Saturday, December 08, 2007

8 on the 8th!

For my fellow running bloggers, this post needs no explanation. But for the sake of my non-runner family and friends who tirelessly humor me by continuing to read of my running exploits (thanks, guys!), I'll offer a brief run-down:

A few weeks ago, one of my virtual running buddies, Nancy, proposed a virtual race for us bloggers. "8 on the 8th" became the name of the race and as far as I know, a few dozen of us signed up to be on board (including myself, of course). Eight miles fit perfectly into my schedule anyway this weekend, so I looked forward to doing it with all the virtual company.

The run itself was a brutal one. Looking out the window this morning, the weather looked deceivingly nice with the sun shining brightly. But as soon as I stepped outside, I felt the cold, brisk wind and along with a temperature in the twenties, I remembered this was exactly the reason I've become so wimpy lately. But there were no excuses today and I forged ahead, enjoying the run when I had the wind at my back and cursing it when I had to plow through it. By run's end, I was thoroughly whipped, but I finished at a fairly respectable pace overall (for me, anyway) and had a good time knowing I was part of a big group doing the exact same run today.

Somewhere during the course of eight miles, I got to thinking of the ways a virtual race are so much better than than a real one:

  • No ridiculous wake-up calls at 3:30 in the morning in order to make a 6:00 a.m. race start. (How about noon, anyone??)
  • No bumpy school bus ride to the starting line, making your bladder feel like it's four years old again.
  • No obsessively checking the weather report every half hour leading up to the race; no panicking about what to wear, what to eat, where to park. No... ahem... pre-race digestion "issues".
  • No waiting in lines to use the bathroom (unless you count waiting for your teenage daughter to finish using the bathroom, which is longer than any port-a-potty line).
  • No weaving through a sea of runners in order to maintain your momentum or dodging other runners who abruptly stop in front of you in order to preserve your knees.

  • No attempting to grab water in small paper cups from race volunteers only to have half of it sloshed over the front of your shirt in the process.
  • No getting lost on the race course, making a wrong turn and not realizing it until all the runners that were around you have suddenly disappeared. (Not that this has ever happened to me or anything.)

  • No being chatted up by zealously friendly runners while using every bit of spare energy to just maintain a decent pace (although dealing with the thoughts in my own head can be just as distracting).
  • No having to watch out for race photographers in fear they'll catch you on film looking like you're on the verge of having a stroke for the entire internet to see.
  • No staggering across the finish line, only to have to wait to get your timer chip removed when you feel like you're about to collapse in a bumbling heap on the ground any second.
So, I suppose there's some valid advantages to running a virtual race, but even these exact same things are reasons that make a real race a one-of-a-kind experience. To be completely honest, I feel the high of running a race-- real or not-- just about every single time I run... which I suppose is the reason I keep doing it.

Eight more miles on this 'ol body of mine today. Never felt better!

6 comments:

Ovens2Betsy said...

Angie -- I can add another plus to a virtual race: you can stop for a Gu without it negatively affecting your final time!

(And you're looking pretty styling in the photo girlfriend!)

Non-Runner Nancy said...

WOOO HOOOO, you look awesome!! Great job on the race today and the race report. I loved not having the GI issues too! ha ha.

Do you have a time you would like me to include in the final results? Drop me an email at nonrunner@gmail.com

Thanks so much for joining in the fun. We'll have to do more virtual running together.

Christie said...

Just stopping by to say Hello. I like your blog. I found you through Nancy. I ran 8 on the 8th too.

Joe said...

Did you win, Angie? :-)

Frayed Laces said...

Dang girl, look at you! That's the spirit!

Laurel said...

Great pic! Congrats on "winning" your 8 miler ;)