Some Observations From and Things That Happened At the Sactown 10-Miler

  • It turns out if you start a race that is significantly longer than 5K at your 5K pace, you’ll reach a point (say, after about five kilometers) where you will deeply regret this decision.
  • Also: Knowing that a race is going to be miserable and that you’re not going to want to do it and that you’re training-wrecked going in, doesn’t actually make it any less miserable or make you any more excited about the experience.
  • Apparently, my super awesome pink and yellow striped spandex shorts (basically these ones but in pink and yellow stripes) that I got for $14 at the Nike outlet do not photograph well in the sun against my extreme whiteness. Noted.
Photo: Randy Wehner Photography
  • After I imploded, I still finished, and it was fiiiiiiiiiine. But there was a period in the middle where I didn’t think I was going to finish, because I thought I’d have to throw up for bit instead.
  • It’s a hard calculation to do: Should I take this gel/cup of water, even though I know it’s giving me splitting side stitches, doubling-over cramps, or should I just go thirsty instead?
  • My fastest mile was 6:00. My slowest was 6:45. That’s quite a range.
  • Sara Hall did the race. She was the second woman, because our Pacific Association “local” races are stupid. I was 24th, after five women passed me in the last half-mile. I was actually quite surprised/pleased with 24th.
  • Steve had gone to do some other stuff and given me the key to his office, so I could leave my clothes and bag in there, and use the bathroom. After the race, I was walking the few blocks back, wearing those yellow and pink shorts with my favorite pink running jacket thrown over the tank top. And, yeah, even though I was just a few blocks away, I looked out of place in downtown Sacramento, so I wasn’t super surprised (or thrilled) when the random guys that semi-live around there started making comments at me. I just did the thin smile/nod thing that says, ‘Please don’t hurt me, but also leave me alone,’ and kept walking. One of them told me I looked so amazing, hot, etc, and I was pretty sure he was kidding, because I looked like I just spent an hour trying not to throw up or shit myself. But then I heard him get out of his car and come running after me, and then he stopped me and started going on about how great I look and how he just needed to come talk to me, and what’s my name, etc, etc. And, look, yeah, 90-95% chance he was a totally fine guy. But I don’t know for sure, and this wasn’t a situation in which I was comfortable or wanted to find out more. I wanted to sit down. I was by myself without my phone, about to walk into a completely empty office building, and these kinds of things can go so bad so quickly. Of course, though, I didn’t get into it or explain why it’s not really cool to put someone in that position or discuss whether I owe him anything in exchange for being female. Instead, I said, “Sorry, I just did a race. I’m really tired. I’m going to go in here now.” And then I made sure the building’s door locked behind me and I sat in Steve’s office for 30 minutes waiting until I thought he’d probably left. Which wasn’t that hard, since it took me almost 30 minutes to get up out of a chair and pull on sweatpants.

Sacramento Running Association and Elite Runners

Freeplay Magazine.
Freeplay Magazine.

I wrote this article for Freeplay Magazine about the Sacramento Running Association’s elite program. It’s a female-focused magazine, based here in Northern California, and, while it’s new, I really think it’s coming along.

But, the article topic, itself, is also something I find fascinating. SRA realized there is a gap between when runners graduate college and when they’re able to make money as runners, make the Olympics, break records, etc. How do you encourage people to keep running in the full-time way necessary if they can’t afford it or if there simply isn’t an option to make it possible?

Obviously, other groups are doing similar things, getting sponsorships, paying the small things that make a difference at that point: flights, entry fees, shoes. But, still, I think it’s a more complicated question than most people acknowledge. If we have certain demands on athletes and expectations, but give them no resources, how do we expect those to be met?