Well I let my emotions get the better of me as I approached the finish line this morning for the Oswego Gobbler Hobbler 10K. If you have sensitivity to hearing swear words on social media, like I do, you may want to quit reading, because I’m about to break my own rule! You have been forewarned.
I usually don’t care too much about time, but my heart does leap from time to time when I get to the finish and my time is under 40 minutes for a 5K. It doesn’t happen too often. I don’t usually care who is passing me with their little “run like hell” to get past me so they can walk for a while till I sometimes catch up and then they take off again and again and again. The lady that was doing that to me today was really trying hard and finally said to me as we closed in on the last mile, “You’re doing great! You are an inspiration to me.” That made me smile. I knew she was trying her hardest to stay with me or ahead of me. I was her goal, but she worked hard for it.
People aren’t my goal; the finish line is my goal. That last mile though I left her in the dust with my little turtle running legs. I think that final hill did her in; I’m not for sure, because I never looked back. I only look back to cross a street so I don’t get hit by a stupid car. We have a lot of stupid cars that drive too fast on my home street. They make me really mad and I want to start wearing a sign that says, “Slow the hell down and move the hell over!”
I don’t usually care who I am trying to get past, I’m just aggravated that they won’t move out of the way and I have to move to get around them, it takes extra energy to get around the 5 gal pals out for a laugher filled stroll. Hey you know it’s great that you’re out here with your gals and having a good time, but could you just give me some room!
I do make jokes about the people around me, you know the ones that are walking the whole thing and I can’t for the life of me pass them, or the shuffle runners, you know the ones giving it their all and they are like 80 and may or may not have had a slight stroke, the 70 year olds with the longest legs I’ve ever seen, jaunting along with a smile and the 4 year olds with legs far shorter than mine that beat me to the finish. Yeah I make jokes, I think its funny; it makes for a good story and really doesn’t bother me.
It’s all about me. You are not my competition, I am my own competition to keep going, keep running, do not give up, but today I guess I got a little mad. As I crossed the final street to run the last .3 or this 6.2 mile race a young man came out of nowhere and ran past me. No biggie, there was my 11 year old waiting to run the last little bit with me, many times he does this. He didn’t run this race today, he ran the 1 mile and knew he had a long time to wait for me, but there he was with a smile on his face, telling me “great job, your almost there”. But there was that young, tall man right in front of me, walking, just a lolly gagging along so I had to move over and get around him. As my son and I approached the 6 mile marker, the course marshal yelled at me that she loved my socks! They were brand new green and red tube socks that each said, “CRAZY”. On we went. I told my son this always seemed to be the hardest part of any race for me, seeing the finish yet it seemed so far away.
We made the final turn with only steps to the finish and my 11 year old looked back, then he said, “He’s going to pass you!” I knew who he was talking about, he was talking about that young, long legged man who was just walking along with no effort, who had his own cheerleader join him to do that last little .2 and between the two of them they decided he needed to beat me to the finish. My son told me he was coming, just as the passed me and I looked at my son when he told me and my heart spoke out, it spoke out loud and clear not for my son but for this guy that decided he needed to beat me at the finish and I said, “Yeah, but I ran the whole damn race!” I hoped my son would understand that my comment was not meant for him. That it was the heat of the moment and that guy walking this 10K does trump sitting on his ass on the couch, watching TV, but today it hurt, that he did felt it necessary to do that. I apologized to my son and he said, “its okay, I know what you were doing and you know what? That should be your new running motto! I ran the whole blank race!” I told him, “Well I did walk the hills”. We had a good laugh, I got my water and walking pancakes and waited too long to see I did not win the turkey. I am proud of my finish, that guy can’t take that from me, I gave my heart at the finish and I was somebody’s inspiration for her own great race.