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
You are much, much, MUCH too hard on yourself!! Jetlag plays a hugeee factor in one’s ability to function, nevermind run. If I were you, I wouldn’t have even bothered and just gone to bed at 7pm. You should be proud of yourself for even trying!! =) PS – That is the route I have taken to Nut Island and I know you are NOT exagerrating about the hills… It’s hard enough riding a bike up them, nevermind running!
I’d really like to take that route again at a more leisurely pace. It’s so lovely. Hubby and I are mulling getting bikes. 🙂
Yesss, do it!
I love reading your write ups! I have been in a where the hell is everyone myself. So not cool. Hahaha But ya know what? Any race finished is a race finished. And you can return this lovely thought to me on the 4th when I do my first race (8k) in a while amongst real runners in one of those small, small races where it will be apparent that I am not a runner! I have a feeling I’ll be in a where the hell is everyone land myself and I only hope they have signs up like your race did pointing the way out! Hahaha Good luck on your half training!
Thanks!!! It was SO weird being almost alone. But there was something liberating about it too, especially when I decided not to get to stressed about the running part. It was fun chatting with the other woman at the back of the pack too. You’re so right though; a race finished is a race finished, no matter how you do it!! 🙂
you finished the race, with a good attitude that gets a gold star in my book. 52 runs 52 weeks is crazy and you are totally rocking it. btw– you are way to hard on yourself. keep moving and i’ll see you at the quite flat and windy SeaWheeze. if it makes you feel any better i had a whole week of nada (a long story) but i missed 3 scheduled runs and faked my long run with a ride this week. you are not alone 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement!! I feel as though I have fallen even further behind, but that’s OK. I’m not going to sweat it too much. I am SO looking forward to SeaWheeze, even if I have to walk the whole damn thing. I think it’s going to be one of those momentous events. I hope your training is going well! 🙂
Dude, cut yourself some slack! Heat, hills and jet lag is a lethal combination. You should be proud just for finishing that! We all have bad runs and races — they make the good ones feel that much better.
Thanks! You’re absolutely right. I think we all have a tendency to be a bit too hard on ourselves. I like to think we do it with good humor though! 🙂
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Awww you are really too hard on yourself. I live in the back of the pack. I like it there, it’s a friendly part of town. Thanks for visiting, I’m happy to know you enjoyed your time in my neighborhood. 😉 Good luck with the rest of your races!!
Thank you!!! I did enjoy it very much. In fact, I can see myself paying more visits during this insane summer we’re having. 🙂 Especially if I do more walking, which I think is the only way I am going to get through the rest of these hot runs.
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