Racesiverrsary = Anniversary of your first race.
(Not to be confused with Racistverssary, anniversary of when you first became racist. Don't celebrate that, racist jerks.)
Two years ago today Will and I ran our first race, the Redondo Beach Super Bowl Sunday 5k/10k. Or I should say, Will ran the 5k. I huffed and puffed for a full mile and a half, then ran/walked to the end.
Chip time: 41:18
Our friends Mike and Randi were running the 10k, and I remember telling Will I can't believe we know people who can run six miles in a row. Sure, there was our genetic mutant friend Billy, but he was like a superhuman.
We had mere mortal friends who ran six miles in a row.
I hadn't planned on running. But Will started running and as he got out of bed early every morning I thought well, if he can run then I can run, right? He was doing Couch-to-5k. I had done Couch-to-5k a couple of years previously. Did he think he was better than me? Did he think that just because he was running that I couldn't run too?
He, of course, thought none of those things. He just got up every day and ran.
But now I was pissed. Oh, I'm gonna run, I thought. No one is going to tell me I can't run.
Two things that are baked into my genes are my competitive nature and spite. It's not always a good thing. But that inner fuck-you has a way of getting you off the couch and on the treadmill.
I didn't run that entire first race. But I finished.
The second race I entered was another 5k.Will had upgraded from a 5k to a half-marathon because it turns out that he's really good at this running thing. In late August we headed up to Ventura on a warm, dark morning. Will's 13.1 took him up and down the coast. My 5k took me through two loops in the parking lot and under the highway overpass.
But I ran the entire thing.
Chip time: 34:14
It became clear that the next step was a 10k. My friend Lisa Kelly, who was recovering from her second cancer surgery was running the Santa Monica 5000 at the beginning of October and suggested Will and I do the same. Lisa had nearly lost her left foot to cancer twice and was running.
I had no excuse.
I couldn't run the whole race, but I ran a good chunk of it. At mile 5 I heard Lisa behind me, cheering me on. I finished the race and Will, Lisa, and I met up with our friend Kathryn to have post-race breakfast and Bloody Marys.
Chip time: 1:17:40
Two months later we ran the Santa Monica/Venice Christmas 10k.
Without Lisa, because she had died a month previous.
At mile 5 I was dragging but I could hear her behind me, cheering me on.
I ran the whole race.
Chip time: 1:08:09
I may not feel like a runner, but on Sunday I got up at 5:45, pulled on my race clothes and laced up my sneakers and headed out to the scene of my first race. Except that this time, I was running the 10k, and I was running it with my Ragnar Relay team to get a decent estimation of our 10k pace.
I had wanted to PR under 1:05, but as the race was underway I realized I underestimated the hills and the heat, not to mention I started out way too quickly and blew past the first two water stations. My goal was simply to do better than the last time.
Chip time: 1:05:51
I can't believe it's been two years.
I'm still not good, but I'm getting better. That's all that matters.
Note: Some of you have asked about how I got into mud runs/obstacle racing. I'll go into that in more detail in a future post, promise. But if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.