We had a choice this weekend, either run 12 miles at an easy pace OR run the RRCA 10-Mile Challenge at 8 a.m., located approximately exactly 31.5 miles from my house. I chose the race.
I got there at 7:57, parked, and learned that check-in was 1/4 mile away, so raced over. Had I pre-registered? I had.
"We don't have your name. Fill out these forms please."
Errors #2 and 3.
Then? Sudden Dire Digestive Issues requiring immediate, but late, use of bathroom. Use your vivid imaginations.
"I can still do this," I said to myself. Just a nice 10-mile run in the middle of nowhere. On streets. With cars. On a course billed as "one of the most competitive and challenging races in Maryland."
I ran the 1/4 mile back to where I'd parked, since that's where I'd seen all the runners at the start, and I kept right on going.
"Girl," I said to myself, "you might just want to make sure you are going the right way." There was one cop up ahead, sitting comfortably in his idling cruiser. "Is this the right way?", I asked.
Um, no, he said. This is the FINISH line.
Go back the way you just came.
Son of a %$@!!
I turned around and ran that same #@$# 1/4 mile again, this time meeting two other runners coming towards me. I told them they were going the wrong way. They turned around.
My race had finally started!
There were no cones, no mile markers, nothing. Another passerby told me to turn right at the next intersection, marked with a teensy little sign with an arrow that i would NEVER have seen.
Me and the two other
It was dark and dreary.
Two cars slowed down to point the way for us.
I started thinking. There would be no cops holding back traffic for us, and certainly no volunteers, and definitely no water.
Then a van came by with a guy in a bib sitting in the passenger seat.
It was That Van. I had never yet succumbed to the temptation of That Van.
"I'm out," I said to my companions.
17 1/2 minutes.
I hadn't even hit mile 1.
The other runner had a real excuse: severe shin splints. Me? I just had a Bad Attitude. We were dropped off back at the registration area.
I jogged the 1/4 mile once again to my car, and starting thinking. "Just drive directly to your usual trail and run 10 miles. You can still do this!!"
To which I answered: "Or, you can go home, take a nice hot shower, and climb back in bed."
And then it started raining.
Now, if I was a different kind of person, I would have Sucked It up, driven to the trail, and run a nice 10 miles, and been right back on The Plan.
Too bad I'm this kind of person: I called and woke up Number One Daughter to get her to tell me what to do. She declined.
Next I called my friend Tri-S. to get her to tell me to go home, take a shower, and climb into bed. Which she obligingly did. I heart Tri-S!
And then it started snowing.
And then my internal bickering began. "Just go the trail and run!" "No, I don't feel like it!" "You'll be done before you know it!" "I don't wanna!!!" "A run in the snow will be beautiful!" "You're a lowdown lying liar!!!"
And then I passed a Starbucks.
I ordered a grande decaf skim latte and an apple bran (possibly not the wisest choice) muffin, sat there, and read The New York Times, as the snow gently drifted down.
Just another day in the life of Not Born to Run.