Many people showed for the Blarney run, sponsored by Peak Performance. Kevin and I jogged our way to the starting point, and already a large crowd had formed, waiting, getting ansy. There were four girls getting their picture taken, posing in green hair, and little tutu’s frothed in green and black lace. We were all asked to dress up as crazy as you wanted for St. Patrick’s, and it looked as though the girls had their eye on the prize- the winner who dressed the craziest would get a $100 gift certificate.
Kevin and I both wore green shirts, and I had my hair in pig tails. It’s not that we didn’t want to get into the spirit of things, but I think we both knew that contending with a large wig and some outlandish get up might be harder for us to run in. Not that $100 wouldn’t have been nice….
we went to stand in the back of the line, with a few moms who had come out with their jogging strollers and babies. I always think it’s fantastic to see women out with their kids. One mom even had a big kid with her, who had to be around six and seemed amped and ready to take on the 5K.
We stretched and waited. And then we heard some muffled voice from ahead, and the crowd started to move. Slowly. Kevin nudged me a bit, and he pointed to the left of us. The race had begun, and people were already running, and all of the sudden I looked down at my feet, and I was crossing the two metal plates on the ground.
THE RACE WAS ON!
The last run I’d participated in was the Komen run, back in October 2009. This was different. You could tell that so many had trained hard for this event, and here I was ambling along as best I could. Kevin and I have had maybe two solid runs outside. Most of our training has been done on the treadmill, which propels you forward. There is a huge difference between propelling forward, and having to do the work yourself. It wasn’t long before Kevin and I were broken up, each doing our own thing, each running our own race. I tried to pace myself, and be consistent but it was obvious that there was a lack of training on my part. Talk about eating humble pie. At one point, while jogging back up a hill, an old man passed me. He was most likely in his 70’s. He was smiling the whole time, too.
Usually with 5K’s, you run roughly 1.5 miles one way, and simply turn around to complete your distance. That’s exactly what we did, and I started to see the fast runners coming back to head for home. I recently had bragged on Facebook about shaving 4 minutes off my run time. This was accomplished on the treadmill. The roads don’t care about treadmills. Put up or shut up, you know?
I felt so good out there! I missed it so much, the feel of the wind running all around me, my feet hitting pavement, no matter how tired or sore I am afterwards, it’s this passion I have for running that is my own propeller. It’s the choice you have to race against yourself, to score your own PR (personal record), or to find someone to race against. It’s the freedom, it’s knowing that you have this power inside yourself to keep going as far as your body will allow it, and sometimes it’s really how far your mind will allow you to go.
As I came up on the finish line, a large crowd was already awaiting my arrival, and they cheer you on. It doesn’t matter if you run the race in 20 minutes or 50, they support you as you cross on over. I ran my race in 33:19, 10:44 pace. Kevin ran his in 35:27, 11: 25 pace. There will always be room for improvement, but I am proud of what we did. You need to start somewhere, and this is the starting point for us.