My family is still unsure on how I started this running thing. I credit that to my employer's participation in the Fiesta Marathon. Work offered to pay the registration fee for anyone interested in participating.
I walked a lot in college and figured it would be a nice morning for a 5K walk. I snapped some photos while walking and raced ahead of coworkers who were walking so I could take their photo. As I did that, I thought it would be neat if I could run the whole 5K.
I would've probably forgotten about that thought soon after the race, if it weren't for one person - Raul.
See, I kept trying to catch up to him and I couldn't. At first, I didn't worry about. "I'll get to him in a bit." As we neared the finish line, I was in an all-out run. (Well, until it was obvious I wouldn't make it and the crowd at the finish line would see that, so I just stopped running.)
My new goal was set. I must outrun Raul at the next Fiesta Marathon. I soon started a Couch to 5K program and signed up for a race in a few months.
That was two years ago. Last year, a work schedule change and school sent me back to Square 1 of my running plan.
Raul easily beat me. Here he is with Erica, another person who easily outruns me.
This year I beat Raul to the finish line. This is possibly because
1. I didn't stop to take photos during the race this year.
2. Raul didn't even pass the starting line, as he didn't participate.
I also credit the first point for my Personal Record in the race.
Ah, well. It's a hollow victory. Maybe I'll just pass Raul a registration form for the McAllen Marathon or we can do a relay race at the next Fiesta Marathon.
If you don't know this about me, I'm a bit of a misanthropist. Maybe a nicer way to say it is that I have social anxiety. Either way, people, especially in a large group, and me don't mix well.
So when I became part of Team Unicorn at the Color Run in Brownsville, I just tried to take deep breaths and not freak out.
I was expecting to have a simple morning of giving out water. I had volunteered to be part of the Color Run, which was benefitting LLS. I was moved to a color team, which didn't seem bad. But then one of the organizers noticed my teammates and I were a small group and he still needed help with the mascot, which was a Unicorn.
The organizer eyed my teammate Jose for the role. I volunteered, but they didn't want me. I first thought it was because I was short, but then I realized the Unicorn had to be a guy.
While I knew the mascot role would be trouble, I find hiding behind a mask is easier than the job I would have. I was the handler. I had to stop people from bombarding the Unicorn. I had to corral people into some sort of order so everyone could get their photo taken.
And not just people. People who were pumped up from the run and all the excitement around them. I don't blame them. I just wanted to avoid them.
I washed my hands like crazy when I got home. You see, I would take the photos for people with their own phones. And cell phones are filthy, filthy things. People take them to the bathroom. They use them while eating. Very talented multitasking mothers use them while feeding children or changing diapers. They're dropped on the ground and inside purses, another germ-infested place.
But I digress. Let's see I got whacked with a color pack. It was headed straight for my face, but the camera I was holding up took the hit for me. And then I dropped the camera.
I played the villian at times. "No, you can't take a picture with the Unicorn. He needs water."
When it was time for his second break, it felt like we must've been there for hours. Surely, it's probably 1 p.m. It was 11. The Unicorn did some more rounds. The event was wrapping up. We happily packed the Unicorn costume away. We went to sign out. Mostly everyone was gone. But, alas, we didn't get signed out.
We got reassigned again. We disassembled some barricades. Jose stopped me from trying to carrying the heavy parts. I moved the smaller parts. And that's what I was doing, when I felt that familiar tug on my lower back. Ouch.
Jose and I signed out a few minutes later. We grabbed some bottled waters on our way out. Jose got one and asked, "Are these free?"
I replied, "I hope so" and grabbed four bottles. "I've been taking them all day."
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.