There’s a mysterious quality some people have that empowers them to run farther, faster, and better. I say it’s mysterious because–duh– it’s a mystery to me why anyone would enjoy running so much.
My history with running is tumultuous at best. In college, I wrote an essay about a three-mile run that I didn’t even do (instead, I walked for an hour on a treadmill and wrote the essay after a nap). I’ve run a few 5ks cold turkey only to swear I’ll never do it again. I ran a 10k for the blog nearly a year ago. For one reason or another, I always end up registered for a race just after I’ve convinced myself to kick the habit for good.
Peer pressure ignited the desire this time; my friends all piled on after a group text asking if anyone wanted to run a half marathon. We all signed up and started training. During training, we raised more than $2,000 for 360 Youth Services, an organization that provides housing for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.
When I say “training,” I mean sticking to a running plan and adequately preparing one’s body for the race. All of my friends did that. Erin and I, on the other hand, stuck to the “push yourself to do a few long runs then hope for the best on race day” approach.
Our “training” showed as I clambered across the course, stopping to pee approximately 10 times. We made it 6.5 miles without stopping, then adopted a stop-and-go strategy. We’d run a mile, walk half, stop for water, run a bit, walk to this or that stop sign, and so on. At mile 12, drizzle started to fall, and we sped up for the home stretch, finishing at a blinding 13 minute pace with all our friends waiting for us at the finish line. We waited for the final finisher from our group, then headed home. The most rewarding sensation after a half marathon? Taking a shower. It’s the most amazing shower you’ll ever take (unless you run longer races, of course). The second most amazing feeling? A long nap.
I’d say I’m done for good, but, despite the sore legs for days following the half marathon, I’m already signed up for another 5k in July. Joy!