So I was supposed to run the YuKanRun.Com Cape Ann Half Marathon this morning......and if you look at the Daily Mile thingie off to the right, you can see that I ran 8 and change this morning....and not 13.1
Naturally, there's a story.......and in spite of the title for this entry, I think it's got a happy ending.
As I'm in training for the ING Hartford Marathon, these "races" are really more like training runs...a different way to do the weekly long run. So my mindset isn't to "race" them, but rather to use them as guideposts along the way through my training schedule. Still, there's naturally something that happens when you pin a bib onto your chest. When I ran my last half (down in Rhode Island), I had every intention of trying to shoot for a PR, but ended up posting my slowest half marathon time ever. Chalked it up as a learning experience and a good training run. As I was getting ready for this half, I was having no such illusions......I was looking forward to a good run and a fun day running by the ocean.
And then I overslept......
As this race was starting in Rockport (roughly 90 minutes from here), to make the 9:15 start time with room to spare, I wanted to leave around 7AM. Knowing myself like I do, I need PLENTY of lead time to get out of the house in the morning, so I set my alarm for 5:30 (just like a school day!)......or so I thought.
When I rolled over and looked at the clock, it taunted me......6:45AM
Really, Bill.........Really? The alarm never rang, and now I had roughly 15 minutes to get some coffee in my system, hit the head, eat some oatmeal, get into my race gear, and get out the door and hit the road.
Not bloody likely......particularly after I sat down to watch some of the Olympic Women's Marathon while having the aforementioned coffee and oatmeal. Now that I was suitably motivated, I headed out on my futile mission........time: 7:30AM
So I was going to get there at 9AM......for a 9:15 start.......oh yeah, I forgot to mention that after 7:45AM, you had to park a mile away and take a shuttle to the start area.
And this guy always likes to get to races well ahead of time........
I got about 15 minutes out and I realized that there was really no reason to keep going......I wasn't going to get there on time and even if it was a chip-timed race, I'd still be starting after everyone else.......NO THANKS! I called my wife, and let her know that I was coming back home.
This isn't the first time I haven't run a race I paid for, and it probably won't be the last, but it's the first time it's happened that wasn't due to sickness or injury. This time, it was due to apathy.....
So after coming back and watching the conclusion of the women's marathon, I headed out to get my run in.......bound and determined to run at least 13.1 miles. The only problem......at 9:30, it was already 80 degrees and humid, with the temps bound to go higher. I had been pre-hydrating in advance of the half-marathon I didn't run, so I thought I'd be good to go in spite of the heat. I brought my handheld bottle filled with Gatorade, and set off with great intentions. Very quickly, I knew it was going to be a difficult run. Not sure if it was so much physical as it was mental.......after not making it to the start of the half, I think I was just out of it mentally......so as soon as the run got hard (and the route I was on starts with a gentle, but relentless .7 mile hill), I was already giving up. The heat/humidity made it that much more difficult, and I was quickly drenched. After about 5 miles, I began to realize that 13.1 miles under these conditions was going to be beyond my capabilities........and when I reached my driveway after 8.14 miles, I was done.....in pretty much every way possible. It was 85 degrees, but according to the Weather Channel app on my phone, it felt like 89.....
So where's the happy ending?
I learned that there are worse things than missing a race......that life goes on, and that there will be other races on other days. I've got another half coming up in September, and I'm pretty sure I won't be missing that one, but if I were to miss it, big deal!
Even though I failed to run the half marathon I was "supposed" to run today, it's not an unrecoverable error.......I'll get out tomorrow morning, and even though I'm not scheduled to run, I'm going to get the remaining 5 miles I was supposed to run today, and all will be right with the world.
See you all out there on the road!