Back in March my husband and I printed out brackets, filled them in, and placed our bets with one another. Since I took about 1.4 minutes to fill my bracket out, and since the only number one seed I had NOT making the final four was the only one to actually make the final four, it's safe to say I lost badly.
my punishment Brent's reward?
He wanted me to run a 5k the day he ran another half marathon.
Maybe you don't fully understand the implications of this but I don't run. Not only do I not run, but I actually kind of loathe running. I couldn't even tell you the last time I actually just went out for a run [yes I could: it was around the track at our church in Louisville in the year 2009]. I mean, I don't sit on my butt all day, I've played softball and basketball recently, and I go on a lot of walks. But running? That is another story entirely.
But Brent won fair and square. He mailed off my registration for the race and I knew I was sunk. He kept telling me I should run a little before the race, and I laughed because he had used the word "race", like that was what I would actually be doing that day.
One night the weather was nice and Brent strapped Blythe into the jogging stroller and told me to come along. I made it a mile and thought I would never breathe right again. But I had made it a mile, so I figured I could just shoot to run a mile and then call it good and walk the rest. I considered my training complete. [Brent continued on that evening, pushing Blythe, and ran about 5 more miles. Marathon training is his THANG.]
Brent joked that I was doing the literal couch to 5k.
Saturday rolled around and I crawled out of bed way way WAY too early. The race would be starting at 6:30.
Here is where I must stop and ask a few questions:
- WHY would someone want to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to go bang their joints and kill their lungs and sweat before the day has even started?
- And WHY, even if the above sounds like a good idea, would you want to PAY SOMEONE to put yourself through that torture?
It is truly beyond me.
People asked me what my "goal" was for the "race." And I thought these people knew me? I have no idea what a good time is for a 5k, or what I can "run a mile in", or at what point my body would fail me, so I told these people: "I want to finish before Brent finishes his half marathon." They laughed, apparently not thinking I was being serious, so I added, "Like 40-50 minutes?" It was more of a question, for sure. My for real goal? Actually run at least one mile.
And then there I was, 6 AM, walking to the START line. I had borrowed some cool Under Armor top and some yoga pants, so at least I looked the part, which I think is truly half the battle. Am I right? [Is this where I hashtag: #noidontevenownyogapants ?] Brent was giddy with nerves and excitement like he is before every race, and I was just trying to stand upright and look like I belonged. I saw a lady walk by with her husband, her coffee cup in her hand, her camera strung around her neck. Oh to be that woman. [Last year you may remember I promptly crawled back into the backseat of our car and went to sleep when Brent took off on this run].
But alas, I wasn't. I was zip-tying a freakin' chip to my shoe laces like I actually wanted to be timed and tracked, and pinning a number on my shirt because just in case there was a photo finish they really needed to know who I was. I remembered that the pamphlet had promised water and medical help and pressed on to the start line.
At this point I tried to play it cool because Brent and our friend Brandon were standing next to me and they were mentally preparing to run 13.1 miles and I didn't want to be THAT girl that was whining about 3.2 or however far a 5k actually is.
But I was whining on the inside. For sure.
I looked around and saw people stretching like this was the freakin' Olympics or something…or at least stretching like they were actually going to race…so I bent down and grabbed my toes a few times and swung my arms around and jogged in place and even did a little hop up and down action because that's what I always see Brent doing. And he knows his stuff.
And then before I knew it some crazy person was telling us to start running. You would have thought they had just broken a pinata up ahead, because everyone peeled out of there.
My thoughts at this point were something like, "Seriously? This is happening? GONZAGA!! Why you gotta let a girl down?! Run, Kelsey, Run! This is so stupid."
Yeah, that's fairly accurate.
I lost Brent after about 2.7 seconds. Haters gonna hate.
My ipod was screwing up because I've gone running with it about zero times and didn't know it skips songs when you shake it [seriously? I thought my old discman was the only thing that did that?]. I messed with it and figured it out a little, all the while jogging along like I was in it to win it.
I was doing okay at this point. Praying for that one mile marker to pop up, but doing okay. I was ahead of the walkers at least, so point for me.
And then a guy wearing JEANS passed me. I'm not kidding. I kind of wish I were, but I'm not. JEANS. I think it's safe to say my morale was easily waning by this point, but I pressed on.
