Yesterday was my fifth race of the year, a local 5k (John Theissen's Children Foundation) to support students with special needs. I thought it would be a good, flat course to continue with my yearly goal of a race a month. I am training for a Triathlon – so in my eyes any running would benefit me. I asked a few people to join me but the only takers were my friend James, and Julie. James is the friend that convinced me to do the Tri, and the husband of dear friend, whose hair rivaled mine in the 80’s. I bug him on a weekly basis with all the races that I do. And Julie, well, Jules is my girl, one my closest friends, one of the gals that got me into running, and whom I have done almost every race with.
When Julie and I run, we have a mutual understanding that we’ll meet at the finish line, if we happen to see each other on the course, we slap a few asses, talk a little than motor. We never ever stay together, ever. I have run three out of my four half marathons with Julie, and almost every 10k, 5k or Relay (Ragnar, Sound-to-Shore), as well as with at least three other friends/sisters/husband/family - we’ve all trained together but NEVER raced together. To me, it’s stressful I never want to hold anyone back, and frankly when I have the opportunity to haul ass, I take it, cause I am not sure when it’s ever going to happen again.
Before the start of the race James threw down and said if I stayed with him through the race he won’t laugh at me when I fall off my bike at our Tri, I agreed but in my heart I was hesitant I mean, I know a good deal when I see one but racing with someone is something I have never done, and so out of my comfort zone. I was actually nervous to hold him back, and was nervous about wanting to break free. To me, racing with someone side-by-side is akin to having chains on – claustrophobic-ish.
But a deal is a deal, and I kept my word and when the horn blew Jules said her usual "have a great run" and took off like a bat outta hell. As we watched her ass disappear in the crowd I had to implement some amazing self control to not go out on my own, it was hard, so out of my comfort zone but I am so glad I did! Cause during this race I learned more about my friend than if we shared a brew together. Learned that James is one funny dude, funnier than I knew, he's strong as an ox and is such a straight shooter - he tells you like it is whether you like it or not, what you see is what you get, what's not to love? I love that! I learned that fostering a friendship is more important than a PR.
Overall the race was great, there was one steady hill that almost kicked our ass, we finished in a respectable time, 34 minutes I believe, and when we were about 40 yards from the finish James and I raced, he kicked my ass. Julie with her mad skills won fourth place in her age group!! So cool! With that being said if that bastard James laughs at me when I go flying over my handlebars in July his ass is mine!