Now, the headache and I were awake in a full panic state because we should have been walking to the train by 6:50 and not just waking up at this time, but wouldn't you know it, that little jerk invited his friends to visit! Now, I had stomach cramps and a backache to contend with. "Damn them!" I thought as I fought back tears of self pity, "I have a 5K to participate in!".
I definitely did not feel up to participating in a 5K with all the free loaders visiting, but I struggled to get dressed, and flopped back into bed immediately as if inactivity and boredom would force them to leave. With their persistence to stick around I thought to myself that, "I just simply won't go" to the Y-Me 5K event, but then guilt kicked in as I had made my boyfriend drive to the city and wait in line just a few days earlier to pick up my t-shirt and race day packet. And now, I wasn't going to use it? Also, what about my commitment to this blog and myself to participate in 1 event per month? Considering all obligations, I finally said, "OK, I'll go." to myself, the headache and his visiting friends.
The ray of hope I held onto was, that there was a 3 and 1 mile option for the event, so I told myself at least go and do the 1 mile, and if you're not feeling better by then you can go home. Having woken up late there was not enough time (or energy) for me to walk to the train, so I hailed a cab and off we went. Pulling up to Grant Park, I screamed, "You can let me out here!" to the taxi driver in the middle of Lake Shore Drive (any Chicagoan knows that LSD is not an appropriate stopping point) but thankfully he pulled over. I simultaneously threw my money over the seat and opened the door to escape his horrid driving. Ahhh, fresh air!
I kept telling myself to focus on the event and, "You'll feel better Lynn." But let me tell you, a crowd of 20,000 excited, screaming people does nothing for a headache. Despite the crowd and noise, I made my way to the starting line only to find myself directly in front of a loud speaker with a lady on the other side of it that should have never been given a microphone. "Just start the race already", I grumbled to myself with my face all skewed in disgust, while thousands around me smiled and danced. (Yes, I realized I was the only party pooper in the crowd). I only hoped the news crew wouldn't find me in range of their cameras as the caption under neath the video would surely say, "What the hell is her problem?".
Finally, we were off. There was no escaping the crowd as there were just far too many participants, so as people passed me by, I was over taken by their over powering perfume and cologne (note: headache makes Lynn super sensitive to smell, and who puts on perfume/cologne to walk 3 miles?). I raced down Columbus and turned west onto Roosevelt and all I could think was, "Where's the damn 1 mile marker already?". Having forgotten my I-pod, I listened to other's conversations as I continued on what seemed to be the slowest mile ever (and it was due to the number of participants ahead of me). After 25 grueling minutes, I saw the 1 mile marker (note, it does not take Lynn 25 minutes to walk 1 mile on a normal day) and then became confused as the walk was either a 1 or 3 mile option but there was no finish line or clear exit of the course at the 1 mile mark. I felt trapped!
Feeling no better then when I had started, I continued up Michigan Avenue and was looking for my escape. Just as the mass numbers of people turned right, I turned left onto Harrison to walk to the train station in efforts to head home. I think I could have had multiple $100 bills pinned to me, and no one would have tried to take one based on the horrible grimace on my face. No one sat next to me on the train, as I can only imagine in my hunched over state they assumed I was going to get sick on them. Once at my stop, I staggered home and went back to bed. It was only around 10:30 that I finally started to feel better.
It was a rough morning, and hard to face "failure" as I did not complete the 5K I intended. I took solace in at least doing something however, and am glad I faced fear and participated. Sometimes it's not how much you do that counts, but rather just showing up.