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The Tale of the Lonely Runner

October 17, 2010

August 2010: Laura and I look into races in St. Louis and decide to run the Go! St. Louis Halloween 10K. We are going to dress in costume. YAY!

Early September 2010: My brother John might run it with us too. Now we have to think of a three person costume. How fun!

Late September 2010: I finally sign up and pay for the Halloween 10K.

The Very Next Day 2010: Laura realizes it is the weekend of her Fall Break and it is the only chance she has to go see her family. She’s out.

Early October: Brother John realizes he has a softball game that day and doesn’t want to run before it. (AKA he really has no interest in getting up on a Sunday to run 6 miles). I have no friends.

Next Day: I ask my mother to go to the race with me so I’m not alone. She does not comprehend why she would ever go to a race she is not running. I tell her there is free coffee. She’s in.

The Night Before the Race: Brother John is in some random town in Illinois for his friend’s Alma Mater’s homecoming. They get in a fight, friend punches John and leaves him alone in a strip mall.

That Night approx. 9pm: Mother and I are at the Science Center doing things like seeing a children’s magic show when we get the phone call from John. Mother has to drive 1.5 hours to go pick him up. Waking up early to go to this race with me is a no-go. I’m alone again.


I believe that brings me to today. This morning I got up at 6:30 to get ready for the race. I put on my running clothes and costume before heading down to make breakfast.


I'm a big loser. And I wonder why I was running this race alone.



I made my standard pre-run breakfast of a sandwich thin with Barney Butter & half a banana. Also had some coffee. My nose was running and my right eye was super itchy and watery but these symptoms magically disappeared after I ate. I love food.


Not at all purposely taken in front of the clock. So early.

I headed downtown and found a parking spot. Without my mom there I didn’t have anyone to hold stuff for me, which means no pictures from the race 😦 I was only going to hold one thing while running, and considering I was alone in downtown St. Louis my cell phone won out over the camera. Sad, too — there were funny costumes.


St. Louis can be pretty!





I got to the start about 20 minutes early and proceeded to wander around by myself. I honestly thought I would run into SOMEBODY I knew down there…5,000 people and I’ve lived in St. Louis for almost 23 years! An old teacher? A grade school friend? Someone’s Dad? Nope. Nobody.

I got a good luck text from the boy and felt a little better 🙂


The race started on time at 8am and it only took a few minutes to cross the starting line. The course was nice. We headed through historic Soulard, ran THROUGH the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and then back towards the city passing the Soulard Farmer’s Market and Busch Stadium.

[ Side Note: Don’t race courses always look so short and fun online? It’s like “Oh, we’ll just make a loop all the way around that relatively large municipality. No big deal!]

Anyway, I finished in 54:50, average page of 8:49. I didn’t really have any time goals for this race since I had been feeling sick and also knew I was going to run 4 more miles afterwards for my half-marathon training plan. But I’m happy with my time! I picked up some post-race goodies – Vitamin Water, banana, bag of candy, chocolate bar – and headed to my car. The banana ended up being my “mid-run” fuel while I headed to a trail near my house to finish out my 10 miles.


Another medal so people can ask "OMG did you win??" and I can say "No. Everyone got these. Thanks".

I was feeling good about running 4 more until I stepped out of the car. At this point my calves were not happy with me. I took it easy and spent the majority of the run in a huge internal debate about whether to run 3.8 miles to making it an even 10 for the day, or to run an even 4. I decided on doing 4 because I just really can’t handle non-round numbers and finished in 36:34 with an average pace of 9:07.

That brings my total for the day to 10.2 miles in 1 hour, 31 minutes and 24 seconds.

Tell me how you really feel.


So I got home around 10:30am and stretched like crazy. Wished I had a foam roller and hoped it gets picked up off my birthday list 🙂 Then I showered and got ready for Church!

Pre-Church meal was an egg sandwich: One egg over-easy on a sandwich thin with spinach, tomato, soy cheese, and some siracha. Mmmm.


And now I think I’m going to figure out how to make myself a pumpkin smoothie before I go see The Social Network with the girls!


The race today was great — I would definitely recommend it to any readers and hope to run it again but with friends:)


  • Did you run any races this weekend?
  • Have you ever run a race alone or do you always do them with friends?




6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010 10:54 am

    Too bad we missed each other! 😦 I didn’t see you but I showed your picture to my husband and he said he saw you. Is that weird? haha. 😛 Great job on your race!!

  2. October 18, 2010 1:07 pm

    hahah crazy! If only I’d known him to say hi. Hope you had fun!

  3. irene permalink
    October 18, 2010 3:40 pm

    CLARE. I feel so bad I should have gone to see you run, I guess since I hate running (or any physical activity for that matter), I didn’t realize how much this meant to you. I’m sorry 😦 BUT you know we all still love you and are extremely proud of you 🙂

    • October 18, 2010 3:43 pm

      hahah IRENE it’s no big deal! I wouldn’t expect my friends to go watch all my races! Especially not a 10K. Maybe you can watch the half marathon though! Love you


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