I did a 5k at the end of September and did not beat the goal I had hoped (plus, I came in 4th place in my age group and barely missed getting a trophy --which bummed me out way too much for a grown woman.
SO, I signed up for another one two weeks later, while my dad was here, determined to beat that goal. This one was called The Vampire Run. It was a costume contest and 5k, which was super fun and very entertaining. It was an early evening run, and the weather was lovely.
I didn't want to bulk on a costume and wasn't planning on being in the contest, so I just put on Cole's Superman belt and cape and grabbed the ever awesome sweatband.
They took forever! They awarded the best costumes and finally said that awards could be sent to winners since they were taking so long to get race results. We took off because we were HUNGRY.
The next week Jake was registered for a half marathon. To put it bluntly, he wasn't even close to prepared and knew it wasn't going to happen. There were several people from our ward participating who had been training together. One was a wife who took over for her own unprepared husband.
I Skyped with Ashley over in Jolly Ol' England a couple of days before. We had a lovely visit wherein she suggested that I could complete the half marathon in Jake's stead. I laughed at her and told her to forget it and that I was trying my darndest to sell the dumb registration on Craigslist so we weren't out the whole fee.
I had no bites on buying Jake's spot, and that crazy marathon running Ashley planted a crazy seed in my head. "Maybe I could do it. It wouldn't be so bad to run and walk until I fell over, right? I can do hard things. It would have been nice to be somewhat prepared beyond the three miles I can run, but, hey, the opportunity to push myself is right here." So, basically I went insane and committed to do it. I didn't tell any of those people in my ward I was going to go, for several reasons, the main one being that I didn't want any pressure. I'm not much of a runner. I'd be lucky to finish.
I plotted out a semi-plan (it was the day before the race, after all) that I would run two miles and walk one in a pattern. Then maybe I could somehow get the job done.
Saturday morning I grabbed the registration number, Pop-tarts (the breakfast of champions), and a couple of other things I would need, and headed for the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. I'm so thankful to have a supportive husband who navigated me to the race over the phone. The roads were a construction and traffic mess.
I arrived at the race late and parked far away, but they were starting very late. I got there with a few minutes to spare before they started. A cold front had moved in the night before, so it was a chilly 40 degrees out.
I got my ipod situated and took off when directed at a comfortable jog. I had a nice six mile jog, actually. I was pretty happy with myself. For the first time, training for a 10k didn't sound like such a daunting, horrible thing. It was sometime around there, though, that I thought, "Maybe I should be careful about this. Maybe I should pick up on my walk/jog plan right here so I can last." So, I walked for a mile and a half, feeling some aches in my knees and feet. I pick up the jog again, and struggled between jogging and walking until I neared mile 10. At this point I felt like the sides of my knees were melting into my feet, and I simply couldn't go as fast as I wanted. I was frustrated with the fact that my heart and lungs were doing great, but my muscles were not strong enough to keep up much of a fight.
Oh, well. I had three miles to go. The song, "I Just Want to Be Okay"came on as I looked down at my nail polish I'd put on a couple days earlier that Ashley had sent me called "Are We There Yet?" and started to laugh out loud. The mixture of the song and polish titles summed up my feelings nicely. I shuffled through the concession areas under the huge bleachers and got passed up by every 75 year old participating. I kept having to remind myself that it was okay. I had come with three miles of oil in my lamp, was not prepared for thirteen and just wanted to finish --and get the finishers' medal.
The last mile and a half or so was around the Texas Motor Speedway track. I'm sure there are people who think this is really cool. I am not one of them. It had to have been the ugliest chunk of a run ever planned. I was sadly shuffle hobbling until the last tenth of a mile, where I made myself run, which was probably comical at that point. I received my medal and hobbled toward the tent area.
Oh, the pain in my feet! My left running shoe is a little tight (through the sprain and pregnancies, my feet have shape shifted or something), so my left big toe slammed into the shoe through the race. But I did it! I finished. At the tent I took two bananas -so there!- and a yogurt and a coconut water. I didn't know what they were doing selling all those shirts at the other end of the tent, so I didn't venture there since I had to make my way clear out to my car. It turns out it was a finishers' shirt they were giving out! Augh! I was so sad that I didn't get one. I didn't know there was such a thing.
All in all, I'm glad I did it. I don't have the desire to do it again, but I've learned to never say never. I don't intend on a last minute chance for a half marathon again, so hopefully it would be something for which I'd be better prepared. I do intend to do a 10k, though, and am planning to run with my husband in the spring. That, I can do --and actually look forward to it. I may not be much of a runner, but I like being around runners. They're generally positive people.
Here I am at home afterward:
The left big toe, though, I'm still waiting to see if it'll recover...