|Bib Number for my FIRST 10k!!!|
"The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it." -Francois VoltaireI'm beginning to acquire a bit of an addiction for these roadraces. There is something about the atmosphere of an OFFICIAL, CHIP-TIMED, MARKED OUT race course that gets the adrenaline pumping and drives runners to play their A-game! There is something about waking up at an ungodly time in the morning to fuel with water, bread and peanut butter (which I don't like) as well as stretching for the BIG EVENT that makes that early start worthwhile. I can't describe the feeling of putting on compression pants that at one time you thought you'd never be caught DEAD in, followed by lacing up a good pair of running shoes (I'm not talking about a cheap pair from Payless Shoesource either! No, you pay a pretty penny for this high class form of transportation that is powered by none other than YOU). It's normally a bit chilly, but that doesn't seem to effect you much as nerves are running high which I'm sure increases the blood flow. Everyone is stretching, some are running BEFORE the run (not me) in order to warm up, others are removing layers to strip down to what resembles a babies shorts (that's about how long they are) and little tanks.
I encourage you, if you haven't yet, sign-up for a ROADRACE.
If you are like me, you go to "packet pickup" a day or two prior to the race as you don't need anything else to distract you from your mental preparation on race day. I mean, what if the line is too long and you can't make it to the start line? What if their fingers begin to scan the page, looking intently for your name, but it's no where to be found because there was some glitch in the system and your registration didn't transfer properly? That is the LAST thing you want to happen at the very LAST minute.
In this packet that you've picked up there are typically solicitations for various other upcoming races in the area, you know, these people are pushers and all knowing that most race runners quickly become addicted to this "roadrace high." There are two things that matter most in this packet though:
1. Your timing chip (to be laced to your shoe to track your official start/finish time)
2. YOUR BIB NUMBER
The second one is what I'm going to talk a bit about. Ah, the BIB NUMBER. Call me crazy, but one of the most exciting parts about the entire experience for me is this "BIB NUMBER" (apart from actually FINISHING the race). Why? I love securely fastening my BIB NUMBER to the front of my shirt on race day because of it's symbolism. This "number" is what sets me apart from those who are just in the crowd cheering, and those who RUN. This "number" silently SHOUTS that I'm no longer a spectator; I'm not on the sidelines watching everyone else live their lives while I stand going no where. This "number" labels me as someone who is IN the race, running, BELIEVING in myself and my ability.
Attaching this number floods my mind with so many thoughts and emotions. It reminds me not only of my physical run, but my fight of faith with scriptures like: "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me." and "Greater is HE that is in me than he that is in the world," the one who tried to steal my life through obesity and how the GOD who lives in me is strengthening me to FIGHT against that work in my life. I remember when I struggled to walk to my car in the parking lot at work and how I used to hate if I had to park further than the first 3 rows at the grocery store because of how far it was from the entrance. I am now a participant IN an official race and I'm perservering. I might not be the fastest runner out there, and by no means do I think I'll be winning an award any day soon, but what means the most to me is:
I START. I RUN. I FINISH.
Now they are giving a 10-minute warning, alerting you that it's time to begin making your way to the starting line to wait for the gun to sound.
NOW THE FEELING THAT YOU HAVE TO GO THE BATHROOM REALLY, REALLY, REEEALLLY STINKIN' BAD.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."