The race started two hours late. Rain and lightning caused the delay and most of the runners sat it out in parking garages. The race was supposed to start at 6:30, then 7, then 8 and finally a few minutes later conversations stopped when we could hear someone singing the national anthem.
The race was good. Because there were over 25,000 people it was a little slow going at the start and crowded the rest of the way. I made it up the Walnut street bridge, AKA Holy Shit Hill and the rest fell into place. In the end I finished in 40:13, about 12:58 a mile. Not fast but good for me and even the fast people were slower as well, there’s too many people in the race, in any of the races, to go fast. You will collide with other people or even run them down if you move too quickly, even going slow you may collide with other people.
When I first got downtown. about 5:30 I went by the memorial. It’s to remind me that I’m not doing this just for a t-shirt but to honor the memory of those killed 19 yrs ago in the bombing. It’s a simple way to declare evil won’t win.
We’re two days from the Memorial race. Last year I did the half marathon, 13 miles of elation and aching. This year I’m doing the 5K and I’ve been training half-assed, to be honest. I think I’m getting jaded. I know I can do this but I also know I won’t do it as well as I could. My last 2 races were so-so and I really didn’t care and I feel the same ennui now. I have decided this will be the last race I’ll do for awhile. Until I can feel excited and really pour myself into doing the work it’s best to abstain. I have plenty of t-shirts.
I could blame yoga. I really enjoy it and it is almost the opposite of jogging. Jogging is solitary and I can do as much or as little as I want. It’s what I enjoyed about it. But it’s also a matter of time, I have only a few hours to exercise during the week and I go to yoga class 2 times a week. I want to give my aged body a rest between workouts and so jogging gets put off for another day. I know I need to manage my time better, find a way to do both but that’s too much like work. Maybe after I finish my book.
I think I may be burned out on jogging. A break from telling myself I need to do this, that I need to improve my time and my distance, not have a specific goal.
A few days ago I was walking Olive and she stood stockstill when she saw a man walking toward us. I tried to get her to move but no go and the man approached us. I had seen him before, he said hi to me a few times before, even though I don’t know him. He started to chat with me and tried to pet Olive, who was still standing still with her tail between her legs. He was friendly and started talking to her while looking at me.
My dog is usually friendly, she likes people overall. Other animals not so much, but this dude made her nervous and I think she was picking up on my mood. It made me nervous too because I thought this guy was flirting with me and that was unexpected and strange.
I mumbled something about her being intent on an object before and that my husband said she did the same thing with him. The man petted Olive and made a hasty exit.
Two days ago I saw this man when I was on my way to the mailboxes. I gave him a brief nod, an acknowledgement but he looked away and ignored me. It was a brief but awkward moment and for me, a first. I’ve not had to turn down a man before, not in over 20 years. Being a married, unattractive introvert shielded me from this. I felt badly, for a moment. I didn’t find him attractive or interesting though he probably is a nice person. But I am living with my ex-husband again and it is a mutually advantageous relationship–he walks Olive, I cook–and I’m not looking for anyone anyway.
I am not beating men off with a stick, I’m not a head-turner. I’m a fairly decent looking old broad but that’s it. So this surprised the heck out of me. I never expected it and it was an odd position in which to find myself. If anyone had told me before my surgery this could happen I would have laughed.
In the grand scheme this is a minor event not worth mention. In my boring little life it’s something significant.
I went to yoga class tonight and by the time I got inside, found a cubby and took off my shoes the room was already full. The back row, where I normally toss my mat, had no room and I ended up in the middle row. There is an unspoken hierarchy, those in the back rows are usually beginners and people who are self-conscious, sometimes unable to do all the poses. I dwell in this place, mostly out of habit and because it’s secure. The middle row, when there is a middle row, is more advanced,confident and sometimes more fit. The front row is the group who needs the least amount of help and are usually the most advanced students.
I ended up in the middle by default; there was no room left in the back. So I threw my mat between two women who were probably in their 20’s and dressed in little yoga pants and tight tanks. I wore my wind pants and an old Eskimo Joe’s t-shirt. But this is the important part: I held my own. In the middle group. with people roughly half my age (well, maybe not that young) but people much younger than me, much cuter and confident I was able to move from pose to pose with the same relative ease. I kept my eyes on my own practice and the teacher’s voice but casually looking around me saw the girls on either side of me exerting the same effort, maybe more because I did hear grunting and this time it wasn’t mine.
I had some trouble with hero pose but that’s because my knees hurt when I sit back on my shins, a reminder of how I overtrained for my first 5K and did some damage to my right knee. I did camel and noticed a couple of the young ones did it as well. But overall I did everything the teacher did and didn’t embarrass myself like I feared. I am not planning to sit in the middle row next time but if I do I won’t be as anxious.