Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development
I experienced a whole new world this past weekend. The life of a runner. Well, I didn’t actually run … just walked as fast as I could.
My wife and I just visited some very close college friends in Erie, PA and this year we all decided to compete in a half-marathon … 13.1 miles. To be honest, I originally planned to sit this one out and hang with one of our friends since he took a chainsaw to his knee a few weeks before. But, as everyone was signing up on Saturday, I got the urge to compete and wanted to give it a shot. Call it temporary insanity.
There was one slight challenge with my decision: I did not train for the event. I was not even sure I could run 500 feet, let alone 13.1 miles; but I rationalized that I could walk the distance. Luckily, the race organizers had a few spots left and they let me join the race planned for Sunday.
So, when race day came I was pretty calm. Let me tell you that dumb and clueless is an ideal combination for someone preparing for his first half-marathon. After we started, I soon lost sight of my wife and our friend Stephanie – we were not even one mile into the race.
As I hit three miles, then six miles … I started to daydream about work and life. I thought to myself, “How far is it from Downtown Auburn Hills to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets? Can I walk that? Are there enough pathways along the way?” I was getting a little delirious. Then came eight miles and I began to think … “Wow, this is pretty far!” But, I was determined not to quit.
When 10 miles came my body really started to hurt, but it was manageable. No blisters yet. Hey, I didn’t even get discouraged when a man who appeared to be in his 80’s passed me with ease. He was running the full-marathon. I thought to myself … “just three more miles … just three more miles.”
Then I saw the finish line. What a relief! When I passed under the finish line banner, a nice lady put a medal around my neck. That was a pretty cool moment. My wife and friends (all experienced runners) came over and congratulated me. Yes, the tortoise finished the race. My official time was 3 hours, 43 minutes, 6 seconds. Not exactly record-setting, but I have nowhere to go but up.
I tried something new and I think I caught the distance walking bug. We’ll see.