Monday, May 30, 2011

Alexandria Half Marathon - SUCCESS!

All smiles at the finish line
I must say, this was more of a crap-a-thon than a half mar-a-thon. I thought I was doing myself a favor by carbo loading on Saturday night with chicken, red pepper and broccoli alfredo (and a little Texas Toast, num nums). Turns out, the only favor I was doing myself was a solid colon cleansing in the middle of the race. I wasn't racing for a medal for the first seven miles, I was racing for port-a-Johns. Have you ever jogged while actually clenching your butt cheeks together? Let me tell you, it's as challenging as it is hilarious. I'm going to pump myself full of Immodium before the next race. I timed my pit stops to about nine minutes total so considering my overall time was a pathetic 2:10, I'd like to think that I ran this bad boy in about two hours. Alejandro was smart not to wait for me at my first pull over. He finished in 270th place. I finished in... 561st...

This was the first time that I've ever A) Stopped to go to the bathroom in a race and B) Grabbed a mouthful of water at the water stations - probably because I had just crapped out what felt like 70% of my body fluid. I'll gladly take any advice on how to avoid Runner's Trots in the middle of a race.

Something, almost beautiful, happened in the last two miles. It was a flat, colorless run between highway and residences and hardly a motivator to bring you home. I was merrily trotting down the home stretch when a tall, lanky and muscular girl about my age passed me ever so slowly. I'm not sure if she slowed down or if I sped up, but we ended up running next to each other for several yards with a little over one mile left to go. We didn't even look at each other, but our paces matched so well that we almost telepathically agreed to push the other through the finish line. Though I've paced myself behind runners before, I've never actually picked up a 'run buddy' in the middle of a race. With maybe about a 1/4 mile left, we jogged past an older man who instantly crept back up to us, smiled and yelled at me with a thumbs up sign, "GOOD PACE!" The three of us tackled the final hill together. I was in the center and felt like Cameron Diaz in her center position of the Charlie's Angel's pose and thinking - YEA! We can do this! - As we steadily increased our speed to round the final turn, our gentleman friend was grunting loudly. I smiled and yelled at him, "Use your arms! Lengthen your stride!" and though I broke into my traditional oh-my-god-a-jaguar-is-chasing-me sprint for the last hundred yards, the three of us slapped high fives at the end and exchanged "I couldn't have done it without you"'s. It was a really, really cool feeling.

As you can tell by my suffering run blog, I didn't exactly train for this race, but thankfully I'm hardly sore today and I've got a new medal hanging on my rear view mirror! I'm doing a 10K next weekend and I think I can tackle a half marathon in PA in two weeks as my June race. There aren't many half races in the surrounding states during the summer because it's so hot, so I've got to head north or south to get in a race a month. It's too bad that my overactive digestive system slowed me a bit for this race, but as they say....

...shit happens.

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