Note to my sports medicine doc whom I see later this week: I may or may not have run this weekend. It may or may not have been 10.6 miles. It may or may not have taken me about two and a half hours. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But if I had run over the weekend, I did a pretty good job considering just two months ago you, the doc, forced me off my feet due to a stress fracture of the hip and a groin pull. Heck, I did a pretty good job all along with my recuperation and rehabilitation…up until the moment that I may or may not have run 10.6 miles.
Kari made me laugh so hard when she contacted me about six weeks ago to tell me that she had signed us both up for this endurance race. She earnestly laid out all the reasons why I would be up for this, at least to walk it with her. She didn’t have to work that hard really. Please don’t tell her that. No, really, Kari’s smile and the pleasure of her company was enough to convince me.
It’s very hard to say no to someone with a smile like that. Plus I believe that Kari knew I needed a little push, a little something to look forward to while I was wallowing in my own pity party.
When I wasn’t distracted by the amazing surroundings that I was running through…and there was a lot to be distracted by…
I thought to myself why do I do this to myself? I could scarcely walk after the last time I pushed my body like this and yet as soon as my body had healed enough here I was again…running. Here I was putting one foot in front of the other, picking up speed, gasping for ragged breaths as I put my head down and charged up a hill that Kari “forgot” to tell me about. Why was I doing this? But as I approached the end of the 5k loop to pass the timing chip off to my partner, I couldn’t help but notice how fan-freakin-tastic I felt. Sure I was soaked in sweat and my glasses were fogging up and my glutes and quads were burning just a little but I felt so strong and so capable of doing almost anything…even running that loop again.
I did run that loop two more times. I also ran and walked the “turbo loop” that was 0.65 miles twice as the time limit of our race was drawing to a close. At the very end, I was hurting…hurting like I had been running for two and a half hours…because I had run two and a half hours. But I was upright. I was smiling. I was massaging my muscles and stretching just like the physical therapist had showed me.
This race was not my very best effort. The fastest pace I posted was a 12:43 minute mile and each loop I got progressively slower. But I kept on going. I kept on running and jogging and walking…I kept on moving. Really all I wanted to prove was that I could do this and I could finish it.
I proved it. I can do this. I can run. I was built to run. I was built to endure. I realized that I think halfway through the third loop. I think the reason why I enjoy races like these is because they are a metaphor of who I am, what I am capable of doing…what I have done. I have endured much. I survived and thrived even through so much. I have been knocked down from time to time but I still manage to get back up and keep on going.
I’m a machine!
Okay, I’m a rather slow machine, but I do manage to keep on going because I am built strong. I am built to endure.
Pretty heavy stuff, huh? The things one does to distract themselves when they are running.
Soon enough there were more amazing things to focus on and lighten the mood.
Like the running Elvi as they crossed the finish line to the song “Elvis is Everywhere“. Seriously, I need to download that song.
Or admiring the serious bling that were the medals we received. I hear they make great coasters. Trust me, no one will be resting their beer or soda on this.
Or seeing that Kari and I placed second in the two-person teams. Not bad. Not bad at all.
But best of all was savoring the moment and the day with a good friend. See that smile of hers? Could you say no? Of course not. I’m glad that I didn’t. I can’t wait to run with her again at the BlogHer5K and yes, we will be wearing sparkly Tutus for Tanner and running with Tanner and Blackhockey Jesus.