Ran that race I was talking about. My only goal was to not walk, stop or pass out. I did way better than I expected, a new experience for me.
The thing was packed - over 18,000 people. Like everyone said, I spent the first mile or so dodging crowds and pretty much power walking while getting more and more frustrated. I didn't bring my ipod, so I had no idea how far or how fast I was going until I'd make it to a station, and even then I was lost since I would frequently lose track of how many miles I had run.
There were old people, little kids, people dressed up like Darth Vader, and some dude that would stop and do pushups every mile. Showoff.
I hadn't run a race since high school, and those were only 3 miles. Plus, high school was a long time ago. Here's a photo of our track team:
I didn't think I had trained enough. I only started a few months ago, and only made it up to 7 miles once, and this was 2.3 miles more than that. Plus, when I'd pass the stations, the digital readouts said my pace was much slower than what I should be doing to qualify for next year.
Through the race, Husker Du's "What's Going On" kept repeating in my head, along with the intro "Professor, what's another word for pirate treasure?" from some Beastie Boys song. I have no idea why that was in there, or why my mind wouldn't actually play the rest of the song. Other than that I worried if I could find my group after the race, since I didn't bring my phone. Was I going to have to walk home after this? Also, I was concentrating on not dying.
The bridge killed me, as I expected, and while technically I didn't walk it, I came pretty close. I also noticed my chest was stinging a little. No big deal, just sweat. After that it was pretty much done. I even had enough juice in me to sprint to the finish line, at least for a little while.
My time crossing the line was one hour and 32 minutes, two minutes away from qualifying, so I was kind of bummed. Plus, when I found my neighbor/coach he pointed out that I was bleeding.
He was right. I thought that red was just a design on the shirt. But no, that was from my nipples. Nobody warned me about that.
Later that day when the official results were posted, I found I actually finished in 84 minutes, which is pretty good, and I got a medal, which I can use to reenact the end of "Star Wars."
I've been pretty psyched since, even though it feels like someone transplanted the legs of a 90 year old man on me overnight. I actually set a goal, accomplished it, and did better than expected. This sensation of actually feeling good about myself is very strange and will take some getting used to. Do normal people feel like this every day? How do they get things done without constant self-doubt and low self esteem spurning them on to accomplish stuff?
I'm going to keep running, especially since the scales tell me I've lost about 15 pounds, even if I can't really tell, except my shirts don't feel as tight. Which is helpful, since my nipples still really hurt.