You have that race tomorrow, don’t you?
Yes, Mom. The Race for the Cure is tomorrow.
Well, just be careful. Don’t go tripping and falling and hurting yourself.
Well, I really wasn’t planning on doing that, Mom.
Oh, I know. But still, be careful.
This scene is basically repeated with my Dad.
The next morning, before I leave for the race, Mr. Penney says
Now don’t trip and fall!
Now what string of events have happened to make people think that I am an accident waiting to happen?!?!? (In Mr. Penney’s defense, he was just being funny. I think….)
I get to the race site by 7AM and wander around for a bit I have never been to one of these things before, so it was something to explore. There is no need for me to go to registration, as I registered early enough to have my number and t-shirt sent to me in the mail. A number of the corporate sponsors are there giving away stuff to everyone. Hats from McDonalds, bagels from Panera, yogurt from Yoplait, etc. It is a carnival-like atmosphere really.
I get to the actual starting point of the race and see two signs: 6-8 minute pace here and 8-10 minute pace here. Now, I just naturally assume, by the lowest number that was post, that these were per mile and not per kilometer. After doing the race, I may have been wrong about that. Can anyone tell me for sure?
In any case, since this is my first race, I go with the slower group, which is further back from the starting line. There are a number of people there, but there is still plenty of room to move around. I am doing some stretching to get ready for the race and to keep warm. I wish that I had some gloves!
Time gets closer to the start of the race, and it is getting really crowded. As in, I can barely move. Holy cow! I am going to trip and fall! Dammit!
BANG! The race has started!
Well, the race has started for those up front. For me, towards the back, I am just jogging in place, because forward motion is not an option at this point.
I make it past the starting line, and then past someone with a stroller. What the…? Why is someone with a stroller in front? It’s a logjam around this person!
I keep heading down Shawan Road, and make the left onto York Road. There is a group of young girls that are already walking. We have not even made the 1 mile marker yet! And how is it that they are ahead of me?
Wait a minute. My nose has stopped working! I have been fighting a cold or allergies (I am not sure which) for over a week, and my nose has chosen this moment to shutdown on me. Efforts to unclog it are to no avail. I am a mouth-breather today.
At the one mile mark, I hear someone yell, “9 minutes and 30 seconds.” Well, I was hoping for better, but whatever. Right now, I am still just trying to get past other people. Maybe I should have started in the 6 to 8 minute pace group.
I see a guy with a dark t-shirt with EA on the back that I select as my pace setter, as well as my battering ram, as whatever openings he finds, I go through right behind him.
Uh oh! Herniated oblique! Coming back on me! Dammit! Not the time! Should I go off to the side and just walk the rest of the way?
Two mile mark.
I am still following my pace setter, but not as closely. My oblique has calmed down, so I have that to be thankful for.
We round a corner, and I lose sight of my pace setter, so I choose the guy that has just passed me.
Three mile mark.
I see a digital timer: 00:25:30-something.
Finish line is ahead! With lanes! People are on the side cheer their racers on. I look around, but see no one that I recognize.
I make it over the finish line, and start to walk. I tear off the stub on the bottom of my number, and hand it over.
I promise, fiber related stuff soon. I finished the sleeve to Mr. Penney’s sweater!