So. Bloomsday. Honestly? I kind of dreaded it. I was going to be by myself. I hadn’t been able to run more than a mile in a month. My heel had still been hurting me. I was really not sure I should even try it. But I hate wasting money and I had already paid for the registration. Yes, that was my motivation.
The morning of the race I got up and turned on the news to check the weather conditions. It was 34 degrees outside. Ugh. I would have to wait for an hour for the race to start in freezing cold weather. Not good. But I was prepared. I wore my cold weather running gear and headed out.
The wait ended up not being too bad. I stood around and people watched. I avoided the stupid ball throwing thing that they do at the start of the race every year. Then, just before my starting group (lilac) started walking to the starting line a woman next to me struck up a conversation. Apparently I “looked good (as opposed to evil) and she could sense that I would be a nice person to talk to.” And we had kind of an interesting conversation. She pretty much told me her life story (she had an ear defect when she was born and that’s why she wears hats all the time. She was married for 35 years to an abusive man). Then she started talking to me about Jesus and that’s when I decided that I would just break out in a run at the starting line (I had originally planned on walking the first mile). So I politely said goodbye and good luck to the nice lady and started jogging, weaving in and out of the hundreds and hundreds of walkers around me (I started in the second to last group with all of the walkers).
It was sometimes difficult to get through the throng and I had to be very creative at times. I ran on the sidewalk a lot of the race, annoying the neighbors who were perched there to watch the show.
I let the momentum of the crowd keep me going. I felt pretty good. My foot didn’t hurt at all (I bought really good arch supports the day before) so I kept jogging. I ran slowly. Much slower than I’m used to. But I kept going. At first my goal was to just get past all of the walkers. Then I narrowed my goal down to running until I made it into the next color group. I kept looking around me for people with blue numbers. When I made it to Doomsday Hill I walked up the hill. Then, when I reached the top, I decided to continue jogging. I felt good, so why not? If nothing else I would get done faster by jogging.
At this point I was getting hot (the sun came out and the temperature climbed to at least the 70s). We were now in a neighborhood, my favorite part of the race. This was the part when the neighbors cheered the racers on and it is a huge motivation boost. There were some partiers spraying water at the crowd and I ran to the water, eager to be cooled off. The drunk sprayer happily complied, aiming for the front of my shirt. nice guy!
Not long after that I looked up and I saw that I was on mile 6! I thought “Holy shit! I just ran 6 miles!” and since I only had about a mile and a half left I pushed through. That last mile was rough. My feet and legs started hurting but I kept going and, finally I made it to the end.
I made pretty good time, too. 1:42. Not too bad for someone who didn’t have very high hopes to begin with. I supposed I have that lady from the starting line to thank, since she was what spurred me to start running in the first place. And once I started the momentum kept me going.
Here is my results page. I’m a little embarrassed about the picture of myself crossing the finish line but oh well, 🙂