I capped off another half marathon on Sunday. Numero 8. The ocho. Two more and I can be officially classified as a "veteran" although I don't really feel much like one. Another shirt, another medal.
After 8 years, this has become almost routine. I went, I ran, I made it across the finish line upright once again. I'd like to say I improved on last year's time but that would be a lie. Given my poor training regime, this persistent cough that just won't seem to go away, and losing Claire last week, I was debating not even going this year. After Julie passed in August, I had made an internal promise to dedicate this year's run in her memory. I wasn't looking for any records this year, but after things went south last week, I questioned my resolve. I did decide to make the run, but, honestly, my heart wasn't in it this year. I have always found running to be somewhat therapeutic. One of those sports where my main competition is myself. Running a longer distance gives me a lot of time to debate issues, have internal conversations, consider options. This year it probably wasn't the best year to be alone with my thoughts. I spent more than a few miles thinking about poor Claire.
On the surface, this year's run was pretty good. The course was good (flat, fast). Weather was pretty much perfect (cool, dry) with temps in the mid 40s at the start. There was the usual mob of +25,000 runners which led to the normal 28 minutes delay to cross the start line AFTER the starting gun. I like this annual run, but having that many bodies on the course really slows up the pace. I think I would prefer some of the smaller, less popular runs. The crowds/spectators were up to their typical form - wild, noisy, enthusiastic. Many, many, many funny signs along the way:
- Worse Parade Ever
- Hurry up! My arms are tired from holding this sign
- You are almost finished! Oops. My bad. (with picture of Steve Harvey)
- 13.1 miles all for a free banana
- I thought I was signing up for a Netflix Marathon
I wasn't really expecting to break any of my records and came in a bit slower than last year. The only drama I had this year was that my phone died around mile 12 so my pacing program shut down before I crossed the finish line. I'm not as sore as I have been in the past, but that's probably due to my slower pace and pre-race prep (thanks to Rock Tape and Alieve). Right now, I am not sure if I will go for number 9, but, given my propensity to not learn my lesson and repeat things, the chances are highly likely. The good news is that, after completing 5 of these things, I have a guaranteed slot for the 2017 race. Hopefully, next year I will be in a better mood/condition.
- Either you run the day or the day runs you