Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random reflections on the run

I was sort of in a daze on Sunday after the half marathon. A few times I even caught myself pulling a Lucky, staring off into space at nothing in particular. I don't think I've ever been so tired (or so happy about it).

But now that I can form thoughts again, I wanted to record some of them.

I feel like a bit of an ass for saying this, but hearing your name called as you cross the finish line is seriously awesome. Getting a medal for finishing is pretty sweet too.

Not to mention the ridiculous assorted swag that was in our race packets: A long sleeve t-shirt, 2 kinds of toothpaste, arthritis rub, men's deodorant, Red Bull, a package of craisins, assorted coupons and flyers, and a box of Success rice (which Jeremy and I ate last night for dinner).

During the half I found myself thinking "Seriously? You want to run a full marathon someday? As in, 2 of these! In a row!" But some part of me is still all "Yes, yes I do." At group training on Saturdays, we would all run the first loop together, then the half marathoners would be done, but the full marathoners would go back out on an extra loop to get in their additional miles. Half of me was glad I got to go home and shower, but the other half, like the little kid who wants to sit at the grown-ups' table at Thanksgiving, wanted to go the extra miles too.

I wish I could find a way to zone out during races. I can do it during training runs, but on race day I can't seem to focus on anything other than the task at hand (or foot, as the case may be). I suppose it's nice to be totally in the moment like that. During the half marathon, since I couldn't distract myself from the race, I just went with it and started thinking "You're doing it! You're running a half marathon!" over and over.

I wish I could figure out how to drink water out of a cup while running. I'm great at getting water all over my face and down my shirt, but in my mouth, not so much. Apparently I'm not the only one who has trouble with this. At one of the water stops during the race, I heard the guy running next to me say "Oof, that went up the nose." I hear you, dude.

It's funny how running is both a communal and solitary sport. You're surrounded by a crowd of almost 2000 other runners, and yet you're really only in a race with yourself (and sometimes the clock). Sometimes I wish I had friends to run with, but sometimes I enjoy the alone time.

There seems to be a strange sort of automatic intimacy among runners. You may barely know someone's name before you find yourself in a conversation about dietary habits and nipple chafing and bathroom talk. It's oddly amusing.

And last but certainly not least, infinity of thanks to all the race volunteers and spectators! I don't know why you'd want to get up at the crack of dawn on a rainy Sunday morning and spend hours outside cheering and handing out water, but thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lyric of the moment: "Run, running all the time. Running to the future, with you right by my side..."

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