Monday, 2. February 2009
Today is one of those days that I’m very thankful to have a desk job. Walking around is not high on things I am currently looking forward to doing.
After much anxiety and curiosity as to how I’d fare in the Surf City Half Marathon, the results are in.
My overall time was 2:09:31 (sorry to those I lied to on Facebook when I claimed I finished at 2:08:00. That was according to my Nike Plus and it was slightly off). I finished 4,375th out of 10,743 runners; 1,946th out of 6,513 women runners and 344th out of 1,005 in my age group.
I truly had no idea what to expect. Some days I would go out for a run and feel like crap. Sometimes, you just don’t have it in you. All I was hoping for was to feel good as I started the race.
I can’t describe the feeling of being around so many people who are all trying to do something big for themselves. The support of everyone is overwhelming. There were “fans” lining every part of the streets throughout the race. There were signs and cheering and bells and bananas and whistles. There were people with prosthetic legs, people in wheelchairs, old people and young people. It was amazing.
The first six miles of the race seemed to fly by. The miles seemed to trickle off, one by one, and before I knew it, I was at mile 7 and feeling amazing. I saw so many things that would remind me of a friend or someone else, and that would lead to me drifting off in thought and killing like five minutes. Below are some of the things that kept me occupied. (I’m leaving a lot of thoughts about different people out so as to not completely bore you with what went through my mind for 2+ hours).
1. The very first song that came on my Ipod was OPP. For reasons I can’t really explain, that made me think of Whitney for the first five minutes of the race!
2. At some point I saw a spectator wearing a Dartmouth sweatshirt. That made me think of Rob and how far he has come in terms of fashion. Essentially, I trailed off to my college days of working at the Emerald and remembered how lazy, poor and unhealthy I was in college.
3. Early on, I saw a group of women all wearing the same pink and black tank tops. On the back it said: Mommies in Motion: Mom’s For Fitness. That made me think of Brittany, Lamb and AJ (I don’t know why, but I equated mommy runners to mommy bloggers) and how it would be so fun to run a race in Michigan (although, nofuckingway would it be in February) and how they could bring all their kids and they could make cute glitter signs for me. And then I thought how weird I am for actually considering these people friends, so much to the point that I would consider a trip to Michigan.
4. At one point, there was an older woman who was standing on a chair with these clackity clack noise maker things. Now, she wasn’t yelling, “KEEP MOVING” as my most favorite Oregon women’s basketball fan used to do, but it was close enough, which made me think of Chris Hansen. Which then made me think of Belle Hansen and how I don’t understand what happened to the last 7 years of my life. The fact that Belle is 7 makes me realize that Chris and I go WAY back.
5. I was quite pleased with my attire. Nothing was irritating me or rubbing in such a way that gave me discomfort or required me to stop for some vaseline. That made me think of Jane and how I was basically wearing mostly stuff I had been given by her for Christmas. Which made me think of Christmas and how I used the treadmill in the garage one day because I was so determined to stick with the training. That just made me realize how I happy I was that race day was here. All of the training was finally paying off.
6. I saw a few women wearing Carlsbad Marathon shirts from the half marathon that Erin and Natalie ran last weekend. That got me to spend about 10 minutes trying to think of a team name and corresponding shirt that Erin, Natalie and I could use for when we run the LaJolla half marathon in April. Suggestions please.
7. I thought of Angie Sit about 400 times. She made me this on my Facebook page:
First of all, do you know how hard it is to use Facebook graffiti? But, that’s Ang for you. Always so crafty. So supportive. Such a good friend. I was thinking of trying to find a half marathon to do with her. I mean, she does full marathons, but maybe she could humor me.
Everything felt great for the first 9-10 miles. After that, the miles seemed to take at least an hour. I had asked Laef to try and be around the 10 mile marker because I might need him. But, we decided against it because he’d then be 3 miles from the finish line and I’d rather see him then. I don’t know if it was fate or what, but just after I crossed the 10-mile marker, Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” came on the Ipod. That’s kind of our song and it definitely made me feel a little better.
From mile 11-12 I was starting to fade. I kept telling myself that I could run 2 miles in my sleep. And, although I was still running about a 9:50 pace, the 12th mile seemed to take at least 20 minutes. When I hit mile 12, I had to talk myself up a lot. I wanted to push myself to finish on a high note, but my legs were just not feeling it. And, then, with about .7 miles to go, I saw Laef. I got a burst of energy, smiled and waved and got very emotional. He took the following photo and later told me that I had bad form. It’s true. As you can see by my hunched over look, I had the form of having just run 12.5 miles and desperately wanting to get that last .5 over with.
And, I did it. I finished the last .5 without stopping or collapsing. It is one of my greatest accomplishments to date. I know it’s not a full marathon, but it’s fucking hard. More importantly, it’s the first hobby that I’ve ever started and finished. It’s the first time that I really wanted to quit something and didn’t.
Here are some of the after shots:
First thing I did was get my phone from Laef and text my peeps. I was excited!
Then I got a beer. Laef wasn’t allowed in the beer garden, so eventually I handed him my beer over the fence and we walked back to the finish line to meet my sister.