I can't tell you exactly why I haven't raced in over ten years. I can try to blame it on following all of the kids' activities, but they have been out of high school more than three years. I can tell you that I haven't really made any running friends since I have been down here in South Carolina, but that is my fault and there is a good running community here. I can push for sympathy for my hip and plantar fasciitis injuries this past summer, but every runner gets hurt here and there.
If I am being honest, I think I was scared. That, however, is even harder to explain. No one cares about how fast I may or may not run out there. My friends and family would just be happy to see me back on the roads. Our egos are funny things. I think I was scared that this vintage of Christopher could not compete with that guy from long ago that ran lots of marathons.
At this point, you are ahead of me. Yes, this is completely stupid. The only saving grace is that I am not the only one that feels this way and that, more importantly, I finally did something to fix it.
On Saturday, November 7, I stopped the drought and run in my first race in a very long time. So long that I am not sure that I remember the last one. I do know that it is more than a decade ago. I didn't even plan to race. The night before I ran a hard 4 miles on the treadmill at about 8:00. I just woke up on Saturday morning and decided it was time to race and the Florence Pecan Festival Run Like a Nut seemed to be the right place to start.
Out of kindness to those that have indulged me this far, but mostly out of embarrassment, I won't go into the details of the race or tell you how many mistakes I made. I will share that the end result was even a bit better than I had hoped - 6th place out of 44 with a 48:13 (7:47 pace) for a 10K. I even scored some glassware for winning my division.
I genuinely do not know how that compares to the last time I ran 10K and I am not going to look it up. I was not out there to race some kid from my past. I was there because it keeps me working on making my now the best it can be.