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!


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

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 ;)