Monday, June 22, 2009

Not a Wounded Antelope

Saturday 5:45 a.m.- my alarm goes off and my brain and body freeze up. Today is the day. Today I will run my first 5k. While I am sure my body can do it, my brain has decided it wants a monopoly on the whole thing and will go to any lengths to psyche me out of doing it. Stupid brain.

Initially, I was going to go up by myself and H and the girls would meet me later. Why drag them out at that ungodly hour too? However, The Comedian got up bright and early and before I was done showering and trying not to puke in my bathroom sink, she was ready to go. TD followed a bit later, wearing her "My Mom is Blogging This" t-shirt. Tweeting would be more like it. It was better that they came with me instead of me driving solo and freaking myself out about parking, traffic and of course, the race the whole drive up. That, my stomach did not need.

Once we got there I checked in, walked around, pinned on my number and tied my time-chip to my shoe. I looked around at the other runners and felt a bit intimidated. Everyone looked so serious. I found Bill, a local Shredhead and we got ready to head to the starting point. As we stood, stretched and figured out our placement in the crowd of runners it began to rain. The strains of the Rocky theme song did not help my mood. I wondered why I even thought I could do this. All this time I've been telling myself I'm a runner. I've been doing it on and off for years and suddenly I doubted if this was really the spot for me. Then I realized that others looked as doubtful as I did and seemed equally as nervous and it totally helped. I crossed over the start line, smiled for H and the camera and made sure I started at a nice, even pace.

About five minutes in I realized I was next to a mother and son duo. It must have been his first 5K as well because Mom was talking him up saying things like, "Keep a nice, even pace. Breathe and relax. You are doing just fine! Remember, humans are meant to run! We have always run so that we can chase down wounded antelope or run from Sabre Tooth Tigers!" Wounded antelope? Hm... "Which one of us runners is her sons wounded antelope" I pondered as I kept pace with an elderly woman with intensely white knees socks. Then I passed her. And I passed a few more people.

I got on the grass and passed a couple more as I found my rhythm and my mind went elsewhere. It began to pour. The rain came down in glorious buckets and it was all about keeping my pace and enjoying the moment. There were some tough hills. I worried I would slip on some wet grass at some points but as I made my way down the last big hill I knew I was in the clear. I could hear people cheering and I picked up speed. When a woman yelled out, "Only forty more seconds!" I smiled and ran faster. "Forty seconds my ass! In your face!" my brain screamed. Whoa. Where did that come from?

Suddenly there it was- the bright blue finish line. I ran harder and crossed it, trying to smile and not do the 'white-man's overbite' that I sometimes do when I run. I heard a pop and saw a flash and quickly sought out my family. H took pictures and asked, "What was your time?" Umm... what? Right.. forgot about that. Damn. Bill found us and it looks like he beat me. We wondered aloud how Kristen, another Shredhead did on her 5K that morning and we took our families out of the rain.

After about five minutes of panting H asked me what I thought of the whole experience and I said, "I want to do it AGAIN! I loved it! It was fast and easy!" So I am. I signed up for the BlogHer 5K on July 24 in Chicago and I can't wait!

And my official time? 33:29. It's better than I expected and I couldn't be happier.

Post-race. About 10 seconds after finishing.


  1. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Yea Vicky!! You rock!! So proud of you!!

  2. Great job...I had lots of fun meeting another Shredhead!

    But what's the deal with people only getting pictures of my hat? First my wife, and now I see that's about all your husband got too (I'm about 10 feet behind you in the pic)! *laugh*

  3. AWESOME! I am so psyched for the BlogHer 5K. Many congratulations for such an awesome accomplishment.

  4. Hey V,
    Your ready to run the Richmond Marathon with us in Nov!!!

  5. Congrats to you! I'm only allowed to run for my life (doctor's orders) so kudos to you!


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