Tag Archives: Race

Frack. Now I Have To Run 13.1 Miles

Remember when I did something really, really, really stupid? Let me refresh your memory. A couple weeks ago, I signed up for the Nike half-marathon in Washington D.C. At the time, I didn’t freak out because I was entered into a lottery system. I had the luxury of feeling awesome for signing up while I convinced myself I wouldn’t actually have to run. It was a win-win. Then this showed up in my inbox today.

Congrats! You just paid $160 to subject yourself to 13 miles worth of torture.

Congrats! You just paid $160 to subject yourself to 13 miles worth of torture.

Now, I actually have to run. And run. And run some more. This is the route:

Half Marathon course

I’ve actually run and walked this course many times. It’s a great route, weaving in an out of the national monuments with exhilarating views of the Potomac. Of course, I’ve never done the entire course at once or at 7 a.m. in the morning.

So why? Why am I subjecting myself to this masochistic torture? It’s not for the Tiffany necklace Nike hands out for finishing because I’m not a necklace-wearing kind of gal, and if I really wanted a Tiffany necklace, I’d go out and buy one. And it’s not because I love running, because my relationship with the sport vacillates between unadulterated hatred and mild ambivalence. So that’s definitely not it.

Rather, I’ve managed to convince myself that running a half-marathon will not only make me a better runner, it will make me a better person. Running 13 miles always seemed like an impossible task. Like flying or walking through walls. And if I can conquer the seemingly impossible task of running a half-marathon, then I can do anything, right?

Right?

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I DID SOMETHING STUPID

I signed up for the Nike half-marathon in Washington D.C. on April 28th. Commence with the name calling and totally justified mockery.

Wait, what did I just do???

Wait, what did I just do???

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The Race: My Time, My Thoughts, And My Unadulterated Hatred of Cold Weather

Today was RACE DAY. It was a painful, cold, demoralizing, cold, sleep-deprived, cold experience. But… it was also kind of awesome.

Let me start at the beginning. Today was the first ever 5K Runway Run at La Guardia Airport. We actually ran on the runway while planes were taking off. Pretty darn cool. Today was also my first race ever in a half-baked effort to become one of those runners other people eye enviously. It’s not going so well but that’s a tale for another time.

I’m not going to sugarcoat this story. At times, I was cursing myself. Like when the alarm went off at 7 a.m. this morning. And when I was standing around shivering my butt off waiting for the race to start. And when I was pushing myself to run as fast as I could towards the finish line even though my lungs were yelling, “I hate you!” And yet, despite all that, I felt a thrill. I felt alive. I felt like I was part of something both silly and special. And, perhaps most importantly, I learned some things.

What did I learn?

THE POWER OF THE BLOG
When my alarm went off this morning I wanted so desperately to hit the off button and go back to sleep. But then I thought about the legions of loyal readers expecting a detailed blow by blow of my public humiliation. The thought of disappointing you was more painful than crawling out of bed. So crawl out of bed I did. Thank you.

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A scary self-portrait

THE POWER OF COMPETITION
I was not fast. Out of 572 runners, I was #358 – not even average. But I was fast for me. I pushed myself, and it hurt. It hurt a lot. I finally crossed the finish line after 34 minutes and 38 seconds, or a pace of 11:09/mile. Compared to the guy who finished in 16 minutes and 24 seconds, I’m a heaping pile of patheticness, but compared to my normal heaping pile of patheticness, I’m practcially a super hero. Even though my time didn’t actually matter – it’s not like I was trying to set a new PR – the simple act of running in a race made me run faster. And when it was all over, I wondered if I could do better. Don’t hold your breath, but there might be hope for me yet.

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Winners on the left; me on the right.

IT TAKES ALL KINDS
Yes, it certainly does. There were your classic hardcore runners – the folks who darted to the front of the line when the announcer called for all people who plan on running a five minute mile pace or under; the lean runner types whose can fit both their thighs into one of my tree trunks; the guy who looked like he just ran all the way from Kenya and said, “what the heck, I’ll do this race too.” But then there were people who walked the whole thing, parents who brought their kids, a woman who ran the whole race in bunny ears and a puffy tail. And then there was a girl who, despite the cold and the unforgiving wind, wore a sports bra, shorts, and – wait for it – gloves! The point is: It didn’t matter that I felt sluggish or that I had no clue what I was doing. I fit right in.

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RUNNING ON A RUNWAY IS AWESOME
The pictures speak for themselves.

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Another scary self-portrait

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READY OR NOT, HERE I COME

Emphasis on the word NOT. I am definitely not ready. But ready or not, Sunday is race day and I will run/jog/walk 3.1 miles whether I feel like it or not.

[Pause for mental breakdown]

What the frack was I thinking? Have I completely lost all rational thought and sense? I am not a runner. And even when I’m pretending to be a runner, I’m smart enough to give myself several hours and buckets of caffeine to wake up. Running at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Um, no. That’s a terrible idea. Actually, that may be the worst idea I’ve ever had, and I’ve had lots of dumb ideas. Like mountain biking in the rain. That was dumb. This is definitely dumber. Oh hell. Welcome to what I’m sure will be a spectacular display of public humiliation.

[End mental breakdown]

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