I am not a runner. Well, maybe before I make this broad statement I should run more than 3-4 times a month and take the advice of one Mr. Matt Remus and give it some time and take it for what it is...pure sport.
It was a cool and rainy start to Saturday's events. I was one of 1,901 runners in the Bayshore 10K. Funny what kind of people come out for these things - old frumpy people all the way to elite professionals. It was drizzling to raining all morning, really spotty. Definitely there would be no sun. By race start though, things had lightened up and it was fine - probably perfect for running, not so nice for a spectator. It was a little humid, but at least it was cool out. The course was nice and shaded, running up the coast of Grand Traverse Bay, nearly right on the water. I was more than occupied during the start by observing others around me and seeing the landscape for the first time. Listening to the sounds of people around me breathing (weezing) like my 64 year old dad after only a quarter mile. I know I wasn't in top-condition for this thing, but c'mon people....really!? I did my best to get away from them as I didn't want to be the one that had to give anyone mouth-to-mouth that day.
I was sort of aggravated that the first drink station was only 1 mile into the course. People were taking cups and jamming up the area like they had been running for days. I whipped through there dodging people that had no care who was behind them. Maybe it's my cycling habits that always had me looking behind me before I made a darting move to pass or evade disaster. Seemed no one else did it. What I could have actually used was a drink at about the half way point.
As I kept running, looking for the mile markers, I had to keep telling myself to run MY race, not someone else's. My original goal was less than 1 hour, then thought I could step it up and finish in 54 minutes or less (9 minute miles). I would be happy with that. But as the younger (and older) people kept passing me, I would find myself accelerating with them to keep up, then talk myself back down into cruise mode so I could finish the damn thing, first of all.
Anyways, things were pretty uneventful from there as I learned more about the company around me. Then my focus came upon my blisters forming on the insides of both my feet and my burning hips. At about mile 4.5 there was this little girl (in my mind, 5 years old) standing at the end of her driveway with her hand out giving "fives" to everyone willing to give one out. Man, I needed that. Seriously. So I emphatically gave her one. At that point, how could I not keep trudging forward for my own little 5 year old waiting for daddy to finish the race. So I kept on.
The last .75 miles was grueling for me. One blister was red-hot with anger, hips seemed to be failing. I grabbed something to drink from the aid station (of course the water cups were on the left side, so I grabbed a gatorade instead) and walked for 3 seconds so it wouldn't stain my shirt. (retarded, I know) After running for only a few more minutes I couldn't help it but stop and walk for no more than 7-10 seconds for a breather. One time. Dear god, I needed that. Arms up, cramp in my side, hips burning, blister on nuclear. This was all after my head felt hotter than ever before and I was actually getting the chills while running. Things just didn't feel right for whatever reason. I could have kept pushing on, but didn't want to be that guy that didn't listen to his body and ended up face down on the course.
As I drew nearer to the high school track, there were more people, all cheering. I had always been a spectator for Patti's races and cheered a little for random people. I had no idea how much that means to the actual runners. These "randoms" were cheering for everyone - it kept me going. Next time I'm a spectator, you can bet I'll be cheering for everyone more than I used to.
After going straight for 50 minutes the quick zig-zag into the stadium track was tricky. I felt like I could've wiped right there. My soccer-style cutting abilities were absolutely nil. As I approached the finish line, I listened intently for the cow-bell that Marissa was holding. Without listening for that thing there was no way I was going to find them. I had tunnel vision by now, everything was aching, things were blurry, my head burning. (my head gets SO hot anytime I am doing physical activity) Finally, I hear the bell and focus in on the crowd to see them, waving, cheering. I couldn't wait to cross that line. I did it, with arms up, glad more than anything it was finally over.
I met up with the family after chilling out a little, realizing I wasn't actually going to die. My family will have to wait for some other time to collect insurance money. With what little energy I had to use speaking, I didn't say "I love you", or "wow, I did it" or even mutter my time....just "This has got to be the DUMBEST sport ever." Standard Maravolo. All I could think about for the last mile of my run was, "why would anyone do this to themselves?"
In the end, it was painful. I couldn't wait to get in the truck, take a shower and get back into bed. Which is exactly what happened. By 10:30 am I was in bed taking a nap. HA...weak. I was giggling to myself that there were people out there still...practically dying and I was back in bed taking a nap. My feet, ankles and knees were popping for the balance of Saturday and all of Sunday. My plans for taking a scenic 50-60 mile bike ride up the peninsula of Lake Leelenau were gone, which I was most disappointed about. I took the bike and all my gear, planned a route all for nothing.
I thought that this race was both my debut to racing and my retirement, that's what I intended it to be.
Marty text me on Sunday "wanna run the Bridge Run 5K with me?"
My reply: "Is there a 10K?"
Pretty consistent 9 minute miles.
Final official results:
Age 35-39: 45/87
Before the race.
Last few meters. Dying.
Official finish race picture. Glad I didn't get to see the inside of this bus.