From 5K to U.P.

If there had been actual Internet service in the U.P. (explanation forthcoming), I would have posted my stunning revelations last week.  Unfortunately, the revelations are lost, and you are stuck with this.  They either need to put another moose on the treadmill in the U.P. power grid or purchase another router for the region.  I was out of luck.  I had enough variable service to read the news on my Android phone, and I often found myself wishing I hadn’t…

Here’s a review of the 5K.  Yep, we got up to bib 1080 in our second year.  I really don’t know how that happened, so I can’t take credit for it.  Marketing is one of the strengths of the qorporation for which I work.  This 5K has turned out extremely well, and I’m very proud of its success in raising money for the local hospital’s cancer center.  It could be the community involvement (such as having the Girl Scouts pack our race packets and having a local childcare center organize a kids’ race), purchasing the mailing list for another successful race, or setting up a Facebook page for our 5K.  The success has been a welcome surprise for us on the planning committee.  I can take some credit for getting the race bags, information, and T-shirts ordered, prepared, and distributed, plus getting all those people through preregistration packet pickup and race-day registration (at breakneck speed, lemme tell ya–THAT takes a crew!).  We did it better this year than last.  We had a very busy day before the run with a preregistration packet pickup that unofficially opened for a whole afternoon instead of two hours, getting approximately 700 race packets out of the way.  That allowed us to put more people into race-day registration.  We made sure everyone double-checked information on registration forms (so no errors reported in divisions), and we were done on schedule.  Whew!  And then there was the run…

Really, I don’t know how you Southern runners in the cheeseless states manage in the summer.  It was near 80 degrees by 9AM–a picture-perfect, blue-sky day for the run, but I knew it was well above my usual Northern tolerance for running.  I can layer clothing and run comfortably at 15 degrees, but anything above 75 degrees gets a little weird…and it did.  Ordinarily, I love a 5K.  It’s amazing where your brain will take you in half an hour.  It’s an adventure in strategy.  What pace will you run and when will you pick it up to pass some toddler or elderly walker?  When is it safe to slow down for a breather?  Who will be the next victim of your speed and cunning?  And who is the audacious daredevil whose footfalls are pounding up rapidly behind you?!!  The questions are endless in picking your way through the pack.  The only thing I know for sure is that you make progress one goal at a time and really kicking when the goal is in sight.

Back to the heat…By the end of the second mile I was doing some unusual praying: “Please, God, don’t let me die in this race.  It’s my anniversary!”  (28 years that day).  I’d had a high-school guidance counselor who died running in 90-degree heat, and she had been in her 40s.  I run to stay healthy, not to croak proving I have only fair speed for my age, so I was not eager to join her ranks.  I finally listened to my body and did something I had never done–I walked for a couple short breaks.  I NEVER walk.  This, however, was the clincher:  I started to get a creepy, cold feeling in my arms, and there was no breeze to cause it.  My skin was icy.  When your senses start to go goofy (such as feeling warm when you are freezing to death), it’s a bad sign.  My stomach was also having minor cramps.  BUT THEN I heard the thump-thump-thump of another buddy from the race organization group…with his two kids…one in a stroller.  Oh dear God, I just couldn’t let this happen…to be beaten by this?  So I ran beside him the last half mile.  Just by the finish line, I turned to him and hissed, “I will never forgive you for this!” and then I felt a burst of speed and valiantly beat him and his wicked stroller and his four-year-old!  Mruah-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Oh the triumph!  It seems I am always stuck in such miserable endings, usually involving a child and an obese person.  The child usually wins, but not this year.

Please note that my companion does not even have a RACING stroller. It’s NORMAL. I am that slow.

My race-organizing friend could barely contain himself.  He kept haunting me after the run, reassuring me that I was “slow and steady,” and then he’d giggle uncontrollably.  This happened three times.  I just can’t wait to get back to work and have him laughing at me in person again.  I’ll have to remind him to take a break sometime so he can catch his breath.   Wouldn’t want him to damage himself.

After the race, I visited at home with my son and his girlfriend (who sweetly came to the hometown to support Mom’s race…aww…), and then I rushed to pack up for the journey to the cabin in the North.  My husband had arranged a week at a friend’s cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the U.P.), a unique land of…very rural, woodsy, charming nothingness.  For some reason, I think my husband may even have been a little scared to spend so much time with JUST his wife for a week, with no particular plans besides a little fishing.  I, however, had additional plans for cleansing my brain.  I wanted no TV (there was zero hope of that in the far reaches of Yooperland, anyway), no radio (as if I could ever turn off that radio in my head), minimal lights…just the lake, the wind, the sun, and the local critters for company.  My mind desperately needed a rest to digest all the clutter of the past six months, starting with the college fiasco.  I’m very aware that many of my best insights come from clarity, not from putting a lot of effort into finding them.  However, I’m not so much of a brain-cleansing purist to go without my laptop, digital camera, and iPod (for when the radio in my head turns back on to the crap station), so I did take a few notes and photos.  So why, when I wanted to tune out the world, did it come charging hard into my brain the very first morning?!!

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~ by rebuildingholly on June 16, 2012.

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