, there is an untapped market here. Hire out your kids to stand on the side of the course and high five the runners. One every half block or so ought to do it. I’m telling you, it will pay for their college.
(2) My Aunt Peggy, the marathoner, positioned herself about halfway along the course to take pictures of us all when we passed. I ran an extra half a block because I saw her there. And then when she took my picture and sprinted past me so she’d be able to take my picture again at the corner, I just couldn’t stop running. So I ran another half a block.
(3) Then on my way back past that same spot, I saw Aunt Peggy again. It was in the middle of my walking block but dammit, I just couldn’t WALK in front of Aunt Peggy, the marathoner, who was going to take my picture again! So I started running a half a block early. CURSE YOU AUNT PEGGY FOR BEING SO EFFING MOTIVATIONAL. (PS- I love you!)
(4) The course ran through a residential area of town, blocking east-west traffic for about 18 blocks south of main. Whenever runners/walkers crossed the intersection, the cars lined up. So whenever I came up to an intersection with stopped traffic, I couldn’t simply walk through with all those irritated drivers staring at me. I sprinted through every intersection with stopped traffic.
(5) When I passed the Mile 2 marker, the guy behind me said “We’ve gone 2 miles! Good job!” I started walking at the corner, and he slowly caught up to me. And I do mean slowly. He was running at almost the same speed as I was walking. He did gradually pass me as I slowed down to try and convince my body that the stitch in my side was totally unnecessary. Later I passed him while I was running but had to stop and walk for a moment and catch my breath. He said “You’re almost there! You can do it!” It was like a little voice of encouragement from inside my own brain. When he said “you can do it”, I knew that I could. When I passed him again he said “There you go! That’s more like it!” I didn’t know whether to punch him or hug him.
As I came up to the last corner before the finish line, I queued up my pre-selected Run-Your-Ass-Off-Kari motivational song. Just as I turned the corner, it kicked into gear and so did I. That’s when my mufflerforking headphones flew off my ears and trailed behind me. DAMN. So I gathered them up in my hand and crossed the finish line without a soundtrack. Perhaps slightly slower than I would have with my music, but running nonetheless.
My goal was to finish in under 45 minutes. I made it in 40 minutes and 56 seconds. A full four minutes and four seconds under my goal. WOOOOOO!!
This finish was very different from the Fargo Marathon in May. It was kind of lonely. Mom & Ian were still running, the kids were at the library, and Dad wasn’t there yet (he arrived a few minutes later). So there was no one there to give me a hug & tell me how proud they were of me & to keep me from hyperventilating. Except the last bit wasn’t so important because I wasn’t hyperventilating this time. THREE CHEERS FOR PROGRESS! Next time maybe I can do it without the crying.
PS – I was so proud of the three of us that I made a cartoon about it. Click here to see the cartoon.