Half Marathon #6

I ran my 6th half marathon today and I had fun. I think it may be the first time that I can really say that. Normally when I run I’m calculating my distance and time and figuring out what time I will finish and deciding whether I can maintain a faster pace or not. I’m convincing myself to just keep running, I’m counting down the kilometers that I have left. I get tired and grumpy and I want it to be over. Today was a completely different experience for me. I went into this run with no real expectations. My right leg has been so sore that I wasn’t even sure if I could walk that far let alone run it. I even considered not running at all.
I woke up around 4:45am and listened for the sound of cars driving by on a wet road. It didn’t sound wet at all so I expected that we would have decent weather. By the time that I left my house at 6am it was raining. I drove to my friend’s house and we carpooled from there to the race site. It was pouring on the way there. I was not looking forward to the run at all. I was still concerned about injuring my leg by attempting to run so I had a little anxiety about that. I was also just not motivated because I couldn’t really think of a good reason why I should run the race other than just because I had entered and had paid for it. Having no goals and worrying about injury made it seem pointless to me. But after huddling around under tents for a while trying to postpone getting soaked we headed to the start. It was a smaller race (about 600 people in the half marathon) so it was less than a minute after the start that we were crossing the line. I started out feeling pretty good. My stomach felt good and my leg wasn’t really hurting yet (it doesn’t usually hurt right away). At about 3k I noticed my right leg but it still wasn’t painful. I just knew at that point that my massage on Thursday hadn’t magically cured it completely. By 5k it was sore and I told my friend that I would probably walk when we got to 6k. I ended up running until about 7k and then decided that to avoid injury I probably should take a walk break. My friend continued on. I walked for about half a kilometer and then tried running for again. My leg seemed to be getting worse. I walked again at around 9 kilometers and continued walking for at least 2k. At that point I was considering walking the rest of the way to the end. At around 11 or 12k I tried running again. I passed the 2:30 pace bunny at this point. It surprised me because I felt like I’d been walking so much. I’d already mentally put myself into the 2:45ish finishing time or maybe even later (I wasn’t doing any calculating in my head). I didn’t really care if I finished late but I also didn’t want my friend to stand around in the rain waiting forever for me. Passing the 2:30 pace bunny motivated me to continue trying to run. My leg was still hurting but it didn’t seem to be getting any worse. I knew that if it stayed the same I would be able to continue running. I took a couple of short breaks after that but for the most part I was able to continue running without any increase in the level of pain. I walked down all the hills (there weren’t many) since they are the worst for my leg. The uphill parts were near the end so I made myself run up them even though I knew it might not be wise. I picked up the pace with about 1k to go. I had to pass the lady in pink up ahead. I always pick a target person to beat and she had been ahead of me for a while (my initial target had stopped to fix her shoe a couple of kilometers back). I passed the pink lady easily and was disappointed that there wasn’t really another good target to try to pass. There were people walking!! Who walks with less than 1k left?? I think that they may have actually been from the 10k distance and maybe had walked the whole thing. With only a couple hundred meters to go I spied my next person target. Unfortunately for her she didn’t realize that we were racing. I had really picked up my pace and was running pretty hard. I think I took her by surprise when I flew past her. I should have warned her so that she could have actually raced me to the end. It would have been more fun. Maybe next time. My official time was 2:24:01. My friend got a PB with 2:09:26.
I don’t think that I’ve ever been in such a good mood throughout a race. I was looking around at the other runners and the spectators. I even talked to one lady who had the same capris as me (she was my first target but I didn’t tell her that) and I smiled at anyone that would make eye contact. I was enjoying my audiobook (the rest of Pride and Prejudice, although it ended and then re-started in the middle). I love that book. I was soaking wet but having a good time. There was no pressure to do anything other than what I felt like doing. It turns out that I felt like running. I had fun! I never expected that I would ever find running a half marathon fun or easy or short. But it was all of those things. After training for and running the full marathon a few weeks ago running a half felt like no big deal. I did start paying attention to the kilometers at the end so that I could judge how much to push my leg and I was surprised to be thinking that there was only 5k left. I think that anyone that doesn’t enjoy running half marathons should do a full. The half may be my favorite distance now. My old goal of doing 5 in my life had kind of changed to 10 in my head (seeing as how I’ll have finished 7 by the end of this year) but after today I have no goal. It’s unlimited now. Maybe I’ll even set a new goal of doing at least one a year. But first I’m going to let my leg heal. I just moved it and it’s REALLY sore!! I think I’m going to have some trouble sleeping again tonight because of the pain. I’d better book another massage this week since it did seem to help.

That's me on my 50th jump.

That’s me on my 50th jump.

On another note, I did my 50th skydive on Friday. It was a good jump with a great landing. My first landing of the day hadn’t been that great. I had landed in the field just behind where I was supposed to land. Another 10 meters and I would have hit our field but the owner still noticed that I landed off the property. That guy doesn’t miss a thing! One of my friends came and did his first skydive that day too. We were on the same plane. He did his first and I did my 50th. It was pretty fun. I’ve decided that I need to start jumping more often. I definitely improve if I do more than one skydive in a day. Lately I’ve only been doing one jump every now and then and I’m not getting any better at it. My new goal is to get as many jumps done in a day as I can. I’m also trying to recruit some of the more experienced jumpers to go with me so that they can teach me things. I’m determined to improve this season.


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