In this life, they say that there are those who do and those who watch others do. (Or something like that. As Volkswagon would say, there are passengers and there are drivers.) Anyway, I like to think of myself as a driver, or one who does. This morning, though, at the Nissan Xterra event, I was simply a spectator, and while it bummed me out at first, I have to say, sometimes just sitting back and taking it all in is pretty cool, too.
I pushed it pretty hard in the gym yesterday and ended up pulling my hamstring. I woke up bright and early this morning for the 5K and did a little test-run outside my apartment. I soon realized that running wouldn't be in the cards for me today. I kept my running clothes on, though - for just in case - and I headed into the city and down to the lakefront. (I listened to Beatle Brunch with Joe Johnson all the way there - I love that show.) It was early and I was sleepy - but the city sure was awake. Joggers, bikers, rollerbladers, coffee-drinkers at Alterra. Seeing all the early birds perked me up a bit. I parked down by the marina and, armed with my camera, headed toward Veteran's Park.
I strolled around the grounds, watching people warm up and listening to the music blasting from the speakers, doing all I could to stop myself from dancing like a fool. The music was the kind meant to get your heart pumpin and it was great. A little swing, a little disco, a little "Gettin Jiggy With It" and "Let's Get Ready to Rumble." Whenever races start and the music blasts, I always hate running away from it because then it's just me and my huffing and puffing. I think I should start a race that blasts music the entire route.
The 10K began at 9:00 and the 5K began five mintues later. I heard Rocky, the announcer, describing the course and it sounded fun - and challenging. He said this was a Scramble, a trail run, so it sure wouldn't be flat. Runners would run on rocky terrain and go up and down stairs and go through Lake Park and near the shore before getting back to the park and into the finisher's chute.
A cannon blast started each race and I jumped about a foot each time. Once the runners of both races were off, I headed over to the Kids Base Camp to see the kids' race. Ronald McDonald was there and the kids were so adorable with their race numbers attached to their little shirts! They warmed up with Ronald and then the race began - and was over about 2 minutes later. All the kids got finisher's medals and they were all so excited. It was darn cute, let me tell you. I wanted to pat the parents on the back. It's good to get kids active at such a young age!
The big race is tomorrow, starting at 11:00 a.m. Come down and see teams of athletes compete in a 1.5K swim, a 30K mountain bike, and a 10K trail run. They're competing for big bucks, and this competition is one of four that leads up to the Nissan Xterra USA Championship in Lake Tahoe. (Oct. 2) Should be exciting! And hot!
Anyway, the leading runners were just finishing as I headed back to my car. When I first got there, all I wanted to do was go home and crawl back into bed. But morning air does something to a person, and I was feeling pretty good. It was fun being a spectator today. I liked hanging around and taking pictures - it made me feel like a journalist. (although I'm sure I didn't look too journalistic in my would-be running clothes with my Kodak EasyShare camera...)
Before heading home, I drove up to Downer Avenue to check out where the big bike race would be starting this evening, but there wasn't much going on yet. I drove into Shorewood and past my new apartment just for the heck of it. I can't wait to move in. (one more week!) It's the upper level of a duplex on a quiet street right off of Oakland Ave. (a main drag on the East Side of Milwaukee) and it's within walking distance of everything - coffee shop, grocery stores, bookstore, movie rental place. I had never really driven around in Shorewood before - holy nice houses. It'll be such a great area to run/walk/ride my bike in.
So now I'm having some coffee and starting to pack and it's off to work this afternoon. It's supposed to be 100 degrees tomorrow - the hottest day of the year so far. (I just heard on the radio that Phoenix has had 39 straight days of 100+ degree heat. Ugh!) But hey, summer is almost two-thirds of the way over already. We'll be wishing for this kind of weather to come back in a few months...