Ortega River Run 2013: A Twitter Addict's Story

Is 'slow jog' redundant?

WE Run jax
Bummer of the day: thinking I was about to start mile three and seeing this
Getting passed by two MWS (Moms With Strollers) ... the first of many
Getting passed by a septuagenarian* ... wearing a knee brace ... carrying a hat ... and a bottle of water
Getting passed by a woman dressed as a purple banana
Getting passed by guys who already finished and were walking back to their cars
Getting passed by guys who already finished the race and decided to run another five miles
Getting passed by a kid dribbling a basketball
Getting passed by a girl walking a dog
Not sure if this sign was for the runners or the folks sitting next to it at their HOME ... STRETCHING in their lawn chairs
I appreciate the thought, kids, but I could've used this morsel of inspiration at the beginning of the race instead of four blocks before the finish line.
It wasn't pretty, but I finished. #firstmedalever

Kerry Speckman shares her unique perspective and observations on people, places and events on the First Coast and beyond. She's also the 2012 winner of Jacksonville Dancing With the Stars, so she's got that going for her.

Contact Kerry by email or follow her on Twitter.

Until today, I had never "run" a five-mile race in my life (and by "run," I mean "slow jog"), but I'm participating in a 12-week fitness program called We Run Jax, organized by Cross Training San Marco, and I was strongly encouraged to do so by my team leader and teammates. So, despite a recently sprained ankle and chronic laziness, I did the race this morning.

To say it was easier that I thought it would be would be a big, fat lie. But I am glad I did it if for no other reason than I learned something very important about myself: Embarrassment and/or pride don't motivate me nearly as much as annoying people.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I don't mind embarrasssing myself, so being passed by kids, moms pushing strollers and folks old enough to be my grandparents didn't bother me (check the photo gallery above for some of my more interesting competitors). Being around people who irritate me, however, was incentive to move faster and get away from them (I'm talking to you, spitting guy, woman cracking her bubble gum and ladies wearing headphones and talking very loudly because you couldn't hear each other over your music).

Though my time wasn't anyting to brag about, I am proud of myself for finishing — especially in front of the four ladies who told me they took a "couple of shortcuts."

Thanks to my We Run Jax teamies (Brandy, Garrick, Jimmy, Lauren, Natalie, Sarah and Michael) and Marlo for the support.

And to the police officer who said to a group of us as we walked by, "You're cheating. It's called the Ortega River RUN not the Ortega River WALK," you're a jerk.

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