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Another Half Marathon Adventure

May 5, 2013

I have been remiss with regularly posting, and today is as good a day to pick it back up! My half marathon adventure continued with finishing the Tacoma City Half Marathon today.

There was a new course that ran along the waterfront for over half of the 13.1 miles. That stretch happens to be my most favorite place to train when I am by myself. The sun was an unusual element this year – it was 70 degrees pretty darn early, and I had only a small tube of sunblock. Today I also tried new things – a smaller camelback for water support and new tempo music to see if my time could be better if I had a consistent beat. You are never supposed to try new things at a race. The stories abound about people who buy new shoes and use them for the first time at a race – and their feet erupt in blisters and worse.

But this was my 18th half in the last five years, and I know how to manage my race. I know there will come a point when I wonder what the hell I am doing, when it seems like everyone passes me, especially women I think are in my age group. I know there will be many moments when some part of my body is not happy – today it was my right shin for the first three miles, then my lower back took its turn to complain, and the soles of my feet got very warm. I couldn’t breathe deeply for a time, I think because of the heat. I know my face will flood with tears about mile 9, when I wonder if I can finish another one.

But then mile 10 comes up and I know I will finish. I have done what I call the ‘meat’ of the race, miles 4-10, and now it is only a 5k – 3.1 miles until the finish. I have managed another half marathon. My face is white from sunblock, my camelback ensured I never got dehydrated, and although my tempo music needs tweaking, I was able to run really hard the last tenth of a mile. Being cheered on by my friends is not to be taken lightly – it is a soul-lifting feeling to hear them at the finish line.

There were 12 women in my age group, and I finished 9th. Not great, but as I tell myself when those inevitable self-disparaging moments come into my brain, at least I am doing it. I gain new experiences, lovely medals, and my body is still with me.

My half marathon adventure continues at the Portland Rock and Roll in two weeks.

One Comment
  1. Cath, I’m so impressed with your spirit and drive to do this! I wish I had your dedication when it comes to finishing our kitchen … we’ve hit a wall and need to get back in the race!

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