Sunday, November 27, 2011

Talking Turkey results, or, just call me Rosie

Me, Ben, and his girlfriend, Meghan, before the race.
I finished the Talking Turkey 6-miler yesterday, but it did not turn out how I expected.

I felt terrible the first mile. I'm still not totally over my cold. I was having trouble breathing through my nose and had to keep reaching for a tissue. I'm sure that made me run even slower than I usually do.

Actually, I thought that I had gotten faster, and I probably have, but not yesterday. After a couple of miles, a gap opened up between me and a large part of the pack. I know I wasn't last, because I heard people talking behind me, but I didn't have anyone to follow. The course around the Ashley Reservoir isn't a circle; you have to make some turns, and normally I don't pay attention because I'm with everyone.

I missed a right turn through the woods and ran straight ahead to one of the reservoir's gates. After a few minutes I knew nothing looked familiar, but I just couldn't figure out where I was. I was living my runner's nightmare, that I am in a race and have lost the crowd and don't know how to reconnect.

I did figure out that I needed to reverse and turn back through the woods, which I did. I got back in with the pack and breathed a sigh of relief, but then I was feeling just so discombobulated that I think I made another mistake. I passed four miles, feeling OK, and then came to an intersection where there were runners coming in from the left. Someone told me to turn right, so I did. Actually, I think I should have been coming along with those runners, so I must have made another wrong turn and skipped part of a mile, because I never saw the marker for 5 miles.

I just kept trotting along. And then a saw a welcome sight. It was Len Brouillette, the track coach at South Hadley High School and a friend who walks his dog at the lake. Len had finished, and, having heard that I was running, backtracked to find me and run me in.

He said, first of all, that I looked good. Second, when I told him what I had done, he said, "People get lost all the time in races." That made me feel better. He ran with me to the turnoff for the chute, and I crossed the finish line in about 1:11. I used to run it in under an hour, but that, of course, was then.

There were still a decent amount of runners behind me. With the section I added and the section I somehow missed, I probably did run about six miles.

I had started with Ben and Meghan, and they were at the finish line waiting for me, along with Katie. I told them what had happened, and then I kept trying to figure it out. What with not feeling that well to begin with and feeling confused, I didn't have that exhilaration I had when I ran this race in 2005, my first after my initial diagnosis and treatment two years earlier.

The kids reminded me to keep it in perspective. Two and a half years ago, I couldn't even walk. So what if I got lost? So what if I was slow? It was still a big accomplishment. And Ben said he hated to point this out, but I am a little older now.

The broken record went on a little longer.

The consensus: Get over it!

Here's another way of looking at it: I did a lot better than the last time I ran six miles, in May, when I fell down and got a stress fracture.

Also, they gave out a really nice shirt this year.

1 comment:

Jim said...

3.5 USTA rating and a six-miler to boot, after all you've been through? I say WOW, RG!