After the Backyard Burn I was feeling and looking beat up. I’ve fallen before but most have been soft. This was hard. I tripped and landed on my knees and my hands. My left knee and right hand took the worst of it. They were both quite swollen.
In my mind I was going to run the =PR= Mother’s Day 4 Miler. I have run the race a few years in a row and it’s a fun race. It’s the only 4 mile race I have ever done. For some reason I had a feeling it was bad idea to sign up early so I kept procrastinating. And this turned out to be true – it would have been a bad idea. After the fall I was debating whether or not I would run. I took Monday off and ran on Tuesday. I cut the run short because my knee was still swollen and hurting. I figured I would wait a couple more days to decide about the race.
And then my nose started running. I guess if my legs couldn’t do it my nose wanted to. And then I just felt awful. Not sure if it was allergies, a cold, the flu, some other plague. I think it was my body begging for a break. It was hard decision but I never signed up for the race.
I had told Kim I would be there in some capacity. I decided to volunteer.
I got to the race early – around the time that packet pickup started. My friend is in charge of race organization so I let her know that I was there to work and she put me to work right away.
My first assignment was directing cars to the parking, people to the packet pickup, and providing information to anyone with questions. For the most part this went smoothly. When the parking lot started getting full and people started parking on the street it got a little tricky. I ended up directing traffic a little more than I had expected. People were pretty nice for the most part and I didn’t get hit by a car so I’ll consider that a win.
Right before the race I ran to the start line. I watched and clapped as everyone headed off for the race.
And then I got my next assignment.
I was sent to an intersection on the 1 mile course to direct the racers. Many of the 1 mile racers were children. I pointed everyone in the correct direction and cheered as they went by. My duties there ended after the last 1 mile racer came back past me so I headed back to the start/finish line to see what was needed next.
I missed the winners of the 4 miler but still saw some of the top finishers. They are fast!
My next assignment was to hand out carnations to the mothers as they finished. I jumped in and started giving each female racer a flower. Most were grateful. A few explained that they were not mothers. I have been in their shoes. It’s awkward. The volunteers have no way of knowing who is a mom. In the past I just told the volunteer that I was not a mother but asked if I could take the flower and give it to my mother.
The children who asked for flowers to give to their moms were the cutest. The women who pushed the strollers, double strollers, and triple strollers were the most grateful. Or maybe they were just grateful to have finished the race.
Whenever one of my friends finished I jump in front of the other volunteers so that I could be the one to give them a carnation.
Even though I wasn’t able to race I had fun. I know that when I race other volunteers work hard to make it happen so I like to do some volunteer time when I can. It took my mind off the tough decision I made to not waste a race entry when I wasn’t going to run my best.
In case you want to know what the course is like you can check out Kim’s Guide.
I still have not signed up for another race and I’m debating if I can make it to 4th of July without racing. That would be a long stretch for me but it might happen.
I’ll be volunteering at the next =PR= race and supporting those running their first 5k on Sunday so that will help satisfy my need to be at races.