Saturday, September 29, 2007

Do You Like Cross Country?

"Do you like cross country?" the woman behind the registration table asked Jamie and me as we handed in our paperwork for this morning's race.

"I'll tell you when I'm finished," I replied.

Cross country? Yikes.

Jamie and I had decided a few weeks back to search for area 5K road races. I found one online and sent the link to Jamie. The day worked out for both of us and the race, in Dover, was convenient for us. So we decided that this would be the one.

What we didn't know at first was that we'd be running a cross country race, not a road race.

It wasn't easy. Although 3 miles should have been relatively easy for both of us, the course traversed hilly fields, a small footbridge and a wooded path. It was nothing like the running we were used to. We had to watch our footing carefully, stepping around stumps, rocks and other obstacles.

About half a mile into the course, Jamie and I exchanged a look that seemed to say "what have we gotten ourselves in to?"

I know, I said to her, this is my fault. I picked this race.

You're right, she said, this is your fault.

But we did it. I finished 35th out of about 75 runners. My time was 32:04. Jamie wasn't far behind me. We were both pleased with our performances.

It was the first race I'd ever run. Jamie and I decided that we should try another -- a road race next time.

Soon after crossing the finish line (and probably before), we decided cross country might not be our thing. Sure we did it, but it wasn't as enjoyable as we wanted it to be. It was certainly more enjoyable when it was over.

But I wouldn't trade this morning's experience.

We had some good laughs -- calling each other on the way to the race confiding that we were nervous, missing the exit to get to the race and unknowingly picking out one of the fastest runners before the race as the person we would use to pace ourselves. We both laughed when we saw him nearly a mile ahead of us at one point.

Plus, I tried something new, something outside my comfort zone. That's always a good thing.

Have you donated to my fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? If not, please consider doing so. You can donate online at Please pass this link to everyone you know. Every dollar helps me get a little closer to the Disney 13.1!

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