Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The horses are comin' so you better run...

The dog days are over.
The dog days are done.

The horses are comin' so you better run.

Nothing says "Happy Sunday!" like waiting in the rain for 1.5 hours just for the opportunity to have sore legs. On Sunday, I completed my first 5K. I survived!
While everyone I knew was running the 8K, I was forced to wait among the thousands in downtown Portland for the start of the 5K. My boyfriend was off and running like the cheetah he is, and I was about to throw up from the nerves and combination of the 3 pulled pork sliders, beer and peanut butter bar from New Seasons I indulged in the night before. Carb loading anyone?

My fateful partner in crime, Lacey met up with me, but not after a few dozen pre-race texts.

"R U pretty layer-ee?" Freezing?"
"Ur warm enuf? Can't decide if I wear ear warmers or a baseball cap..."
"U runnin w/ ur phone?"

I love 2 things about our text exchange. First, Lacey was hoping that her attire would influence the outcome of our race time. The other part? Lacey was a race criminal. After her sister missed the deadline to sign her family up, Lacey decided to be a sport and come out and run for the hell of it. No bib. No race number. No time chip. 100 percent baddass.

I had my Nike+ all synced up and ready to go. My playlist would get me through the next 3.3 miles of hell. After a small delay, we were off! Crossing that start line and breezing up to the Burnside Bridge. The first song on my playlist? Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days are Over." You know, the song from the Eat, Pray, Love movie trailer? It really got me going!

Run fast for your mother; run fast for your father /

Run for your children all your sisters and brothers /
Leave all your love and your longing behind.
You can't carry it with you / if you want to survive

Well, I wasn't running for anyone but myself. As turned onto Broadway, and passed a strip club, I saw the incline. Not. Fun. I was doing so well! My Nike+ robot woman had told me we had completed 1K, now 2K...and then a hill. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't slow down and walk a few times, but hey. Once we hit that 3k mark - it was on!

Everyone told me that I'd be surprised at how motivating it is to be running with thousands of others in the streets of Portland. It's true. At times, I'd look over and see a kid huffing and puffing and not stopping. Then to the left? An older gentlemen who was ignoring all signs of pain to keep running. So many times I been watching The Biggest Loser and seen people three to six times my size completing 5K runs and marathons. There's no reason I couldn't finish this thing.

I'd like to attribute my success to the $1.29 iTunes purchase of Britney Spears' new single, "Til the World Ends," and special recognition to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" during that home stretch.

Running is a funny sport. There's the men in the short shorts and toothpick legs that make it seem like a phyiscal God- given talent to be born with long legs and the lung capacity, but for the rest of us - it's just mind over matter.

I'm not sure I'll ever look at the streets of Portland the same way, but that's a good thing. This could be the beginning of a new chapter and yearly tradition. Who knows.

And one thing is for sure - true friends will break all the rules for you. Lacey takes the cake on that one! Getting up hellishly early to run a race, on the morning of Daylight Savings, in the rain, in a race that she's not even going to be able to log on and see her time speaks volumes. She was a better motivator than trainer Bob or Jillian could have ever been to me sitting on my couch.

(Ignore my face. I think I'm still sleeping. Lacey looks cute. Glad she went with the hat!)


  1. Love it. Love you. Hate Broadway...FOREVER. Incline got the best of me and my quads are still upset about it. BUT, I would do it all over again.

    So, when are we going to do it all over again?

  2. I think this is a yearly tradition now. Although, you might be on some kind of black list.