Sunday, August 18, 2013
The sun is down, the Tiki Torch Lounge is open, Poco's Delivern' is on the sound system, and the dog and I are kicked back. The horrors of the Little Miami Half Marathon are now but a distant memory....
I almost didn't go to the half. At 3 am I was still awake and worrying about how I would do. I went into this overweight, undertrained, underfed, and probably trending towards dehydration. Not a good combo. A wise man would've blown it off and started training for the next half (Mason Half Marathon in November (it's a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Foundation). Notice the term "wise man". That is a term that has NEVER been used in conjunction with my name. So, at 6:30, I saddled up, muttered "HTFU", and headed to the race.
The course was an out and back down the Little Miami Scenic Trail. A word about the Little Miami Scenic Trail: it is freaking wonderful. It's a 10' wide slice of heaven that runs from Yellow Springs to Cincinnati. It runs along an abandoned rail line (Penn Central, I believe) and while it is flat as a pancake, it is a wonderfully shaded, scenic, place to just ride and not worry about cars. Having said that, the first couple of years that I rode on it (think 1986is) there were emergency vehicles on the trail tending to injured people EVERY FREAKING TIME I WAS OUT. Thus, it became known to me as the Little Miami Death Trail. (True story. A friend's divorce attorney was out riding on it and swerved across the center line and crashed head on into another cyclist. The other cyclist, who was wearing a helmet, got up and walked away. The attorney, who was not wearing a helmet, died. Helmets work. Wear them.)
Back to the point. The race was pancake flat. The temps were in the low 70s. A great day to set a half pr...if I had trained. Using a mix of running with a little walking tossed in, I did the first 3 miles in about 37 miles. Sweet. By the time I got to the 5 mile mark, I was mostly walking. By the time I got to the turnaround at the 6.5 mile point, it was all walking. At this point, I thought I was DFL, but shortly after the turn, I came across a few groups of stragglers, only one of whom passed me by the end. For 5 miles, I was the only one in the race that I saw. This could of been a lonely, soul crushing period. However, I'm experienced in being dropped like an ugly prom date. This is very familiar turf for me. I just ducked back into my pain cave, put one foot in front of the other, and kept moving.
As I got past the 10 mile point, I did try to run a few times, but it wasn't happening. Things had just tightened up a tad too much. So, I walked across the finish line (3:21:50) swearing I would never do this again and at the same time wondering how soon registration for the Mason Half opens and contemplating doing the Full Pig next May.