Picking up from yesterday -
I was jamming out to amazing music.
(And I was maybe being a little too thankful about life. I know that the general rule of the internet seems to be that you can complain as much as you want, but you can only be so thankful. I don’t know if this is because people don’t find it to be genuine, or if it’s because people don’t like to feel that other people are bragging. But I definitely feel weird being all, (in a tone that mocks myself) “Oh, I’m so thankful! How great is life?”
No one hassled me or commented or stopped following or anything, but I still felt weird. And how weird is it to feel weird about being thankful? Oh, society. Or my brain. Or a mix. Whatever. Moving on…)
Right around mile 7, I got into a chase with Kathleen and Meagan. I had slowed down a good amount, and they had sped up. I heard them running after me. I turned around and yelled, “You guys!” Then I ran. If it was a race they were after, they were going to get one!
This happened a few more times over the next few miles. I’d get far enough ahead to chill out, then after a while see them coming out of nowhere. I was able to keep my lead ’til the end. Or course, when you run out too far ahead of people in a small race, you get to the point where you’re alone in neighborhoods.
I heard some dogs barking behind some really tall bushes. Are they behind a fence? If they’re not, are the bushes dense enough that they can’t get through? Is a dog going to bite my Achilles tendon in half today? Do I run away from here as fast as I can, or do I pretend to play dead?
I ended up surviving without being chased by dogs. But, boy, I think I need a brave running buddy.
As I forged on, I met a nice group of people out for a walk in their neighborhood. As I passed this one man, and said good morning; he said he didn’t usually like being passed, but he’d allow it. I told him, “Well, I am in a half marathon.” “Oh, so that’s the event going on today,” he said. (There were signs and cones out and around.) I said there were still two people behind me, and he said I better get a move on – and that he’d distract my competitors when they showed up. Well, thank you, stranger.
There weren’t mile markers at the event – there would just be update signs at various aid stations that said things such as “.9 miles,” “5.67 miles,” etc. When I got to the next aid station, I didn’t see one of those signs, but assumed I was probably somewhere around mile 8 1/2 ish. The people working the station said “Only 2.7 miles left. And it’s downhill and flat from here.” What? I’ve already done over 10 miles? Awesome!
My understanding was that there were only 2.7 miles from where we were at the start. However, there was an extra little circle (in an uphill place) to make the full 13.1 miles (since we did not go out a dill 6.65 before turning around). When you are told you only have 2.7 miles left, but you really have more like 4.3, it’s a huge bummer. Races are mind games, y’all!
Finally, I came upon a spot where the volunteer at the aid station said there truly was only downhill and flat left to go, and she was right. I made my way through my final mile, to be greeted by Joel and a group of lovely strangers at the finish line. Joel and I then jumped in the car so we could make it back for work and school.
I have been trying (often unsuccessfully) to encourage more people to do half marathons with me – ’cause I think they’re fun and magical and all. And I forgot, until I talked to Joel, that the easiest way to get someone stoked about running is to get them to go watch the finish line of a distance running event. He was so ready to sign up for one immediately after the half was over. He told me with wide eyes and inspired voice how amazing it was to see everyone filled with so much joy as they crossed the finish line.
He’s ready to lead us all in signing up for the LA Marathon. And I can’t wait.