Today I ran the Amica Half Marathon in Newport, Rhode Island with three very dear friends. I don’t consider this one of my adventures, and had not planned to write about it. I have run this exact race before as well as many other half marathons, and I have even run the whole kit and caboodle of 26.2 miles once before. No, this was not a stretch for me, but there were several aspects of how I prepared for, and ran this race that may be proof of me mellowing from my former Type A self…or maybe I am just getting old. You be the judge:
I have always been a pretty competitive person. I’m not so much trying to keep up with the Joneses, as I am keeping up with Emily. I set very lofty goals for myself, work hard to reach them, and am painfully disappointed if I do not. I have a very high-tech running watch that allows me to track my pace, distance, heart rate…it could probably tell me my horoscope, but I don’t know what all the buttons do. But I didn’t wear it for this race. I told myself that I was running for the fun of it, and it seems that I just about convinced myself that it was true.
Secondly, I have a lucky race headband. Here it is:
I bought it the day before I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2008, and I have had it with me for every race since. It is supposed to be a joke. But it’s also a little serious…at least to me. I have never, nor will I ever, win a race or even win my age group. I know this. But I want to run fast and improve upon my personal best in every race.
I put my lucky headband on early this morning. I heard the wind howling outside, so I thought the headband would not only help me run like the wind, but would also keep my ears warm. But when I walked out of the door and realized that the wind betrayed a rather mild morning, I left it at my friend’s house without a second thought. This was supposed to be fun after all.
I never run with anyone. Running has always been my time to get lost in my thoughts, toss around ideas and get fresh perspective. Amazingly enough, during what I consider the important parts of this race — the start and the finish — I ran with my friend Libby. Not only was it great to have someone to chitchat with, but when Libby and I re-connected around mile 12, I needed her! I had been keeping what I thought (remember, no fancy smancy watch) was a good pace most of the race, but at mile 12 I really started to slow down, I could feel it. When Libby appeared beside me with a big smile and wave, I thought THANK GOODNESS!
I picked up my pace to match hers and we crossed the finish line strong…and side-by-side. Imagine that!
I know what you’re thinking…I did all this maturing and mellowing…going out there not to win, but to have a good run…but how was my time? If this was a movie I would have not only beat my personal best, but maybe Libby and I would have beat the Kenyans to boot. But this isn’t a movie, and I don’t actually know how long it took me to run 13.1 miles. See, the official times have not yet been posted on the race’s website. If this was any other race, I may have already placed a call complaining about the delay and demanding my time. But instead, I am emailing with my friends about how we should do it all again next year. This display of patience is quite unlike me…or maybe it is. Maybe this is the new, ever-evolving me.
After saying all that, please indulge me: Come one Amica! Where are those results? Tick, tock…