Back in October I did my second Spartan Sprint with the simple goal of beating my own time. The course, however, was topographically (is that a word?) very different as it was straight up Big Bear Mountain with a base elevation of 6,772 feet. Not only did I not beat my own time, it took me nearly an hour longer as I trekked up the ski slope tackling obstacles along the way for a total of 5 miles. This is the baby Spartan, the beginners’ race, the lowest possible level one can compete at with the exception of the children’s run which I unfortunately don’t qualify for as I am no longer 7 years old.
The thin mountain air about killed me, just running from the outhouse (where I had my usual bout of pre-race diarrhea) to the starting line had me already winded and there was still a 2 hour and 20 minute journey ahead of me! But like the first race I did really well at all the obstacles except that pesky spear toss, but the endurance needed to actually run from obstacle to obstacle is what gets me every time. I am not a runner. Yet.
So I’ve signed up for the Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon in 116 days. I might as well just change the name of this blog to “Stupid Things I Have No Business Doing” or “My Life in a Torture Chamber” or “How Stupid Am I? Hold This Beer And Let Me Show You!” I had initially made a goal of signing up for a 5K every month, I figured it was good motivation to continue running and would be a great thing to do as a family. My husband reluctantly agreed and added runs to the tail end of his normal weight lifting routine at the Y. I chose a race that was for a great cause (The Burn Institute of San Diego) and had something fun for the kids once it was over.
I was surprised to find that I didn’t really need much of a break during those 3 miles, and although I was super sweaty, I was in fact not dead. When I run in my neighborhood alone the second my watch beeps at me indicating I’ve hit one mile my brain immediately shuts down and says “Good night and thank you folks!” Mentally I just can’t get past the mile. But in a race, I’m all of a sudden passing bitches left and right and the mob mentality takes over, I see a runner ahead and try to keep pace never losing sight of that person and hopefully my back is motivating someone else behind me.
After the race, my husband had checked 5K’s off his proverbial bucket list but I was ready to keep going. I reached out to a friend who actually enjoys cardio and asked if she would want to run the next 5K with me as my husband was out. Our text went a little something like this:
Me: Hey do you want to do a 5K with me in March?
Her: How much is it?
Me: 30$ I need to keep doing races or I won’t keep running.
Her: We should do the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, you could do it. It was sooo fun!
Me: That’s crazy… I’m not a runner.
Her: Do you think you could have kept going after the 5k?
Me: Ummm I wasn’t dead, so I think so. Ok LET’S DO IT!
Her: Uhhhh wait those dates are crazy for me work wise. Uhhh let me get back to you…
Me: What the fuck you just talked me into this now you’re talking yourself out of it!?
Her: Well I didn’t think you’d actually say yes!!!!???
After some consideration and time,
Her: Ok biatch I’m all signed up, let’s DO THIS!
And so, I’ve been bamboozled into a half marathon, or I bamboozled her, it’s still not totally clear. The good news is that she’s ran it once before and raves about the energy, feeling of accomplishment, and the live music and crowds. She’s experienced the training and is planning on learning from mistakes she might have made in the past and I’ll be right there too making my own. It’s so much easier to do something like this when you know you’ve got someone to hold you accountable.
To further my motivation and commitment to learning to run, not only did I sign up as a racer, I signed up as a fund-raiser. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series works with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and while I cannot physically watch their television commercials since becoming a parent myself, the very least I can do is raise some money to help the families they serve.
Let’s face it, cancer fucking sucks. I know first hand as I worked for three years as a nurse on a Medical/Oncology unit and that was all I could do. Help me raise some money for a great organization that’s working to kick cancers ass and tune in here for my blog updates on “how the hell to train for a half marathon”.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TODAY!!!!