On Sunday, I ran the Seattle Half-Marathon, and man alive, was it fun.
(I just really think that “man alive” should be brought back as an exclamation – “man alive,” and “hot damn.”)
Back in September, I had the thought, “I want to train for something.” So I went online, looking for a race that would be in a city that I wanted to travel to, and a course that I would like to run. I realized that Seattle had a race on the Sunday after Thanksgiving; I did the math, and figured out that it was 12 weeks away, to the day.
Serendipity (not the movie) – I started training that night.
The 12 weeks flew by, and before I knew it, I was standing in a crowd of 11,000 people before the sun came up on Sunday morning. I didn’t train with anyone, and I didn’t run with anyone – I just showed up, jumped into the sea of runners, stared at the people around me, and then ran across the starting line and didn’t stop for 13.1 miles.
I know that I’ve written about running before – how it’s not something that I’ve historically loved, how it’s not something that comes all that naturally, how the fact that I currently consider it one of my hobbies is utterly flabbergasting to me.
But there I was, by my own volition, running my third half-marathon.
For the first 10 miles, I ran a 9-minute mile pace. For a girl who never runs faster than 10-minute miles, I don’t know where that extra jolt came from – all I can think is that training at Mile High and then dropping to sea level is the way to go. The last 3 miles were a bit slower, but in the end, I cut 6 minutes off of my previous best time, finishing in 2:03:13.
As I ran, I was struck with how much FUN I was having. I was just so happy – traveling through my favorite city on earth, my body cooperating better than I could have hoped, carrying me up hills and around turns and past the man with the hairy back and the woman with the long, whipping, Texas polygamist compound braid. I watched the people cheering on the sidelines, laughing at some of the signs (i.e. “Worst parade ever”). I saw my mom and our friend Lisa three times along the course; they win the prize for the best navigation of Seattle streets. At one point, I swear, I think I saw Vili Fualaau.
I ran uphill, against the wind and the rain. I thought about the last several years, and how hard they’ve been, and how good they’ve been, and how the road has been uphill and against the wind and the rain – but man alive, this place is beautiful, and hot damn, I’m still breathing.