First, I’ll appease any fears. This blog isn’t going to turn into my jogging diary. I don’t see another organized race in my near future, and if there was one, I promise not to talk about it, but I think this one time it might actually make an amusing story. If you missed the post last week, I ended up signing up for Brian’s Run, which is a 5 mile run through West Chester, PA. The last time I was in a timed running event was probably the mile we had to do for physical fitness tests in middle school. What happened….
12:30 pm: I arrive to the biggest gathering of runners I’ve ever seen. People were running through the streets as I looked for a spot to park. Did I miss the start? People run to warm-up for running? Everyone looked sharp as hell. I was in swishy pants and a hoodie.
12:40 pm: I get my free shirt, my number and some plastic thing that I have no idea what to do with. Bad News: The shirt is day glo green. Good news: They still had my size.
12:45 pm: I see Rand, who conned me into this, and make the first of several, “all right, I’ll see you next year then,” jokes. He tells me the plastic thing goes on my shoe so they can track my time. Great, do they have a sundial?
1:00 pm: I make my way toward the back of starting pack, rumors were around 1,200 runners? I don’t want to get trampled at the start. I’m not a fast starter. Some mess beside me keeps saying things like, “I don’t care about my time.” And, “I don’t mind getting passed at all.” Um, buddy, there’s no one behind you right now.
1:01 pm: I half-walk across the start line as the mass disperses.
1:04 pm: I pass my car for the first time. Poor parking decision. I feel the urge to stop and check fantasy football scores.
1:09 pm: I think to myself, “I wonder if there will be mileage markers?” I kind of feel like I’ve been out here for a while.
1:11 pm: Someone in the crowd (great turnout of fans by the way), says, “1 mile down,” and moments later I see the mile marker. Guess that answers my previous questions. Can’t believe I’ve got 4 more to go.
1:13 pm: One of the Henderson students who were there to point us in the right direction, ring bells, and whatnot offers the following support, “You’re all going to be skinny! You’re all losing weight!” She then laughs and I don’t know whether to be amused or offended. I decide to chuckle.
1:14 pm: I pass my car AGAIN! What the hell is going on here? Are we just going to run around in circles? If we pass my car one more time, I may shut it down.
1:17 pm: Water station. Do I take any? Of course not. This is where I pass people. I’ve been hydrating since Wednesday.
1:20pm: I pass over 2 miles and enter a neighborhood. Up the street I can see people flying down the hill. The leaders? Nah, they’re probably done. These are just random people who are already a mile ahead of me.
1:22 pm: I get passed by a guy with a dog. Where did this guy come from? A family watching gets excited to see a dog and the kid tries to take a picture. I hope I didn’t get in the way.
1:26 pm: I am suddenly overtaken by a woman pushing a stroller. You’ve got to be kidding me! Someone on the street says, “Second Place stroller!” There’s another stroller out there? Come on. But, if I had been pushing someone around, I would have been in 3rd place! I decide I need to pass the lady.
1:30 pm: Going uphill I am animal. Passing people left and right. Skinny people, large people, a girl in candy cane antlers and red and green socks, they are all in my wake. We then hit a big downhill and they all charge past me. Frustrating.
1:34 pm: Water station. I don’t stop again. Literally every second counts at this point. Some old lady slows down to throw away her cup, and I nearly run her over. Excuse me Ma’am, I have a song for your iPod. It’s by Ludacris. It’s called, “Move Bitch.”
1:40 pm: Passing the 4 mile sign I start to say with every step, “Less than a mile. Less than a mile.”
1:41 pm: Starting to see fast people running their cool downs and/or coming back to look for their slow friends. Good times.
1:42 pm: I pass the street my car is on, but not my actual car. I decide to press ahead.
1:44 pm: Some lady asks into space, “What mile are we on?” Luckily someone else answers. I’m too tired to speak. I don’t have my bearings. Where is the gosh dang stadium?
1:46 pm: I get sight of the stadium, and it gives me a little boost of adrenaline. I see the clock ticking in the 46 minute range and mildly surprised by this, and a little thankful it hasn’t been over an hour. Since I think I am almost finished, I speed up a good bit.
1:47 pm: Error. You have to do a lap and quarter on the track, not just a quarter of a lap. Running by that finish line and not actually being finished. There’s a great feeling.
1:48 pm: With one lap to go, I realize that I am really hungry. I slow back down to my normal pace.
1:50 pm: No running hard through the line here. I’m quite sure I was down to a walk as I officially crossed. The clock said about 50 minutes and 2 seconds, but it took me a while to get to the line in the beginning, so according to me, I bested 50 minutes. Suck on that, Kenya.
1:52 pm: I try to locate Rand and turn down free pizza for the first time in my life. Partially because there is a long line, but also because I decide I am not quite hungry enough to eat pizza right this second. I go for a water.
1:55 pm: Now freezing again, I locate Rand and we make a move for the cars. No reason to stick around for the award ceremony. Maybe next year.
Overall, it was a pretty humbling experience. Even knowing that I am not a good runner at all, it is still amazing to be confronted with hundreds of people in the same location who are far better than you at something. Every time you get passed, it’s like, “I’m going slower than that?” Running is an odd thing, and it takes a special breed, and I’m happy to let them have their niche. Don’t make room for me on the bandwagon, but for one day, it was an experience.
*Reaction to Jayson Werth and the suddenly hot baseball market coming soon.