Friday, August 14, 2009

Doing a half-job

As in a half-marathon. Yes, my hubby finally succumbed to spouse-pressure and agreed to run a half-marathon with me. For those who may not know, a half-marathon is 13.1 miles.

We signed up 4 weeks before the race so luckily we were both still in decent shape from running the Wasatch Back. And it was an experience, for sure!

We'd been told that this race was a bit disorganized in the past. Maybe you should be the judge.

First of all, I almost broke out in hives every time I had to go to the website for information. I'm pretty sure that English is not the primary language of whoever organizes this race. The directions were about as clear as some of those assembly instructions included in furniture-in-a-box from Wal-Mart. And as we got reminder emails for what to do as the race approached I realized that we were dealing with an English-language free spirit. I am obviously way too rigid in my use of punctuation and the old-fashioned notion that you must string words together so they make sense. Pshaw!

Punctuation is optional and can be placed any! where at random? poin,ts . Spacesarealso used only when, you feel likeit and sentences ?don't even have to! make sense. Something else I learned was that !!exclamation! marks in different colors! are really ! nifty (especially red) and that you can leave a sentence at two words and an exclamation mark so that your reader has to guess the rest. Like: Pick Up! (Pick up what? Where? When? Aaargh!)

**Do you see why I almost went into a seizure every time I had to try and decipher one of these horrible emails?! My poor, aching writer brain!

So after figuring out the instructions (sort of), we decided we had to leave at 4:45 a.m. so we could get to the place to be in line for the bus up to the starting line because we simply must! be on the bus! by 5:30!! or else we would miss the start time of 6:30! I repeat: the start time of 6:30!

We managed to get on a bus fairly quickly. *whew* We were talking, laughing, and enjoying the Ben Gay scented interior until we began wondering where we were. The driver had turned from the road we thought he should be on (but, hey, we'd never run this race before so what did we know) and we were trundling in the dark up a little one-lane road with mountain chalets on either side. Suddenly the bus just stopped in the middle of the road. The driver had obviously figured out he was lost. And there wasn't enough room to turn around a full-size school bus. Soooo, naturally the driver slowly backed down the little road with parked cars on either side. In the dark. And we're looking at our watches as the start time of 6:30 creeps closer.

Eventually we backed our way to the parking lot where we had gone astray. We made it up to the starting line and the super-welcome line of port-a-potties. We got off the bus and realized that the mulling crowd of 400 people by the bathrooms weren't just hanging out. They were all in line. Forget that! We joined a couple other people clambering around the mountainside to visit nature's facilities.

It was really cold and we were glad for our sweats, esp. as the start time! of 6:30 came and went without a single sign of someone who actually was in charge. After 7:00 we finally pressed with the 2000 other people toward the start line. The gun went off and it was time to run with the herds of the Serengeti.

Yep. That's what the first four miles felt like. Dodging runners of various speeds and girths. But once the runners spread out we were able to enjoy a good, scenic run. And it was nice to see so many people we knew. *More fun to pass them than to have them pass us :) *

We made the whole race together--Jason with his monstrous blisters (I didn't post pics, you can thank me later) and me with a hip that decided 10 miles was enough. We finished at 1:43:35 (but actually 1:42 because I'm not counting my mad dash into the woods to avoid another port-a-potty line).

We were #235 & 236 overall. Jason was 29th in his division and 158 overall for the men. I was 34th in my division and 96 overall for the women. Not too shabby!

That's! right! We're! Runners!

A special thanks to James for being at our house before 5 a.m. so we could do it. *hugs*

1 comment:

Carol said...

I think your marathon writer must be one of those affected by "Texting Syndrome" and "Word Verification Disease" (where they can just make up a word that sort of sounds like a word, but doesn't really mean anything). It drives me CRAZY! Our society is getting so lazy about language, it's scary!

Congratulations on the race!