The best & worst race ever

Two years ago I ran the 2010 Corporate Run 5k “rogue”. To those of you that don’t know, going “rogue” means your running un-registered.

It was a last minute decision that I still feel really guilty about for a number of reasons. I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again.

Safety
One of the best things about running a race is you get a race number. This little ditty is a great keepsake full of memories after the race. It also holds all your contact information. Its basically a lifesaver. When you run “rogue”, you’re not registered, so you don’t receive a race number, which ultimately means the race directors AND paramedics, DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE. This just seems like a big deal. (I didn’t get hurt, just words of wisdom to reflect on)

You’re Not Paying Any Money.
This would seem to be awesome since the cost of races can really add up. That is until you realize what that money really is. The majority of races are put on to raise money for a cause: save high-school cross country (yah! It’s staying in Jacksonville, FL!!), or a non-profit like the Sulzbacher Center. When you don’t pay, they don’t get paid.

Again…you don’t get a race number. (or a free t-shirt!)
There’s no official record of your finish, no timing chip, no proof, no keepsake. And that’s exactly what I hated most about the 2010 Corporate Run 5k.  I have no record of anything  (not even a free t-shirt. boo).

A corporate race is where different organizations in Jacksonville form groups of their eager & less eager employees, everyone races, & there’s a mini party afterwards. I had no work team participating, so I had no team. I did end up going out to cheer on my (now) ex & his fellow CSX teammates.

That didn’t work too well. I was just itching to run.Running had been going really well having just finished the Jax Bank Half Marathon, the Gate River Run & MS Mud Run. I was slightly burned my ex never once asked me to run on his team, especially when I showed up and saw there were other guy’s girlfriends running on their team (Grrrrr, still bitter). My ex suggested I just run the race anyways. He was so wrapped up in his own pre-race jitters, he would not have cared what I did. I could have run the thing backwards, and he wouldn’t have noticed.

So run it I did. I lined up in the middle of the crowd at the beginning of the race and took off. And it was hot, humid, and exhilarating! And of course I PR’d. Why wouldn’t that happen? I didn’t even need a chip or fancy race watch to tell me I PR’d. According to the race clock, which is typically slower because it includes the time from the “gun start” to the time when you finally inch your way across the starting line as well as the time it actually takes you to run the race. My previous 5k race had been just around 30:00 minutes by actual chip time. The Corporate 5k? I did it in 28:13 by clock time. This means I more that beat my previous time most likely by over two minutes!! Amazing. Too bad its not official & doesn’t show up on http://running.Jacksonville.com

Fast forward one year…the year between races was an awesome, amazing and very challenging year. My ex and I broke up. (challenging). I learned I am allergic to mushrooms. (cant breath, cant run) I meet my amazing, new boyfriend, Adam (amazing & awesome). My job went from 9a-5p normal hours to crazy 7a-7p+ hours. (crazy & challenging).  [side note: I now have a new job (amazing) with normal hours (even amazing-er)! but not until after the 2011 Corporate Run]

As a result my dedication & dicipline failed. I failed. I gained the Freshman 15, only I wasn’t in college anymore. I’d already previously lost 50 lbs, so gaining any of it back was really frustrating to me. I entirely blame myself, my lack of discipline, and laziness…as well as my old job circumstances/hours etc.

Regardless, when Adam asked my to run on his Beaver Street Fisheries Corporate Run 2011 5k team, how could I say no? I never even THOUGHT to say no. It was amazing to finally be racing on a team for the Corporate 5k.When we showed up that day, there was so much excitement. His coworkers were all excited. Everyone had pre-race jitters.

A few minutes before the race was set to begin, I went and lined up. I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere near last years successful finish time, so inched my way back through the crowd past the 10 minute mile start pace aaaaaaalllll the way to the 13 minute mile start.

And we started running along Bay Street on the South end of EverBank Field towards Main Street. Then bam. Side stitch. We were only 0.5 miles in! Frustration. It was hot, humid, and horrible. I walked. I debated turning around. “Should I run/walk the rest of this b**** or turn around and walk the 0.5 miles back and just wait… ” uuuurrrgh. worst. feeling. ever.

I proceeded to run/walk the entire race. There’s no shame in run/walking anything. What I was mad about was how horrible I felt. I had a constant side-stitch the whole race. My face was burning hot. I kept getting passed by people. I couldn’t wait for the torture to end.

39 minutes and 19 seconds later I finally passed the finish line. My chip/watch time was 37 minutes and 31 seconds. oh my god. That was clearly my worst race…ever. I was mortified. Horrified. Disgusted. On top of that, to realize that one year previous, I had had my BEST unofficial 5k race ever just made it all the worse. Change needed to happen now. And from that day on, change began…one small step at a time…

The Beaver Street Fisheries 2011 Corporate Run Survival Team
(funny enough, you can see Adam and me in the background on the right) 

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What’s your best and worst race? Are they the same race, years apart??

I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment!

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