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!