Nieva was right; yesterday also yielded my highest blog viewership in a long time. I guess everyone wanted to read about my running experience. Nothing attracts a crowd like a horrible, grisly tale. I was hoping to write about the exhilaration of crossing the finish line and not about my colon, but maybe next time.
Next time, you ask? Yes. There will be a next time.
(and with that, Brian just slammed his head into his desk out of sheer frustration. Love you, honey!)
Okay, so hear me out: Sunday was not as bad as I thought. First, I'm not even a bit sore today. The bruise on my ankle is healing nicely, and I would have gone to Hill Day today except it's literally freezing here. Despite having a horrible headache this morning (which I am attributing to caffeine withdrawal, not dehydration), I feel just dandy. Less than 48 hours to a full recovery? That makes me feel good about myself.
And secondly, my time wasn't as awful as I thought it was; I found this out through a most unexpected source. See, yesterday Deana and I decided to bundle the kids up and take them to an indoor play area. We happen to sit next to this nice couple who overheard our conversation, and they were quick to mention that they did the marathon on Sunday as well. The husband, Paul, ran the half in (gulp) 1:12 (yes, you read that correctly - an hour and twelve minutes) and his wife Kerry (Carrie?) ran the full in 3:22. Insane, right? But they were not only incredibly encouraging, but they were quick to point out there was a staggered start. I had forgotten about this. The first three corrals E, 1, and 2 started before mine, with a three minute stagger. That means when I crossed the finish line at 2:34, it was more likely 2:25 or even better, 2:22.
My first half marathon in two hours and twenty-two minutes? I'm not going to complain about that.
(also, E stands for Elite, like the Kenyan dudes and ones who have sponsors and no body hair. I thought it meant "early" as in, "I'm going to finish this thing early since I started first!" Once again, this just shows my lack of racing knowledge.)
Likewise, I distinctly remember running past mile 5 at 52 minutes in. Which in staggered time is 43 minutes or -- wowza! --- 40 minutes! Man, no wonder I crashed so hard at mile 9. If I was running that fast for five miles (out of sheer terror of being trampled, mind you, not for competition) maybe I don't suck as much as I thought.
If anything, this is all compelling evidence that it's time to buy a Garmin.
Anywho, I'm feeling pretty good today. Aside from crunching the numbers, the emails I've received from other runners is especially helpful. What's most telling is - just like Motherhood - my experience doesn't seem to be that far off the mark from others. It's not until you get into the nitty-gritty details do people start to emerge from the woodwork with their own "I pooped outside" or "I peed off a bridge" stories. We're all just human beings with the same bodily functions, trying to do things our bodies weren't build to handle. Running brings out the best in others, and I thank you everyone who shared their own experience.
And with that, I'm going to look into some smaller, less-hoopla-filled races in the new year, and continue training. I want more than anything to feel that high of crossing the finish line (not among 44,000 other people) and besides, if 1,000 Elvises (Elvi?), 3 Batmen, too many Santas to count, and now Kate Gosselin can do it, I can too, right?
See you in Chicago 2012!