Dan supervised the kiddie festivities with mildly-annoyed resignation while I walked a 5K in the mud behind some of my running girlfriends. My joints are fairly bad and I once had a physical therapist tell me not to become a runner so I use that as an excuse to walk races with dignity. And I was chock full of dignity on Saturday, speed-walking along the gravel trail past the cows with my stretch pants rolled up to mid-calf to keep them out of the mud.
My original goal was to complete the 3 miles in less than an hour. By the time I finished my only goal was to not let the old lady with the cane cross the finish line before I did. She kept passing me as we walked along the trail and at first it stressed me out. Eventually I just had to face the fact that I was an amazing speed walking athlete and that if an old lady with a cane could pass me like that, then she was the freaking awesomest old lady with a cane who ever lived and thusly a worthy opponent. She was my nemesis and I could not let her win.
So towards the end of the race I ran a bit until I was a safe distance ahead of her and then crossed the finish line with a time of 1 hour and 30 seconds. I was glad to beat my arch rival but a little frustrated that I couldn’t walk 3 miles in under an hour. And then I saw a friendly face at the sidelines so I walked over to chat. After a few minutes went by, someone mentioned that although I had crossed the finish line, my place in the race wouldn’t be recorded until I walked another hundred yards and turned in my number. So yeah. Several people had passed me at that point, including the OLWAC, who was probably laughing to herself knowing that our epic struggle had ended and she had gotten her revenge.
But at least I got a free t-shirt… and a free banana… and some free water… all included in the $25 entrance fee. And I found out later that the clock at the finish line had been set to time a race that had started 15 minutes earlier so I’d actually walked the run in about 45 minutes, smashing my original goal to tiny shards of glory.