It was hard. It hurt. It was not fun. It took too long. I can run it faster. I have to do it again. But let me rewind to four months ago. As JedI and I were finishing up our scrapper work out (www.traingforstrength.com) by running a mile on the treadmills, JedI tells me, “Hey you know what would be a good idea, if we ran a half marathon.” As I sat and pondered, I discovered that I was indeed tired enough to agree to this splendid concept. Sure, I can run a half marathon… How long is a half marathon?
13.1 miles. We began training, I’ll skip the details here, just know that during the course of training I lost somewhere in the range of 50-60 lbs. Did I mention that I’m fat. That’s kinda important to the story.
Race day arrives, my own “D-Day,” I found that getting to the race… ha… Race, what a funny concept. Let me veto the very thought of this being a race. Maybe it was a race for some, for myself, it was a run. A very, very long run. A Very Long Run. “Run” day came, and I found that making my way to the start finish line, may have been more difficult that initially expected. My wonderful Mother drove into town to watch me run, or rather, to be there for me when I finish the race, er I mean run, and Wonderful Mother brought my dog. Who’s very presence inspired me to go back to bed, or throw the tennis ball and forego the race, I mean run. Traffic getting to race site had not been seen by many. A larger turn out than expected. Who, in their right mind, would wake up a 0500 to go and pay $60 to run 13.1 miles. More people than anyone thought would. Of course I made the mistake of assuming that these people were or are in fact in their right mind. These people were/are not in their right mind. They are crazy, they… Are runners. Wonderful Mother and I park the vehicle and exit towards the mass crowd, where I assume the start line is. Heidi (the dog) in tow and full of rambunctious spunk. Excited to be alive. Me, less so at this point. I pinpoint JedI in the crowd, and our pre-race picture was taken, obviously staged, because we were smiling. Neither of us were happy to be awake this early.
As JedI and I make our general small talk about the morning, and how there should not be a 7 o’clock am. The gun goes off. Wait, was that for us? Sure let’s go for a run.
The first mile went by largely uneventful. I saw several of my co-workers from the local law enforcement agency who were working traffic direction. Part of me wanted to hide in the crowd, the other part of me wanted to run over and talk with them, and another part of me wanted to watch that cute ass that just ran by. Damn, gotta catch up. One mile down.
The second mile is a different story. With the iPod playing, the patter of feet around me, and cars going by, I was unable to concentrate on my breathing. I got winded lost my rhythm, and gave up. I had to stop and walk, regroup and rethink. JedI was pissed. So I decided to make him happy, I’d start running again.
The next couple of miles went by with more of the same, then it hit me. I hope there is a toilet around here somewhere. What luck. At the next water station, the boy scouts were there. Seriously, the boy scouts had a water stop with Johnny-On-The-Spots. I had to pee. It was a nice rest, but with it being only ¼ through the race, I mean run, it had to go on. But thank you to the boy scouts. Always Prepared.
Coming up on mile 6, JedI and I could hear something. Was that… could it be… it was. There was a live band, playing Journey, “Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going anywhere.” we ran through the water stop picking up a cup along the way, all the while singing karaoke to with this band. That kept us entertained for the next couple of minutes. By the way… it’s really hard to drink water while running.
Sometime around mile number 6.5 I began to feel a baseball develop in my left calf. This bothered me. This cramp did not go away for the rest of the run. My feet were hurting, every step walking on broken glass, this is what I get for not doing any road work in my training.
Coming up on mile #8 I began to see signs, I had no idea that people liked to watch others run. Sick sick people. A couple of the signs that made me laugh, “If your feet are hurting, it means you’re kicking “ass”fault. And as I rounded a corner, I noticed a young little girl, possibly 8 or 9 years old, holding a sign that said, “Run Bitch J” I laughed until mile 10 over that one.
The next several miles blended together as we kept trucking along, and me still running with the previously baseball sized, now softball sized cramp in my left calf. I made the last right turn towards the home stretch. I could see the big blow up finish line. I made the decision to sprint my last mile there. My fastest pace, mind you, is a quick walk at this point, although it feels as if I am running faster than Pre, (HA!).
The last 200 ft of the race, (yes it turned into a race now), were inspiring. Crowds of people cheering you on as you raise your hands in victory, the Rocky Theme playing, not only in your head, but it seems as if the entire arena is singing, along with Bil Conti and his orchestra. Every step is on a plate of cool whip, there is no pain, no broken glass, there is still a basketball in my left calf, and that does not feel good. But I am now 100 ft from the finish line, I see Wonderful Mother and lazy dog with a tennis ball in her mouth, I hope she is not expecting me to play fetch after this. 50 ft, John Williams is now in my head, I am superman, I am 25 ft from the finish. I can see the finish line, my calf hurts, I want to take a nice hot shower, wait did I just cross over the finish line, I missed my moment of glory, oh she’s handing me a medal. This is my anti-climactic finish. Eh, I made it.
I found out later, my official time is 2hrs 35min 35sec. Not bad for my first ever run. Next up is 5/1/10 in Beaumont, TX, The Gusher Half Marathon and Marathon. Maybe I’ll go for the real Marathon. Or maybe I should just try to better my half time. We shall soon find out, same Matt-Time, Same Matt-channel.