There are always tons of people at any sort of race. And this is the only time I actually can deal with this many people. I enjoy it actually. It’s like I absorb everyone’s energy and I am just bouncing off the walls with happiness and friendliness. I rush around to get my tags and prepare myself for the big run to come. I see most people are in groups, either groups of running people or others are here to support that runner. I have no one. I don’t ever invite my family to come to my races because then they’d expect to stay with me for a few days or for me to go with them for a few days. Plus, after a race, I don’t like anyone hugging me or looking at me. I usually run off afterwards to get away from everyone.
The race is about to begin. Everyone gathers up at the starting line. I stand somewhere within the middle of the extremely large crowd. I have never been in the very back and I am very thankful for that. I always feel bad for the ones way back there.
The gun goes off.
Everyone pushes in a not-so-calm manner. This is one of the worst parts of a race, getting out of the crowd. It takes some time for us to disperse. I am able to squeeze my way through a few people and not waste too much energy. I stand on my toes and push out my elbows. The only way to get through quickly is by being aggressive.
No matter what, I will be out of breath by the end of the race, but it's extremely helpful to saves one's breath as best as possible. It's no fun when you get to the point that it hurts to breathe.
When I run, I try to distract my mind from focusing on the distance I must go. I keep focus on my breathing and my form, but I also think of other things going on in life. Observing buildings and land around me while I run, gives me ideas of pictures I can take and frame.
Today is an excessively humid evening. Sweat drips down my face within minutes of running. My palms collect sweat as well. This is going to be a tough race, but luckily I have trained in Arizona climate, so I know what to expect of this heat. Sweat gathers up in the pit of my elbows and knees.
When I finish up four miles, my knees begin to ache. I swing my arms more to keep myself going. I do not want to tire myself out from trying to go easy on my weak knees. I also have this problem with my shoulders, near my collarbones, they begin to hurt after some time of running. So I have to deal with my whole body feeling like it’s falling apart. But I must finish every race I start.
Grass is now under my feet. Running in grass is interesting. You’d think it would be easier because it seems to be gentler on your joints. But in reality it is really hard to run in grass. The small blades are your enemy, they reach for your shoes and tug at them. Your feet feel so much heavier when you are picking them up from grass.
Running is a mind workout as well. You must trick your mind. Tell your mind to tell your body that the running isn’t killing you. Tell your mind to tell your lungs that you are breathing just fine. Trick yourself into feeling great so you can finish, finish strong.