Unleashed

 

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I’ve lost some steam on my running. I had that great day in Saugatuck, and then I had the Memorial Day Holiday come up. My friend Alisa from Louisiana was up, and, although I ran a little, we mostly walked and visited beach towns. Admittedly, we walked a LOT. Poor girl, I think I wore her out. But I didn’t run a whole lot that weekend. On Tuesday a cold started clogging up my head. I didn’t feel like running, and I couldn’t breathe very well when I did.

I decided I’d better get a plan in place to build some momentum. “A 10K!!” popped into my head Friday morning. I finally found one for this weekend. I didn’t really want to do something this weekend, but it looked like a fun race, and it was in Ann Arbor. In 10 seconds, I was signed up! Yay! Instant motivation.

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Ann Arbor – University of Michigan Stadium

 

It was a bit too far to drive in on Sunday, so I booked a hotel, packed up Ashok and headed east to that sweet little college town Saturday evening. I got a good night’s rest, and Ashok and I were up at 5 AM to pick up my race packet. After being one of the first customers at packet pickup, I headed over to Starbucks for a green tea latte and some breakfast. I had plenty of time, so Ashok and I people-watched and enjoyed the nice weather. It was supposed to rain, but you’d have never known it at 6:30 AM.

I pulled up the Weather Channel radar to see if rain was really likely during my race, and I saw just a few little bluish spots around Ann Arbor. No big deal. I zoomed out, and I saw this.

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Uh oh. Unless we got really lucky, it was going to be bad. The ETA was right in the middle of the race. I decided to leave my phone in the car, skip the rain jacket and not bring anything except my car key and an energy bar. I was going to be soaked, and I didn’t want to chance ruining my phone. There would be no Runkeeper tracking for run data this morning.

It wasn’t raining when the race started. It started sprinkling at mile 1. For about a minute, we all sort of moaned a little and said a group OH NO. Then the bottom fell out. It wasn’t Louisiana pouring, but it was definitely more than a normal Michigan pouring. It poured, and it poured, and it poured. My socks and shoes were soaked, my hair looked like a wet mop, and my clothes were “unspinned washing machine” wet.

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As the weather unleashed itself on me, I started to feel unleashed myself. It felt great to be untethered to my phone. I had no camera for pictures. I didn’t have to worry about my dog since she wasn’t allowed in the race. Race pace didn’t matter because I had nothing to track it with. And, once I got used to the rain and decided I was just going to get wet, it was pretty freeing. Splash… splash… squish .. squish... everybody was in an even better mood BECAUSE of the downpour. My nose was running horribly, and I just blew it out on the street. I didn’t even have to have manners! I used the excess as hand cream. (Just kidding, but that grossed you out, didn’t it?)

I realized about halfway in that the 3 min/30 sec interval I had set was a bit too aggressive for me. I was getting tired, so I backed it up to 3 min/1 min intervals. That was much better. I love running with walk breaks. I feel good the whole time, and when I have such short intervals, I can run really hard. It helps to pump up my endorphin rush much better than a long, slow interval. My time is usually better with walk breaks because I feel much stronger and more refreshed. After I switched, I got my energy back and squished down the road even faster.

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You look like a drowned rat. #karma #doglessrunning

My finishing time was 1:09:18 – slow by anybody’s standards, but I felt great. People were literally dancing in the rain afterward. As I walked back to my car with a big smile on my face, I realized how great it felt to be free of technology and pressure to meet a time goal. I think I’d like to do that more often. I answered that age-old question “if you run without tracking it electronically and posting it on social media, did it really happen?” I can emphatically say yes, it happened. And I have a pile of soaking wet clothes to prove it.

Oh, yeah… and when I drove out of the parking garage, it had stopped raining. It literally ONLY rained on my race. Go figure.

Talk to me, please...

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