i halfed a marathon part i

1:30 PM

13.1 miles? 

This is the story where I woke up at 2:45 am.

Let me preface this with some side details.

FIRST: I am not a fast runner. I'm not a slow runner. I'm kind of a normal runner. I played sports in high school and growing up, so running and the myself aren't exactly strangers. 

SECOND: I run for my herobaby, Sarah Karlinsey. Who IS a fast runner. Who ran a full marathon on the same day. Initially, I was going to run the 26.2 with SarKar. (DON'T SAY IT. I CAN SEE THE LOOK YOU'RE GIVING ME. PEOPLE GO BACK ON COMMITMENTS ALL THE TIME). Though the idea of running a marathon scared the short-shorts off me I was still ready and excited to go through with it up until March... when I decided to train for a second degree black belt in a month. It was either black belt or a marathon. Now aren't you sorry that you judged me?

THIRD: I had never run 13.1 miles before June 9, 2012. 

FOURTH: A few Saturdays ago, I stuck my iPod touch down my bra while mowing the lawn. It got all sweaty and then stopped working. So what if it's my fault? It still sucks.

FIFTH: I got sick new running shoes a few weeks ago in preparation for said halfy. They're Brooks, so that means I'm a real runner now.

and SIXTH: I'm a total poser when it comes to this athlete stuff.

I have never felt as intimidated in my life as I did on Friday afternoon at the Hotel Marriott for packet pickup. All the weeks of training, all the long runs, all the foot blisters and chafing, and all the wife-beater tans were brought to this one climax. I was surrounded by the ultimate athletes. THEIR CALF MUSCLES WERE SCULPTED BY MICHELANGELO HIMSELF. I knew they were all making snide mental remarks at my own miniature sized quads, and all of their Nike sweats and "Marathon Maniacs" t-shirts screamed, "I AM BETTER THAN YOU. Please don't insult my athletic prowess any further, little girl, and LEAVE." Well you know what? I've been told a time or two that I have nice legs. And I TRUSTED THOSE PEOPLE.

I was never more grateful to be running the half marathon, not the full.

Because the only thing that kept me from a heart attack was the confidence that I was capable of finishing. You hear that? CONFIDENCE! I TOTALLY HAD A LOT OF THAT STUFF. BECAUSE I AM WOMAN. AND I BELIEVE IN MY FEETS. Those thousands of other godlike calf muscles would not deny me success.

Sorry for the caps explosion. Can't you feel the insecurity in the air? The web-air?

Anyways, after ice cream, a carb-loaded spaghetti dinner, and an official "Underneath-the-Sycamore"-GU-eating-summoning-the-powers-of-the-animals-ritual, it was time to hit the hay at 8:30.

Before I move on, do you know what GU is? Goo? Giu? Goop? Poop? See, I'm already more of a runner than you are. Because GU is the rite of passage to true runner-hood. And I am now a true runner because I partook of the GU.

Gel. Energy gel. "The performance food." At first I'm all thinking it's Satan's crap, but after a few tastes, it's not half bad. Not all flavors are good, though: the vanilla flavor was much better than the citrus whatever stuff that I tried, and chocolate GU just ... isn't right.

And then I was supposed to sleep.

Let me just say that waking up that early is the WORST thing ever. The worst. I cannot sleep before midnight anyway, but add that to the overwhelming pressures of a race and there was no way the 8:30 bedtime was going to bring me sleep. Which SUCKS when you have to wake up at 2:45. I'm no stranger to insomnia, but this took the cake for one of the most restless nights I've had in ages.


Side story again (just roll with it), everything fun was happening that weekend. Like, no kidding. My cousin's storytelling show "The Porch" was going down on Friday night with an awesome theme that I probably would have told a story for. Saturday morning, our stake was hiking the Y with free breakfast (I'm still sad I missed out on free food). Annnnnd, the Park Place "T" was hosting an epic dance party on Friday night with strobe lights to boot. I was bummed to miss the dance party, but more importantly that meant I couldn't sleep in my apartment.

I mean, could YOU sleep while Ke$ha blew the speakers out just outside of your window?

So SarKar and I slept in Springville. On the couches in my 'rents living room. I have slept on those couches countless times in the last year because I love those couches. They are more comfortable than the bed in my apartment. Yet somehow on the night before my half marathon, that couch went all ape shiz on me. It was like, one second I'm on my back and the next the pillows grow limbs and try to snuggle with me and I'm all, "hey now, this is no time to be fooling around." But those pillows just kept being all up in my grill, and with every position I tried the pillows and cushions kept closing in on me. It was like sleeping lopsided.

Two and a half hours later, I relocated to the floor. And thirty minutes after that, I was asleep. It was 11:30

What was waiting for me on the other side of a three-hour rest was another three hours of waiting. And the only thing worse than waking up at 3 am, is waking up to nothing at 3 am. I sleepily donned my running gear and wandered into the black morning abyss. After a short shuttle halfway up Provo Canyon (here's a map), I had two hours of horrible solitude. SarKar & Rick's starting line was 13.1 miles further than mine, so I had no one to talk to, snuggle with, or freak out with. I was too nervous to sleep. I was too cold. The speakers played "Call Me Maybe." I wasn't alert enough for The Screwtape Letters to be at all gripping, and let's be real, I was about ready to side with Screwtape in my current situation.

I tried talking to someone. But that did nothing for my insecurities. "Oh yeah... I've run four marathons before, but I wanted to do the half for something easier."

Oh, my bad for thinking this was a little bit hard or something.

The fire burned my eyes.

My muffin didn't taste good.

I would close my eyes and try to rest at 4:34 only to open them again what felt like ten minutes later to discover it was just 4:35.

And then, after four hours seemed to have passed, it was go time. And, as I stood at the starting line, I wasn't nervous anymore. Because I had "Call Me Maybe" stuck in my head, and that creates enough annoyance to overpower any nerves in my system.

You Might Also Like


Like us on Facebook