I ran the Mr. Ed’s 5k today, for the first time ever. My dad has been running it for years, and his friend Jim has been running it even longer (once when he showed up late and hadn’t registered the people at the desk just gave him a number and told him he could pay after the race), but while I’ve worn a lot of the shirts, I’ve never run it before. The day got off to a rocky start, since I didn’t know when the gun was going to go off, and my dad had told me “around lunchtime”, so I was still in my pajamas when Jim and his son Jimmy (who I used to babysit when he was first born. I am old) came by to get us. I scrambled to get dressed, and grabbed a clementine, but I was in a nasty mood, because I like to eat a specific kind of breakfast before a race (nut butter on toast with orange juice), and I hate being rushed. It was a surprisingly long drive though, so I cooled off by the time we got there, and was ready to run.
The atmosphere at the fire hall was very relaxed and friendly, and there was food set out for people to snack on before the race. I grabbed a mini scone, but there was also breakfast pizza, with eggs and sausage on top, that might have been tempting if it was cold, and I wasn’t about to go for a run. Maybe some other time though. Jim’s sister (and my friend) Wendy was there, and we all chatted and stretched, and walked to the finish line together. The race is usually a sloppy, freezing mess, but today it was clear and in the high 30’s, which was nice, since I lost all of my long tights when I moved home, and I was wearing running capris. The race goes along the Erie Canal, which looked frigid, but beautiful. It’s a nice course. My knee started hurting almost immediately, but I was wearing my strap, so I was able to push through it by keeping my pace on the slow side. It felt great going uphill- I could have gone uphill all day, but the downhill made me want to cry. I pushed through it, and even though I didn’t set a new PR (or beat the 11-year old boy whose diapers I used to change. When did I get so old and slow?), but I had a lot of fun. I passed people on the uphill, and I beat some random high school chick who passed me a couple of times (I felt a little guilty about that actually, since I got the impression that she was running with her more serious runner friends, and they had left her behind, and I had to sprint to the finish line to beat her, but my time sucked, so I needed a little boost), and I had a great time.
Afterwards, at the party, I talked to a bunch of middle aged rugby players, and visited with Wendy, who I really only see for races since she lives in Rochester. We talked about the Boilermaker (a 15k in Utica that was the first race we did together), which I won’t be able to do this year because I’ll be living in Baltimore, and the 90-mile canoe race that I’m going to try to get back for. There was food, which was meh (they had something called “barbeque burgers”, which were hamburger patties immersed in some sort of greasy orange-y sauce. It looked unapplealing, but everyone was taking them, so I figured it was a local food tradition and got one for myself. It wasn’t terrible, but it was Not Delicious), and beer which was fine, in a keg of what I suspect was Labbatt kind of way, but I didn’t feel like drinking much because I still hadn’t had much to eat, so I just hung out and chatted, which was nice. We stayed way longer than we would normally, which must’ve been boring for Jimmy, but I enjoyed. Jim and Wendy knew a lot of people, and they’re both good at making friends out of strangers, so we stayed, and watched them give out awards, and then went over to the bar that used to be Mr. Ed’s, and is now Pony’s. I was done at that point, but luckily I wasn’t the only one, so we only stayed for a little while before heading home. My knee was sort of hurting at that point, but it was the car ride home that killed it, so after I showered I plunked myself down on my bed for an afternoon of reading and rubbish-y tv, which as far as I’m concerned makes this a good Sunday. The only drawback has been that I’m upstairs, and food, specifically flavor-blasted goldfish, are downstairs, and getting to them will involve bending my knee. When that kind of thing counts as a problem though, life is sweet.