It may have come to your attention that I’m not the best at preparing. For anything.
So it should come as no surprise that my running partner and I were late to the start of the Lewis Gale Salem Half Marathon. (We say running partner instead of boyfriend here because some folks have been whining about the amount of time I spend with him and they’re all runners so if I refer to him as my running partner they might continue reading instead of sending me a gif of a monkey throwing a computer against a wall. Seriously. My friends are very emotional. And needy.)
Anyway, we were at least within earshot when the gun went off. But they were already lining up the children for the 2-miler by the time we reached the starting line.
My running partner hopped the fence because he can and apparently expected me to do the same? It’s like he’s never even met me. The Spartan in me did briefly assess the height of the fence, but then clumsy chick in me asked Spartan me if I was aware of how many injuries I already have and how many upcoming races I’ve already paid for and do I really have to put you on punishment to give you time to think about the connection between choices and consequences? So Spartan me rolled my eyes, but grudgingly walked around the fencing. While still pinning on my race bib. And tying my car key to my shoe. And starting Strava. (Because, you know, Strava or it didn’t happen…)
And off we went flying past small children to get through the start and catch up with the pack that started two minutes ahead of us. I probably didn’t push any small children out of my way, though. I stay classy. And Race Director Molly apparently saw the thoughts of little child pushing in my eyes and quickly reminded me, through her microphone, that I could calm my behind down because this race is chip-timed. But really. I’m classy.
And aside from an always-complaining left Achilles and a somewhat pissy right knee (because balance), I was feeling pretty good on the front half of the course. Hills, baby. That’s what Chicago was missing. Around 800 feet of elevation gain felt perfect as a recovery race following the flattest marathon in. the. world. My brain was elated.
Until we hit mile 10. And then my brain was all like, “Hey legs! Isn’t this awesome? We just ran a major marathon six days ago and look at us! We’re loving this!”
And then my legs were like, “Oh damn! That’s right! We’re still super tired! We’re probably done running now.” And suddenly instead of killing it, I was begging two lead weights to get me to the finish line.
Brains are idiots.
Whatevs. My lead weights and I managed to get there in 2:10:56. A perfect 10/mile pace. Mostly because my running partner refused to let me just walk and enjoy the scenery. And the scenery is breathtaking. The mountains surrounding Salem are gorgeous. If you haven’t run this one, you need two. It’s beautiful. And well-organized. And there’s that whole Triple Crown deal, too.
I’ve got two weeks until Marine Corps Marathon. I’m gonna see what we can do to be on time for that one. Because I’m certain I’ll find some other way to make it ridiculous. No one wants to hear about the same ridiculous twice.