I’m so glad the race is over! It was fun, truly it was. But I was so scared that it took me until 3/4 into the race to calm the heck down.
There were about 150 people in the race-the smallest race I’ve ever been a part of. (Years and years ago.)There were 2 port-a-potties, that’s how small it was! People were so laid back and relaxed. Some even brought along their dogs, which I forgot people do. I like that.
I was sure there wouldn’t be ANY hills. I thought, hey, this is Albuquerque, it’s pretty much ALL flat. No hills here, like in the Sound to Narrows Race in Tacoma,WA. But noooooo….the first full mile was up a long, sloping hill. The whole mile.
Halfway up the hill I was thinking, OK, I’m not ready for this. I can’t do this, I should have trained more!!! I was, of course, at the back, but all around me, people were doing the walk/run thing and I kept up my steady, slow pace of running through the whole race. But when I saw people walking, my head screamed “I WANT TO WALK TOO”. I forced myself to ignore it, reminding myself that I had trained to run the race. Later, if I do a longer one (When I do, I should say. LOL) I’ll walk/run with no problem. But I guess I really just wanted to prove to myself I could do it with this race. After so many years of being so fat and out of shape it felt very important.
I seemed to be with the same group of walk/runners almost the whole way. They’d run past me, the stop to walk and I’d catch up and pass them then they’d come chugging along and pass me again.
One guy, I think, chose me as his “If-can-just-beat-her-I’ll-be-OK” person. He was huffing and puffing something awful as he ran past me, then he’d stop and walk and I’d go by and he’d catch up to me and pass me again. I wanted to laugh. It was sad to think that maybe his goal was to beat slow ME. Small goal, I’ll tell you what. In the end he finished ahead of me and I was so happy for him.
A group of three fit, teenage girls was doing the run/walk thing around me too. Honestly, I felt a little proud to be 51 and running it through, start to finish.
When I got to the finish line, both of my kids were there cheering me on!! I didn’t ask anyone to come with me. I was too nervous. But those little sweeties showed up anyway. It was a lovely surprise and they were both proud of me. They were smiling ear to ear.
The crazy news: My goal was 45 minutes and I finished in 40:40 seconds or so! That’s the fastest I’ve run!
Things I learned from this race:
It was sad to be there all by myself. I think I want some runner friends. I really, really don’t like running with anyone else, but seeing how much fun they were all having together made me re-think my stance. I’m going to look around for a running group that’s slow and older like me. If I can’t find one, I’m considering forming a group on “Meet-up”. I can’t believe I just said that. But I’m thinking about it.
The second thing I learned relates to the first:
I want to keep running races but I don’t want it to be as hard as this one was. No, it wasn’t horrible or anything, I was actually surprised by how good I felt. But because I did go a LOT faster than I normally do, it was hard. I don’t want it to be hard and I know it’s only hard because I’m new to it and am just not quite there in my fitness levels and my mindset. My mind refuses to imagine that I could go ANY faster. But I think I can.
Now I want to work it. I want to really train and get a LITTLE not a lot faster-with the goal in mind of it being more fluid, more enjoyable. I want running to remain as my fun thing, but I do want improve so I can enjoy the experience a lot more. Part of doing more serious training will probably be that I’ll get faster. If I work on moving my butt a bit then I can run with people and enjoy it. I know 50% of why I don’t like to run with others is because it’s such hard work for me, just doing the run. I don’t want to talk. I want to KILL you when you talk to me when I’m running.
I think I’d like to change that. If I feel great, I’m a little lighter and am nicely trained, then I can run with people without wanting to chop their heads off and I could have friends to race with. So this race opened my mind to the possibilities.
And let’s be clear here. I’ve not been so proud of myself in years and years and years. I feel like I’m my own hero now and it makes me want to cry just thinking about that. Running is my thing and I’m proud to have taken it on!