Saturday, December 15, 2007

Frostbite 3K

Nerves before the race. I nearly lost my breakfast approximately a quarter mile in. Michele kept up cheerful banter before the race and I just sat there mildly sick to my stomach.

Standing in the mob before the start, I pick my mark; I will beat him. No matter what happens, I will finish before he does. Of course, as the race started, he disappeared behind me never to be seen again.

There is a strange thinning effect at the beginning of a big race. Everyone starts out together in a semi-shuffle with barely enough room to take a step. Then, gradually, as people begin finding their pace, the crowd pares down. After several minutes, you are surrounded by those who are likely to be nearby the whole race as well as though who will soon find adrenaline has dropped them in the pot and running a pace they can’t sustain. For most of the race, the flow of people around you will be from the front, falling back. It seems not too many people realize they should be running faster, not slower and start actively passing people.

At the end of the race, there is a corollary effect as the strong finishers start picking up the pace for that final run in. Those hearty souls who have the heart to dig deep and leave it all on the track begin to creep forward until the time for the final effort, a mighty burst with, surely, some impact on their speed. I wonder, do the spectators see the change in speed or is it just in our hearts and our heads that we are sprinting like the wind?

Michele had hot chocolate and chicken noodle soup waiting in thermoses in the car. Of course, I was home before the thought of something in my stomach wasn’t repulsive. Gasping for air, just past the finish line, I managed to keep my breakfast down for the second time.

I’m glad I did this run. The longest run in the series will be 4 miles. I think the 5K is the 3rd run so it is a month away right now. Running in the slush and falling snow, searing my lungs with gaseous fire, tempering myself to make a stronger, more resilient me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great accomplishment, and I'm proud of you for doing it. I can't envision it for myself (but then I have no desire to, honestly) but I find those who run these things to be amazing.