Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Coming down from that runner's high

I did it!!!!!!

It's been over a week now, but what a HIGH.  It has taken me awhile to come back down.

I ran (as in ran the WHOLE way - well, barring two little walk steps on the hill as we all narrowed up and crowded into the stadium right after the 6 mile marker, wherein I then said, "Self, uh, what the hay-ell Are.You.Doing???  You have not RUN this far in the HEAT to WALK any or all of the remaining .2 miles, so no no no, none of that!  Get you butt back to running," and so I re-commenced with a gait that was running-ish until the finish line) the Bolder Boulder.

It was crazy - as evidenced in this stunning eyewitness footage:

BTW....does the creepy dude in the bathrobe, on his stationary bike, at 3:58 - 4:14 remind you of the same guy I thought of? :shudders:

Anyway, the day was not without glitches - I mean, we are talking about ME here, right?  When was the last time everything sailed smoothly???

First, Seth's stopwatch and I were so poorly acquainted that I hit the wrong button to start so that when  I looked down at the first mile marker I saw a big, fat 00:00:00 staring right back at me.  So there I was, running, intermittently looking and fiddling at my wrist instead of keeping my eyes fixed straight ahead of me - which is just begging for disaster, but lo! the Lord's angels were with me and a human stampeding calamity was averted - when I figured out the right button to push and time started ticking away.  I figured that I would just add the start time to current time and voila! I'd have the total at the end.  I never thought that perhaps the Boulder clock and mine might perchance differ in opinion with each other (which they did, come to find out) and felt pretty good thinking that my first mile was in the 9 minute vicinity.

Then there was the issue of my thighs.  They're uh, pretty meaty still.  Particularly on the insides.  And they pretty much always touch.  This led me to the observation of two things.

1.)When you wear shorts to run in, as opposed to spandex, when dealing with this particular plight, well, you wind up with what looks like a sort of wedgie in the front as the insides of the thighs push your shorts higher and higher.  When you're running a race, even with the full knowledge that you will not win said race nor even your wave of the race, you don't have the time to constantly be pulling your shorts out of your crotch.  Which led to some fantabulous photos of one Ramblin Red, bib number GK544.  But hey, at least I wasn't wearing a RED UNITARD WITH A VERY OBVIOUS BLACK THONG underneath, right? All I could think was, "That's a guaranteed recipe for a hemorrhoid!"  I mean, one word: FRICTION!  Ouch.  Or a stripper-style German Barmaid costume.  I kid you not!  Because this is a race and I was properly attired in athletic garb, even if it malfunctioned slightly.

2.) While I'd trained for this day, I hadn't given much thought to the impact on my performance when the sweat would inevitably begin to seep into the heat rash that is ever present in the summer months due to said thigh rubbage affliction.  I pretty much tried to shower at every hose/sprinkler offered along the course to keep the stinging at minimum.

This is just the first mile too - you see where it was distracting?

After mile 1 I got into a groove and hung there. Until midway between 2 and 3 miles when the hill came, along with the blazing sun.  I slowed and got hot.  Then kicked back up again.  At the 5k marker I started to get all dejected, thinking, "I still have another HALF to go!"  And shortly thereafter was a church, whose congregants had a tent with Switchfoot playing, which was SUCH a Godsend to me.  I meditated alternately on Philippians 4:13 and my rather paraphrased and personalized version of the introductory lines of the 23rd Psalm, "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  He brings me to green pastures...called FOLSOM FIELD!"

And before I knew it, I was at mile 4, then 5.  And then began the ascent up that final hill, where I met with mile six.  My legs were rubber coated lead weights by then.  But I could SEE the stadium, and aside from that brief moment of self-sabotage, I was determined to finish.  Once I got into the stadium, and realized the finish line was not right inside the stadium, but 3/4 of a lap around the track, my heart sank a bit, but only momentarily.

And just like that it was over.

I'd crossed the line.  And slowed to a walk.

It didn't hit me until I'd walked up the stadium bleachers to the drink station at the top.  And whose bright idea is that anyway?  Sending people who are virtually drunk on endorphins - seriously, I felt as if I'd had 5 beers, ok, 3 as I'm a lightweight since I don't drink that much, and could hardly stand up straight - to navigate stadium steps with their elevation and weird half-step cadence and not a railing to be had to get water?!?! I got my water, and stretched my muscles, which were already stiffening, when I got the shakes.  Just like I'd had after each one of my babies were born, only with a fraction of the intensity.

And then the tears came.

And I lifted my eyes to the hills, those beautiful flatironed hills of Boulder, and hiccupping through the sobs, whispered, "My help comes from the Deliverer, how much you've brought me through...thank you...thank you...thank you..."

My week after that was kind of a mixed bag.  Kind of like wowed meets "Now what?"  But I've decided that Monday wasn't the end-all for me, despite having been a destination goal.

Now that I've attained it, I say it is only the beginning.

I'm thinking if I could go from hospital bed to 5k in a mere 4 months, and double that in 7 months, there is no reason why I couldn't double it still and do a half-marathon next year.

For now, I've just been going when I can and loving it.
© 2006-present Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. I am so proud of you Heather! So much more than I could possibly do. You are an inspiration with your conviction and determination, as well as your great of way putting it into the English language. Congratulations!

  2. congrats!! what an awesome feat!

  3. Oh, hon! This was so amazingly inspiring ... I had tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach but WOW.

    I am SO proud of you. And thank you so much for sharing your race with us newbies.

    Float in that post-race glow for a bit then do another!