Song mood: “High” – Young Rising Sons
As I settle into my new routine, the training schedule gets a little easier. I feel like I can push things a little more and I feel myself actually recovering and not just the pain all the time. I took a rest day on Thursday and it felt strange. My body seemed confused and my mind felt guilty that I was not doing anything. I find myself constantly reminding myself that not only are rest days okay, but they are extremely important as well. My body needs to heal.
I definitely needed that rest day. The day before, my training plan called for a 6 mile run. My training partner asked if I wanted to meet her around 6PM at the lake, where our running club has it’s weekly 5K. The plan was to start around 45 min before the actual race and do 2 loops around the course. We were not going to join the race, but figured we would see people we race with on our final loop around. We got a slighter later start because I hit some traffic and my training partner was helping out with registration for the race. We made it around one easy loop and stopped to grab some water at the snack table set up at the finish line. As we went around to make our second loop we saw all the runners lined up for the race. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
We were told this week there would be more runners at our race since our club was dedicating the 5K to a young woman from that area who had recently passed away. Many people came out in support and to honor this runner, some from the local high school track team. We usually average about 70 runners during this time of year. There were 200. Keep in mind this is not a closed course, so everyone is running on publicly used paths and sidewalks. It’s also not chip timed so we rely on volunteers to manually write down the times and numbers of runners coming in. I can imagine the difficulty they had this week.
We couldn’t believe the crowd of people that were standing in the parking lot, ready to start. We debated waiting for them all the go by, since most would be passing us anyway. But it was taking awhile for them to start, so we decided to jog past and get a little bit of a head start. We knew at some point they would all come from behind, like a tidal wave of moving legs. We hoped we could get to a more open area before that happened.
We were jogging on the path where the race starts and saw many people casually taking an early evening stroll. Some people were walking their dogs. They had no idea what was going to hit them in about 5 minutes. We pushed to get through that section, on to the sidewalk. After about a mile, I could feel it – like in the movie Jurassic Park when the dinosaurs were close by. Fast feet tapping behind me. I barely had time to move to the side when a couple high school boys flew past.
“Oh boy, here they all come!”
We kept trying to move to the side, as runners dodged around us on both sides. I watch two kids speed by some older lady who was walking. She screamed. It was like watching a cartoon.
Eventually the sidewalks became a little less crowded as we finished up our 6 mile run. Seeing all the runners at the finish line was overwhelming, but also an inspiring sight to see. One thing I’ve learned is that runners are amazingly supportive of each other. Yes we are competitive and there are always people we are trying to push ahead of in competition. But we are also there for each other as well. Just watch any race and you will see it.