There’s something pretty interesting about running a race on your regular home town route. By this time in my running history, I can pretty much tell you how far every place in town is from my front door. I cannot drive there; I cannot give you directions…but I know how far it is. The start line of the Almond Blossom race is 1.65 miles from my front door.
I was dropped at the start line by my Mom around 8:15, and there got my bib and shirt, and of course, the requisite selfie. I haven’t been running much, and I haven’t been running well, so I imagined my 11:32 pace from last year would probably stand as I loped through this course. It’s such a small race (300 runners); the director has a bullhorn, and at 9am sharp, we are off. We run down Spring Creek, and out North Ripon Road, over to Santos (where the picture above was taken), then back down to Spring Creek to the Finish.
And. If you listen close enough, you can actually hear my history pounded into the ground. Running through heartache last year, when 3 days out of the last breakup, I forced myself to lace up and run. You can see my worries falling from my body as I hit that smallish rise in the road near the country club. Miles and Miles of lost love, and job stress, and fear. Lots of fear. But this year. This year, I remembered all the joy. The new job and new crush and dating when I thought I could never open my heart again. Running when the boys were at basketball practice, and freshly painted blue nails for playoffs, and boy scouts, and the absolute joy of knowing that your neighbors really have your back.
I happened to look at my watch at mile 1, and it was 10:56 or so. And I felt great. I knew immediately that unless I fell apart, I would PR. It was warmish as we hit Santos, but this race was in the books from the start. I knew it would be good. And, it was. I had to fight at mile 4.5, as I was sort of running out of gas. No negative splits this race, just a great time.
So. About my feet. I had an MRI. The doctor suggested that I could run. Maybe. Yesterday, I got the call that they had my results. I have 3 more races this month, so naturally, I scheduled the appointment for the day after my last race, March 17.
On this last Saturday in February, I ran. And, I ran well. I was slow in my 10 year age bracket, but I wasn’t last, and I PRd. I paid $20 to run the miles I always run, and I had a ball. I just turned 55, and I do believe I will keep going…