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Clearly the most unforgettable 5k ever

I had such high hopes.  So much went wrong. Early on, a 5K race didn’t seem so daunting, originally I thought it might even be fun.  It wasn’t fun, it was unforgettable.

Clearly The Most Unforgettable 5k Race Ever

It was March, when we {my son and I} looked into participating in the Perogie Dash 5k.  Plenty of time to plan and prepare, the race wasn’t until August.  Everything was going great, planning, preparation all looked good until the week before the race.

The trouble started with my son’s appointment.  A routine visit to his oral surgeon in preparation to have is wisdom teeth removed. I thought we would be scheduling it way far into the future, perhaps for November over Thanksgiving break.  Nope, they happened to have a cancellation.  Oh what luck, 2 days before the race.  I guess we will have to cancel the run.  Because, you can’t possibly run a 5k, 2 days after you’ve had your wisdom teeth out, I said jaw slacken.  My son replied, the oral surgeon said “I would be fine”. I countered with: Number one, you wont be able to eat.  Number two, you will be in pain.  Number three, a lot could go wrong.  I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Lets wait and see how you feel when your surgery is complete, you might change your tune.

Fast forward to the night before the race, my son {minus 4 wisdom teeth} went to bed early assuring me that we were going to run.  Dedication, smh.

So before I went to bed, I set both clocks – on my iPhone and iPad – one hour ahead, and set my alarm for 8 a.m., more than three hours before the race. Plenty of time.

The day of the race

I awoke at 9:07 a.m. – my alarm having mysteriously failed to sound, and the race starting in just over an hour and a half – I panicked. I sprinted into my kitchen for a quick banana, and glanced at the microwave (which hadn’t been set either). It read 7:07 a.m. blink-blink-blink, wtf I’m so confused, what time is it?!

The weather forecast was hazy, hot and humid.  I stepped outside into a hot thick, steamy morning, zero wind and 80 F, and instantly ran back upstairs to change into lighter clothes and wake Avery. I searched my running superstar drawer and picked a sweat-wicking short-sleeved tee and a pair of Capri yoga pants and a running hat.

If all goes as planned we’d be right on time, but I felt jumpy, fatigued and thrown off my game, I darted out the door with Avery slogging along behind me all swollen faced.

With 60 minutes until the start of the race, and a long drive, I was kinda frazzled to say the least. Magnified by the fact that I had no idea where I was going or how to get there, I plugged the address into my GPS and off we went.  I was proud of my estimated arrival time marked to be 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

Just when you think you can rely on technology – you can’t.  A missed turn or two and some GPS recalculating re-routes got us off track and lost.  It took about 10 minutes extra and we missed the start of the race.

Unshaken by the fact we were so far behind, we parked the car and hustled over to registration to get our bibs.  The kind volunteer mentioned that the race had already started. Yes, thank you…we are aware.  Then jogging off to the deserted starting line, to begin our own race – 15 minutes behind.

After about three minutes of what felt like sprinting, I was quickly approaching cardiac arrest and needed to walk.  I don’t know if it was the heat, the morning sun, the thick humid air or the hectic pace.  I felt like this race started the night before, I was already drenched in sweat like I had been running hard for days.  Avery was less than pleased with the way this day was unfolding.  I begged him to go on ahead and run without me.  Rolling his eyes, he walked with me and managed to catch up on his emails while I sucked wind and caught my breath.  He wouldn’t leave me behind, he refused.

No more than 1 minute later, we looked up to see the guy who would win the race coming in the opposite direction.  We were just about 3 minutes into the race and the winner was already heading for the finish!  We both looked at each other, stopped in our tracks and burst out hysterically laughing!!  After hugging it out and regaining our senses, we set out running again.  Might I add, we did manage to pass a few people as we pushed on and gained speed.

As we ran past the moms pushing strollers and elderly people, I had a mental picture of the headline that might accompany this if it appeared in the news: Against all odds and despite all the obstacles, they finished – Sub Editor fired.

Near the end of the race, I stopped to grab water, wrung out my shirt and accidentally tore off my soggy bib.  We chugged up the steep hill towards the finish line.

Carrying a my cell phone and ear buds in one hand, my bib in the other, I crossed the finish line at 54 minutes, 33 seconds. Both of us dead last in our category, the crowd erupted in thunderous applause.  It was epic.

I burst into tears, I felt so good.  Obviously, not a personal best – but what I learned that day I will never forget.  So blessed…I have a son, who is my heart. I will never forget at mile one, I looked at my son for some strength. He simply gave a smile, the cutest swollen face smile on earth. My wonderful young man, patient, loving and strong and kind.  You’re amazing.

Clearly the most unforgettable 5k ever

So there you have it. Stay healthy my friends and I would love to chat!

What was your most unforgettable race?

What happened at your worst race?