April has rushed in like a whirlwind.
Had my birthday last weekend. The day was nice: got some cute cards from my kids, a call from my mamma and pops and ended the day at an awesome interpretive/modern dance class. Missed my people across the oceans… However, I felt happy about turning 27 (28 Korean age but who counts that!?) as my early 20s weren’t a picnic in the park psychologically. My 30s probably won’t be either but I am more at peace with my revisions of late. Indecisions on the other hand… those are still a bitch.
And in my mind
In the far-away here-and-now
I’ve become in-control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Will be the picture of discipline
Never fucking-up anything
And I’ll be a good defensive driver.
And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren’t really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I’ll start pounding the lid,
Saying, “I haven’t finished yet,
I still have a tattoo to get,
It says, ‘I’m living in the moment'”.
How I want to be the picture of discipline… Which is why I really started running I think… When I walk out my door and my feet hit that pavement percussively I get a sense of a person I could be. So what joy that I ended up with a co-worker that got me into running and then suggested doing a 10k.
I never would have gone through it without her. I struggle with setting good goals for myself. I usually just fall into life situations: and boy have I’ve been lucky with those! Today, we met in the freezing metro station at 6:50 and took the train to Munhak Worldcup Stadium out in Incheon.
We got to the stadium and it was madness with over 10,000 people there. People munching on ginseng, putting special tape on their knees that made them look like they were about ready to go into battle. Cute girls were hopping around on a stage. Groups were randomly cheering loudly and then doing collective jumping-jacks in a friend circle.
Eventually we were shuffled to the start line. The half marathon runners took off first and then it was our turn. The gunshot went off and we poured out onto the street with my ears ringing with “Series of Dreams” by Bob Dylan. Good way to start a race ^^ Next was “I Feel It All” by Feist and the first kilometer marker was rushed past at an optimistic pace. Soon I had to make sure to pace myself and by the third kilometer I was thinking… hummm… in your training you’ve only run a bit over 7k so far so in a sense, you are just now starting. Sobering second but I was feeling good and laughed when my fellow runners let out a gleeful roar in the tunnel. Steady and smiling into the sun I kept going. Awkwardly ran past one of the aid stations to grab a banana and some water and make the turn at 5k to go back.
Then I got to 8k and had to go up a little hill. Was NOT A FAN OF HILLS at that moment -but I could almost taste victory. Either that or the salt on my face from my sweat… hard to tell. Then I got to the home stretch: ANOTHER HILL. Why would you end a race on a hill?? And then all of a sudden there were a bunch of military men sporting serious looking outfits with glinting metal things acting as 80s shoulder pads. And the majority of people on the track at that moment were walking. Slowly. Ajummas four a breast. Ducking and diving and almost running right into the solid chest of sunglasses wearing sergeant, I finally saw the finish line with the big clocks clicking away the seconds. And it said: 59:50. Oooohhhh noooooo. “This is the time to sprint” said my head. “Ha ha ha.” said my body. “Sprint? Up the hill? That’s funny.” I am wheezing at this point and feel like I’m going to hurl on some of the shiny shoes attached to the muscular legs guarding the path (NOT a good idea)… but I sped up and in slow motion saw the numbers tick over: 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59: 1:00:00. Passed the line at 1:00:12 by that clock and literally fell to my knees gasping at one of the officers feet. It was his lucky day because my nutrigrain bar stayed down (or was simply evaporated by the sun and sweat earlier).
Click. I look up, red-faced and still gasping to see a photographer crouched down beside me with a great big smile lighting up his face. I just looked at him and he laughed and moved on. Worn out Waegookin: I’m sure it was a winner ha ha.
Wandered around amongst the other runners in a daze for a few minutes. Handed in our time chips (which later brought back good news) and were in turn given a finishers medal, a bean paste pastry, bananas and 매실 which is a drink I love. Hooray!
Home and then out for lunch to celebrate and on the way I got a text which read: 인천국제대회 (Esther B. 10k 15177) 00:59:06.
Wooohooooo. If I could have hopped in joy I would have. Instead I hobbled and shouted.
Ended the day at the 찜질방 in the ice pools with middle aged ladies practicing their English out on us. I don’t understand life but I’m going to try and keep living it. Or at least get a tattoo that says “I’m living in the moment.”