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Archive for October 28th, 2011

A huge serving of Middendorf’s fried thin catfish, a dollop of creamy coleslaw, a sore left hip flexor, and a tremendous sense of accomplishment were my rewards for running the Middendorf’s Manchac Run on October 15th. I had been training since August 1st to become a 30 minute runner. Becoming a 30 minute runner meant running 3 miles,which meant I could run a 5K.  And, I did it…in 32:49. My happiness bucket had definitely been filled to the brim.

Honestly, at first I was a little bummed with my time because I really wanted to finish in 30 minutes. However, the race included something I did not prepare for during my training…a bridge.    

Moments before the race started, I saw my ex-step instructor and stopped to chat. During out conversation, I asked her about the race course. Imagine my surprise (my face resembled Janet Leigh as she was about to be stabbed in Psycho) when I learned the course involved crossing the old Manchac bridge, not once, but twice. For a split second, I thought about running back to my car. All my training up to this point had been done in my subdivision on flat ground.

The race director called all runners and walkers to the starting line.  The more I looked at bridge, the more it looked like a mountain. The national anthem played. I gave my hubby and my doggie, Comet, a quick good-bye kiss, and I was off.

Of course, the bridge was at the very beginning of the race. Going over it at the beginning was not too bad. I was slow. Once I got over the bridge and reached flat ground, I got my groove on and found my pace. At 1.5 miles, runners had to turn back around and run for the finish. There was a drink station at the turning point. I grabbed a cup of grape Powerade from a cheerful volunteer, took a swig, swished, and spit. The remainder went into the garbage can. I made the turn, feeling the runner’s high. Life was GREAT! I was on the other side of the road observing everyone on the side before the 1.5 mile split. EGO reared its ugly head…for a moment, for up ahead was the bridge, and this time it was not so easy to go over. Ahead of me was Frank, a 76 year old man I had met at NOTC’s Sneaker Speaker Series a couple of years ago. He was my motivation. I focused on him instead of the bridge. Literally, I felt like I was running in slow motion. I refused to walk even though I probably could have walked faster. Finally, I made it to the top of the bridge. Frank had finished descending and was not too far from the finish line. I started my descent, careful not to go too fast or get too sloppy. My left hip flexor started to feel tender. Once on flat ground again, I sprinted for the finish. My smile was wide, really wide. I FINISHED. So, even though I did not finish in 30 minutes, my time was not really too bad considering I had to run over a bridge, not once, but twice. I felt like a winner.  

“Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”   ~ Sarah Bernhardt

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