You Know You’re a Runner When…
1.) You can devour a whole stack of pancakes (and the side of bacon you requested, too) from Crepes Etc. without feeling like a total fatty because, hey, you just ran 13.1 miles and need to “restore your glycogen reserves.”
2.) Hills don’t intimidate you whatsoever.
3.) Your runs are so long that your mother purchased a Road ID bracelet for you which has all of your emergency contact information on it, should you suddenly collapse during a workout.
4.) You think hydration belts are cool (if only one would actually fit you…).
5.) You can eat and eat and nothing seems to stick to you.
Yes, today was a big day for me: after months of training and running up monstrous hills in my neighborhood so steep that I feel like I’m not even running and that my lungs are going to explode, I finally took to the streets of St. Louis for my first half-marathon: the Go! St. Louis. Originally, my brother was supposed to run the full (which I totally respect him for!), but since his knees have recently been giving him trouble, he decided to drop out a few weeks ago. So, with my mom, who normally races, out of town and my brother out of the picture, I was alone at the starting line!
I like to say that after you’ve been running for such a long time during those really long training runs, you start to have weird, out-of-body experiences and you kind of forget that you’re even still moving. Here are some of the weird things that came to my mind at various mile-markers:
1.) “Soulard would be such an awesome place to live! The houses are so cool and it kind of smells like pancakes with maple syrup around here.” (That may have been the pancake craving speaking to me.)
2.) “Labradoodles seem to be a popular breed of dog in St. Louis.” (After passing three different people with Labradoodles in a row on the sidelines.)
I was super excited to see that I was maintaining a nine-minute, thirty-second mile pace during the first half of the race. Once I got to the hill by The Firebird (where I went to see Youth Lagoon in concert a couple of weeks ago), though, I started to slow down and never really regained my speed as I began to fatigue.
As I was about four minutes away from the finish line, I really began to think I was losing it. My legs were saying, “Okay, we’ve had enough, thank you,” when to my left, two Wash. U-esque guys started cheering, “Yeah, Carly! You can do it!” And then, being the super awkward individual that I am, I turned to these guys, flashed them a huge smile and waved, like I actually knew them or something.
I think my embarrassment motivated me to keep going, seeing as I wanted to run far, far away from them after my geeky response to their cheering.
*Big, exasperated sigh.*
And while the start of the race wasn’t totally exciting like my mom and dad said it is, the finish was pretty awesome. I can finally say I’m a real runner now! This is most definitely the first of many half-marathons for me, and who knows, maybe I will be able to do a full someday. For now though, I’m going to focus on training for my next event: my dad and I are taking on our first triathlon on June the 10th, and my swimming needs some help…
Well, I suppose I better start on my homework (as if I can focus on that now!).
Have a great week, everybody!
“Jam for Jerry” by Holy Ghost!