Well, I ran my first 5K this weekend and my body decided to reward me with a gross cold. There are some really gross things about having a cold, but I think the worst is having to retrieve my used Kleenex from Ike’s mouth. Delicious.
The night before the race I had nightmares. In my dream, the race was taking place in Mexico, and for some reason people were running in shifts. The race officiator would wait until 5 or so people arrived at the race site and give them the “Ready, set, go” command. Then a few minutes later, he would do it all over again.
Fun fact: I am, for some strange reason, terrified of being startled by a loud noise. I was the worst swimmer on my swim team in high school because I stood on the block, squeezing my eyes shut waiting for the airhorn to scare the crap out of me. By the time I had recovered from the loud noise, most of the swimmers were on their flipturn. I’ve also sat through an entire play with my hands in my ears because a sign on the door warned parents that their children might get scared by the gunshots.
Sad story: I can’t be in a room with balloons.
Anyway, I had briefly wondered if there would be a loud noise, (worst case scenario: a gun) to start the race, but I pushed the thought out of my head thinking surely I was over my phobia. Apparently I pushed the thought right into my dream. In this weird Mexican race scenario, I was one of the first to arrive but lurked in the shadows until I could find out what was used to start the race. Gun? Airhorn? Balloon popping? But each time a group of runners started the race, I got distracted and didn’t hear what signaled them to go. By the time I finally got up the courage to just run, a giant severe thunderstorm warning threatened all of Mexico and the race was canceled. Typical Mexico. Drug wars and weather systems the size of an entire country; always ruining 5Ks.
After this dream, as I stood at the starting line of the actual race all I could think about was how to avoid the loud noise. Never mind that I was starving. Never mind that it was 8 am and I am not a morning person, and never mind that I had never run more than 2 miles at a time. This could get embarrassing; I have been known to drop to my knees in the event of a loud noise (Note to self: do not attend air shows anymore). Could I plug my ears, pretending to be cleaning them out as the race started? (Yes, I have used this strategy before. I may look gross, but at least I don’t look crazy. And — bonus! — my ears are spotless.)
I came up with a genius strategy. Turn my iPod on full blast, drown out the actual race noises and just start running when everyone else did. While everyone around me chatted, I turned on shuffle and listened to a Fergie-Ferg classic at full blast.
When the officiator got up to the front and reached in his pocket, my song got to a quiet point. I wasn’t quick enough to change the song, and my heart started pounding as he pulled out his stopwatch and casually yelled, “Okay, GO!”
And you all thought Yoni was the worrier of this relationship…