In early September, I finally made the commitment to running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon as my first half marathon.
Up until that point, I mentioned it to people, but in the back of my mind, I wasn't sure I believed that I would actually be able to run it. I was still having difficulty conceptualizing the idea of running a 5K, now I was supposed to multiply that distance by a little over 4? That was just really hard to get my mind around.
Paying for my entry into my first half marathon was making a huge commitment, not only to myself but to a sport that I most certainly didn't enjoy.
Yes, you heard that right. I hated running. And I am sure that the feeling was mutual.
I hated everything about it. I hated putting on the shoes. I hated the blisters on my feet. I hated the chaffing. I hated the sweating. I hated being winded and out of breath. I hated the pain in my muscles. I hated that I was really slow. I hated being bored on a run outside. I hated smelling bad afterward. I hated the jiggle of my fat. I hated every last second of it.
And yet, I kept doing it. By September I had been doing it for 8 months and I was passionate about thoroughly hating it. So why bother?
Determination, I guess. When someone says I can't, I scream WATCH ME. And this endeavor was just another opportunity to prove that the world is wrong about me.
So I registered Ray and I for the Disney Half Marathon, and we began our earnest training using the Galloway training method (a program designed for "beginning runners who have been running 6 months or less) as provided by Run Disney. I printed the Galloway calendar and looked at it with my daily planner then went in search of a couple 5K runs that I could add to the schedule, hoping they could keep me engaged and interested in the training.
I found a promising race on 11/3/2012 in Miami Beach, called the Glow Run 5K, and promptly signed us up for it. Our friend Steve-Dave also signed he and his wife Marcela up for the race, and this was to be Marcela's first 5K race.
|Me with Ray, Marcela and Steve-Dave|
On Saturday 11/3/2012, the four of us drove to the start line at Lummus Park on Miami Beach where we decked ourselves out in all sorts of glow gear. Then we waited on the beach until the sun set and the first wave was sent off. There were a lot of people there, and the energy was awesome.
There were no hard waves, they basically had everyone go into the start corral and wait. They would send a group of people off and then ask others to wait. When it cleared out a bit, they would send another group off. We were fairly far back, but we were unconcerned. We listened to the music, watched the helicopters circling overhead, danced with our glow sticks, and tried to remember those fuzzy memories we had suppressed from our late teens/early 20s where we also danced with glowsticks.
|The start line at the Glow Run 5K|
The first half of the race was on the beach. I wish I had known this prior to the actual race. Apparently running in the sand is much harder than running on pavement or (yikes!) concrete. Granted, we were running in somewhat hard-packed sand, but it was still tough. It was a glow run, so obviously they wanted a darkness to show off all of the glowing paraphernalia, but it was scary running on the beach in the dark. I'm a klutz by nature, so I the first half of the race terrified I was going to fall into some kid's tunnel to China. I think they probably could have given us a little more light, and still achieved the desired effect.
At the 1.5 mile mark, the course veered off to the left, off of the sand, and into the street area for the return 1.6 mile route. I had hopes that we would be on the pavement, and was left heart broken to find that we were actually running the return on brick walkways through Lummus Park. I spent the next 1.6 miles debating whether brick felt worse on my back or sand felt worse on my legs. Ultimately, I think I decided I would do neither one again. Ever. Because I hated running and running hated me, and I was going to give it up altogether.
|Steve-Dave, Ray and Me at the finish.|
About a half mile from the finish line, we passed Steve-Dave and Marcela. Marcela was limping fairly badly, and said that her knee was really bothering her. +1 for the brick, -1 for my injured friend. Ray and I shared our sympathy and continued on. I was sad to leave her behind, but I had my own race to finish.
When we rounded the corner at mile marker 3, the finish line came into view. That 0.1 mile distance was so close I could almost taste it. I don't know where my energy came from, but it was like being shot out of a cannon. I kicked it into overdrive and sprinted toward the finish line. Ray, who had been meandering along at my snails pace wasn't expecting this final push, but he kicked it into gear and gave a good chase.
... And as we crossed the finish line, I realized that I came in a fraction of a second faster than him. Although he slowed down to my pace for the first 3 miles (and I could have never finished faster than him had we been in a real race against one another), I finished faster in the sprint for the finish!
Ray said later that he'd be picking sand out of his teeth for the next week.
|Marcela and Steve-Dave at the finish.|
Pace: 15:13 per mile
Congrats to Marcela on finishing her first 5K race. We need to do this again soon!
That last point one will getcha!