I always appreciate this day, regardless of how running is going in my life.
I could have sworn it was called #NationalRunningDay, but I guess not. I looked back to last years post and it was Global Running Day too. 2016 also had the same new name. Old habits die hard, I guess.
Buuuut, 2014 was actually called #NationalRunningDay! And so was 2015, I finally found a blurb about it in an old post! I always remember this day in 2014, because I’m pretty sure its the first time I actually celebrated this day. I also remember this day, because Juan and I had run to Sac State for their free fun run to celebrate National Running Day! We were both wearing volt colored tops and mine happened to be reppin’ November Project. A man and his wife approached me post-race and asked about NP and said they’ve been wanting to check it out. Fast forward four years later, this couple, FitFam6, have been friends of mine ever since. I admire them individually and as a couple, for so many reasons. This day always reminds me of them…and the Sacramento running community and that social media can, in fact, connect you with some pretty awesome people.
A few weeks ago, Fleet Feet started promoting the Brooks Running large scale ‘The Big Run‘ for our local running community. It seems as if Brooks has taken over Global Running Day, but I’m okay with it because they offered a free 5k for everyone to run. Free anything is always a bonus, especially when it ends with free snow cones! Fleet Feet Sacramento sent out emails promoting and the RSVP was easy as just saying you were ‘attending’ via their FB page. Super simple and a fun way to log some celebratory miles for Global Running Day!
I have no problem showing up to runs by myself, never really have. But, I asked a friend, Vanessa, if she wanted to join me. We’ve never hung out in real life (like friends HAHA), but I shop at her awesome boutique, Heart Boutique, and we interact via social media. I know she runs and Crossfit’s, so I asked if she wanted to join me. She did! Yay! Evening weekday runs are always a little odd, but a great way to shake up the week. I was worried I wouldn’t make it on time, but I did with a few minutes to spare. This course is the exact same free fun run they offer every December, the Fleet Feet Free Holiday Run — an out and back along Sutter’s Landing. Lots of gravel, a few ups and down on the levy, and now a partway paved pathway. I always enjoy this run, because it was one of my go-to’s when I ran around this neighborhood when I lived here. Another bonus is there is ample parking for the likes of a smaller Sacramento race, but before I’d just jog/walk from my house, which was really convenient.
No flat runner, sorry. As I walked up, it looked like an average, smaller race for Sacramento: various tents, a snow cone truck, a start/finish arch, a timing clock, and lots of runners milling about. I hopped in line to ‘register,’ which was right next to the bib line. I met Vanessa here, as she was about to join the bib line. Not less than thirty seconds later, we heard that they ran out of bibs 🙁 Is it weird I’d rather have a bib than a medal? Oh well, no biggie, we were here for the experience, right?! We left both lines, no bib = no need to register. We walked over to the start and of course, I made her take a selfie with me. The Fleet Feet crew did a great job of amping up the crowd, they even got everyone to do the wave and pose for a pre-race pic — the looks of that pic are still TBD.
And we were off. I hadn’t really thought about how I’d run this race. I did my Midtown workout in the morning, so I didn’t skip it for the day. My legs were sore, but my left knee is still really not well. I decided, since Vanessa joined me, I’d stay with her and at her pace. I’d run twice this weekend, there was no need to try to run this fast. We did break a sweat, there wasn’t much shade and it was 6 PM in the evening. We logged the miles with our running community and chatted the whole time, through the ups and downs of the levy. At the turn around point, they had water, which was awesome!
During the run, I heard my name twice, which is always a great feeling! I love seeing friendly faces at races. The first was my old coworker, who is a badass Ironman! And then, of course, I saw FitFam6 on my back, shortly after the turnaround point. I felt great, the pace was nice and the chatting was making the distance go by quickly. Vanessa had never run over here, so I think the terrain as a little different for her. But since I run this semi-frequently, I am used to the different terrain. She was a trooper and didn’t stop running the entire time. It was until the very end, did she decide to tell me this is the first time in awhile since she has run this far without stopping!
We could see the finish and we are doing the long uphill up the levy, we finished with smiles and thirsty! Glad to see a kiddie pool filled with water we grabbed one and started to walk around. We decided to hop in the long line for snow cones, they sounded perfect post-race. I didn’t know how this truck ran, but Vanessa gave me the details. You get to put your own syrup on your snow cone! Perfect! I hate too much syrup, so I got to decide. Genius! The line went crazy fast, but I got to snag a few pics with FitFam6 while I waited. Asher even waved at me, it melted my heart. Then I hopped back in line with Vanessa.
Pina colada is how every race should end, even if it is sans booze. It was so tasty, except I didn’t put enough syrup to get to the bottom. But it’s okay, I was done about a third of the way through. We walked around a little bit more, wondering how we could snag a medal. I really just wanted a pic of it, not to take it home. I found my friend Haley, who also happens to work for FF, and asked her to borrow one. She came in clutch and I was able to snag a pic (or two) with it and with her!
It was a great, free event to support our running community. I would have logged miles regardless, but I can totally support a cool event/fun run like this. It was simple, easy, and fun. Nothing better than that, doing what most of us (pretend) to love to do! It’s so funny, I see so many familiar faces at races, but I do not know these people at all. I just see them over and over, year after year at different events. It’s like we have an unspoke connection because we are runners in the same community. It is weird, but really it is comforting!
So, the scariest thing happened after the race. As I walked up to my car, no other cars around it, I saw my trunk was open! WHAAAAT? How did this happen? How long had it been open? Oh, SHIT! My purse is in the trunk, is all my stuff gone? I slowly walked up, about to freak out, when I see my purse (really a backpack) just laying there. Untouched. Nothing gone. I literally let out the hugest sigh of relief and literally prayed all the thanks in the world that nothing was gone. This was just the perfect reminder how honest and amazing the Sacramento running community is. I don’t know how long it was open for, but regardless, no one stole anything out of my car or my purse. I thank my lucky stars and my guardian angels looking out for me yesterday. I am so grateful I was lucky and that the outcome was not worse.
It feels like I’m becoming a runner again. Not sure if it is because of the breakup or because lots of running just occurs this time of the year, but my IG sure looks like I’m totally into running again. The want/need to run has never gone away, but the dedication and drive definitely dissipated over time. Someone half pointed out, half asked if maybe running has always been my thing and because of my unhappiness and discontentment, I let it fall by the wayside. They suggested that maybe finding it again will be empowering and help me see the different things I gave up during the relationship. It was an interesting point of view, but I’m not too sure how true it is. I do know that for my upcoming Triathlon I will be logging a lot more miles than usual, so running will be my thing until September, at least.
Always finding time for things that make me feel happy to be alive…as should you!