After driving home from Rhode Island Saturday afternoon/night I found myself very unprepared to run a race on Sunday morning. In fact, I nearly forgot I planned to race and if it hadn’t been for Phil asking what time the race was and ,of course, twitter I might have slept for a week straight and missed the Bridge Run entirely.
Saturday night I had a ton of homework to do and I was super tired. Thank goodness for that extra hour of sleep! I hate daylight savings time because I hate the dark and I hate the cold but for one hour Sunday morning I welcomed it.
The Bridge Run started at 8:30am. I work up at 7am and left the house close to 7:30am. If you know me at all you know I HAVE to be at a race at least an hour ahead of time because I have an irrational fear of missing the start. Sunday I abandoned this fear and leisurely made my way to the race. I didn’t care, which is unusual for me. I desperately just wanted to get through the race.
About 7:50am I started warming up and found Greta, Jen, and Michelle. This was a miracle considering that this was a large and crowded race. I ran a total of 6 minutes for a warm up. Warming up is another thing I am usually obsessive about, but not Sunday.
It wasn’t cold this year and it wasn’t windy. I was wearing my new uniform for the first time and I felt really good about that. I felt calm and I felt happy to be surrounded by like minded people. Running should be fun and running should bring us joy.
When the race started I was still calm. I felt a little sluggish but mostly exhausted. I didn’t run Friday or Saturday because I just didn’t have the time. Around the first mile I got my foot stuck in the expansion grid on the bridge. I now have a bruise on my right foot. I have perpetually been injuring this same foot for the past few years and I had a bruise on it just a few weeks ago from a root. Thankfully, its never anything major. I did my best to brush it off and keep running. It wasn’t until the 3rd mile that I felt like I finally regained my rhythm and stride.
I felt good running but my garmin was on my dresser so I had no idea what my pace was like. All I wanted to do was run 7 minute pace since I hadn’t run for a few days. This was the conversation I had with Lyndsey the night before and it seemed very realistic considering the stress I was under the week leading up to this race.
During miles 4-6 I remember feeling strong and I felt really energized at mile 5 when I saw Hollie and friends at the water stop. The last mile was almost a blur until I saw the entrance into Campbell’s Field to finish. I caught two men but because I am so short and they were tall they passed me back as we were finishing.
My time was 41:04 and good enough for 3rd in my age group. It wasn’t my best time for this course but it wasn’t my worst. I was happy with having a subpar race (to my standards). My mind wasn’t right going into this race. I wasn’t focused and my attitude was terrible. I just wasn’t myself. I was negative and pessimistic and honestly I didn’t feel like me. This has been going on the past few days and finally today I brought myself out of this rut and I am recapping my race with brutal honesty. I am thankful for my ability to run decently under poor circumstances, I am thankful to run decently when I have no desire to run, and I am thankful to run decently when I have a lot of negative thoughts and self doubts running through my mind. I learned that I am stronger than I sometimes think I am and that I can do things even if I don’t want to.
After I finished the race I found myself surrounded by friends and teammates and we ran into Liz on the cooldown! Being with other runners lifted my mood immediately! I was so grateful for that. In running, I have found that the journey toward any finish line is richer when you are not running alone. Every runner has a different story and a different experience during a race but every runner crosses the same finish line in their own way at their own time. The best part of running with others is that you can be a part of a novel and not just a short story.