if i do it, i'll be wearing this
one of my favorite things about being president and CEO of my own little life is this: 2:46 p.m. on a friday afternoon and i still haven't decided if i am going to run the half-marathon.
if i close my eyes i can picture both scenarios quite vividly. me running: a drooling, grunting, limping, frizzy-haired quasimoto immitation; me not running: asleep, tank top askew, drooling, grunting, limping, yawning sleeping quasimoto immitation, waking at 1 p.m. and wondering "hmmm coffee, camel lite?"
and honestly, i'm not leaning in either direction. i am completely 50-50 on this half-marathon question. i've also not set a deadline for my decision. i will proceed all day as though i'm running -- pick up my race packet, continue to assume that i am, until i have reason to decide otherwise. or not.
i have found myself saying these words a little too frequently:
"13.1 miles? really. that's not that far."
and the scary thing is that i truly believe that. maybe it's hubris or maybe it's the fact that i dropped a very expensive math class in college because i had earned, at midterm, a 7 percent.
or maybe it is because despite all the things i've done to my body to convince it otherwise -- the smoking, the five-dollar beer night, the lack of anything akin to training, the strict diet of tator tots and ketchup, i still consider myself a runner.
earlier this week a fellow camel litian approached me for some running advice.
"you still run?" camel litian asked.
i nodded. my head heavy with the feeling that this could, technically, be considered an untruth. i've not run since march. and that was on a treadmill. and there was enough walking sprinkled into the workout to deem it actually "a walk."
"do you still smoke?" he asked.
"how much?" he asked.
"hmmm. depends. pack and some change. unless i'm at a bar, and i can put away an entire pack in one sitting," i said.
"and does that affect your running?" he asked.
"well. not endurance-wise, but speed-wise," i told him.
and from when i have run regularly, i've found this to be true. i plod on and on and on, but i cannot plod on and on and on rapidly.
just now, my landlord called and said:
"are you still running the half?"
"i don't know yet," i said.
"i'm doing the 5k," he said.
"uh huh," i said.
"i'm having calf problems," he said. "been wearing three pairs of socks, trying to work in a new pair of shoes."
"i wanted to finish under 20," he said.
"righto," i contributed.
"maybe next year," he said.
as i like to point out about once a week, needed or not, i ran twin cities marathon in -- what -- 2004? no training. sixth to last place. having this on my running resume makes running 13.1 miles without training seem as simple as ordering the entire dollar menu at the drive thru window at wendy's -- which i did on tuesday. in preparation for my big run.
i've used this "marathon" experience as justification that i can "run" this "thing" on saturday.
"i've never seen someone walk slower in my life," moccassins described the after effects to chuck, when my training regimine found me at the pioneer at last call wednesday night.
"i'd like to bet you 400 dollars that you don't run," jcrew said yesterday.
"that, little missy, is exactly the kind of talk that makes me want to run," i told her.
i have been physically active. two weeks ago chuck and i hiked a chunk of the superior trail. from martin road to chester bowl -- probably a little more than six miles through rain and mud. when i was huffing and puffing at the top of a hill behind UMD, chuck gave me a look.
"is this where you say something about me running the half-marathon?" i asked. "because, i'll have you know, the half-marathon is one an actual road. and there are people cheering on the sidewalk. and it is waaaaay easier to run than walk..."
"the hardest part," i told chuck a few days ago, "will be waking up that early."
"how early?" he asked.
"well. probably at like 4:30 a.m. or 5," i said. "the race starts at 6-ish or something."
"listen ..." he sighed. i could hear him giving me a sort of govenor's reprieve.
tis true. i've not seen the front-end of an hour this early since my mom decided to wage a passive-aggressive intervention on my status as "night person" with a 6 a.m. flight to vegas from minneapolis.
i just giggled.
yesterday i had an "i'm not going to run, screw that" hour. everything that could possibly be wrong with my body is wrong with my body: a UTI and cramps and the general malaise associated with PMS. my will to live had hit a record low and my will to stab people arbitrarily and violently had hit a record high.
but here is the thing: the t'shirt. i really want the t'shirt. i want to wear it once, then stow it in a bottom drawer and never think about it again because i'm sure it is an unflattering piece of cotton outlandishness. but i want it.
i've also never had the opportunity to actually run this race. and seeing this town overrun with fit people with toned calves and shiny skin and athletic ware has me a little ramped up in a way that nullifies the fact that i will not be able to find a place to park for the next two days.
i'm having an "i'm going to do it" moment right now. but who ever really knows what i'll do. not me.
UPDATE 5:30 p.m.
this concerns me: you must maintain a 14-minute mile pace ... blah blah blah ... or race officials will escort you to an official bus and transport you to the decc. NO EXCEPTIONS.