There are days and then there are days when it feels like every subatomic particle in the universe is working against you. Today was the latter.
This was the first morning before a race I was not up, ready and mentally prepared for go time.
It went something like this:
6:41am: Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. It’s light out. Phone. Time. What time is it? CRAP. I can’t run 40 minutes late right now. Clothes.
6:58: Teeth brushed, check. Hair up, check. iPod, bag, Aleve, Blue Cream on, running shoes, check, check, check.Ok go time.
7:15: Here comes Kelly. Ready. She’ll get me there by 7:45.
7:37: This can’t be a detour. It can’t be. Can’t we just pretend we didn’t see the sign? Avoided the roadwork, ok. Making good time. Wait…what do you mean we can’t turn there? We have to go back??!!
7:47: I’m gonna be late. I’m gonna miss it. I’m not gonna make it. Oh well.
7:48: Flip it. This is just a warm-up to get the blood pumping. I’ll be fine. They never start on time. I’m already registered.
7:52: Made it. Ok. Get the big and drop the bag.
7:53: Really? I’m number 1313? Really? Is this for real?
7:56: What do you mean the nine-mile starts at 9? THE E-MAIL SAID 8! It said 8:00am. I swear. I have it right here. Oh. I guess I really am number 1313 today.
8:01: Kelly, what do you wanna do for an hour?
And, that was all before the start.
My mom came to watch this one. Not that there’s much to see accept the start and finish. But she gave me my race thought today and I was thankful.
I’m always on the lookout for a new mantra while I’m out on the course trying to survive. I try to use something I hear or feel the day of the race to think about while I run.
I listen to everyone and soak up the excitement pre race for something to keep in mind. It’s a practice in awareness for me.
Today, it was the wisdom of Linda.
To say I was nervous about this race was an understatement. I’d done a lot of flip meditation the last three days because a lot of jitter-causing thoughts kept coming. I was not up for this race mentally to begin with, no matter how hard I tried to change my mindset.
My mom knew this. She knows everything about me.
At the initial gather toward the start (before the spectators get separated from the runners), my mom told me one last thing: run like you’re in last place.
When my dad was campaigning for sheriff, everyone told him not to worry about it. He “had it in the bag”. He told them he was going to run his campaign like he was in last place.
Run like you’re in last place. I like that. I feel it. She hugged me and said good luck. I told her I’d see her in about an hour and a half and she stepped aside. We took off.
The first mile was nothing short of redemption for the way the day started. I felt good. I glanced at the Garmin to see I was killing on pace and I was happy about that.
I knew it wouldn’t last forever, so I pulled back and settled in.
Run like you’re in last place.
I picked up a little and passed someone.
At about two and a half miles, I hadn’t seen a marker and broke down to look at my watch. We headed down a trail head where we would turn around a cone. The 3.5 milers first, then 9 milers further down.