Jen and I ran the Bunny Boogie this morning, 3 miles around Pear Tree Point (a place I run often). I actually thought I might place in my age group and win a chocolate bunny, but alas no. Results aren't up yet but I must have been close, I think I ran a 7:32 pace, faster than my hoped-for 7:40. I HATE short races. I mean, I love them too, I feel great that I ran that fast, but I felt miserable for all but the first minute. My first mile was 7:10...crazy fast for me.
Jen (who also ran fast, an 8:02 pace we think) was talking to this 12-year-old kid from Bridgeport, who was there with his dad, in shorts and a short sleeve top (we were much more bundled up for the 38 degree weather!). This kid was fast, and how cool to be so focused and having fun with something like running from such a young age. This was a cool race because the women start 2:30 ahead of the men (the fastest woman did hold off the fastest man and was the first across the line), so after the first mile and a half all the fast guys started passing me (but not as many as I'd thought would). I was looking for the kid, knowing he'd pass me but trying to get as far as I could before it happened. He was a good inspiration, and only passed me with about 1/3 of a mile to go (not counting my 2:30 head start of course!). I wonder what kids like that think while they're racing...was he in a bit of agony like me, wondering if he'd make it, hold his pace, or was he just having fun and looking forward to a well-deserved bunny?
I am grateful I was able to run, and run fast. I hate that every day, every race, has that element of uncertainty with the RA now, will my ankle be ok, if it's not should I run anyway, will I run anyway even if I shouldn't...but I do love the new brace, which seems to squeeze all the swelling out and give me the psychological boost I need. I guess there could (will?) come a time when I won't be able to run. When it will hurt or do more damage than good. My uncle (who has RA real bad, to the point where every small joint has been fused or replaced) wrote this to me when I had my first ankle issues and wanted to know what I was in for: "About 99% of dealing effectively with a chronic disease involves: (a) developing the right attitude; (b) not being stupid by trying to pretend that you don't have to make some changes; and (c) getting and following good medical advice." He pretty much thinks I'm being a little stupid with all my running, but he gets it too. Use it or lose it.