It’s almost here. T – 2 days until my 10k. Thanks to a week filled with some fun running moments, I think I’m ready. For everything except the weather – but we’ll get to that in a moment.
I decided a week or so ago to change up my running playlist. As helpful as it is to know what the next song is going to be and whether you’re on pace (if Call Me Maybe comes on before I hit the shadow of the giant Buzzard Tree, then I need to slow down a bit), I was getting really tired of listening to the same set of songs over and over and over and over. So I switched it up a bit. Upside: new songs!!! Downside: not being used to the surround-sound kicking in at just that moment and jumping out of your skin because you thought you heard something coming up behind you…and then realizing it was just the music on your headphones. Le sigh.
Apparently (which is my 6-year-old’s favorite word – love it!), Gracie figured out how to add songs to my playlist, too. And is much more sneaky than I give her credit for. Whilst running along, during a grueling mile 4 at the end of a particular run, a really fun song came on that made it easy to run along with its pace. I didn’t recognize it at first. It was a young female singer who sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place her. Then the chorus kicked in: “I KNEW you WERE trouble WHEN you WALKED IN-NNN-NNN….” Damn you Taylor Swift, trickin’ me into jamming along with your song. And curse you, Gracie-girl, for, um, giving me a catchy song that is really fun to run to? Childrens: 1, Mama: 0
There was the canvas bag that I swore was a heron standing very, very still at the edge of the swampy area…until I starting turning the corner around the Buzzard Tree and my perspective shifted enough to see that it was a bag strung out on some sticks. And then I had Fiona Apple stuck in my head.
Maybe my favorite moment: a New Kids song ended up on my playlist – we’ll pretend Gracie did that – and I sang the whole dang thing not caring who heard. A mom who was biking with her young family smiled as she passed me and you KNOW it was because she recognized the song, not because my singing was horrible and off-key (although it was that, too).
I noticed these last few runs that I have had to consciously slow myself down several times. I run on average a 12 or 12:30 mile; I’ll certainly never be the fastest runner out there. I care more about distance than I do about speed. But several times I’d look down at RunKeeper and realize I was going 10:something. It’s not that I don’t want to improve my pace, but I know if I let myself start clockin’ along, I won’t have the stamina to finish. And that’s not something I want to play with before my big “race.”
My neighbor John – my race partner – caught me as we were driving our respective girlies to school on Wednesday. He asked if I was stoked for the run (“I am SO READY!!”) – and then told me he was bailing. Corrie gifted him with driving time at the racetrack for their anniversary and the only time he could book was this Saturday. Le sigh. So I guess I should really look at what time the race starts and where parking is and stuff. You know – important details since I no longer have someone in charge of making sure I show up and stuff.
And, circling all the way back to the weather, as I was looking up maps of where to park and where to show up before the race, I happened to check the forecast. It’s going to be THIRTY-TWO FREAKING DEGREES at the time of the run. Sure, it’s supposed to warm up to 64° later in the day, but since the race starts at 7:00 and I have to leave the warmth of my car at, like, 6:40ish, it’s probably going to be uncomfortably close to 32°. Not 64°. So – my question. What do I wear?! As soon as I start running, I’ll warm up. This I know. Running, I’d probably be fine in running pants and a tshirt. But what about that horrible, horrible time while I’m just standing around absorbing the bitter cold? Would I be too warm later if I wore a long-sleeve shirt under my tshirt? I know they offer lockers, but by the time I took off whatever outerwear I had on and got back in queue, I might as well have just left the outerwear in the car because it would still be long enough in the freezing cold to not be worth the inconvenience.
This is why I need to find some disposable sleeves. Or a sweatshirt I don’t care about keeping that I could just…casually let drop at the side of the course. Surely clothing left behind must go to some sort of shelter? Or maybe I could train a sherpa to run around behind me, carrying whatever clothes/water bottles/essentials I don’t want to carry on my person?
I can’t believe the fate of my 10k has come down to a lack of sleeves or pack animals.