MILE ONE! Check! And I was still running! [Yes, all of those exclamation points are totally necessary]. I felt decent, and knew if I stopped running I likely wouldn't be able to start up again, so I just told myself, "Run until you have to stop." So I kept running. I passed the guy in JEANS!
Then I started to get a pain in my inner ankle area…and then in my hip area…and holy how my head was so stuffed up and snotty because, remember, it was 6:30 in the morning and 55 degrees? I kept spitting out phlegm [sorry if this is getting too real for you], and then my mouth got that iron-like taste that I remember from early morning basketball practice. And then I remembered, "I'm not here to prove anything!" There was a stop sign up ahead and I took it literally.
The guy in JEANS passed me. Oh well. I kind of secretly started cheering for him at this point. [In case you don't believe me…PROOF: ]
Then my iPod shuffled to a Jars of Clay song I've heard a million times before, but it made me laugh this time: I'm feeling older than my years, I'm feeling pain inside my chest. Fitting, no?
A water station! I thought it was maybe a mirage, but it was in fact legit. I trotted over, because who wants to hand water to someone who is just walking along, and sweetly asked the gentlemen running the station if they happened to have a kleenex. One guy did in his truck, "Come on!" He waved me over and started jogging, as if I was really concerned about my time. Silly man. But the Kleenex was so good. As was the water.
And then I had this weird dilemma. I realized too late that I was supposed to just gulp the water and sling the cup to the ground. Here I was about 80 yards from the water station, still sipping my cup and walking along. There were no cups to be seen on the ground around me. I didn't know if I should just throw it down, or hold it until I finished, or eat it. So I decided to just keep sipping and thought maybe if I passed a trashcan [at this point in the race we were on a college campus] I would be a good citizen and just throw it away. I spotted a trashcan, but then realized that would be about 10 steps there and 10 steps back. That seemed like a lot of extra movement at that point, so I just gently set the cup on the curb and carried on.
That's when an old lady passed me.
I know some of you may be grimacing because I used the term "old lady", but I'm serious, she was old.
I thought about running again, but my hip was still kind of hurting and I was on a hill. I decided at this point I'd run the last stretch.
At this point I had this strange urge to talk to people around me. If you know me, this really wasn't too strange. So when I passed some young girls I told them if I fell down they could pick me up and get me to the finish line. I was the crazy stranger telling people, "We're almost done!"
And then I took off running again…because I'd lost my mind, for sure.
I never caught the guy in jeans, but I finished. And I
barely finished before the guy who won the 10k. And I finished in under 40. And I finished before Brent. And I ran nearly two miles of the whole 5k. What? How did that happen?
I then crawled back to the car, took some Ibruprofen just to be proactive, and was sufficiently defeated when I saw a woman who had finished quite ahead of me SMOKING. If she had been wearing jeans, I think I may have lost it.
Instead I sent my friend, and Brandon's fiance, a text to let her know I was done. She had been out taking pictures of the guys and getting coffee. I WANTED TO BE BACK ON THAT TEAM! The coffee and camera crew team!
We chatted awhile and then went and saw our boys finish.
|checking his time like a pro as he finished. He still amazes me.|
|I think he was more pumped that I finished than he was about his 13.1 miles.|
|He said it helped "knowing I was out on the course with him." I laughed at this because: 1. He doesn't need any help. He's a stud. and 2. He probably did assume I was "on the course" most of the time that he was|
|Our buddy, Brandon, finishing.|
And dude…check out that girl in the background- she looks like a runner for sure!
I think Brent was hoping I would catch the running bug. I didn't. I don't think I ever well.
But I told him that if he keeps running, I'll maybe try and do a 5k at one of his races a year, so long as he doesn't make me train for them or act like I care or run the whole thing.
On a less snarky note:
The community of runners is a cool thing. Not cool enough to make me want to join them, but cool none the less. I have been to several of these events with Brent, and I'm always amazed at the people that have put in the determination and the time and the work to go pound out 13 or 26 miles. But I'm not just amazed at the runners, I'm amazed also by the people who come out to support them. I remember getting teary eyed when I drove past a man holding a sign that said, "I don't know you but today you are my hero," when Brent was running his first full marathon. I thought of that man again on April 15 when the supporters just like him at the Boston marathon lost lives and limbs. To be a part of that group for the day was kind of cool, but mainly it was cool because I got to understand a little bit more of Brent's world.
And then I got an egg McMuffin and the 5k was almost worth it.
|Chilling out the night of the race|