I am a rule follower.
I get extreme anxiety even just THINKING about breaking the rules. I brush my teeth twice a day, I don’t speed, I don’t sneak into private places, I change my oil on time, I show up to work on time, I turn in my mileage reports to the tenth of a mile, and I wear my seat belt. Call me lame or unexciting, but I find that the anxiety I experience by breaking a rule or fibbing or causing mischief just isn’t worth the thrill.
SO, I was SUPER BUMMED when I found out the race Brian and I hoped to run last weekend was SOLD OUT. I was excited to run it, especially since Brian has participated in the race every year since he was in middle school. It’s a tradition for him to run with his brothers and they haven’t missed a year. Brian wasn’t phased for a second about the race selling out. Last year he showed up (after a 5 hour drive from Richmond) a few minutes after the race had started, so he just jumped in at the back and ran through the course. So he didn’t think twice this year about running the race with no bib. Needless to say, he’s pretty passionate about this race.
I, on the other hand, started having extreme levels of anxiety. For the week leading up to the race (it sold out in May, and we didn’t try to register until about a week before) I scoured Craigslist for bib numbers and poured through message board on race websites. I couldn’t find a single bib. I know selling bibs is generally frowned upon, but I didn’t feel so bad since it’s just a small, hometown 5-Miler and I am not competitive by any means of the word (and I had no intention of wearing a chip timer). I just wanted a damn race bib so that I wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb. For me, this race was more about getting in 5 miles and participating in a family tradition than it was about an official time, but for some reason the thought of not wearing a number was driving me bonkers.
In the end I decided to suck it up and run. I noticed that a LOT of people weren’t wearing bibs, so I didn’t feel so bad. Everyone acted like it was no big deal, so I forced myself to ease up on the anxiety. I did wear my hydration belt though, since I felt guilty drinking the water I didn’t pay for! I’m pretty sure the adrenaline from my anxiety made me go faster than I normally would have on this course. There were several steep hills and it was hot (it started at 7pm). I guess I can be thankful for that…
I was especially paranoid because the race was 2 loops and I thought they’d remember not seeing a bib on me the first time around, so they’d kick me off the course the second time. I have issues.
In the end the race was a success for me. I only have my Garmin time to go by, but I’m happy.
If you chop off that weird 11 seconds at the end, my time for 5 miles was 46:18. However, I’m not counting this as a PR or as one of my races in 2011, because I’m too much of a rule follower for that.
I do have one race photo to share, although it was taken from my future MIL’s phone. My hands got a little crazy…I guess that happens when I’m having a panic attack.
In the end I’m happy I ran the race. I still feel a little guilty about it, but I think I need to learn to lighten up a bit. Next year I’m registering at the first moment I can…