I am going to do something I don’t normally do. Take you through my race day last Saturday and then make a very important point to conclude my story. So here goes………
5:15 am – I woke up and proceeded to get myself together for the Roadrunners 5k in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. Knowing this town is very hilly, my stomach quickly started to express it’s displeasure with my decision.
7:05 am – I arrive at the race, get my bib and watch other runners pull into the parking lot as I stand alongside my truck and “size up” (stare down) the competition. My colors for the day were black, white and yellow. This should not surprise those of you who know me.
8:00 am – The race begins and I immediately realize, this may be a good day for me if I run smart and not worry about my finish time. Attempting to place overall was a much more accurate gauge of my efforts on such a horizontally challenged course. Starting in approximately tenth position, I soon reeled in a few runners until I reached a boyfriend/girlfriend team. Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say that this girl could have worn some shorts that left a little more to the imagination. This was an unnecessary distraction and I knew it would be best to put this risque racer in my rear view mirror. Accomplishing this put me comfortably into sixth position. Next I set my sights for a kid that appeared to be about thirteen or fourteen year old and as I drew closer he would sprint for a short distance to keep me from reaching him. Each attempt to hold me off took its toll and I was soon right behind him. This time the kid moved swiftly to his right and blocked me, leaving me nowhere to go that would not require substantial energy consumption for me. Well played kid, but I am patient. About 30 or 40 feet ahead the course opened up and I had plenty of room to pull past him. I have to give him credit, he ran along side me for the next half mile trying to reclaim his position, but it proved to be too much and he “blew up”, falling way back. The rest of the race was me struggling to finish (and not throw up) at the pace I had set. This one was over and the official results had me at a sixth place overall and a second place 36-45 divisional finish.
11:15 am – Breakfast at Linda’s Cafe in Wilmot. After waiting forever to receive my silver, my girlfriend and I went out to get something to eat before the evening race. I love the food and atmosphere at this place. It’s a little country restaurant that serves some of the best breakfast food in Wisconsin. Unfortunately someone had told the “clickers” about it that day and twelve of them crowded the establishment. What are clickers you ask? That is my new slang term for the pointy headed, snobby cyclists that dismount their bikes and walk around in their cycling shoes that “click” as they walk.
12:30 pm – Showered and changed for the Color Run 5k.
3:00 pm – My girlfriend and I arrive in Racine, Wisconsin to pick up our bibs and kill some time before the other 4,998 runner arrive. When we left it was pushing 90 degrees but by the lake it had moderated to a cool 75 and sunny. If you are not familiar with the Color Run 5k, it is a “race” that is more of a fun run. You must wear a white shirt and be prepared to be covered in a different colored powder at every kilometer. While this was not a competitive event, my girlfriend and I made our way to the front and I agreed to pace her. She is doing spectacular this year and wanted a good finish time, even if it was for her own satisfaction. This run was one of the best experiences I have ever had. By the time we finished, she had shattered her PR unofficially and we were both covered in yellow, green, pink and purple. We eventually made our way to the beer tent and the party while waiting for the band to start. Colored powder was everywhere and there was no way to disrupt this good time. Or was there? I waited patiently in line behind some young girls to buy as many beers as I could carry. It is Wisconsin after all. Two “men” with clipboards walked up and started to pressure the girls in front of me to sign up to help with the highly controversial gubernatorial election. Sorry guys, your talking points don’t fly here. I quickly intervened and the debate became somewhat heated. It was not too long before I made them look like the intellectually lazy lemmings that they were and they squirmed off to find other victims. Finally, beers in hand, I made my way back to the party just as the band was starting. Their name did not inspire confidence in their ability to provide enjoyable entertainment. “Hairball” took the stage and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. They put on one of the most fun and energetic shows I have ever attended. They covered KISS, AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Prince, Queen and many more, all in full costume of each lead singer. What’s more, they actually sounded like the bands they were covering. We stayed until the end and headed home elated but a little sad that the day had come to a close.
As runners, we battle for every inch of pavement, sometimes overlooking a small, yet rewarding piece of the puzzle. Whatever your training plan may be, continue to keep your focus and push yourself beyond all mental boundaries. Don’t surrender to weakness, be determined and keep fighting. At the same time, don’t become so serious and torture yourself so badly that all the love is torn from something you have always felt so passionate about. Once in a while it’s therapeutic to run through the streets looking like a disheveled clown and then sit through a surprisingly talented, yet cheesy band on a warm spring evening instead of treating every race as if it were an Olympic qualifier. Run for fun and race to place everyone!© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running