Those were some unexpected yet welcome words I heard on my way into the office today – more on that later!
As many of you know, this weekend marked event I had pinned my 2010 ‘season’ on. The Peachtree Road Race. ‘The Peachtree’ as most call it is the worlds largest 10k race. Over 50,000 people run it every year. They only sell 55,000 numbers – which are often times a challenge to get. Two years ago, I did it for the first time in 1:99.xx , last year, 1:05.xx and walked away saying “I can do this in under one hour! I want to do that! I will next year. ”
I started training in January, giving up a lot of time on the bike for running. I spent a lot of time on treadmills, trails and roads – doing something that I hate – but oddly enjoy at times. I can’t figure that out. Who knows – i’m not always that normal.
July 4th, 2010 – the stage is set, I’m in good shape. I feel good, the temperature is not too hot and we are good to go. We get there, use one of the 100+ porta johns and all is well. It’s time to start lining up and I “might have to go” again. UGH! The lines are HUGE, i’m nervous and don’t want to lose my friends as I’m hoping Roger can help me pace myself. I figure “I can make it!”
WRONG! 1/2 mile into a 10k, I have to pee so bad I cant see straight. I’ve got this one hour goal looming over my head. I don’t want to risk it at the porta-pottys – that might not work out! Might take too long – so I “lumberjacking” as Derek would call it and find some bushes. Mind you – there are about 250,000 people lining 6.2 miles of road way – so finding a bush with some privacy is not easy – but I think I did ok.
Mile one – 9:37 w/pee stop – okay
Mile two – 18:37 – still doing pretty good – all is well
Mile three – the hill has started – 28:00, the fade has begun.
Mile four – the hill has beaten me down. My memory of the course is not what it should be. There are new hills that weren’t there last year. I’m DYING! My HR is higher than it ever has been on a run. 38 something – memory loss is kicking in, math at 170 bpm is NOT going well. I’m fearing I am going to miss my goal.
Mile 5 – I know I have 12 minutes, exactly to run 1.2 miles. I know I *CAN* do it – but I know I’m getting slower and the hills keep getting longer. I push. I push. I push.
We make the left turn onto the final road and I am at 178 bpm. (I normally run at 155-165. I’m trying to run faster, but I’m falling apart. I have to walk, but only for 5 step. I start running again and get to the photo booth. SWEET – we must almost be done – no – it seems like an eternity. I’m calculating in my head and freaking out. I don’t remember the clock time, I cant remember how to stop my stop watch – I run through the thing and look down and …. maybe I did it. I don’t know. I’m all worked into lather, I cant see straight – I can’t think, I’m txting Sarah and she is worried. I ahve to pee but she wants me to go see a medic – but that’s a long way away… if I fall over, they will come running. Better stay in line! Wow…. it took me over 15 minutes to feel better … I am still wondering if I achieved my goal. I didn’t stop my watch – I don’t have a time… That’s ok… they have electronic toe-tags! They will tell me! Maybe I did it – I can live with that (for now!)
I get home – no results… no results… I’m impatient, but trying to be patient. The results are posted … but NOT MINE! I’m so upset. I try to rationalize – I try to chill – but I cant. All that – and they didn’t get my time! Are you kidding me? I contact the organizers… then I realize – there might be a bigger issue than missing MY time. No numbers between 10,000 and 10,999 have times! Is it possible that I am the only one in that range that ran and … They didn’t get my time? This gives me a ray of hope! Maybe… Maybe! I’ve convinced myself – even if I was at 1:00.10… I stopped to pee, that time will get me under the line… and if I never see an official time, I will say “I did it.” but I know that come January – I will be trying to break an hour again.
At 11:30 last night – I decide to check the results one more time….
I shared some of this mental insanity on Facebook along the way. It was hard to deal with, but I tried. THIS is the blog post I’ve been waiting one year to post! This is the monkey leaving my back. Thanks to everybody who supported me along the way. Mostly Sarah. She has had to listen to me obsess about this stupid run over and over. My plan, my training, my this, my that, my shoes, my socks, my monkey butt…. even my nipples! (This isn’t the first blog to mention them…. running is not friendly to your womenly man bits!) Thank you, Sarah!
I know, my time is not world class. I know, it’s not even fast. But – you know – I achieved what I wanted to and that feels good!
Today, even though I wasn’t prepared to ride to work (I hadn’t pre-stocked the office w/clothes – so I have to carry everything) I just wanted to ride my bike. I threw my sore legs over the bike and rode on in. It wasn’t fast. I didn’t feel good. I hurt on the hills – and I smiled all the way. The air was cool on my freshly buzzed head. I was back to “my world”. I know I’ve ridden many times this year – but I always sort of felt like “maybe you should be running”. Today – I felt like I should be riding. I walked through the door and security guard said “Hey biking boy!” A perfect ending/start!
At this point, it’s time to sort out what event I want to focus on. I’d like to do a century this year, maybe even the 6 gap. Not sure. I think my best bet is to ride my bike, run if I feel like it and focus on fitness and weight loss again. I’d like to end 2010 much lighter than I am now!