As many of you know, my sister convinced me to sign up for a half marathon back in May. “Do it for the blog,” she said. (Those are going to wind up being famous last words….) So we signed up for the Run Rock ‘N’ Roll in Brooklyn. My normal run is about 3 miles…so I just needed to add 10.1 to that routine. Just. HAHAHAHA
I got a book from my friend Claire and tried to follow the training plan starting about 10 weeks out. I did pretty well through week six. Then things slowly started to fall apart. I did manage a 10 mile run two weeks out…and then only did one 2.7 mile run in the two weeks leading up to the race. Partly because I was sick with a cold…and partly because I was lazy.
Yesterday was the big day. Here’s how it went:
Mile 1: I’m feeling so good. I can see why people say you run better on race day. This is fun!
Mile 2: This is great. I’m so going to rock this. I’m just going to keep my eyes on this girl in front of me whose shirt says “I can. I will.” Because I absolutely can. And I absolutely will.
Mile 3: This is so easy. I bet it’s been like 5 miles already. (I had missed the first two mile markers so I wasn’t 100% sure they were actually marked along the course at all.)
Mile 4: WAIT. REALLY? That’s it?! I should not have skipped that water stop. I will definitely get water at the next one.
Mile 5: I think my knees are going to give out. This is not good. This is way worse than my 10 mile run two weeks ago. What happened? A few weeks ago, I could run 5 miles without even thinking about it.
Mile 6: I’m going to get to the side so I can watch for my sister (who started ahead of me so she was already looping back the other way on this part of the course). Purple shirt! Nope. Not her. Purple shirt! Still not her. Purple shirt! How is that still not her?
Mile 7: PURPLE SHIRT!! SISTER!!! (I waved like crazy. I was SO happy to see her! I needed this little jolt to keep me going.)
Mile 8: Time for a running fantasy. This time, I pretended to be a celebrity who was being interviewed for Self magazine. In the interview, I would talk all about how much fun it is to run a half marathon. This would, of course, be a HUGE lie. But at least pretending to be all cool and fit and famous was distracting. This mile was also when I was watching for Meghan and Caitlin who had started a few corrals behind me. I saw Meghan in time to wave like crazy again.
Mile 9: You just need to get to mile 10. You’ve run 10 miles before. That is something you know you can do. Ooohhh, they have those little sports drink pouches. Yes, please! (This was the only water/gatorade stop where I didn’t pour the liquid all over me while trying to drink and run at the same time. But my rule was NO stopping or walking!)
Mile 10: Okay. Three more. It’s just two trips around the reservoir. That’s an easy run. You can do that. You need to smile. Smiling is supposed to make pain more manageable. Seriously? What are you going to do? Just smile at nothing? No, that’s just weird…. Ow. Ow. Ow. Actually maybe I will try it. Heck, I’d try anything right now. *GRINS*
Mile 11: Smiling at nothing is not working. Time to watch more intently for funny signs that will make me laugh…so that I don’t cry. I think this is around the time I saw Meghan’s mom and the SAS sign. I waved to her and she jumped around and cheered me on. She really helped me in that moment!
Some other favorite signs:
- Netflix marathon tomorrow!!
- Run to brunch! Booze!!
- If Trump can run, so can you! (I didn’t see this sign, but my sister did!)
- Try not to poop your pants! (A person in a T-Rex costume was holding this one.)
- Smile, you paid to do this!
- Run your own race! (Saw this one right when I was slowing down and people were passing me and I needed this kind of motivation. Thank you to the stranger who made this sign!)
Mile 12: You are SO close! You can do this! Try not to limp. Just keep going. One foot in front of the other. You are not going to walk. YOU ARE STRONG!
Mile 13: Almost perfectly timed to be the last song on my playlist, Beyonce asks me, “Who run the world?!” And I say “ME!!!” But honestly I’m also delirious at this point and want to be done SO badly. I can’t even begin to understand the pain in my legs. This feels like the longest mile.
The Final .1 Mile: I AM A SUPERHERO! I CAN SPRINT! I DID IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!
As soon as I crossed the finish line I felt dizzy, but I made sure to get my medal before I did anything about it. That was the most important thing! I paid good money for that medal, t-shirt, and 2 hours and 22 minutes of excruciating pain!
With a medal proudly hanging around my neck, I grabbed a water and chugged a NesQuick and started to feel better. Then it was time to reunite with my sister and her friends and celebrate over mimosas. Was the adrenaline rush of finishing worth the pain? Given that I couldn’t even walk downstairs without wanting to cry last night, probably not. But I’m so proud I did it without walking! So I never have to do it again…
And one more special shoutout to my friend Sarah T. Because when I got home from brunch, there was a package waiting for me that included a bottle of wine and a crown. Thanks for celebrating with me from afar! Here’s an awkward selfie of my crown, my medal, and my wine just for you!