Narrating a 5K

So, I’ve given some insights into my perspective while I’m running a race, but I’d like to take this time to get a little more in-depth. Now, I’m not strapping a GoPro to my head for a couple of reasons. 1) They cost money, and I’m cheap. 2) I might be wear superhero shirts, but I’m not calling any more attention to myself by adding a camera to the spectacle. I’m an adult

We’re going to rely on the written word. Like Shakespeare. That’s right, I compared myself to Shakespeare. I’ll do my best to add the mental pictures as we trot along.

The setting

It’s early. Our protagonist is just emerging from the vehicle for some unknown reason. He seems tired. He yawns. Definitely tired. He’s wearing a superhero shirt. This is getting weird. And running shorts. Definitely weird. It’s a cool morning. The sun isn’t out yet. There are a bunch of other people in running shorts and they seem to be a good mood. No one knows why.

The action

[henceforth, the rest are our protagonist’s mental thoughts. Yes, he’s the protagonist. Anyone wearing the logo on their chest is generally considered the protagonist. Bad guys don’t get logos.]

Where’s the check-in table?

Wait, more importantly where’s the restroom? Oh, there it is. Love portapotties.

Ok, now where’s the check-in table? I hope my name’s on the list. I hope they understand my name when I say it.

And now we wait half an hour. Let’s awkwardly bounce around some so we can pretend we’re warming up. I hope no one talks to me. I’m Batman. No one should talk to Batman.

15 minutes to go. Let’s go stand in line for the portapotty for 10 minutes so we can rush to the line at the last second.

And we’re really warming up now. I haven’t run track in more than 10 years, but I still remember the random crap I used to do before races. Now if only I could remember if this was stuff the coaches told me to do or if it’s something I just made up then.

[everyone scrums to the start line]

I hope the slow runners and walkers are in the back.

[race starts]

Nope. I’m gonna kick you walker.

And we’re running. Look at those people all running so fast at the start. I will secretly laugh at each one of you that I pass once you realize a 6-minute mile isn’t feasible for you.

[lead pack spreads out, overzealous runners start slowing down, and some start walking. Batman is laughing now]

We’re pacing ourselves. We are pacing ourselves. We are pacing. Pacing.

Dammit, stop trying to run faster.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

[seriously, I spend an obscene amount of time reminding myself to breathe]

Where are my feet landing? Am I overstriding? Am I striding enough? Are my feet turning when I lift them?

Just keep stepping, just keep stepping. Stepping, stepping, stepping, stepping.

And that’s a hill. I hate hills.

Keep breathing.

I hate stupid hills. Stupid effing hills. I wish I had a bulldozer to take out this stupid effing hill.

But I like running down hills.

How long have we been running? 8 minutes? Feels like 20.

Let’s just run two more minutes.

[45 seconds later]

Let’s just run 30 more seconds.

[15 seconds later]

Just make it to the stupid tree.

[Gasping as the protagonist reaches the stupid tree]

And there go the people I just passed.

[indistinct giggling is heard from one of the runners]

Jerk.

One minute of walking, and then we’re running.

[one minute later]

Why did I think this was a good idea? And we’re running.

I wonder what the people I’m about to pass again are thinking of me? Maybe they’re thinking, “Oh no, not this jerk again.” Maybe they like my Batman shirt. Do they know I’m in Batman shirt? They never turned around. Maybe they can tell I’m Batman by the way I run.

Bye people I already passed once

[2 minutes later]

And we’re walking again. Bye people who’ve already passed me once. See you in a couple of minutes.

I wonder what I’m going to eat after the race. I wonder what free food they’ll have. They’d better have a banana. Batman needs potassium. And a coke. Ooh, and some chips. Maybe a bag of popcorn, and then another coke.

Batman needs to work on his impulse control.

We have to be getting near the end, right? I can’t keep doing this. Batman has limits.

[See 2.5-mile marker. See one more stupid hill]

What kind of jerk puts a hill at the end of the run like this? We’re walking this one. I ain’t even playing.

[Sees the finish]

Is that close enough for me to run the whole way?

Is that close enough for me to pick up the pace?

[Quarter mile away, picks up the pace]

Oh, this is SO much better. I feel like a mighty cheetah about to take down a gazelle. A mighty cheetah dressed as Batman.

Hey, I’m catching the person in front of me. They just turned around and picked up their pace. Oh, I’m DEFINITELY BEATING THAT PERSON NOW.

Done. So freakin’ done. Where’s my free food and drinks? Give me my free food and drinks, mortals.

That basically sums up my mental state as I’m running. Not a lot of complex things going on. Mostly just hating humanity. You know, the usual.

-Q

#ihaterunning

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