Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dam, Girl!


Now that I have had an evening of chillaxin' with the family & a delicious sleep, I'm beginning to wrap my brain around my Dam to Dam 5K experience.  So here goes...

June 3, 2011
Dear Diary,
I almost punched a kindly older gentleman in the mouth today.  I might have an anger issue after all.  We were walking into packet pick-up & there he was, all portly & jolly, handing out fliers to promote some worthy cause...and do you know what that piece of poo did?!?!  He patted DAVE on the back as we walked past & told him to have a good race in the morning.  JERK!  To be fair, Dave was wearing a Tri shirt & we had our two kids in tow.  It is somewhat reasonable to assume that in any set of good parents there can be only one racer...but what if we're not good parents?  Or what if we have awesome parents ourselves who are willing to schlep kids around downtown while we run?  And what if, in assuming that Mr. Fit is the only runner, you send Ms. Dumpy into a funk?  Sails - Wind = Big Droopy Mess = Me.  I moped my way through pick up & faked a smile with my bag in order to get the heck out of there.  Dave had to remind me, very gently that "this is my anniversary gift & I want to enjoy it so put a smile on your face, dammit & forget about that stupid old man...but really honey, I understand that was hard & I know you'll do great, he just didn't know."  Dave is so bad at tough love! 
I feel like I'm clearly ill-prepared & don't belong.  Over a year of hard work to shed weight, 8 weeks of training to run & I still can't accept that I'm "good enough" to deserve to go tomorrow.  It's the shoe buying debacle all over again.  So. Frustrated.


June 4, 2011 (pre-race)
Dear Diary,
Forgive me, Dear Diary, while I fight the urge to besmirch your pages with vomit.  I've put that little old man in a box in my brain & I'm feeling pretty good.  I spent a minute thinking about how far I've come since my first run for a little added perspective.  The ambulance parked at the starting line isn't making me feel very optimistic, but I have worked hard & I DO deserve to enjoy this event with my family--if only my stomach would settle down.

June 4, 2011 (post-race)
Dear Diary,
I ran the whole "dam" thing!
It was touch & go.  Just prior to 1 mile, I thought I was going to have to walk.  The humidity was stifling & there was no breeze.  There were people everywhere & I was having a hard time navigating through the walkers & then I saw a girl wipe out--completely.  Some good people rushed over to help her, so I kept going & in her pain I found the distraction I needed to keep going & wound up on the first downhill with a breeze to boot! 
Looking for my friend, Hilgy, in the crowd of runners going the opposite direction kept me nicely distracted through the 2nd mile.  I realized after the race that what I thought were 20K runners finishing up were actually the fast 5K runners zipping along waaaaaayy ahead of me...not a chance Hilgy was still running at that point, a fact which Dave hid from me until much later. 
When I got to the 2 mile mark I nearly had a breakdown.  We were turning around & in that moment I panicked.  Isn't 5K 3.1 miles?  If we're turning around & going back doesn't that mean we're only half way?  If that is the 2 mile mark & we're only half way, that means we're going 4 miles?!?!?  I'm out.  Dave saw my wild eyes & frantic breathing & assured me that the course veered off & we weren't going all the way back. 
I refocused on 26 minutes.  I could do it...I could do it...I couldn't do it...2.3 miles & I was cashed out.  We had just entered the "wall of sound"--bands spaced along the route to keep us moving.  Some teenagers playing "Enter Sandman" had perked me up & an accordion playing duo with a mechanical monkey were a nice distraction.  Maybe the next musician would help me power through.  When what to my wondering ears did appear?  But an acoustic guitar & a saxophonist playing slow jams.  I was the kid in the 90's that played sax in band because of Kenny G, so I'll admit that he has his place.  It is NOT at 2.5 miles into my first 5K.  I wanted to take his Kenny & shove it up his G, but I didn't have the strength. 
"Time?"  I gasped.  "28 minutes."  I had made it.  I could give in to the soothing sax strains & walk.  Or could I?  On the "graduation" screen of my Couch to 5K App, it says "Congratulations, you can now go for a 30 minute run whenever you want."  Not exactly the reward plan I had envisioned, but in that moment I knew that I WANTED to go for a 30 minute run, or even--gasp--finish it. 
I wanted it, but I couldn't have done it if not for the Isiserettes.  They may have performed for the inauguration of the President, but in my opinion, their most important performance was getting me to 400 m with a perfectly paced groove.  As soon as I heard their drums I locked in on the beat & just kept time with them until I could see the finish line.  They were my knights in shining snare drums!
No exaggeration: the sun came out as I crossed the finish line.  There were no tears.  My body didn't have enough liquid left to spare on such frivolities.  My father-in-law weeded his way through the crowd so that Lincoln could say, "Good runnin', Mom!"  I collapsed in a puddle, but just for a moment.  I actually felt better after my 5K than I did after Grand Blue Mile!  I walked, I talked, I drank some body repairing chocolate milk (I nearly started a riot with my son for not getting him any).  It was a perfect ending to a surreal leg of my journey.  I ran a 5K with my husband as my family looked on & I lived through & thrived in it.  Whoa.

June 4, 2011 (post-post-race)
Dear Diary,
Steak is good.  That is all.


  1. WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!What an awesome day! Super happy for you. Can't wait to look for you at your next race. Great job!

  2. Nice work! I love your writing. Especially you referring to tears as "frivolities". ;-) I believe you are officially a runner now!