Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why I love 5K races.....

I have been running many 5K races lately. I think I have run six different races in the last 10 weeks so, more often than not, if your looking for me on a Saturday Morning, I am probably at a 5K race. And here's why I love them. Anyone can do it. Unlike Marathons, 10K's, triathalons etc. The 5K race is the everyman's race. Even if you haven't run in decades, you could probably choke and wheeze your way through a 5K. It's a classic entry level race that's not very intimidating. Sure, sometimes you get to the race and you see that only 80 people are running and 90% of the field is under the age of 20 years old (this happened to me this morning), and you resign yourself to the fact that you have more body fat in your left elbow than some of these kids have on their whole body, but so be it. You are still making the distance, same as them, just a little slower. Ok, a lot slower, but who gives a diddly? It's still fun, there's still food at the end and you still get a free tshirt. Oh, I almost forgot, it's also good for you.
I tend to like the bigger 5K's that have a wider field so I know there are at least 50 or 60 people who I may (and I emphasize "may") be able to outrun. That always feels good. Knowing you just passed the octogenarian with the "will run for beer" t-shirt. Talk about redemption! Small races are fun too. There's something nice about hanging out after a race on a cool summer morning with about 50 or 60 people you have never met before who all have the same thing in common. They would rather run with their friends than stay under the covers. I always meet interesting people and I usually have one or two women who seem to keep the same pace as me and we seem to help each other along. There's usually one fan/family member on the side lines who offers me a high five at Mile 2 when they don't even know me. That's what's cool.
So, if you are looking for me on a Saturday morning around 8 or 9 AM, you will likely find me around the registration tent of a 5k. Getting my number and my t-shirt and trying to find the nearest port-a-potty. Even if I never break 30 minutes, and even if I never have another PR again, I will be there, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and fellowship that I can't get anywhere else. That's why I love 5K's!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the other side......

In the last 24 hours, I have heard about several friends who have recently gone through or are currently going through major transitions in their personal lives. When I say major transitions, I think everyone knows I am talking about the loss of a relationship. As I have heard these individual's stories, I couldn't help but reflect back on the year 2000 when my first marriage ended and how at that time, I really felt as if my world was falling apart. Up until that moment, I thought I had it all, great job, husband, house, infant daughter.........all was right with the world. Then, like a Mack Truck careening into my home, it all came to an abrupt end. If I really want to be honest with myself, I probably knew the truck was coming and saw it coming around the bend long before that fateful Labor Day weekend. I just chose to ignore the screeching tires and the horn.
When the dust settled and I realized it was over, I did what every self respecting woman would do......I collapsed. I cried to my mommy, I probably drank too much wine, I smoked a lot of cigarettes, I was a mess. And then, my friends showed up. Even friends I didn't really realize I had. They arrived with notes and flowers and food and held me up. They came to my house and decorated my tree on my first Christmas alone. They took me out to dinner and kept me busy during the times my little girl was with her dad. They made me run up Point Lookout just to prove I could do it. Then, a funny thing happened, time passed, wounds healed, divorce finalized, chapters ended.
Then, I met Mark and we fell in married......built a family.....and lived happily ever after. The funny thing is, I want to tell my friends who are going through hell right now, that it's all going to be fact it will be better than ok. They will move on with the next chapter and someday, just maybe, they will "bless the broken road" and find that happily ever after. I want to tell them that, but it won't likely make it hurt any less right now. So, the thing to do is to arrive with notes and flowers, and help them decorate their christmas tree and take them out to dinner when the kids are with their father. I should hold them up the way others held me up when I felt like I could collapse if the wind blew the wrong way.
I am a firm believer in fate and I believe everything happens for a reason. Someday, these friends will be happily remarried...or not. They will have more kids....or not. They will move to new places....or not. They will be friends with their ex-spouse (I am)....or not. And all this pain will be a distant memory. I hope that day comes soon for my friends.....until then....I am on the job.