Sunday, May 15, 2011

False Start At Chicago Spring Half

After posting my thoughts on Saturday night, I took it easy spending plenty of time with my little niece. For one of the rare times prior to a race, I was relaxed. I was confident and not nervous at all. I gathered my tether and race day outfit before going to bed. I set the alarm for 4:20a.m. to give myself almost an hour before Michael, the young man who would guide me for the Chicago Spring Half Marathon, would be by to pick me up. Like any other night prior to a race, I could not sleep. Maybe I was more nervous than I thought. Eventually, I fell asleep only to wake up early in the two o'clock hour. The rain tapped on my window. I thought to myself, good thing I have a race in the morning so I can get away from this rain. Then it dawned on me that if it was still raining, I would have to run in it. This was the moment at which I began to worry. I have run in cold and rainy conditions either in training or race day, but I never get use to it mainly because I do not like it. I was even more anxious for my guide, Michael, who experienced a tear in his right quad earlier this week while preparing for this race. Would his quad remain cold and tight under these conditions? Will he run the risk of doing more damage? Finally, I was able to fall asleep again. I kept waking up every so often until finally hearing my alarm go off at 4:20a.m. I put on my race day gear, tossed on some pants and jacket for the pre race fun, then had some breakfast. For today, it was a bottle of Powerade and an energy bar. The doorbell sounded and off I went.

It is always fun spending time with Michael so the ride to the race was filled with plenty of good conversation. He expressed some concern about his injury, but he was willing to give it a go and hoped he could gut it out. Of course, maybe one could gut out a 5K or 10K, but 13.1 miles would be a different story. We arrived and he decided to warm up with a quick run of a couple hundred yards. Upon his return, he informed me that he felt he caused yet another tear with his attempt. Clearly, he would not be able to run today. I was disappointed. I wanted to get out and run, but if he could not go, then it would not be worth risking especially considering he and I are scheduled to race in the Soldier Field 10 later this month. The wonderful race organizers especially, Colin, have been great to me the last couple of years. The wonderful people at Universal Sole in Chicago made this race possible for me by giving me a complimentary entry. I felt bad that I would be letting those individuals down, but felt there is a reason we were unable to run in this event. I could be mad or sad at not getting a chance to kick off my 2011 season or I could simply chalk this up to the fact that some times, it just is not meant to be. The more I register for races or keep looking to the next one, the sooner the disappointment for this one will be forgotten. If this was one of only a few races I would do this year, then it would bother me, but since this is one of what hopefully be so many, I chose to smile and say, I hope Michael heals quickly so we can romp and stomp through ten miles in two weeks as we gallop through the players' tunnel and across the 50 yard line on the turf of Soldier Field!

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