For something that kept waking me up last night in a sweaty panic, the 5k today went pretty well. I got up early, had some coffee and half a bagel and headed out. Surfer Dude and one of his friends went with me, and by the time we got to the starting place, the crowds were spilling into the street. We met up with all of my fellow ER workers and compared rotten nights of sleep. Evidently the stress bug was going around, and it was hitting us all pretty hard.
The weather was great. Warm and, since we were running on a river levee, windy. When the crowd of people in front of me started moving at the start, I popped in my earbuds and tried to calm down. SD and his friend were at my side, SD being completely bent on beating me to the finish. We wished each other luck. And then we were off.
The thing that amazed me the most was how easily I fell into my groove, and how quickly I did what I always do when I run. I zoned out, my mind a million miles away. I ran the first half with my gym buddy, but then when we made the half-way turn we split up. I kept passing and being passed by SD and his friend, but the last time I really saw them was when I was on the way back and they were still heading to the halfway point. Before I knew it, we were climbing the final hill to the finish. I saw the giant stopclock to my left and the crowd of people cheering as the runners crossed the finish line. It was an amazing feeling to cross that line, and to realize that I took five minutes off my gym running time. It was even more amazing to realize that I'd finished at all.
SD passed me right before the end, gloating and beaming simultaneously. (He's been telling everyone who will listen that he stomped his "old mother" today, but I have it on good authority from a friend that he got confused and turned around toward the finish at the one mile marker and not the half-way point. Whatever. It's obviously important to him that he "beat" me. I was just happy that he went and did it with me at all, although if I have to hear about "old mother" again, I may do a little stomping of my own).
And at the end? We all clustered together and congratulated each other and continued on with the teamwork and comraderie that gets us through the work day. Until one person said, You know...there's a 10K late next month. We should give that a shot. If we can do this, why can't we do that?
Uh oh. Just one more reason why I'm glad I'm not Type A.