Well...the half marathon that is. But hey, if Kristy2009 could go back in time and tell Kristy2000 that she was going to run slightly more than 13 miles (consecutively, within a short period of time) she would have been laughed at. Because Kristy1996 through Kristy2002 hated even running the mile. And I think 80's and early 90s Kristy probably wouldn't have loved the idea either, it's just no one had ever asked her. But back to Kristy2009...
A little before 7AM Saturday morning I lined up with 10,000 other lovely people, said a prayer, and then ran 13.1 miles. It was awesome. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it was because of the endorphins or something, but it was. I can't wait to do it all over again.
I have to say, running has become sort of an anomaly in my life. I really hate to suck at things, and in certain facets my competitiveness has become unhealthy. But despite the fact that I'm not that great at running I REALLY enjoy it, and when I can't run, I miss it. So over the past couple of years I've nurtured this love pretty carefully by protecting it from almost any form of competition, or potential competition. To put it simply, I run solo. I don't run with friends, I try not to ask others how well or fast they run, I abstain from discussing my own training too much, and in the dead of winter you'll find me on the treadmill in the corner. So to spend my otherwise normal Saturday morning run with a few thousand other people has brought about a change. In fact, after stumbling across this snippet on RunnersWorld.com yesterday, I might even say it:
Runner: is a person who RUNS. Period...If you're interested enough in the sport to come here, the chances are excellent that yes, you're a runner no matter how slow or fast you are or whether you ever enter a race or not.
I am a runner.
I also have tendonitis. I think it happened the Tuesday before the race, when I noticed the arch of my right foot ached post-run. So taking the advice of a Physical Therapist (and Boston Marathon finisher) I work with I very reluctantly laid off the running until Saturday morning. Around mile 2 (that's 15% into the race for those of you who are counting) I could tell something was up. Around mile 9 ignoring it wasn't working anymore and I had to take a second to evaluate my options. It went something like this:
Stop running, ice and recover? Umm, no. Keep running? Sounds like a plan.
I'm sorry if my word choice isn't the best, but I'll be damned if I was going to train for 3 months, come dangerously close to quitting the whole ordeal, then miraculously break through my own personal wall, drive 125 miles, run 9 and then STOP!
Besides, once you get into the running zone, it actually takes more concentration to stop your legs from the continual rhythm they've gotten used to than to just keep going. So that's what I did...and later learned all the benefits of R.I.C.E. That stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. It became an acronym for a reason. Use it.
Now I'm just pumped to run the race again next year because I missed out on the 3 mile "woosh" at the end. The 3 mile "woosh", as I call it, is the final 3 downhill miles of the run which is a special treat after the previous 10 mostly uphill miles. So in my head I was always thinking that if I made it through the first 10, the last 3 would be like a woosh to the finish. Saddly, I wasn't able to put that much pressure on my foot the last 3, but you better bring it KC. I'll see you October 16, 2010.
I'm also thinking about the Nashville Country Music Half in April, but I'm not to keen about 100% winter training. I'll keep you posted. Something else I've been thinking about...run a half in all 50 states. Sounds like a plan.
And that's the way it is :)