I did the Earlywine 5K for the 3rd time today. I went in feeling uncertain since I hadn’t run this week. I’ve trained off and on, mostly on the treadmill and spent very little time outdoors. I’ve gone to yoga class more and while it makes me feel good and it can be a cardio workout it isn’t the same. So I went into this with some trepidation and figured if I finished I’d call it good.
I did come prepared. I wore two pairs of socks and brought my little cooler with some Crystal Light and protein bars. And since my bladder is old and does not like being jostled around I also wore a sanitary pad. Gross but necessary, getting old is icky. I brought my phone, earbuds and sunglasses. I also looked around for my sister Layah, who said she might, maybe come do the race with me. She and her boyfriend did it with me 2 years ago and all three of us were wheezing at the end.
I started out slow, walking when everybody else took off jogging and passed me by. I fought the temptation to run, remembering my last race and how it did me in. So I warmed up, let everybody pass me by and just grooved to my race playlist. After the first song I started jogging, my jog is more like a trot. Think of a pig and how they move. A funny thing happened, some of those early runners had already run out of steam and were walking now. We were about a quarter of a mile in at this point. I kept my attention on the street ahead and listened to the playlist, it was the same one I had at the last raec because I was too lazy to make a new one. I began to pass people but told myself not to feel smug. The first time I did this race I had to walk it and I struggled, I’ve been the slowest and know what it’s like to be the end of the line, to get passed by babies in strollers. But not this year.
I jogged awhile with no problem then the wind changed everything. We had been running at an angle, not into the wind but next to it then when I turned the curve the wind was blowing in my face. The wind had helped me propel myself downhill and I had to stop myself from going faster than I am used to, so I wouldn’t crash. But the wind wasn’t going to let me or any of us off easy, it changed direction again and most of the race I had wind blowing into my face. Since I was a weenie and spent most of my time inside on a treadmill in a climate controlled gym I wasn’t used to this. I know better.
Oklahoma wind has been mentioned in song and story. Simply put Oklahoma wind is a mother. It’s not easy to describe, you have to experience it. Sometimes it feels good, light and gentle but don’t be deceived, it can change on you in a second, in direction and intensity. It can be any season, any time of day and at its worse it can destroy buildings, move semi trucks and even kill. About 2 weeks ago I went to the lake to walk and since the sun was shining, the temp was warm and I had the time I went. And I ended up walking into the equivalent of a wind tunnel, walking into and against the wind when it was about 20 mph. The next day my thighs and butt were sore. Ironically I should have done this more often.
The wind slowed me down and took some of my time off. I wasn’t able to jog the whole race, I had to settle for walking for some of it, when the wind was stronger than my breath. I was a little bummed but knew I wasn’t really prepared so it was also partly my fault as well. The wind seemed to slow down most people, there were a lot more walking than running.
I did finish the race and my time was good, for me. I was not the fastest (not by a long shot) but like I told myself earlier, long as I finish it’s good. I was 58 out of a field of 91 women, I was 7th in my age division and my guntime was 40:37. I felt good about this.
A few minutes ago I looked at the photos a company took, they take pics of every person along the way and you can buy a copy if you choose. i looked at mine and cringed. I looked like an enormous pink and black sausage. Since the bypass I’ve lost about 70 pounds. I gained about 10 over the holidays but managed to lose it and I’m back to my fighting weight. I’ve been exercising, mostly going to yoga but jogging/walking at the lake and I’ve spent time at the gym. I watch my calories carefully and try to make good food choices in terms of nutrition. My blood sugar is in the normal range and I am healthy, according to my last check-up. So why did seeing myself make me feel so awful? I know I am not petite, I’ll never be tiny, little or skinny. I’m not built that way. I inherited the bone structure of my dad’s side, they are stocky, sturdy people and some of them are obese. My mother was small, she was fine-boned and delicate looking. So was her mother and her mother, they were small boned and naturally thin, similar to Asian women or the indian women in Louise Erdrich’s books. I got my dad’s side instead. I looked and felt like a sumo wrestler next to my petite mother. So I have issues with that, even now. I’m less likely to have osteoporosis like they did, so I got that going for me. I’m not curvy, I have a flat indian butt on bottom and not much on top. My build is athletic, more muscular and i will never be like my mother, my body won’t allow it. Yet knowing all this I was surprised I still looked fat, at least to my critical eyes. I deleted the email and decided I did not want a copy of any of the pictures. It took a little charge off my buzz. But I know I did a good race, despite the wind and my poor training. I finished and I felt good after. Just try to forget those lousy pictures.