My First Fifth-Third River Bank Run

My heart raced as the alarm clock blared the obnoxious beep.  “Ugh….” I moaned as I hit the snooze button, cursing myself for signing up for such a long race, terrified for what was coming.  I chose to ignore the inevitable and wrapped my pillow around my head.  It’s a good thing Mark got home late from his gig because none of this nonsense was stirring him.  “GET UP!!”  My sister bellowed from the kitchen.  Why did I invite her to stay the night?  Just to save on a stop on the way to the race?  I might have to re-think that next year.

My heart only raced faster as I got ready.  I thought the excessive beating could suffice for a cardio work-out.  Then again, by not running, I would be out the entrance fee.  The trip downtown went much faster than I had anticipated, my nerves escalating with every driven mile.  We were fortunate to find a good parking spot and made our way to the starting line.  There were a plethora of runners and walkers of all shapes and sizes.  I felt a little relief when I saw a cute little old lady with a 10K bib attached to her shirt.  I figured she had to be slow, until I saw her running apparel and “take no prisoners” game face.  The fear was back.  After five minutes of texting, I found my dear friend Amy.  We were starting the race together, although she would distance herself relatively quickly, she is much faster than I.

At the starting line, Amy and I cracked jokes.  One character trait I possess is making light of tense situations calms me down.  The announcer began the countdown.  Ten, nine, eight…Amy and I grabbed hands and squealed…Seven, six, five…Crap, my laces aren’t double knotted…Four, three, two…Bend down to double knot…One, GO!!!  Crap!  Too late now, we’re moving.  I think it may not be too bad until I look down and see the shoe lace on my right foot flapping freely in the breeze.  I look at Amy, point to my shoe and play a human version of Frogger to get to the side of the road.

Once the shoe was tied, I merged back into traffic.   The nerves subsided as I made the turn on to Fulton Street.  I was enjoying a brief moment of running euphoria when my toe hit a sizable crease in the road.  I made a slow motion dissent to the ground, landing on my right hand and shoulder in order to save my ankle, knee, and iPod in my pocket.  I was facing a sea of legs stampeding towards me.  My only line of defense was to curl into a dead bug fetal position.   A running angel grabbed my hand and pulled me up, asking if I was okay.  I gave her a yes and thank you, and she was off.  I assessed the road rash and declared that I now am a runner!

In all, for my first Fifth-Third River Bank Run, it was a very slow success.  My time wasn’t the greatest, but I finished.  Running has become my new passion.  I believe I can only get better and with the added exercise, my waist-line will decrease.


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