The Lonely 5K

Monday, July 16, 2012

Saturday was my 4th 5K.

The only one I was more nervous at was my very first one. This one was scary because I was doing it on my own - no one in my family was running it, no friends running it, and no one there to cheer me on.

I realized that I was okay with this. While I was nervous, I felt no pressure. There would be no one at the finish line trying to figure out why I hadn't finished yet. There would be no one to keep up with. This one would be all mine.

Of course, I walked a lot of it. There was a hill. Remember during the last race I posted about Heartbreak Hill? This one was worse. It wasn't quite as steep, but it went on FOREVER, all the way around a park. Actually, it's a field. It's popular around here for sledding and ice blocking because it's so steep and goes on forever.

Before the race, I felt really self-conscious. There were groups of people all around me, laughing and talking to each other. I was a loner. There was another girl standing a few feet away, but she looked as if she was waiting for someone.

The race starts in waves. 10K walk goes first, then 10K run, then 5K run, then the 2.5K run. People were lining up and I realized that I didn't know which race was lining up, so I asked the girl next to me and we got to talking. She was also alone and she had been for the last 2 5Ks. We started the race together.

I like to be alone with my music when I run though, so I put in my headphones and moved with the beat. About 1 minute in, my peace was interrupted by a tap on my shoulder. It was someone I knew from about 10 years ago. I thought we'd exchange a polite hello, but she wanted to talk. Seriously. I could not shake her. For probably 5 minutes we exchanged pleasantries. Luckily, she was running with a little kid and had to stop and wait for him. I put my headphones back on and pulled away.

The race weather was lovely. It was overcast and was threatening rain, but not raining. It was breezy but not windy. If it weren't for that hill, I know I could have finished in 35 minutes or less.

After I finished, I waited for my new friend. She finished about 5 minutes after me. We sat together at the awards ceremony that they have afterward. She's going to be running the next one as well and I hope I run into her again. She's nice.

I really can't wait for the next race. This one was fun and I realized that I'm beginning to enjoy them more instead of dread them.

But I think I want to make a shirt that says "Don't talk to me until I cross the finish line, please". If people still insist on talking to me while I'm running, I'll cross off the "please" and draw and angry face. Maybe that will help! Or it could say "Shut Up While I'm Running" or "I'm Not Ignoring You, I'm Ignoring Everyone".

Does it make me a mean person to not want to have a chat while running? Running is hard enough for me without wasting precious oxygen!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your 4th 5k! That's fantastic!

    and No IMO you are not mean for not wanting to talk.

    I used to like to go on walks with people but now I LOVE my solitary walks. So peaceful. Cleansing.

    Keep up the great work!
    2043 days ago
    Way to go!! Queen of the 5 k's!! emoticon Good luck on your next one!
    2043 days ago
    i hear you on the lonely. I have done two and have been on my own for both. but at both I have found someone to chat with and totally enjoyed the experience. but yup I can't run and talk at the same time. I love the excittment of the races though and meeting up with my new race friend at the end. Great job and keep up the good work!!!!!!
    2044 days ago
    I love racing alone simply for the fact that I don't have to worry about anyone else. :)

    Nice job!
    2044 days ago
  • -CORAL-
    Trying to talk to someone during a race is just plain rude! I have done 1 race by myself, and it was kind of lonely. I much prefer having at least some company, someone to high five at the end. Which is weird because otherwise I'm a total loner. I can't stand running with other people, and generally keep to myself overall. I even eat in restaurants by myself and I love it! Congrats on your race!!
    2044 days ago
    Sounds like me on my Carlsbad Half Marathon. I drove myself there, ran, and drove myself home, and I really enjoyed the experience!
    2044 days ago
    You are not a mean person to want some personal space while running. I like having someone to run with when it's just for fun. But races no way. I want to concentrate and be one with nature....or something like that lol
    2044 days ago
    Great job on your race! I do hope you see the same girl - having friends who also run is a great motivator. Next time someone wants to "chat", don't be so quick to remove your headphones (unless you just hadn't put them in yet). I don't run with music and LOVE to chat, unless I'm running super hard then I LOVE to listen, but am totally not offended when someone is wearing headphones/earbuds. Just wave and say "See you at the end" or "We'll catch up at the end" or something to that effect. If you take our your headphones, to me that would signal that you were willing to have a conversation lol. I've run every race with my RB so far and I'm actually looking forward to a race where I don't know anyone and am not running with anyone (although we haven't actually run a whole race and finished together yet). I think it would be very liberating! Good luck on your next one and keep kicking butt with Yoda. :)
    2044 days ago
    Awesome!!! It's so hard to be a loner at a race. That's how I felt at the marathon. But, sometimes being on your own is beneficial, and you made a new friend! Way to go on completing your 5k!!!!
    And, I wouldn't worry about offending anyone. Most runners don't want to talk, especially during a race!
    2044 days ago
    No rudeness on that count. As the say if you can hold a conversation your not actually pushing yourself and we all know that you like to push your self. Soooooo, talking takes away from what your trying to do, maybe explaining that on your tee shirt would help? emoticon

    Way to go getting another run accomplished. emoticon
    2044 days ago
    Way to go Jess! I don't think people should try to talk when they are trying to run, any more than a quick "On your left!" if they are passing you on a trail or something. Congrats on your solo 5K! You are a total fitness Rock Star. Now I need to get serious about finding another 5K to run emoticon
    2044 days ago
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