At the end of last year, I publicly declared my intention to do 52 organized runs in 52 weeks. In the harsh reality that was 7am on New Year’s Day, I wondered whether I hadn’t been chemically altered when I concocted this folly (too much Mamma Chia, perhaps?). Or potentially replaced by aliens …
But a quick 2012 audit of my corporeal self confirmed that everything was in order. So I decided to place the blame squarely on my new running alter ego, who, after appearing out of nowhere, is apparently now calling the shots – fueled by Spandex, Lululemon and many playings of Kylie. What else can explain my sudden desire to travel vast distances on freezing weekend mornings to run until I feel as though I am going to pass out? It can’t be the bananas. Or even the beer.
It’s a good thing (or a sad thing, depending on how you look at it) that neither myself nor my alter ego overindulged on New Year’s Eve, or we would not have been at all equipped for the 5K 1st Run in Lowell, MA. Of course, I may have been secretly hoping that others had overindulged, in the interests of making me look faster. But these running types are serious!
Like a record, baby
It was a gorgeous day, unseasonably warm for January 1, which must have inspired me. I felt great over the first mile, an unusual sensation. I usually run in two states: desperation (as I loudly try to suck in air, no doubt alarming many other runners in the process); and bewilderment (how did I get here, and when is it all going to be over?).
I rarely reach the point where I feel comfortable, so this was one for the books. (My Nike+ GPS even said I had run a 10.17-minute mile. I was happy to ignore the fact that it’s prone to exaggeration.) In a strange twist, I felt good through the second mile too. I was starting to figure that those aliens must have come back when the third mile brought me down to earth. Ah, that familiar near-death feeling; I was beginning to wonder what had happened to you.
Still, I managed to produce a personal record! Joy. Although I still don’t understand how my face manages to be so red in the presence of temperatures requiring heat blankets. (Ah yes, this was my first heat-blanket race. Only a handful of people used them, but I had to grab one. Major hard-core points.)
I have often complained to Hubby that I don’t understand the point of medals for adults. I mean, unless you’re a super-serious athlete (or have a fetish), they amount to little more than useless tchotchkes that clog up your life. But the medal given out at 1st Run was above average. Festively themed for the new year, it doubles as a wine stopper. Genius! And for anyone who knows me, completely appropriate!
I don’t usually go in for reporting on the minutiae of the races, but this one was fabulously organized, right down to the personalized emails we got the day after with our times. And yes, there was beer. It was Part One of the Will Run for Beer series that made me so excited earlier. I am nothing if not predictable.
One run down, 51 to go. It’s a long, hilly road ahead.
The event: 1st Run
The location: Lowell, MA
The date: January 1, 2012
My time: 33:14
Hubby’s time: 46:35 (he did the 10K)
The T-shirt: Blue long-sleeved technical shirt and white technical hat, plus the medal of awesomeness
The aftermath: Beer by Smuttynose Brewery, chicken noodle soup, pasta