Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Race Thoughts

I have run six races year already (four 5Ks and two 10Ks). I think that’s more races that I ran collectively all last year.  Crazy, right?  

Same picture, six different ways.

During every race I always wish my thoughts could magically be transcribed because I think about the wackiest stuff during races.  There’s so much to see and think when you’re running (especially a longer distance) and my thoughts are just everywhere.  

Anyway, this is my attempt to get some of those thoughts down on paper (or blog?).  Enjoy the complete randomness (and snarkiness).

- Running shirts should be made with the cute/clever/funny message on the back instead of the front.  Why?  Because no one sees the front of anyone’s shirt in a race.  You’re always looking at someone’s back.  
This is why when Michele, Amanda and I made our shirts for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler a few years ago, we put the cute/clever/funny message on the back.

See what I mean?

- OMG there are so many people, I feel claustrophobic!

- OMG, this uneven cobblestone is going to KILL me.

- I feel like there are a lot more people on race courses that run/walk these day.  This makes me so happy and makes me feel like part of a neat little group on a race course.  Go Galloway people!

- Speaking of run/walkers, I’ve also noticed more people using hand signals for when they slow to a walk, or speed up for a run.  I don’t know if there is an “official” hand signal for run/walkers, but over the years I’ve noticed people raising their hand to signal when they are slowing to a walk or speeding up for a run.  Love it.  I started doing this not too long ago as well because it’s just polite to alert someone behind you that you’re about to start walking.  I was just pleased to see a lot more people doing it.  

A little Googling and I found this on the topic: 

- There is always that one car (or two, or twelve) that just has to pull out of their driveway on to the race course during the race.  This infuriates me to no end.  You know that a gigantic running race is going to go through your neighborhood.  Stay in your freakin house until it’s over.  We won’t take long.  These people should be arrested for endangering the lives of hundreds of people.  Annoying.

- The other annoying guy is the guy who parks his $70,000 Tesla on the street when his driveway is empty, so that we all have to run around his fancy car.  Oh, and did I mention he was standing out on the street next to his car cheering people on? Move your car dude.  I hope someone scratched it.  Annoying.

- I read a lot of running blogs of people who run 7 minute miles, 9 minute miles, 3 hour marathons and I oftentimes feel very inferior, like “what is wrong with me? I run like a 13 minute mile on a good day.”  I know I shouldn’t do this, but it’s kind of hard not to compare yourself to other people.  During races I find I’m always surrounded by people like me, who run/walk/whatever at the same pace as me.  It just makes me glad to know that I’m not alone.

- During pretty much every race I run, there is always someone who runs up to me and tells me “you’re doing great!” or “good for you!” or something of that sentiment.  I would like to think that these people are doing it just to be really nice, but I know why they are doing it. It’s the way I run.

Let’s talk about this...  I’ve wanted to talk about this for a long time.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time (bless you), then you may know about my accident.  When I was 8 years old I was in a bicycle accident where I sustained a head injury that left me paralyzed on my left side.  I had to work hard to learn how to walk again, talk again, write again, use my entire left side again. I eventually got everything back, but my left side was left much weaker than my right resulting in my walking with a slight limp. I never really thought much about it until I started running and people started coming up to me during races saying nice things to me or asking if I'd had hip or knee surgery. This kind of makes me wonder (and fear) what I look like when I run. I have no idea, and really don't care to know, but it's got to be severe enough to make people say something to me. Crazy right? The first time someone said something to me I actually cried, half out of frustration that apparently I run so strangely people think there is something wrong, and half because I was touched that someone made a point to say something.  

What can I do about it? A couple of years ago I had issues with tendinitis in my ankle (a result of how severely my left foot turns in when I run), so I saw an Orthopedic who suggested physical therapy. I went to physical therapy for about six weeks and she gave me exercises to do to strengthen my left ankle, foot, leg and hip. And they worked pretty well. Almost four years later, have I done my physical therapy exercises? Nope. Bad bad bad. 

In this pic you can kind of see my left foot doing its weird turn in.  

Anyway... sorry for the slight departure from my list... Back to it... 

- Aaah, my Garmin died just as I crossed the mile 4 marker. I always forget to charge it.

- Can we talk about kids on race courses? They are super fast (for short spurts) and really dangerous. I saw a kid who was maybe 8 or 9 tear off at the beginning of the race running full speed, with his shoelaces untied, weaving in and out of the crowd so bad he almost knocked a lady over. Seriously, whose kid is this?! 

- My toenails hurt. Why do my toenails hurt? I really hope I don't lose a toenail. I literally thought about this for a majority of the race. (Thankfully post-race my toenails felt fine)

- I hate it, HATE IT, when people run the opposite direction on a course, like they're trying to find someone behind them so they turn around and run back to meet them. If you wanted to keep up with them, why did you run ahead of them in the first place? You should not be allowed to run the wrong direction on a course. Forward only please!! 

- Even worse than that (in the same vein), fast people who finish the race and then feel the need to run the course backward with their water and banana and medal in hand, just to show off that they're finished and you're still on mile three. HATE. I give them evil stink eye. 

- I can see the finish line, but I'm in the middle of a walking interval, do I run or stick to my intervals? Granted, the finish line is pretty far off (like .3 miles), I could probably keep walking until the next one and still have plenty of time to run and cross the finish line running. Yeah I'll do that (and I did). 

- I always think the races photos they take of me crossing the finish line are going to be super glam looking, but when I see them I think, "OMG is that what I look like?!  I'm never running again." 

- Another medal, just what I need...but I love love love wearing that badge of honor around my neck. I earned it!


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