|jen & frannie at starting line|
So, it's no longer a fluke that I did it once because lo and behold, I did it again! Crossed that finish line and ran 13 miles. I even got a little choked up when I turned the corner and saw that big beautiful thresh hold waiting for my screaming legs to cross. And boy were they screaming.
I started off pretty strong. In fact, stronger than I had anticipated. I figured I'd run 3-4 miles and then walk a minute, but 3-4 miles came and went and I was still running. So then, I was going to run to 5 and walk, then 6, then 7-8 passed and we were still pretty much running (aside for a slow up for a second for a sip of water thru a station or two.) I felt like I was keeping a slowish but manageable pace to endure the run. It literally isn't a sprint - and all that jazz.
At 6 miles I took a picture of the time for my progress:
Hey, not too shabby - this is a 13 minute mile and about a 4.6 mile pace. I was pleased. I even know that it was probably slightly better because it took Frannie and I a couple of minutes to actually cross the start line. Though I know it's still slower than the average bear, it was still significantly better than the Jersey Shore marathon and I felt like it was a comfortable rate to sustain me through the whole thing. OK. I was starting to believe that maybe I had a shot to run the whole thing.
Well around mile 10ish, my legs wanted to quit. In fact I'm pretty sure they fired my whole body or tried to walk out on me but they had no choice but to bring me on home. OMG, ouch, ouch, ouch. It hurt to run, it hurt to walk, it hurt to breathe. I think it even hurt to listen to music. And those last 3 miles it was all I could do to get there. And I did, I got there - there was no turning back... or taxi's available. And I'm happy about that...
Allow me to introduce you to my insanity....
But, my time was pitiful. 3:03. Ugh. People can walk faster than that. It's a 14 minute mile. I think out of 2,000 people only 40 people finished after me. If that. Yuck. I know I should be proud that i did it but part of me feels like such a failure that I couldn't finish faster. Part of me despairs, how could more than a thousand people be better than me? What am I doing wrong? Why don't I train harder? Get stronger, go faster? The insecurities, the perfectionist in me, HATES being one of the slowest of the bunch - yet, I ran a freakin' marathon - ya know? Why can't that be enough? I'm not one to keep up with the Jones's when it comes to cars, homes or other possessions so what's the deal here? Why does this bother me so much?
I don't know. And yes, I can appreciate the accomplishment - I truly can. I knocked a full 20 minutes off my time from the first one I did - (a 15:14 mile... back in May) And yes, I can tell myself every which way to Tuesday that 3 years ago I was 75 pounds heavier and couldn't walk at 2.8 on a flat treadmill without getting winded - I can remind myself that a year ago at this time it wouldn't have crossed my mind to even try to WALK a 5K - never mind that I'd be running not one but two 1/2 marathons... That I only started ever running in my life nine months ago - but still. I want more, I guess.
So though, my legs are still on strike and my feet still ache - I'm pretty sure that I'll be enduring another 13 miles of joy and hell in my future because I simply cannot allow my last race be a 14 minute mile... and I just blew $75 on those new sneakers that I didn't wear yesterday because Angela, voice of reason, reminded me just how incredibly horrible of a disaster new sneaks on 13 mile day could be. (Thank you for those words of wisdom from the bottom of my heart and soles of my feet.)
I better give my legs a raise in pay because I'm gonna need them to go the distance next time - and so the journey continues.
PS: The Jersey Shore half spoiled me -- the signs by the locals, the cheering crowd, the constant water and gatorade, the medal - not so much at this one.
PSSS: Sorry for this very loooooong blog, you know I can be chatty sometimes.