13.1. Yeah, I Did It.

Four years ago I said, “Y’all, I’m going to run a half marathon.” And then I did.  I totally did, except I only ran 3.1 miles of it which is practically the same thing.  Then last year I told you all a story about drinking like a fish with My Girls and embedded in that story was a second promise to run a half marathon.  And then I did.

Okay, that is a lie.  I can’t even fiddle around with that one and pretend like I did something great.  Instead, what I did was spend all my money fixing my car for the 95th time after it kept crapping out on me and then I could not afford the trip to Cleveland for the race.  (Recently spent another $450 on that vehicle getting some additional mechanical repairs; meanwhile the side piece under the passenger side doors hangs limply down from the frame in the manner of droopy drawers.  Best car ever.  Get a Hyundai Sonata.  Go ahead.  Tell me all about it when you do.)

What I learned from those two experiences is that when I tell you guys I’m going to do something, I don’t do it.  There’s really no explanation for it, but I’m not so dumb as to keep telling you about my goals and whatnot and then have them not come to pass.  If it’s all the same to you, I’m keeping the big stuff to myself.  You can hear about it afterwards, like this:

I COMPLETED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON.

WITH MY GIRLS.

AND I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER ONE AGAIN.

NEVER.

Months ago, and who even remembers when anymore as my “drinking like a fish” stories with My Girls are beginning to run together, we lounged around in our fuzzy pants and contemplated a second shot at doing a half together. Lo and behold, the next day my checking account was debited $35 for my race fee.  A race in Medina, Ohio which sounds cute but also foreign and far away.  I do recall Squash (the Girl who hails from Ohio) promising us that her weather would be fine and that the course would not be hilly, and I do recall some amount of enthusiasm as we each whipped out our mobile devices and our debit cards and happily signed away the fees.  We clinked together glasses of rum and Coke and then merrily called Luke over for pizza and girl movies.  (This happens often so while I cannot pinpoint the exact trip, they all kind of follow the same itinerary . . . .)

From left to right:  Squash, Nurse Bananahammock, Woney, and your favorite, Jimmie

From left to right: Squash, Nurse Bananahammock, Woney, and your favorite, Jimmie

I realized immediately after that trip that I was really going to complete this half.  And right after that I realized that I needed to train for it.  And then not long after that I realized that Daisy was the perfect person with which to train because she walks like the Energizer bunny and her complaints are very soft-spoken.  We began traipsing up and down the Greenway, three- and four-mile walks here and there and then longer walks on the weekends.  We kept adding mileage every Saturday and eventually walked 11 miles in one go.  It was awful.  It was hot and hilly and our legs were so tired.  We only meant to walk 10 that day, but I misjudged the mile markers (surprise) and when we finished we had walked just over 11 miles.

 

My Greenway

My Greenway

I could tell how the half was going to feel based on that one walk with Daisy.  We were at mile nine and Daisy wearily turned her head towards me.  She gave me a long look and said, “When we get back to the car, I’m going to beat the shit out of you.”

I looked wearily back at her and said, “You can’t catch me.”

And she wearily said, “You can’t run.” Valid.

She probably would have beat the shit out of me except we had promised each other pancakes that day, and our desire for pancakes outweighed her desire to kill me, so we carbed up and eventually forgot about our tired feet.  Carbs are magical.

 

Don't they look delicious?

Don’t they look delicious?

The day arrived for the half marathon.  I was excited enough to be full of hope and naïve enough to not be full of dread.  I had on comfy clothes, a bra that cinched the lady bits into battle ax position, and two pigtails.  There were 13 miles ahead of me and a medal and a chocolate milk at the end.  I was with My Girls and the weather was fine.  The promise of a flat walk was unfounded. We received an email a month before the race that was apologetic in nature – changes were made to the course so that the last eight miles were stuffed full of hills – but I live in Nashville.  We are hills.  I could take it, sure.

From our starting position at the back of the corral, My Girls and I trotted off.  We kept a pretty good clip for quite a few miles (Nurse Bananahammock, the runt of the litter, practically had to jog to keep up with us) and even chatted while we walked.  I greeted every volunteer who steered us in the right direction.

“How you durin?” I’d ask and they would cheerfully wave at us.

“I know, we *are* awesome, this is so great,” I’d say, every time we got the you are fabulous, good on you speech.

