I desperately want to be a runner. I love runner's lean bodies and high energy. These are things I don't have. Or maybe I love having accomplishments under my belt....whatever it is, I completed a gnarly feat over the weekend! For the second time I ran and finished the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon. Wa-hoo!! It's a gorgeous 13.1 mile run with some challenging hills and (of course) four bridges. If you've never run in a structured event before, it's worth doing it at least once. There is something special and exciting about standing at the start line with a thousand other people, everyone bouncing, stretching and doing their best to be ready when the horn blows. And then it does! A sea of bobbing heads, not moving forward right away (I'm usually about mid-crowd), then crossing the start line. It's like being in a heard of cattle. Everyone so close together, then finding our own space in the first few miles. I love it. I feel like a part of humanity and get reminded that there is nothing that divides us but our own egos. Ugly, nasty thing that it is. Jerk.
Unfortunately I was hardly prepared for this event. My body was in for a shocker! About mile 7 (and just after a ridiculous hill) my body had a suggestion:
"How about we call it good? This is farther than we have gone in a long time, I'm getting tired and we have done a good job. Whaddya say?"
To which I repied:
"No one asked you. Hush up now and keep pluggin' along- do it!"
My body continued to let me know that it was not up for this challenge: foot aches turned into foot pain, back muscles fatigued, the leg burn that had worn off came back, my even breathing became labored and my body felt like it weighed 300 pounds. The only breaks I took were a few walks in the last 3 miles, and those were against my will. I hate stopping. I find it so much harder to start running again once I've stopped.
Eventually it I was on the last mile. Hallelujah! I had been dreaming about this moment for 12 miles!! The only thing was, some smart ass thought it would be neat if the whole last mile was uphill. Not cool.
One great thing about coming in nearly last is that there are few others around you when you cross the finish line. Since this was me, I got a whole crowd of people cheering just for me as they announced my name over the loud speaker. It's funny how just a little outside encouragement can make me move faster: after struggling the past 6 miles I was suddenly compelled to run faster across that line and make a grand finale!!
Then it's "clip!" as they take the chip off my shoe (a neato timing device), get adorned with my finisher's medal and ushered in front of a backdrop for a lovely, sweaty, tired picture (ugh).
My hubby and child were such a glorious sight after my 3 hour journey! They really are the best part of my life. Rosanna especially loved my medal, it's hers now.
Today my body aches. But, hey- I got a medal!
Did I mention it was exhausting? BTW, thanks to Ethan for being such a dedicated paparazzi: