The Monterey half marathon was amazing! I felt pretty good afterwards, and no small thanks to my stick and deep heat. I kept thinking about how liberating it felt running like that, and how happy it made me feel. It had taken almost 3 years for the magic to return and kiss me full on the lips!
I admire people who have the ability to get up and run, even if their world is falling apart. I have never been one of those people who can run through all this, and it has been a tough time to keep running. I never stopped completely, but never run more than 4 miles. So imagine how miraculous it felt, running in Monterey. So much so, that I started thinking about running another - the very next weekend. This I knew was pushing it, but the magic was still swirling through my legs and heart. So I signed up for the Inaugural Berkeley half marathon on November 24 - I thought it would be an early birthday present to myself.
I started feeling a bit jittery on Friday, and wondered if I was being foolhardy. Saturday was more of the same. I have never done back to back halfs - let alone untrained. This did concern me, but on the other hand, I had no doubts that I could do it - and I needed to get the monkey off my back. Well, I awoke at 4 am on Sunday, espresso, shower, dressed and out the door by 5. Got to Berkeley by 5:30, and it was freezing! Race start at 8, all lined up, and off we went. The route was not as pretty as Monterey, and there were some pretty big hills but, it was a beautiful day, and a fun thing to do.
The race was a bit more challenging than the previous week's, and I did not breeze through it all. I had to dig down deep and really trust myself to get the job done. Around mile 8 my legs started feeling a bit sluggish. I took 2 advils, and then another 2 at mile 10. Mile 11, I started feeling a bit tired - also because the course got very weird and I had long lost count of what mile I was on. There was a 10k, 10 miler and half going on at the same time, and the courses crossed over all the time, with markers up for the other races too. It was a bit confusing! Still, this was a lesson in sucking it up, and pushing through - running does that in a way crossfit never can. I realise I am comparing apples and oranges, but there is a different mental aspect to the sustained physical effort necessary for running. But, these two halfs are crossfit victories - I would never have had the physical endurance to get through this, had it not been , for my crossfit training.
I was rather tired crossing the finish line, but the victory was very sweet. I finished 3 minutes later (2:49) than the previous week (2:46), and picked up a very nice medal. For some reason I can't upload photos here, but will post at some point. I don't recommend doing what I did, but I took a calculated risk, I knew my physical condition was good, and knew I could see this through. Now I would like to run some more......