Wednesday, August 01, 2012

one small step

"he who falls behind will be left behind."

the running event i watched in 2010 thinking, "i can do that."

i can. i did.

redirect: in august, 2009 i had an acl reconstruction on my right knee. in july of 2010 i was still rehabbing, still struggling to get back to where i was pre-injury. it was pitiful and sad, unless you compare it to things that are actually pitiful and sad. in which case it was just silly and self-indulgent.

as we sat on the curb waiting for seattle's seafair torchlight parade to begin, a parade of runners went by, part of the annual 5k/8k event. and as unfit as i felt physically, mentally i wanted to compete.

not eventually. immediately. right that second. i mean, there were old people and overweight people and children running, right there in front of me. "if they can do that, i can do that," i thought, sullenly. "why am i not doing that?"

the moment passed. and a year went by. in that time, i returned to playing basketball, got into basketball shape, then realized i didn't really like playing basketball any more. about then, i stopped playing basketball and started running.

fast forward a year and hundreds of miles and half-a-dozen races. oh, look, it's time for the 2012 seafair torchlight 5k/8k. "let's do this thing," i didn't really say to myself. but i did sign up for the 8k, because it was there.

a half mile into it, my stomach started hurting something awful. it kept hurting the next three miles, and i was pretty sure my time was going to be just as awful. i started feeling better the last mile and a half, stomach-wise, but by that time i was spent. i crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, and didn't bother to look at it. after walking and drinking nuun and eating some blueberries i finally looked and saw "36:30." at that moment i experienced a small but finite interval of yay.

my target time was 40 minutes~~and if everything went perfectly, i thought i might manage 35 minutes. things didn't go perfectly, or anywhere close to it, so 36:30 felt like a gift.

doesn't matter. what does matter is that i ran with the people i once watched. and i was faster than several of them. not that i'm competitive or anything.

NO                1929
NAME            Michael Miller
AGE              51
SEX               M
DIVISION        M 50-54
OVERALL      187/3744
DIVPL            13/96
SEXP             155/1872
CHIP              36:30
PACE             7:21

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