Thursday, April 28, 2011

All in a day's run.

On May 21, Shane and I are running a half marathon.  But this is the deal with me and half marathons.  I did one (1) back in 2003.  I did not train, therefore it was the most horrible race I've ever done.  It was held in my hometown.  It meandered down the canyon, past many of my childhood friend's homes, only to finish at my high school.  During the course of my race, I let 90% of the running field pass me, including a girl who had never ran in her life.  I waited until I passed the 10 mile mark to eat the energy Gu I brought with me (brilliant.) I even talked to some of the houses of people I knew (or had known) growing up.  Not that any of those people were around for me to talk to, I just talked to their houses.

I've since sidelined myself from half marathons.  Every few months my sister will call me about a race she is considering.  She will ask if she should do it, and I (hypocritically) tell her she should, assure her that it's mostly mental (because it is) and wait to find out what the race is.  I haven't felt the pull to do a half marathon but have been her cheerleader (and have been happy to do it.  She is awesome and I 100% know she can do any and all races she decides to do.) 

But me, run a half?  I haven't really considered it.  I was semi-tempted to do the Halloween Half last Halloween, but I couldn't commit.  But Shane and I do this awesome marathon relay that goes along with the Ogden Marathon.  We are both on 5 man teams that will complete the distance of a marathon in 5 parts: a 7 mile, a 6 mile, two 5 miles, and a 3 mile leg will get our teams down the course.  Since the leg that Shane and I will run is right by the start of the half marathon, I somehow made the leap to choosing to finishing the race.  Plus, last year on my my first Ragnar leg, I psyched myself out. I don't want that to happen again, so training for a half was the perfect way to prepare for my real love, Ragnar.

It's amazing to find out that all that stuff I've been telling Amy is true.  I mean, I knew it was true when I told her, but I didn't believe it applied to me.  I've built up my miles over the past 2 months or so, and today was my last long run.  I parked at my kids school and set off.  But it was a weird weird run.  And this is why:  (and yes, it has taken a really long post to get to the point of the post.  How does that happen?)

  • I might have made some annoying audible grunts.  I was running into the wind for the first hour.  I felt that if I made some noises, maybe the wind would take pity of me and stop blowing.  It didn't. So much for my hopes.  Hopefully no one heard my noises.
  • I was on the lookout for people I knew, but I didn't know I was.  I therefore found myself running across a busy street to some complete strangers because I thought they were someone else.  Luckily they thought I was someone else too, so I wasn't completely embarrassed when I saw their faces and they weren't who I thought they were.
  • In another mistaken identity incident approximately 7 minutes later, I took my earbud out and nearly yelled out "Jennifer!" at someone who 10 seconds later was obviously not Jennifer.  How do you casually put your earbud back in and make it not seem like you were going to talk to a complete stranger without them knowing?  Yeah, I don't know.
  • I wouldn't have made it through without music.  I listened to Glee's version of Dog Days are Over more than was necessary, but it did what it needed to do, as did Little Red Corvette.  I had no idea until recently how naughty that song is.  Prince, you bad boy you with your talk of horses and jockeys. Tut tut.
  • I've discovered that the perfect recovery activity is 5 minutes in an ice cold bath.  I used to know this, but it's been so many years since I've ran more than 4 or 5 miles so I'd forgotten how much it helps.  It's torture for the first few minutes, but my legs feel amazing the day after. 

So now I'm ready.  I can taper for the race.  I'm actually excited about the half.  And honestly: I've loved my long runs.  There is something about running on both well known and hardly known trails that is heartening. I love being able to say, I've ran the entire length of this road.  There is something empowering about running up my favorite hill having done 9 or 10 miles thanks to the steam of my own two feet.  And while most of it really is mental, the part that is undeniably physical feels pretty good, too.


Amy Sorensen said...

oh, I can't wait to hear how your race goes! I still feel bad about that first half marathon. I loved it so much and I wish you could have loved it, too. Now I am being selfish in hoping that the 8 years that've passed have been enough to heal that trauma. You know, so we could run another one together! ;)

If it makes you feel better, I always make noise during long runs. Usually it is little snatches of songs I'll just suddenly be singing along to. In fact, it is a way I measure how tired I am. I sing aloud more as I grow more tired. It gives me energy somehow. I probably sound weird but then....everyone else probably has THEIR music in their ears and can't even hear me!

Also, it totally cracks me up that you and I BOTH during the same, oh, month of our lives, realized just how naughty that Prince song is. How random is that? In fact, I'm going to listen to it right now! ;)