I completed my third half marathon on Sunday.
And I wasn’t ready.
My last run was 11 miles, about a month ago. It was a pretty crappy run, with a lot of walking. The 10 miles before that was pretty poor, the 9 before that and the 8 before that. I can’t even remember when the last good long run was and none of the week day training work was helping me to get it together.
The David was gone, far far away and I’d fallen into a pit of not giving a shit about anything good.
So I threw up my hands and blew off my training. I knew I’d still do the half, but knowing that I had no hope of beating my best time – or even meeting it – took off the pressure to complete the scheduled workouts.
In my mind, it would be leisurely. I would jog a little, walk a little. Enjoy the festivity and the people. I would stop and dance with the bands along the way. I would smile and wave and high five. It would be casual and fun.
I wasn’t nervous. I was looking forward to it. The start of the race was exciting. Pressed into the throngs of people, listening to the national anthem, and then “Sexy and I Know It.” Passing by the mayor cheering us on across the starting line. It was awesome.
It was not awesome.
The first time I stopped jogging to walk was at the 2 mile mark. And as much as I was willing to take this race easy, I wasn’t willing to just walk it. So the stop and start continued. After 5 miles, all the bits that might be hurting, were. The hot spot I usually get on my right foot. My feet, in general. My hips, knees and ankles. My legs felt like leaden lumps every plodding step. My whole everything just felt like a squeezed out toothepaste tube.
I wished for over.
But time passes. And it just gets done.
I didn’t have it in me to sprint, or even speed up, but I did jog through the last quarter mile and across the finish line, holding The David’s hand.
I got my medal, scarfed a quarter of a bagel, and gulped down two bottles of water.
And then we walked the mile to get home. Srsly? Yah. Streets were closed all over the place for the race course, so public transportation was all weird and unfigure-out-able.
I’m definitely suffering today. Far more than I have for the previous two races. I have some serious aches and pains – not proper injuries, but swelling and tenderness and not ok.
One of my coworkers, who also kinda shirked his training, pulled or tweaked something in his calf at mile 7, where he was on pace for a pretty good time, then hobbled for 3 more miles and then bailed. So I’m really grateful to have finished.
And I do really love this event. There is just a ton of civic spirit. People who live along the route hang out on their sidewalk and bang on drums. A local church was outside on their front steps clapping and just calling “good morning!” Some dudes from Raider Nation, who I will – for lack of a cleverer idea – believe were actual Oakland Raider professional football players, had a cheering station. They high fived and one of them said “You’re making Oakland proud.”
It was a huge motivator for making me think I could do this crazy thing and signing myself up for my first half marathon last year: I wanted to be a part of this big thing in my community.
So while I’m glad that I did it, I did learn a big lesson. 13 miles is not nothing. You can’t mess around with that business. You can brush off your training, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to brush off the event. Not that I would have wanted to go into it full of dread, knowing that it was going to be a heinous wretched. But maybe I’ll remember this and won’t be so cavelier about the next one.
Because, obvi! Who doesn’t want to do that again?!
Countdown to the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll on June 23….