When I woke up on Sunday morning, I felt okay. It was my fourth day of antibiotics for my ear infection, and the pain was gone, so I decided to run.
The Noodleini is one of my favorite races. It’s always the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and it’s a good reminder to not eat the whole pie.
Brian was my spectator today, and we headed out to De Pere right from his mom’s house, with a quick stop in Appleton for oatmeal and coffee. 🙂
We made it just in time, found a place to park, and walked in to the warm high school.
This race is notorious for having terribly cold, icy weather. The roads were a little slippery, but the temperature was hovering right around 30, so it felt like a heat wave. We all usually stay inside the school until right before the race starts, then we walk out together and start. Since it was warmer this year, people were slowly making their way outside. Brian and I walked out to the group near the start line, and I got my music ready. Classic Christmas music, in case you’re asking. Not exactly “pump me up” music, but very festive! I double checked my shoelaces. I heard a gun go off, so we all compressed toward the line, but I noticed that no one was running. I (mistakenly) assumed that they shot the gun to get everyone to come up to the start. I looked around, and thought, “Hmmm, I think I’m faster than these people, so I should move up closer to the front.” So I did. Then I noticed there were an awful lot of kids around, for a 15k. I know the race is a combined 15k and 5k, so I hoped they were running the 5k. I asked the stranger next to me if the races were combined, and she said, to my dismay, “Oh, no- the 15k runners left a few minutes ago.” Minutes? Oh, boy. I thanked her and took off running.
In last place.
Very last place.
There were a few turns in the first mile, so I literally couldn’t see a soul running ahead of me. That was a terrible feeling, and something out of my nightmares before my first race.
I thought, maybe I should just turn around and go home…
I do have an ear infection…
No one would blame me…
I’m not trying for a PR anyway…
I’ll have to race back to celebrate Thanksgiving lunch with my inlaws, maybe I should just go.
Of course, being the runner that I am (and yet to find a DNF next to my name), I pressed on.
I passed a few volunteers at crossroads who cheered me on. I shouted, “I’m late!” They replied, “You’ll get ’em!” I ran a little faster.
I passed the second to last person. And the third to last person. And then a dozen people. And a dozen more.
I stopped to take a picture that proves just how much Wisconsin loves the Packers.
I came around the corner at the finish smiling, as usual. 🙂 Brian was there, waiting and cheering.
I felt like a million bucks. It was the only race I’ve ever run where I wasn’t passed by a soul on the course, not even at the end.
We walked into the warm building, grabbed my chicken soup, and I started sneezing and coughing immediately.
A while ago, I posted about running races in weight-based classes. This is the only race that I run in Athena category, and I don’t really know why I chose this race to be the one. The only trophy that I have on my running shelf came from my second place Athena finish at this race a couple years ago.
Those of you who run with me know that I usually don’t wear my glasses. I walked over to the result tables, wondering where I’d placed. I definitely didn’t run a PR at this race, but I wondered what my official time was and where I’d placed. Of course, with no glasses, I couldn’t read the tiny writing. I asked Brian to come look, because I was in a hurry to head out so I’d have time to shower before lunch with everyone. He looked, and smiled at me, and told me we’d better stick around for the awards.
Seriously? No. Way. He must be kidding.
No kidding here. First place Athena. Amazing. The field was smaller than my age group- there were thirteen of us competing in this class, but I still took that trophy and smiled until my face hurt. I still can’t believe it. I never thought I’d win anything in a race.
I wish those haters could see me now.
All the kids who made fat jokes when I was at Riverside Elementary.
And the ones who laughed at me when I danced.
And my old self, the one who let herself get defeated when people teased her. If only I would have known that I’d turn things around. ❤
Then I went home, took a really fast shower, ate lunch with my inlaws, then ran back home for choir dress rehearsal.
Miles this year: 4.5