(#37) Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon – Part 1

My dad is one of the most hilarious people I know. He’s given me permission to make fun of him a bit in this post, so get excited for that.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon went off with a boom. (Seriously, whatever fireworks or gun or what was going off shook the ground (and all of us to our very cores).)

I don’t know if you remember my dad’s first race – the hilarious (and amazing) OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, but my dad went from quite confident at mile 4 to a stubborn acting like a stubborn 5-year-old at the end.

I cannot believe that I left out my favorite part of that story from that blog entry which was:

Right after the finish, my dad sat down. I said, “Daddy, daddy. It’s not time to sit down yet. You have to keep moving after a race. You have to get your medal. You have to get food.” That was the real 5-year-old moment, when he said “I don’t want a medal! I don’t want food!”

It was hilarious. It may not be quite as hilarious to you just reading it. I may need to act it out for you. But trust me when I say it was so incredibly funny.

For this race, he vowed that things would be different. He started training a lot harder, and I’m truly am very proud of the work he did.

In Indiana, his only goal was to finish – which we did in 3:51:07. The goal this time was a 3:30 (which is still a huge improvement). (Technically, he kept saying the goal was 3:40, but I’d heard him say 3:30 a couple of times, and I know my competitive father. I knew that 3:30 was the real-life goal.)

This is the part where my dad gets so funny. He wants to go faster at the beginning to build a “buffer zone” for our time.

I don’t completely disagree with that strategy. I have absolutely taken that strategy before. I’ve had it work well when I know how fast I am capable of going in the beginning, and I’ve been dead by mile 10 or 11 before because I go faster than what I’m really capable of in the beginning.

The strategy itself is not flawed, but you have to execute it right to work for you.

My dad was raring to go in the beginning. We jogged together until we reached the half mile marker. (This was the first time I’d seen a marker for the first half mile, which I thought was cool.) Then we slowed to a walk. But we did a little jogging, a little walking here and there, until we caught up to the 3:15 pacers. He wanted to stay with them through the first 5k. We had already started out faster than we should’ve been going just to catch them. (They crossed the start line before us.)

I felt that we were not going at a sustainable pace for the rest of the race, and I convinced him to slow down a little. I tried to explain that we had a number of miles left, and we’re going to want some steam by the end.

So, we slow down a little. Things are going pretty well. And of course as we get closer to double-digit miles, he starts running out of steam. He’s still doing pretty well around mile 11. As soon as we hit mile 12, he is so over it.

“Are we done yet? I want to go home. Are we done yet?”

I’m trying to convince him to jog out the final mile, or maybe the final half mile, but it is so not happening.

This is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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