Woney said to the Girls, “I knew she’d be like this.”

And I was like that for about nine miles.

Mile nine was the marker where my feet started the burn.  I could hear Daisy in the back of my head saying, “I’m going to beat the shit out of you,” and I thought, “Yeah, this is maybe not so fun anymore.”

By mile 10, I was a grouch.  I was overly fond of pointing out, “That house is ugly.  It looks like doo doo.”

Woney said to the Girls, “I knew she’d be like this.  Just wait.  It gets better.”

By mile 11, I was resigned.  My dogs were barking, one of my pigtail holders had popped off, and my body was one giant salt lick from the sweat.  “I’m finishing this bitch. I did not do all this walking to get swept and not get a medal.  C’mon y’all.  Two to go. Dammit.” Fun.

Woney said to the Girls, “Hold on.  She’s coming back.”

Mile 12 was the killer.  Somehow we had picked up a Negative Nelly who whined about her feet the whole last mile.  “My feet really hurt. Do your feet hurt?  Why aren’t you saying anything about your feet?  This was a mistake.  My feet are killing me.”  Yes, our feet hurt.  Our backs hurt.  My butt hurt.  Woney was drained.  Nurse Bananahammock was winded.  Squash was already finished but her feet hurt, I just knew it.  If any of us had had the energy, we would have stabbed old Nelly over there with an ice pick.  But we had a mile to go and there was no getting out of it.  I really wished for Daisy at that point who would have said to Nelly, “When we get to the finish line, I’m going to beat the shit out of you.”  And she would have meant it, carbs or no carbs.

 

Not magical enough to save Nelly.

Not magical enough to save Nelly.

On we trudged. Resignedly I’d respond to the clapping volunteers, “Uh huh, we are great.  Yeah, this is awesome.  Sure, we can do this.”  Most of that came out as a wheeze through parched and lifeless lips but at least it came out.

Woney said, “I told you she’d be like this.”

As we reached mile 12.5, I said to the Girls, “I usually like to cry at the end of these types of events.  I don’t think I can today, I don’t have the reserves, but please know that I will want to.”  When we reached the last hill we eyed a sign that read, “You can bitch about the hill, or you can make the hill your bitch.  Finish line at the top.” We heaved mighty sighs and stoically placed one foot in front of the other all the way up the hill.  I swallowed a bug.  Maybe it was cigarette ash from a passing vehicle.  I’m not sure, but it did not help. We had to shove an old man out of our way. He was blocking the path and we did not have the energy to veer.  Children ran wildly at us and we cared not if they brained themselves on our knees.  We were automatons and we were going to finish, up the hill, on a cobblestone street, across the line.

As we got to the top, I held one hand out to Woney and one hand out to Nurse Bananahammock. We locked fingers, raised our arms in victory and crossed the finish line together.  Turns out I did have the reserves because I cried all the way across the line, sweaty, grimy, down to one scraggly pigtail.

 

Done.

Done.

It. Was. Glorious.

Here is the medal. Get a good look at it because it is the last one you will ever see on this blog.  I worked for it.  I earned it.  I am proud of it.  And I never want to do anything like that again to get another.  Isn’t it pretty?  Tell me it’s pretty.

IMG_6951

One tired Jimmie.

One tired Jimmie.

Also, you know we drank like fish after that race was over.  Keep this in mind for future posts which I will not tell you about in advance because I want the plans we made to happen.  But yeah, happy times are a ‘coming.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. willthom
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 08:31:23

    I would have expected Medina to be funky and cold.

    Surrusly though, good on you

    Reply

  2. Madre
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 10:35:11

    You make my aches and pains after five miles seem pathetic, but it sure is good to see you blogging again….I’ve missed you. BTW..Happy Birthday yesterday.
    Smooch xoxo

    Reply

  3. Souzapalooza
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 12:36:05

    You are a rockstar! Welcome to the Half Marathoner’s club! You did some thing that very few have done. Be proud!

    Reply

  4. Julie
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 14:56:34

    Very entertaining. And yay for you!

    Reply

  5. Kyra
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 15:57:45

    Congrats on the half! I did a full marathon first before I ever did a half (because I’m a dang idiot) and I will NEVER EVER do another one. So, I totally get where you’re coming from! 🙂 Nice job and PRETTY medal!

    Reply

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