Thursday, April 2, 2015

Peace and a 10K

Here is a 2015 Monument Ave 10K Race Recap... sort of.

For Richmonders there are few things more fantastic than running Richmond. We have a strong running community, well organized and friendly to both the veterans and the noobs. Every year we have a 10K that attracts 30K participants, both running and walking their way for 6.2 miles down the avenue of Civil War statues that slices through the west side of town.

Tree lined streets and a grassy park down the center of the road make this flat fast out and back pretty enough to enjoy without being distracting.

At the last minute I signed up to run it.  I know, it’s “The Year of The 5K”, but the 10K is like twice the Fun and if I’m anything it’s a sucker for Fun Things.

Thus – I’m not short – I’m FUN SIZED.

Saturday I ran with my 30K BRFs

I made a goal – run sub 8’s, listen to your body, be in the moment, run your own race, trust yourself, fight every step of the run for a PR because you’re almost fit enough to do that.... Oh, and above all - look like a sexy beast.

I’d like to say it was the #bestdayever.  I’d like to say I owned the course and that the masses parted and my lungs were clear and I ran sub 8’s and got a PR and my hamstring didn’t complain once and I looked like a sexy beast...

But wha’ hada happen’d wuz...

My hamstring was achy and tired feeling during the warm up, and my chest was tight while I was waiting for the race to start. I hit my inhaler, which makes my heart race. Once again I mildly underdressed, which was intentional, but I wished for more Throw Away clothes as I stood in my corral. I did not run sub 8’s for the whole way.

My name is a little ways down this list.
But for the record:
My name is a little ways down this list.
I ran a 7:56 on mile one, and even though it was a sub 8, I knew my shot at a PR was pretty much over.  Nothing should FEEL THAT HARD at mile 1 that’s what she said.

Mile one was brutal. I also knew, however, that I could still break 50 minutes if I worked hard.

At least I looked like a sexy beast...

I chased down another runner with a blond ponytail, pushed someone else, was pulled at the end, and ran a 49:46.  I crossed the finish line and collapsed into the arms of Coach Black for a deeply satisfying hug.

I knew that my finish time was probably not quite good enough for a place in the TOP 100 in my AG, but ultimately I accepted that it was a completely respectable time. There were 1871 women in my AG at this event. I would later learn I had placed 78th.  I’ll take it.

As I made my way through the gates and corrals and water lines and photographer, I thought about my performance.  There was a point in my life when a sub 50 minute 10K would have been as unattainable as winning a race. I’ve done both those things twice now. What other “unattainables” are on my “list” that shouldn’t be there?

And they’re going to need to GO.

I didn’t linger at the finish. I was instantly cold. So I went back to around the mile 5 marker and found my friend Dimples. She lent me a jacket so we could spectate together before she sent me back to her house with a key so I could shower and warm up and beer.

Now, here’s the thing. I was a mile from her house... so I ran back through the city with my medal tucked in my bra and my phone in my hand. It felt good to run.

Isn't that silly? I had just finished a race...  

I was on the sidewalk parallel to the course, and there were thousands of runners making their way to the finish.

I was easily on my 8th mile of the day when you combine the race and the warm up.  But I wasn’t really dead on my feet... I was just enjoying a chilly run through the city... It felt easy. I was completely relaxed and at peace.

The sun dappled through the tree branches, the sidewalk was chipped and crooked, the spectators were teasing me that I was running the wrong way...  my stride was light, and I felt like a beast.

A beast who could fucking run.

Saturday, in that moment, is when I realized how ready I am to run again. I mean, really run again, for me. I want to Run Richmond. I want to be in the city, winding my way down cobblestones to the river, cutting through the museum district, crossing flood walls and embracing this place I love so much. 

I want to run again. Not because I have to, or because someone else tells me to, but because I MUST run in order to be true to ME. 

And in that truth, I will find peace.

~savor the run~

1 comment:

Melissa Cunningham said...

Oh I loved this recap! I ran my first ever big 10k race ( capped at 40k) and I also placed 78th in AG!
I think it's do awesome that you are getting back I. Your running groove and marking those unattainables off! You rock!!!!!