21 January 2016

8 years later & another 13.1 miles down the road

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.  (Nietzsche)

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


Abby said...

Congratulations on another finish! I find longish runs therapeutic too, but they do have their drawbacks when there are certain things you'd rather not dwell on, like losing a beloved pet. I'm glad you checked off #8 though. If you didn't, you could be sitting there today wishing you had, right?

And that's a lot of bodies! Like you mention, I prefer smaller events. But with this big todo you get all the more spectators and their entertaining signage! I lol'ed at the Steve Harvey reference. You're the man! Julie would be proud.

ShadowRun300 said...

Congratulations Agg! I'm sure it wasn't the easiest race for you, physically or mentally. But like Abby says, you'd be sitting here today wishing you had run it if you had backed out.
I haven't been running much lately - I'm blaming the cold weather. The older I get, the easier it is to take a pass, especially if the temps are in the teens. If I tried to run a 1/2 marathon right now it would kill me. So that makes it even more impressive that you were able to finish your 8th with little to no training. You did Julie and Claire quite proud.

Tee said...

I'm glad you went through with it in spite of yourself. I agree with the others that you'd probably be kicking yourself if you didn't do it. And hopefully next year you'll find yourself in a better place and be glad you're working your way towards veteran status.

Congrats on another successful finish!