Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Half Marathon That Never Happened

The banging on the door jarred me from a deep sleep. My roommate was knocking on my door imploring me to turn off my alarm, which had woken her up (in the next room!), while I remained in a comotose state. I vaguely remember the first alarm going off at 5:20am, and I don't even remember hearing the other two. I remember thinking "I don't want to get up I don't want to get up." I wasn't even that tired; I was just more or less feeling lazy and really wanted a good night's rest more than I wanted to travel down to Staten Island at 6am and run 13.1 miles. So I went back to sleep. I slept in and missed the Staten Island Half, and I'm perfectly okay with it. 

I woke up again around 9ish or 10ish, did some easy stretches in bed, and made myself breakfast. Even though I wasn't racing, I made a typical pre-race meal anyway: toast with pb & honey, grapes, orange, pineapple juice, and a cup of tea.  I needed to fuel for the 13 mile run I intended to do regardless, or at a minimum 8 miles. It was a beautiful sunny day, and whenever the sun's high in the sky all I really want to do is get out there for a run. I wanted to head over to Palisades Park in NJ and explore the trails, but I took too long with breakfast and ended up only having an hour to run.  I made the most of it and ran over the GW Bridge. 

I always thought the bridge route was 6mi from my apartment, so you can imagine my complete shock and utter disbelief when I got home and discovered I had only been running for 47min... That would mean I ran sub-8min miles, which is complete insanity. It's impossible! Especially considering how sore I was. This was not an easy run, and the first half wasn't even fun.  Although I was moving at a fairly consistent pace the whole time, my legs felt kind of tight and my stomach felt completely nauseous. On second thought, my abs were probably just really sore from my 4 min plank last night, but regardless my abdomen was in pain.

By the time I reached the turnaround, things got easier, and the second part of the run went by a lot faster. The majority of the route back was downhill, and I knew I was heading back home, so I picked up the pace within my comfort zone.  Besides, by then I finally fell into a groove. Once I got in my groove it felt great to be out running again. I always forget how much I miss running, until I take a break from it, and then eventaually get back into it. 

As it turns out I actually ran 5.8 miles, which translates into an average pace of 8:10. Incredible!  I'm shocked that I easily kept up that pace for nearly 6 miles without even trying or pushing it. I continually amaze myself.  Not a bad substitute for a half marathon that never happened.