Saturday, January 24, 2015

(Half) Marathon Weekend Report

Friday: Expo
Picked up race packets. Also bought running stuff, including bigger water bottles, a clip on pocket that I can actually use with work clothes, several headbands (Superman shield, unicorns and rainbows, paisley skulls, and Union Jacks), and a star waist pack.

Saturday: ABB 5K
Running this race meant not just a medal for this event but a Double Down medal for finishing one of the Sunday races; this one was a duh. However, my daughter had been asking to do a 5K with me since Thanksgiving. Since this was also my husband's birthday, we made it a family affair.

In many ways, it reminded me of my first 5K. Miss took off far too fast at the beginning and then petered out halfway through, all the while musing, "Is it over yet?" So, yes, much walking as expected. But the weather was gorgeous, and I saw a part of Neartown that I didn't really know.

We gathered medals and muffins, and then she kicked butt at her tae kwon do class afterwards. Really, I am proud of her for seeing it through.

I admit I was a bit worried, though, since I hadn't had a lot of sleep the night before. Race jitters were in effect.

Sunday: Aramco Houston Half Marathon
I managed a decent night's sleep and made it to the slowpoke corral with loads of time and managed to chat with some lovely women. Just to show how big an event this is, it took me 36 minutes to get to the start line after the original gun had been fired.

Again, lovely weather--clear and cool. It was kind of fun running city streets that I knew well. I also saw my hairdresser, who sings along the route with her group, The Great Pretenders. The turnout of cheering spectators was pretty constant.

It was weird when they called out my name ... and then I remembered it was on my bib. It's weird, but I am more comfortable with cheers of "Wonder Woman" than "Darcy"; in a way, the costume allows me to hide and not take my performance too seriously. I have had more than one race where people say they like to run next to me because they feel like they get part of the cheering. Which is cool by me--if you are out there at all, you are a superhero. I just happen to dress like one.

I was doing okay until my phone completely stone-cold died close to the 15K mark. This was where I floundered. I didn't have music to motivate me. I didn't have the voice to coach my running intervals. This is also where the fatigue and pain hit; I knew from my previous half as well as my training runs that this was a difficult window. So, yeah, I ended up walking way too much, tunnel-visioning with hip and foot pain.

Thankfully I didn't hit any of the hills on Allen Parkway as I had feared. I tried to remind myself of my very first 5K that took the same stretch of road and how far I had come. I tried to pick up the pace in the Downtown corridor from the library where I work to the Finish Line. That's where things got surreal: the full marathon runners were in the lanes to my right, spectators lined both sides of the road. The cheers for the costume came from different directions--"Go, Wonder Woman!" from here, from there, behind, ahead. I had to keep going. Simply had to get going.

And then I was done. And I found my family (which was my next worry with a dead phone). And I got three medals. And some food. And a nap.

I have finished a second half marathon. A pretty official half marathon. Not that some races are more official than others--you're still moving your body over a defined distance. Except when they are. This one just feels more real. People I knew saw me (besides my family). More people knew and congratulated me. It wasn't a better performance, but I feel a little more entitled to the sticker.

Monday: Martin Luther King Jr. Parade with Girl Scouts
Okay, so this wasn't a race. But we were in the same part of town in which I had spent the entire weekend. Plus three hours of standing around. Plus walking a mile and a half. By noon, my legs were tired, my feet were tired, my family was tired, I was tired.

I spent the afternoon with my daughter napping and watching cartoons. Because that's what finishers do.