I did a half marathon at the very beginning of October, and I swear some of the funniest things pop into my head as I’m running these long races.
I halfway trained for this half marathon so I did not expect it to be fast at all and I figured I’d be feeling pretty bad afterwards, so I really wasn’t expecting much. In fact, before we started, a friend and I were talking about having “f*&k this” attitudes about the whole thing. Yeah, I’m a super serious runner…
So, here we go. The first mile….not too bad. I think I can do this. Only 12 more to go.
Pizza…that sign says pizza. It’s not even 7:30 in the morning and all I can think about is how much I want that stupid pizza.
A half a mile later…dang it..there it is again. More signs about pizza. Ooooh….and Zesto. I could really go for a burger and fries right now. Gosh, I’m hungry.
Then, I’m looking around and realizing that this is not a good part of town. I would NEVER run in this part of town by myself, so why the hell did I get up this early to run through it as part of a half marathon? Stupid…
There’s some volunteers out there yelling words of encouragement…”You’re lookin’ good!” “Keep it up!” “You’re doin’ great!” Yeah, I am…I’m about 3 to 4 miles in and I’m doing awesome.
Mile 3 and there’s a liquor store…it’s not even 8 am and people are already out getting their next drink…interesting.
At about mile 4.5, I decide to turn on my music. I held out as long as I could but I desperately needed Marcus Mumford to sing to me.
At mile 5, I’m starting to wonder where all these porta potties are….I think I’m going to need a potty break and of course, there are none in sight. At this point, I’m also trying to talk myself out of walking, so to compromise, I tell myself that I will stop when I see the next porta potty or at mile 8, whichever comes first.
There’s more volunteers and one of them is yelling “There’s a bbq in the park!” The next thing he yells is “There’s beer in the park!” You can literally see everyone’s pace pick up, but then he says “just kidding.” Not funny, dude. Not funny.
So I keep going…there’s mile 6. Ok….I’m right around the halfway mark, but now that I’m doing the math, I realize that I have to do exactly what I just did all over again, and I’m pissed. How am I supposed to run another 6.55 with these legs? I am way too tired for this. This was a dumb idea. I mean, who the hell thought of 13.1 anyway? I start thinking about this and now I am completely convinced…in fact, I’m sure it’s just to mess with us as we’re running. 13.1 is not easily divisible by pretty much any number. Not 2, not 3, nothing. So to try to figure out where the 25% mark is or the 1/3 of the way is, one has to really concentrate on doing the math. I’m pretty sure it is just to get us to focus on something else and spend like 15 minutes trying to figure it out in our heads instead of talking ourselves into walking for awhile. And you know what? That scam totally works.
Damn it. Where are those porta potties?
Finally! There’s one. I have to wait for it and I end up losing 8 minutes in the process, but oh well. The only bad thing is that when I start running again, my legs are so stiff, but eventually they loosen up. I can’t believe I have 5 more miles to go. Unfortunately, the people I was running “with” are all ahead of me now and now that I’m behind them, I’m with people who are mostly walking or doing a combination of running and walking and no one’s in the mood anymore…and neither am I.
Around mile 9, I hear a lady shouting “You be careful! If you start feeling bad, you stop!” I thought to myself…geez, I must look really bad. Then, I looked to my left and saw an older lady running alongside me. She was probably in her 70′s. Yep. She pulled ahead and ended up crossing the finish line before I did.
So I keep going. There are still volunteers shouting encouragement every few minutes. “Keep up the good work!” “You’re looking great!” And I think to myself, “No, I don’t! I look like I’m about 3 strides away from having a heart attack…”
At around mile 11, I was just running along, minding my own business, when my right leg started fidgeting. It freaked me out so much that I stopped. Apparently, it was a charley horse. From there until the end of the race, I had them in both legs and had to stop every few minutes to stretch it and rub it out. What a pain! A lady running nearby offered me a pill that was supposed to help with them but I told her I was just planning to try to get through it on my own.
A few minutes later, I spotted my husband walking my way. He had already finished and came back to run/walk the last couple of miles with me. When we got to the home stretch, he pulled away so that he didn’t cross the finish line twice and I ran as fast as I could to finish the race. I ran past a woman on a stretcher and I recognized her as someone I was running directly behind before I had stopped to use the restroom. They were giving her oxygen as I ran by…scary. For some reason, at that point, I felt like I was going to throw up so as I crossed the finish line, all I could think of was “don’t throw up.”
I was so hungry at that point. There were snacks set up on a table and I grabbed one of each of everything they had. I was so, so hungry. We didn’t stay long because I had to keep walking or sit down. If I stood still for too long, my legs felt like they might collapse.
Man, that was awful. I really hope I learned my lesson and don’t sign up for this again next year…