I ran the Madison half-marathon over the weekend, and it was certainly no walk in the park. Apparently I was feeling over confident coming out of last month’s Boston Marathon, and made a whole slue of mistakes both before and during the race, which made for a pretty miserable half-marathon, and immediately dashed my hopes and dreams of becoming a professional runner (totally just kidding).
I made two obvious mistakes. First, I ate breakfast too close to race time (bagel with peanut butter and coffee less than an hour beforehand), which caused much gastronomic discomfort from mile 4 until the finish. I’ll save you the details. And second, I took off from the starting line like an Olympic sprinter. I was running close to 7 minute miles until mile 4 or 5, when my stomach discomfort truly set in. From that point on, I was beyond repair and struggling to continue forward momentum.
Approximately two miles before the finish, Karen ran up behind me and shouted encouragingly, “Come on BFF, let’s go” (we often joke and call each other BFF=best friend forever). Definitely brought a smile to me face but still, I couldn’t hang with her quick pace. I watched Karen fade into the distance. Then, only one mile from the finish, I was suddenly so motivated by a familiar face passing me, that I immediately started an all out sprint to the finish. There was no way in hell this particular cheerleader from high school was going to beat me in a half-marathon. No way. I know how completely pathetic that sounds, but apparently high school rivalries never fade. But at that point, it was just what I needed, someone to rise my competitive spirit and get me to the finish line! And that it did. I finished, beat the cheerleader, and managed to catch up with Karen. Kar still beat me, but I’m nothing but proud when that happens. She, of course, was never a high school cheerleader.