Sometimes I think too much. I almost talked myself out of doing this race for a couple of reasons. My running partner was benched and my training had fallen apart over the last few weeks. I was disappointed in myself that I hadn’t stuck with my training plan and knew I wouldn’t be able to run most of it like I’d wanted to. But I also knew that I was in better shape than I had been for the 1/2 in 2012 and so I decided to pick up my bib the day before and make it a last minute decision. The scale finally tipped in the direction of going for it since I knew in my heart that I would feel worse about myself if I bailed completely for no good reason. Sometimes I take some serious convincing.
I’m so glad I did. Well, I mean, I’m glad NOW, but at 4:30am that morning I was cursing myself for committing to it. Ha. But I got out of bed, dressed, choked down 4 scrambled eggs and a granola bar, then battled mad traffic and porta-potty lines and settled into a spot in the very back with the walkers. My goal was basically to go fast enough to not get thrown off the course by mile 6 (you had to pass mile 6 in 1.5 hours/15:00 pace) and not to pass out. I’m an overachiever, I know. Shut up. I wore my trusty Garmin and kept the walking pacer person well behind me and a close eye on my watch. I decided to just go a mile at a time and keep pace below 15:00 even if my feet fell off and I was walking on stubs. Which didn’t happen literally, but it sure felt like it. I walked and jogged the entire race and maintained a sub 15:00 pace throughout. Yay!
I was feeling good through about mile 8 and then I’m pretty sure my entire body from the waist down started hating me. My bum foot was getting pretty sore and my hips felt like they needed a serious dousing with WD-40. I saw The Accountant at mile 7.5 and that gave me an extra boost of energy that lasted until about mile 10. I was dying inside again but really, who’s gonna stop when you’ve already tortured yourself that far? I saw a couple of friends at various points on the course and that was super nice, plus all the people cheering and yelling from the sidelines. It was a very supportive crowd! My favorite sign…”You’re running faster than our government”. And 2nd favorite…”Run like you hear banjos”. One water station was handing out slices of oranges and it was for real the best food I have ever tasted in my life.
I noticed that I had maintained a consistent pace and starting thinking that I was going to hit the finish line around 3 hours and some change. Official time 3:12:08, much better than I’d hoped for given that I was mostly walking and better than my last half (at least I think so, but I cannot find those results online to save my life). Anyway, I’ll take it as that time is better than it would’ve been if I’d stayed home and sat on my couch. Now granted, a day later and I’m hobbling around like a 95 year old, especially if I sit still for too long. Even my toes hurt. But its a good pain.
What this race gave me is something I thought I’d lost. The desire to run again. It was a reset for my brain in other ways as well. Regrets, if there are any, are that I dropped the ball on training those last weeks. Because I know that I can run more and break into the 2+ hour time at my next attempt. Which will be soon. As in, as soon as I can move again without groaning and get back out there.