Sunday, January 25, 2009

what thirteen means

I just finished running my first half marathon: 13.1 miles of hills, downhills, leg cramps and gatorades, cheers and tears. Here are 13 things I learned. Count down with me:

13. Suprisingly 13.1 is actually no harder than 10. Once you're in double digits, they all turn your upper legs to petrified tree stumps toward the end.

12. Banana-Strawberry Powerade Gel realy works. Well. At mile six, it was like a shot of adrenaline, and I had at least one mile under 10 minutes. Amazing.

11. You need to go at your own pace. Sometimes too slow is just as bad as too fast. Feeling like you could be running faster, pushing yourself just a little more can mentally take you down just as a sidesplitting too-fast-start can.

10. People still continue to amaze you. Again, today, I saw a man running with one perfect leg, and one titanium version, covered in the American flag. I saw him just as I started, and then just as I was finishing. I don't want to say I took it as a sign, but okay, yes, I took it as a sign.

9. Expectations and "realistic" assumptions usually don't end up happening. Trusting yourself, faith, holding out hope and lucky coincidences usually do.

8. On the way up Harlem Hill, a well-placed and loudly chanted "woo hoo" keeps you going like nothing else can.

7. '90s techno and Cher songs never will ever sound as good as they do at mile 12.

6. Some people cough. Some people spit. Some people sing to themselves. When I'm hurting, sad to say, I get cute, Palin-style, blurting random, but unneccessary observations like, ""do you believe in life after love," sounds good right now, right ladies?!? Can I get a 'woo hoo'?!?" Yeah, I'm working on that.

5. Bootcamp-style army chants sung by volunteers trying to make you smile are the best.

4. People yelling at you to stay to the left, over and over, are the worst.

3. I'd love to say I had a big realization today, at this significant marker of half-waydom, but really all I could think about was the Bloody Mary I'd be handily downing at Freds this time.

2. It's not a sin to take a taxi from 72nd Street home to 83rd St. when you've run for two and a half hours.

1. Speaking of, you just ran for two and half freaking hours. Say it with me now...Woo....hoo...

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