Thursday, May 13, 2010

do two halves make a whole?

Well now. I've officially run my second and final half marathon. Where last year was sunny skies and perfect weather, Mother Nature decided she'd compensate for last year's loveliness by testing the stamina and our will-to-live-ness with 45-degree weather and pouring rain.

The weather in the days leading up to the race was picturesque--both Mallory and I were planning to run in tank tops and shorts. But sometimes 'man plans and God laughs', so we found ourselves at Target the night before the race, trying to buy cold weather running gear. If I had a gratitude journal, I'd have a big ole star next to my $13-clearanced men's long-sleeve winter wicking shirt.

We set off at the crack of down and it rained the whole drive to New Hampshire. We fueled up on bagels and the rationalization that the sooner the race started, the sooner it would end, and the sooner we could see Iron Man 2 (in IMAX!).

Wonder of wonders, the rain stopped right as we parked to register for the race. We got our numbers, stood in a very long line to use the bathroom, and eventually made our way to the starting line.

In a cruel and appropriate twist of ironic fate, the rain started coming down 30 seconds before the race began. It would only get heavier as the minutes ticked and the miles dragged on. To pass time (no ipods for these Wms runners!) I alternated watching the water my shoes kicked up with each step and the cloud of steam each exhalation created.

The course is somewhat hilly--shockingly, our best miles were the rolling hills of miles 6-10. Go us! I'm pretty sure the man standing on top of his car, playing a ukulele and hula-hooping put a little pep in our step.

I won't lie, the last few miles were pretty rough. I'm sure a combination of cold joints, uneven pavement, and hypothermic onset due to wind chill played a part in our slower last few miles, but it's nothing I'll complain about. We set out to finish, and we did. I may have had to have someone else re-tie my shoe as my hands were blue and frozen, but by george--we finished!

Death by Half Marathon

If you do the math based on our finish time, you'll see that we clearly weren't in it to win it. And I know our time looks and seems slow--I've had to fight the urge from Day 1 of training to apologize for being slow. But here's the thing: I just don't care. If you've followed my journey (if we were watching Biggest Loser, I'd make you take a shot) at all, you know that my training two-years running has been somewhat of a reluctant one. I don't find joy in the running. I didn't last year, and I haven't discovered it this year. I think we can all agree now that I've given it an honest go.

Training for these halves has been somewhat of a metaphor for my life. In some kind of masochistic way, I've run these races to prove I can do anything I set my mind to. And what seems batship crazy and improbable eventually can become a reality. And you can still hate it, but you got to the finish line eventually.

And before this post veers off into Oprah levels of philosophic hoo-ha, I shall finish with the wise wisdom, that sometimes, all it takes is a great reward at the finish:

Mallory is a rockstar (and already planning for her next Half).

Also? I quit long distance running. Time to find somewhere else to bring the pain.


Lindsay Jane said...

Congrats! I'm so proud of you both. I would have never survived the rain. Now got watch TV and enjoy a diet coke and skittles guilt free.

Jody said...

Something else, huh? You should give power yoga a go. ;)

Cheryl and William said...

I completely agree with you- there is nothing like running the half marathon in the pouring rain to remind you that long distance running is just not worth it! Way to not cut your losses and run the race :-)

Mary B said...

I'm so proud of you!!! I still can't believe you did it in the RAIN! I bet you're so fun to run with. Someday... (We'll go for a short one!)

Mallory Jan said...

We did it! I love the pictures and the target shirts that saved our lives.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!