I have to admit many, many things. The first is that I have never really run in public before. It's true that I run outside, in the village I live in, but I try to blend in. I run in the early morning, before people can see me. I like late at night except for the skunks on garbage night. I tend to run around the school campus where I live, and I wear a hat pulled down low to hide my true identity. I call it my lucky running hat, I'm lucky it hides my face! I have avoided people for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I have never been athletic a day in my life. I'm not sure what I look like when I run, but I'm sure it isn't pretty. My gear is old, my form must be bad, and do I have the right athletic bra on? So, I run in the dark, I run alone, and I do not make eye contact!
That all had to change on April 22. You see I wrote a little essay to WKTV about running the Boilermaker. I hit send and kind of forgot about it. Somehow, I was selected, and given the dubious honor of being runner #1. Runner #1 got to have her photo taken first, they asked me questions first, and I was ok with my top seeding until I got the running schedule. Runner #1 would be the first runner interviewed. They would follow me with a camera when I run, and it was going to happen week #1. Week #1. You know, the first time I laced up and hit the streets in public, in broad daylight, and in a populated area. Thank god for my lucky hat.
I hit the stores for some real athletic wear. I thought maybe my 1989 sweatshirt ( no joke), and old sneakers were kind of embarassing to my daughters. After all, I was going to have to run in broad daylight. Believe it or not I bought the spandex I so feared. I was fitted for proper running shoes and found myself looking kind of athletic. I was feeling ready for something. Good, bad, or indifferent here I come!
April 22 proved to be a nice day for a run. I was feeling confident that I could finish our first group run, 1.8 miles. What I wasn't so sure about was the camera following me! The group started out and I realized right away some things were different about running in public. First, the obvious, daylight. Nowhere to run to nowhere to hide. Second, people were trying to talk to me! Since just the running part is challenging, talking and running was like work! My answers were one word statements. Yes! No! Yup! I was a little intimidated that people were in shape enough to converse while they ran. I was doing pretty good until I kept noticing the paparazzi. Runner #1 wasn't feeling so lucky about the camera, but somehow there I was running in public. Not tripping, not embarassing myself, just running. Nobody staring, glaring, laughing, just running and giving me tips. My athletic bra seemed to be just right. Bonus.
The last half a mile I was struggling a bit. I hadn't been keeping track of my pace. I stopped for water, and discovered water during a run makes me nauseous. Oh God, nothing between me and the finish line except the camera man and I think I'm going to throw up. I said a little prayer, pulled my lucky running hat down low just in case and finished strong. There were many before me, and some behind me, but the real win was going public. Call me crazy, but I can't wait for more of these runs! Happy trails.......