Yesterday's post gave the bare bones, "this is what happened" version while my body was still reeling (lack of sleep, lack of food, not to mention while I was typing there was a 5 year old tugging on my shirt since I'd been away most of the day).
Today I've got a clearer head and I'm realizing how truly awesome yesterday really was. Not so much because I hit my goals (yay me!) but because it was once again a reminder of how freaking awesome the human race - and runners in particular - can be.
Wonderful things I observed/experienced yesterday, in no particular order:
- Constant "way to go, ladies!" and other words of encouragement every time someone passed us (that actually sounded sincere!)
- Amazingly nice and encouraging volunteers, even at the end of the race when I'm sure they were tired and sick of standing in the sun
- A woman spectating who offered me a band aid when she overheard me mentioning a blister problem.
- A gentleman with a prosthetic leg, volunteering and encouraging people along
- Volunteers anticipating the needs of runners and going out of their way to be helpful (many thanks to those who took care of Michelle when she decided to stop!)
Actually, I'll stop with the bullets there because the rest of them would be about the volunteers. Holy freaking moly, were they amazing. Seriously cannot stress that enough. I wish I could thank each of them again. I'm pretty sure I said "thank you" 100 times yesterday, and each time it was truly sincere.
Another amazing thing about yesterday was just the atmosphere in general. Since this was my first timed event, I went in feeling like a bit of an outsider. I'm far from an ultra-runner, and heck, yesterday I wasn't even planning on running. Yet I never felt like anyone was judging me or thinking "Who is this chick?" In fact, in the final minutes of the race when I was walking just waiting for it to be over (LOL), I was chatting with a girl who was part of a relay team. When she found out that I was NOT doing a relay, she said "Wow!"
Huh. Pretty sure that's the first time I've ever gotten a "Wow!" in response to anything I've done since I began this crazy running (and now walking) adventure. That felt pretty good. (Of course, I won't think about the fact that she probably did her 12 miles in half the time it took me to do my first 12 miles of the day)
Anyway. I'm digressing. Or rambling. Or something. (Cut me some slack, it's been a long weekend!) My point is, yesterday was amazing. It was fun, it was challenging, and it made me feel something I haven't felt in a long time. Pride.
Weird, right? ;-)
So, congrats to all those who kicked major butt yesterday (in other words, all who participated!), and kudos to the ES6 "cast and crew" for putting on such a great event.
Oh! Almost forgot. Unofficial results state that I did 5 complete laps (20.5 miles) plus an additional .246 miles for a total of 20.746 miles. That puts me at 57 out of 73 participants (not counting the relay teams). I'll take it! =)