Thursday, August 27, 2009

July 4, 2009

My alarm went off at 5:30am and I thought "Since when do I get at up at 5:30am to go RUN!?" And then I got excited. I put on my new outfit I got for the race (If I was going to run a 10K, I deserved to get a new running outfit!). I debated what I should eat for breakfast...I had never run this early and hadn't figured out the eating/drinking thing yet. Whoops! I had an apple and some water and off we went to meet Danielle. This was also Ruddley's first road race as well- although I am sure he wouldn't admit it, I bet he was just as nervous as I was. As we were waiting for the race to start, Danielle shared a story about how when she runs races she often worries that she will be the last one and looks over her shoulder to make sure she is not. Little did I know, that story would haunt me the entire race. The Star Spangled Banner was sung, the gun went off and off I went...literally. I was so excited, all this work and training and I was finally running a race. I had my ipod on and Kelly Pickler's song "best days of your life" came on. I was feeling great...until I hit the first mile and the guy who was giving out mile splits yelled "8:38". Holy shit! I had never run that fast....ever! In fact, I am a slow runner. I usually run a 10 minute mile. Danielle was long gone, Ruddley was up ahead and I tried my best to recover from my sprint to the 1st mile (of course looking over my shoulder every now and then to make sure I wasn't last). This was also about the time a guy passed me while juggling 3 balls. That made me feel real good:-) Somewhere about mile 3.5 I realized I needed to use the bathroom. I tried to convince myself I only had just under 3 miles left to run and that I could make it. Mmmm, not so much! I darted into the woods, did what I needed to do and was back at it. Although it was hard to get back into my rhythm and I ended up walking for a little bit, which I was not happy at all about. Oh well. I ran through lots of back roads of Freeport before finally turning onto the main street and I knew I was almost there. I passed the mile 5 marker and just as I got to the mile 6 marker I started to feel very sick, very quickly. I only had .2 miles left to run. I could see the finish line and all I wanted to do was run hard through the finish line and get a good action shot of me by the race photographers. I did not mean me mid-puke as a good action shot. I almost lost it a few times and as soon as I crossed the finish line I looked very hard for a trash can or a building I could hide behind. I had no luck finding either. There was nothing I could do...that apple I had for breakfast came up right in the middle of the street among all the people who had just finished the race. I felt awesome! But, I finished and that's all I had hoped for.

Sarah...Running? Yes, it's true!

I know many of you are shocked to find out that I, Sarah Emerson, have started running! I know what you are thinking, and the answer is no! It's not running to McDonalds for french fries, or to Beals for a M&M ice cream, I have taken up the fine sport of running! For those of you who are not aware, I hated running. A lot. I always wanted to be involved in sports when I was younger and I loved soccer, so I quickly found the one position that didn't require much running and went with it. I was a goalkeeper. By the time I was 10 I was studying the fine art of goalkeeping and became quite good at it and therefore was not forced to pick another position, one which might cause me to have to run...even a little bit. In fact, it was a running joke growing up about how much I hated to run and what I would do to get out of it. It may also have to do with the fact that I am pretty lazy and have turned being lazy into a sport of it's own.

So, how did I get to enjoy running enough that I felt I could blog about it? Well fast forward to February 1, 2009. My good friend Danielle was running in the Mid Winter Classic, a 10 mile race around Cape Elizabeth. Being the good friend that I am, decided to meet her at the finish line with a Bud Light (because really, anyone that runs 10 miles in the middle of a Maine winter is totally deserving of a Bud Light at the finish line). Danielle told me roughly what time she would be finishing and so I arrived about 20 minutes prior. As I sat in my car (because there was no way I was standing out in the cold until it was closer to the time she was going to finish) I watched the winner finish and all the runners that followed him. I started to get kind of excited, and oddly enough, I enjoyed watching strangers finish this race. I watched as the time got closer to when Danielle said she would be finishing and my excitement built and got out of my car to cheer everyone on. Then, I saw Danielle come down the hill (you can always count on her to have an awesome running outfit on! Soccer socks? why not!) I prayed that she didn't trip on the snow and ice covering the road and met her at the finish line!:-) I had so much fun and was completely inspired.

I had plans to go to the gym after her race and decided I would run on the treadmill and see how far I made it. I joked and sent Danielle a text telling her "I'm going to go for a long run today, like 5 miles!". At that time, 5 miles was like running a marathon. So I got on the treadmill and just started running...6 miles later I got off! What did I just do??? I was shocked (granted I took a quick rest after every mile for a sip of water, but I finished!). I quickly called everyone who would care to tell them about my success at the gym. A few days later I decided that I wanted to run the Beach 2 Beacon, a very popular 10K in Cape Elizabeth in August. Running a 10K was something that always sounded fun but I never thought that I could do it. I figured it was only February and I had until August to train for it. So I registered, along with 5999 other runners and now there was no turning back. I was going to run my first race.

A few months later Danielle asked if Ruddley and I wanted to run the LL Bean 4th of July 10K. At that point I had been running quite regularly and jumped at the idea (it also helped that the first X number of people to sign up would get a free pair of $100 running shoes). So, there is was, I had just signed up for 2 10Ks and up until the few months prior had never run more than 3 miles without crying. You could say I was a little nervous. Running had become such a blessing for me through the winter and spring though and it quickly became my way of dealing with stress and for some strange reason, I looked forward to it.
Danielle and Melissa after the Mid-Winter Classic
Danielle with her post race bud light thanks to ME:-) Notice the soccer socks?
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