Even though I generally do not sign up for a race of a distance I easily cover in a casual run, I sat on The Carying Place Labor Day Race for Home 10K for days because I would only need to drive 15 minutes to reach the event location in Cary, North Carolina. After confirming some details with the organization, I registered the night before at the last minute, literally, at 5:59 PM when online registration closed at 6:00 PM. About 2:30 AM on race day, my entire apartment complex was forced to evacuate due to a deafening fire alarm that lasted over half an hour, and based on solely one apartment flashing and reeking of weed, some of us suspect dolts there were getting high. Suffice to say, I went into the race half asleep.

I ran without music for the second consecutive race, and the more I do this the more I enjoy running because I become more aware of nature and my surrounding, especially if the course can be confusing. Often when I listen to music, I become anxious and impatient for each song to end that would signify how far I have gone, making the run feel like homework I have to do rather than a hobby I choose to do. I chatted with fellow runners and exchanged positive cheers with volunteers, as they continued to shout my bib number, “Go, 285! We see you, 285!” The course remained mostly flat and breathtakingly gorgeous with a lake at the center surrounded by armies of trees, and the heat did not bother me, as I knew I was only covering a 10K, 6.27 miles according to my Garmin. I crossed the finish line in 54:30.5, by far one of my worst 10K times ever but not surprising due to the summer heat and I nowhere near emptied the tank. Race or not I was going to run, so why not make it a race on this day off where I can make new friends who reside in my area?