Half of a Half

There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity. I walked that line this morning when I decided to try running the Hershey half marathon with Laura.

We signed up for the race months ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to train for it. There was always an excuse. It was too hot. I was too tired. It was raining. It was dark. In my mind I was basically in shape from working on the farm, but farm fit isn’t race fit. That became apparent last week when I ran through the pasture while moving the cows. After that I pretty much gave up any notion I had that I’d be able to complete the race and decided to simply be Laura’s moral support.

Still, I packed my running shoes and late last night I decided “What the heck?” Worst case scenario? I badly injure myself. OK, that would be bad, but I’d heal eventually. I planned to stop at every water station and walk up all the hills. We started with the 10-minute mile group and ran together at that pace for about a mile and a half. For the first two miles my IT band refused to relax and sent shooting pain up my left leg with every step. I was going to quit at mile 3 if it still hurt, but it let up and I kept going. Then my Achilles started aching. Again I ran through the pain and it eventually let up. For a while I actually felt pretty good and thought I just might be able to finish the race.

Around mile six everything started to tighten up again. Some people were running the race as a 2-person relay instead of a half marathon. The switching point was mile 6.7. I debated trying to run through the pain again, but decided against it. I didn’t want to cross that line into the realm of stupidity. My body was saying “Enough!!” so I hopped on the shuttle with the rest of the relay participants and headed back to the stadium to cheer for Laura. As much as I hated to quit, it was definitely the right decision. I am still trying to work out cramps in my foot.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the park, mostly riding roller coasters. I am getting old. When I was younger I couldn’t get enough of roller coasters. Nothing scared me. Today they made me nervous. I love them and we rode all the good ones. But there was still that moment of hesitation as the attendants were checking the harnesses where I thought “Is this really a good idea?” Seems my youthful belief that I was immortal has changed a bit. Still, it was fun and I’d do it again!

If you ever go to Hershey Park, one thing you have to do is the Chocolate World tour. It’s a “ride” that takes you through a chocolate factory. Singing cows narrate the process for you. At every turn I ranted about grain-fed, antibiotic filled cows, genetically modified soy lecithin and artificial flavorings. About two-thirds of the way through the ride Laura turned to me and informed me that riding with me was no fun. Fair point. I bit my tongue for the rest of the ride. But Hershey is a perfect example of a “local” food that is anything but local.

For better or worse I’m already signed up for another half in February and this time I will train. Seriously. I will. I mean it…

4 thoughts on “Half of a Half

  1. I’m proud that you stopped! There are two races I have run where I should have stopped but didn’t. It takes guts to call it quits!! You’ll be ready in February!!

    • Thanks, friend! I definitely struggled with the decision. My pride wanted to keep going, but my legs weren’t having it. Had I still been working in an office I probably would have kept going, but I knew sitting around all day wouldn’t be an option. Thank goodness they had the relay option so I was able to hop on the shuttle and didn’t have to ride back in the med van 🙂

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