Is running worth it? I mean, does all the pain and suffering of training have value? Yes, er, HELL YES!

Back in March, I was conned into training for the Summerfest Rock ‘N Sole Half Marathon (I won’t say by who, @roryenvers). Up to that point, I did very little running. So it made complete sense I was ready for the grind of a half marathon.

Fast forward to July 10, 2011 — race day.

I was confident that not only could I finish, but I would finish in 2 hours. Ha! Mother Nature or fate or God himself wanted to keep things interesting. Let’s start with the weather. Hot, humid and did I say hot? Fsck! Temps were in the 80s at start time — increased one degree every minute or so I swear. By mile 3, I had lost focus. All I could think about was:

“This is how I’m gonna die… In front of all these people. I should be sleeping or reading the paper. Not running! Damn it, my body hurts so bad. Why does it hurt so bad? Am I even moving? Breathe. Left right left, breathe. FSCK! Why am I doing this?

The conversation with myself continued in similar vein for the next 3 miles. Then… A lightning bolt of pain struck my left knee. My boiling sweat turned ice cold. A shiver of failure rattled up and down my spine.

Continue or quit? It was an epic shouting match inside my head between my inner hero and the wussy me:

[dialog redacted]

The hero won. So I continued on but had to walk — dragging out this whole experience longer and longer. After 13 miles, I had saved enough energy and courage to run across the finish line. Ok, more like a Frankenstein shuffle. But I finished. Finished when I could’ve (should’ve) quit. Finished when others decided not to even try. Finished even when both my body and mind said I couldn’t.

By the way, “finished” means “Suck it failure!”

Running sucks. Duh. But I’m stoked I ran, finished and lived to tell you about my half marathon adventure.


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