Keeps Getting Better

24 Mar

When I wrote that I wanted to be crossing more finish lines, I didn’t realize that I would cross another one on Saturday. But I did! Instead of going for a Saturday morning run, Lola & I signed up for a local 2-mile race. With the pressure of completing our first race off, and still feeling pretty darn good about our time, neither of us took this one as seriously. Well, we took it seriously, but we weren’t a jittery mass of nerves about it. In my mind, we can only get better. It can only get easier (never easy, but easier).

For example, one lesson I learned from my first race is that I ought to be wearing a turtleneck whilst running. I learned this by reviewing my official finish line photos, in which you might not notice that I crossed the finish line, but you certainly would notice that my cleavage crossed the finish line. There are about a dozen completely horrifying photos, and in nearly all of them I look more like a stripper than a runner. The only good thing is that the amount of skin I’m baring makes you notice less the bizarro facial expressions that I’m making. Now, when I was running I did feel my tank top slipping down, and I kept tugging it up, but I had no idea that the situation was as bad as it appeared on camera. The only 3 people who I allowed to see the photos literally howled with laughter. And no, I will not be posting any of those photos here; they really are that embarrassing. Lesson learned: no more tank tops for running. For Saturday’s race I wore a Nike running shirt that went right up to my neck and a Danskin zip up that zipped up to my chin. Not a chance of exposure at all. Which was a good thing, because it was freezing cold on Saturday morning and my cleavage would have ended up with frostbite.

It was so cold, in fact, that I felt like I had swallowed a fireball, which after searing my throat decided to land in my chest and smolder for a while. I literally could not take a full breath the entire time I was running. I have asthma, but just barely, and it makes me feel worse to take my inhaler than not, because it makes me shaky and I hate it. Half that time I forget I even have asthma, because it really doesn’t affect me. Except when I’m running in the cold. At first I couldn’t figure out why I felt so awful. I really didn’t think I was going to be able to run anywhere near as well as I had the weekend prior. Halfway in to the first mile, I was nearly gasping. Prior to starting the race, my confidence had led me to boast to Lola that we would finish in 24 minutes: a 12-minute mile, meaning a 34 second improvement over last weekend. Lola said 25 minutes: a 12:30 mile. We went back and forth but I stuck to my 12-minute mile prediction. Now I felt like I was eating my words. The run was through a neighborhood this time, and there were lots of hills. I wanted to run into someone’s warm cozy house and take a nap on their couch. As always happens in the first few minutes of running, I could only think of how much I hate it, and could not think of a single reason why it ever seemed like a good idea to be doing such a thing.

Then we came upon the 1 mile marker. The time was 11 minutes 10 seconds. Despite feeling completely awful, we were doing better than we anticipated. I knew I could at least keep up the “I-swallowed-a-flaming-fireball-that-is-stealing-my-oxygen” pace that I had been running at, and that if we did that, we’d finish even better than we’d hoped- again!

And we did. In the last few seconds, Lola and I turned and looked at each other and without saying a word, we each kicked it up a few notches, racing each other to the finish line. We crossed the finish line at the same time- 22:18 (actually, I think Lola was a half-second ahead of me, but let’s just say we finished at the same time, shall we?). An 11:09 mile. That may not be so great to some, but for us, it’s fabulous.

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2 Responses to “Keeps Getting Better”

  1. Dani March 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    You should be so proud of yourself!I love reading your blog…it gives me inspiration.

  2. Ronnica March 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    Good for you! Wouldn’t trade places with ya, so I’ll just cheer you on!

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