July 30th, 2007
|11:43 pm - That's One-Half of a Marathon, Bitches!|
It seems redundant to compose a narrative about my half-marathon experience when you can listen for yourself. I started out a little worried about my knee but enjoying the communal run. Then my knee got better, perhaps due to the cheering from strangers who shouted my name. The Golden Gate Bridge was sort of a miserable experience, though unique. On the way back, I cheered for my running mates, even though I was in such pain. By the time I hit the marker for Mile 9, I was breaking all around me. Soon, the deadly San Francisco hills took their toll on my right calf, and at long last, I declared the cramp in my right calf the winner, as I was incapable of running at all for the last three miles, each attempt at running having been more unsuccessful. Just as I moved into the final mile, I was temporarily incapacitated by a persisting cramp and had to sit down for a spell. Then I walked and walked and kept on walking like the determined fool I am until I finally crossed the finish line. A thirteen-year-old runner made it across before I did. The announcer said my name over the microphone as I triumphantly put my foot on the mat, registering my time as a cool 3:17:42. As you can see, I blew, coming in 4,799th out of 4,928 (2,133th out of 2,161 men, 500th out of 504 twentysomething men!). I collected lots of free food and drink and took a bus back to the starting line; on the bus I learned that I had also been beaten by an eight-year-old. Finally, I took some time to reflect on the day and make hilarious statements about my body.
(My sexy, sexy body. Right, ladies?)
As far as a true retrospective goes, I already did that. Running the actual race did not change that. The best part of it was the people. These people who have been there with me and for me these past six months. Even people I'd only run with once or twice in San Francisco were happy to see me there on Race Day, and the feeling was mutual. I was really pleased to see my old pal Liu Kang running; I wished I could have stopped to talk to him, but there was no time or place on the Golden Gate, and we were running in opposite directions. I don't know if I'll ever see these people again, but if I do, on the street one day, we'll have a bond. We've been connected. (No fooling, this happened on Friday night. On my way back from the pasta party, I ran into one of the East Bay runners, who had no idea the pasta party was in that neighborhood and was just going to dinner with her friend, who had flown in for the marathon herself.)
I feel kind of lost, now, without a goal. I don't have anything to strive for. Here was this date after which I would have proven something, and it is over. Who was I before I started training? Who am I now? I am considering running the second half next year to say I ran a marathon in two years.
My family was waiting for me at the finish line, and my sister took lots of pictures, and my dad filmed the proceedings, and my mom told me she was so proud of me, but to be honest, it felt weird and wrong. As awful as it sounds, those weren't really the people I wanted to share that moment with. Until I actually crossed the finish line, my mom had only ever told me not to run. She never donated. As usual, I felt like I was doing some anomalous thing that couldn't be appreciated by them, so I didn't talk about it that much.
But you all have been ceaseless in your support, even texting me and calling me during the race to cheer me on. You guys, my crazy Internet friends, are the ones I wish could have been at the finish line waiting for me. Because you're the ones who've gotten me through the angsting, who know what I've been through and how much the experience has meant to me. I was so concerned with allowing you to vicariously be there with me, in fact, that in my haste to make a thirty-second whooping cry of success, I walked right past the guy who was supposed to award me my medal.
Yeah, I got myself a shiny little medal. It says I'm a Half Marathon Finisher, endorsed by sea lions the world over.
I wore it all day.
Current Mood: sore
Current Music: Straylight Run - Existentialism on Prom Night