ok...what now?

warning: this post involves running and i might mention Jesus (just to warn people who don't like to hear/read about those things...which i think is sad, but that's just my opinion.)

anyway...the 1/2 marathon is done. praise Jesus! hey look...i just mentioned the two things i warned you about in the first two sentences. ironic. seriously though...the 1/2 was hard. i guess it was as hard as i expected it to be though. after all...i ran 13.1 miles in 1:53:54 (i'm going to try not to feel like i'm bragging about that. it's also quite humbling to know that the dude who won this race did it in a little over an hour.) but in a nutshell, the race went well.

the wait before a race always sucks. i get antsy and i just want to RUN! but finally we got going and i was feeling pretty good, keeping a good pace throughout the run until about mile 9. during my training, when i ran the 13.1 miles, this was about the exact same spot where i started feeling 'it' ('it', for me, is when your mind gets a second wind and catches your body off-guard and begins to convince you to stop running.) now, i took water at mile 7, so i figured i wasn't dehydrated and was just being a baby. well, 9 going into 10 finally went by and then came 11. stupid mile 11. that's when i started feeling the hills and the humidity (along with 'it' of course.) i took some more water around this time and then went into a hill...and then it happened...i was walking. i was so mad at myself. i told myself before the race that i would not walk. i distinctly remember telling myself that i would NOT was right after i said i was going to overdo it (hmmm? i was foolish). you don't go to a 1/2 marathon (or any road race for that matter) to walk. unfortunately, this race, i did. i took a couple of 10 second walk breaks and then got going again. i finally made it over the last big hill and saw the crowd by the finish line. the best part was at the end of the route we finished around the track at the high school. it felt kind of cool running around the track and to finish in front of a crowd. i ran the track as hard as i could and finished strong. although i was frustrated for a few hours after the race about walking, i told myself that these things i even beat my goal by over a minute, so i technically had NOTHING to complain about. but sometimes i'm a complainer. it was also a pride thing...i'll be honest. but to every problem there is a solution, right? isn't there? well, my solution was/is to train myself better so i can pace myself so that i'll never walk again during a race. my dad has this little saying he likes that i've grown quite fond of as well, "i hate to run, but i love to finish." that sums it up for me.

"suffering is optional."

i got that quote from a book i just got done reading, "what i talk about when i talk about running" by haruki murakami. he's run over 24 marathons, a bunch of triathlons, and even dabbled in the ultramarathon area. the dude is a runner to look up to, enough said. in his book he talks about his life as a runner and also a novelist. it's really interesting to me to learn about other people's lives. in a "non-creeper, i'm-truly-interested-in-how-you-live" type of way of course. the biggest thing, and i think the best thing, i learned from his book was this: sometimes you have bad experiences while running. he told quite a few stories about a marathon, or a triathlon, that went horribly wrong but he still learned something from it. i'm the type of guy that struggles when something happens that i felt like i could've controlled. does that make any sense? if i could've done something different to prevent _____ from happening, then why didn't i? that's the type of question i dwell on after i finish my first 1/2 marathon wondering why i had to walk that little bit. well, add this to the "things i've learned so far" list: "Reaching the finish line, never walking, and enjoying the race. These three, in this order, are my goals."


basically, i loved that Murakami said these three goals he has in his book, and it stood out to me. of course when i first read it i applied it to future races i'll be running, but sometimes i like to think a little cheesier and more cliche and applied it to life in general (which is a great mxpx album.) the finish line being my ultimate goal(s) in life...definitely not easy to get to, but ALL possible if i stick with it and keep one foot moving in front of the other. never walking...i learned my lesson on this one. it has an affect on your mind...once you slow down and lose momentum it makes the rest of the "race" even more difficult. the last thing he says is to enjoy the race. for me personally...i might put this at the number one spot. enjoy life...enjoy what you do. anything and everything...enjoy it! why not? you're not here forever. and your loved ones aren't here forever either. "don't get caught in the season of life you're in now...seasons change." i heard that on the radio earlier today. i'm beginning to think the meaning of this post is to overload you (the reader) with cheesiness and lack of orginality. i think my "segway" segway was pretty original though...

oh, and i almost forgot. the title of this post is actually the point of this whole, long, random group of words i call writing. my next goal is of course...a full marathon. i'm going to do it. it's just a matter of when. it reminds me of that question on job applications that reads: "Are you the type of person who looks for more work, without being told what to do, after you complete the task you're working on?"

"one final thought" (you have to say that like andy rooney from 60 minutes..that guy is a nut) my cool dad and hot wife (i'm good at thinking of adjectives) also ran this 1/2 marathon and rocked it to an 11! high 5's to them as well.


  1. This is a question only partially related to this post, do you know anything about any of these new Couch to 5K things (i.e., I looked at this awhile ago and reading your blog is starting to inspire me to run. I have friends who recently trained and did a 5K also, so it's all making me want to get off my butt and move. C25K has an app on the iPod, which is perfect for me. Anything you know or tips on choosing a plan are appreciated.

  2. Comment to Christine: I *HIGHLY* recommend the Couch to 5K iPod app. It is what I used when I started running last year and I still use it to this day when I want to do a shorter run. (I also use Nike Plus). The Couch to 5K is simple and easy to use, and you can play music in the background... it is so motivating and helpful.

    Comment to Tony: So you walked, big deal. (I say this because I walked much of the last few MILES of my half) ;) The point is that you didn't QUIT, you didn't stop, you pressed onward to the goal. (And beat your goal!) All the walking I did was because I *know* I didn't train well enough beforehand. I think the longest I ran before I attempted the half was... like seven miles. And yes, running is chock full (of peanuts! wait, no...) of great life metaphors. Train hard. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy. Keep your eyes on the prize. Above all, remember that we live in GRACE, not the law. If we need to walk, if we need to allow time for healing from an injury, it's all good... in fact, it is a MUST! :)

  3. I love the Couch to 5K plan. Great training program which I would recommend as well. My old (as in former, because being 30 something doesn't make someone old) supervisor used the Couch to 5K iPod app to train and sucessfully ran a 5K in St. Louis this spring.

    Tony, I am so proud of you for running. It's wonderful that running has had such a positive impact on your life (not just your health). Also, I love running, Jesus, and your posts!!!