If my relationship with running is ANY indication of my marriage skills, the future is looking bright for me and Kyle.
I was thisclose to throwing in the towel at multiple points this morning, and oddly enough, they were ALL before the race even started. I’m not going to go into too detailed a description of the race, because most of my issues and battles were psychological in nature and BEFORE I even got to the starting corral.
I took this horrendous photo of myself to (a) show you the obscene time I was up for this race (on the microwave’s clock in the background) and (b) prove how less-than-thrilled I felt. However, since you can’t even see the clock, I’ll just tell you that I was up at 3 am (yikes!). The other photo will help you understand WHY I was up at that time. A bus at FOUR in the morning?! The race started at 7 am, so I’m not sure why they felt it necessary to leave at that hour, but a $15 bus from the East side is way better than $50 cab ride from the West side, so I went with it…
When my alarm went off, I was SO confused. It was pitch black out and I felt nothing like my awesomely perky self. Still, I laced up like a devoted runner (fake it ‘til you make it, right?). As I was about to head out the door, it dawned on me that walking across Central Park at 3:30 am was probably the most RIDICULOUS idea ever. Apparently, in my delirious, half-asleep state, I thought the sun rose before 3 am. New York is safe and all – but not THAT safe. And since I’d rather avoid my own Jaycee Dugard incident, I decided to nix
operation rape the midnight stroll idea, and go with plan B (as in bus). Well, Kyle objected to that, too (for being such a Giuliani fan, he really has NO FAITH in NYC’s public transportation system). Rather than take a bus, Kyle insisted on hailing me a cab (methinks he didn’t believe that I would actually take a cab if he weren’t there to witness it). Poor guy.
It was during all this confusion that idea to scrap the whole race first crossed my mind (there were many, though, so stay tuned). Instead, Kyle convinced me to stick to my guns, and so off I went. Sort of. [insert 10 minute search for a shop that was both open and had coffee brewing].
A $7 cab ride later I was on the East side, black coffee in hand, boarding the bus, and bound for
glory Queens. Seeing all the other runners got me excited again, and I was glad I decided to just do tha damn thang.
A brief word about the
bus rollercoaster ride to the race. AAH! If the driver had used his microphone, I think he would have said something like “hold on for your lives people.” But instead, we got no such warning, and suffice it to say, there was probably 5% of my coffee left in the cup when we arrived (and that’s being generous).
Not only was it still pitch black when the bus got to the starting area, but it was also 55 degrees and I was in shorts and a thin fleece. It didn’t take long before I completely lost feeling in my feet. I wanted to cry. I was shivering, alone, and had nothing to do for 3 more hours before the race started. Oh, and the coffee that was supposed to keep me warm and wake me up was all over the bus seat. Most of the other runners went back to sleep on the ground or benches, but I was FAR too cold for that. Instead I started thinking (read OVER thinking), which turned into a psychological show-down between my numb extremities (which wanted nothing more than to go home and go back to bed) and my barely recuperated body (which still craved cough drops on a nearly hourly basis). Too much time to think!!! I actually started planning how I could get home, figuring out the bus schedule, etc. I was 99% ready to call it quits. I started walking back to the drop off/pick up point, only to turn back around because let’s face it, I couldn’t face the idea of not even giving my body a CHANCE. It wasn’t that I had to prove anything (I already know how I run when I’m in shape). The truth of the matter is: You can ALWAYS find excuses to NOT do something, but if you don’t have the mental strength to look past those, you won’t ever know if you CAN. I wanted to know that I could. I wanted to know that the meek 1% of me that didn’t want to quit was strong enough to overpower the other 99% that was already on the bus back home. And so I did.
Even though death sounded more appealing than the thought of removing my fleece, at 6:58, I pried the warm jacket from my body and started shaking out my legs (for the record my feet were still numb at the start of the race). Once in the corral, it was less than 2 minutes before the race started. At this point my head FINALLY started to clear from it’s negative fog, and the runner in me took over. The gun fired, and I was off.
not MY goodies. I managed to shove the entire packet of Jelly Belly’s Extreme Sport Beans in the teeny tiny pocket-flap inside my shorts (at the end of the run, I discovered they dyed my shorts lining and part of my groin green). Hot.
This PowerBar gel got me to mile 6 no prob, at which point I started popping the green jelly beans at each mile marker.
As for the actual race, well, once it started, I really enjoyed it. Unlike my last half marathon, this one was a breeze mentally and physically. Both the course and my playlist were foreign to me, so I wasn’t analyzing the distance I had left, or where I was song-wise compared to where I was on previous runs, etc. The weather was perfect (
after the first mile once I could feel my feet again). Also, I had no expectations about my time, so I went at my own pace, not pushing myself too hard, and just enjoying the endorphins. It was beautiful. I didn’t need to psych myself into anything, I was content in the moment.
Now I remember why I run. If you want to know how I did.
My time was 1:42:07, with a 7:47 pace (min per mile). :)
And here’s the bossy playlist that you all helped me make!