Saturday, January 24, 2015

Race Report from the summer: Foam Glow

Time:  No idea. Didn't even bother to turn on Runkeeper
Charity: Children's Hospital

It's been a while since I've done one of these.

Despite it being August, and therefore hot as monkey, I joined my friend, Michael, on this little excursion. The usual pre-race waiting around was enhanced by food trucks, people watching, tossing of free stuff, and music. There was the addition, however, of bubbles ... many, many colored bubbles that cling and color one like a highlighter on LSD. Playing and dancing in the bubbles was big time fun.
Pre-race bubbles

Until we realized that it soaked our feet. Ew.

The line to start was INSANE (I'm not sure what the final count of attendees was). Naturally, we were squished in the corral, ready to go. Naturally the whole "walkers and families to the right" was considered a suggestion. I know I should toss away my disdain for all this behavior by now; these are the kinds of runs that you use to attract people to the sport. It's
This is actually still pre-race.
supposed to be fun. I seriously need to relax about this. That being said, as a mom, when I see a littlie on the ground on the left side surrounded by excited twenty-somethings, I get irritated. I get irritated more about that than the 20 minute wait until our wave was released; for that, I'm prepared.

When we finally got to go, there were two things I had forgotten. 1) Adrenaline does crazy things; waiting around impatiently only makes it worse. 2) Michael has a MUCH LONGER STRIDE than I do (this should not be news). When we got running, I tried to keep up the pace.

Imagine a chihuahua running beside an excited Great Dane. That.*

I don't think we were more than a quarter mile in before my breath was irregular; I'd work at slowing it down to some success. But then my ankles began screaming. It wasn't long before I hollered uncle. Michael was so gracious in slowing down (even his fast walk is my comfortable running pace). He said that he wasn't disappointed in me, but I was with myself. It just seems to be a pattern when I go with other people. I get overconfident or buy my own press or get caught up in the moment or whatever; then I start off too fast, wear myself out, and become afraid of picking up the pace again. Even though everyone I've gone with is super nice about it, I'm pretty sure I come across as a liar about the running. I'm just grateful that I can actually pull out Runkeeper stats to show that, yes, I do finish higher distances; I'm just really slow.

Post-race. Still alive. Still smiling.
It's another thing I know I'm just going to have to get over. It's a vicious circle--I would do better running with other people if I ran with other people more. People tell me I should join a running group for this reason, which makes sense. But then I'm going to have to fight my weird social anxiety about meeting strangers and hoping they won't shun me for being so slow. It's like junior high all over again.

Enough with the self-therapy. Did we finish? Yes. Did we enjoy each other's company? Oh, yes! Did I have fun? Aside from the self-doubt ... yes, I did.

Would I do another of this type of race or would I recommend it to others? Maybe. Wait on the bubbles until after. Be prepared for sudden stops in the color stations (or avoid them, as we did with one). Other people: I understand the need for selfies; but can you pull over to the side and not stop in the middle of the track to check if your picture turned out. Oh, and could you not crowd the finish line for your pictures while we're trying to dash across it? kthxbai.

* Okay, maybe more like a Corgie.