My action foretold disaster. Like in horror movies, when the hero says, “I’m just going to check outside (after a strange scream. in the dark. all alone. when there are clowns around).”
I had acted too quickly, without forethought. That’s what happens with Facebook groups. Especially when a race is sold out, and suddenly registrations become available on a first-come first-served basis. At least that’s how I react. Especially when I’m not sure I’m up to the distance.
I’d completed the Marysville Half-Marathon about seven weeks prior to this, and was studying my recovery closely, trying to be wise, trying not to do the same stupid things which had led to injury in previous years. I’d completed the Two Bays 28k race only in 2013, but had signed up and pulled out of both the 2014 and 2015 Two Bays so far, both due to injury. So for 2016, I was checking the Two Bays website periodically, but not signing up. Not yet, I told myself. I’d only done 14k for my long run since Marysville. Nothing hurt, but I was going slowly.
Then one day, I checked the website, and the race had SOLD OUT! What! But I hadn’t decided yet. I scrolled down. There was an option of placing my name on the second- chance list on the Facebook Group page, so I did what any fool runner would do, and typed my name in straight away. I’d be notified if a place became available. So would all the others on the list. The fastest typist would get the spot.
I used to type for a living. In the olden days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and people had to type on actual type-writers with perfect accuracy, or type the entire document again from scratch. I took typing speed tests, and aced them. I was not a hunt-and-peck girl. This was one event I could win.
And BOOM, I did.
Scored myself an entry the first week. I cheered aloud, alone in my office. Over lunch, I told my husband the wonderful news, and when I went to teach, I shared my delight with the members of my BodyPump class. They all looked at me with the same dumb-founded expressions, and some even repeated my words back to me: you said you weren’t going to do that race, you were going to train to get stronger and faster. Remember? Do a fast 10k? That’s what you said.
Oh the error of my ways. I knew they were right – they were speaking my own words – but I had to prove they were wrong. Or I was a complete moron who simply followed the herd.
So I went out for a long training run in the very hot sun, my longest since Marysville, 20k along the Bayside Coastal Track on 4 December. I wore my Hippy-Chick running belt to hold my valuables, because I didn’t want to wear a big pack in the heat. I also wore my Two Bays singlet I’d bought for the 2015 race. Because it seemed fitting if I was going to do this.
And off I ran. It was 35 degrees, and it was a tough run, but I made it. I was so overheated when I got home, that I went straight to the back and leapt into the swimming pool fully clothed, stopping only long enough to take off my runners and my Garmin. The relief was enormous.
I swam a few laps, floated on my back, contemplated the distance I had run, and whether it was far enough assure a 28k race. My husband gave me “the look”, the one he always gave me when I did idiotic things, which is too often than I’d like to admit, and anyway, I call it pushing the boundaries.
I climbed out of the pool, and went to get a towel from the line, and to hang up my wet running clothes.
You’ll have seen this coming long before I did. As I stripped off the Two Bays singlet and went to hang it on the line, I noticed with horror that I was still wearing my Hippy Chick running belt. Which contained my house keys, my $50 in emergency taxi money. And my iPhone.
And no, it wasn’t waterproof.
Did it presage disaster, this rash jumping into the pool with my phone?
Or was it something I would overcome and laugh about as I danced across the 2016 Two Bays finish line? Was it the path to a new phone that I wanted anyway, or confirmation that I was a complete and utter idiot?
Only time would tell.