Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Post Half-Marathong

Do you know what is a thing that people say?

They say, "It's not like you'll be last."

They might say this in response to your telling them something like, "I'm really nervous about this half marathon I'm running. I don't know if I can do it."

But the thing is... somebody has to be last.

I have a joke I made up that goes like this: "Why do they even have a front row? Everyone hates sitting in it."

Most people don't get this joke, but my point is clear: someone has to be first and someone has to be last. It's physics.


I wasn't looking forward to the race but I was looking forward to getting it over with and never having to do it ever again. I knew the one big problem would be if my knees did the thing I call "blowing out." Now it's not that it's not painful; it's just that it's beyond painful to the point of borderline-paralysis.

Here are the low- high-lights and lessons learned from one of the less comfortable experiences in my life:
  • Kady and I positioned ourselves at the starting line amid the back-end of the mass of runners—probably in the last quarter. Next time I would like to be closer to the front so it takes longer for the 99 percent of runners to pass me.
  • Getting passed by a speed-walker while you're RUNNING is kind of demoralizing.
  • It's worse when they're 75.
  • Don't tell me there'll be a water-stop at mile 3 when you mean mile 2.25... I wasn't thirsty yet!
  • Don't you dare tell me there's a water-stop at mile 5 when it's actually at mile 5.75. I will bite your face off.
  • I cried a little when I had to sit down to stretch out my bum knee at mile 9 and got passed by 30 runners.
  • I cried a little a few other times.
  • Fewer than five people dropped out of the race. I had planned on being one of them if my knee flared up.
  • All of the last 10 to 15 finishers—myself included—were nursing an injury of some sort and finishing in pain.
  • There were three of these injured people I limped along with for a spell thinking we were having a sort of near-religious moment together—what with the fire that was eating our bodies and stuff, and we'd probably cross the finish-line together... Two of them, out of nowhere, left me in their dust.
  • The final injured girl I chatted with had a busted hip to my busted knees. I said, "We should just cross the finish line together." She said, "Sounds alright to me."
  • When we came up on mile 11.5-ish, taking turns jog-limping and walk-limping, I said, "I'm gonna run from mile 12 through the finish line." She said that sounded good.
  • I left her in my dust :(
  • I sort of don't want anyone to ever tell me I'm in the home stretch unless that means I am five seconds from finishing. This applies to any difficult activity. 
  • No matter how crappy I feel about almost being the very last runner in this race I will never stop thinking it is amazing that I ran that last 1.1 miles with napalm-fire-knees. To run 1.1 miles after running nearly 12 (cuz I limp-walked a solid 1.5 miles of that) will never stop feeling like an incredible accomplishment. Once upon a time I could barely run for an entire minute.
  • Do you KNOW how long .1 miles is after running 13?!
Also, I saw a picture of myself crossing the finish line and said, "Wow. That's a really big butt for a half-marathoner."

In conclusion, there are a lot of things I would rather do than run a half marathon. Here is a very incomplete list:
  • Watch a half-marathon.
  • Talk about how one day I'd like to run a half-marathon.

What do you think about people who pay money to be rounded up like cattle and do what they can do any day of the week for free and with less pain and hassle?

Also, can you even believe I didn't get a medal?


  1. That 10K I'm doing that I won't shut up about? Tee-shirt. Medal. For only running 6.2 miles. You was robbed.

    Still super proud of you! At least you got a tote bag?

  2. I,too, am very impressed with you. I did a couple of 10k's and a 5k in my 30's, so your halfer puts me to shame. I will pray that you suffered no permanent damage. Good job!!

  3. Congrats Summer...that's awesome. really enjoy your writing. I'm doing a triathlon on Monday. (just a sprint)and I cant wait for it to be over


Your comments are why I get out of bed in the morning. Just kidding. But I do like them.