Thursday, July 5, 2012
4th Of July Race From The Sidelines
As you know from my previous post, I bowed out of the 8k I was signed up to do on July 4th due to a pulled muscle that is taking waaaaay too long to heal. I had no plans to go down to the race, but instead was going to actually sleep in for once.
Then Bud called at 6:30 AM yesterday morning to say "We should go down to the race." Then he asked me if I had picked up my race packet, which I hadn't. I figured since I wasn't running the race, why would I pick up my t-shirt and be a big faker with a t-shirt for a race I hadn't run?
To that, Bud said "Oh bullshit. You paid for it, let's pick it up." So we stopped at the packet pick up just before the race started, and the people there could have cared less about me not running the race and directed me over to the t-shirts. So I got my t-shirt--which is a pretty nice bright yellow fancy shirt. I figure I will use it to run around and it will be a reminder of how I have to take better care and not do stupid things like push tables full of books around by myself.
So we walked outside (already 80 degrees at 7AM with a dew point at 73--this means I should have been in the tropics on a beach) and missed the start, but stayed near the finish line to watch the elite runners come in around 23 minutes after the start. I was surprised to see some of the elites come in much later than that--some after the regular runners finished! I found out from my friend Michael (who came in 4th in his age group) that when they realized they would not get any prize money, they began taking walk breaks and chatting with each other. Interesting. The runners came in and all looked pretty good, but exhausted. Free beer was offered to all the runners, and they took advantage of it--the gatorade and bottled water was not cold and the beer was icy and tasted good--even at 8 AM. Apparently the refrigerated truck had broken down over night and couldn't keep the beverages chilled.
So I did go to the race, see my friend cross the finish line, and I did get my t-shirt. I was not sorry I didn't run. The heat and humidity was pretty bad. I asked Bud if he would have been worried about me running in it if I hadn't hurt my leg and had been training these past few weeks. Expecting him to say "Of course I wouldn't want you to run in this!" instead I heard him say "Of course you should have run it. You would be used to this heat by now." No hesitation there. I can say I would have sucked big time and slowed waaaay down.
I am always interested in watching others run and see how their strides are and how they put their feet down when they're running. Do they stand straight? Do they pump their arms? Do they kick back really high, or just skim the ground? Most people I saw had a good kick back. Most people I saw had legs that were the total length of my whole body. Those of us who are on the short side cannot kick back quite that much. Some people looked truly graceful and effortless, while others really struggled and ran hunched over. It made me really think about how I look when I run--which isn't pretty. I've seen photos, and I am horrified. My form is terrible, and I have to really work on getting my legs up and back instead of shuffling. I learned a lot just from watching and observing. It was an important lesson for me!
I'm hoping I can get back to running next week. The leg is slowly healing, and with the extreme hot weather, I probably wouldn't be running this week anyway. I am looking forward to getting back into running and having a goal. I really feel like a big schlump; even though I'm not a fast runner, it does make me feel good to do it and that is what I want to get back to on a weekly basis.
Congrats to all my running blogger friends who ran on the 4th of July! It's always fun to run on a holiday and especially the 4th of July. As for my next race? Who knows? I'm sure something will come up in the next few months.