It was a week ago, when I really started focusing on the fact that I would truly have to run in the half marathon that I had signed myself up for, almost a year ago. To some of you, it may seem like that is plenty of time to prepare for an event like this… and in reality, it is. However, sometimes my brain, my body, and my social life, seem to differ on the idea of what should be done to prepare.
This is certainly not the first time I have run one of these. In fact, this is about the 8th year in a row I have done it. I have run it with little training, and I have run it fully trained. Believe me when I say the body rewards you heavily, when you are prepared versus unprepared. Last month, after running the 15K, that was supposed to be a part of my training plan, my body was tattered, hurt, and yelling at me in language that I found to be innapropriate. I told myself then, that I would use the rest of the month, before the big race, to get my body into better shape.
……Well I didnt…..
The entire month I lived my life weighing everything on an imaginary scale. I did run/exercise, just not to the extent I should have been. Its just that as the sun finally showed its face, and the days started to get warmer, other entertaining events outweighed my desire to train. Yard work, painting, afternoon beers, and playing with my friends, became more luring.
Well, the week before the race had finally arrived, and I admit that I began to worry. Of course, I fell ill the first couple of days of the week, leaving me separating my time between my bed and the couch, but I was able to pull myself together for one day of exercise midweek.. YIPES!
I had no business running this race, and I knew it… BUT I paid big money to run it, and it was kind of a tradition now…. So, knowing that my poor body would pay me back for what I was about to do…I vowed to run it!
The night before the race, I made equally good decisions, when I ate my weight in Pizza, and then fueled the rest of my body with cheap red wine, that went well with the Benadryl I took, to clear up my stuffy nose, and that at least led me to bed early, so I could say I got good sleep.
Today was race day. I awoke feeling like the holy hell I knew I would. I berated myself for my behavior and lack of discipline this year, as I was getting dressed. I was telling myself what an idiot I was for running this, as I pinned my number on my shirt. I could already feel the pain I was meant to endure, while double knotting the lace of my second shoe.
Off I went….
My body and brain fought hard against each other for the first 4 miles. I was still sick wasnt I? I couldnt run this far could I? Only 10 more miles to go! UGH! Despite this negative self talk, I found myself clipping along at a fairly good pace, and before I knew it, I was over half way. However, around mile 8, I found myself saying to myself “I DONT WANT TO RUN ONE MORE STEP”!!! My body said it was done…..
Almost miraculously, right when I said that, a man appeared to drop dead in front of me. I smiled, hoping this may be my way out. I would have to do CPR, and would be unable to finish this race!! At this point of the race, we were running on the race track of the INDY 500. There were few spectators allowed in this area, and it was difficult to find a medic. The man fell directly in the middle of the track, where runners were having to quickly divert themselves around him, so as not to cause a horrific accident due to trampling. Still, how could he help it?!
He had grabbed his chest and was rolling his body back and forth. He was an older gentleman, and it seemed clear that he was having a heart attack. We told him to relax, and asked if it was his chest. He didnt answer, only writhed in pain. The question was asked three more times, and the medic had been notified, before the man finally responded…. “Its my shoulder”!
Immediately I was deflated and began running, knowing that this man was not my way out. I found myself wondering what would make this asshole, drop down on the middle of the track over shoulder pain. Surely, he could have made his way to the grassy knoll to the side, to hold his shoulder. Since when does dropping to the ground and rolling around help shoulder pain anyway?!
Well, at least it diverted my attention away from my pain for a moment. I assumed he lived.
For the entire last 4 miles of the race, I suffered. Pain was shooting down my legs and back, mocking me. I walked some…I ran some…I whined to myself…and I talked myself into forging on. “This is what you get”!!
I finished the race in 2 hours and 10 minutes. Certainly not my best time, but one that I had no complaints about. Now, as I sit here, with my flaccid legs draped across a chair, and with a beer in my vicinity, I am pleased that I made myself run that race. I WILL PAY for it for the next couple of days, but I am thankful that I have a healthy body, that continues to bounce back!
This race is one that I used to run with my Mama P, before her passing this last October. I thought of her so much during my run, invisioning the pain that she went through, living with her both her debilitating cancer, and with the desire to be able to run again. This race was run for her…
Today, I say thank you God for allowing me to have the ability to run!!