About a mile into the Rock n Roll Philadelphia half marathon on Saturday, I did not have high hopes. It was 38 degrees, and I’d been standing out in the cold for about 90 minutes before I started running. My toes still felt stiff. I was hungry — I’d eaten in the morning before driving to the start, but shivering for 90 minutes turns out to burn a lot of calories. I hadn’t slept well. The baby was sick and had been up on and off for much of the night. I handed him over to my husband at 3:00 so I could at least sleep straight until 5:30 or so.
The first four miles were tough. The next four were OK. Miles 8-13 or so didn’t feel that bad. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it reminds me that much of distance running is psychological.
Yes, there were some adjustments (finding a porta-potty — necessary!) I drank Gatorade along the course route and that helped with energy. My muscles did eventually limber up, and the temperatures rose. But I think also in the first four miles I was thinking about the sheer volume of running I had left to go. Whereas in the last few miles I didn’t feel awesome, but I didn’t have that distance hanging over me. I could simply run the mile I was in. Any individual mile isn’t particularly overwhelming. It’s simply a manageable distance of putting one foot in front of the other.
In any case, Lynda and I finished. Even better: the baby napped for 3 hours in the afternoon, so I could nap and relax before taking the kids around trick-or-treating.
In other news: Are you in a 100-hour couple? I’m writing a Fast Company post on how couples with two demanding jobs manage their schedules to keep everything from falling apart. If you’d be willing to let me quote you, please let me know: lvanderkam at yahoo dot com. Thank you!