I ran a half marathon Saturday, October 29th. My guy ran the marathon distance. It was a beautiful Saturday, perfectly crisp air at the start line, the sun feeble at first, but it burst through the clouds for a glorious sun-drenched day. The course ran us through town along tree-lined streets, the maple trees glowing red, and into a nature preserve where the trees rustled and a stream splashed merrily over rocks. We thudded over wooden bridges, well salted and still slippery; we crunched along gravel paths, and back to the slap, slap of pavement.
I must admit, there is a certain virtuous feeling in my soul when I participate in an event like the Haunted Hustle (yes, Halloween themed run – the costumes were awesome – sorry, no pics!). It takes will power to get out of a cozy bed on a Saturday morning, at the rather insane hour of 5:00 a.m., knowing, not only is it cold and dark outside right now, but soon I’ll be milling around in frosty temps, waiting for the run to start. While the majority slumber, me and a 1,000 other crazy (motivated) people give up sleep and a warm bed for the opportunity to put our bodies through their paces. Not sure why,
exactly, but I find membership in this group of humanity exhilarates me. And here’s the best part: when I get ravenous at 3:00 p.m. I get to eat whatever I want!!! Love it! Love it!
I felt victorious from the start. I had managed to train without becoming injured. My IT band, the bane of my running, has traditionally hampered the joy by being a pain in my side. I could finally feel the benefit of all those little things I’ve been doing: leg lifts, the plank, squats, and so on. A little life lesson: To quote my man, Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Amazing to think advice from around 300 BC is still useful and current.
And, to top it off, I have an awesome training partner. For my entire life, well, since my twenties, I wanted a guy who would run with me. I remember vividly, while driving somewhere with my then husband, pointing to a couple jogging down the sidewalk, and
saying, “doesn’t that look like fun, running together like that?” “No,” he said, without hesitation. Sigh.
Note to future self: find a guy who likes running. Check. Did I ever! My guy runs hundreds of miles at a time. Ultra runs. And LIKES it. So, for my guy to run 10 minute miles with me during my training runs is an act of love, because he runs marathons, easily, like most people toss back beer and Doritos.
So, I had an excellent run. I picked up speed right away, and it felt good! I knew I was going to be setting a new personal record for myself, I could feel it. During training, my best had been 10 minute miles with a few bursts of speed here and there, but not sustained. I discovered though, I was running with the 8:54 minute milers, so I
hung with them, and managed overall, to maintain 9 minute miles for 13.2
On an aside, I ran the majority of the distance behind the woman dressed in an elaborate snail costume. It was a tad disturbing I could not pass the snail. I had to laugh when a bystander pointed to her and yelled, “Hey, you’re running too fast!” Indeed.
In spite of not quite running a snail’s pace, I did a happy dance once I crossed the finish line! A new PR.