As I write this, the ice pack on my ankle is slowly but surely warming up. It needs to go back in the freezer, but I don’t know if my knees will be strong enough to take me from my favorite chair to the kitchen. Why am I unable to move comfortably, you ask? Why does everything hurt from my hips downward?
That would be because I ran a half marathon yesterday. WOO! It was my first time running one and I predict that it won’t be my last. In the past year, I’ve run a 5k and a 10k, so I figured that the natural next step was the half marathon. How long did it take? 2 hours and 2 minutes. I foresee myself doing another one in the future because I can’t settle for 2 minutes over 2 hours. I must finish in 2 hours or less. Fun fact: one of the elite male marathoners was finishing his marathon at the exact same time as me. HA. HA.
^^See pics from the Mercado de San Miguel that I visited on Saturday, pre-thon.
The race was an awesome experience. It was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid marathon series, which is actually Madrid’s official marathon. Roughly 30,000 people ran it, so you can imagine how insanely packed it was! I’m usually not one to talk about energy or vibes, but I must say that the energy was amazing and so positive! My nerves were immediately relieved when I saw how many wonderful peeps were going to be running alongside us. I also had this irrational fear that I was literally going to come in last. As in 30,000th place. Needless to say, that did not happen.
I signed up for the race as a way to keep myself motivated to stay fit during my time abroad. It would have been too easy to say that I was going to take a break from working out for four months. I also would have gained 40 pounds. I “trained” for the past couple of months, running longer distances once per week. You may or may not know that I may or may not have pulled/torn a ligament in my foot in February, so that threw a wrench in my half marathon plans. I still remember tripping down the stairs, twisting my ankle so badly that I blacked out for about a minute, and thinking to myself ‘NOOOOOO, THE HALF MARATHON!’ From that point on, my training was pretty light. Eventually, I got my mileage back up and was back in the training game. HOLLA.
So how did the actual race go? SPLENDIDLY, I WOULD RUN ANOTHER ONE TOMORROW IF I COULD! Kidding. No. But it did go quite smoothly! No cramps or any of that nonsense. I read somewhere a couple of weeks before the race to run the first 5 miles with your head, the second 5 with your legs, and the last 3.1 for someone or something. Due to the lack of signage and the lack of wifi on my phone, I was never sure where I was distance-wise. I made the executive decision to run with my head for about 45 minutes, which meant that I just did what felt right rather than pushing myself too hard or not enough. I randomly found myself following a man with the British flag on his shirt for most of this time. He’s my friend now, at least in my mind.
By the time those 45 minutes were up, my legs had gotten into a groove and there was no stopping me. Actually, if you’d told me that there was a fresh doughnut waiting for me around the corner, I probably would have stopped pretty quickly. Alas, that did not happen, and so the second 45 minutes were run with my body rather than my thoughts. For me, long distance running is challenge because I’m stuck in my head the entire time. It’s too easy to talk yourself out of a long run or into a walking break. Whenever that started to happen, I just focused on my music and the hot men around me. Good distractions.
When the first hour and a half was over, I figured that were more or less than 30 minutes left. What did I dedicate my half marathon to? To Boston, of course. I was never interested in marathon running until I experienced my first Boston Marathon during my freshmen year of college. The race has an unbelievable ability to make you a part of something so much bigger than yourself. Soon after deciding to train for it during my sophomore year, I screwed up my knee and my doctor said that if I couldn’t run more than 4 miles without pain, then I wasn’t running a marathon. BOO! Long story short, the final three miles of this weekends “jog” went to Boston, its runners, and its spirit.
I’m thinking that it’s about time to go freeze my ice pack again. Maybe I’ll pick up a nice cold glass of soy milk on the way back. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Until next time, you precious people.