When I got to the second annual I'm Losing It in San Benito 5K, I went to a table with water bottles and asked for one. A man said, "No." He explained the water was for runners after the race, and they needed to make sure there was enough for everyone.
There were about 40 bottles of water. I saw 12 people around me. I'm embarrassed to think of what my face looked like when I heard the response.
What no one had any reason to know (and was admittedly in no way their concern) was I had ran five miles to get to the race.
I had gotten up late. I focused on getting all my reflector gear on. I lied to myself that I'd stop by a store on the route for water.
But I was worried about getting to the race late, so I didn't stop for water.
There was still water in my hydration backpack at home, but well... I'm stupid.
I thought, "I'll look like an idiot carrying a hydration backpack at a 5K. If I take the backpack, instead of a sling bag, I won't have anywhere to store my reflective gear. I'll be wearing a hydration backpack AND reflective gear at a 5K."
How many times must I learn this lesson: Don't worry about looking stupid. Stay alive.
So, I found a water fountain that I instantly loved.
And here's a recap of the rest: The race had a small crowd. It was a casual run. There wasn't any timing chip or loud sendoff.
I was by myself in the middle. The runners (who unlike me look like they're running) left me quickly behind, and the walkers were at least half a mile behind me.
The 5K was my first chance to use the Heavin Resaca Trails. It was very nice. It was a beautiful day. Twice, I was tempted to step off the trail and use the swings.
I don't think the ladies handing out water for runners will understand why I was so thankful. They were evenly kindly handing out water bottles to anyone who was walking by.
I also have to add my sincere thanks to the San Benito Police Department and Fire Department for their help during the 5K. There was one part of the route I thought I'd have to wait for a truck, which was going to turn in front of me, but then a patrol unit pulled up and let me have the right of way. That was much appreciated.
There were a few people on the trail walking with dogs who didn't have leashes. That always makes me nervous, but there weren't any incidents.
There was a health expo at the end of the race. I was starting to make the rounds, but my water-free five-mile warm-up hit me. I had to excuse myself and call my family for a ride.
So, once more with feeling: Don't worry about looking stupid. Stay alive.
So, I'm going through my Flipboard feeds and I read an article about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's new year's resolution. He's aiming to run a mile a day for the next year and is encouraging others to join.
So far, so good.
But then he wrote, "It's a mile a day, and at a moderate pace it's less than 10 minutes of running per day."
I'm sorry. What? "Less than 10 minutes?"
I confess my first reaction was "Screw you!" (I actually wanted to make that the blog post title.) While it's a response obviously triggered by my own struggles with my pace, it's not a completely unwarranted reaction.
More power to those who can run that fast, but for everyone else, you're just setting them up to fail.
Like a lot of people, I was unsure of myself when I started running. I used couch-to-5K apps*, read running books and blogs, and joined a running group. I was positive I must be missing something, because I'm so slow.
In the process, I meant encouraging people who just wanted to help me keep running no matter the pace. I read books and articles from respected runners and trainers and everyday joggers who said not everyone fits into the same mold.
I was in a very "I'm okay. You're okay" world. Whenever I find someone who ran my 15- to 16-minute-mile pace, it was like a little gift from heaven showing me I'm not alone.
Then Zuckerberg announces to the world running a mile should take less than 10 minutes, and I'm back to wondering what's wrong with me.
Fortunately, it's temporary. It's like that last burst of energy you use to cross the finish line of a long run, and as soon as you finish, you think, "I'm sorry. Where am I? Gosh, I'm hungry."
Because, you know what? I am hungry, and I'm going to get some food now.
By the way, Zuckerberg, I've completed and surpassed your challenge for at least the last two years (and I wasn't even trying).
*And as I've mentioned before, those Couch-to-5K programs should really be called Couch-to-Running for 30 minutes. Because running a 5K and running 30 minutes aren't necessarily the same thing.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.