We went up to Leavenworth this weekend. I ran the half marathon with a friend, Sam Alston. It was his first half-marathon. I have probably not run that long in more than 5 years. The course was quite hilly, and we walked up a majority of the steeper inclines. But, the course was otherwise intensely beautiful. The leaves were turning color, and the river was so clear you could see the entire bottom. It was sunny, and the temperature was near perfect. I prepared this morning by eating some sausages and gravy at the Holiday Inn Express Breakfast bar.
My time was 2:34. Pace was 11:46 per mile. I was #69 out of 78 runners. I’ve been last in my age division before (in a triathlon where I almost drowned), and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. (Or perhaps I lack the dignity to realize I should be ashamed.) This run was not my best time on a half marathon, but I was happy I could get to the end, especially considering I haven’t run this far in a long time, and just 5 weeks ago, we were running only 3 miles/day. Also, I tried GU(tm) for the first time at mile 10, and I was amazed at how good I felt for the last 3 miles. It tasted as I had feared – like globs of warm sticky toothpaste. But, despite the taste, I think it was quite effective.
Reviewing the pictures, there are no pictures of me and Sam actually running. All of them are of us walking, or drinking, or texting. Considering this lack of evidence of running, I was actually quite pleased that we got in at around two and a half hours.
The thought did occur to me that perhaps I’m getting too old to run half marathons. I am turning 36 this month… Perhaps this was my mid-life crisis? Although, I would hope that if I had something to prove, I could get a better time than I did…. But, maybe I can’t? Maybe, I’m too old…
Previous to the run, I told Tenille about my first organized run. When I got to the first water station, I grabbed the water from a volunteer at my full blazing 10 minute-mile pace, and proceeded to try and drink the water as I was running and threw the cup on the ground – just like I had seen on TV of the Nigerians who are flying through the water stops. Then it occurred to me that everyone else around me (also running at a 10 minute pace) had stopped and was drinking from their cup like civilized people, and throwing their cup away in the garbage cans. I felt a bit embarrassed and walked through the water stops from that point on.
Tenille and my mom met us while we were running through the town proper. My mom had a Gatorade ready for me. I tried to recreate my first foolish water stop incident, and Tenille captured the moment pretty well.
All in all, I thought it was a good run, and I felt good about the distance. I suppose now that I feel comfortable running the distance, I think I might try to keep it up and see if I can pick up my pace a bit. Sam has developed an enthusiasm for running that has been pushing me. Perhaps, I can get a time worthy of a mid-life crisis on my next run.