Saturday, September 27, 2008
Race Report: oof.
Larchmont R.A.T. Race
Rank (only mentioned for emphasis): 139/139
It was a hot, humid night, so I knew it was going to be difficult running conditions. The air horn went off, I started running, I was feeling fine - till I looked behind me and saw *no one* there. No walkers. The cop on the motorcycle pulled up beside me about three minutes in, I turned to him and said "am I the last person?" He said very seriously, "I'm with you the whole way."
While I'm a slow runner, I've *never* been the last person in a race. I could see the pack of runners almost a football field's length ahead of me and I knew the distance between us was only going to grow. My face got hot (well, warmer than it was) and I knew a tear or two slipped out. I just felt so schlumpy and embarrassed - and totally pressured to run the whole thing even though my calves were already burning.
I realized I couldn't be down on myself the whole way or I might actually abandon the race. And I couldn't do that, no way. I was in a neighborhood I didn't know, and I didn't want to be even more embarrassed in front of the cop. So I did a little running, a little walking. And it was hard, but I got it done. The worst part was when it was a long straightaway, and cones down the middle of the road signaled that the front of the pack would be heading my way. So I had to pass a bunch of my co-workers (a married couple was throwing a party afterward since they lived within walking distance) as I huffed and puffed my way through it. The cop would vroom past me to the next intersection and either circle back or hang out and talk to cops there.
But I finished. 10 minutes back from the previous finisher, but I did it. It was a race I don't think I will ever forget - and even though it was just a training run for the Komen 5K in two weeks, it was a swift kick in the pants that I have a lot of work ahead of me.