Monday, August 12, 2013


Amnesia. Some crazy, runners-high induced amnesia. It's the only logical explanation for why I've signed up for a second half-marathon this year.

One of the things on my running bucket list has been, for some time, to run a half-marathon. For a year or so, I kind of half-heartedly (hah!) looked for one that didn't involve traveling far enough to stay overnight AND didn't take place on Sunday. And didn't take place in Louisville, because, Louisville traffic during Derby Festival season?


I finally spotted one that met all my personal criteria. Didn't take place on a Sunday, check. No need to feel guilty that I would be running 13.1 miles for no particularly good reason other than "I wanted to" while simultaneously feeling like I really should be teaching Sunday School instead. Took place in Lexington, check. I did the 2013 Run The Bluegrass Half-Marathon on March 30, 2013, Easter weekend. I met my twin goals of 1) finish in less than my corral time, 2:30, despite not being particularly speedy and  2) still be able to walk normally the rest of Easter weekend. The course was gorgeous (and hilly), filled with thoroughbreds (and hilly) and I finished it in 2:25 without my lower half hating me. Unfortunately, the traffic situation was nearly as bad as Louisville near the Derby, as it turned out, because they were doing major construction right in front of Keeneland at the time and had only one lane of traffic and some major fog going on. Thankfully, they delayed the start 15 minutes just to make sure everyone had a chance to make it in on time, but at one point, I thought I was going to have to bail on my dad, who graciously did the driving and photography, as usual, and run the last half mile or so to the gate just to make it to my corral.  

It was awesome and beautiful and uplifting and life-affirming, and I proved to myself I could do 13 miles off the treadmill without actually weeping at the fact that one hill made me crane my head back to see the top, way off in the distance. I did a thing I wasn't sure I could do when I started training. I did a thing that was hard. I did a thing that I had never done before. And I immediately swore I would never do it again, because 16 - 18 weeks of training plan is a lot of time commitment when you run the majority of it as slowly as I do, and Christmas was right in there and so. Much. Planning. I swore it out loud. To people. To multiple people. People who possess the sense of hearing and understand English.

And then maybe 90 minutes after not actually dying on the Really Nasty Uphill Curve Of Mile Nine Where Everyone Walked, I'm informed there's a half-marathon at Shakertown in November. A trail marathon. And it plants a seed. A seed that keeps niggling at me while I cut my mileage back during recovery and focus on just getting my annual 10K under an hour this year. One that kind of hovers back there while I try to get my 5K times a little faster and do a bit of speed training on the 'mill and wonder if I can ever work my way down to an unassisted pull up. The part of me that loves a deal keeps telling me that the cheap registration ends in July.  Only $65! And then the runner's high kicks in and you begin rationalizing. You're running, generally, faster! And you could do a shorter training plan this time! And no Christmas break! And you can train in the late summer/early fall mornings, when it's cool but not too cold to go outside! And it's trails! That's way easier on your body! I know all the things I did wrong last time! I can do it better this training plan!

Then you click the registration button and start having buyer's remorse before the confirmation email even shows up.

Like you do. Incidentally, this nearly universal "What the heck was I thinking? That's barely three months to train! I can't remember how to use my legs all of a sudden!' thing that runners do is surely the reason why nearly all race registrations proclaim in big letters that they are totally non-refundable and possibly non-transferable.

So you don't immediately freak and cancel.

Oh well. At least when I talk myself into impulse-buying a race (if you can call waffling over doing a thing for months "impulse"), it forces me to do healthy things.

I'm shallow. I'm totally in it for the shirt, bragging rights, pasta dinner, probable-post-race-banana and the picturesque views. And maybe a slightly faster finishing time than last go round?

1 comment:

  1. I am sure you will do great.
    I spend miles 16-24 of each marathon swearing I will never, ever run one again and that all runners are crazy! By mile 25 I see the light at the end of the tunnel and by the time I cross that finish line I am already planning my next race. Runners are nuts, but in a good way.
    I am so glad you signed up for a second!