Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Running solo

Last Sunday was the inaugural Galesburg Half Marathon Express.  I swear if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I was running I'd be really rich!  Add another dollar for each time I had to tell them no, see their look of confusion/surprise then try and explain why I wasn't running....even richer.  Now that the race is done I STILL have people asking me if I ran and when I tell them no I have to explain AGAIN!  I need a shirt that says NO I DID NOT RACE THIS WEEKEND! because I'm ready to punch the next well meaning person that asks me about it.

I know I don't owe anyone an explanation, but I'll tell you anyway.  I didn't race because I went to church.  Sunday's is always a conflicting day for me to run when it requires me to miss church.  I was born and raised to go to church every Sunday.  Not so much church, as in the building, but my faith in God is a very vital part of who I am and that leads me to attend church the way I do.  You may or may not have known that about me.  I don't hide my faith in anyway, but I don't believe in shoving it in people's faces either.  I don't use my blog as a platform, but I have mentioned and worked my beliefs into a blog post from time to time when it works that way.

Anyway, I am in no way a be in church on Sunday or burn in hell type of person.  I don't know anywhere in the Bible where is says you MUST attend service every Sunday in a building between the times of 9 a.m. - 12 noon.  I still do on MOST Sundays, but that is my choice, my doing....not because I believe I "have" to.  I've been known to skip church for a lot of reasons, some of them even racing.  However, it's not the norm for me and my family.

Months ago when I hear about this race being formed & coming to town I was beyond excited!  How nice to race in your own backyard.  I remember it being the first thing I wrote in my 2012 calender.  Nothing was going to stand in my way of this race.  I knew from the get go that it would be on a Sunday.  In many ways that would still work just find.  My church offers 2 services and I could easily run and still make it to the second service that I normally attend anyway.  No problemo!   If I didn't want to push the time I could opt for the 5k and still make it ok.  As time went on though, something else came up that would change it all.  Our church had a big praise gathering on this same Sunday and the choir was singing several pieces during the 1st service.

If there is something that I love as much as running, it's music.  I think I was born signing and from the age of 4 I have been up on the stage singing my heart out for Jesus.  In school I was always in choir & have a long list of accomplishments in the area.  Don't get me wrong, I am in no way the next American Idol, but singing & music completes me almost as much as running does.  I'm not sure if one does more than the other.  What is even better is when they collide.  Ever see me out running while I"m totally jamming along to a song and singing my heart out.  Yeah, I'm sure it's quite a sight.  It's like a runner's high x 10.  Amazing!

So I sing in the choir which on occasion means I attend the 1st service.  I do this because I want to....I really, really want to.  When I realized the two created a huge conflict I had to choose.  This made it even harder.  *I* had to make this decision, in advance, and follow through with it.  *Siiiiigh*  Why, can't life be easy?!?!?!?  So, I knew in advance this was how it was going to be.  I made up my mind well in advance to not even start whining and complaining about what was going to happen.  Aside from being driven crazy (short drive) with the constant inquires about my running status, I think I did ok.   Yes, I really missed being part of the race.  I had hoped to volunteer and still be part of the race without racing, but remember last week I told you there was a snafoo, an oversight, something...I don't know, but I'm sure it was a honest mistake and I had to miss out on that too.

On Saturday I had a light bulb moment to still go out on race day and run the 13.1 mile course.  It would require me to be up and running by 5 a.m.  Yikes.....but I could do it.  If I wanted it bad enough I would make it happen.  So that was the plan, until I was up until 1 a.m. that morning.  Instead of being up and running at 5, I was just rolling out of bed.  I still decided to head out for a run and complete the 5k course instead.  When I got to the start/finish line (which they were in the process of getting set up) I heard a few whoops and hollers from my friends Matt & Tracy.  I won't lie, I started to tear up a little bit, knowing that I was going to miss out on the race time excitement.  I hollered at Matt & Tracy that I would be THE FIRST person that morning to run and cross the finish line.  I got a lot of weird looks and comments from people who were setting up the course.  Yes, I know the race doesn't start for 3 more hours!!!!  When I came back around to the finish line area I ran hard like I really was finishing.  I have no idea on time, I was just out there to run the course and even then I still had to run back home.  When I did get back to the area there were several groups of volunteers standing around.  I tried really REALLY hard to just casually run through the area, but several people were turning to look at this psycho me.  So to make fun of the moment and my craziness I turned, looked at everyone, gave a fist pump and yelled at the top of my lungs "5k course all cleared & good to go!"  I HAD to laugh at myself and get others to join too to just enjoy the moment and my day!

I was able to go down before the race for a little bit to talk to some friends and encourage them before they started.  Once 1st service was done I snuck back down there for a little bit to see some friends finish and talk to more people.  I'm sure that did not help the non stop questions.  Here I was dressed for church, milling around and not looking like my usual self on a race day.  It was still great to be there & do what I could.  I know that I could have done things the other way around and maybe it would have made no difference at all.  I just know that on this day for this particular conflict, choosing to sing with the choir is what I felt was right to do.  Maybe next year it will be different.  Who knows.  Either way the race itself was a great success.  Many people came out, I've heard nothing but non stop positive things about how things went.  That still makes it all worth the experience even I didn't participate in the traditional way.

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud of you, gf. Life is full of difficult choices...and this had to be hard. Do something you love "in your own backyard," or do what you love for the Creator of Love. And you still did both...albeit in a creative fashion. As I always say....you rock, gf!! *thumbs up to gf*