I opened my 2023 racing season in Greenville, North Carolina, with an impromptu 10K at the Cupid’s Crawl on February 11, confirming my entry half a day prior and uncharacteristically committing to a one-and-a-half-hour drive the morning of for such a short run. Commencing with a minor climb, the course remained primarily flat and, with the help of a cool weather of 50 degrees, ideal for a fast time. Immediately I was struck by the enduring revolting weed odor that seems prevalent everywhere I go nowadays and is extra irritating when I have to run through the disgust. Around a mile in, a fit middle-aged woman popped up next to my shoulder in my peripheral vision and stuck with me like glue for the following four miles, likely using me as her pacer, while I looked straight ahead and distracted myself with music. Then, just over a mile to go, I increased my speed drastically and left her behind and passed numerous runners, both 10K and 5K, concluding the race with a sprint to, in a cordial competition, hold off another lady who passed me for a brief moment. Considering the spontaneity and aware of my current fitness, I am content with an official (gun) time of 53:38.75 at 6.31 miles based on my COROS.
As I typically do, following a complimentary stretch, I endlessly spotted and conversed with humble and dedicated strangers, one of the main reasons I participate in so many running events. My obsessive personality almost never allows me to shut off work or what happened at work from my mind, and I am grateful for running that somewhat lets me balance out where my energy is spent, why I decided to join this race last-minute and which worked.