From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
lf marathon is a road running event of 21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi). It is half the distance of a marathon and usually run on roads. Participation in half marathons has grown steadily recently. One of the main reasons for this is that it is a challenging distance, but does not require the same level of training that a marathon requires. In 2008, Running USA reported that the half marathon is the fastest growing type of race. A 2010 article by Universal Sports echoed the growing popularity of the distance. New York Road RunnersCEO Mary Wittenberg and noted running author and coach Jeff Galloway have also commented on the popularity of the distance. It is common for a half marathon event to be held concurrently with a marathon, using almost the same course with a late start, an early finish or shortcuts. The half marathon is also known as a 21K, 21.1K or 13.1 miles, although these values are rounded and not formally correct.
For those of you who have never trained, ran, or followed a half marathon this entry will probably read like a puppy getting scolded for peeing in the house i.e.; blah blah blah, Bad dog blah blah blah. Apologies to my two readers who follow my ramblings but since we are nearing the end of the Mayan calendar, I figured I might as well put this down on a computer screen. Now recall back in February when Carbunkle competed in his first 5K and lived to tell about it? Well this is the finale in my series of Carbunkle Trumpet the road racer. Back in the middle of the summer when I was sans the 15 additional pounds that I am now sporting, I had a weak moment and signed up for the St Jude Half Marathon. At the time I was putting some good mileage on those pair of Adidas Costco specials that I purchased and I figured “What the hell, I can do a half marathon right?”
Now before you start envisioning some short thin blonde haired
feckerwearing a pair of Hooter’s dolphin shorts and out there running like Forrest Gump, let me give you a brief history lesson. I knew very early on that I hated running! Back in grade school our PE teacher made us run around the rather large block at St Dominic/St Agnes, it was Danny Pombo and myself taking short cuts running through people back yards in that neighborhood to cut time. There was old Jim Mathis driving around in his Buick land yacht yelling at us when he would catch us emerging from the Drott’s back yard and this didn’t stop there. When I was in High School we would have to run the track for time and it was yours truly who would make any and every excuse not to run that day. You see I really did (and still do) hate running for no reason other than to avoid a viscous dog or to get my horse bet in before post time.
I blame the Mayans, the paint chips I ate as a child or peer pressure that convinced me to sign up for the half marathon but since I was signed up, I figured I couldn’t chicken out right? As all my friends who also signed up for the Half were starting training this past fall what was I doing? I was sitting on the porch with a Perdomo Cigar in my mouth and coming up with stupid “9lb 8oz Baby Jesus” sayings on my Facebook page. It was around Halloween that I decided to sell my BIB to someone who got shut out of the Half Marathon and I got shamed by a friend who wouldn’t let me quit so I decided I would brisk walk this sucker. How hard can that be? Let me tell you, 13.1 miles is not the time to try to BS you way through something but thankfully I did it.
First and foremost, my hat goes off to all the organizers, volunteers, Race Fans, and Police who pull this event off, this isn’t an easy task. To the “real” runners and competitors in the 5K, Half and full Marathon, you have my upmost respect because this isn’t for the faint of heart. Below is a brief summary of my race experience for your amusement because if you really think about it, the Mayans may be right because Carbunkle Trumpet completed his first Half Marathon!
Race Start – Talk about energy and such a good vibe! A half marathon is divided up into groups of Corrals. The First corral is for those who know what they are doing and as I found out on mile 3, they were done with the damn thing before I even got to St Jude’s campus. By the way, I put myself in the last corral and was ok with that.
Miles 2 & 3 – Have traveled past my neighborhood and notice that my right foot is feeling a sharp pain in the 3rd, 4th & 5thMetatarsals. I have shed one of the pairs of socks and starting to think of an exit strategy.
Mile 4 – Run through the St Jude Campus. Talk about a burst of energy and a feeling that cannot be described…The staff, some patients and families line the street as you run/walk through the campus. It’s ok to cry, this reminds you why you signed up for this damned thing.
Mile 4.3 (as you exit the St Jude Campus) you know that painful feeling in your right foot? Yep it is back again and you return to asking yourself “Why did I sign up for this?” This feeling also intensifies as you are leaving the safety of downtown Memphis and start heading into Midtown.
Miles 5 – 6 Now here is where I said “Yall go on, I will be back here with the slower people” to my friends who were keeping a pretty good pace. I am not going to lie, as you make each step you start think to yourself “I wonder if momma is up and do you think she will come get you in the car?” I am now enjoying a slight cramp in my left calf as I am walking in a way to avoid the pain in my right food.
Mile 7 – Here in a haze you now realize that you are halfway through this beast as you now see the leader of the Full Marathon and wonder if he is enjoying this as much as you are.
Miles 8 – 9 – Running through Overton Park – Here I see some friends of mine who had no idea I was doing this. They were as amazed as I was that I had gotten this far. Oh and that slight cramp in the left calf, that sucker is now reminding me each and every step (you bastard)!
Miles 10 – 11 – As I am now on Poplar avenue I see the facial expressions of the Memphis drivers who forgot that today is the marathon and are enjoying gridlock traffic. I am reminded of years past when I also forgot and was pissed that I had to wait for a bunch of slow ass runners. Here I encounter one of my friends who were also with us at the start and he is feeling as crappy as I am. I guess the Mayans are right as misery loves company!
Mile 12 – Pure adrenaline is keeping us going. The legs feel like I am wearing cement shoes and all I want is for this damned thing to be over. We know that we are nearing the end but Downtown sure does look pretty far from where we are, is this race going to end?
Mile 13 – As we near Redbird stadium I am happy that I am wearing sunglasses as you can’t see the tears in my eyes because I really don’t enjoy this one bit. I don’t know whose bright idea it was “to jog into Redbird stadium” but that idea was short lived as my legs, feet and body decide to go into full cramp mode.
Finish Line – I did it! My biggest concern is not to fall out and start crying in front of all of the people that are cheering on the runners as they cross the finish line.
Exiting the baseball field – This is where the organizers went from hero’s in my book to “off the Carbunkle Trumpet Christmas card list.” You mean to tell me I have to climb the steps up to the mezzanine to exit the stadium? Where is the friggin escalator?
Post Half Marathon Beers at Aldo’s Pizza Parlor – trying not to shotgun the beer to dull the pain we celebrate with some beers and I decide that I need a shower, many milligrams of ibuprofen and some down time in the Papa Mellor easy chair. I did it; I finished my first half marathon, granted my time was slightly better than the girl who did the half marathon in an orthopedic walking boot but I can scratch that off the list.
1 week post-race – Yep I have done some serious soft tissue damage to my left knee. My right foot still is angry at me and you want to talk about chafing? There isn’t a bottle of Gold Bond big enough for me!
I would burn 3 gallons of gas if I drove this sucker and I am going to walk/jog it?
Proof that one does live to tell about it after you complete a half Marathon
No Smart ass they didn’t have to use a calender to clock me,
It is a shame I won’t be buried, if I were I would ask that they put this on me as I lay in the casket!
So if the world does end on 12-21-12 at least I can say that I completed a half marathon! Don’t hold your breath to read about my next half marathon, I suspect that my running/brisk walking days are over!