And Then There Were 21,000

I really really really really really hate running. I’ve never liked running. I don’t get any pleasure out of running. It’s bad for knees. It’s bad for joints. It makes me get out of breath. I feel like I’m wasting time…I could be salsa dancing instead! Being sweaty grosses me out. It’s not something I can do past age 40, if I haven’t already blown out my knees before that point.

So, then why in god’s green earth did I run a 5 mile race a few weeks back?

Well, the idea popped into my head about a month before the race and went something like this: “Hmmm. I should do something that’s A. out of my comfort zone and B. something I don’t think I can do, just to prove myself wrong.”

As I was not able to go home for Thanksgiving ($600 plane ticket home? Sadly, not in the budget!), why not run 5 miles instead? And no, not a 5K. 5 miles. At this point, I don’t think I had run more than 5 miles combined in my 24 years of life. I knew this would be an interesting race.

So I trained almost every day for the next month. I did not enjoy the running but I did enjoy knowing I would be tackling a challenge. Meeting a goal.

Most runners set distance or time goals. My first goal was to finish. My second goal was to complete the race without getting a side stitch, “an intense, stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage.” Side stitches are most likely caused by stretched ligaments between the diaphragm and liver. Makes sense, as the impact and jolting of internal organs from running is far more intense than from walking. One way to overcome side stitches is to establish a certain breathing pattern – there’s quite a strategy to it! (Strategy? One of my favorite things! Maybe running isn’t so bad…). To spare you the details, let’s just say I spent most of the race coordinating breathing with my strides. (This actually takes far more coordination that expected). The happy news is…I finished the 5 miles sans side stitch.

Playlists. Intended for runners to get pumped up, motivation, keep the adrenalin going, etc. I presume the type of music in runner playlists usually looks something like: Black Eyed Peas, OutKast, Queen, Rihanna.

My playlist? Not so traditional, but def. got me pumped up and adrenalin was flowing. I’d say my playlist theme was something along the lines of “Classical & 90’s pop”. A sampling:

Lalo, Symphony Espanole

Bach, Allegro Assai III

Ari Hest, Caught Up In Your Love

Warlock, Pavane Capriol Suite

Gavin DeGraw, Chariot

Bloch, Concert Grosso No. 1

Portugal The Man, The Dead Dog

Evita, High Flying Adored

Houston County, I Can’t Make It Rain

Skee-Low, I Wish

Shai 360, One Love

Salt N Pepa, Shoop

LFO, Summer Girls

Stuck In The Middle, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

So there you go. And now some visuals from the event.

Pre-starting line. Took us more than 10 minutes to make it past the starting line once the race began!

Lots of people dress up for the TT:

I love this sea of people!

5 miles of barefoot running? Holy cow.

Wouldn’t be a true Austin event without a live band. 





Perhaps more recycling bins would be good next year!

Finishing! The clock says 1:22:55 but I finished more near the 1:10 mark. As there were 21,000 runners, I wasn’t able to pass the start line until a little more than 10 minutes into the race!