the return to running

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm feeling a little beat up today ...

Don't worry –- this wasn't a clipless pedal accident. It's Halloween here in the office, and the PR department went with a medical theme. I'm a patient.

And the special effects makeup doesn't stop there. Tomorrow I'm running the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon in full costume. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but let's just say a lot of liquid latex is involved. Fingers crossed my face stays on for all 13.1 miles.

Speaking of races, remember the other Healdsburg half a few weeks ago? And remember how I wasn't even sure I was going to do it?

Somehow I ended up with this:

This finisher's medal means the Healdsburg Half was my 15th half marathon.

And I had thought it was going to be a DNS. That changed about 10 minutes before the start. I was wearing my running clothes and I picked up my bib, so I figured I'd go for it because I needed a workout anyway. My plan was to run seven miles and then drop out.

Mile 1 9:43
Mile 2 9:09

My hip flexor was slightly achey at first, but as I kept moving, the pain faded. And the more I ran, the more it hit me: It just feels so freaking good to be running again.

Mile 3 9:03
Mile 4 9:17

I was running with my friend and neither of us were taking the race very seriously. We were chatting, complimenting people on their socks (pink argyles!) and basically just having fun.

Mile 5 9:25

And then my friend announced he had to make a pit-stop. ASAP.

Mile 6 13:26

Nice split, huh? Clearly this was port-a-potty time. While I was waiting for my friend, I saw a few other people I knew. Their comments: "Hey, we thought you weren't going to be running today!" My response: "Oh, I'm just going to drop out after one more mile."

Mile 7 9:15

And I was going to stop. I swear. But there was nowhere to go –- no aid station, nothing. So I just kept walking. I figured I would walk until I found a suitable place to wait for someone to pick me up. But my friend stuck with me, and we just kept chatting away that before we knew it, three miles had gone by.

Mile 8 14:47
Mile 9 16:31
Mile 10 15:27

At this point my friend finally took off to run in. And even though I hadn't planned it, I started running too, because I didn't want to get left out on the course, walking and walking forever. I felt a little bad because I started passing a lot of people who looked like they were struggling, while I shockingly felt just fine.

Mile 11 9:27
Mile 12 9:16
Mile 13 9:41 (slowed down to eat pretzels at an aid station)
.25 mi at 8:01 pace

And the finish! Notice how I'm laughing and moving toward the sideline because the race announcer –- also a friend of mine –- cracked me up with a little aside as I crossed the line. (Also notice the horrible time on the clock –- new personal worst!)

Official/chip: 13.1 miles at 2:26:23 (three minutes slower than my worst time – not bad, considering how much I was walking) / Garmin: 13.25 miles at 2:26:25

So yes, with that impromptu half marathon, I am running again. And I'm really excited about tomorrow's race, which I'm pretty much just considering a long fun run. With fake blood. Hint, hint.


Layla said...

First of all, for a lark of a half-marathon that included walking, laughing and "I'm only going to run seven miles," that's a good time! Second, I want a wine stopper medal!! That is a fantastic idea! Remind me to run this one next year.

Michaela said...

I've actually gotten three wine stopper medals this year -- Santa Barbara and Healdsburg (both Destination Races) and then this one. They're definitely cool, although my favorite medal ever is still the clay one I got from the Big Sur Mud Run awhile back.

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