Photos by OHventures
The other day, someone told me I was like Superman because of all of these races that I do. While it was a flattering comment, and even though I did go as Clark Kent for Halloween, Superman I am not! I am merely human, and the fact that I sign up for all of these races is simply because I have such a strong passion and dedication for the spirit of running and competition. What I try to do through running is encourage those who think they can't that they indeed can. You don't need to be Superman - or Spiderman, or Wonder Woman, or Wolverine (although all of those would be pretty awesome). You just need to make a decision to get up and go.
I say this because on the morning of November 23, I had to get up bright and early (as I seem to keep doing) to run in the Kent State Stark Turkey Trot, taking place at 9 AM in North Canton (my new hometown)! The night before, I had a party to attend, and had a few too many vodka sodas, and also went to bed at a less than desirable hour. The morning of the race was supposed to be one of the coldest days of November. Sure enough, there was frost on the ground when I peered out the window.
It took everything I had in me to roll myself out of bed, shower, and put on enough layers of fleece, compression pants, technical shirts, long johns, and heavy duty socks to keep me warm. I coffeed up and begrudgingly drove to the Kent State Campus. I am not the type of person to want to quit anything, or not fulfill commitments. And, besides, I signed up for this race for the sole reason that I wanted to make sure that I had 20 races in 2013. The fact that it was so close to home made it very convenient.
I knew all along that I would be riding the strugglebus all the way to this race, because I knew when signing up that there was the big party the night before. But I wanted to make sure I accomplished my goal of having 20 races. I kept repeating that in my head whenever I had second thoughts that morning.
Arriving on campus, I got my bib and chip and wandered around for a bit when all of the sudden I heard someone call my name! It was my friend, Samira, who was there to run the race as well! I had no idea she would be there participating, but I was SO glad to see her. She immediately told me, "you look tired!" That was an understatement!
We got our picture with Flash (the mascot) and headed to the starting line. I wasn't ready for this race in so many ways, but that wouldn't stop it from happening. Once we started, I sucked it up and powered through. My body was hurting all over but I pushed myself through the course, which to add insult to injury, was mostly UPHILL! I huffed and puffed, and I winced and grimaced all the way around the Kent State Stark campus.
With bags under my eyes and frost on the ground, I finally crossed the finish line (which was atop of the steepest hill of the course) and couldn't have been happier. My time was not up to par. It was about 26 minutes. For me, this was not so hot, as I typically run a 5K in 23 minutes. But it is what it is! I did it, and that was the important thing.
Samira ran at a remarkable speed, finishing in I think about 24 minutes, which she said beat her personal record by 30 seconds!! I was so proud of her and kept congratulating her on the huge accomplishment. We went to the recreation center where there were refreshments galore (including my all time favorite - orange slices!!).
We ate our bananas and warmed up inside while the awards ceremony took place. Not surprisingly, Samira won FIRST PLACE in her age group and got a fancy shmancy gold medal! We were thrilled with that news. Soon, an announcement was made that I placed THIRD PLACE in my age group! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. How could that be? I got my bronze medal in shock and awe!
I think that the lesson learned today is that we are all human and we all face challenges. We can all think of a billion reasons to stay in bed and be sedentary. But with enough drive, determination, motivation, accountability, and dedication, you can do most everything you set out to do! Just keep your eye on the prize and push yourself to your limits. You might surprise yourself, and you might even feel like Superman when you cross that finish line :-).