I want to tell you all about my race enemy. She’s a bitch and I hate her. But to understand why I hate her I will have to tell you all about my half marathon yesterday.
Last year Phedre and I planned to run the Glass City Half Marathon. Long story short: It was a nightmare. Cold, rain and, frankly, I wasn’t trained well enough. I finished at 2:46 and to say I ran the race would be a liberal use of the word run. I slogged through it and the only success was not just lying down and hoping to die.
This year I started training in December. Well, I started in early November but I moved to an actual training plan starting in January. I did two 13 mile runs and both finished around 2:35. I was furious about that time. Are you telling me that I feigned running, limp walked, stopped to stretch and stopped to use a port-a-john in 2:46 but running solid I can only manage 2:35? Why was I even trying?
I went into full panic mode starting the Thursday before. I did my last taper run and just worried the 200+ miles I had used for training wasn’t enough. Saturday night I surprised Hoppie by finishing the biggest plate of fettuccini alfredo ever. I woke up Sunday morning at 4:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep.
Fast forward to me standing in my corral and kissing Hoppie goodbye. I was off! It was crowded and I wasn’t expecting that. I stuck to the side and hoped that I didn’t get in anyone’s way. The first 3 miles were painful mostly because many people didn’t line up right. A lot of the fast bunnies were trying to push forward and some of the slower folks were flowing back slowly. As I was going through mile two I heard someone behind me yelling at the crowd to be rowdier. I thought it was odd so I looked behind me and it was the 2:10 half marathon pace bunny. Oh shit. I was burning too fast. WHAT IS HAPPENING? I pulled back slightly and let the pace group pass me and I kept them in my sight for a while.
Hoppie is husband of the year because he met me on the course several times. He took some excellent pictures too so all the awards for him!
When I passed him after mile 5 I forgot to tell him I would be at the finish line sooner than I had mentioned earlier. I checked my watch for the first time since the start of the race. I was avoiding it for a reason. If I started doing the math on my pace I would bum or psych myself out. I started doing some quick math on my current pace and I was on pace for a 2:20 half…. No. No, that’s not right.
So… for 2 miles I recalculated as many times as I could before I realized I was doing the umbers right. I was on pace for 2:20. 2:15 if I started pushing. Oh shit. This is amazing.
Miles 7-10 were a blur broken up by seeing a man puke up a boot, a woman compliment my braids, and another woman fretting that she had started her marathon too fast. By Mile 11 I was starting to feel it. My hips were twinging and I was aware of my exhaustion. I kicked my heels to my ass a few times to see how my knees were feeling. Not great. Yikes. I turned the corner and there it was. The littlest hill anyone has ever seen. And I groaned so loud two guys laughed at me.
I observed quite a few people walking up it and grumbled. No! I would run up this hill and off to the finish line. I leaned forward and powered up as hard as I dared. I made it to the top of the bunny hill and the tunnel vision set in. Oh hell I had been outdone by 4 feet of elevation. I took some deep breathes and slowed way down. I cursed out loud and gave my legs the mental finger. After a half a mile I was back to my stride and back to my regular pace.
I pushed to the finish and rounded the corner to the stadium. I’M ALMOST THERE! I kicked up and power and the next thing I knew I was wrapped in a blanket and had a medal around my neck. I did it! 2:19!
I started looking for Hoppie and didn’t move. It was crowded so I figured he was headed towards me after he watched me finish. Waiting… waiting. Um… I got out my phone and called him. This is the whole conversation.
“Hey, where are you?”
“Where are you?!”
“I’m standing in the finish line corral.”
“WHAT? How long have you been there?”
“A few minutes…”
The hilarious part of the whole thing was that he had been at the finish line for 20 minutes waiting and watching. He was taking all kinds of pictures of people and somehow missed me finishing. Buuuut when we looked through the dozens of pictures he took there I was crossing the line, smile on my face!
We went to the post party and I drank the stoutest beer that ever stouted. Then down to BG for some Pollyeyes breadsticks. Best day ever!
So who is my running enemy? A smug bitch who just thinks she’s so awesome. I trained my ass off and she just jaunts into races saying things like, “Oh, my longest training run was 8 miles a few weeks ago.” I hate her and her audacity to ignore training plans and still manage a 2:13. And she wasn’t even trying. Who is she? Me at 24. What an asshole.
But don’t worry, I will give her a run for her money at the end of the May. I am going to smack the smile off her stupid face.