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Blisters, Hamstrings, and Oranges

This is my last post about sports, I promise. (I really promise, because it is my second to last post!)

We had my first real race of the season today! The rest of the team raced at Redlands already (an akward 4.5 k to start the season) but I was in India then.

Before our race, on Friday, we had some team bonding. TP RELAY! Basically, each group of two had a roll of toilet paper. They had to mumify each other from waist up, and run around the soccer field once each in a relay, using the cardboard thing in the toilet paper as a baton. And who says we don’t know how to have fun?!?! When Susan picked up Henry, her little son, and started carrying him around for her relay (he wasn’t too thrilled), it was super-cute! He went to pick up all the tp we dropped during the race, and I was really impressed at how excited he was to "clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!!!" I wish I could be that excited about cleaning my room. GO HENRY!

The race: This morning, it was beautiful running weather. It was misty, cool, and cloudy. PERFECT. I also love the Riverside race course – they have these orange / fruit tree / cactus groves where they are apparently doing research, and we have this beautiful loop we run through it. There are virutally no hills, and it is all well-packed dirt (and since it was misty, it wasn’t dusty either). Non-runners probably don’t understand why this is so exciting. It’s just fun to run on a course like this! It’s fast, and beautiful, and because it isn’t totally hot, if you feel less than wonderful in the race it is because you are pushing yourself and not because you are overheating or dehydrated (and yup, that’s really good).

AND – even though a lot of us were a bit slower than last year (we had some hard workouts this week) – we beat a team!! Sorry CS San Bernadino (kind of sorry:)). I don’t mind losing, but not being last for once is pretty cool :). Winning is nice, but if you’re on a team that isn’t always winning, you really have to know why you run, and you have to be motivated. Running is a team sport based on individual motivation, so there are no posts (a phrase I learned in India – in sports, we would call this a benchwarmer) – everyone is running and participating as an equal member of the team (our newest runner began running only one month ago and is working really hard and improving dramatically – go Monica!).

Oh, and about the title – I got a blister during the race (I didn’t spend enough time putting on my racing flats right), and my hamstring is still a bit sore from an old injury, and we were running through orange groves, and I couldn’t think of a better title!

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