I passed the 3 kilometer mark and almost puttered to a stop. I’ve got another half of this 5k race to go. God help me. How is it that I ran the Kaiser half marathon last year? Then came enlightenment from a race cheerleader. “Great job, runners! You’re almost there. You can see the finish line.” What?! I looked ahead to see a banner waving FINISH LINE. Crap, those weren’t kilometer markers, they were mile markers. I quickly picked up speed, passing tired run-down runners, and hauled my ass toward the finish.
I don’t know what was worse–my physical pain since I’m still recovering from breaking my back and getting over a cold, or my pathetic finish time of 31:50. I have never timed so poorly. Ever. Even with long-distance races, I’ve always come in 9 minutes or less per mile. It could have been even more gruesome, except that I willed myself not to stop. I told myself, if you stop, you are done. Don’t stop. If it means jogging like an old fat lady, keep going. I kept repeating what I saw on a woman’s t-shirt, “Focus on the finish.”
I didn’t have to run the race. I probably shouldn’t have. If I’d signed up solo, I would not have been up at the crack of dawn on Superbowl Sunday. But I’d signed the two of us up. And as I watched Dean prepare his athletic clothing the night before, my heart raced. Hell if I let my husband gab away about how he ran a race and I watched from the sidelines. Hell to the no.