Monday, January 26, 2009

10 minus K and counting

I ran my first 10K years ago and it was incredible. The Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K in the world and it is right here in Atlanta, GA on the 4th of July.

In the first five years I had been in Atlanta, I scampered out of town for the long weekend. I had also never run that far before and enjoy running only when the run ends and is fueled by music piped loudly in my ears during the entire time. Literally, I went to the gym once and realized I forgot my iPod and spent the first minutes of my workout working out my ability to curse.

One year, I found myself in town on the holiday weekend. A friend had an extra number so I thought, why not.

I didn't really train for the Peachtree but I was running multiple times a week about 3 miles a shot at best. I decided to run 5 miles a few days before the race. Oh, I felt the vim and vigor.Day of the race, I was astounded by the sheer volume of people. Oh, its the world's biggest 10K for a reason, because 60,000 run this race. I saw people on side streets doing high kicks and high steps and thought UH OH. As I was corralled into my "pen" with the thousands of other people in my race group, a man about, oh, I'd say 80 years old, smiled at me and said, "don't worry miss, just do the best you can."

Awwww, I thought, how sweet. What a nice man being so encouraging like that to me. I noticed he was wearing the tshirt from the first Peachtree Road Race decades ago. Bless it, I thought and smiled (smugly) to myself. Let me put it this way, I gave it my all and was carried through on sheer adrenaline. People by the hundreds line the streets the entire course to cheer you on.

Bands play, cowbells ring (and who couldn't use more cowbell) and restaurants and bars pass out water, watermelon, and ice along the way. It was incredible.

I was doing a pretty good pace when I caught sight of Mr. 80 Years of Age up ahead. I pressed on my long pedal to try to have a go at him. Well, he wasnt giving me advice for no reason. I couldn't catch him. I was given the running shoe smackdown by a man triple my age and he DIDNT EVEN KNOW! At the next water spot, I rinsed that smirky smuggy look right off my face. I ran it at a great pace and felt like the Queen of the World, even if I was behind Christopher Columbus.

The tshirt from the race is highly coveted and will be seen in droves in the weeks following the race. I cut the sleeves off of mine and made in into a tank top and one of my friends asked "how could you?!?!?!" As I just defaced a national monument.

The second year, I thought, why train at all. Why not just show up in my stars and stripes jog bra and with no more than a few high kicks myself, met up with a gaggle of girlfriends to run. Apparently, the previous year was a lucky break. Oh lawwwwwwwwwwwd, it was hot! (its July, in ATLANTA) so I felt like I was running in a humidity casserole.

My goal is to NEVER walk one step, I came to run and run I will. Three miles in, oh boy, I remembered that wine is NOT a recommended training beverage. Then I remembered that a good night sleep is highly recommended. Drinking beer all summer long at the pool NOT recommended.

Actually running this distance prior to day of IS recommended. Then, just when I was beginning to shrug off my woes, I took a gander around at all the people passing me. My my my, I wanted it to be motivating. Oh look, there's a twelve year old, good job little buddy. Oh look, there is a woman who was at the Last Supper. Awwww, isnt that something. Oh look, there goes some people dressed in college Mascot costumes. HOLY @(&)*^!(^!. I wogged (not a walk and barely respectable enough to call a jog) all the way to the finish line and believe me, I vowed to take it more seriously in years to come.

I have successfully run four more including when I was three months pregnant. Now, a friend wants to run a half marathon.The half marathon seems like a great idea when I am crossing the finish line of the Peachtree. It seems less of a good idea 364 other days of the year. While I have given a half-hearted committment to think it over, I thought, hmmmm, I think I can, I think I can. Just a reminder: wine is NOT a recommended training beverage, so I guess saying yes tonight is out of the question.

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