OK, I failed at the Runner's Bug NOT a race. How bad do I suck that I can't even follow his directions? Here were the instructions: The objective is to run for the sake of running. Run without timing yourself. Get out there with nothing more than yourself, your shoes, and some relaxing music if you wish. Find an interesting route. which you wouldn’t normally run, or that you’ve always wanted to run. Where ever it is, just get out there and enjoy the run.
First let's see how I succeeded at the race: I ran a nice course, one I don't normally run, and that I enjoy running. I did not bring my iPod so I could enjoy the Fall morning and hear the road under my feet.
And now for the FAIL: I did wear my watch, so, there was some watch looking at mile 2(2), 3 (2)...15 (2), 16 (2).. pretty much yea, that will make sense in a minute.
Well, I chose the 10 Mile Distance. Twice. I figured since I was doing 20 "easy" miles that worked for me.
My FIRST 10 mile nonrace was good. I ran with friends- both old and new, and didn't look at my watch, and in general enjoyed myself for the sake of running. Of course, you know what's BAD about not looking at your watch on the first 10 miles of a 20 mile run? I ran waaaaaaay too fast. Still, it was fun, and the course took us down and around the city, all the way to the river. At one point, while chatting with the ladies around me, the women started reliving a Will Farrell skit from SNL. I was laughing so hard I got a stitch in my side and had to drop back off the pace for a few steps. It was a GOOD reason to have to slow the pace, I promise.
We ran over the river, looking at a view that reached for miles. The course wound down through a steep pass to the river, and just like that, our ceiling was a canopy of leaves making their start from green to gold. Around mile 8 of the "Race" we came upon Pants Guy at a SAG offering fuel and H2O, and I was in good spirits. Pants Guy is so funny. He was cracking jokes and making us all laugh. I finished that 10 mile race feeling really good.
Because THAT was SO MUCH FUN, I did it again.
The SECOND 10 miler started pretty much where the first left off, and the, uh, "race" photographer snapped a photo of me right along the river.
With the smile on my face fading, I turned and saw a monster hill. It was steep, I was running on my toes, pumping my arms, and I could see the sun light shining on the top of the hill so I focused on it. I struggled up, up, up, breathing like a train. In, In, OUT. My back muscles were tiring, and uh oh, this is only mile 1? Oh dear.
The view from the top was spectacular, the James River was a hundred feet or more below me, lazing over the rocks. But the admiration was short lived, since the next five miles were spent running down to the banks and back up out of the flood zone. The Team Coach, Queue was running with a faster group, and every now and then he would stop and wait for me. It was nice, and sad at the same time. I finally just looked at him and said, "No really, I'm OK." And he nodded and took off to catch them. again. Not too much later, I saw him waiting for me. again.
Around mile 5ish I was SOooo happy to see TMB! I was feeling miserable for myself, and she immediately started making me smile by cracking jokes and sharing her Marathon sized race strategy.
We saw Pants Guy around mile 7(teen), again, attempting to make us laugh, but also in his eyes I saw something like.. sympathy? I smiled wanly and said, "I feel like I've run 17 miles". Yea, seriously, my legs were tired but the muscles that hurt were the ones that drive the O2 in and out. Go figure. I was ready to quit, but T just cracked a joke about, "Hey, you have to finish so you can take me back to my car." And, she was absolutely right. I latched on to the idea that the sooner I finished, the sooner I would be done. Trust me, after 18 miles of running, this sounds like BRILLIANT reasoning. Kind of like drunk math.
Anyway, gasping for air, I turned the corner, and saw the nonrace finish and... the photographer. So I sucked it up for the photo. Which I posted yesterday, but I will post again today for the benefit of my nonrace report.
T, "What did you just say?" G, "I said, slow down so we can get a good photo." T, "Oh sure, because..." G, "...it's important to know what's important after a 20 mile run."
I hope everyone had a great weekend running, and that everyone who participated in the nonRace was able to enjoy their run and embrace their LOVE of running. We can't all win races, but we can all run for the joy of it, with passion and dedication. Happy Running!