Saturday night I ran my first 8K. This is a great distance and I don’t know why more races are not 8Ks. All races should want to be an 8K.
Anyway, since I got home from camp I have been trying to get my life in order and haven’t had a chance to run. I also only ran twice at camp and those were both half-assed runs. So I spent all last week fretting over this 8K. I wanted to do it because 8K is a new distance, and it was half path, half trail. I thought that since I have the mud run coming up next month, that the half trail would help me prepare for that mud run. However, after not having ran I was nervous. Could I still run any distance without dying? Did my legs still work? Why the hell was this race at 5:30pm when it was balls hot outside? I talked to everyone I knew and literally across the board everyone told me to do the race. Even my friends that don’t run. So Friday I registered for the race…begrudgingly.
So I showed up to the race Saturday evening and I had to pay to park. Minus 1pt for the race.
Then the tech shirt that was promised was a cotton tee. Minus 1pt.
It was so hot, I was sweating. Sitting down. In the shade. Minus 1 pt.
I felt like the only person there who didn’t bring a friend. Minus 0pts. Its not the race’s fault no one will run with me.
I started to get really nervous before this race because of the heat. No one except you guys seems to really understand this looming fear of dehydration that I have. I had my water bottle and I drank what I could before without making myself sick but I was still scared.
So I decided that if I just sat around alone I’d psych myself out and the run would suck. So I got out my music, cranked Thunderstruck super loud and rocked out. It totally got me pumped for the race and when it started I was ready to go. I could immediately tell that I hadn’t run in 2 weeks. I had to consciously remind myself to breathe correctly, so I didn’t die on the spot. I tried to keep my mind in the race but I just wasn’t there. I started to get angry and then I had a pep talk with myself. “Jackie, you can do this. You know you can do this. Its hard, but you’re the dummy who didn’t run. You know you just have to find your pace. Don’t give up”.
Turns out, I’m a good pep talk giver. Mile 1 sucked. Mile 2 REALLY sucked. But then it got easier, like it always does. I started to catch a pace. Thats when the hills started. Yea…hills. I have never run hills so there was a lot of internal dialogue that included “oh fuck”, “mother fucker are you kidding me?” “fuck fuck fuck”. Its a power word people, c’mon.
When things got really hard, I was literally breathing the names of people with IBD who motivate me. Inhale….exhale Lauren. Inhale…exhale Megan. Inhale…exhale Andrea. Inhale…exhale Sara. Inhale…exhale Charis. And so on until I ran out of people…I also Inhaled….exhaled 400+ people who like my FB page. I breathed all of you. Sounds creepy when you say it that way, but it kept my mind off the running and motivated me all at the same time. I’m pretty sure that got me through about 5 minutes.
Right around this time in each race I’ve done I start to get emotional. Call it endorphins or estrogen or whatever, but I start to get all teary when I realize what I’m actually doing. I get really proud, and happy, and all sentimental for a hot second and then realize I’m running and pull the emotions back in so I’m not trying to run and cry at the same time. I can barely talk and walk, so running and crying just seems like an injury waiting to happen.
Then all of a sudden it felt like something was pushing me from behind. Like it got easier, I was running faster. And I was all “God, is that you?”. Everyone always says like God walks with them and what not…and then I remembered I don’t believe in God and I was just running down a small hill. Either way…that God hill was good for motivation.
Then it turned to path. And I think I filled a swear jar in the first 2 minutes. All of you path runners out there are out of your fucking minds. I thought for sure I was going to bust my face by tripping on a root…or a rock…or a small animal…or ANYTHING else that was on the path because there was eminent danger everywhere. Some of the bigger roots were spray painted red. Like an angry red. Those roots were not saying “Hey just wanted you to see us down here”, they were saying “Haha sucka its only a matter of time until you bust your face”.
So in lieu of face busting, I chose to slow down, totally losing whatever pace I had set at that point. Then I encountered mountains I had to walk up. I know I live in Michigan, but I’m telling you I found mountains. There was a lot of “Fuck you, Mountain” going through my head at this time.
Then…my appendix burst. I know I don’t have an appendix anymore but it was in my right lower side and it was what I would imagine a burst appendix would feel like. It felt like suck. A whole barrel of suck. Every time my legs hit the ground the pain intensified. So between the mountains and my “appendix” physically I was angry. Mentally though, I was running through the woods wielding an ax, covered face paint, looking like an extra from Braveheart. I was all “Freeeeeeddooommmm”. I’ve actually never seen Braveheart, but I’m pretty sure thats how it went.
So the path ended, and I was on pavement for a hot second until they made me turn back onto another path. Then I was angry. And..I found my pace again. So I was flying. You guys, I literally passed so many people. When everyone else was poopin’ out, I was ready to go. And before I knew it, I turned the last corner and the finish line was in sight. As you’re running down the last bit of a race, often there are people there cheering you on. Since I never know any of them, its weird and I feel like they are extras in the movie of my life, paid to be there to cheer me on. But this time, I was like, hell yea. CHEER ME ON! I literally waved and smiled. Like running royalty. I was proud to be done. Happy to have finished.
I sat and took a break. And started chatting with some women I had been running close to for the race, then I made friends. No seriously, we’re facebook friends now. Its official. Turns out one of those girls has ran every race I have. That was cool. It reminded me how cool it is to have people you know at races you run.
So anyway. My 8K time wasn’t great. There was a lot of walking. I still feel like I PWNED that race. And like I said in my facebook post, gave colitis a big fuuuuuuuuuuccckk you.