Saturday morning my alarm went off at 7am. I woke up to the one sound I didn’t want to hear on the morning of a long run. Rain. I wanted so badly to stay in my warm bed, with my cat purring in my ear to lull me back to sleep. Instead, I got myself up, gathered my things, and set out for the hour drive to my race destination.
I enjoy running in the rain. I run better, I run faster, and I run happier. HOWEVER, I don’t like starting a run when it’s already been raining. When it’s already raining that mean’s it’s cold, and it’s wet. Basically I need to already be running before the rain starts. I say this now, but always end up loving the rain runs regardless. Naturally I wore something to protect me from the elements.
Gloves and a headband. Oh and a short sleeve shirt..because I am probably the only runner in Washington that gets hot on a 40 degree run. The wait before the run was cold, and wet. This was going to be my first solo long race. I arrived early, got my running number, and couldn’t help but want to go home.
Umm..wtf is this? Had I known it would have been such a hassle to print off running numbers without any identification of the race, I would have taped a piece of computer paper to my chest to save them the 2 bucks. I paid almost $40 for this race, you’d think the running ID’s would be a LITTLE better than just a 5 and a 6 slapped onto a white sheet of paper. If I were in charge it would have looked more like this.
Anyway, I grabbed my number and there had to be maybe 10 cars waiting with me. TEN..this was a race..WHERE were all the people!? It didn’t take me long to figure out this was a small race. I don’t like small races. I had over an hour to kill, and had to sit in my car watching the rain fall because it was wet, and there weren’t many people to talk to. Still kind of wanting to go home..
I had one of two choices: I could either suck it up, run this race alone and be bored and soaked, or I could call and beg someone to come run with me, not be bored, and still get soaked. I chose the latter.
My friend lives 4 miles from where the race was, and happened to have a free schedule for the day. He showed up and ran this race with me, and it was one of the BEST run’s we’ve had to date! I have to say, this was a very unorganized race..but we made the best of it and had a blast. Not only did we run 10 miles with a good amount of hills, but I cut 10 minutes off my previous 10 mile PR. We finished 10.2 miles in 1:45:46, and the 10 miles in 1:43:46.
I didn’t care about the rain, I didn’t care about the hills, I didn’t care about the woman that had no idea how to run an aid station and had us pouring our own Gatorade, I didn’t care about the lack of organization, I didn’t care about the awful running ID, all I cared about was having a fun time.
After the run we had to stop at the store to get food. I saw this meal on Tiff’s blog, and had my mind set on this post race carb feast. Please excuse the photo quality, I needed calories more than I needed a good photo.
If you have access to a car, drive to the store right now. Buy a sweet potato and a can of baked beans. Your life will be changed. As if this meal wasn’t enough, I was later surprised with vegan ice cream and Oreo’s to make my own vegan friendly dessert. I swooned. Whoa long post..almost done.
So what’s the moral of this story? Don’t be a race snob like I was, a run is a run is a run. It doesn’t matter if it’s a huge event with 17,000 people (Disneyland Half) or if it’s a small run with 40 people. We are all coming together for a common hobby, and that is to enjoy a good, solid, hard run. Would I have enjoyed this race as much if I were alone? No, but I got lucky having someone right around the corner. Let’s be real though, this running number doesn’t really fit in on the running wall.
Q: Have you ever been somewhere and wanted to leave, only to realize you needed to suck it up and either call for backup or enjoy the opportunity? I wouldn’t have left this race, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun had I been alone.