About twice a year, I go for a run. That's enough for me.
On a fluke this morning, Geoff and I entered the Southeast Roadrunners Veterans Day 8K race. I never quite know what to expect at these organized events. But when we showed up at the starting line 10 minutes before the race began, I think I expected to find a little more than two race organizers and about 13 other racers huddled beneath a tiny blue booth.
At 10 a.m., the small group was off, pounding the snow-packed path beneath eye-stinging flurries of snow. I watched the runners disappear behind the first bend, and just like that, I was all alone.
So I continued through the icy forest, thoroughly enjoying my iPod mix and thinking that I probably could run faster than 7 mph - but why kill myself? At mile 2, Geoff passed me hot on the trail of some young guy, followed by the only other woman I saw in the race, a few more men, a couple of old guys and finally, a 9-year-old boy. Then I was alone again and knew I would be for the remainder of the race. I stopped at the 2.5-mile cone, tied my shoelaces that had been flopping around for a mile and a half, took a few deep breaths, and began to jog back.
In the end, I finished dead last with a time of 45:37. That's 2 minutes behind the 9-year-old boy and nearly 10 behind the other woman. Geoff of course finished first in about 31 minutes, and then he jogged back another mile to finish the race with me. I guess a could let a performance like this hurt my self esteem, but I'm just not a runner and feel I can't really complain about 9-minute miles (a pace which, if it weren't for the stress on joints, I feel I could continue pretty much indefinitely - much like riding 15 mph on the road.) This is how I like to do these things. I don't like to be willfully uncomfortable, even in a race, but I don't mind going comfortably forever. I still maintain that the reason I finished dead last was because the only people willing to show up for a race across snow and ice in a 30-degree snowstorm were probably focused runners, and crazy ones at that.
But enough of this hike/board/ski/run nonsense. Time to get back on the bike.