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Rochester 5K Recap

I promised yesterday that I would write the 5K recap today.  I have two hours until my promise turns into a pumpkin…so here we go!

This 5K wasn’t as convenient as the two previous races I’ve entered, meaning they weren’t right in my backyard.  We had to drive a little over an hour to get to this one but as you’ll soon read, it was worth the trip.  I had gone to Rochester the night before and picked up the race packets and t-shirts for myself and the girl who was going to run it with me.  I walked into The Running Room store and felt about as out of place as a person could get.  Like a completely dressed person on a nude beach.  Or, if you rather, it was like I was standing on a regular beach wearing nothing but a belt.

Every person there had that body.  A body that was long and lean and practically screamed I RUN ALL DAY EVERY SINGLE DAY AMEN.  My body screams DOUGHNUTS.  The people at the registration table were sweet though and didn’t even laugh as I moved forward delicately so as not to tip over racks of sporty clothes and shelves of body glide stuff.  And, bless them, they actually asked me which race I had entered.  There was a half marathon the same day as my 5K, see.  And they thought maybe I was going to run 13.1 miles instead of 3.1.  Because I totally look like someone THIS close to suicide by running to death.

My packet contained a little black chip doohickey that I had to shackle to my running shoes.  They even included a piece of red zip tie.  As if, folks, as if.  I believe I’ll be nailing that bitch to my shoes because I’m scared to death I’ll lose the thing and then owe you a gazillion dollars because microchips are expensive.  I know this.  I just bought a new computer.

The t-shirt was ugly.  But still is the coolest garment I own because I EARNED it.  With my SWEAT.  And tears.  Keep reading, you’ll see.

I think I fell asleep about 3 hours before I had to be awake.  Jitters, yes.  Lots of caffeine because I’m dumb and wasn’t thinking?  Hell to the yes.  My 5K cohort picked Dawn and I up at 6am the next morning.  Here we go…

After dropping Dawn off at the finish line we hastily parked the car by cutting off some guy who gave us the finger.  (Sorry, guy.)  We walked the five blocks to the starting line all a mess because we were excited and nervous.

“Just remember to start out slow.  And try to start near the back of the pack.”  I was telling my friend this, but really, I was reminding myself as well.

The gun went off.  Yes.  THE GUN.  All my other races (both of them) began with some guy going, “Oh yeah shit…uh…GO!”  So this was already way more professional.  Plus, I had that chip on my shoe.  I felt like I was part of something SERIOUS.  Something REAL runners belong to.  And I didn’t feel out of place at that starting line.

We started to trot towards the special mat (technical term) that activates the chip so our start time would be uber official.  I started my playlist of 5K specific songs that I had crafted carefully the night before.  I completely forgot to hit ‘start’ on my Garmin.

Approximately 1:30 minutes into the run, I hit ‘start’ on Garmin.  My headphones are blaring in my ears so loud that I can’t hear myself scolding me.  It was nice to drown out that perfectionist freak for once.

What’s this?  I’m PASSING someone?  Check your pace.  12:23/mile.  That isn’t fast.  Why are you passing?  SOMETHING MUST BE BROKEN.  Are you asleep?  Are you dreaming?  Shhh…it feels good to pass!  Don’t wake her up!

First hill. Definitely NOT sleeping.  Oh god.  Since when are there hills in a friendly 5K?  Focus on the music.  The music will carry you to the finish line.  Just keep trotting.  All you’re here for is to finish.  You only have to finish.  And, seriously, your legs aren’t even tired.

1.3 miles into the run.  Your legs still aren’t tired?  Are you sure?  You’ve run over a mile without stopping!!!  Do you know how long it’s been since you’ve done that?  You should have walked by now, probably.  You’ll bonk soon otherwise.  Whatever.  Hey, I LOVE this song!

2.1 miles.  One mile left.  Thank goodness.  It hurts…but not in a horrible way.  It hurts like strength and power.  It feels pretty damn good.  Where did you learn to breathe like this?  You’re not gasping for air.  You haven’t had a side stitch.  One mile left.

3 miles done.  Holy crap, you’re doing it!  You’re going to cross the finish line!  You can see it.  You can hear the MC.  You can smell the sweat of the people that crossed ahead of you.  Turn off the iPod.  Savor this moment.  And push.  Push HARD.  Get there.  GO!

“Number 721, Jennifer K___ from D_____, Iowa!”

And Dawn found me right away.  I knew I had killed my last time.  I knew I had finished in the 36th minute.  I knew I had run the entire course.  I knew that I didn’t feel as if I was going to die.  I knew that I felt strong and proud and like I had accomplished something incredible.

I cried.  But only for a second.


3 Responses

  1. Yippie! I cried for a second after my first one, because I did so well, and after the last one, because I did so horribly. LOL

    I want to see this ugly shirt! 🙂

  2. So proud of my friend!!!!

  3. I cried when I finished my 10K over the summer. No shame!

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