Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meet Me Downtown 5K

I'm always amused to listen to other runners talk to each other while lining up for a race.  Like the high school kids that were behind me...

"Listen to all of that *RUNNING music*... that is SO cliche"  one kid said to another.

Yeah.  So?  We're at a RUNNING event - shouldn't they have running music?  How many other places do I get to go and listen to every song that has the words run/race/win in them and it not sound hokey?  Did they think that songs of a different variety would be a better fit?  Or maybe that they weren't playing a constant stream of Lady Gaga was a foreign concept to them?

Or the guys that showed up in Vibrams... hey - if they can do it - why not?  But their friend didn't wear the Vibrams.  In fact he didn't wear anything on his feet at all.  Yes, it's 98ºF in the shade and he's standing there in bare feet.  Not to mention the fact that on the walk from the car to the starting line I have seen at least five broken glass bottles.  Ouch.  It may sound like a fun, trendy thing to do, but I really don't think the streets of downtown Tucson are the place to prove your running manhood.  At least there was an ambulance handy for when he goes off and slices his foot wide open. 

Finally, all 1700 of us are at the starting line.  Yes, 1700.  That's a lot of people.  Thankfully some were walkers so I was way out ahead of them, but that's a lot of people standing around at the intersection of Broadway and Church.  We had a moment of silence for Gabe Zimmerman and the victims of the January 8th shootings, and then we were off!

Mile One:  This is cool.  I love running downtown.  I wonder if I am going the right pace?  Hey - I'm passing the courthouse where I did jury duty last month.  And look - people spraying water at the crowd from their houses!  Fun for all.  Look - the mile marker sign and my watch says... ack - 7:12 - I think I started out too fast!

Mile Two:  When did downtown get hills?  I thought it was flat around here.  These hills are *giant*.  Are we in San Francisco?  There's my cute husband watching!  I should smile and wave.  You are almost through mile two I know you are.  And just think how fast mile three will go.  Look, your watch says 15:00.  Wow.  I still am going much faster than I thought possible.

Mile Three: My side hurts.  My mouth is dry.  Who are these people kidding with water stations?  There is no time to get a drink.  My mouth is really really really dry.  Water.  How much further is it until I can get a drink.  Drink.  That's what I want.  I can't even swallow anymore.  Up ahead.  In the distance I see the finish line.  Still far off.  Should I try to catch this girl in front of me?  My mouth is so dry.

And it's over.  I pushed stop on my watch at 23:43 but my official time was 23:48.  Still great - another PR.  I'm happy!

I was a little disoriented at first.  I wanted water, but I also wanted to walk it off.  My cute husband was a little frustrated with me for walking one way and not getting water which was the other direction. 

They had lots of options for the runners after the race... there were showings of two different movies you could see or lots of downtown restaurants had specials.  It was a cool idea to get lots of people out downtown... which is all part of the downtown revitalization plan.  I wanted to see one of the movies, but since my cute husband wasn't a race participant, he didn't have a ticket in, so we skipped it and went to dinner.  Mexican food at La Fuente!  I love La Fuente, but for some reason by the time we made it there I didn't have much of any appetite.  Good thing I brought it home... I loved having it the next day!

I'm still trying to figure out how to keep my mouth moist for that last mile if I were to do it again.  Gum maybe? 

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