“And when all this is through, I’m planning on coming back better, stronger and faster than ever and taking the test in a few months.”
Quick–who said that? That’s right–me! I’m testing you CRT readers that have been with me since way back. WAY back.
It came from this post. And that picture came from it, too. Back in May 2011. Back when I was just starting my running journey and going about it in EVERY wrong way possible. So wrong it led to that walking boot, stress fracture and stopping me from my big shot at testing for the Durham Police Department Police Academy.
With that boot on, I was seriously feeling pretty low. Right before that point, I finally felt like things were getting back on track in my life after the most horrid, challenging year of my life (2009–you can search my blog for all that happened if you don’t know), going back to school in 2010 and getting called Precious, losing the weight and finally finding a direction for my life to go.
That test meant the world to me. I was going to nail it. In fact, it was THE main reason I starting running seriously. I was going to go from the world’s biggest hater of running/non-runner to running that mile and a half in 17 minutes to gain access to the academy. Again, this may sound like nothing at all to you runners, but I couldn’t even WALK one mile in 17 minutes, much less RUN 1.5 miles in 17 minutes.
Most of you know the rest of the story. I healed, and while healing, decided to study to be a personal trainer. Got a lot smarter about running, and training my body as a whole, and went a different direction professionally. So yes, that quote above is true–mostly. I’m not going to take the police test; but I have passed a lot of other tests in my life since then.
I came to my senses and realized that while I love love love all things police related, I would have made the world’s worst cop, haa. But buried deep down, that desire will always partially be there. Those feelings of realizing how close I was to joining the Durham Academy were also buried deep down, but came out with wild abandon during my race yesterday.
Yesterday I ran the Running of the Bulls 8K in Durham, NC. It was fun! And hot. And hilly. It was my second 8K and for those of you time freaks out there, I finished in under an hour. That was my goal and I made it. I do believe it was 8 seconds slower than my first 8K back in November, but again, it was hot and hilly. 😀 But time is usually not my concern in a race. I finished, ran it my way, ran because I could, and had fun with it. Y’all know that’s what I care about! No need to pay for a race, get all pissy about my time, and end up having a miserable day because of it. But that’s just my 2 cents. Here are some pics:
The morning of a race, as soon as my alarm goes off, I always think: “Nah, I’m just gonna stay in bed.” Yes, that is my very first thought. It’s early, my bed is comfy, and I’m not really in the mood for all the hustle and bustle of getting up, getting dressed, getting all of my supplies, driving to the location, finding parking, etc. My very second thought is, “Umm, what? Get your @$$ up Cherie. You’ll be happy once you’re there at the starting line and ready to run. Annnnnnd you’ll have to face a zillion questions as to why you skipped out. Just. Get. Up.” And then I do. And then I’m happy once I’m there.
The hubby took this pic above (note his shadow) of me before the race. We laughed hysterically afterwards because you couldn’t tell I was at a race. I just looked like I was standing outside of an abandoned warehouse. So he took another.
At least with this one, you can see there are runners around me. I am indeed at a race.
This one shows my socks better/whole outfit. Since I always get questions about my fitness wear, I figured I’d show it all and tell you where I got it: Bacon socks–I ordered on Amazon, the shoes are Mizunos Wave Rider 15s–they sent them to me complimentary, though I can’t remember why–hey, free shoes! The headbands are Sparkly Soul, teal was complimentary, red I bought. Polar FT4 heart rate monitor–got it at Dick’s. Sunglasses were from Walmart. Black crops are Lululemon–Marathon crop style I believe. And the shirt…
I made it! Very simple–bought a blue tank (it’s from Walmart–I forget the brand), red iron-on letters (also, Walmart) and ironed them on! I love the line, “Strong Like Bull” and I wanted something I could wear in the gym as I’m predominantly lifting weights right now. And yeah, I’m a strong chick. 😀
Right before the start I ran into Meredith! It’s so cool to meet people in real life that I’ve only previously known online! It was also pretty cool weatherwise at the start of the race. I thought, “This shouldn’t be too bad at all.” I hadn’t run in a few days and last had a serious leg day this past Tuesday so my legs would be fresh. Plus, the almost 5 miles isn’t that long to me now, so I figured I’d be good to go.
I thought I had been running for about two miles when the heat suddenly came. Goodness! And the hills as well. I tackled the Tar Heel 10 Miler in April and did fine with those hills but I guess they were more spread out. These in the Bull City weren’t messing around! But I took them on like a champ, though. A slow, turtle champ, but that’s how I run. I will say I ran all the hills! Well, I ran the whole thing anyhow, but no walking breaks for the hills!! I imagined them making me more bootylicious, so run I did. I see them as a little me vs. me challenge. “Are you gonna let that hill beat ya, punk? Well, are you? Git up there. Move it, move it!!” Anyhow, I looked ahead of me and realized we were just coming upon MILE 1, not 2. HAAAA!!! Goodness, indeed! I had a little ways to go.
My mind started to wander as it usually does during a race. I have all kinds of conversions in my head. The main one I always come back to is how I can’t believe I’m out here running in a race. Or just running period. I saw one black guy smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk shaking his head as if to say, “Man, look at all these crazy people running.” I had to laugh because I used to be one of those head shakers. And here I was.
That all was good enough to distract me from the main feeling deep down that I kept trying to ignore like someone calling me “Sherry” and trying to get my attention (that’s not how you pronounce my name, haha). I was running in Durham and at every intersection, there was a Durham Police Officer. I was supposed to be a Durham Police Officer. “What would have happened if it wouldn’t have been for the stress fracture two years ago,” I wondered. “Would I be out there working the race instead? Would I even be a runner?”
Then somewhere near Mile 3ish, I ran right past the police headquarters. INSTANT TEARS. The floodgates just flew open. I was so hoping I’d get through at least one doggone race in my life without crying. At least this boo-hoo session wasn’t about me overcoming weight loss, running to honor my mother, proving something to the old fat & unhappy Cherie, yadda yadda. This was more of a cathartic run in a different way.
I don’t know if I could even explain it. But things just felt like they’d finally come full circle somehow. I only started running to be able to get inside that building and make myself a better person and have a better life but now here I was running outside that building as a better person with a better life anyway. Different as I had planned, different as I had expected, different in every way. And it wasn’t bad. Different was good. Things not turning out like I wanted them to wasn’t bad at all. They turned into happy tears.
Just like I wrote in that post from May 2011:
“I believe that everything happens for a reason… and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” –Marilyn Monroe
I continued running. I was getting close to the finish. Figuratively speaking, this journey was much longer than 5 miles. 😉
The race ending had us doing a victory lap into the Durham Athletic Park. If you’ve seen the movie Bull Durham, then you know of it!
The other awesomeness waiting at the end of the race? Free beer. Free Fullsteam Beer. Oh, I was happy. I don’t drink a lot now as I don’t want to distract myself from my training, but it was cold, free, and again, beer. I had to indulge. Best beer I’ve ever had at 8:30 in the morning. Mmmph. Beer.
I loved running this race and loved running Durham! RUNDRM!
You get a lot of stares in Walmart wearing a highlighter yellow shirt and compression socks (from Running Skirts), but whatev. I had just run with the bulls, had a cathartic moment, and come to realized yet again, that some things happen just as they should. 😀 Embrace “different.”