March 6, 2005

The Agony of The Feet

Half marathon? Check.

Even though I was probably under duress when I committed to it, I trained for two months and ran my first half marathon yesterday.

My legs woke me up last night at around 5 AM--they just wanted to check in and let me know exactly how much pain they were in.

See, turns out, the Santa Cruz Mountain range, yeah--there's some elevation gains out there. I did all the recommended mileage for a half-marathon, but, I didn't do ANY of it in the hills. Oops.

Thankfully, before the race, I ran into M, a friend from law school who's a bad ass runner.

"Have you run this race before?" She asked.
"No. This is my first half-marathon, actually." I proudly replied.
"Oh." She grimaced oddly, "It's a hard one."

She then warned my ignorant self about the elevation (apparently, experienced runners look into the profile of a course before they show up) saying, "I finished as the first female in this race last year and I had to walk up the last hills. My advice to you is to take it easy on the first half, you'll need it at the end." It was VERY good advice, and I'm very thankful for having run into her.

E2, the friend I've been friends with the longest (18 years!) and I ran it together. Somewhere around the top of the biggest hill, I decided E2 should DEFINITELY be in my wedding party. It doesn't get much closer in terms of friendship than staying in touch for that long and going through torture together. I asked, E2 accepted. We ran at a decent pace over the straightaways, walked some of the uphill sections (although we should have walked more, since those that did just passed us on the downhills following the uphills we ran), and basked in the first warm day of sun this season as we enjoyed the view from the trail of woods, green mountains and valleys.

D, B&G, and H all came out to support us and M stuck around after finishing 6th to cheer us on as well. So, we finished the race covered in mud to cheers from our friends. We had hoped to finish in around two hours, but it took us 2h26. Given the course, we were very happy with the result and spent the time after the race excitedly planning our next one.

I guess I didn't need to be worried about losing my desire to run.

Overall, I'm only mildly in pain, and in exchange I have great memories plus a ridiculous sense of pride. I can see why B complained that this sport is addictive.

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