So have you ever had the dream where you arrive to a race LATE? I have those dreams often and they are full of anxiety to say the least. In a way, they’re funny, because in the dream I arrive and find no one at the start line and dust in the distance coming from the runners who just left the scene. Then I take off in a fury to catch the runners ahead of me. Things get complicated (because it’s a dream of course) and I feel as if I’m running through molasses (still not catching them).
Little did I know that a couple of Saturdays ago this would really happen! The race I registered for has historically started at 7:30 am. The festival website even stated the 5k starting at 7:30 am. Right? No … it started at 7:00 am. I can’t really even say what the best part of this whole thing was. Was it that the local police did not stop me from turning onto the race course at 7:01 am (yes they were there and watched me do it). Was it the look on the elite racers faces as I was driving right at them as I turned onto the course? Was it their relief on their faces 3 seconds later when I got off the course! Was it the fact that I learned you cannot run and pin a race number onto your shirt at the same time (you have to walk if you don’t want to impale yourself). Was it that I only had two safety pins attached and not four (yes, yes this was really happening).
The facts are that I parked the car, ran towards the start line and remembered I needed my race number. I ran back to the car and retrieved it (this is where I learned you have to walk to place your bib on your shirt). I made it 100 feet towards the start and then I did something unpredictable. I actually ran back to my car and made sure it was locked. Finally, I began to run on the sidewalk towards the start line as the entire race rushed passed me in the opposite direction. I made it to the start line and started “my own race” and was the official last person in the beginning and I was at least 2 full minutes late at this point. I argued with myself the entire race course about “how dumb could I be?” How could I let this really happen? I didn’t even start my watch because my adrenaline overcame my ability to remember anything (except to lock my car… go figure).
In the end, I did finish the race and I have no idea what time I truly ran. There was no molasses and I ran really good for being late. The “official” time is now in the books and it doesn’t really represent the time it took me to complete the distance. All I can say is that I have a great story that I hope no one repeats and now I can finally stop having those dreams!
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