My First Race
Today I ran the first race since running in the Linda Yalem Race two years ago. That race was devastating as I injured my leg.
I arrived with ten-minutes to spare before the start. My anxiety not much higher than it is at any other time. I retrieved my number and my race chip. After attaching both, I jogged to the start line. When I reached the start line I heard an announcement inform me I had “three minutes before the start of the race.”
The gun sounded and we were off. Off to complete a 3.1 mile jaunt around Olcott, NY. As I looked ahead t see the first turn my heart sank as I saw we would be crossing a bridge. Mind you bridges arc. The literal downside comes after a brief uphill. I don’t mean o sound as though I am whining but I have been training since Thanksgiving on a treadmill and there is a tremendous difference between treadmill running and running outdoors.
We rounded several turned and the first mile maker was in view. As I passed the marker I glanced at my watch and a fellow runner asked me the one-mile time. I shouted, “8-minutes 9-seconds.” I searched for someone to follow. Someone who was running a pace similar to the pace I was running. This person was nowhere in sight. A runner passed by wearing headphones and I wished I had brought my own. Music had always been a faithful and helpful accompanist and that help would have been beneficial right about now.
A quarter mile later we rounded a left-hand turn and I winced as I saw the wind blowing snow across the road. Ahead I could see the next turn and realized within a short distance the wind would be at our backs. As we continued to run that runner who I had looked for to help m pace w in my sights. We ran together prior to the two-mile marker. For several hundred yards we exchanged leadership. We reached the bridge and I felt like a horse knowing the barn was right around the corner. My stride increased and I felt myself beginning to pull away. The only labored breathing now was my own.
As the finish line grew closer the labored breathing of the “other”runner was growing nearer. Their pace rapidly increased and they passed me with a mere 100-yards to the finish. I was beaten. My goal of running a sub-30-minute 5K was a reality. My finish time was 28:09.
I relinquished my timing chip and moved closer to the award every runner cherishes, a bottle of water and a t-shirt. Unfortunately my shirt read, “I was beaten by the (polar) bear!” I further retreated into the quiet and solitude of my car to change before the drive home, the promise of a cup of hot Tim Hortons coffee, my thoughtful companion on the ride home.