I don't know if I can calm down enough to write a blog post that will make any sense, but I guess I'll try. I won the women's division of the Milton 10k last night, and I am so overwhelmingly excited about the race, and racing in general, and running, and life in general, that I feel like, if running were a religion (which it kind of is), then I would be a fanatic. I would be the person in church who is suddenly overcome by the power of God and falls to the floor shaking and speaking in tongues. My new running attitude, which I adopted pre-marathon, is to just have fun. I was tired yesterday afternoon, and it was cloudy and rainy, and I thought about what excuse I could come up with to get out of going to the race. Of course I went anyway, and it wasn't until I did a short warm up jog and some striders that I felt like I had enough energy to race. Lined up at the start with Zani, Doug, and Tom, I told myself to just have fun. We started out at the front of the pack, and settled into a 6:40 pace. Zani has a garmin, and told us to slow down a few times during the first mile (he also wanted to chat, so we talked about the Bruins). The four of us stayed together for the first 2 miles or so. Around the 2 mile mark the spectators started yelling out that I was the first woman, and the energy that I got from that was amazing. Young girls were jumping up and down and trying to hand me water, women were yelling "go girl!" etc. I don't want to get too sentimental about it, but I used to be a young girl that would jump up and down when I spotted the first woman in a race, and, you know what, it just felt so unbelievably COOL to be that person, even in a small race, and to feel like I was having an effect on those girls who may want to be runners someday. What I personally love about running (again, trying not to be too sentimental) is that it makes me feel strong. I think especially as a woman it has always been something that has, in addition to making me physically stronger, has given me a lot of inner strength and confidence. It makes me feel like there is nothing I can't accomplish; it makes me feel like no one can tell me what I can and can't do (see quote above). That is why it is so special to me to have people yelling "go girl!" and "first woman!!" to me from the the sidewalks. I feel like my inner strength is visible at that moment. I was having so much fun during the race just taking the energy from the spectators and channeling it into my run. I hadn't had so much fun since the marathon.
I finished the race with a 10k PR of 42:33, the 1st woman out of 106. I won a medal, a laurel wreath (which I was made to wear for the rest of the evening, I don't know if the guys will ever let me live it down), and a cash prize. My first monetary prize as a runner! We jogged to Tom's house for pizza and beer after the awards, it was the perfect end to a great race.
In addition to the strength I get from running, now, more than ever before in my life, it is giving me an energy and appreciation for life that is absolutely overwhelming. I don't know if the energy is coming from running and spreading to the rest of my life, or coming from my life and spreading to my running, but I am becoming one of those annoying people who is exceedingly happy all the time. I just might start going around talking about how beautiful the world is, and everyone in it, and how in love I am with everyone and everything. That's kind of how I feel. It's kind of sentimental, I know, but it's real.