Only HALF Crazy

Last weekend I ran my third half marathon. Very slowly. In the pouring rain. When you’re pushing yourself to finish 13.1 miles in the midst of torrential downpours, you have a lot of time to think. I invite you into the recreation of what went through my mind over the course of the Rochester Flower City Half Marathon.

Starting Line

I’m really short. Everyone here is a LOT taller than me. Wait a minute, why am I so close to the starting line? I should be in the back, I’ll be in everyone’s way.

Was that the gun? Is there a gun to signify starting? Is that a smart choice in downtown Rochester? Maybe I’ll just turn my music a little more.

Mile 1

This isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It’s almost perfect weather, not too hot not too cold, I wish I had brought a light jacket though. How nice of these people to gather on the streets and cheer us on. I’m only here because I paid money and I am motivated by shiny metals at the finish. Here are a bunch of people with signs and pinwheels and cheering; how sweet!

Mile 2

Jason Derulo sings a lot of stupid yet catchy songs…

Mile 3

If this were a 5K I would almost be at the finish line right now.

Mile 4

I’m so glad this water stop is here right when I realized I was thirsty. And they have GU. In strawberry or vanilla. The idea of having a packet of goopy sugar is disgusting. I’ll take one just to be nice and just in case.

Mile 5

It’s starting to look a little stormy over there…

Mile 5.2

Okay, so now it’s raining and I have to run eight more miles. Why did I do this to myself?

Mile 5.3

I could be at home and dry.

Mile 5.4

I could be at home and dry and still in my bed.

Mile 5.5

I hate everything.

Mile 5.7

I guess this could be worse.

Mile 6

I had to think “I guess this could be worse.” Now it’s DOWNPOURING and I still have half of this race to go. Oh well, I’ll just keep going. I can finish this. And then I can shower and not be gross.

Mile 7 - Mile 8

I wonder what rain would be like if it actually were raining men like The Weathergirls say. I feel like that would be uncomfortable.

Would it sprinkle men? Would it downpour? Would these men be considerate enough not to fall on top of me? Where would they go once they’re here?

Mile 9

Must. Go. Uphill. Go. Uphilll. Go.

Oh look it stopped raining!

Mile 10

Yay downhill!

Aaaaaand it’s raining again.

Hmmm...I wonder if this GU will help? It’s actually not bad. It would probably taste okay with peanut butter.

Mile 11

I wonder which is worse, trying to get on wet denim or pull off wet spandex?

Mile 12

I am almost there! Just keep running, just keep running, just keep runnnnnnnnnnnnning.

Mile 13

I can see the finish line! Only 0.1 miles to go!

Mile 13.1

Oh thank God I’m done! I did it, though! I feel awesome! And here’s my medal. I’m a winner...well a finisher!

Mile 13.7

Holy @%#*!! My legs hurt.



So what did I learn my experience? I could throw a bunch of cliches at you like “no pain no gain” or “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But what I’ll leave you with is this:

  • It doesn’t matter if people pass you. That’s life. Some people will be ahead of you. Some people will be behind you. What matters is keeping your head up and not stopping because of it. (Also that I really should have been farther back at the starting line, but that’s another story.)
  • Sometimes people will be there to cheer you on in life but you can’t always depend on that. Sometimes you have to cheer yourself on. (Or sing songs from Finding Nemo.)
  • Rain is a possibility. You’ll be fine. You won’t melt. (Unless you’re the Wicked Witch of the West.)
  • The halfway point can be difficult. You can’t see the starting line anymore and the finish line is really far away. But it’s better to keep going then to backtrack. (Plus, you’ll be bumping into people which is just rude.)
  • Everyone’s motivation varies, whether you’re looking for a time PR or you just want to finish and wear that medal. Don’t feel like you have to compromise your motivation for someone else’s.
  • Wet spandex is legit the worst. I hope that whatever life goal (or goals) you have that you are able to persevere and be successful in spite of rain.

A slow, wet, and painful 13.1 miles is STILL 13.1 miles. Also - vanilla GU is NOT good with peanut butter.

Nutrition nerd out.

-Jen



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