Sunday, August 16, 2015

Celebrating a Runiversary

I am not a fan of doing any races in downtown Orlando for more than a few reasons.My first gripe pertains to the choice of routes usually involves some trekking over cobblestone streets  and frankly my feet don't like those types of surfaces. Then i can not express enough how boring it is to look at block after block of craftsman style houses that are now dwarfed by new skycraper condos as i make my way through nicely manicured revitilized neighborhoods. I somehow feel like these forays are more training runs than competition. 
I don't want to smell bacon frying or wonder who burnt the toast as fluffy barks at me from the sofa next to the living room window or worst have bruno squeeze through the gate in the back yard and chase me. It might help me to set a new P.R. but that wont make a bit of difference if i die of a heart attack on the road as i run from him.
Most often what scares me the most are the late starts times that assure I'll have to endure the full power of Florida's heat and humidity. So why did i make the trip to the city beautiful.
Well I am entering the home streach of my first year of racing and there just are not many opportunities left for in person races in this area.  It was also blackgirlsrun Orlandos fourth year runiversary and they were celebrating it at this local event. Since i needed a race close to home for the weekend it became an attractive even to me.
Okay that and I really needed a medal after the last two races offering only a shirt.It certainly made the decision to do the celebration of running 5k a done deal after considering my other option entailed driving two hours to Jacksonville for better bling.
Early Saturday morning I found the drive to downtown to be quite  pleasant. The traffic was lite on mills ave and by arriving early i had no trouble finding a parking space, i had my choice of the museum lots or on the street.  I choose the street just in case illegal tow trucks were out to car nap my ride.That task being over
I walked to the start area.
One thing i love about racing is meeting new people.  On my walk toward the start line I met a lady  who inspired me to just do the thing.  We wished wach other well and it was off to start the race.
The first surprise was a hill, okay an incline but not cooll at all. Then as the race hit the half mile mark a guy was beating the hell out of the dejembe and the rhythm put the mojo on me as i started to shuffle along. I should not have done that because the heat almost killed me.
By mile three i was experiencing a bounding pulse in my neck that scared the heck out of me. Luckily i teames up with a BGR lady who kept asking me if i was alright. Of course i lied and said yes but was so grateful to God someone was with me. 
This race will go down as the one that sealed my walking fate. In my heart i still love the challenge but physically I'm losing the battle.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Football kickoff 5k

My calendar race year is drawing to an end and i still have a few more events to complete if i want to hit the fifty mark.
I won't lie, with this bad knee working against me i have lowered my standards. Usaully I walk for bling and will avoid local events if they don't offer any. Actually medals don't motivate me to finish but they do make me feel better than a shirt does after the race is over.
Yet the closer i get to the grand finale of my first racing year  on labor day the  realization that i desire a memorable experience more than a medal has never been stronger. I want to fill my shadow boxes with medals representing special places and events that have significance in my life. This last race selection was indicative of that.
I registered late for this 5k. It didnt offer a finisher medal but i saw the chance to rock my colors and test the limits of my knee. So I decided to sign up.
As a southerner the start of both college and pro football season is a religon all its own. With the college game claiming even more fanatics.I have used thr seasons to help me remember a time line of events in my own life. So it goes without saying that i had to celebrate by entering this race.
I picked up my race packet on a Thursday only to discover the ugliest shirt ever. It was dull gray with white lettering. The first thing i noticed was that the sizing was definately childrens so i opted for the mens xl.
Things did not improve when i looked in the swag bag either. There was nothing worth keeping so i tossed that when i got home.
The morning of the event i met the women of my running group for pictures  and then we headed off to the start.
Once on my way i was pasted ny the usaul suspects. There was the baby stroller pushers, senior citizens and my new Nemesis the sweetest golden retriever even and a datson. You know your slow when you can't be a weiner dog. My cane was certainly a target as i made my way through the course. No one wants the cane lady beating them. Yet as i made my way around the course people from all age groups shouted encouragements to me. I was surprised  by their jestures and grateful but to be honest i just wanted to not be singled out. I was a race participant like everyone else. 
I used the support to push myself though, i challenged my body to complete walking intervals along the way.  I also made sure to speed up when i saw the mile marker clocks, i guess pride surely goeth before the fall. Then I used two women in front of me as targets and by the last half mile i caught them.
On my way home to the finish i chatted with them enough to learn it was their first 5k. I love meeting newbies but the end was near and i sprinted to the line ( okay shuffled) but i completed the mission and beat the rain. Since there was no bling for this race i had one made. Bring on football season college and pro, I'm ready.