Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Runner's Story Time!

Yes, it's true I haven't blogged, but only because I've been out and about, doing this and that. So my sins are... well, minimized. Right? Well okay maybe not when it comes to my trip to Laurens, SC...

I spent my weekend traveling to and fro the lovely 5th Annual Laurens Little River Bridge 8K Run/5K Walk. Thanks to Google and my own incompetence, the trip only took 47 hours (Google promised me it was an hour and 37 minutes from my house! Those cyber cads!) and this greatly complicated my life as I got to the race with only one minute to spare. I had to sprint to the check in table... I grabbed my goodie bag... I gasped at the size of my goodie bag (it was so heavy it almost broke my arm!) As I was tying on my timing chip onto my shoe, I threw my wallet and keys into my large goodie bag/new pocketbook... and then panicked as I realized that I couldn't possibly run 5 miles with my new hulking goodie bag that surely weighed 40 pounds... So... I threw my bag at a startled volunteer and said, "See ya after the race!" And... I laughed and laughed and laughed at my audacity... until 2 miles later when the race was well underway, when I'm in the middle of a strange neighborhood 47 hours away from home.... er I remembered those keys, credit cards, accompanied by a little bit of the green. And then I cried and cried and cried at my audacity/foolishness... but running fool that I am, I kept on going, content in my belief that race volunteers are a cut above (they are!) and that every finish line brings about a happy result. So... I ran my race without a bib (oh the shame!) convinced that someone was going to pull me out of the race at any minute (no one did!), I ran through the most beautiful neighborhoods and people were watching the race and cheering us along all along the way (nice touch, Laurens, SC!)... I ran past a beautiful coffeehouse and made a mental note to return (I did! I did!)... and as I crossed the finish line, oh woe was me, I came to the bitter end... Somehow the goodie bag had walked away! Taken off for a better situation, probably 22 hours down the road ahead of me already... Well, at first I was calm. I slowly drank my water and recovered from the race, having a total out of body experience as the volunteers hyperventilated and madly searched for the goodie bag. I had total faith in them and only began to panic when I considered my miserable luck, incredible capacity for stupidity... and figured I would be completely stupid if I didn't panic (fractions are more honorable)... so I allowed myself to panic a bit... But even though my recklessness caused several heart attacks, my volunteers came through for me and finally it was revealed that Jonathon had the goodie bag in his truck for safekeeping. Yay! I think we all cried at that point.

Even though I have surely been BANNED from Laurens, SC for several lifetimes, I had a wonderful time and got to meet some incredible, if slightly stressed volunteers. Why next year I'm going to run under an assumed name... and when they see my mug coming, people are going to scatter! Yes, that plan is flawed, but oh well... I'm still going to put this on my schedule for next year. This was my best race ever! I haven't even had any post race soreness and this was my first 8k. And I was so impressed by those volunteers... I got to talk to several and one of them, the startled volunteer who had the misfortune to get my bag at the beginning of the race actually told me later that she was prepared to drive me back home... the whole 47 hour trip. Now that's courage, isn't it? Committing your evening to driving a crazy woman around the southeast... There were several volunteers that helped look for the bag, so I want to publicly thank each and every one. I remember your mug and will... er... leave you in peace next year! Thanks so much Laurens, SC!

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