Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Half-Marathon

I ran a marathon about five years ago. If I'd had a blog back then, the post would have been titled Miserable Marathon. That race took every bit of pleasure out of the sport of running. Every inch of my body hurt, and not in a good way. I had some sort of strain or injury to my toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips and back . On race day, my body was litterally being held together with straps, braces and duct tape. When I crossed that finish line I swore that I would never run again. And I didn't for a very long time. Years.

A few months ago, my crazy friend Ellen asked me to run the local 1/2 marathon with her. I laughed. No way. Not gonna happen. Not in this lifetime. Then Ellen did something evil: she used her beautiful daughter against me. The half-marathon was to benefit her daughter's orphanage in China. How could I say no?

I reluctantly began to train, albeit not very hard. In fact I had a very nonchalant attitude about it. If you know me, you know this is very un-Teri-like. I tried not to run too often and tried not to run too long. This was a complete 180 to my marathon training days. Running actually began to feel good.

Molly accompanied me on every single training run. If I was out running, she was in the jogger stroller. We ran in various parks around town--places that I had never been in the eight years we've lived here. At the end of every run, Molly got to play at the playground so she loved training days.

When race day rolled around, I didn't care about my time. I didn't keep track of my pace. I just ran with my crazy friend Ellen. You know, I actually enjoyed myself! Everything that the full marathon had taken out of me, the 1/2 marathon put back. We crossed the finish line in about 2 hours; a better pace than my full marathon. Maybe there is something to this not taking things too seriously attitude!

One benefit to the race, aside from the big plate of pancakes I ate afterward, was that I got to kiss my husband and my daughter at the end. That made everything worth the effort. Yes, this was a very happy half-marathon! Maybe I'll run another one!!

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