When I said yes to the Monster Dash Half-Marathon yesterday, I knew that I could finish 13.1 miles. That was the whole point of it, really. To run for running’s sake.
But I also knew that there was a very specific way that I wanted my race to end, and that accomplishing that would be anything but easy.
So I took a bet on a day where I had nothing to lose.
Does that mean I knew what I was doing? Absolutely not. Sometimes there’s a plan and other times there’s not. This would be a prime example of a time where there was no plan whatsoever.
Unless Haul Ass + Hang On Tight constitutes a plan.
Which it very well might.
Unlike the marathon, I didn’t lose ANY miles. I felt no sense of ecstasy. I was acutely conscious of every single step and every single minute that passed.
Saturday was the kind of morning where running took a long time.
I saw Mom at Mile 3.5. Marcus was standing around Mile 6 and I saw Katie around Mile 8.
At Mile 9, I had a bit of a revelation when our pacer’s partner hollered out that if we were having trouble, we needed to hoof it by him so he could talk us through it. I realized that I was past the point of saying You Can Do This and needed to start believing You Are Doing This.
I reminded myself that two years ago at this time, I could not run a 5k.
I chanted the gospel of Steve Prefontaine in my head:
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
I ran for the girl who never thought that she would be doing This.
My finish time? 1:58:55.
I may or may not have shrieked crossing the finish line. I like to think that it sounded like a hawk swooping down on its prey. In reality, it probably sounded like the exhausted heave of someone who ran 13.1 miles in the freezing cold.
I tore three minutes off of my PR. I pushed my time into the sub-two hour category. I reminded myself that not only can I survive races and not only can I finish races, I can Do Better.
I know, I know. The sunglasses I run with are just so damn sweet. I keep on telling myself that I should really find a more flattering pair, but something about that just doesn’t feel right.
And yes, in addition to running with last night’s make-up when I race, I also take-care to action a side-part arrangement with my ponytail. I like to think it’s really the only vanity I can embrace.
p.s. I didn’t have to go to the bathroom during the race 🙂
What was the high point of your weekend?