Resisting the urge to melt into a puddle of mud, much like the ones I skipped over throughout the race course, I forced my legs to carry me through the final stretch of what seemed like a full marathon in itself.
I saw the “Mile 3″ marker in the foreseeable distance, and I sent my muscles into overdrive- it was GO time. I pushed with every last bit of force for the final quarter mile, and managed to smoke three fellow female runners at the same push.
Must. Not. Cry.
I placed my hands on my hips, took a deep breath and reached up to remove the buds from my ears. Just then, LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It” came blaring through my iPod and I smirked. I decided to leave the music on, and I paced down the walkway, waiting for two girlfriends to finish their run.
A 5K run is simply 3.1 miles, or a distance that I could usually run in my sleep. Nothing special, nothing more than a nominal day in my life. However, today was different. The Colfax 5K was different.
My time, in the range of 29-minutes, was nothing to be proud of. Initially, I began to beat myself up and wish I had spent more time at the gym or on the trails behind my home. I wanted to be in the low 20-minute range, not infringing on the 30-minute mark.
It was moments later that I realized that I ran the whole race without stopping, after dealing with an intense case of Plantar Fasciitis over the preceeding weeks. There were days that walking around my house took a great deal of effort, and a slurry bomb of choice four-letter words.
The race itself was a wet, soggy mess. It was a 40 degree morning in May, which in Denver is rare but not unheard of. The rain was intense, and nearly blinding as I ran into it. A cramp overtook my right kidney, and the pain I felt from my gimpy foot plagued me throughout the course. Anxiety overtook my brain the night before, and I was able to muster up a measly three hours of Z’s (needless to say, I drank some coffee- without creamer- for some pregame fuel).
Being stubborn is a trait that has usually gotten me into more trouble than it has done good in my life. I live by the motto, “never give up” but at what point do you hold up the white flag in the interest of physical well-being?
Do I regret running in this race? No. Six days later, and I have been to the gym twice and I have been on one rather long walk. My foot still throbs, its way of telling me that it is not particularly amused by my ongoing torture and demands on it.
As I conclude this post, I am pondering when I will lace up my sneakers and head out on a run today. Afterall, I am running in a 10K on Memorial Day.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.