It’s been a while. Life got in the way of running and posting on this blog. I lost my way and I am making my way back. I intend to do more running and more writing about the running in 2017. Stay tuned.
I signed up for the 5K that is part of the Little Rock marathon on New Year’s Eve last year. I had received an email notice that the price was going up January 1st and realized that I hadn’t run any races in 2016. I was feeling rather sad about that and took the joie de livre spirit of the new year to sign up. The Little Rock half marathon was my first half marathon. It is a friendly race with lots of assistance along the race route. Also, it has enthusiastic crowd support along the route. I decided to start small with the shortest race offered. I figured I could finish this barring dismemberment.
My hunch proved to be prophetic. Not long after New Year’s Day 2017, I managed to get some sort of lung infection that sent me to the doctor on three separation occasions. I spent the next two months pretty much tired and wheezing. I was sick and tired and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was the embodiment of that cliche. So was half the population in Arkansas in the beginning of 2017. I was working the minimum necessary to keep the office open while I rested and tried to heal. Finally, the third office visit to the doctor proved to be the charm and I was able to breathe deep breaths. It felt like forever since I had been able to do that.
On the day of the race, I took a big breath, took my last z-pac pill, and decided that if I could breathe, I could walk. I had no intention of running even one step. I picked up the packet the day before and got a very lovely lime green tech shirt. I was pleasantly surprised that the 5k offered a tech shirt and will be using it during future runs. I don’t think I have purchased a tech shirt from a store in years. I just use old race shirts. The expo seemed smaller than previous years but the beloved local running stores and Sparkle Skirts made an appearance so all was well.
The route itself was a scenic little jaunt from downtown Little Rock to Heifer International to the Arkansas Arts Center and then circled back around to a street downtown near the expo entrance. Heifer had their own fundraising drive for this race. As such, they had a large crowd cheering on the runners and had painted some inspirational messages on the street in front of their headquarters.
I arrived in Little Rock ten minutes until the race was to start so even though I didn’t intend to run, I think I ran a few steps in the attempt to make it to the starting line before the race began. I got there during the national anthem. It was a lovely sunny day with a temperature in the 50s (I think). It was perfect race weather. There was also a simultaneous 10k going on the same time and there were several thousand people out there. (according to race literature). Still, compared to the marathon, it is a small race and felt like a cozy gathering at the beginning.
The race begins. It felt hard. My muscle memory remembered going faster. My barely well lungs and not running for a whole year muscles were not having going faster. Even though I didn’t run, it felt like I was working harder than I thought a walk was going to be. It wasn’t unpleasant but it was harder than I thought it was going to be and that was emotionally taxing for me. It was the friends I saw along the route that made it for me. My friend Peggy, a fellow criminal defense lawyer, briskly walked by me first. She is raising money for MS and has been making great strides in that endeavor. I saw my friend Darlene from the Hot Legs. That’s my running club. I saw my friend Rebecca and her four-year-old son Alex. I had my turtle friend.
Alex’s and my experience with this race were surprisingly similar. We started out strong. We got tired in the middle and wanted to quit. Then we looped back to meet the 10k runners and were happy to be near the finish. Then we were happy as clams to get a shiny, sparkly medal.