Monday, May 9, 2011

Gotta Go Gotta Go

The sun was making its way out of the clouds as my cousin and I pulled into the parking lot at Dinosaur Provincial Park along with many other participants of the Dino Pump It Up Run. We were an hour and a half early just in case stretching took a bit longer than normal and we had enough time to use the bathroom four or five times. I was nervous since it was my first official race. I had all the necessities ready go that I checked several times over just in case I was mistaken the first time; I pod, Grape-Crush chap stick, water bottle, and sunglasses. My number (385) was securely pinned on my shirt and time bracelet fastened tightly around my ankle. I didn’t own a hat for running so I put on my black ball hat with Fisher Girl written in hot pink. The hat was scrutinized right away for its wide brim but I am a fashion outlaw that way so I didn’t think much of it.

 Fifteen minutes from race time, I began my running rituals; apply seven or eight layers of my Grape-Crush chap stick to keep my lips from drying out, select and pause my kick off song (Let’s Go Crazy-Prince), and use the bathroom for the sixth time. We finished off our stretching in the parking lot with only minutes to spare along with two gentlemen that appeared as “extreme” runners. While I struggled to touch my toes, they were running small sprints beside us. I wobbled on one foot trying to keep my balance as I pulled my knee to my chest while they rivaled me with their high kicks. Several voices began speaking to me in my head; “what did you get yourself into”, “stop talking like that, you got this licked”, “the only thing you’ll be licking is their dust!” It was a real battle of good and evil. I reminded myself that at the present time I was not “in it” to “win it” but the ultimate goal was crossing the finish line.

(Listening to Prince)

Racers and walkers were asked to approach the starting line where they outlined the 5k and 10k course. I was running the 5k so my route was around the public loop road, into the Natural Preserve, make a u-turn at the water station, and run back to the finish line located to the side of the Service Station. We got into position, the gun fired, and I hit play on my I pod. The voice of Prince filled my ears and we were off! I felt great, had a lot of energy from a healthy breakfast, and was determined to beat my normal time. As I crossed the bridge and approached the loop road my worst running nightmare started to happen. Mostly every woman that has given birth can relate to the nightmare that I had to endure through the duration of my 5k run. My bladder began to give out with every bump, jolt, turn, stop, start, you name it.

Right away I became self conscious of any visible evidence. I wondered if the people behind me were staring at my butt and nudging each other while saying, “That woman in the Fisher Girl hat appears to have had an accident.” I began to tear off my Dino Pump t-shirt in hopes I could tie it around my waste but the sleeves were to short for getting a secure tie. I stopped and briskly walked in hopes I would not fall behind too much while I frantically pulled and stretched my shirt in hopes of covering any evidence. I was unsuccessful and had no choice but to continue as was. The voices returned; “turn around and go back”, “dive into that upcoming bush and save yourself”, “keep going there is nothing you can do about it.” I decided to listen to the last voice and I kept going. I conquered the first hill and was relieved when there was a stint of down hill running. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to pick up my pace and make up for the time I lost. I took off like a shot down the hill but had to abruptly skid to a stop because my bladder wanted to release much more at a faster speed. I tried several times to speed up but skidded to a stop many times. I pretended to fake a small injury with my ankle so the people behind me wouldn’t clue into the fact that I was indeed having this issue. By this time I could see but also feel evidence of my accident(s). Thankfully I had completed running the loop road and was entering the last leg of the race into the Natural Preserve. Friends of mine were “highfiving” me as they passed me coming back from u-turning at the water station. I wondered if they could see that my pants were wet to mid thigh by this time. I was consumed with worry that I passed the water station completely and kept going right along with the runners for the 10k. It didn’t take me long to realize that the crowd I was following were no longer there and I was running along with four others at the time. I quickly turned around which triggered another “episode”, and carried on to the finish line. Right before the finish line two gentlemen asked me where my number was so they could announce my name. My number was hidden in the chaos of my t-shirt that draped around my neck like a necklace. I was thankful they did not announce my name. These two voices appeared in my head with a mocking tone; “And crossing the finish line is 34 year old Alicia MacDonald!”, "Whats all over her pants?" I reached my goal which was crossing the finish line and quickly found mine and Nicky’s “coach”, Kim Levesque, who provided me with something to cover up with and re-assured me I was wearing black and you couldn't tell! Thank god I was wearing black!!

The race was a blast and we had a lot of laughs afterwards at my expense of course. I would normally keep such a personal embarrassing situation to myself but in the given situation I have no shame and thought it was rather funny.

The Calgary Mother’s Day race was much different and I was able to focus on beating my time, which I did! I was prepared for any accidents, and luckily I did not have any!On June 12th in Calgary, I am doing another 5k race with my sister, cousin, and any one who would like to join us! Let me know if you are interested!


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