Monday, November 19, 2007

71 Hours and Counting

Seventy-two hours from now, I won't be sitting in front of my computer, tapping the keys while casually sipping my cranberry spritzer. I won't be comfortably stationary, enjoying the rest after my morning run and coffee. Seventy-two hours from now I'll be hitting mile 5 or 6, the almost-half-way point of the longest race I ever anticipate trying to run, our first attempt at a half marathon.

According to the training schedule put out by the 1st Place Sports running club, the three days prior to the race should be pretty restful. Limit your run to an easy 3 miles, and cut back other physical activities so as to save all energy for the big day. Well, we already put in our usual 5 1/2 'Bucks and Back. It wouldn't be a Monday morning without it. And though it's probably a mistake, I have an appointment later this morning with Judi the Trainer. I doubt she'll have any sympathy on me, as she's generally unimpressed with our running habits. When we completed our last milestone, the 10 miler, her only response was to ask if we're getting any faster.

No. We're really not getting any faster. Not any faster by measurable standards. I don't really care to. Running our way feels good. I can sing to the iPod, chat with my partner, or I can enjoy the silence, observing the sights and sounds around me. Running fast means I can't speak for fear of hyperventilating, my heart pounds too loudly to hear anything, and my vision blurs with the strain and discomfort. So instead of faster I'm satisfied that we are running longer.

The only thing that upsets me about the idea of a half-marathon is that it seems anticlimactic in its name. It's half of an achievement. Half of something people are proud of doing. Half the job is done. Half way to being historic. The running store sells bumper stickers and gold pendants with "26.2" for the boastful full-marathoner. They do not carry the same merchandise with "13.1" emblazoned in gold. If I cross that finish line on my own two feet Thursday morning, I won't feel half proud. I'll feel bumper sticker gold necklace proud. And its a feeling I can't wait to feel.


EJG said...

I wonder; will I only have half a heart attack during the race?

Will only half a muscle spring out of my leg like a slinky gone awry?

Will I only need half a trip to the emergency room?

MJ said...

We will be wholly proud of you. You can each eat a whole turkey after burning all those calories, too.

Neat how this post gives me a different kind of anticipation.

Cora Spondence said...

Oh man, bumper sticker gold necklace proud! Wish I had written that! (Not that I won't lift it swiftly and proudly in the future!)
This is an accomplishment worth savoring and celebrating for eons to come. Wish I had that kind of focus.