Yesterday I rediscovered my youth. I ran a half-marathon, which is a distance I have not even come to close to in more than ten years. In 1996 I ran the NYC Marathon, and as part of training for that, ran several half marathons…since then my running has been, let’s say, a tad more CHILL than that.
But I needed a goal a few months ago, and the More Half Marathon, it was. I must admit, I was nervous. I had trained, though I missed a few runs and had a couple too many rum drinks last week in Jamaica (carbo loading?), but regardless of how much time you put in, there is always the risk that you have a bad day. That is one of the great lessons of running – one day you can feel like a rock star and run with speed and ease, another – for no apparent reason – you feel like a pile of doo right out of the gate. Like life, in running, no matter how much you prepare, there are things that are out of your control.
Similarly, as I ran I was reminded why the phrase "this too shall pass" is too true. At mile 3 (yes, 3…only 10 more to go!) I hit a wall. It was the hill on the north end of Central Park and damn if that fucker (it is a fucker) did not kick my ass. My legs felt like lead and I was winded. Then I panicked as I imagined feeling like death for 10 more miles. And then something distracted me, a song, a person…not sure what…and I looked up and realized I had hit mile 5. Well, how the heck did that happen? And I felt great. Evidence of This Too Shall Pass. It passed, and the next time around that same hill (we had to run it twice) my mantra was TTSP as I once again stammered to the top. And felt fine once again. Life lesson, ya’ll.
And the race continued on. 4 miles to go at that point, after putting in the first 9. I was looking forward to seeing the Big H cheer me on at mile 12, our agreed upon meeting point. I approached 12, fluffed my hair a bit (I really did), hoped I did not have salt laden cheeks and prayed there was no Gu Loogey on my chin. I hit mile 12…no husband. Where the hell was he!!??!?! I started to think "Could he have been in an accident? He was riding his bike up here. Could he simply be LATE???? Oh my god, if he is LATE I will KILL him! What if his bike tire popped…or what if he just forgot to fill the damn thing!!!"
At this point my mind as well as my legs are racing and I am at one moment panicked a taxi cab has mowed him down and the next I am plotting his destruction since CLEARLY he has forgotten about me, or is late or something else inexcusable.
And then there he was. Arms up, coffee in hand, sunglasses on, on the side of the course at mile 12.5. No bike. He got there and thought he had missed me and did not want to go to mile 12 as it was too far back so he waited there. Arms up. And he was a sight to behold. I was thrilled.
After seeing him and yelling at a man for crossing the course right in front of me (I mean, what an idiot – there were 6,000 women running and dude decides to meander across the road???). Needless to say, I was spicy. So I used that to pour it on at the end and finish in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 17 seconds. My goal was 2 hours 10 minutes.
I crossed the finish line, got my medal and found my husband. I had reaffirmed – and employed – a few life lessons along the way, I only NEARLY murdered the Big H and quickly forgave myself (for my hasty assumptions) and there was but one pedestrian who suffered my verbal warfare as he crossed the road (he was one second from being human roadkill). And that was all before 10:30AM on a Sunday.
What a way to start a day.