Running a 1/2 Marathon - An Optimists Guide for the Impatient and Ill-Prepared VII

May 9th, 2007

My last run before the half marathon was straight out of a film. It was long, it was hard, I was slow. I was bored after the first 3 miles with 9 still to go. I was exhausted after 6 miles with the other half still stretching out in front of me. Nothing was any fun – my ears had long since sucked all the energy out of the music in my iPod, the Venice Beach patrons were merely annoying. It was too hot, then too cold. I suffered through the entire run then dragged myself home, terrified about the experience. But Sam was quick to point out that all good Hollywood movies have a moment just like this. The last big test before the EVENT – the match, the race, the dance-off – always sucks. It sets the emotional scene for the big talk, where the mentor convinces the student that she’s had what it takes to be a winner inside all along – she just has to trust herself. And it sets the audience up for a bigger emotional rush – they go down with the excruciatingly bad last practice-run, which sends them even higher when the protagonist pulls it out in the end.

I was reassured. I also knew that pride, and being a public spectacle would keep me going even if the half-marathon were to be the most miserable run of my entire life.

In better news, I forced myself to eat an energy bar immediately after running and didn’t bonk. Next up – three days of no running, all part of the “tapering” that’s recommended before a big race. Hard to imagine that three days of doing nothing will transform me from sucking to being a rock star.

Entry Filed under: Optimist's Guide

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