Sunday, January 19, 2020
Diary Of My First Half Marathon
6:00 AM I finally make it into the parking lot of the Rose Bowl. Gridlocked traffic for miles around. Outside temperature--39ºF. Holy shit. It's cold here at the Rose Bowl. I'm not ready for this.
7:00 AM This is it. Been trying to stay warm for the last hour. I'm ready to get this started. No more second guessing or negative thoughts. It's time. The starting gun goes off. Here we go!
Mile 1 I'm doing this! This isn't so bad. Look at all those putzes waiting in line for the porta potties already. Why didn't they go before the start of the race?
Mile 2 This hill is a bitch. I'm short of breath already. How am I going to last another 11 miles?
Mile 4 Holy shit. The lead runners are already returning. They don't even look like they're breaking a sweat.
Mile 6 Hmm. These honey gels taste pretty good. I wonder if Costco sells these?
Mile 6.5 Halfway there! Woohoo!
Mile 7 I love all these supporters on the side cheering us on. They're so ebullient and encouraging. They also have really clever signs. I like "On a scale of 1-10, you're a 13.1!" Also "I had a better sign but the Astros stole it!" But my favorite one was "Smile if you farted!" I didn't fart but that sign made me smile.
Mile 8 I'm just cruising here on autopilot now. Good chance to reflect. I think I'm living my best life now. I'm healthier than I've ever been. From the fat kid in high school who couldn't run even one lap around the track, now I'm running my first half marathon. I've got a wife who loves me, most of the time, and kids who aren't getting into any serious problems academically or socially. Life doesn't get better than this.
Mile 10 After that last hill, it's all downhill from here. I can even see the Rose Bowl again.
Mile 11 Oh shit I'm hitting a wall right now. I can barely lift my legs to take the next step. So tempting to cut across the parking lot and make a beeline into the Rose Bowl entrance.
Mile 12 My music app is playing "Torture" by The Jacksons in the '80's play list. It's uncanny how much the internet knows your every thought and action.
Mile 13 This is it. The last mile. I've got a second wind and everybody is hustling to cross the finish line now.
Mile 13.1 Running out onto the Rose Bowl field is such a thrill. This must be how the UCLA football players feel when they play their home games.
Oh man, I think I'm going to faint. All this water, bananas, and Goldfish crackers are not helping. I better lay down for awhile before I totally black out. I don't want to embarrass myself if they have to call a paramedic to treat me.
Back home My legs feel like they weigh a hundred pounds each. I don't want to move off the couch, ever. But it's all been worth it. Another bucket list item I can check off. Living my best life.
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