My First 10k!

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This is the story of how I almost talked myself out of having an awful lot of fun.

Disclaimer: “My First 10k” is true as far as races, though not technically. I’ve hiked farther. Three times as far, even, in  day! But yes, my first 10k and possibly my first race. The Pretty Muddy was less a race, more a fun run. (And SOOOO fun.)

As part of my work, I made myself team captain and wrangled a bunch of people to affiliate themselves with Team Where I Work for the Monument Avenue 10k, which is this massive road race here in my hometown of Richmond. I have always admired it from afar, and been proud that my little city could host an event that is so fun and successful. But I’ve always watched it from the outside. The closest I’d been involved with it was trying to get around it to teach classes on Saturday mornings.

But now I’m doing it for work, and was registered early. As the shining fitness professional I am, I tried to talk myself out of it more times than I can count. I didn’t train at all, because do you know how motivated I am to go for a jog after teaching 3 or 4 classes a day? About as motivated as a turtle being chased by a snail.

Two weeks ago, friend Renn was telling me over coffee how much I’d love it, how fun it would be, and I’d sigh in an Eeyore-like way, and say, “Yeah, I know, that’s what everyone says.” All the while thinking, “I’m not a runner, I can’t do this, everyone else is in better shape than me and everyone else runs like the wind and I. Do. Not.” Am I inspiring you yet?

Then, this last week, the weather forecast became more and more obviously in the category of “You are going to go out on paving stones in the rain and spring chill and get pneumonia and slip on roads that were never in a million years meant to be run on and WHY WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?” I had an out! Woo-hoo!!!!

One woman at work – not a 10ker- said there was a 90% chance of rain, and I said, “There’s a 10% chance of me showing up.”

But yesterday morning, sitting at my desk, halfway into Friday mode, I started thinking, “Okay, let’s just pretend one of my clients was as whiny as I’m being. What would I recommend?”

I’d say, “Do some research about running in the rain.”

So I did, and I found some excellent advice: It’s not that bad. Wear layers, but not too many. Wear a hat.

I read a blog post by a man who said it was fun to run in the rain in Central Park. (I would add links here, but can’t find them now on my home computer. Google sees me differently at work, apparently.)

Fun! To run in the rain! To think!

And here’s the thing. I did start thinking.

Fun! This was one of my intentions for 2014. Not quite a New Year’s Resolution, but close.

I woke up this morning, opened the blinds to see thick fog and heavy rain, and I laughed. I thought, I could stay home or go teach yoga and do the same thing I do every Saturday morning, or I could go outside and play in the rain with 40,000 people. Which one would be more fun?

And you know what? I had a blast! Seriously, the very best time. I was giddy to see how many different types of people were hitting the streets of Richmond, by the thousands. I waved to the cheering squads and high-fived anyone I could, once I realized that was a thing. I woo’d random bands, and I felt inspired by the Rocky theme song. I delighted in the rain and felt like a little kid on an adventure. Friend Renn and I commented, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company the entire way.

It was amazing! I saw my hometown in a whole new way, the streets I’ve driven distracted hundreds of times from a whole new view. It is a level of civic pride I’ve never experienced.

I can’t wait to do it again! I may even train next time.

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