I am a terrible runner…

1920951_10152009927870885_1152988142_oI find it ironic that my career (writer) and my hobby (running) are the two things that can raise you high as a kite or plunge you deep into being convinced you are the worst ever at it. Perhaps it is my nature and that is why I am both a writer and a runner. That said…

I am a terrible runner.

I had a terrible, very bad, no good run.

I have no business running a marathon,  let alone three, let alone SAN FRANCISCO.

I suppose I don’t have to say it but I will – I had a bad run.

The course was beautiful — well, miles 1-10 were. The weather was perfect –55-60 and overcast. The field was small– less than 400 runners for the Pacific half (the event had two half options as well as a Kids 1k, a 5K, and a 10K).  All the elements were right for a good run.

And from the start I was cloddy, clunky, my legs felt heavy, my lungs were burning, and I just… well, let me put it this way, until mile 5, I was giving serious thought to simply pulling out of the race.

Even the massive hill from miles 3 to 4 wasn’t that bad as I’d been warned about it by so many people that I built it up to be bigger than it was.  But I was still just OFF today.  So very very off. I completely walked the last 4 miles as running HURT. I’d run a few feet and then go back to a walk.

My left foot that I banged up was giving me some trouble by mile 7. My quads weren’t too bad, but did start to lock up around mile 11.5.

All in all, half marathon #20 was just a mess and I am glad it is over. And you can bet your running shoes that I will be taking my angst over a bad run out on the Hollywood Half Marathon in 2 weeks. Oh yes I will. I’ve run this one before and in races I’ve run before, I tend to do well. LA RnR 2012–3 hours. LA RnR 2013 – 2:33.  And that’s just one instance. Knowing the course has its advantages for me.

Highlights:

  • Starting the race in the old Western town set at Paramount Ranch was fun and different.
  • The scenery was beautiful until Mile 10
  • My outfit kicked ass
  • Six different women asked me on the course, while running, where I got my skirt. You’re welcome Ebay Lululemon sellers!
  • When I collected my medal, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and said “Thank you for being so consistent. I’ve been chasing you for the past 6 miles. You ran when I wanted to, walked when I wanted to, and BOOKED it when you were walking, you seriously got me through the race, thank you.”
  • That same dude also commented “I just set my mind to follow the girl in the cute skirt.”
  • My new friend Renee from my running group ran the 10K and waited around for my slow butt to finish, even stationing herself at the finish line to see me cross. That kicked ass. Also we spent all week planning out outfits so was fun to see each our outfits in person.

Low points:

  • My speed. Even from mile 1 I was slower than usual, turning in an 11:04 minute mile. WTF is that?!
  • The fact that the course wasn’t closed to traffic. I get it, we were 300 and some odd runners and it was a very wealthy area we were running through, but I SWEAR some of those drivers AIMED for the runners, getting WAY TOO CLOSE to the orange cones meant to designate the race course.
  • Miles 10-13. Seriously, WTF. First we ran through what was basically the back end of a business park and strip malls. Then we made a left onto a crazy busy street where we ran over the freeway, single file, on the sidewalk with traffic whizzing past us in both directions and below us on the very busy 101 freeway. It was disconcerting, especially after the pastoral peace of miles 1-10. Then we turned into a neighborhood and with .5 miles to go spent some time on some seriously uneven trails, then spent time in a parking lot, then made a sharp right turn with the course narrowing again, onto grass to the finish line. At that point of the race the varying surfaces were jarring.
  • Medals were in a booth you had to go to, not handed out at finish line
  • Shuttle back to Paramount Ranch for Pacific Half runners was about 3/4 a mile away from the finish line festival and no one there seemed to have the right info for that.

That said, it was a learning experience. I have a long ways to go to become the runner I want to be. After several 2:30 and sub 2:30 races I thought… well, I was wrong, I still kind of suck and will have bad races and today was one of them.  And now I’m going to go have some wine, wallow a bit about today’s performance, binge watch Lost, and start over again tomorrow.  I am one competitive motherfucker, but I don’t stay down for long.

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3 comments

  • You should be proud of your accomplishment even if you’re not exactly happy with your performance!! #20 is still in the books and it’s done and now you can look forward to your next one!! Go girl!! Great pics!!

    • Thanks Kristin. I just have to remind myself that even elites have bad days. Ryan Hall is a case study in that lately.