In November it seemed so far away, and the idea of it was just so fun. An excuse to buy a sport watch and make color-coded Excel training schedules. The Half Marathon I insanely committed to. Starting was easy, and working up to a few miles was fun-fun-fun! And then January happened. I injured myself the week before going to Vegas for Jonathan’s 30th birthday. A minor stress injury to my foot, but I further aggravated it by hobbling around in high heels up and down the Strip because I sometimes think I’m a bad ass (but really I’m just not that bright).
It threw off my training so much I felt back at square one. I decided to at least cross train and strength train if nothing else, until the weather cooperated and I could run outside. I had a new workout space to push me along, but I still thought I had all the time in the world to be ready to face it.
It was HERE before I even knew it. I was back to only logging 3 mile runs on a treadmill, stressing from school workload and job turmoil, trying to get my garden ready and feeling guilty that I wasn’t properly training. There was this moment when I almost bailed out. Then I calmed down and thought maybe I would be ok – I was cross-training after all- and should just lower my expectations.
And so I did. I gutted it out. I completed a 13.1 mile run, hobbling in the last 4 miles because I reinjured my foot.
It may not look like much, but when the top of your foot is bruised from the impact you put on the bottom, it hurts a lot, and it still hurts a week later.
Admittedly, everything hurt the next day. EVER-y-thing. And it was slow. I finished near the last in my gender/age category. An 80 year old man passed me during the last mile while I was limping along. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I ruined my yoga form temporarily, lost my favorite hoodie, and limped on an injured foot for several agonizing miles (I almost cried. A few times. Really), but I’m so glad I finished it.
Don’t let the smiley photo fool you. I am in in pain here at the finish. I was just so happy it was over.
And the first several miles were great fun! There really is nothing like that race day excitement, and now I get it. (Don’t mind the watermark. The event photog wants me to pay $20 for a digital copy of this. Umyeah, no thanks.)
^Mile 3ish? Before I wanted to die.
My second biggest concern, pre-race (first being, obviously, don’t die) was.. what if I run out of things to think about? It’s not that it’s generally a problem for me (the opposite, actually) but I’m talking.. what if I ran out of ways to distract myself from the pain? What if by mile 4 I’m already hating it and can’t think of anything beyond the utter suck?
I’m happy to report it’s nothing like the training. I made so many temporary friends during the race. Everyone was so encouraging. The scenery was so pretty I got lost in it a few times. The drink stations were surrounded by spectators cheering us on. My iPod playlist had me pumped up. It’s truly a memorable experience, worth doing to say I did and to understand why people do it in the first place.
Enough to make me try again, with the knowledge of what I’m getting myself into? Maybe. Probably. (No really.. I’m not that bright).