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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Flying a half marathon with no training

I ran a half marathon last weekend. I did not train for it and I did not plan to run it. My friend Wendy from Charleston got invited to pace the race a week before and I decided that I would run it as well. Yes, there was a 5K race that I could have done, but where is the fun in that? Especially when there is a half marathon to run? 

I figured the worst thing that would happen is that I would not finish. The next worst thing would be to walk the entire thing. Anything more than that would be a success. Actually walking would be a success as well. I had run 23 half marathons up to this point. So maybe, just maybe muscle memory would kick in? Yeah, that sounds crazy, but what else could I say? I had paid my money. I had told people. It was a done deal no matter how ugly. I had forgotten that I had not run a half in over two years. 

I started off great. And then I just got tired. The longest run I had up to that point was 6 miles and that was the week before. The rule is to increase weekly mileage by 10%. Going from 6 miles to 13.1 is a lot more than 10%. I wanted the miles on my legs. And I got them. 

I was actually training for an April 6th half. So I figured this would supercharge my training if I did not kill myself in the process. It didn't kill me, but my knee (the one with arthritis) is not happy with me. I sort of forgot about that. 

This wasn't the whackiest thing I have ever done. I ran a marathon without training. Well, I ran up to 15 miles. But I had been running consistently up to that point. This time there were no consistent miles. Just a hairbrained idea and the thought of supporting my friend. 

It ended well. I finished. Much slower than I had run in many years. But that wasn't the point. I was coming back. I was present and accounted for. My race, my pace. I wasn't last. I would have gladly been fine with being last because being last is still a finish. 

I just ran. I ran for myself. I did not try to pass anyone. I did not try to smoke anyone. I listened to my body and to the best of my ability attempted to enjoy the journey. 

I forgot that I wear the Just Run mantra band. The box has these words on it:

Remember that the race is against your mind. Your body will achieve what your mind believes. Run fast, run slow, run a little, run a lot. Have the courage to start, keep going, just run.

And run I did and I have the medal to prove it. 

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