13.1 Miles Later

On Sunday I did what I said I would in a previous post. I ran a half marathon. Thirteen-point-one miles later, I am still here to tell you the tale. And aside from the run itself, the weekend was lovely. I set off with two of my girlfriends on Saturday morning; Google maps in hand, snacks a-plenty, with everyone in agreement that I should not be allowed to drive under any circumstances. I’m a slow, scared driver. It annoys California people.

We arrived without glitch, picked up our bibs for Sunday’s race, and then headed straight and without hesitation to lululemon. Just like many people, the Clark-Bonks are on a lock-down type budget right now. But the emergency fund has been set aside, and I’m not in the vicinity of a lulu very often. And those crack-peddling bastards are the last retailer on Earth to have no online store. In other words, my hand was forced. I left with some running capris and a headband that won’t slide in my hair. Such restraint was show by all.

A healthy mix of hotel lounging, pasta gorging, gelato binging, nail polishing, and 48-Hours-Mystery watching went on. And of course, sexy pajama pillow fighting. It was a typical girly sleepover. Unfortunately it was followed up by a six a.m. alarm, and a furious scramble to consume some fuel, get to the starting line, and stretch our short-legged bodies in preparation for the road ahead.

I’ll skip the suspense and tell you that Ashley and I both finished the race in times we are proud of, and Jenn’s moral support gave us the boost that kept us from quitting.

The next 2 hours 15 minutes and 17 seconds were simultaneously exciting, hilarious, painful and incredibly painful. The first mile included a 45 degree incline. The next few miles were scenic and quaint and lots of runners were still yelling ‘Wooo Hooo’ every once in a while. By the turn at the halfway point, I was feeling rather competitive and was at the peak of my runner’s high. By mile 10 I was reconsidering this entire endeavor. Around mile 11 an elderly man, and by elderly I mean approximately 80 years old, passed me, forcing me to pick up the pace and subsequently pass him. He remained hot on my heels for at least another mile, but my inner voice said “I’ll be DAMNED if my finish line picture shows me running alongside someone’s great grandpa.” I left that geezer in my dust. The last mile leading up to the finish line included the 45 degree downhill slope that was the flipside of the torturous opening climb, and most of us were bordering on losing control of our legs and tumbling down the asphalt hill. I crossed the finish line triumphantly, but immediately after retrieving my finisher’s medal (which I wore to bed that night) I started walking like Bambi right after he was born. Sidenote: Aspercreme does wonders to keep your joints feeling good during the race. But it burns like a mother when you take a hot tub after the race.

By the time we got home, the pain in my knees felt like nothing at all when compared to the knot in my stomach. Apparently, after approximately 13.1 miles my entire digestive system goes on strike. Stops moving. Despite the fact that running 13.1 miles seems like it would give you the right to eat whatever you want, absolutely nothing sounded good to me. The pain and hunger strike endured into the night, and even though I was able to eat the next morning, I had to substitute teach first graders so my knees definitely did not get a rest.

Three days out from the great race, I am finally feeling normal again. A little stiff, but able to walk and eat. And I’m scouring the internet for my next great race. Wine country in March? Michigan in June? Perhaps Chicago in August? I’m almost 100% certain I could never do a whole marathon, because that would literally have meant turning around and starting over after I reached the finish line at 13.1 miles. Considering that I limped to line-up for free breadsticks, then limped to the car, then barely was able to get myself into my bed, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Finally, if you care to see how frighteningly cheerful I look throughout the race, you can go here and type in 8744, my bib number.

9 thoughts on “13.1 Miles Later

  1. Yay Sweetie! Congrats:) I checked out your pics, too… you looked so happy and energized. I’m so proud of you my little runner! Sherry xoxo

  2. Wooohooo! That´s awesome. I´m so impressed since I probably would die after about 2 miles. You totally deserve the lulu splurge!

  3. Way to go Lane. Having to deal with first graders the next day would be much like you completed a full marathon anyway! You’re inspiring me to think maybe I should be doing thinking about running in a half-marathon as inspiration to lose the post-baby weight after June.Lesya

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