Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2 seconds matter

And those 2 seconds have kept me up at night on more than one occasion. They have left me laying in bed, doing a play-by-play of the day's event, willing a change to the ending. It has yet to happen and my conscience has yet to cut me a break. They have spurred me to write hate texts, but left me unable to hit the send button. 2 seconds can drive you crazy. It all happened the first weekend of last October-although that's not where it all started. It started 16 weeks previous to that as a group of friends discussed the Manhattan Beach 10k over dinner at Stanley's. The conversation turned from casual and inclusive when Laura singled me out and declared her personal goal......"Well I just want to beat Gay." An uninvited challenge thrown directly at me, no way to divert it. The directiveness caught me off guard but inside I allowed myself a good chuckle, thinking if she didn't beat me she would be feeling pretty stupid. That thought was never uttered aloud. I'd let it be my own opinion.

Well game day arrived. I had put in my time and hard work to prepare- running the hills, putting in a few runs each week. To be honest, I was surprised at how strong I was feeling. Maybe the joke would be on me.....maybe, just maybe, I would cross the finish line before Laura. My aversion to competition outside of myself led me to get lost in the crowd of 3000, camouflaging Laura in with the rest of my competitors. This would be the only way to let me run easy the next 6.2. And that is just what I did after the blow horn sounded. She was lost from my sight and mind, allowing me a solid- although very challenging- run. But it would have been too kind of her to allow me that serenity the whole 6.2. Instead she gave me 6.1. And then out of no where, she came into my peripheral. I was shocked. Where in the world did she come from and how come I'm seeing her pass at a full sprint? But I felt a surge of hope. I summoned my sprinting muscles and called them to duty. And they did their job. For about 20 seconds. And then the real me shined through- I saw there was no way to cross the line before her and chalked it up as good effort and finished the last little bit at a comfortable pace. I mean, 16 weeks ago my mind didn't even let me entertain the possibility of finishing in the same league as her with my 23-week-pregnant self. I forced comfort, insisting that I should just be proud that I finished, and even more so that I gave her the competition that I thought would be impossible. You win some, you lose some, right? And all these condolences were working....until later that day when the "real time" results were posted. That's right.....real time vs the standard race clock time. How could the staggered start detail flee my mind in my time of need? Where was that reminder? My official time started after Laura's, allowing me a few grace seconds. And what did I do with the grace time? Loafed them away. Causing this, the final standing- Laura Anderson 52:44, Gabrielle Hansen 52:46. It doesn't matter that I never thought this time possible 16 weeks ago. Or that I was 23 weeks pregnant. Or that I'm not competitive. Or that Laura didn't completely rub the win in my face. Or that Laura deserved the W. All that matters is that it's a lost 2 seconds I surrendered to mediocrity.

I'm sure I must have returned the challenge to Laura for Manhattan Beach 10k 2011, but I think she was a little nervous of this and went ahead and made sure she'd be 38 weeks pregnant for the event. Bad news, Laura.....a forfeit still equals a win for me.....it's 1-1. Can't wait for the rubber match..........

To be Con't.................................

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. you are hilarious. i love that i had no idea what you were talking about the first few sentences. i think if we were running both 23 weeks pregnant you would have kicked my trash. ok, i guess you get the 2011 win. i feel pretty special that i got a post dedicated to me and my awesomeness.

  2. ha! good one, Gay!!! This was quite the hilarious read!!! And congrats on baby #4!!!!! Had no idea.....and great time, too on the run!!!

  3. yo i can't believe you did it that pregnant. i have to quit running much earlier you are wonder woman.

  4. lol! i LOVE you gay! I am going to use that in a talk for church! You're in an inspiration to the masses.


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