Seven months ago, I arrived at my first race.  Pulling into the parking lot, I was frozen behind the wheel of my car.  I watched as runner after runner walked up the hill to the starting line.  They looked like runners.  The hardcore kind I aspire to be.  Here I was, a total imposter – wearing running tights under fleece pants, a tank top, tee-shirt, long sleeve tee and a down vest.  (I still do not dress properly for running – I always dress for the weather before I run & not the added 20 degrees hotter I will be during the run.)

I was ready to turn around and go home.  It would have been easier to hide behind blu: people would have noticed her & I could have been semi-invisible.  (Un)fortunately, several people knew I was running and there was no way I could face them if I had driven away.

So, there I am standing alone amid hundreds of real runners, not totally prepared, unsure of what to expect & praying I wouldn’t come in last.

(Please don’t let me come in last.)

Jump ahead through two 5k races, a 5 mile race and a 5 mile trail race where I have had my good friend buttahcup at the starting line with me.  For every race.  (There is A LOT of comfort in having someone by your side.)

a view of the starting line

But yesterday, I was at the starting line alone.  I didn’t feel like I had last November; I felt strong and knowledgable.  I found some space on a grassy knoll and began my warm up routine.  Five minutes to race time, I found myself 100 feet from the starting line.  Gone were the nerves (when did they disappear?).  All that was left was a girl who knew she was going to conquer this race.

But that is a story for another day…