Trying Something New … Something Crazy!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

My wife and I after finishing the race.

My wife and I after finishing the race.

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.

Our friends from college after the race. It's fun to accomplish something like this as a team.

Our friends from college after the race. It’s fun to accomplish something like this as a team.

4 thoughts on “Trying Something New … Something Crazy!

  1. You did a great job Steve. So proud of you. I think more races are in your future. Glad we shared this experience together as a group.

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