Today, as I hang up my seventh (!) Lehigh Valley Half Marathon medal, I am limping. It may be for several reasons.
1. The giant hill added to the middle of the race course this year (literally to the middle – you got your halfway split halfway up the hill). Allegedly the hill was added to keep participants from being crushed by a falling stone wall. Personally, I would have preferred to take my chances with being crushed – it would have added a little bit of a spring to my step, at least.
2. Possibly I am limping because I ran my personal third fastest time on the course (1:27:23) – which isn’t bad, given my advancing years, and the cloudless day that made 60 degrees feel like 85, and the aforementioned (new) giant hill.
3. Or perhaps I am limping because immediately following the race we went to Abby’s 4th birthday party, at the Bounce U(niversity), whereupon I bounced, slid, and obstacle-coursed for an hour, making sure to beat every four year old that challenged me.
All in all, it was a good day, even if I am paying for it with a nice, sharp calf tightness today.
Some race highlights;
1. High-fiving Kathleen Jobes and Budd Coates at the starting line, then not seeing them after the gun went off, except for small, Budd and Kathleen shaped puffs of dust in the distance.
2. Running miles 2-8 or 9 with High School Mucus Hole, better known to the crowds lining the course as “Katie”. “Who the hell is Katie?” I said, several times. I also told her I was used to being the fastest hasher by a good ten minutes. “Not today!” she panted.
3. Steve and Jon fell off the back of the 1:30 pack before it even made the turn around, but still managed respectable finishes.
4. Liz and Madeline, with Courtney and Aubrey and Hailey, made it out for the finish, arriving just in time to see me enter the stadium, holding my arms amusingly high.
5. After the race, Madeline and I shared the world’s best orange, and then I juggled three other oranges for her – and then she tried to juggle, but really just threw the oranges onto the ground.
6. Coming into the stadium for the finish, I yelled at a runner who was wearing headphones. “Listen to the crowd! Listen to your breathing! Enjoy the day!” Good advice at all times, really.
7. Speaking of crowds, there was a large contingent manning the approach to the covered bridge. I was running alone at that point, and got a huge cheer by raising my arms as I ran through them. Felt like my own personal Wellesley, but made up out of old people in coats, not college women.
A good day, and I signed up for The Wild Half the next day – while still limping. Half marathons are fun.