So, I know I said I would talk about SXSW, but I ran a 10K this morning and I feel like I should bang out a post about that while I'm still all buzzy with runner's high.
I'd been hearing all week about the Statesman Capitol 10,000, a 10K race sponsored by one of the big newspapers here in Austin. I didn't really think too much about it, until I discovered yesterday that the starting line is just a few blocks from our house and also that this particular 10K involves costumes. Costumes? And running? Two of my great loves combined into one inexplicably weird and self-punishing hour of sweat and chafing? Helllllll yeah!
I did a little more research and learned that the Cap 10K is the largest 10K in Texas, and that last year more than 18,000 people ran it. It's one of the official markers to the beginning of spring in Austin. I was planning on running 6 or so miles today anyway, so at 6:32pm yesterday I said, "Let's do this thing!" And then I ate some ravioli, because I figured carbs were appropriate in this instance.
I decided I didn't have enough time to prepare a proper costume, so this morning I just put on some regular old running clothes, made myself a smoothie and biked over to the starting line. There was a giant Sea of People at the starting line, just south of the Congress Ave. bridge over Town Lake. Lots of people were wearing capes, a few were dressed as Easter bunnies, and some just had funny t-shirts, like a girl I saw whose shirt said, "Race official - do not pass."
Something weird always happens to me when I'm lined up for the start of a huge race like that. Something about the combined energy and excitement and nervousness of those many thousands of people overwhelms me, and I feel the need to burst into tears and sob like it's an episode of "Extreme Home Makeover" and I've got PMS. Isn't that weird? Like, I'm so amped up to be part of a huge group of people doing something good for their bodies, all in really great moods, all yelling encouragement to each other, and I get really emotional. Do I sound like a huge freaking hippie or WHAT.
Anyway, the starting gun went off and the Sea of People began to ripple forward. From then on for as far as I could see it was just a solid mass of bouncing heads and t-shirts. It is such a gorgeous day and there were so many fun costumes and bands playing along the way, I ran with a huge, goofy grin for the entire 6.2 miles. There were some really stellar costumes, but I had two favorites. One guy was dressed in a cardboard box he'd painted to look like an electronic road sign that said "Caution! Zombies ahead!" and his friend was dressed as a zombie. (This is now an inside joke amongst the entire city of Austin. I've posted on it before but refer you to Austinist if you haven't seen the photos.)
But by far my favorite costume was a woman who was wearing a giant nose, like in those gross Sudafed commercials where the people are just huge, talking noses with legs. It covered her entire body from her head to about her knees, and on the back it said "Running Nose." A pun-related costume at a running event. .......!
I finished the race really strong, even though all that smiling slowed me down a little bit. Afterwards I treated myself to two breakfast tacos and a latte, which I enjoyed out on the front porch because it's such a beautiful day. And now I'm going to shower and get right back outside to enjoy the 75 degree weather and blue skies.
As Mike said to me the other day, "I don't think the weather's going to be nice for too much longer. I think that Austin heat we've been hearing about is on its way." I said, "I know, it feels like Sunday." He looked at me kind of confused-like, and I said, "You know, it feels really awesome and perfect right now, but in the back of your mind you know something bad is coming soon."
But for now I'm in love with spring and running and costumes and puns and AUSTIN! Yay!