After a trip to the restroom and a gulp of water, I lined up at the back of one of the final waves of the 2018 Surf City Half Marathon race. I was a little nervous about finishing the whole thing knowing that I hadn’t hit my mileage target. The words, I just might die, kept swirling around my head until the race announcer cued the sound for the start of the race.
I slowly inched out over the start line and followed the crowd of runners swiftly kicking their way down Huntington Beach’s stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. I jogged amongst the pack of people for several miles until the crowd began to thin out. The sounds of chatter began to wane as gasps of breath fell in their place, and you can hear, just off in the distance, the cool ocean waves crashing on top of each other trying to taunt the sweaty runners nearby. (more…)
Rubber soles pounded the warm asphalt creating a steady, but rhythmic, slow-tempo drum beat. They had carried my legs with ease for nine miles on the winding streets of Eugene, Oregon before I felt the slowly creeping soreness of a run that was lasting too damn long spread through my overworked leg muscles. I did my best to breathe in the cool and refreshing air that had been warmed a little more by the bright sun since the start of the race over an hour before. I had enjoyed the run, glancing over at the tall green trees that proudly stood as they decorated the Northwestern track town, for two more miles before thoughts of confusion snuck into my mind.
Why the heck did we pay to do this to ourselves? I thought as I continued to place one increasingly heavy foot in front of the other. Everyone here is absolutely nuts.
The bottom of my feet grew warmer as they hit the pavement which lied next to the sandy beach. The ocean breeze hit my sweaty face as I threw one leg in front of the other. I could feel the muscles in my thighs and calves move and tighten, and as I passed the halfway point of my first 10K race, I looked over to my race partner quietly huffing and wiping sweat from his brow.
My boyfriend smiled, “We’re almost there! We can do it! We’re going to make it!”
I shot him a glance in my exhausted state. “I’m going to finish, but we’ll see about running the whole way to the finish line.” (more…)
Somewhere in the middle of splashing in a puddle of my own sweat, I felt a chilling sense of regret creep up into the back of my mind.“Why the hell am I running so damn far?” I thought to myself as I continued to swiftly place one foot in front of the other. The masochistic form of transportation by my own legs seemed ridiculous when I really thought about it for too long, but I continued to keep on going anyway.