People who don’t like to run or find it boring often ask the same question: “What do you think about all that time?”
Of course there’s no pat answer to that question. Runners think about a lot of things during races. Some dwell on their misery and prefer to disassociate any way they can. Others focus in on their bodily response, checking all their “go” signs like a race car driver listening to the roar of the engine.
The bulk of us fall somewhere between. Our brains might start with some sort of focus but as the fatigue piles up, the mind starts to wander.
Recently I competed in the Gasparilla 8K down in Tampa, Florida. The race went well enough I suppose. But the race images that just arrived from Marathon Foto made me realize there must have been a lot of things going through my head during the race.
For one thing, my face was bright red. That’s a sure sign that one’s noggin’ is about to explode from all that thinking. Or, it was just hot out.
I seem to be checking my watch quite a bit. That means I was either trying to stay on pace or wishing the darn race would be over.
My foot plant was alternately dynamic and flat. Which means I’m really willing to compromise when necessary.
As for the length of my running shorts, I’m neither 1980s or fully 2000s. For men my age, it’s an obligation to cover up what you got and still look like you can run.
At times during the race I looked determined. At other times, nearly defeated. Well, that’s racing for you.
Of course some of these pictures were taken during the first part of the race, when the breeze was still coming off the bay. I was flying then, ahead of pace. Ready to luck into a really good time.
But when we turned around, the heat swooped in to suck the life out of us. There’s not a soul that could avoid the humidity either. Rumor has it that Satan even pulled out of the race at that point. It was too hot. He might have been dressed like a pirate.
That right there is the look of one overheated runner jogging home to the finish line. Only four guys my age beat me to it. Rumor has it they all melted like wax into the gutters and drained away to the bay. So I win after all. And that’s what I think about that.