Today is my birthday, and no this is not me making a desperate plea for Facebook well-wishes but if you are so inclined as to venture a birthday post (despite not having actually spoken physical words to me within the last 6 months) who am I to deny you your right to half-ass a friendship... Of course, this is said with utmost sarcasm as I am the quintessential example of low-quality friendship given that I can nearly remember my closest friends' names, let alone recall such notable life events as birthdays or anniversaries. But I digress...
As a gift to myself, I elected to run the Earth Day 5k held at Alki Beach in West Seattle. Let's take a moment to talk about that thing that all runners do when they feel extremely self-conscious about their fitness level. Sizing up the competition. It goes like this...
First, roughly estimate the total number of participants who showed up, and immediately subtract all participants wearing the event t-shirt on race day. For today, that narrowed the already small field by approximately 75%.
Second (with infinitely more snobbish judgement required), scan the remaining participants and gauge general fitness level coupled with chosen racing attire and footwear.
Don't look at me with derision, we all do it. And for those of you who do sport your newly acquired race day tee on race day, this is not a dig...sadly this is how a desperate runner's mind works when she's backed into a corner and feels the need to claw - tooth and nail - her way to the top.
The sound of the foghorn sent us on our way and, not knowing how I would feel, I was more than ready to trip, elbow, or piggy-back my competition (no not really, jeez...what you must think of me).
But to my own astonishment, I felt pretty good. I felt in control, pushing a pace slightly beyond my comfort level. Checking my watch at the first mile brought me encouragement, a 6:44! Nice.
I pushed past a few other worthy competitors at the turn around and made it into first place. Much to my surprise, my tank did not run empty and I held my position to the end. I felt like I was flying, allowing myself to dream that I might be on pace to break 20 min. Sadly no, I rolled across the line in around 20:38. But that's still amazing for me and it felt incredible nonetheless.
Things haven't gone as anticipated the past few weeks and the next 30 days will undoubtedly bring a new job, home and state of residence...again. I find myself bridging the gap between excitement and complete terror. Still, I remain optimistic.
Today I needed a win. Something that tells me my hard work, my passion, my drive extends beyond just some personal expulsion of entropy lost to the universe as we continue our decent into cosmic chaos.
How's that for mind blown? I think I need a piece of chocolate.
I feel great about where my running is taking me and am slowly approaching my remaining resolutions for the year. Day 109 and going strong.
To all of you who have been my support system, I can't thank you enough. Adventures are always best appreciated, and better served, in good company.