Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m., it was 180*, 500% humidity. For reasons unknown, other than the possibility that the Zombie part of me has eviscerated my brains, I was signed up to run a 10K.
IN AUGUST. IN THE MIDWEST.
For those of you not on the metric system, that is 6.2 miles.
Oh, it’s all good, I told myself as I fidgeted at the starting line. I’m here for the experience, yes, the very JOY of running. I’m not here to worry about setting any records.
That last part is true enough, because the “setting any time records” ship sailed when I smashed the tibial plateau of my left leg to smithereens in January of 2011. [Freak training accident, of which the boring details are omitted so as to not bore you. Plus, it was NOT my fault.]
The doctor put my Humpty Dumpty leg back together. Complete with cadaver bone and metal rods, my brand new mini-Frankenstein tibial plateau enabled me to become mobile again. Fast forward to a year ago, thanks to/complete blame belongs to, the inspiration of my writing pal Alyssa in Texas, I abandoned my slothful ways and resumed running again.
For. My. Health.
But because I just cannot leave well enough alone (I blame the apparent brain loss that occurred when the leg surgery was done) I thought it would be a brilliant idea to do a local road race. I trained for this run, with 6-7 milers on the weekend, with hills. Yes, the very JOY of running.
The air was already thick and suffocating as some 600 of us lined up. As the runners surged ahead at the GO, I immediately remembered why I get up at 5:30 a.m. to run, even on the weekends. By 7:35 a.m., having traveled the grand distance of about ten feet, I was already soaked. After what seemed to be 2 hours, reaching the 1 1/2-mile mark, I realized that the next 4 miles consisted of looooong, wicked hills, snaking through a graveyard on a blistering blacktop surface. The irony of the location was not lost on me.
I summoned my Zombie skills from the depths of wherever they lurk in the daylight, as I forced myself to battle with my brain when it finally figured out what was going on and screamed at my feet to stop moving. The lungs got in on the WTF action, but backed off each time I stopped for water. My arms complained about pumping my body forward, especially up the hills. I repeatedly reminded all body parts that the car was in the parking lot back where we started, whereupon the brain loudly wondered whose stupid plan that was. I fought the cacophony of whininess for the entire run.
Long story short (considerably shorter than the 1:21:55 time I posted) I managed to drag all of my mutinous parts across the finish line and lived to tell about it.
Or died to tell about it. I’m still not sure which.