Photo by Randy Lefko
Weird, but fun fact of being a runner, when participating in a race - you get to be as gross as you want to be! Yep, it's true, be gross, it's okay and even encouraged.
When you run you just let it all hang out there. The simple fact is that there is no where to hide it. It being your imperfections, your modesty, your vanity, your pain, agony...the list goes on. In summary all that you have put in or failed to put in up to race day will shine through at the finish line, whether its the good, bad or ugly.
My draw to the organized events is that I am a born competitor. It simply does not matter if I am the best, fastest or even prepared for the event, I will leave nothing in my reserve tank, I will bring everything I have to the table. Many times this leaves me gargling my heart steps before the finish mats, I push through. I love every moment ... after I'm done, that is.
There you are, you and your shoes and as many gadgets as you can strap to your body and still move. The first mile, lactic acids try to choke the momentum out of you. But experience will teach you, push through, it gets better, you settle in and find your stride.
So, the gross fun part, you get to be a complete pig. You grab your water cup from the race volunteers (those people really deserve some extra credit and sweaty hugs for catering to us, sometimes that sip of water is your lifeline when you bonk and want to quit). Little paper cup in hand you attempt to keep moving but water is sloshing around and hitting your face but not your mouth. Drat! You then do a weird half walk half jog before succumbing to the full walk so you can take in the fluids.
Double crud, the stroller people are approaching. Nothing sucks worse then having a baby stroller pass you by. Forget that, time for a swish of water in and a giant spit - gross. At least I make an effort to peek behind me and make sure I am not spitting on someone - so not cool. Crumble up that cup and throw, oh yeah, throw it on the ground. It's so counter-intuitive, we are forever picking up and keeping things tidy. But in this world we just throw and go, no remorse, move on.
It's funny how a small thing like throwing your cups on the ground is naughty and fun too, breaking the rules, I like it! And this is where I extend another huge thank you to the race coordinators and volunteers who have the enormous responsibility of picking up after us racing piglets.
Disclaimer to the stroller people, I was once one of you - with my triplet stroller filled with babies, oh the pride I felt every time I was able to pass someone. Evil laugh, born to compete.