Apologies for the extended absence. Can someone please invent a time machine? …
I had really been looking forward to writing this post. Last week, I officially hit the halfway point in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. Hooray! I figured I would spend the next 300 words excitedly recounting my experiences and proclaiming how far I had come. (Nothing like a little proclaiming between friends.) But instead, on the illustrious occasion of my halfaversary, any excitement I may have had gave way to a feeling that I am Right. Back. Where. I. Started.
Lest you think I am a total drama queen, allow me to explain. I ran the five-mile Squantum 5 on Thursday night. It was very, very hot and there were hills. I was suffering from horrible jet lag, having flown in from Australia a couple of nights before and gone straight back to work. I had done very little exercise the previous two weeks thanks to travel and family obligations. (I squeezed in five miles, but they weren’t quality miles.)
You know what happens when you combine jet lag, heat, hills, and a lack of preparation?
You come fourth last.
As in only three people are slower than you.
As in almost everyone is already on their second beer at the party tent before you’ve even managed to put a toenail across the finish line.
It was tough for me to get my head around this turn of events. I’m not fast by any means, but I’m usually somewhere about three-quarters into the pack; I have even been known to be in the middle on a good day.
Where the hell is everyone?
I knew I was in trouble from the start. I was running a decent pace for the first half-mile, but it may have been too fast. I had to walk at about the three-quarter mark. That’s right, I apparently now can’t run a mile.
I noticed the pack pulling away from me but didn’t give it much thought until about 15 minutes in when I realized I was completely and utterly alone. OK, that may be overstating it – there were other stragglers about – but it certainly felt that way. Heck, if I hadn’t been wearing a bib on my chest, it may have seemed to the casual observer that I was just out alone for a nice, slow evening run.
Slow being the operative word. (I did learn later that this is called “the race of champions.” The majority of the field was unusually fast, so I don’t feel so bad.)
If it weren’t for the arrow signs, the Quincy Police Department magically appearing out of nowhere to stop SUVs from flying out at me, and the folk cheering for us from their front porches and occasionally spraying us with garden hoses (how fabulous is that?), I would have been lost. Literally.
It was a lovely course though … (I’m not going to mention the hills other than to say they were present and they did not help.)
Out for an evening stroll
So, my five-mile road race, my return to running after a stressful two-week hiatus, my triumphant halfway milestone, turned into a brisk evening walk around the lovely Squantum. At one point, I even chatted with another back-of-the-packer and we laughed at our ineptitude. I usually never chat because I am too busy trying to breathe.
Once I stopped being bothered by the not-being-able-to-run part, it was actually kind of fun.
Although, for someone who is supposed to be running a half-marathon in 41 days, it was also kind of disturbing.
Now that I have officially recovered from the lag, I am determined to launch myself back into something of a regimen. Hubby and I have registered for a bunch of runs in the next month (see sidebar), which will help get my mileage up. And there’s still the Tackle Box schedule as well. So we’ll see.
As long as I’m not in the bottom five, I’ll be happy.
(Oh, by the way, the after-party was fabulous. Beers and hotdogs outside on a glorious summer evening. It was enough to make me forget the running disaster. It was in support of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a place I am always happy to have take my money.)
The event: Squantum 5
The location: Squantum, MA
The date: June 28, 2012
My time: 61:12 (pace: 12.14) This wasn’t chip timed, so I want to say I was about 20 seconds faster, but who cares, really.
Hubby’s time: 36.42 (pace 7.20)
The cause: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
The T-shirt: Black tech tee
The aftermath: Pasta salad, salad, hot dogs, Harpoon IPA beer