Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sadly Memorable Half Marathon

This morning was a half marathon out at the lake where I run pretty regularly, and I decided to do it with my local bestie and wear my pack with the 35 pound vest inside.

She said she'd stay with me no matter what, but I worried that we wouldn't finish within the time limit.  The course closes after 3.5 hours, which is about a 16 min/mile pace.

Last weekend, when I did my long walk with the pack (9 miles), followed by a long walk with the vest (9 miles), my average pace was slower than that.  Actually, I don't think I had any sub-16 miles. 

But today I thought I would try to jog some.  It was going to be my first time jogging with the pack, so I wanted to be careful.  Bestie was on board and we decided we'd start running/jogging each mile, go for as long as it felt okay, then walk the remainder of the mile, and start running again at the next mile marker.

We basically followed our plan.  There were a couple places where the water stop was right by the mile marker, so we would delay our run until we finished our waters, but we did it.

I was shocked at how well it went.  For the first several miles, we basically ran about half a mile, then walked the rest.  There were probably a couple in there where we only ran .3 or .4 and then walked, but mostly we were around .5.

But by about mile 5, we were picking it up.  The pace on the running was slowing down a little, but the runs were getting longer.  We would be running about .7 every time. 

We finally got to mile 12 and we started our run, and we just didn't stop.  There was a monster hill at the end (coincidentally, a monster downhill right at the start, which was how we hatched the run/walk plan, b/c I wanted to take advantage of that downhill!).  We hit mile 13 on the hill and kept right on going.

It was awesome!  I don't think my mood was particularly good, but my bestie can talk!  I got confused about the math a couple times, which is rare for me during a run, but it worked out and we even finished with a little bit of a cushion on the time.

I'm hurting.  Muscles are all fine, sore as expected.  But major pain in my lower back.  Chafing type pain.  Since I had guessed we'd be walking a lot, I decided to wear pants because it was cold (well, Dallas cold) and windy.  Well, good plan in terms of temps, but overall, poor planning.  I didn't think about what might happen wearing these particular pants with the backpack.  There was a tiny little zipper pocket on the back.  Right where the bottom of the pack's frame hit my lower back.  Ugh.  It seemed to rub me raw.  I was afraid there wouldn't be any skin left when I finished and my entire upper @ss would be a bloody mess.  Bestie looked at it afterward and said there was no broken skin but a very wide and long welt (I'm guessing 3x8 inches).  It will kill when I take a shower, which I'm going to postpone as long as humanly possible (oh, my poor husband!). 

But I finished and was so excited to have done 13.1 miles with the pack.  And doing it with a friend made it so much fun.  We crack ourselves up. 

Unfortunately, as soon as I got home, I looked at my phone.  Lots of missed calls.  Hubby and Dad.  Hubby had actually called Bestie while she was driving us home b/c he wanted to make sure we were okay and had finished the race.  And since it was race day and it had been many hours since we talked, I wasn't surprised to see those missed calls.  But Dad?  Calling at 8:15 on a weekend morning?  Probably not good. 

Indeed, Dad was calling to tell me Grandma had died at 2:30 this morning.

She had been doing okay physically, but she's had Alzheimer's for the last few years and it was hard.  She forgot almost everything, even during the course of a short conversation.  So I know she's in a better place, and she had a long full life.  But it's sad.  Oddly memorable half marathon. 

Not sure if we're going home for the funeral.  Will have to talk to my boss and look at flights.  Sigh.  Not what I want to be doing, but I guess it was inevitable.  Sigh...

Actually, updating later, I forgot that there aren't any funerals up there in the winter!  Can't bury anyone in solid ground.  So I'll probably wait until whenever they have the service in the spring to go home.  Wishing I could have been there to see her again though, and wishing I could be there now to hug my family and reminisce with them. 


  1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your grandma...

  2. Sadly behind but wanted you to know how sorry I am about your grandma. It's tough to lose people we love even if we think it's "for the best."

  3. I'm so sorry to hear this. Losing someone, even someone who has led a long, full life, is so difficult. My heart goes out to you.