So I just ran my first half marathon. I observed some things along the way.
1. I should have gone ahead and used the porta-potty after crossing the start line. It seemed so prosaic, though, to enter a green outhouse just after beginning my first-ever race.
2. I think I managed to stay ahead of the three octogenarians with the walking sticks.
3. Vanilla Bean Gu, while not necessarily tasty, did not make me vomit. In fact, just as I was to the point where I was thinking I needed to eat something, there it was in the hands of an angelic volunteer like a beacon in the night. Oh good, come to me you gelatinous packet of crap.
4. Vanilla Bean Gu contains caffeine, which I suspect helped stave of the headache I usually get if I haven't had a vat of Diet Coke by about 8:30 a.m.
5. There are many different sizes and shapes of butts. At first, I confess I was mildly concerned about how I looked from the back as people passed me. By mile 11.5, I didn't care what they were looking at.
6. My son drew a happy face on my hand to help me think of him while I was running. Unfortunately, every time I looked at the happy face, I remembered a conversation he had with my daughter when we drove the course the week before:
Anna: I know, Mom. I'll get my bike and hide halfway down the canyon. Then I can join you.
Gunder: I have a better idea, Mom. Stay home.
7. Freddie Mercury makes a wonderful running companion. Were he not dead and gay (and I not married) I might just pursue him.
8. Mark was right--there were people wearing garbage bags for warmth. My guffawing father and I owe him an apology.
9. By the finish line, my fingers were the size and shape of Johnsonville Brats. We could have cut them off and had a bbq.
10. It may be possible, but I highly doubt there's a more beautiful course anywhere.
11. Grant Avenue stretches out in some funky twilight zone fashion between 21st and the finish line at 25th. The more you run, the farther away it gets.
12. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to see familiar faces along the side and hear them cheer. And hoping you're not so tired that you look like an absolute fool.
13. Even though my sister had to not run last minute because of a migraine, I still kept her close by wearing her jersey instead of mine. Plus, hers was a small and my medium was too big.
14. Roughly 140 people in my age group finished ahead of me, yet my husband made such a fuss over me that I felt like I'd beaten everyone, even the tight-muscled Vitruvian man-looking full marathoners that passed me halfway down the canyon.
15. I love my husband.
16. My dad and sister and three kids were at the finish line. It was overwhelming and awesome.
17. I have a medal now!
18. My brother-in-law and high school buddy just ran the full Salt Lake marathon in the same time it took me to go half that distance. I totally don't know where I was going with this and am getting depressed. Next!
19. I loved every single minute of this experience. Absolutely loved it. I ran/walked thirteen miles of my favorite spot on earth. It was divine and wonderful and so much fun. My wholehearted thanks to Catina, who talked to me about doing it, and my husband who overheard and then gave me the paid registration for Christmas in a new pair of running shoes.
20. Please, please bless that when I'm an octogenarian I'll have the wherewithal and physical ability to be doing a half marathon with walking sticks.
A Walk in the Woods
2 weeks ago