Woo hoo! As of this post, we’re all caught up on the string of running events I started 7 weeks before this blog.
This race was a real turning point for me, and I really have to give it up to my awesome friend, Erin, for inadvertently starting me on my crazy path. In the 5 weeks (and 6 races) leading up to this race, I’d come into work excited to talk about what race I had just done and what one was up next. I was always inviting people to run with me, but generally everyone thought it was such a silly idea. (“You want me to pay money so I can wake up early on a weekend and go exercise?” “It’ll be SO fun.” “Um, doubtful.”)
Then one night, I was telling Erin about how I was on the fence about running that weekend. This was before I had made any kind of official goal to run every weekend and I was talking about how, “you know, I guess it’s pretty cool that I’ve been running every weekend, but how long am I really going to keep this up? There are very few races this weekend, and they’re pretty far away, so I just don’t know…”
She jumped in and said she had actually been wanting to run with me this weekend. Music to my ears! Someone was finally willing to go running with me! We decided to do the Xterra Boney Mountain 6k.
Before the race started, as all the racers were gathered by the start line, the race officials said over and over, “no matter what you do, follow the blue arrows! Do not follow the red arrows or you’ll end up on the 21k path, which is not where you want to be.”
I made a little comment to Erin – “gee, I haven’t looked at a single map. I hope I don’t get lost.” We laughed that off. How could I possibly get lost in a race? That would be so silly.
I was toward the back of the pack. I’m always slow, and I was trying to be so kind to my body since I had pushed it way too hard the previous weekend.
This was a fairly small race, so the back of the pack was more thinned out than usual. I was in front of a few people, but there were lots of twists and turns, and narrow passages. Before you knew it, even though I wasn’t actually all that far from people in front of, or behind me, I was alone.
There was this area where it got really, pretty narrow for a little while. I am not an outdoorsy person, which maybe seems a little counter-intutive since I’m out doing half marathons all the time, but I hide from the sun as much as possible, and I’m totally afraid of animals.
I was a little bit freaking out, but I obviously couldn’t quit a race! I grabbed onto my clothes as though I was wearing a dress, and ran through the area pretending I was a Disney Princess – doing my best faces while looking all around me, pretending a huntsman was out to get my heart or something.
Somehow I did end up making it out of there and back to the wider parts of the course. Then, as I was passing photographers, I, no joke, saw a coyote!!! I am so afraid of animals! I asked one of the photographers if I really, honest-to-goodness saw a coyote. Super nonchalantly, he was all, “yeah, there are a bunch of coyotes here.” What?! Boy oh boy, I did not realize what I had gotten myself into.
Finally, I’m getting really close to the finish. I’ve done about 3.5 miles. I know it’s coming up soon. I come to this area where a red arrow is pointing right. A blue arrow is on the other side of the street pointing forward. I can’t go forward – only left or right, but I figure since it’s on the other side of the street, they must mean left.
I get lost and go over an extra two miles. (I have the absolute most awesome sense of direction, obviously.) I finish at least 10 minutes after the last 6k finisher. I felt so silly!
Nonetheless, it was a fun day and a good workout.
When we went to work the next day all proud and happy, my friend Matt said, “it’s really cool that you’re racing every weekend. You should keep this up.”
Maybe I should, Matt. Maybe I should.