I did a 5K Saturday morning. It was called "Get your Colon Rollin," and all proceeds fund free colon screenings to detect/prevent colon cancer. Colon cancer, I learned, is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Calvert County. It is virtually undetectable until it is serious. That's why it's so important to get the screenings once you hit the age of fifty and onward...not to sound like a public service announcement.
Although cancer is never, ever, funny (I've known enough people with it to know that it falls into the "never funny" category), the people who put together races for colon cancer have a good sense of humor. Before the race started, you could pose with a woman dressed as a bright red polyp. She looked like a slightly flat jellybean, but no, she was, in her words, "A giant pain in your ass." How true. The shirt that I earned running this race was bright green (thankfully, not brown), and loudly proclaimed that it was time to "Get [my] Rear in Gear!" Duly noted.
The race itself was a a comedy of errors. It had rained the previous night, and naturally, this was a cross-country trail race. We were delayed because the EMTs came late. The bagels were frozen. The DJ felt inclined to play "Cotton Eyed Joe" at nine thirty AM.
Once we actually started, I ran through the mud puddles, stagnant water splashing up my legs. I ran up hills, slipping and sliding all the way. I ran on the wet sand by the river. I trudged up a gravel pathway, then attempted to make my way back down. I crossed the finish line, the giant polyp cheering me on. My heart was thundering in my chest. I leaned over and waited for my breath to return to normal. I guzzled a Gatorade. I normally HATE Gatorade.
Paul's motto about running is, "If the run felt good, you didn't give it your all." Poppycock.
My motto is, "I did it, damnit. Where's my coffee?" That being said, I felt really tired. I must have given it my all, for once. I was eager to see my time.
I had one of the worst times I have ever had for a 5K. 34:18
Was it the terrain? Am I just out of shape? Was it because I was listening to my iPod, a running first?
I don't know. I could choose to stew about it. Instead, I'm just happy that I managed to get my rear in gear, and that I made it there at all.
Now where's my latte?