Tuesday, April 3, 2012

13.1

I was giving a thumbs up but I can't
hold a pose for more than 3 seconds
I'm officially a half-marathoner!

People have asked me, "So how was it?" My reply?

"Really hard."

I'm not joking. Before the race, my longest run was an 11.5-mile run. It wasn't easy, but mostly on those long runs I battled boredom and my general preference to be at home watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix.

But this race was hard. I started off with an uneasy stomach. Maybe it was just nerves and excitement or the fact that I had to run in the morning, which I never do, but the feeling didn't pass until well after the race was finished. Then there were the hills. Good grief, there were a lot of hills. Then there was the mud. It was apparently monsoon season on Saturday, so what should have been a packed dirt trail for about a mile or two ended up being mud. Then there was a potty break--I've never had to pee during a race before.


So, yeah, the half marathon pretty much kicked my ass. Most people hear "half marathon" and kind of assume it's going to be difficult, but I thought that at some point, I'd just feel like I was on one of my long runs and that it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But it was a big deal. I hope I won't always feel that way about the half marathon, but it was my first, so I guess it's normal for me to think that it was really hard.

A friend who ran the race + me. 
Of course, it wasn't all bad. I got to see some kitties and horses along the way, and the view was lovely. Aside from stopping to pee, I ran the entire course, which I'm proud of. I also had some wonderful friends cheering me on as I finished. Then there was a glorious grilled ham and cheese sandwich and a massage after the race ... but I digress.

One thing I feel I should mention--because it goes with my post on labeling ourselves--is that it's really difficult in a situation like this to avoid comparing myself to others. It's impossible to ignore that among the people who were running, not walking, I was pulling up the rear. There were times, in fact, when I got the feeling that the race was over and everyone had forgotten about me because there were so few runners left where I was. I truly believe that there's more to running than speed, yet it was kind of lonely back there.

I remind myself that people who run at my pace, or people who don't run regularly, generally don't run half marathons. People who are "good" at running run. People who are "bad" at running don't. I was 30 minutes behind the average time for the female runners. People like me tend not to even show up. I don't think I'm good at running and I have a difficult time calling myself a runner, but I run anyway, and look what I accomplished. I just hope people read about my experiences with running and other physical activities and see that it's not about keeping up with the best; it's about giving it a try and showing up.

3 comments:

Laura said...

Yay! You did it! I've been thinking about you because I knew your race was on the first and wondering how it went. I think you are awesome and I'm proud that you ran the whole thing. (Me, I'm going to have to walk part of my half-marathon.) I know how hard it is to avoid comparing ourselves to others, but the important thing is that you, not only showed up, but finished too. Congratulations!

Karen Nardozza said...

Congratulations, Kate! I'm so happy for you. Hooray!! Speed really doesn't matter (says the half marathon race director). I hope your experience inspires others to give it a try. You should consider the Big Sur Half in November--it's a fantastically flat course. :) I've never finished a half marathon without walking quite a few times, so you've beat me! Good for you!

Domestic Kate said...

Thank you both! Rest assured, when I say I ran the whole way, I mean something resembling a slow jog...but yes, I feel good about that. There were times when I wanted to take a little break, but I thought I might not start up again.

FYI, this is a legitimate concern. Wearing cushionless shoes does a number on my feet. You know how when you're on your feet all day, you don't really feel it until you sit down? It's like that. Better to just keep on truckin!