The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

The 5Ks of Summer: GLASA 5K Twilight Run-Walk-Roll

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Saturday, September 11, 2010  ~  6:00pm  ~  Lake Forest, IL

Results:  25:45; 6th out of 20 male 40-44 age division; 74th of 281 overall

Bounty to date:  22 bottles of water, 20 protein shakes, 23 bananas, 6 apples, 3 nutrition bars, 4 bottles of Gatorade, 4 containers of yogurt, 4 Nutri-grain bars.

This one was a great end to a summer of racing.  I was 30 seconds slower than my time in Wisconsin last month, but that was by design.  I knew I was going to run slower, and had already set it in my mind that it was okay.  The school year is in full swing, so I’m naturally more tired.  Besides, I was still fighting my Back to School Cold and I had been out waaaaay late the night before to see a band.

The late start time helped.  Had this been a morning race, I wouldn’t have done nearly as well if I had run it at all.  But it was cool by the time I showed up in Lake Forest.  I ran a warmup and felt real good despite the congestion and dry throat.  I thought for a minute about tyring to blast through the race as hard as I could, but still fear the black cloud of an injury that might put a temporary or permanent stop to my joy.  Mortality sucks.  Besides, what do I have to prove?

This race was inspiring in a lot of ways, too.  GLASA stands for Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, whose purpose it is to support athletes who compete under modified physical conditions.  As such, there were separate divisions for blind runners, wheelchair athletes, and handbike racers.  I enjoyed seeing so many people competing despite their limitations–  it made me more thankful for what I have and what I can still do.  In that context, it doesn’t much matter how fast I can run or who I can beat at the finish line.

That isn’t to say that I didn’t just fade away at the end.  I can’t.  It’s not in my hard wiring.  I felt strong throughout the run, and passed people consistently.  When I turned into the final quarter mile, I caught up to a guy my size but 15 years younger.  He was huffing and wheezing.  I passed him without much thought, but he came back and was ahead for a few seconds.  I knew he wasn’t going to last at a faster pace (I could tell by his breathing, plus he looked to be plodding along more than running).  I stepped up a notch, got my back to him, and he stayed there.  Once I crossed the finish line, it came to my mind that I had passed myself. He was the runner I used to be, looking for some type of glorious salvation at the end rather than running strong throughout.

So goodbye, summer of 2010.  I ran on a cloud for 4 months, stocked my pantry with plenty of race goodies, built quite a cache of race t-shirts, and came to understand that 40 isn’t much more than a number.  I feel further away from my actual age now than I have for years.

Thus ends this serial.  I’ll keep running, but it’s time to move in a different direction with my blog posts.

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Written by seeker70

September 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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