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