Running Til My Feet Fall Off
Running races… it doesn’t make sense. I mean, it does if you’re the guy who wins the marathon (and one of the guys at my office does, the jerk). But for everyone else? Here, let me give you $25 so I can get up at an ungodly hour on a weekend to run for half an hour with a bunch of other people I’ve never met, and then we’ll have coffee. YAY. TOTES FUN. Except it’s kind of addictive, especially considering my ridiculously competitive nature and my need to do my best at everything.
I get Schwaggle deals daily. Mostly, I just ignore them like I ignore all my coupon emails because they’re things I wouldn’t want. But last week, they had one for a discounted registration for a 5K in DC (they’ve sent others in the past, but I don’t want to spend $13 on a 5K registration in Hawaii next week, you know?). And I jumped. Why the hell not? I could bus down there and I couldn’t find any good Turkey Trots, so…
I picked up my packet, confirmed I could wear headphones and was feeling well nigh untouchable, even with the end of a cold and residual sore muscles from trying the one of Boot Camp App‘s workouts (warning: those will kick your ass).
The night before, I figured out where exactly this thing started and realized it was nowhere close to where I thought it was. It was a mile from my job, which has $6 discounted staff parking and 6am-12am garage hours. Fine, I will drive. FINE. (It shows you how much I hate to drive that I was willing to take a bus there at 6am on a Sunday rather than drive 30 minutes on Rock Creek Parkway) I laid out my work out clothes, charged my phone, programmed the coffee pot, decided I needed to leave at 6:30, set my alarm, had my number ready, went to bed…
And then I couldn’t sleep. I’d already stayed up too late (midnight) and continued to stare at the ceiling for at least half an hour. Then I had one of my worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had. I tossed and turned constantly, unable to fall deeply asleep, constantly uncomfortable. I think I was anxious I would oversleep – I’ve had similar moments in the past. My body gets so nervous that I might oversleep that it doesn’t let me rest. I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm, turned it off and climbed quietly out of bed.
It was still dark out. That was rough.
I got myself together, had a quick breakfast, sent my first 4 out of way too many bored tweets and made my way down there. (Yes, I drove without difficulty) Even with a last minute parking snafu, I still got myself to the race site at 7:15. The race started at 8. Whoops.
So, I hung out for a while, drank some water, ate a banana. I tried to stretch and stay warm but I’m not sure how well I did with that. I sent probably another 5 bored tweets. And then the race started.
What I’ll say is… for someone with the tail end of a cold and a really poor night’s sleep, I did OK. I finished at 36:06, which is better than my personal best from the only other 5K I’ve completed, 37:07. But that was last year and 30 pounds ago. I hadn’t even finished the Couch to 5K program for the first time. (For those keeping count, I’ve started it 4 times and finished it twice) But frankly, I was disappointed. I wasn’t more than 3 minutes into the race before I was gasping for breath and ready to stop, despite being in decent shape and using my inhaler that morning. I was so sure I could do the whole run as a run – after all, I’d done similar runs recently, including one the weekend before. The course was relatively flat, I’d exercised but hadn’t over-exerted myself… I ended up walking at least 3 times to get my breath back. I did do a fairly decent long sprint towards the finish line.
So, really, I was upset because I wanted more. And disappointed. As I worked to get my breath back (it had gone to whining gasps, which made me even angrier with myself), I was a little teary, I think with frustration.
And then I waited around for an hour for the other runners and walkers to trickle in. And then another half an hour to find out I hadn’t won anything. That was kind of lonely. Most of my friends are not runners and I haven’t had a chance to start forming friendships in the running community. On the bright side, I finally beat Angry Birds on my phone. Then I went home and ate a bagel with my face. That was awesome.
This run was to benefit The Hydrocephalus Association. I honestly hadn’t paid that much attention because I wanted to pay someone to tell me how fast I can run, but it’s a great organization with a great mission.
I’ve just found out So Others Might Eat is having a Turkey Trot on Thursday at 9am. Registration closes today. I’m trying to decide if I want to pay another $25 to see if I can run a little better. I’m a little stiff today, but not crazily so…