my best run ever.

In running on October 19, 2011 at 1:55 am

So my first half-marathon was on Saturday. As mentioned in earlier posts, toward the end of the summer, I had a come-to-Jesus with myself – specifically my knees – about the race. My knees were clearly telling me it was time to surrender. Accept my (current) limitations. Let go.

Don’t ‘just do it.’

And because I’ve become addicted to running – for me, a feat no less miraculous than finishing a marathon, much less a half – I listened to my knees. Punishing them for 13 miles on pavement was way too likely to leave me unable to run for weeks after, and as my volunteer ‘coach’ pointed out, that would mean missing a good chunk of the best running weather of the year here.

I did feel a few pangs leading up to the race last week, but then I heard from a friend, a “real” runner, saying she’d like to take me up on my offer to run the race in my place. I was glad that my bib would be in the mix on Saturday, even if I wasn’t. Having her run for me also brought some comic relief, as I can virtually guarantee that no matter how many races I run under my name, her performance as me will never be bested. (She ran the half in 1:58; I guarantee another hour or two would have been tacked onto that time even if I had run the whole way.)

But I did log a significant in-kind victory. That strategy I had in mind when I signed up for the race back in May actually worked. Over the years, I have had many motivational strategies that failed miserably, so this was big. I am the Queen of Rationalization, and I knew that if I was going to keep running through the sweltering splendor of a central NC summer, I had to have a BIG goal. A 10K was just not staggering enough; I could easily talk myself into a week off here, a week off there. ‘I can catch up … it’s only a 10K.’

In the end, my friend ran well in my place and with any luck, enjoyed herself. And I will be happily enjoying my hard-won new running habit throughout the fall and into the winter, doing micro-marathons three times a week with my aching but not trashed knees.


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