This week was a step-back week in my newly-developed half marathon training, and to make things fun/make sure I got my ass through the miles I got up early(ish) Sunday and ran to our Browns Backers bar for the game. It’s a convenient six miles along the beach path and river trail, and a mile finish along a road with a bike lane so it was safe, familiar, and offered a great motivation to get my ass through it.
you know, except I’m the horse and the carrot is beer and pizza…
So here’s how it played out, per the voices in my head:
NEWPORT BEACH BIKE PATH – MORNING, SUNDAY
Overcast and misty, the first cool morning in months. Lots of joggers, walkers, and desperate coffee searchers busy around the path while our protagonist (Sarah, 28, in denial about being out-of-shape) impatiently waits for satellites.
“MAN! this overcast feels great – maybe I should’ve worn sleeves? When was the last time you said that? Ha! Summer must be almost over! teedle dee da da
<cheerily waives to other runners>
This isn’t so bad, after all. I feel great! Maybe I AM ready to get back to marathoning…
<mile one beep> Hmmm that’s probably too fast… Oh whatever! Don’t listen to your watch, legs say keep going! It’s only seven miles…
Bathroom? There won’t be another one the rest of the run… Do you have to go? Go now if you think you do we’re not stopping later!
Ohmygod am I in a minivan full of kids or on a run??
Ok, that feels better. Man I love this outfit I should definitely buy more of these shorts. I wonder how the yellow would look on pasty skin…
<knowing nod to other runner darting towards bathroom>
Well hello, friendly cyclists! Wait why are they so friendly? This is suspicious… do I have TP hanging out of my shorts? Is there a trap up ahead?? Am I going to get jumped by a bike gang? All I have is my phone and an iPod, is that enough to satiate a mugger?
Is my breathing to heavy for mile three? My legs still feel great, but maybe we slow a bit to let the lungs catch up…
Nah legs don’t like that.
<.5mi later> Ok yeah we need to slow down. This is starting to hurt.
Is it hurting, or are you bored? You’re probably just bored, focus on your form… Ok focus on this song… Ok focus on HOLY SHIT that bike almost ran me over! Douchebag.
Let’s make a deal, you can walk the foot bridge up there if you run hard the rest of the way after. Deal? You’ll get a nice breather but then it’s fucking game on the last few miles.
<30 seconds later>… How far away is the foot bridge? A mile? Half a mile? Quit thinking about it! Just listen to your music and enjoy it.
Ugh who put all these slow sad songs on here?? <skip skip skip> How much further to that damn bridge?
Fuck it’s hot.
Are you really going to walk on a seven miler? C’mon you can keep going. Might as well get to the finish as fast as possible, not drag out the pain any longer, right? Right!
<mile five beep>
Only two more miles! Seriously that’s nothing you’re fine.
<walks foot bridge>
Ok, but you’re running the rest of the way hard! Get a little reset here then we go.
<slows to barely a crawl for last 10m, prolonging the glorious recovery walk as long as possible>
Alright, think of all the runners in Chicago gutting out that last 10k… Ugh nevermind that sounds awful, not motivating at all. Ok, think of how happy and proud they’ll feel coming down that homestretch! Or how happy you’d be for them standing on the sideline cheering… Finish this run feeling proud! You can push through, you love this!
Do I? Do I really love this?
… There’s pizza, beer, and the Browns game waiting at the finish…”
<drops pace. clocks fastest final mile.>
<immediately forgets pain and agony of run while trying to discreetly change sports bras in the car. cheers out loud when pizza delivers at halftime.>
Browns win! (from patrick’s FB page)