Remember the virtual half Amanda and I were going to do that ended up turning into a New Year’s Day 5K? Of course the missing packet shows up on January 2nd! After a comedy of errors that included a hellish crick in my neck, we set the date for yesterday. Friends, it was cold. 38 degrees to be precise. Amanda was almost frozen but I’ve run in 19 degree weather so I knew I’d make it.
Since she was running the 5K and I was doing the half, I mapped out a route that would take us out and back together so we could snap a picture of us with our medals before I went back out for another 10 miles. The Diva series is known for its huge fancy medals and before she saw mine Amanda asked if it was a thing with them. It is. It’s totally a thing.
After a quick hug, Amanda went to warm up and I went back to the trail after a cup of water. Somehow it felt like it had gotten colder but I started on my way, having mapped the rest of the route through Trinity Park. Even in the winter it’s beautiful, and I enjoyed it.
It may not have been the best idea to do this the weekend before the marathon but – and I know I never mentioned it before – I have anxiety. I knew that doing the half would make me feel better, whether it proved I’d crash and burn at the marathon or gave me hope, so I decided to do it for the sake of my mental health. I’m so glad I did! I kept a good pace, made good time, and my legs don’t feel any worse than they did Saturday (which was not at all). In order to finish the marathon in the allotted 6 hours, I need to keep a pace of 13:44/mile. Today I ran 13.1 and sustained a pace of 13:29/mile. Yes, I am slow. I finished in 2:56:00, which is my best time since last May, and I almost cried.
I’m still certain I won’t finish in 6 hours. Feeling good or not, I was still tired after the half so I doubt I can keep my pace under 14:00/mile. If I can keep it around there, though, I might be able to finish just a hair over 6 hours and get an unofficial finish. No medal or swag, but I’ll know where I am and whether or not I can finish the Cowtown. The most important thing is that I continue to live by Deadpool’s motto: “Maximum Effort.”
Next year I think I’ll see if Amanda wants to do this again. I had fun and feel extremely good about myself, and I got to spend time with a friend I don’t see much anymore. And that, folks, makes me feel like an actual Diva.