This is a long post. I have a lot to say here. I am not sorry for that. You should read the whole thing because I talk about crying near the end…
So this past Saturday I ran my first 10k, hot on the heels of the first 5k I ever ran (which was the Saturday before AND a mud run).
It was the 35th Cooper River Bridge Run here in Charleston.
I have to tell you guys…It was great. There is a small chance that I might be hooked on races. There is something magical about all of the people in Under Armour and knee socks and camelbacks, who all have a common goal, that being the finish line and the free fruit and water there-at.
I was not trying to run it in a specific time frame because I was running it with the Run Buddies. You may remember that I WALKED the Cooper River Bridge a while back with De, Tre, and Kevin from the Run Buddies. I met up with my boys De and Tre and a handful of other kids who were getting off the couch and getting active!
There were over 43,000 people at this race so I was a bit overwhelmed at the shear volume of human beings surrounding me once I got lined up in my corral. Yes, I said corral. Like I am a horse. Good thing I didn’t pull up lame in this race. The glue factory is only a hop, skip and a broken leg from my current location. I was actually supposed to be in corral E but I went back to where the RB’s were in corral M.
In the interest of keeping this post as short and readable as possible I will skip the part about waiting in the corral for over an hour and a half while some “issues” on the bridge were resolved. I am still not entirely sure what was wrong, but all I know is that it caused an hour and a half delay.
I forgot to tell you that corral M was the last group and that we started the race behind ALL of the strollers and walkers…That made for an interesting start!
Once we finally did get the countdown and the horn to start, Jason from Chucktown Triathletes and his home-girl Katie and I were keeping pace with the two Maurice’s. We caught up with Louis (the founder of Louie’s Kids) and had a nice tight little group coming down Coleman Blvd towards the bridge. For the most part we covered that ground at a run, but when we came around the bend and saw the huge Cooper River Bridge looming in front of us the kids decided to back down a bit and walk…That was pretty much how the whole accent went…Run for 20 yards, walk, run for 20 yards, then walk. But you know what? These kids were still out there tearing it up! Somewhere on the first span of the bridge, a Run Buddy named Eliza split from her family and started running with us. She was a beast! She and Jason and I got separated from the rest of the group when one of the other kids had an unfortunate need for the restroom suddenly present itself. There is really nowhere to drop a deuce on top of the bridge so he and Louis went and found a ride to the bottom.
We hit the bottom of the bridge and made the turn into town and were greeted by cheers and rattles and cowbells from the throngs of spectators lining the sides of the road. It pushed us to finish strong!
When we rounded the last bend and hit Meeting Street, the finish line was in sight. We mustered the last of our energy and made a mad dash through the finish.
And it was done. My first 10k. And I felt like I could have run a few more. (Maybe I will shoot for a 15k next?)
My official time was 1:21 but like I said, I am not worried about that. I had a great time with some new friends and the kids. (HOWEVER, I think the next 10k I do I am going to shoot for under an hour. I really think I can do it.)
To bring this post to a close I need to tell you about my state of mind after the race. I was on the other side of town and across the river from where my car was so I took the shuttle back over the bridge to Mt Pleasant. It dropped me off about a mile or more from where my car was. I felt a little bummed about that. My legs were spent by that time, but I sucked it up and started walking back to the car. This is when, once again, the adrenaline started to
wear off and I started contemplating what I had just accomplished as well as how tired and sore I was. I was holding myself together quite well, pumping my head up with the thoughts that “I am a runner now!” even though I had told myself before that I didn’t really want to become a runner. I thought back to the post I wrote about how running hurt my knees and how said to myself in the past that I didn’t think I would continue running. I could feel the emotions welling up inside of me again. Thinking about how far I had come in such a short period of time and how I was now even considering when my first 13.1 would be. My eyes were dry though. That is until a very small and innocuous event happened. I was walking just past Halfmoon on Hibben Street going into the Old Village (reference the locals will understand) and I looked up and I was all by myself. Until an older lady on a bike rounded the corner. She must have seen the bib still pinned to my shirt when she smiled and said, “Congratulations on your run!” I waved, said thank you, and then just about lost it right there in the middle of the street.
She will never know how such a small statement effected me.
This is going to be a run on stream-of-consciousness sentence so deal with it…It brought all of the emotion that I have had over the past week after running a mud run and a 10k and being surrounded by people who believed in me when I wasn’t even sure I believed in myself and seeing those kids just go for it and knowing that they are being mentored by awesome folks and knowing that my kids will have me around a little longer and that maybe my wife might even find me a little more attractive and I will be able to ride all the rides at Disney next time I go and I can buy clothes in a regular store in the regular section and that even though I haven’t really lost any weight in the last 3 months I am still changing for the better physically and as a person and I think I can keep this up even though I get worried sometimes that my food addiction is still not fully overcome but that the pain of NOT being healthy is so much worse than the pain it takes to GET healthy so that I HAVE to continue because I can NEVER go back to the old me no matter what and I think that I can just end it right there because if I don’t it will take you a week to read all of my thoughts…and all of that emotion welled up in me right there on Hibben Street and I almost fell to my knees and started crying. Almost. I just stopped. wiped the tears from my eyes and went and got my car.
And you know what I did after that?
I went and got a burger and a beer. And I enjoyed life.