On Friday, my best running buddy and I decided to run another half marathon this month, in an impromptu fashion, because the race was today:)!! So, $95 (because we waited til the last day), and a Mexican platter later (which was a poor choice:)), we headed in different directions, to ready ourselves for the next days race.
Before we went home, we had told each other that we were going to go to bed early, we were going to drink lots of water, and really treat our bodies well, but I honestly don't know who we're trying to fool. We say this to each other, almost every time we run together, on the night before the race, and every time we both feel regretful for eating Mexican the night before, and then we both admit we went to bed too late, drank NO water (although I'm certain she probably drank some sort of healing tea or juice), and instead drank wine/beer/margaritas to help us get sleepy. Sometimes we come clean about this information prior to the race, and sometimes not until after having a couple of beers after the race, but its apparent were only lying to ourselves:).
So 4 1/2 hours after going to sleep, we were off and running. She left me at mile two, like usual this year, mostly because I have been whining a lot lately, and have chosen not to run at her advanced pace:). But I was still glad to have her with me, so later we could hash over the funny and difficult times during the race, over some celebratory beers, one of which was free with our $95 ticket. In addition to the free beer, we also got a t-shirt, bib (with no pins), an old American Idol contestant to sing the National Anthem, followed by fighter jets to start the race. Then at the end, we got one fruit bar and one bottle of water to refuel. In my opinion, I think new priorities are in order:)
Despite my recent poor self talk, and “anti-running” feelings, I REALLY wanted to run today. Ever since hearing Pattys brain cancer diagnosis, I have felt helpless, because I'm so far away, and just wanted to do SOMETHING for her. I know she wants to run more than anything, and I have been fighting myself to run at all. Somewhere in between these two opposites, I found inspiration.
I thought of Patty, during my whole run today. I started off at a pretty good pace, for myself, and was able to amuse myself for the first half. I watched a man vomit, half way through and wondered how he would finish. I watched a woman runner grab a bottle of beer from a spectator, drink a few swallows, and place it back down, fist pumping her arm, while people cheered her on. I wondered how she didn't vomit.
But not long after the half way point, I started to grow tired, I started to fidget, and I started the negative self talk, like the last race. The only difference is, I stopped myself immediately, from listening to my own self drone on about it. Instead, today, I was talking to Patty the whole way. When I struggled, I knew she was struggling more. When my body ached, I knew hers hurt worse. When I wanted to quit, I remembered that she didn't have that choice. So I ran…and was content with it.
When I approached mile 8, and feeling like I had run uphill the entire way so far, and could see no downhill in sight, I realized, this course wasn't all that easy. But, instead of pushing myself farther than my body wanted, and instead of walking, I slowed my pace down ALOT. And INSTEAD of getting mad about it, I smiled to myself. My muscles were sore, and my body run down, and so is Pattys, but obviously to a further extent. I decided to run this mile with her, and was content to do so.
After this mile, I really started to amuse myself with this concept, and continued talking to her for the rest of the race. I also slowed down at miles 10, 11, and 12 to run with her:).I also stopped to drink water at several of the stations with her:). Then started counting hills as she has done in the past. I started to realize that sometimes we run too fast through our lives, and we need to slow down. So I did… And was content with this.
I set no personal records, and actually ran a slower time than I have in years, but she talked me through the whole race, and I never quit running. When I finished this race today, I felt SO GREAT! So this race, I dedicate to you Patty, my inspiration.
Naturally, after the race, I got more inspiration from a chocolate milk (which always seems to agitate people when I drink it, because its apparently not cool??), a few beers, and a dream of a nap (which never occurred). But with all this inspiration, it turned out to be another great Saturday:):):):)