Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Achieving a Goal
Two weekends ago, I achieved a goal. Let’s call it one small step for Cosmo, one giant leap on my life-list of things to do. More likely it was about 6,000 small steps because I ran my first-ever 10K race.
Last Spring, faced with not having a part-time paid job for the first time since having my two kids, I felt like a needed a goal. It had to be something to anchor me more firmly in the real world. Of course, there is the challenge of the meta-goal of keeping the 2 small humans alive and happy. But I wanted to do something that was just for me and something a little different than child-rearing. So I started running. Fortunately the running bug hit 3 of my friends at the same time. I now have “training partners” who live in New York, Marin and just down the road in Los Gatos. They each played a role in helping to keep me going, whether it was a quick phone call to see how we were all progressing or a much-needed 6 a.m. trail run to be sure we could do six miles.
When the race came, I had two of my running buddies with me. But since we got separated immediately in the mosh-pit of 15,000 runners, what really fueled me that day was probably the music. We ran the Wharf to Wharf race in Santa Cruz. The course included 52 bands along the way. They ranged from Insecto Man -- a guy in a green sparkly bodysuit playing a matching green-sparkly accordion -- to teenagers playing death metal, and everything in between. I never had time to think about being tired or how my nearly-40-something year old knees ached. As soon as I’d run by one group of Taiko Drummers, it was on to the aging hippies playing their recorders or to a lone Scot tooting his bagpipes. If the music didn’t do it for me, the people-watching did. A cute guy in a full-body banana costume ran next to me for a while. A woman with shockingly large breast implants bobbed near me for a while which led me to ponder why she did that and if a sport other than jogging might suit her better.
I doubt I’ll become a serial 10K racer, but I’m still working on my next goal: the half-marathon. After that, I’ll probably hang up my running shoes and take up something else. Maybe I’ll get a sparkly bodysuit and learn the accordion.