Y’all wanna hear a little story?
Of course, you do. ::wink::
It was Thursday afternoon on October 25. I was headed into Kroger for a few items just knowing I wouldn’t run into anyone. Ok, I was hoping I wouldn’t run into anyone. I hadn’t showered since the gym that morning. Don’t judge.
All of a sudden, I heard a car honking at me and turned to see my pastor’s wife and daughter.
I waited for them to catch up to me and we talked while walking into the store. I knew Lauren had a half-marathon on Saturday, so I asked if her she was ready. Then, I asked if her dad was ready. They told me he wasn’t sure he was going to run in the race because he wasn’t happy with how little training he had gotten in.
I jokingly asked, “So, who’s he giving his race bib to?”
The next morning I woke up to an e-mail asking if I would be interested in running in the race the following morning.
I responded with an ecstatic yes.
It was too late to do a registration transfer, so I would be running as Todd. ::snort::
I arranged to meet Lauren sometime around 7:30 the next morning after she picked up the race packets. All went smoothly. I pinned on my race bib about a quarter til eight and we walked to the start line.
I had absolutely no illusions of setting a new PR (personal record). The longest run I had done was a 10-miler back on September 29, which was exactly four weeks prior. My goal was to have fun. I would just run what felt good, walk when I needed to and just enjoy myself.
It was pretty crowded the first two to three miles, which worked well for keeping me from going out too fast. I settled into a nice pace that felt good. It was pretty chilly out. I think it was in the mid-30s at the start of the race. It felt great to me. I prefer to run in cooler temperatures.
I was wearing one of those shirts that can go over part of your hand and has a place for you to slide your thumb through. Since I wasn’t worried about my pace I just covered my Garmin up with my shirt to keep my hands warm. There were a few times I wondered what pace I was running, but didn’t feel like looking at the Garmin.
Just after the half-way mark, there was a lady calling out people’s times. When she called out mine, I was shocked. It was just a little over an hour.
It was at that point I thought I might actually have a new PR in me. I wasn’t getting my hopes up. I still had six-ish miles to go and I felt strong, but anything could happen.
I decided to uncover the Garmin.
The highlight of the race happened around mile nine. I came up on two bodybuilders. They were huge, y’all. It seemed like every muscle that could possibly bulge was bulging. They even had the neck muscles that bulged.
It seemed like I was coming up on them kind of fast and then it hit me . . . I might be about to pass them.
Shut. The. Front. Door.
They were breathing hard. Really hard.
And I almost waved as I passed by.
::snort out loud::
Yes, I chick’d two bodybuilders. My head is now officially the size of a watermelon.
During mile twelve, I faded a bit. There was a hill that I walked up part of. I really didn’t want to start running again, but I told my legs to stop their whining and get back to business.
Just as I was turning into the street toward the finish I heard my man and the children screaming at me. I looked over, waved and shouted, “PR! PR!” I had the biggest, dorkiest grin on my face.
I was so shocked.
You want to know what really amazes me? If you had told me a year ago that one day I’d get an e-mail from someone saying, “Hey! I’ve got a race bib I’m not going to be using for the half-marathon tomorrow. Are you interested?” and that I would respond with an enthusiastic “Yes!” I would have given you a good hearty ::snort:: . . . . and yet, somehow I did it.
Just in case some of you might be interested, I took a salt stick and ate a GU just before the race started. Then, I took another salt stick and GU at mile 4.5 and mile 9. I walked through every aid station to drink water.
For inquiring minds, here are my splits: