I’ve never really had a hobby.
Well, unless painting my nails and collecting shoes can be classified as hobbies.
I’m too uncoordinated to be sporty and too flat toned to sing.
So that’s why I decided, back in 2007, to take up running.
Even so, I wouldn’t call it a hobby – more like an on again off again fling – but I’ve decided that we should spend more time together.
This past Saturday, good friend Mal Pal and I ran the Riverfest Rib Run 5K in Decatur, AL. Well, she ran, I ran-walked.

We anxiously met early that morning and sized up our competition.
me: Look at dude over there. We need shorts like him.
Mal: And those legs!
Adam: Look at Red over here. Grey hair.
Mal: Where?
me: 1 o’clock. We’re gonna beat him. We’re gonna beat all those old people back there.
Adam: Don’t underestimate those old folks.
me: Nah, I’ve gotta beat those old people.

Time finally came and we set off on our forever trek through the streets of Decatur. Before I knew it, Mal was nowhere to be seen, her long legs and endurance taking her off with the wind.

Mile one was great: I was going a 9:15 pace, passing people left and right. Okay…I feel obligated to tell you that this may or may not have had to do with starting near the back of the pack- either way, it felt great to pass other spandex wearers.

mile later, my legs felt like they were going to fall off, and my heavy breathing was getting on my nerves. I had to give in and walk. How embarrassing. I just diverted my eyes and kept on being a heavy breather.  
I was pretty pumped when I saw the people handing out cups of water – marking the completion of mile two. I graciously snatched the styrofoam cup and guzzled the water. Then got choked on the water. Had a coughing spell. Recovered. Realized that I’d have to throw the cup on the ground. Briefly panicked because I didn’t want to A) litter or B) cause someone else to trip. Let’s be honest- my real concern was A.

Almost there. I walked and ran. Walked. Ran. Soon the run was more of a shuffle, but then some much needed inspiration steadily ran by me: Red.
Red. With his grey hair, tall socks, and red, sweat-wicking shirt tucked into his shorts. In front of me. That was all the inspiration I needed to pick up the pace. Well, that and the fact that this other old guy (who had already finished the race and had ran back to urge us on) yelled at me for walking. I think I may have just started running again to make him stop yelling.
Then, just like Old Guy had said, the end neared. I could see it. Lovely lady adrenaline kicked in and I sped up. I passed a little girl and decided to pass along the encouragement that Old Guy had bestowed on me: I yelled at her. But in a nice way. Well, thinking about it now, I probably sounded really scary, what with my dry, scratchy throat and heavy breathing. Out of either inspiration or fear, she sped up and crossed the finish line ahead of me. As I trailed behind her, I could hear my devoted fans (Adam & Mal) cheering for me as I pounded the pavement and crossed the finish line to a smorgasbord of Gatorade, bananas, and pizza.
So, I guess I have Red and Old Guy to thank for my best time yet:
Thirty-three sweaty minutes and twenty-two terrible seconds, baby. 


Post a Comment

Popular Posts