Alright guys, the time has come. The deadline is looming. The end of the road is nearing. Or, something. Insert more "we're almost there" metaphors because I'm too tired at 10:19 pm (approximately the time of the drafting of this post) to think of more quippy ways to say, the Nike Women's Half-Marathon is coming up on Sunday and I am woefully under-prepared.
[my all-purple selfie]
The first year I did it, I was just thankful to finish with my legs still attached to my body (I think Camille and I both were.) But oh lord did I feel it all the next week - it literally hurt to sit down in class. That's sad, you know? In a good way, but still. I finished, I was happy with my mediocre time, and I was feeling it in my glutes. Those are my memories of that first year. Oh! And they played Katy Perry, which was fab.
The second and third years, I was trying to beat my previous time, but I had also kept up with running a lot more during the non-training parts of the year, so I wasn't too worried about my legs crumbling near the finish line. I wasn't in tip-top shape but I was in good enough shape to shave a few minutes off my time, and not really feel quite as sore the next week following the race. I could even run up some of the gigantic hills! Some. Those were good years.
Now, this year has arrived. And I am excited, as always, because it's an exciting event and I'm thrilled to be a part of it, and even if Nike only gives a percentage of every entrance fee to cancer research it's more than nothing, and even if Nike seduces me into buying a commemorative sweatshirt like it has each other year I'll still be gloriously happy once I've finished it all. So, you know. I'm excited! Except that I am definitely, definitely not in as good of shape as I was last year. And I am definitely, definitely worried about not being able to go up stairs during this next week. I've taken to referring to the race as "My Long Walk." That should tell you my expectations for that day.
[look, a bird on my run!]
And yet, I know it'll be great! The adrenaline will kick in, Camille and I will try to stick together and we can push each other, and there are the orange slice and chocolate bar miles to look forward to. If I have to walk a bit more, so be it! I'll finish it, and I'll get my necklace handed to me by a fireman in a tuxedo (they do this every year, and I don't know who came up with it, but god bless you), and I'll wear the goofy silver aluminum foil blanket around afterwards, and it'll feel great to accomplish this feat for the fourth year in a row.
It's incredibly cliché but there is just something about pushing your body to complete a task when you just really want to lie down right where you are and take a nap, but you know you can't do that, so you continue onward. Onwards and upwards! Up the really big hills. A lot of it truly is mental and once you've convinced yourself you can push yourself further, and that you can get over that hill, and you can get to the next checkpoint, and you want to go around that bend to where you know they have the mini Cliff bars, you really can do it. You just have to know you can. It's as much as physical test as it is a willpower one.
[last year's bib and necklace box]
Boom. Positive thinking, people!
(Have you done a 5k or a half-marathon? What'd you love or hate about it?)