It’s always fun to have a race to run and to have an excuse to not try very hard. At the very least, it means I don’t stress so much about the result. Sure, I put in the training, but I’m actually not too concerned about my performance.* That doesn’t happen to me very often, but it did happen this past weekend, when Micah and I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.
The start line was just a few blocks from our house, and because we didn’t need to stress about travel or anything, we may have been a little cavalier in our approach to the half marathon. After all, it was mostly through our home turf. Nothing new to be discovered. I’m not sure we would have been so relaxed if we’d realized how long the line to get through security would be . . . but we made it through, and made it to the start line just as the race was scheduled to begin . . . and then stood and waited nearly half an hour before the race actually did begin.
But it did start, and we were off. I was fully intending to take it easy, not push myself too hard, blah blah blah, but Micah decided to run with me. He claimed he would let me set the pace, but I was mostly trying to keep up with him the whole race. (His defense: “Well, you kept staying up with me.”) But I felt good. Better than I had felt during most of my training runs. So I let it be. We kept a pretty brisk pace up until mile 9, which is when I spoke a bit more firmly to Micah and suggested we take it down a notch.
Now, I’m not sure we actually intended to do that, but here’s the thing: we ran nearly the whole race next to a Macho Man impersonator. Cowboy hat, star glasses, short shorts, gruff voice, demanding a Slim Jim at all the aid stations . . . the whole bit. And we enjoyed every step of it. So I’m not sure we really intentionally slowed down, or if at that point we were just trying to match Macho Man’s pace. We finished just behind him and thanked him profusely for making the race much more enjoyable than it could have been (especially considering THERE WERE NO BANDS along the course—which I thought was the Rock and Roll franchises thing?).
We came in at 1:43. This is several minutes off our best half. But it was not as slow as the half we ran in 20 degree weather back in January 2014. It was quicker than I intended, and yet not so quick that I felt that I was being stupid. So I guess we could say that it was a win all around. At least for me. I can’t speak for Micah who seemed to have plenty left in the tank at the end and who is lucky I didn’t clock him on the walk home as he was talking about what a short course that seemed like for 13.1 miles, and didn’t it go by fast . . . ? (I’m certainly glad he pulled me along, as he always does, but I would like to see what he can do without me trying to keep up.)
*my excuse for not trying too hard is that I am pregnant. I’m currently about 4 months or 18 weeks along—and still feeling sick and tired most of the time.