It’s Tuesday and that means it is time to join the blog link up hosted by Patty from My No Guilt Life and April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere. Hey, there if you want to read some fun, informational, motivational, inspirational blogs check any of the linked blogs out!
Today’s topic is first races.
Picture it: Sunday morning, middle of August at the Jersey Shore. The tide is low and runners are gathering on the packed sand to run a 5k. We started at 8am and it was disgustingly hot and humid at two hours before the start when I left the house. That really gross weather that makes you sweat while lying still on the beach. I had on fairly new running shoes, yoga pants and my first ever ‘tech’ running shirt. I still have the obnoxious magenta-ish hot pink-ish shirt. Really I can’t describe the color, because it’s that ugly – and it’s trimmed in a neon sort of pink to boot. I bought it the night before the race after realizing that if a cotton t-shirt was sticking to my sweaty body while standing still, I was going to die trying to race in a cotton t-shirt.
I was also pretty sure I was going to die of mortification at how gross and out of shape I was, so the ugly shirt, the only one big enough to fit me (xxxl – mind you I wanted this to be oversized) was icing on the cake.
My bestie drove me to the race and hung out in the car reading while I ran (there was no board walk for her to park her wheel chair on and watch). How did it happen that I had a witness to my mortification? Well, I crashed at my family’s shore house that weekend and since she lives locally I called to see if she wanted to hang out the day before. She invited herself to the race and appointed herself chief motivational officer and head cheerleader (she is also the ass kicker in residence of my life). I kept trying to talk her out of it- and she kept insisting. I know when I’m beat so I gave up (I knew she’d have to hang in the car and since that didn’t deter her I shut my yap). By five minutes into the race I was feeling lucky she’d be there to claim my dead body.
Seriously, that’s what I remember most clearly – how HOT and STICKY it was.
I trained diligently for the race (couch to 5K) on a tredmill which did not prepare me for the reality of running on sand. I choose this particular race because it was a local Autism Fundraiser and the wonderfully heavy donations (drinks, cups, t-shirts) meant nearly every dime when to the charity – so I went in to it knowing it was a win-win deal.
I finished in 49:42 and after crossing the finish line I joined the other racers in ripping off my shoes and socks to run into the ocean. I’ve never been happier to get doused by waves.
I still have the really ugly shirt. When I’m feeling sad and defeated by life I put it on and stand in front of the mirror. It is so big it looks comical on me now and it’s the best reminder I have of how far I’ve walked on this journey.