It is hard to believe, but I did it. I was worried about rain because I figured that might make it slippery. This should not have been my main concern. I’ve run in rain before. I do get wet. It’s not any different from getting wet in the shower unless it’s freezing out.
I did not even think of the humidity, but I should have, because it was very close to 100%. It rained overnight and was foggy when I picked up the Uber on the corner near my home. I waited outside a gas station. My initial plan was to wait inside the vestibule there, but it was freezing in there as it usually is, colder than outside. I believe the temp was 67 then.
I live far out from the city. It took three hair-raising attempts to get the Uber. It didn’t find a driver the first two times it tried, and timed out. Then it finally did find a driver. I was relieved, though, when finally the app said a driver was on the way.
Now this is odd….The driver texted me ahead of time, which is normal for Uber. Is it even close to normal to ask your passenger if the gas station sells alcohol? Then he asked me if alcohol was sold anywhere near my destination. What am I supposed to make of this? Yes, I did feel nervous at that point, but I reminded myself that I need to save my adrenaline for the race. If he had any alcohol on his breath I would have smelled it, but he did not, and he drove fine, not like a drunk person. I have heard stories, have you? As you can guess, I did not become a statistic on the way to my first 10K, and I was awfully glad that Uber came way out here when I needed it. I was the first to arrive!
Of course I was curious and asked if I was the oldest running the 10K. As it turned out, no. Next to oldest. Someone 68 was running. One of the people assisting at the race asked me, quietly (which was unnecessary in fact), how old I am. I have no qualms about telling people my age, mainly because much of my 50s sucked so bad that 60 now seems like a landmark celebration.
I schmoozed a little with the other runners. Suddenly, I realized that these were far more competitive runners than I am. Many had run marathons or half marathons. I wasn’t sure who was doing the 5k and who was doing the 10. Most of us were doing the 10. There were only 22 runners in all, including both races. Some had done this particular race before. Several admitted that this tiny race was a “practice race” for them. Most had fancy running clothes, too. I had on my yellow “Success is the Best Revenge” t-shirt. On the back it says, “Proud to be non-compliant.” I was wearing boxer shorts I get at the dollar store. I have a collection of those. That and “knock-off” shoes that I think are fake Nikes.
They explained the route to us very clearly and made sure we all understood. Each race had a different start point. The route followed along the river headed north, then, we turned around at a circle and went back again, passing the start point, then, at the end of the road we ran around a cone and came back. Then we ran the entire length of the road all over again, turned at the circle a second time and then back to the very end of the road and then, somewhere past the registration stand was a finish line.
We weren’t even paying attention when a blast sounded and off we went. I realized I had not started my music and knew I could not stop to get it going so I quickly tucked my headset inside my shirt so that it wouldn’t fly around. Within a minute it was very obvious to me that I had fallen impossibly behind the other runners, although I wasn’t too far from the other stragglers, not that you’d call them that. I told myself I should not be bothered by this and should keep running. I thought it was cool to be running on the gorgeous trail with no human being in sight for a while.
The humidity was still very thick. The air just seem very breathable at all. I realized I had done most of my runs in a climate-controlled gym. I always thought the gym was too warm for running, but now it seemed much, much hotter, especially in the sun. It was already over 70 degrees out. I kept reminding myself I needed to slow down and pace myself.
I was lucky, though. Much of the race was in the shade and seemed cool enough. I have this promise I make to myself that I will not run if it’s over 70 out. I have broken that promise before, but not many times. Today not only did I break it but ran in humidity that felt like the air was cotton.
A few others had already stopped running momentarily and took the time to walk a bit and then start up running again. I didn’t know I would have to do that…but I did. I didn’t want to at first, trying to slow my running further, and then I reminded myself that I really needed to walk for a few steps. I walked ten feet or so then started up running again, realizing that the humidity was throwing me for a loop.
I didn’t even look at the time until I’d run about 18 minutes, then later the half-hour mark passed. I was never quite sure of the mileage but that didn’t matter. I kept running and told myself that eventually I would finish. Occasionally I had to walk again, but always only about ten feet, then I broke right back into a run. I was relieved that I was not the only one lagging behind. I didn’t mind being last, not at all.
My time was 1:34:06. Yeah, embarrassing a little, but I am super proud that I did my first 10K.
Someone who was admin at the race drove me home even! I could feel it a little as I came into my front door. I walked Puzzle right away, and then told myself that shower was going to be great!
But…I stalled on that. I turned on the computer and there was an email reminder about a 5k on October 20th. I signed up immediately!
Then I took a shower and started my work day. I feel terrific and work has gone fine. How about you?