Saturday, October 25, 2008

the accidental awesome runner

So this morning I accidentally ran a 15k.

Let's start at the beginning.

My super cool trainer, Sandi, had told me about a 5k coming up that sounded fun. It ended at the Milwaukee Ale House, so by 'sounded fun', I mean it sounded WAY fun. I tried to convince some other people to run with me but my convincing powers were on hiatus. I was going to try and meet up with Sandi before the run, but it was going to be kind of disorganized and crazy at the start so we knew that might be hard - no problem, we'd run into each other at the Ale House, and really, that's the most important part.

So the race begins and it's disorganized and crazy, just as expected. There's a dude hollering into a megaphone about the bag drop and the starting time and the turn-off for the 5k and I kind of vaguely hear it but I'm not really listening because sometimes I forget that directions are helpful for a reason.

The race begins and I crank the tunes on my ipod - jamming to the Killer's 'Human' and Chris Brown's 'Forever', a little britney spears, a little t-pain. I was aiming for a time of 27 minutes for the 5k - I love to run, but I'm not very consistent with it. I don't ever try and pace myself. I just run and see how fast I can go and then I get tired and I walk and then I say to myself, run, dummy! and so then I run and then I get tired and I walk. See a pattern? The first 5k I ran a few weeks ago, I got a time of 28:28 and me being a bit crazy, decided that I would try and beat that time by 1:30. 27 just sounded like a fun time.

About a half mile into the race, there's the great fork in the road. Pretty much everyone was going straight. When I went to pick up my race packet, everyone was in the 5k line so I assumed that the 5k was the popular route - the prom queen of the race. So there was some logic behind my mistake. I heard a girl in front of me ask the guy with the orange flag which way the 5k was and he pointed straight. Well, apparently, my headphones filter "15" into "5" - I went straight and holy crap - did you know that a 15k is way farther than a 5k?

Yea, who knew!?!

It wasn't until we got to the 3 mile mark that I realized my mistake. We just kept running farther away from downtown - I kept thinking, hmm... maybe there's a shuttle? Maybe there's another Milwaukee Ale House? Didn't occur to me that I was in the 15k route until I passed the 3k sign and heard no joyous yelps for the finish line.

HOLY CRAP!!! I'M RUNNING A 15K?!?!?!?! I've never run farther than 6 miles!

Ok, frick - what do I do? I could turn around, but I'm already 3 miles away so I'd have to run back 3 miles anyway - what's another 3? There's all these other people doing it - hey, there's a 90 year old woman running! Well, dang - surely I can do this too.

So I just decided that I was going to run this darn 15k and FINISH this darn 15k. There were about 3 places along the way that I could have jumped off the course and taken a shortcut to the end, but all I could think of was, oh man - Sandi will be so proud if I actually finish this! And I'LL be so proud if I finish this!

But mostly I'm crazy stubborn and I hate failing at anything so I just kept running.

Which was really awesome when my knees starting to hate me... and was also awesome when my Achilles starting screaming obscenities at me.

Dude, I'm such a moron. Apparently, you are supposed to TRAIN for a run like this.

I finished under 1:30 - ok, only by 5 seconds, but still!! I had made my goal of 27 minutes for the 5k - right before my life flashed before my eyes as I realized my mistake. I had been hauling and super smugly passing all these other runners somewhere around the 2 mile mark. Well, all those runners just as smugly passed me around the 6, 7, 8, and 9 mile mark. CRAP!

It all paid off in the end as I crossed the finish line, stuffed a bagel in my mouth and realized I had just finished and actually ran the whole thing! Yay me!

I finally made it to the Ale House and met up with Sandi and her husband who actually ran dressed as a scarecrow - very impressive - they were with a crew of people who run triathlons on purpose. Whoa! I was greeted with appropriate and rewarding reactions of horror mixed with hoots or laughter and disbelief.

And then I downed 3 beers to dull the pain.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

Best story ever!!