Sunday, May 25, 2014

Third Time Isn't Always A Charm: My 3rd Half Marathon Experience

My brother Andrew and I at the beginning of the end of our lives


So, this morning, I ran a half marathon. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry. Right now I'm sitting on my couch wishing that there was a WD-40 for joints. I also think that my thighs might be ripped in half, but nonetheless, I finished.

This was actually the third half marathon that I've done, so initially when I signed up it wasn't that big of a deal. But there was one huge difference between this half marathon and the other two I've completed. I basically had 0 days of training. Yes, you heard that right, 0. With it being the last month of school working out and running fell as a top priority. I just wanted to enjoy the final weeks of college and let all inhibitions go. I'm not going to say that I regret it, but I will say that I definitely felt it hard today.

My brother Andrew and I signed up together, and this was his first half marathon. Andrew has always been in good shape but really cracked down to train. I wanted to try and keep up with him, but with no training to back me up I hoped to subsist on faith and prayers.

The starting gun sounded and we began weaving our way through the crowd. During the first mile I couldn't help but wonder if my parents had me on a good life insurance policy. Andrew was passing by other runners like he was a cheetah in a pack of sloths, and for a while I managed to keep up.

Somewhere around mile 4, I felt my body transforming. My hamstrings developed vocal cords and believe me when I tell you they were screaming. Or maybe even laughing. I told Andrew to go ahead, and from there I was on my own.

The next couple of miles threw me for a loop. Anyone running around me who didn't have headphones on probably thought that I was suffering from emphysema. I almost convinced myself that I did have it, because I had no explanation for breathing like a bulldog in the beating sun.

Every water station felt like the cornucopia in The Hunger Games. It was hard to drink and jog at the same time so I would pour most of the cup over my head.

I wish I could give you a mile-by-mile breakdown but a lot of the race blends together. The only thing I know for sure is that I was positive that I was running into my imminent death. It wasn't ridiculously hot out, but the sweat on my shirt reflected what I'd look like after a 2-day sauna session.

I tried to give myself any incentive to keep running. I told myself there was a million dollars and a puppy waiting for me at the finish line. I told myself if I ran I would save all the children. From what I didn't really know.

Every step closer to the finish line my muscles felt more and more like silly putty. The crowd was what kept me motivated…not because of their cheering...but because I didn't want to look like a wimp and walk.

At one point, I was visibly slowing down. A tall skinny man of Indian descent ran by me and said "Come miss!" He tried to grab my hand and pull me along. I appreciated the camaraderie, but I was not having it.

There's not much more to tell because I blacked out a majority of the time. Of course the last thing I remember is coming up to the finish. I saw it in the distance and wondered if I would be running or crawling across the line. From that point on I didn't have peripheral vision.

It must have been less than 2 minutes that I was coming down the final stretch, but it felt like 6 weeks. By the time I made it past the line I had forgotten English, didn't know my first name, and was about to regurgitate Thanksgiving dinner from all the way back in 2006.

Long story short, don't make the same mistakes that I did. If you decide to run a half marathon you should probably, well, run before hand. In actuality it is truly an amazing experience. Committing is the first step, but why not make it more enjoyable for yourself and train. The only time it is really appropriate to wing it is if you're out to dinner at Duff's. Not at the Buffalo Marathon.

My legs feel like tenderloins ready to go into the oven. I have nowhere but up to go from here.

At least I could pretend I was legit because everyone got a medal at the end.


Posted By: Julie Goetz

Third Time Isn't Always A Charm: My 3rd Half Marathon Experience

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