Sunday, November 13, 2005

My very first half marathon!

Okay...I have got to be the LAMEST person on this entire planet...and I'm not even joking.

Yesterday was planned to be my first half marathon...ever. I was going to do the S. F. Coastline Trail Run put on by Redwood Trails. They are famous for gorgeous and challenging course venues. I couldn't wait to run along the San Francisco Bay. Me and 200 other crazies running in the coastal woods.....what more could you want on a brisk and sunny morning?

I woke up early, showered (yes, I shower before races...it wakes me up and makes me feel good okay?!), ate breakfast, drank water and got my battered tri bag filled with my running gear into the Tahoe. I felt really really really good. I drove to San Francisco with my Mom, niece and doggie in tow ready for this race...completely ready I tell ya. I've been completely trained for this by my very own Coach Pete. I aimed to do him proud today.

I get there 1/2 hr before the race is supposed to start so I can check in and get a quick warm-up run done beforehand. I go to the place where we're
supposed to start and NOBODY is around. I mean, nobody. You know this is completely wrong because it's just not the way at races. There are always
people milling around with race numbers on. People talking, people with coffee, people warming up...but this time, there were no people. I start to doubt myself and the map I printed, so I go back to the car and get the directions from the race's website. I'm in the right place, but there's nobody here...what gives? My mom calls the number on the directions and it goes straight to voicemail and the race director says he will not be back in town until 11/26! My mom left a message, but nobody called back. At this point, we think that the race has been cancelled, I must not have gotten the notification. Fine...I can deal with that.

I drove up there to do a half marathon and that's what I was going to do. So, I set off on the course. Which, by the way, I had zero idea where I was going. I had a general direction in mind from the maps on the harbor that outlined a coastal trail...but for the most part, I was just gonna run until there was no more running to do.

It was brutal. It was definitely not an easy course. It was up and down and more up and down and over and back again and then...there were stairs! Every so often I would get lost and have to backtrack to the trail I was just on to find my way to another trail. It certainly felt like more than 13 miles after all the big and little rolling hills, stairs (Yes! Big, tall and numerous steps to climb up in the middle of this thing!), tree roots tripping me and slipping on rocks. It was crazy and comical at the same time, all I could do was laugh! I was having a blast running downhill as fast as I could and just keeping it nice and steady (read=slow) on the uphills. I ran out of water with about 3 miles to go so when I got close to a house, I borrowed their hose and filled up my fuel belt (thank you angelic stranger who was not home, I was definitely in need of your nice cold water!). I dug deep and just wanted to finish this business. I ran it in 2:22:44

When I got to the starting point where my mom was waiting for me...she had this big smile on her face and I laid down on the picnic table bench to catch my breath. She started to chuckle and told me that while I was running, she called a friend with internet access and had him check the race website to see what was going on. What we found out was.....this race is NEXT MONTH!!
There was a race today, but it was in a different city 40 miles away! I felt like a complete idiot!

This happened because I was contemplating two races for my first half mary. One was in November and one in December. I thought the November race was in San Francisco, but it was actually in Pt. Reyes. So, my neurons got thier wires crossed when remembering which race I was going to do. Yes, I'm blaming it on my neurons. A memory is the sum of a neuron’s connections.....and they obviously failed to connect!

All encompassing idiocy aside, I am glad I did it. There are two major positives that came from this snafu though - a) This run is similar to Wildflower...so I can train to kill that course in 2006 and b) I know I can do this....so I've raised the bar. I set a goal for myself and I just f*%^ing did it! This was my last planned event for the season. I had a great time with my training this year and have seen improvement by leaps and bounds from what I once considered athletic. Now I just need to chill and be a normal person for a few weeks;)

Thanks for reading, I hope you've learned your lesson to read the details of your races....like the date and location....those are kind of important!

5 comments:

Sara said...

Aw well you got the date wrong, but you still did it! Good for you.

Mica said...

Oh My Goodness!! That is too much. A race report for the books! Way to go for it anyway!

toughcookie7 said...

Congratulations on running your first "half-marathon." :) Sounds like something I would do. Oh well...you'll have a good story to tell!

Fe-lady said...

Great story, and what guts to just go do it without support! Hell of a workout and think how fast you will be next month because you know the course already! Congrats!:-)

Iron Benny said...

Oh man, how funny is that. I too take a shower before a race. In fact, I take a showere every morning before I workout. Showers are my coffee. I don't drink coffee so I need something to wake me up. A hot shower is just the ticket. Nice job on the trail run!