The half-marathon was last weekend. It was a distance I once dreaded, but I have taken to running over the last 12 weeks in a surprising fashion. Given everything happening in my life it offers a respite from the mental chatter and somewhere around mile 9 of all the training runs I re-realize that resiliency will see me through.
With that dramatic opening paragraph done, on to the race report. It started with a light rail ride to the start. It is funny to get onto a train packed with runners and I imagine any ‘civilian’ commuters were surprised.
The start line was packed and pace initially slow as the crowd slowly thinned. Below is the race early on and Alan and I mugging for the camera.
Alan, I and another friend ran most of the race together. Everyone told me to expect the excitement of the race to sweep me along, and they were right. We needed to maintain a 9 min/mile pace to finish in under two hours, which was the goal. Coming out in a crowd we ran 9:45, 9:30 and 9:15, which made me nervous, but then the excitement kicked in and we ran several 8:30 miles and got back on target.
With three miles left I got to thinking about the direction of my life as of late and how much I wish Dave was around to talk through it. This put me in an odd place mentally, but also upped my energy level. With 2.5 miles left a song that Dave and I liked came on and it was off to the races. I ran the last 2.5 at a sub 8:00 pace, faster than I have ever run since high school. There was an uphill finish that had a lot of people walking, I blazed up it with all sorts of people shouting “go”, “you can do it”, “yeah”, I then took a hard left and ran the remaining blocks at a near sprint. I knew I could finish, but never expected to finish so strong and be covered in goosebumps while doing so. It was far more emotional than I anticipated.
With that said, will I run another one? That remains to be seen.