I am going to take a break from my recent rantings for today’s daily prompt, and instead revisit my long-dormant Movement Report. The MR is a concept I’ve been off and on working towards for several years; its premise is that I love to move (primarily running) and I want to explore in writing what my experiences are about.
Today I ran a half marathon, as part of the Duke City Marathon experience. Here’s how the choice of races came about: Last year I conceived the idea of 50 for 50, which means I’d run a 50-mile race for my 50th birthday (which just recently passed); I though this would be a lofty goal and worthy of stepping into a new phase of life with. Early this year I began to feel that 50 miles was a bit much, but there was a 50k (31 miles) right around my birthday, so I switched the plan. But that plan was derailed by an injury, so I passed on the 50k, decided to run a marathon, but ultimately felt that a half marathon was best, as to what I could prepare for and what would move me toward my goal of a 50k soonish down the road.
Today was that half marathon. I ran it, I made the pace and overall time I was aiming for, and I did it without stopping or walking. Now I am sore, I’ve been exhausted and a bit out of it all day since I ran, and I have to wonder why I did it, or at least if this is how I will feel after future races. Because this may have been it for me.
One of the first challenges I faced today was running in a crowd. This race had more than 1,100 people, and the first mile was crowded as we ran through downtown streets. I found myself running slower than I like for this initial phase. The crowd thinned out and thereafter I was able to speed up or slow down as I needed to. The plus side of being amongst all those racers was that a great many supporters lined the route and cheered people on, which I found to be quite sweet. What a wonderful show of community spirit!
The only other challenge was the bodily discomfort. I knew I could run the distance, so the mental game was not a big deal. But the last three miles were not fun. I found a pace I could stick with, and it did feel like I could go for longer. But those last miles, the last half-hour, my ankles hurt with each impact, my thighs ached, and my back intermittently made itself know with a little soreness.
And what I’m left with is the thought that I might simply stick with shorter runs on my own. I really get a kick out of four- to six-mile outings. I can go faster or slower as I feel like, and I mostly (97% of the time) feel inspired and energized after. That’s what I am looking for when I run, a good time. Today was something other than that.
There is a draw to the idea of participating in a community event. but ultimately I have to trust that my body knows what is good for itself. Why push that? If I do, my body may lose trust in my decisions, then stress, breakdown, disease all have a way in. Trust is earned, I don’t want to blow it.