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You may have read that yesterday I was kind of dreading today’s race due to some ass discomfort. I’m happy to say I survived the half marathon this morning with my left ass cheek (LAC) in tact. It did not feel good for much of the race, but was manageable.
As a runner, I think one of the toughest things is to know when to stop to avoid further injury. I never got to a point where I felt like it was detrimental. That said, I will take some time off from EVERYTHING and get some attention from a sport’s doc to get me back into tip top shape before Vegas.
The goal for this race was to pace my friend, Joie, so that she could break 2 hours. She missed the two hour mark by ONE SECOND at her half in August. I was damned determined to squeeze her in under two if it killed me.
In lieu of a pace band, I used my trusted Sharpie to keep track along the way:
I actually got a great night’s sleep last night after 1.5 glasses of wine, some bland chicken fettuccine and a little “Dateline.” Up at 4:30 a.m., had some coffee and we headed to Denver. About five minutes out from finding a place to park the colon started hollering. Like it was emergent and emerging. We parked at the Hyatt, but I could not hold it and left an amazing pile in the parking lot. Fortunately, Joie had some TP. I worried some detective would test the DNA and the TP and arrest me for leaving a steaming load of crap, but decided there were probably better things to worry about like the fact that it was 35 degrees and my ass hurt.
Good thing I got that pile out before the start!
We huddled at the start with throw away blankets and millions of other bodies. Then we were off through the streets of Denver on this chilly, yet clear and sunny morning. Our pace was spot on. I knew we had to keep about 9 minute miles throughout to sneak in under two hours. The crowds were so massive for the first mile we did a 9:30, but made up for it with an 8:30 for mile two. We plodded along and as I warmed up I ditched my beanie hat, my hoodie and my gloves.
By the halfway point I knew we were on track for a strong finish. My LAC was hurting quite a bit, but it was also becoming kind of numb. I tried to disengage from the lower half of my body. Mile six I took a vanilla Powerbar gel.
Mile 11 I told Joie we would pull back a bit, then really kick it in for the last mile. I knew we were golden and that she would exceed her goal.
Mile 12 we were home free as we cruised downhill through the streets of Denver to the finish. I will NEVER EVER tire of the feeling of the last .1 mile of a race when the finish is so close you can see, feel and taste it.
We tearfully crossed the line in 1:54. We both felt amazing. The ass hurt, but not too bad.
With our boys: Sam (left) and Joie’s son, A.J. (right).
When we finished the race you HAD to get your picture taken by the RnR people. So Joie and I decided to kiss just to make it a bit more exciting. Ken was sad he missed the kiss, so we re-enacted for him after we found him at the finish. For your viewing pleasure:
So proud of Joie who started running only a couple of years ago. Her first half was 2:21. She has come such a long way!
I can’t thank Ken and the kids enough for getting up early, parking, fighting the crowds just for that 30 seconds to watch us finish. It is like getting the most thoughtful gift from someone: when people love you they pay attention to what means the most to you.
How was your Sunday? Win any races? Kiss any girls?