Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Someone Would Love to Have My First World Problems

After re-reading my post last week where I complained about life in general, I realized that I kinda sounded like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum because I didn't have things going the exact way I'd like them to. Consider this a public apology for being a brat.

Everything I complained about was what some might consider a "first world problem", AKA "white whine". As in,  my minor inconveniences seem ridiculous to other problems in this world.

It all made sense last Saturday. 

I decided last minute to sign up for a 10K. I haven't technically "raced" since the Gasparilla Half Marathon this past February, and felt that it was necessary to get myself back into a race-pace mindset before the marathon (which is next weekend already). It was a Susan G Komen "Race for the Cure", so there was sure to be pink everywhere. And who doesn't love pink?!

At the starting line, sporting a new sweaty band and my lucky race ribbon. And pink shorts, of course.

There isn't anyone close to me that has had to deal with breast cancer, but I figure it's a good cause so I ponied up the $30 to do the race. 

I hadn't done a short distance run in at least a few months, so I had no clue what my pace was going to be. I figured I'd be slower than I was before my injury, so guesstimated about a 8:30-8:45/mile pace. I got lined up ready to go between the 8/mi and 9/mi pace markers and tried to remember what it was that you're supposed to do before a race - set up my playlist, stretch, check out the competition in my pace group, things of that sort. There were only about 750 people that raced the 10K so it was nice having personal space. 

This is my "game face"

I overheard some of the women around me talking about their chemotherapy treatments, and where they found wigs to cover up their hair loss. There were proud husbands on the sideline sporting homemade buttons with photos of their wives attached to their lapels with "proud of my survivor" printed on top.

That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I forgot about the stress of everyday life. I tossed aside the overwhelming nature of training that had overcome me in the past few weeks. At that moment, I felt extremely lucky and almost guilty for thinking that I had it so tough.

Sunrise over the Bay at the starting line

The gun went off, and naturally there were people not lined up in the proper pace areas. There were walkers at the very front who caused traffic coming through the starting line. Usually I would be irritated and give them the stank eye, but that morning I just smiled. Good for them for getting up early to stay active and walk a 10K, after God-knows-what they've gone through.

There were a few women proudly wearing their 'breast cancer survivor' shirts in front of me, complete with hot pink feather boas and pink socks, which left me in a quandary- Is it bad race etiquette to blow past the survivors?

I paced myself with a few guys that were racing in memory of loved ones, which not only helped me run faster but also gave me motivation. I can't relate to breast cancer, but you bet your bottom dollar I'm familiar with the "C" word in general.

I think this was around mile 4

Before I knew it, I was finished. 49:00 flat. A sub-8 pace! A new PR (personal record). I have no idea where that came from, but it gave me a boost of confidence that I needed to tackle next weekend's marathon. And it also reminded me that I'm pretty darn lucky.

I topped off the day with an Auburn win, and a Phillies win too. 

By the way, speaking of the Phillies...

I laughed harder than I can remember in a long time, right around the top of the 6th inning during Saturday's game. 

I didn't get it at first, but after figuring it out my inner 10-year-old couldn't. stop. laughing.

I begged ESPN via Twitter to show the highlights on SportsCenter. 

I leave you with these images:

See the kids with the towels, behind Pujols? Here's a closer look: 

God Bless Philadelphia.

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