I set off on my warm up early to make sure I could find the starting line. Unfortunately, after running around for about 25 minutes, the starting line was nowhere to be found. At this point I figured it would be best to go back to the finish and ride the school bus to the start, which I did. The school bus didn’t drive the course in reverse to get to the start, it went a completely different way, so I still didn’t have a full grasp on where I would be going during the race.
As we were warming up waiting for the start I saw local runner Chris Mahoney and knew that I would have to run a great race if I had any chance of winning the race. Eventually the final yellow school bus pulled in and we were on our way. As we started the race we were led by a cop car. This helped ease my concern about the course. I also knew Chris would likely be ahead of me and I could just follow him. The cop car lead us through one mile in about 5:08. Shortly after the mile the cop car turned left and the course turned right. This threw Chris and I for a little loop as we had thought the cop would be leading us for the whole race. So much for following the cruiser…
On the second mile Chris and I let loose on the downhill. He pulled away about 20 or so meters and we both stayed consistent. With about a half mile to go I was trailing Chris by about 30-40 meters and I was doing all I could to stay as relaxed and smooth as possible as gravity yanked me downhill. I had one eye on Chris, one eye on the road, and my third eye turned inward illuminating the sensations coursing through my body. At one point I looked up, saw Chris throw his hands up in frustration, stop and turn around. Damn.
We went the wrong way. Chris and I realized we must have missed a turn somewhere so we turned back and jogged it into the finish line together. Somehow we had missed a left hand turn in the center of town. Luckily, I didn’t get mad or upset. It just was what it was. We finished the 5K plus the bonus distance in about 23:00 minutes.
As I walked to my car to get some clothes and water, I noted that I wasn’t upset about my performance as I had been feeling great out there on the course. I reminded myself to just laugh it off. I was, however, a bit dismayed since I knew there was a cash prize for first, second and third on the table, and thanks to my bonehead move of missing the turn, I would be going home empty handed. I very rarely win money at races so when I do, I get extremely excited.
Well, as luck would have it, the very generous race director decided to still award Chris and I the prize money we would have gotten had we actually ran the correct course. The next runner was about 2 minutes behind me, so at the point we got lost, the order was pretty solidified. At first when I found out I was still going to be getting money, I told the race director to please give the money to the runners who actually ran the correct course. She informed me that she would be awarding them the prize money as well as comping the money to Chris and Myself. Basically this women paid out an extra 175 to Chris and I because of our own error in running the course. Very generous of her and I’m grateful for the extra coin! I felt like it was my mistake for not knowing the course, but the race director insisted she wanted to reward us for our efforts and make sure there were no hard feelings.
After the race, I drove over to the local spring and filled up a case full of water bottles. The spring was only 10 minutes away from the race. It was a great feeling to guzzle down some fresh, local spring water directly from the earth after a solid effort. After hanging around the spring for a while I drive back home with a sense of peace and calm, knowing that had this happened pre-chi running and pre-yoga I would have been angry and grumpy all day. With my ongoing yoga and chi running practice it is becoming easier and easier to let things like this go by me. Little insignificant things like going the wrong way in a small race that I decided to do on a whim are no longer “sticky” they just move past me.
It’s a nice feeling.
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