Half Marathon Race/Red White and Boom
I’m not disappointed with my race, even though I did not stick to my plan, which was to stop every 1.25 miles and walk. I stopped many more times. I had several problems. The first problem: I couldn’t stop at 1.25 miles because it was too crowded. Second: the double hills around 3.5 miles sucked up a lot of energy. Third: the hills around mile 8 were also exhausting. Fourth: It was too hot not to be carrying a water bottle with me. Getting water every 2.5 miles was too long.
My time was slower than I’d like and I resorted to walking, then running a little, then walking again for the last 2-3 miles. My biggest feeling at the end of the race: I’m done and I don’t have to race this again! This is the second time I’ve run this particular race and I think it’s clear to me: I don’t like it. The race is organized well. I just don’t like it. The route. The heat. The super early start (we got up at 4:45 and left the house by 5:45).
Random Things I Remember:
- Waiting in line for the porta potty before the race started and just barely making it to the start line.
- The very slim and tall young woman ahead of me in a white tank top with bright blue shorts.
- Stepping on something and having my feet stick to the ground on every step for about a mile.
- How crowded it was for the first 2 miles.
- Feeling wiped out by the first big hill at around 3 and a half miles.
- The guy who was fat shaming Rosie O’Donnell.
- The other guy who yelled to his friends as they passed the 2:05 pacing group: “come on! unless you want to run as slow as this group!”
- Initially being annoyed by the pacer running near me because of his loud trivia game but then seeing him as a fellow runner and person when he had to stop pacing because the humidity was making it difficult for him to breathe. An important reminder to see the humanity in everyone first, before anything else.
- The loud “woo hoo” that erupted behind me by some runner–it couldn’t possibly be the same one every time–when we approached a water stop.
- Hearing a race volunteer yell out to a runner pushing a stroller, “Alright! Making it a family affair.” And then another runner yelling out, “That’s illegal!” I’m pretty sure it is. Almost always, races like this don’t allow strollers.
- The women on the bus yelling at the cops directing traffic to stop the runners and let the bus go through so that she could get to work. That same woman yelling at the runner just in front of me because the runner was giving her a snarky look. I struggle with how to feel about this one. Shutting down streets for the race can be a big burden for non-racers who need the roads. This incident seems to highlight the privilege involved with racing. Yet, I appreciate that the roads are shut down.
- Encountering a woman who was breathing so heavily that I thought she might pass out as she passed me while I was taking a walk break. Passing her when I started running. Then having her pass me when I walked again.
- Listening in as two women planned their future training runs. “When should we do our next 10 mile run?”
- Watching as two runners stopped so that one of them, a woman in a bra and skirt, could stretch her ankle, which seemed to be hurt.
- Walking up a hill that never seemed to end.
- Listening in on another conversation as one woman told the other, “We already passed her. I hope she isn’t mad that I didn’t say hi. I think it’s rude to say hi when you’re passing someone.”
- Approaching the halfway point, and the place where the first member of the relay teams finished and then next one began, and hearing a guy who was running in the relay yell out “which way to I go?” as he approached some orange cones dividing the road. Because it was very clearly marked, with a sign and volunteers directing you, I wondered if he was joking or serious.
- The annoying volunteer that kept yelling out, “come on, smile! smiles are required!”
- Not smiling and hearing him say, “I guess we’ve got some tired runners out there.”
- Watching the pacer who had stopped pacing earlier in the race pass me at around mile 11.
- A tall man running with his head tilted sharply down to the right. I wondered, was he exhausted or does he always run that way?
- Overheard several times by several different groups: Are you okay? Can you keep running?
- Overheard by a woman to her friend as they approached a porta potty with a long line: “Are you going to stop?” The woman answered: “Nah, I’m good.” Her friend: “Are you sure?”
- Giving a few high-fives to kids who had their hands stretched out on the route.
- Hearing one runner say, “Hey, what’s that?” Their running buddy: “A monument.” The first runner, again: “Cool. Hey, check out that library. They don’t make libraries like that anymore. I want to go there.”
That’s all I can remember.